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"Must owns"

Dear @RayClem,
Your valuable inputs are highly appreciated.
Do any brands have great performances but mediocre scents?
Thank you very much.

Scents are so subjective that it is difficult to say which scents will appeal to an individual..

Barrister and Mann makes great soaps, but of the 9 soaps of various formulations in my den, I have not found any scents that rate 10/10 to my nose.

Grooming Department makes great soaps, but it is difficult to recommend scents as every release has a different scent profile. If you find a scent you really like, you better stock up while you can as it may never be released again.

The following group have both scents I like and scents I do not enjoy.
Ariana and Evans
Declaration Grooming
Wholly Kaw
Zingari Man

Murphy and McNeil seems to have excellent scents, at least to my nose. I have 7 of them and love every one. I cannot say that for any other brand in my collection.
 

Hannah's Dad

Contributor
Scents are so subjective that it is difficult to say which scents will appeal to an individual..

Barrister and Mann makes great soaps, but of the 9 soaps of various formulations in my den, I have not found any scents that rate 10/10 to my nose.

Grooming Department makes great soaps, but it is difficult to recommend scents as every release has a different scent profile. If you find a scent you really like, you better stock up while you can as it may never be released again.

The following group have both scents I like and scents I do not enjoy.
Ariana and Evans
Declaration Grooming
Wholly Kaw
Zingari Man

Murphy and McNeil seems to have excellent scents, at least to my nose. I have 7 of them and love every one. I cannot say that for any other brand in my collection.
I agree with your assessment of M&M — fantastic scents.
 
Get some samples of BlackShip Grooming's 'Ghost Ship' and 'Captain's Reserve'. $3 each at Maggards. Well worth the trial! They smell great and put out a very nice lather without much work. I'll bet you'll be buying at least one of them full puck to add to your collection.
 

GaryTha

Contributor
I'm building out my shave den with the " classics" and "must owns". The ones that are loved or hated, scented or unscented, tallow or vegan, but unanimously agreed by everyone to be well known, widely used, staples in every den.

So far i have MWF, Cella, Proraso, Haslinger, Tabac. I am also aware of Arko and Williams but don't yet have those. I also plan to get Barrister & Mann, Stirling, TOBS, DR Harris, Valobra, SV

What else am i missing here
There is a wide selection of "must haves." Before collecting too many, I suggest seeing how long a container of lathering product lasts for you. One puck of Williams lasts me over 200 shaves. Maybe I'll try something else when I use up my 27 pucks. :)

Seriously, given the world situation, if money is no object, consider buying a bunch of different soaps. Some of these producers will go out of business. I fear Williams will be one of them.
 
+1! MdC is definitely worth trying! Favorites are the original and fougere. A bit pricey to purchase, but it lasts a LONG time!! :thumbup: :thumbup:
And you can get samples these days (from Maggard's at least...not sure if any other vendors offer MdC samples), which I'd highly recommend if you're going to invest in a jar of MdC. It's a lot to spend on a soap, but it's quite a soap and lasts you a very long time.
 
Seriously, given the world situation, if money is no object, consider buying a bunch of different soaps. Some of these producers will go out of business. I fear Williams will be one of them.
I'm not sure if Williams will fold or not. I suspect not. I think they really only make it because they have a fascination with "I can't get it to lather" stories from the forums anyway ;)

But one has to think that these companies have long thrived on hyped demand from forums rather than people actually buying as they need. Six months all of us on these forums only buying what we NEED, means there will only be about 10 orders of soap worldwide from us. For example, what percentage of Tabac sales (just randomly picking a vendor here) are forum driven demand "this has to be in your den" "you must try this" "etc" vs I'm almost out of my last bowl and I need another.

It's going to make some dents somewhere to be sure. I think a lot of Artisan's will pull back short term. A few long time players may exit the market, but I suspect most will stay.

I suspect one of my favorites De Vergulde Hand will still be around. It's only been around for 460 years or so.
 
Six months all of us on these forums only buying what we NEED, means there will only be about 10 orders of soap worldwide from us. For example, what percentage of Tabac sales (just randomly picking a vendor here) are forum driven demand "this has to be in your den" "you must try this" "etc" vs I'm almost out of my last bowl and I need another.

Touché. You are spot on, sir; and I must say, guilty as charged. :)

I don't want to leave any "must-try" staples (stones) of the shave community unturned, so trying all the old brands that have stood the test of time (not interested in so-called artisan soaps from Victor who has an affinity for fragrance and whipping up soaps in the basement).

Had I of not read about the remarkable performance of Tabac, had my only exposure been memories of seeing it on the shelves in Germany, on the shelf in my German father-in-law's bathroom, and actually picking it up and smelling it (and the unpleasant hint of tobacco), I would have never bought it...x1,000 with regards to Arko. :)

However, I will saw that so far, (Arko aside lol) I have liked more 'must try' soaps/creams than I have disliked.

