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My opinion of three different Van Yulay soaps/bases

This soap maker isn't mentioned much, so I thought I'd give my opinion to help interested parties. These are my opinions formed from my experiences and expectations. A sample size of one is obviously a bad sample size. I don't care about cushion, protection, glide, etc. I care about :
slickness and lubrication,
a clear visual indicator of where I've done a stroke,
a lather thick enough to capture the stubble and hold onto it as well as the razor,
a decent stable window---I'm usually done in 7 minutes or so

Each was lathered with my favorite brush---a 26mm synthetic. Both face lathering and bowl lathering using a Captain's Choice copper bowl was performed many times with each. The three soaps were used for a few weeks to learn their properties, various other soaps were used to form a baseline, and then the Van Yulay soaps were again used for comparison.

Tallow and Emu oil - Black Tea and Amber
First opening of the tub gives a terrible plasticly, synthetic, nasty scent that overrides the soap's intended scent. I think this is a problem with the container's lid or seal off gassing. Captain's Choice uses the same bottom tub but with a, what appears to me, better quality lid. Captain's Choice tubs do not have this nastiness. After a few uses and open time the offensive smell disappeared and I was left with a pleasant scent of tea and amber that was nice and mildly warm and sweet. Nice scent strength.

To be frank, the lather quality was on the lower end of average. Good, but certainly not the "soap of the gods". It loads well enough and forms a stable lather that provides plenty of slickness. I would not buy it again at full retail though. You'll get better performance at a cheaper price from forum favorites Captain's Choice and Stirling. I'm very pleased with this soap at the discounted price I paid for it. If I had known it's qualities I would have bought several tubs at the largely discounted moving sale price. The soap wears a little on the fast side. No ill effect afterwards.

Hard Puck - Achilles
A small tin with a simple press on top. At first all I smelt was dirt. After a few uses the other notes started coming out. I guess it just needed to hydrate a little or wear the top layer off. Another nice slightly warm and sweet blend. One of my favorites even if a bit weak.

This soap loads in seconds and makes a fast, easy lather. It's not the best lather, but it has some unknown quality of smoothness that I really like. The stability could use a little improvement, but it is definitely good enough for me. It's performance is not as good as PdP, but better than RazoRock's hard pucks in my opinion. It loads as quickly as PdP, but the lather isn't as rich or stable. Since PdP is cheaper as well I'd buy it over this VY puck. The Razorock isn't far behind the VY and is much cheaper. The RR takes a good bit longer to load though. No ill effects afterwards.

I would buy this at retail as long as I didn't have to pay shipping i.e. in a group purchase. I liked the scent and that unknown smoothness it has.

Vegan - OrangeCran
The same nasty plastic scent was present, but faded after a few uses. I didn't like this scent. It's too sharp for me. I can't blame the scent as different people like different things. My wife liked. I didn't. The scent does stick around and is strong.

Performance wise this soap is a big fat NO! Even with heavy loading the lather is thin and quickly dissipates. It couldn't hold onto the stubble and it would just drip off the razor. I noticed if I used this soap 3 or so days in a row it would give me small spots of mild burning sensation during use. Twice in a row didn't do it and it did not persist after washing it off. The soap was still slick enough that I got a nice shave each time despite the lather's failings. I'll probably end up throwing this one away, and I'm a cheapskate. If you're looking for a vegan option a tub of Cella Bio will beat the slop out of this soap at a cheaper price. I gave this soap more that a fair chance and it just wasn't good. No ill effects afterward.


So in a nutshell...the tallow version did not perform as well as all the other artisan tallow soaps I have, the vegan is terrible, and the hard puck is a bit expensive compared to the competition even though I like it.
 
I want to try the Marco Polo scent but I haven't pulled the trigger on it yet, I see their soaps get mixed reviews in general, some people really like them, and others don't.
 
I recently tried a few also from that hige sale but went with more mainstream/designer scents in the different bases. I had a good couple of experiences with the emu and tallow bases iirc, didnt try the vegan based or pucks.

Not bad, but i think the marketing hyperbole is a bit much too. Iirc there is some connection with naming of initial offerings.
 
I had great luck with the Tallow and Emu Oil base. Use it in my regular rotation.
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It must have been all vegan. The tallow I got was actually decent.
When I bought the Tallow & Emu Oil soap, they sent me a sample of one of their vegan soaps, which I have not yet tried.

The Tallow & Emu Oil soap produces a nice, full lather in my den. I wonder if your water has a higher mineral content? That could account for some of the difference in our results.
 
When I bought the Tallow & Emu Oil soap, they sent me a sample of one of their vegan soaps, which I have not yet tried.

The Tallow & Emu Oil soap produces a nice, full lather in my den. I wonder if your water has a higher mineral content? That could account for some of the difference in our results.
We have harder but not concrete water but I could not even get it going with mineral water.

And my other soaps (some of them vegan) do not give that headache.

No idea what was wrong maybe it was a bad batch of base soap. Still they made nice toilet refreshers

And currently over 40 different soaps which smell and shave top notch so absolutely no desire to waste money on an expensive shipping and tricky van yulay.
 
We have harder but not concrete water but I could not even get it going with mineral water.

And my other soaps (some of them vegan) do not give that headache.

No idea what was wrong maybe it was a bad batch of base soap. Still they made nice toilet refreshers

And currently over 40 different soaps which smell and shave top notch so absolutely no desire to waste money on an expensive shipping and tricky van yulay.
YMMV absolutely applies. I can only report on the very good results I obtained from the Tallow and Emu Oil soap. :)
 
Van Yulay is a bit different from most artisans. To start with as mentioned, multiple soao bases to choose from and they all have their differences. My favorite of the ones I have tried was the hard puck. Have had tubs before that would not create a stable lather no matter how much soap was used or variables tried. Achillies is decent but the lather quality is unusual much like Meissner Tremonia which is another artisan that lathers different from the norm.

Where Van Yulay shines is in scent options as well as offering multiple soap bases to choose from.
 
Really great soap and a wide verity.
Plus great customer service
Prices are really good.
I think she is moving and will start making when done moving.
Highly recommend this company.
 
thanks for all of the feedback and information, I'm really thinking about pulling the trigger on the "marco polo" scent, but we will see.

Does anyone know if it's like Polo Green or Polo Blue?
 
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