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Need shave soap advice.

Gentlemen: I just began using my last puck of Van der Hagen soap. I am considering the Vermont Country Store's shaving soap pucks (3 for $10.99). Have any of you used them? Their customer satisfaction contains mostly favorable comments.
 

naughtilus

Contributor
 
It might be good, but there are probably better soaps out there. In fact, there's so many it's like a choice overload.

If you just want something that is proven, works well, inexpensive and long-lasting, I would just order a pair of Palmolive shaving sticks on Ebay for 3.99 with free shipping from the UK. Takes about a week to 10 days to arrive.

If you are not a fan of the soap stick, you can just slice them into thin coin-shape slices and put them in a container. However, sticks are very nice for traveling if you need that.
 
I have not read a positive review of this soap. I would recommend a Taylor of Old Bond Street cream. They are solid performers. Palmolive creams are also nice. If you want to stay with a soap, I would suggest DR Harris refill pucks. I like their Arlington scent. Harris soaps are triple milled so they last a long time.
 
I have not used Vermont Country Store shaving soaps but did look up the ingredient list on their website for what it is worth:
Made from Sodium Cocoate, Water, Glycerine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Fragrance, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Propyl Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Chloride, Coconut Acid, Dimethicone Copolyol, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Pentasodium Pentetate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Palmitate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimomium Chloride
Made in Vermont, USA

What I am not seeing is tallow. While tallow is not essential to a good or even great soap e.g. Saponificio Varesino, I personally tend to like tallow soaps a bit more than non-tallow.

If you would consider an alternative, the suggestion of Stirling given by another poster above, is a great one. Alternatively, you might take a look at Mike's Natural. A soap by either of these two makers is a solid choice.

The problem with going to Maggards or West Coast Shaving is that the sheer number of choices on each of these sites can easily result in information overload. That said, ordering samples from Maggards is a good way to get a sense of how a particular soap might work for you.
 
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The guy has been shaving with Van Der Hagen; I'm not sure he really wants to go down the artisan soap rabbit hole & pay a bunch for shipping.

Just noticed Van Der Hagen is 3/9.00 on Amazon. :001_rolle
 
BobbyB, I’ve never heard of that brand so can’t comment there. What’s your skin like, dry, oily, neutral? How tough is your beard, baby soft or BX cable? I have tried many soaps and they are mostly great but are greatly dependent on your needs. Does the VDH have any downsides to you?
 

Uncas

Contributor
Tabac
Haslinger
MWF
Williams

While anything is controversial around here, when comparing value to performance, they are in the game.
 
...I have no idea why I love that smell, but it is said that olfactory stimulation is the strongest memory jogger!...
I think you might be on to something. In some parts of the world, the Arko scent is the basic smell of "clean" that people grew up with, like laundry soap that Mom used, it is comforting. It reminds me of the janitor's closet in elementary school, but that just happens to be my olfactory memory trigger.
 

rockviper

Moderator Emeritus
I can give you a list of what I consider to be GREAT soaps, a LONG list of good soaps, and a short list of junk ones. To put it simply (and paraphrase some wise gentlemen)....

The vast majority of soaps will work just fine for shaving. There are only a few that belong in the garbage bucket.

What this REALLY means is .... pick something that sounds nice to you and go for it!
 
If you really want a recommendation for a decent, inexpensive shave soap, go on eBay and check out Amerfresh Shave Mug Soap. It's similar to Van Der Hagen, being a melt and pour soap, but cheaper. It's also very easy to lather, it practically explodes into lather. The scent is not as good, though, it's a sharp lemon scent, but it's not really unpleasant to use. I believe it has some tallow, too, despite being a melt-and-pour soap.

Here is my review of AmerFresh Shave Mug Soap
 
I'm going to be the odd man out. I personally don't like Stirling soaps from a performance or scent perspective. The other soaps mentioned here are all great. Tabac is a good soap that will last a long time, but, it has a polarizing scent. Razorock what the puck soaps are nicely scented tripple milled soaps that have matching aftershaves. You can get all four of them as sticks or pucks for cheap from Italian barber. Individiually I think they are five bucks each, but, that could have been a sale. Tripple milled soaps will last much longer than your usual tallow artisan soaps. As far as other artisans go, personally I love Arianna and Evans, as well as Barrister and Mann. You are going to pay more for them and they won't last as long, but, you just might enjoy your shave more.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 
It might be good, but there are probably better soaps out there. In fact, there's so many it's like a choice overload.
There's probably worse, too.

You do have to watch out for artisans and upstarts that haven't been around long. I have seen Olivina soaps in some groceries, and they get terrible reviews. Every Tom, Dick, and Jane wants to make shave soap now, it seems... and many don't have a clue how to do it. But I guess they figure "hey, it works better than shaving with the soap I got from the motel, it must be OK".
 
Gentlemen: I just began using my last puck of Van der Hagen soap. I am considering the Vermont Country Store's shaving soap pucks (3 for $10.99). Have any of you used them? Their customer satisfaction contains mostly favorable comments.
Part of the fun of shaving is making your own decisions. Go ahead and buy them.
 
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