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Mitchell's Wool Fat Fans: Is there a shaving soap that is equal or better?

That's interesting.
How about the Stirling soaps ? They are tallow soaps with lanolin, how do they compare ?

Stirling are great soaps generally however, their scents were always synthetic to my nose so I don't use them.

In terms of comparison, Stirling load up a very thick paste and take a lot of water to thin out to get to a usable lather...quite the opposite to MWF/Lea.
 
Stirling are great soaps generally however, their scents were always synthetic to my nose so I don't use them.

In terms of comparison, Stirling load up a very thick paste and take a lot of water to thin out to get to a usable lather...quite the opposite to MWF/Lea.
Thanks. I am considering trying out some of the Stirling soaps and I am looking at the ones that appear to have milder scents.
I have settled on the "Duchess" and the "Waves of Grain", but I am having second thoughts now. I really don't like artificial scents.
Did you find the Stirling scents to be quite strong ?
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
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I have been very tempted to put Arko on the list, but I am still afraid of the scent and also that it may have a drying effect on the skin.
I don't like citronella all that much, but I may get a stick and let it air out for a while.
It is cheap enough to try and toss if you don’t like it. The scent isn’t terrible.
 
Thanks. I am considering trying out some of the Stirling soaps and I am looking at the ones that appear to have milder scents.
I have settled on the "Duchess" and the "Waves of Grain", but I am having second thoughts now. I really don't like artificial scents.
Did you find the Stirling scents to be quite strong ?

Yup. They were too strong and synthetic for my liking.
Too bad cos the soap itself is awesome, as is the value for money.

Their unscented (electric sheep etc) were awesome but without any scent, they were a tad boring.
 
Yup. They were too strong and synthetic for my liking.
Too bad cos the soap itself is awesome, as is the value for money.

Their unscented (electric sheep etc) were awesome but without any scent, they were a tad boring.
I think I prefer the scents that tend towards boring :)
 
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If the best things you can say about Arko are: "it is cheap enough" and "the scent isn't terrible", that does not sound like much of an endorsement.
This is a case where any publicity is good. I had already added a stick of Arko to my shopping list because I have to find out what all the fuss is about...and it is cheap enough :)
 
Ok. The lather and performance is excellent. Happy now?
I that were true, I would be happy. Unfortunately, I did not find that to be the case for me.

I rated ARKO 44/60 points or 73% which I consider to be a fail. The only positive thing I can take from the evaluation is that it is not the worst soap I have ever used. For me, the worst part was the post shave. It left my face feeling tight and dry, so much so that I will never use it again. It is a good thing it was cheap.

I rated the scent 5/10, which like you said is not terrible, but it is not good.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I that were true, I would be happy. Unfortunately, I did not find that to be the case for me.

I rated ARKO 44/60 points or 73% which I consider to be a fail. The only positive thing I can take from the evaluation is that it is not the worst soap I have ever used. For me, the worst part was the post shave. It left my face feeling tight and dry, so much so that I will never use it again. It is a good thing it was cheap.

I rated the scent 5/10, which like you said is not terrible, but it is not good.
Oh my God! Now I’m going to have to quit using it. Horror of horrors. What a really bad trip. Wish I had heard from you years ago. I should spend more time with smart people like you. All the pain I must have suffered without even realizing it. You truly are a guru.
 
I that were true, I would be happy. Unfortunately, I did not find that to be the case for me.

I rated ARKO 44/60 points or 73% which I consider to be a fail. The only positive thing I can take from the evaluation is that it is not the worst soap I have ever used. For me, the worst part was the post shave. It left my face feeling tight and dry, so much so that I will never use it again. It is a good thing it was cheap.

I rated the scent 5/10, which like you said is not terrible, but it is not good.
How you paid for it and how much you got for that price? Arko is the best price/performance shaving soap in the world. Asking for a better scent and post-shave from a product in the bottom price and still gives one of the best shaving performance. You may ask something more but, there’s many don’t asking. And for them nothing can beat the Arko. I’m one of the askers like you and I’m using it infrequently because of that. But I’m not criticize with that of price difference per weight. Arko is a different league of its own.
 
