What's new

Nanny's Silly Soap Original beats Declaration Grooming


Introduction


Below is the optimum lather table and review of Nanny's Silly Soap (NSS) Original shaving soap from my lather optimization guide in the ShaveWiki. Please see the guide for an overview, disclaimer, and general information about optimizing lather.

Back in June, @Cal generously donated large samples of NSS Original for evaluation. (Thanks, Cal!) It didn't take long in the optimization process to realize that NSS was going to end up high in my list, but I didn't know how high until the ranking tests. For a long time, Declaration Grooming was #1. DG has now been dethroned. Details are below.

Feedback is welcome. :001_smile


Optimum Lather Table


PRPerformance Ranking
PDPurchase Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
SCMSoap/Cream Mass (g)
WMWater Mass (g)
TMTotal Mass (g) = SCM + WM
WSCRWater-to-Soap/Cream Ratio = WM / SCM
SCITSoap/Cream-Incorporation Time (s)
LBTLather-Building Time (s)
SCPSoap/Cream Price (USD)

PRSoap/CreamPDSCMWMTMWSCRSCITLBTSCP
1Nanny's Silly Soap (NSS) Original Shaving Soap2017-04-231.209.6010.80830450.15
2Declaration Grooming (DG) (Formerly L&L Grooming) Shaving Soap2017-08-110.818.919.721120600.15
3Barrister and Mann (B&M) Shaving Soap2017-10-190.718.529.231225300.12
4Cold River Soap Works (CRSW) SELECT Shaving Soap2017-12-150.869.4610.32116600.15
5Stirling Soap Co. Shave Soap2017-08-140.539.019.541720300.04
6Barrister's Reserve Shaving Soap2017-060.9611.5212.481245600.15
7Mike's Natural Shaving Soap2017-090.759.009.751260600.07
8Barrister and Mann (B&M) Latha Shaving Soap (Discontinued)2018-01-300.759.7510.501310300.07
9The Art of Shaving (AOS) Shaving Cream2018-01-031.007.008.0073450.19
10Mystic Water (MW) Shaving Soap2018-01-270.709.109.801330300.07
11The Sudsy Soapery Shave Soap2018-02-050.468.288.741810600.05


Nanny's Silly Soap (NSS) Original Shaving Soap


full
Top label, bottom label with ingredient list, and close-up of soap in small jar​

Version Name: Vetyver [French for "Vetiver"]

Purchase Date: April 23, 2017. A sample was received on June 16, 2018, from @Cal, who generously donated the soap for evaluation. The sample was then placed in a small jar and photographed. Photographs of the original container were taken by Cal. Cal also donated a sample with photographs of the unscented version that was purchased on the same day as the vetiver version, but since it turned out that the unscented soap had taken on significant grittiness that affected lather building, particularly lather-building time, my evaluation narrowed down to only concerning the vetiver sample.

Review Period: August 20 to September 7, 2018. 15 optimization shaves and 2 ranking tests.

Manufacturing Location: Stourbridge, England, UK

Ingredients: Aqua, potassium palmitate, sodium palmitate, potassium stearate (vegetable), sodium stearate, potassium cocoabutterate, sodium cocoabutterate, potassium shea butterate, sodium shea butterate, potassium cocoate, sodium cocoate, potassium castorate, sodium castorate, glycerine (vegetable), kaolin, Parfum [parfum being only vetiver essential oil]

Appearance: Orange yellow

Scent: The scent from the vetiver essential oil is described by the soap maker as "woody, smokey and very earthy." This was my first vetiver soap or cream, and I neither loved nor hated the scent.

Hardness: Soft

Optimum Lather Overview: Sheen is okay or pretty good. Lather is not airy and lather has some thickness and yogurt-like behavior of "stringiness" and "peaking", but peaks are somewhat weak. Adhesion is pretty good and application is good. Scent is faintly present during passes. Slickness is very good to great. Cushion/protection is pretty good. Post-shave is very good.

Optimization Details: Optimization was performed with unscented and vetiver samples, but as mentioned above, the vetiver sample became the exclusive sample for fine-tuning results. For the vetiver sample, water-to-soap ratios varied nonsequentially from 7 to 16 and lather-building times varied from 30 seconds to 60 seconds. 60 seconds was capable of making lather with good to very good slickness with an optimum three-pass mass of approximately 9.5 g, but 45 seconds of building resulted in denser lather with more slickness at the expense of only losing a little cushion/protection. (30 seconds resulted in slightly more slickness, but the lather seemed kind of airy with even less cushion/protection.)