...but again, I think you are spot on. Will I purchase another jar of MWF? I doubt it...was a great shave, great lather, very muted scent, but I felt the almost mythical post-shave feel was—for lack of a better word—heavy...and the moisturizing properties no better than my beloved Cella; but we never know this, I guess, unless we try time...the shaving soap paradadox, I guess. :)

I will be taking her for a test-drive on 'Tabac Thursday' nonetheless.


Tabac-Thursday.jpg
 
I used a lot of soaps having been wet shaving for 43 years and at least for me I think MdC, Wickham, Haslinger and Mitchell’s are soaps everyone should try.
 
If a maker is changing bases and scents on an ongoing basis is that classic? Or are we just beta testers coughing up retail prices?
Without change, there can be no progress. Automobile, cellphone, computer, and TV manufacturers, toothpaste suppliers, etc. release a new lineup of models every year to incorporate improvements in technology. I believe soaps should as well. All of the best soaps in my extensive collection are formulas that were not even available 18 months ago. The latest was only released to the marketplace last week.

I realize that some folks still like driving "classic" automobiles. Some people may still use standard definition CRT televisions. Some people may still use push button dial wired telephones. Some people still listen to vinyl records and CDs and AM radio. Many "Classic" soap and cream formulations would be similar in technology

Personally, I like my SUV with AWD, antilock brakes, air bags, backup cameras, GPS navigation, tie pressure sensors, etc. I like my flat screen TV. I like my wireless smartphone. I like the ability to stream videos and music over the Internet. I also like my newly developed shave soap formulas.

However, I do agree with you that the "flavor of the week" business model used by some soap makers may be counterproductive.
 
...However, I do agree with you that the "flavor of the week" business model used by some soap makers may be counterproductive.
No quarrel here, change is fine. Air cooled VW's were in production for 70 years and went through several changes, iterations, improvements what have you during that time. I would think most consider it a classic nonetheless. Too many examples too list Mustang, Camero, Challenger, etc...

If a maker hasn't settled on the base or scent(s) that defines the product yet is it a classic? Sure it can be a must have but it's only a one hit wonder until the next batch replaces it. Must have maybe, classic I don't think so.

Haslingers?
 
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.........
Haslingers?
The Haslinger tallow version might have been considered a classic. However, now that they decided to drop the tallow version and produce a vegan version, it can no longer be considered a classic. I have never used the tallow version, so I cannot comment on its quality. I was not impressed with the vegan version. Something in the formula irritated my skin.

BTW: When we got married my wife drove a 1972 VW Beetle which we continue to drive for over 25 years. However, I am not sure you could call it a "classic" as it had a stick shift with and electronic clutch built into the gear shift mechanism rather than a separate clutch pedal. My wife first learned to drive on that car and she was not up to learning a standard stick shift at the time.
 
Without change, there can be no progress. Automobile, cellphone, computer, and TV manufacturers, toothpaste suppliers, etc. release a new lineup of models every year to incorporate improvements in technology. I believe soaps should as well. All of the best soaps in my extensive collection are formulas that were not even available 18 months ago. The latest was only released to the marketplace last week.

I realize that some folks still like driving "classic" automobiles. Some people may still use standard definition CRT televisions. Some people may still use push button dial wired telephones. Some people still listen to vinyl records and CDs and AM radio. Many "Classic" soap and cream formulations would be similar in technology

Personally, I like my SUV with AWD, antilock brakes, air bags, backup cameras, GPS navigation, tie pressure sensors, etc. I like my flat screen TV. I like my wireless smartphone. I like the ability to stream videos and music over the Internet. I also like my newly developed shave soap formulas.

However, I do agree with you that the "flavor of the week" business model used by some soap makers may be counterproductive.
While I would agree with all the above examples of technology which are highly engineered products we are, after all, talking about soaps. I find the classic soaps work just as well as the new bases, and often better in many ways.
 
While I would agree with all the above examples of technology which are highly engineered products we are, after all, talking about soaps. I find the classic soaps work just as well as the new bases, and often better in many ways.
If the "classsics" work for you, all well and good. It just means that your criteria for an excellent soap differ from my criteria. That is why I generally state my preferences when evaluating soaps.

If you do not think a modern artisan soap is a highly-engineered product, you know very little about soapmaking.
 
If the "classsics" work for you, all well and good. It just means that your criteria for an excellent soap differ from my criteria. That is why I generally state my preferences when evaluating soaps.

If you do not think a modern artisan soap is a highly-engineered product, you know very little about soapmaking.
I'm an engineer so I know enough about engineering. You could argue large companies employ engineering, but artisans do not.
 
Shavedash is an excellent source of samples. They carry samples of virtually every soap imaginable. I used their service extensively to test all the ‘must trys’. To me a must try was one the gets a lot of attention on this forum and appears often in the various favorite soap lists.
 
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