...Arko is the best price/performance shaving soap in the world...Arko is a different league of its own.

...For me, the worst part was the post shave. It left my face feeling tight and dry, so much so that I will never use it again. It is a good thing it was cheap.

I rated the scent 5/10, which like you said is not terrible, but it is not good.
We can get 12 sticks of Arko for $14 delivered here. That's about 900 grams! I think in Turkey it costs less than half as much! A big part of the appeal is the low cost with good performance, which is why Turkish barbers use it so much.

Turkish barbers may use a face cream after the shave. They don't expect the soap to be moisturizing. The scent is just an ordinary soapy scent in that part of the world (like Ivory for us here in the USA).
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Here’s the next installment: Haslinger Schafmilch, v1 with tallow. It’s the closest to MWF in formula and I don’t have v3 yet.

Scent: Faint, but this is an old puck, but very sililar to MWF
Latherability: Excellent, very easy with the Omega boar
Performance: Best of the three so far, based on slickness. Maybe not such a big thing for DE though
Post shave: About like Klar, and like Klar not quite as lanolin-heavy conditioned as MWF but excellent.
Price: NA, this is a discontinued version. Price is good but the puck is smaller than MWF

Who should consider Haslinger Schafmilch? Everyone especially SR users.
Who should not consider Haslinger Schafmilch? Can’t think of anyone, if v3 performs as well (and it reportedly does), there’s no reason not to use it.

Of the three so far it’s my pick based on slickness and residual slickness.

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I have been very tempted to put Arko on the list, but I am still afraid of the scent and also that it may have a drying effect on the skin.
I don't like citronella all that much, but I may get a stick and let it air out for a while.
Hi StellaNova,

I just purchased my first container of Arko a few weeks ago. It was the plastic tub from Italian Barber. As these were manufactured for a special event a few years back (mine has a 2016 manufacturing date) there is very little scent. Have seen posts from others noticing the same. I've yet to use the soap so can't comment on any drying effects.

If you do decide to go the Arko-like soap route then you may also want to consider Williams Mug Soap. I use it as part of my rotation and became intrigued from others posts regarding what are similar challenges and techniques to create good lather. In my case I've blended it Van Der Hagen for easier lathering and only lately figured out how to generate great lather from William's alone via use of a quality boar brush versus my usual plissoft synthetic. With the boar I get thick rich lather with lots of cushion and slickness. Posted on this an other Williams users responded that this is how they also get great results from Williams.

When I looked at the ingredients the both have the same top three and share many others as noted in the comparison below.

Mitchell's and Williams ingredient lists show many duplicates (italics & underlined) as follows:

Mitchell's: Sodium Tallowate, Potassium Stearate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Stearate, Aqua, Potassium Cocoate, Glycerin, Parfum, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Lanolin, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate, Sodium Silicate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Magnesium Sulphate, Tetrasodium Etidronate.

Williams: Potassium Stearate, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Water, Glycerin, Fragrance, Sodium Cloride, Titanium Dioxide, Stearic Acid, Pentasodium Pentatate, Tetrasodium Etidronate.

Not sure how easy it is for you to find where you live but at a dollar or two per puck (99 cents at my local grocer) it would be an interesting comparison to Mitchell's given the similarity in ingredients.

Edit: Just saw that you are in Jo'burg South Africa so unsure if Williams is available at a reasonable price there.
 
Thanks @Lane101, I am definitely going to try out some Arko, just because of all the noise around it.

I have never actually read the list of ingredients for MWF, so thanks for that comparison. I see from what you wrote, that it probably has something in common with Arko as well - Citronella - 🤣

I once tried the Williams stick and wasn't that impressed. I don't think I even used half of it. That was a very very long time ago though, and I definitely didn't have my boar brush back then.
We don't have that around here anymore, but I will most likely add a puck to an online order one day, just to give it a second chance.

You never know, I may end up with a mountain of Arko airing out in the rafters or Williams mug soap for that matter...
At the moment though, I have Haslinger and Stirling at the top of my list of options to try out.
 
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