Ranking Details: NSS was compared to Declaration Grooming (DG) in sequential shaves. Slickness with NSS's optimum lather was found to be better than with DG's optimum. Cushion/protection was not as good with NSS, but it was close because lather thickness was almost as good. The post-shave with NSS seemed very similar between the two soaps, but the post-shave with NSS seemed a little better. Given the nature of dethroning DG and ranking NSS at the top of my list, two ranking tests were performed between NSS and DG in order to confirm results.
 
Fascinating.

I think some people around these parts are going to view these results with a great deal of scepticism.
 
Fascinating.

I think some people around these parts are going to view these results with a great deal of scepticism.

No doubt, Randall, and that's fine. I wouldn't have it any other way. We each must evaluate soaps and creams as we see fit and find out what works best for us. Optimization with mass measurements and ranking tests works best for me. Also, I focus on performance, while many others give scent much more weight than I do.
 
My favorite performing soaps are MdC and Declaration/L&L bison, largely because of ease-of-use. For some reason, these two soaps, in particular, are in total synch with my technique, including hand, loading process, dampness of brush, scuttle use, adding water, etc. I don't know why, but other soaps--even really good ones like WKDM, Grooming, CRSW, B&M, etc.--require more work to create a great lather.

P.S. I haven't tried Nanny's. Yet...
 
My favorite performing soaps are MdC and Declaration/L&L bison, largely because of ease-of-use. For some reason, these two soaps, in particular, are in total synch with my technique, including hand, loading process, dampness of brush, scuttle use, adding water, etc. I don't know why, but other soaps--even really good ones like WKDM, Grooming, CRSW, B&M, etc.--require more work to create a great lather.

P.S. I haven't tried Nanny's. Yet...

Thanks for your feedback, Scott. Declaration Grooming is still one of my favorites, too, but I had to give the top spot to NSS Original because of the slickness. I just started optimizing MdC (also from @Cal), so that will be included in about two or three weeks. What you said about soaps being in sync with personal lather-building technique touches on a good part, I believe, of why soaps "work" for some but "don't work" for others. Soaps are different from one another and my experimentation has repeatedly confirmed that the best hydration level and lather-building time vary from soap to soap. I'm trying to find the "optimum" lather for each soap and cream for my face, which involves flexibility in amounts and ratios, but even then, it's only for my face and building lather in a bowl with the soap/cream and water starting unmixed in the bowl. Nevertheless, I hope that my technique and results can help others find what works best for them.
 

Esox

I didnt know
For a long time, Declaration Grooming was #1. DG has now been dethroned.

Thats a bold statement!

I havent tried Declaration Grooming yet, but I understand it to be the equal, or perhaps better of, Wholly Kaw. Wholly Kaw is my new #1, just edging out Pre de Provence in performance.

This soap is better? One wonders how thats even possible lol.

Jim! @Chan Eil Whiskers you need more soap, again! lol
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Thats a bold statement!

I havent tried Declaration Grooming yet, but I understand it to be the equal, or perhaps better of, Wholly Kaw. Wholly Kaw is my new #1, just edging out Pre de Provence in performance.

This soap is better? One wonders how thats even possible lol.

Jim! @Chan Eil Whiskers you need more soap, again! lol

Seven Eight new soaps in the last week isn't enough?
 
The wonderous joys of Arko need to be explored!
As well, have you tried Mitchell's Wool Fat? :a49:

:laugh: Arko's on deck! However, it's going to be a few months until I get to it. :sad: Here's the list of soaps and creams that are waiting for evaluation:

Martin de Candre Citrus Shaving Soap [currently ongoing]
Proraso Single Blade Wood and Spice Shaving Cream
Proraso Red Shaving Soap
Saponificio Varesino Felce Aromatica Shaving Soap
Floris No. 89 Shaving Cream
Arko Shaving Soap
Oleo Soapworks El Caballero Canard Shaving Soap
Rockwell Razors Barbershop Shaving Cream

As for MWF, I have tried it and experimented extensively with it---as proven here---but that was before I included TIME as a variable in the optimization process. I'm sure that I was overworking it. MWF and I don't have a great history, but I'd like to wipe the slate clean and give it another shot.
 
Thats a bold statement!

I havent tried Declaration Grooming yet, but I understand it to be the equal, or perhaps better of, Wholly Kaw. Wholly Kaw is my new #1, just edging out Pre de Provence in performance.

