Back in June, I acquired a sample of Oleo Soapworks canard shaving soap from @shavefan through a trade in the BST. (Thanks for the trade!) Then, less than three weeks ago, I received a generous sample of West Coast Shaving (WCS) duck fat shave soap from @johnwick. (Thanks, John!) WCS duck fat shaving soap is made in collaboration with Oleo using the same formula, so given that the particular Oleo fragrance was causing a burning feeling for me, the timing of receiving a different scent was very fortuitous. Optimization of Oleo transitioned from using the explicit Oleo duck fat soap to using the same formula under the WCS label, which worked well with my skin.
Below is my optimum lather table and my review of Oleo's canard shaving soap. Overall, Oleo is good. The slickness is generally good to very good, cushion/protection is okay, and the post-shave is pretty good with respect to both moisture and comfort. Currently, Oleo's duck fat base ranks right below Barrister and Mann's classic formula. Not bad!
Optimum Lather Table
|PD||Purchase Date (YYYY-MM-DD)|
|SCM||Soap/Cream Mass (g)|
|WM||Water Mass (g)|
|TM||Total Mass (g) = SCM + WM|
|WSCR||Water-to-Soap/Cream Ratio = WM / SCM|
|SCIT||Soap/Cream-Incorporation Time (s)|
|LBT||Lather-Building Time (s)|
|SCP||Soap/Cream Price (USD)|
|1||Nanny's Silly Soap (NSS) Original Shaving Soap||2017-04-23||1.20||9.60||10.80||8||30||45||0.15|
|2||Declaration Grooming (DG) Shaving Soap, Premium Bison Tallow Base||2017-08-11||0.81||8.91||9.72||11||20||60||0.15|
|3||Proraso Single Blade (PSB) Shaving Cream||2018-01-12||0.95||7.60||8.55||8||3||60||0.07|
|4||Barrister and Mann (B&M) Shaving Soap||2017-10-19||0.71||8.52||9.23||12||25||30||0.12|
|5||Oleo Soapworks Shaving Soap, Canard Base / West Coast Shaving (WCS) Duck Fat Shave Soap||2018-11-23||0.75||9.00||9.75||12||40||60||0.12|
|6||Cold River Soap Works (CRSW) SELECT Shaving Soap||2017-12-15||0.86||9.46||10.32||11||6||60||0.15|
|7||Stirling Soap Co. Shave Soap||2017-08-14||0.53||9.01||9.54||17||20||30||0.04|
|8||Saponificio Varesino (SV) Shaving Soap||2017-12-01||0.64||8.32||8.96||13||90||90||0.15|
|9||Barrister's Reserve Shaving Soap||2017-06||0.96||11.52||12.48||12||45||60||0.15|
|10||Proraso Red Shaving Soap||2017-11-27||0.82||8.20||9.02||10||5||75||0.06|
|11||Martin de Candre (MdC) Shaving Soap||2018-05-31||0.70||7.70||8.40||11||45||60||0.16|
|12||Mike's Natural Shaving Soap||2017-09||0.75||9.00||9.75||12||60||60||0.07|
|13||Arko Shaving Soap||2018-04-04||0.51||7.14||7.65||14||75||75||0.02|
|14||Barrister and Mann (B&M) Latha Shaving Soap (Discontinued)||2018-01-30||0.75||9.75||10.50||13||10||30||0.07|
|15||Floris Shaving Cream||2018-02||0.98||6.86||7.84||7||1||60||0.29|
|16||The Art of Shaving (AOS) Shaving Cream||2018-01-03||1.00||7.00||8.00||7||3||45||0.19|
|17||Mystic Water (MW) Shaving Soap||2018-01-27||0.70||9.10||9.80||13||30||30||0.07|
|18||The Sudsy Soapery Shave Soap, Vegan Base||2018-02-05||0.46||8.28||8.74||18||10||60||0.05|
Oleo Soapworks Shaving Soap, Canard Base / West Coast Shaving (WCS) Duck Fat Shave Soap
Top label (stained), side label with ingredient list, and close-up of soap in small jar
Top label, ingredient list on side label, and close-up of soap in small jar
Note: The soap maker of Oleo Soapworks has confirmed that the same formula is used in her collaboration with West Coast Shaving
Version Names: El Caballero by Oleo Soapworks and Fougere by West Coast Shaving
Purchase Dates: April 4, 2018, for El Caballero and November 23, 2018, for Fougere. A sample of El Caballero was acquired from @shavefan through a trade in the BST on June 28, 2018 , and on December 4, 2018, I received a generous sample of Fougere from @johnwick. The samples were then placed in small white jars and photographed. Photographs of the original containers were taken by @shavefan and @johnwick.
