I'm hoping I can get some clarification on the differences between these products. Are Klar and Klar Kabinett -- both at Royal Shave -- different products or only different sizes? And how does Gold Dachs compare?
I just placed an order at Royal Shave for some Klar Seifen and some Calani soap based on the recommendations in this thread.
I got the Spanish Sun scent. The only other scent available was Tea Time and Spanish Sun sounded better to me. I'll post my thoughts once I get the soaps.
In general, how do German soaps compare to French? Is it possible to make such a generalized comparison?
I've only used it once, but I really enjoyed Zi' Peppino, too.
While I normally use boars for my soft soaps, despite having a preference for badgers, try using a badger with the ZP. I find it loads more similarly to MdC than Cella. Meaning, load for maybe 20 seconds or so, and then work up the lather, as opposed to predominantly lathering on the "puck". If you haven't tried this already, it may really "kick it up a notch" for you
I think its difficult to make such a sweeping generalization. Not because I'm against generalizing, as it is helpful in many instances, but I'll try anyway.
First, most of the german soaps are "hard" soaps. While the vast majority of italian soaps are croaps, I don't know of any soft german soaps. The French tend to be in the middle. That may be a starting place to think about it. While the french do make some very good soaps, I find, in general, they tend to be more moisturizing and less slick and dense. There aren't THAT many french soaps. Some of the ones I've tried and can comment on are:
Cade. Ubiquitous at malls everywhere. Decent performer, pleasant scent. Can be a little tricky to lather, but worth the effort
MdC. The soap all soaps aspire to be, even if the other german ones I mentioned I personally find better. Makes copious amounts of yogurty lather. I like the scent, but it isn't for everyone. Note that this is actually a bit of a sticky paste and not a hard soap as the jar leads you to believe
Monsavon. A drugstore goodie of france. Cheap in france, expensive stateside. This is actually more of a croap. Good performance, but the smell is polarizing and unique
Savon du Midi. A very good yet obscure on the forums soap. It's a hard soap, similar to the german ones.
Others I know about that I haven't tried:
Pre de Provence and institute Karite. Joris is actually english made if I recall correctly.
I use a straight and face lather, and I prefer my german ones to my french ones, except for MdC. While some people go gaga over the italian soaps, I personally choose the soap, not the country of origin. It just so happens some of my absolute top performers are german made. MdC, Cade, and Savon du Midi are all soaps I can recommend, however. Also, I should note that in terms of Shea Butter, the only ones that contain shea butter are PdP and IK. Surprisingly, Cade does not, nor does MdC, monsavon, or savon du midi.
While Tabac is the heavy hitter of the german soaps, I personally don't care for it that much. Not really the scent, but the performance is a little lacking for me. I know there are TONS of tabac fans here, so I'll chalk it up to YMMV. It is popular in my estimation for 2 reasons. 1) It is a good soap. But mainly 2) its easily available. A lot of these soaps are only found from 1-2 sellers, so they just aren't nearly as easy to get as adding a puck to your usual online order. I'm always looking for hard to find soaps, and the ones I've mentioned are well worth the effort.
What do you think of the Malabar scent? It sounds good, can you describe it at all or compare it to anything?