This soap is better? One wonders how thats even possible lol.

Jim! @Chan Eil Whiskers you need more soap, again! lol

DG is #2 now in my list, but it's a close 2nd. The post-shave seems to be a little inferior to NSS Original's and the slickness is definitely inferior to NSS Original's. The slickness difference is not huge, but it is clearly there. I couldn't deny it. It might be related to the extra density with NSS Original when building its lather over less time.

Wholly Kaw is on my wish list. :001_smile I'm sure that I'll eventually get to it. I'm willing to evaluate Pre de Provence, but there are many others that I'd like to try first.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
If just about anyone else made this statement, I'd say, "naaaaahhhh."

Ahem, which way to Nanny's? :001_302:


AA :c2:
 
If just about anyone else made this statement, I'd say, "naaaaahhhh."

Ahem, which way to Nanny's? :001_302:


AA :c2:

:laugh: Thanks, AA! I appreciate the vote of confidence. I really like Nanny's, and I'm going to remain objective, but the patriot in me wishes for an American brand to take the lead. :lol:
 
Interestingly I think the terms of better may be different. For me personally I rate cushioning much higher, so the slightly less cushioning of NSS would automatically rank DG higher for me. Also because post-shave is irrelevant to me(I shave my legs and just apply moisturizer).
 
Interestingly I think the terms of better may be different. For me personally I rate cushioning much higher, so the slightly less cushioning of NSS would automatically rank DG higher for me. Also because post-shave is irrelevant to me(I shave my legs and just apply moisturizer).

Not only would you have different rankings, you'd have different optimums altogether. You'd be going for more cushion, so your optimums would probably have less hydration and they would probably be built with more time/agitation. Also, as you pointed out, our differences on the need for good post-shave would really change things, too.
 
Thanks for the information and making me aware of a new soap. I'm glad you found something that worked for you. Watching a few YouTube videos, everyone is impressed with the slickness of the vegan soap but I would personally be a little concerned that the soap is thin and doesn't give me the thick lather and cushion I like. However, the tallow versions (traditional) seem to give a thicker lather. I might have to give it a try after I work a few out of my collection. I don't know maybe the Signature with shea butter is thick enough too. Maybe I'll try both, but the tallow version interests me more. I only wish it was cheaper to ship or there was US retailer. Again, thanks for sharing.
 
Last edited:
I am currently trying out a lot of soaps to be able to reduce my inventory. Among the soaps I already tried is NSS Moroccan Sands. I really wanted to love this soap due to its fantastic scent. A am would you could call a scent fanatic, and this scent blew the scent of every other soap I've ever tried out of the water. Then again scent preferences are personal.

I tried the soap ten shaves in a row and found its performance to be OK, but not more than that. Quite disappointed I put the soap among those that had to go. Even so I couldn't stop going back to the soap, unscrewing the lid just to feel the scent. I decided to give it another go. Suddenly the soap was a great performer and the scent was still fantastic. I shaved with it another seven days and the performance was consistently good. This soap stays with me and it will be replaced.

The reason as to why the performance changed must have been that it had been laying unused for a couple of years and needed to be rehydrated to perform as good as it should. It still isn't quite on par with MdC, Tabac, MWF, SV, Haslinger, Noberu and some high end TSF soaps I have shaved with, BUT it is better than most and, as stated above, the scent is magical IMO.
 

ajkel64

Check Out Chick
Thanks for the review and a detailed review it was. I appreciate the time and effort that you put into these reviews. I may never use this soap but it gives me something to think about and that is good.
 
Thanks for the information and making me aware of a new soap. I'm glad you found something that worked for you. Watching a few YouTube videos, everyone is impressed with the slickness of the vegan soap but I would personally be a little concerned that the soap is thin and doesn't give me the thick lather and cushion I like. However, the tallow versions (traditional) seem to give a thicker lather. I might have to give it a try after I work a few out of my collection. I don't know maybe the Signature with shea butter is thick enough too. Maybe I'll try both, but the tallow version interests me more. I only wish it was cheaper to ship or there was US retailer. Again, thanks for sharing.

You're welcome, @Sharp_Obsession. I like more thickness and cushion, too, and it's easy to accomplish that with NSS Original, but my optimum cuts down on the lather-building time because that significantly increases the slickness more than the cushion is decreased. It's a balancing act. The resulting optimum lather does have some thickness, but it's not a lot. Maybe the Signature version would have more thickness. I don't know, either.
 
Top Bottom