Review Period: November 30 to December 20, 2018. 8 optimization shaves for El Caballero and then 10 optimization shaves and 2 ranking tests for Fougere.
Manufacturing Location: Oak Park, IL, USA
Ingredients: Stearic Acid, Water, Kokum Butter, Potassium Hydroxide, Palm Kernel Oil, Duck Fat, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Glycerin, Jojoba Oil & Sodium Lactate [Note: Jojoba oil comes before glycerin in El Caballero, which was purchased before Fougere]
Appearance: El Caballero is brown. Fougere is brownish yellow.
Scent: El Caballero is described as "a bridge between Bay Rum and gentleman's cologne". Fougere is described as "an herbaceous forest scent".
Hardness: Softer than average
Optimum Lather Overview: Sheen is okay to pretty good. Lather has some good "peaking" and yogurt-like behavior of "stringiness". Adhesion and application are pretty good. The scent is not noticed much. Slickness is generally good to very good, mostly good, with a little pretty good slickness. Cushion/protection is okay. Post-shave is pretty good with respect to both moisture and comfort.
Optimization Details: Optimization began with El Caballero, when that was the only sample of Oleo Soapworks's duck fat base that I had. The slickness was good, but El Caballero caused a burning feeling during the shave, more so with later passes and with higher soap concentrations. Due to good luck and the generosity of @johnwick, I soon obtained a sample of West Coast Shaving's duck fat shaving soap, which is made using the same base formula. Thankfully, my skin was fine with the fragrance ingredients of Fougere. Performance was similar, but not precisely the same, between the two samples, so El Caballero was abandoned and optimization was restarted with Fougere. Over the water-to-soap range of 6 to 22, slickness and post-shave quality increased, peaked, and deteriorated, while cushion/protection decreased. The optimum water-to-soap ratio was found to be approximately 12, at which point the slickness and post-shave quality were near their peaks with the best balance of cushion/protection, adhesion, and application. The optimum lather-building time was determined as around 60 seconds because that was enough time to incorporate the soap and build a stable lather without the loss of slickness felt with 90 seconds of building time.
Ranking Details: Two ranking tests were performed after estimating where Oleo ranked. The first ranking test was against Barrister and Mann (B&M). Adhesion and application were better with Oleo, but more importantly, slickness was better with Oleo since B&M didn't provide as much very good slickness and yielded more okay or pretty good slickness than Oleo did. Despite the thinner lather, B&M provided some protection, as evidenced by the lack of nicks/cuts. Post-shave moisture with B&M was better and post-shave comfort was a little better. Overall, B&M won due to more balanced performance, but it was close. The second ranking test was against Stirling. Slickness with Stirling was not as good overall compared to Oleo. Also, cushion/protection was not as good with Stirling, as evidenced by blade feel and nicks/cuts. Post-shave moisture was similar, and post-shave comfort with Stirling was not bad, but it wasn't as good as with Oleo. Overall, Oleo won, as expected. A ranking test against Cold River Soap Works (CRSW) SELECT was not performed due to not having enough of that soap. Based on past results, though, Oleo was ranked above CRSW SELECT due to Oleo's better slickness and performance profile.