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rotating soaps

I'm a one soap/cream/blade guy. If I buy a new soap/cream/blade and l like it better than what I'm currently using, I stop using the current one. If I don't like it, the new one goes on BST immediately.

So, you guys who rotate -- how do you convince yourself to keep the lesser ones around and use them? Don't you want the best shave every single time?
 
So, you guys who rotate -- how do you convince yourself to keep the lesser ones around and use them? Don't you want the best shave every single time?
Facing that dilemma now. Most of soaps are on par with each other. I have a few what I consider top tier ones, but the second tier ones provide good lather, good shaves. Except for a puck of Edwin Jagger menthol. Not a good soap. But I was gifted it and I felt compelled to keep using it. Until today. I've got good soaps waiting on the bench, and I'm no longer keeping this lame one in the line up.
 

haggis

Contributor
Sometimes I'm in a mood and a scent will 'speak' to me. Last weekend I had to spread a few yards of bark dust in my yard so I chose Proraso Wood and Spice cream. Otherwise I just roll with whatever calls to me. As long as a soap is "good enough" I'll keep it.
 

JCarr

Contributor
This is a good question because I have many soaps and creams. The best answer I can give is...I like the variety. The ability to choose from so many is a satisfying aspect of the whole shave experience. Yes, three of them I really, really like...but that doesn't mean I completely dislike the others.
 
Part of the fun in this hobby is variety. I can pick my favorite orange chill soap one day but also change it up a warming barbershop scent. Maybe I want menthol for a hot day or a warmer scent for cooler days. I enjoy rotating through my soaps and also getting a good shave out of all of them.

That said, each soap will perform differently. It's also a sort of brain exercise to remember how this soap performs and tweak my practices to create the best lather with it. I like this challenge and being able to use classics like Proraso or artisan soaps like Stirling. Basically, it makes my shaving experience more fun by rotating through soaps.
 
I always do a little research on a soap purchase and overall I have not received a terrible dud. I like a dozen soap rotation because I would get bored with just one soap. I found sometimes you find a soap that is not hyped and at a reasonable priced soap instead of paying big dollars. Some of my best soaps are from $4 to $22.
 
I'm not so picky, once I have decided to buy a certain soap. With a few exceptions, which have gone immediately into PIF-land, I just stack them up and circle them through my rotation. But I have so many soaps, I'll never run out. The only one I need to buy is MdC Rose, my favorite ever, and then I'll be content, with a mixture of all-time favs and perfectly acceptable also-rans. Maybe in a year, I'll need to stock up on another favorite.
 
I'm skeptical of the whole concept of ranking soaps like All-Star players. This ranking notion, along with gigantic "rotations", serves the people who sell the soaps more than the people who use the soaps. We have been trained to think like this by years of consumer brainwashing.

Let's say you have a soap that you enjoy shaving with, that is ranked 85/100. Does this soap suddenly become less good because you bought a new soap that ranks 90/100? No, the soap performs exactly the same as it always did.

All that is actually important, to you as the person using a soap, is that it works well enough for you and that you enjoy using it. Variety is nice, changing soaps with the seasons is nice, but huge rotations are more trouble and expense than they are worth, IMHO. I'd be happiest with a small collection of maybe 6-10 soaps. Even that would be excessive to some people.
 
I am in with @Hannah's Dad "only want the best".
I dont have many to PIF/sell but the ones I do have are what I consider to work amazing for me.
Albeit I just posted my first BST this week for soap but those are just ones I have "triples of". lol so I wanted to try something else in my rotation.
 
I never seem to be able to rotate. I went:

AoS Sandalwood Cream ->
Gentlemen's Refinery ->
Muhle Organic ->
MdC

The one's I've tried but got rid of:

Castle Forbes Lime
Some French croap that Bullgoose offered briefly that I can't remember
XPEC (tried samples but never bought)
St. James of London (tried the samples twice but never bought)
MdC Fougere
ABC

The only one that I want to try now is AdP. I don't see myself rotating. If I like it better than MdC, it becomes my always cream. Otherwise, it will go to BST and I go back to MdC.

Another issue with rotations would seem like freshness of the product. A tub of MdC lasts a year. If you have 12 such soaps to rotate, that's 12 years of soap. Do soaps have that kind of shelf life? With creams, it's worse for sure.
 
Got about 9 different soaps and creams to find out which ones suited me best narrowed it down to 5 which I frequently rotate with

TOBS jermyn street
Stirling Piacenza
Cella bio
Razorock XXX
Proraso white
 
I like the variety and that includes having a shave that was not as good as the one the day before. I own several razors and often select the ones that give me the least good shave. Part of the appeal for me of shaving as a hobby is to try to improve my technique with a variety of shaving tools. The razors that give me an easy, smooth, close shave probably get selected least often. With soaps I just rotate through MWF, Tabac, Goya Cedar Wood, and Cella, with an occasional use of vintage Old Spice Cream for variety. It you see shaving merely as a utilitarian process, which I do not, then I can understand having just one razor and one soap etc.
 

ajkel64

Moderator
I own about 20 soaps and I usually use a different one every day. I could stick to one soap but I do like the variety. I do not suffer from SAD but I do suffer from RAD and I am feeling the tug of BAD. It is nice to have a choice.
 

fistfullofbeer

Contributor
This is a good question. For me, the decision simply comes down to what scent do I feel like that day. This is driven by both the soap and the AS combination I want to use.

Like @Hannah's Dad mentioned, I want the best for my shaves. The quality of the lather/shave I get is a pre-requisite for any soap I use. If that does not fit, I am not going to use the soap again. I try to do my due diligence before buying any soap. Asking questions here, following threads and reading reviews before purchasing a soap. The scent can be hit or miss but atleast I know the soap will work. If its a scent that does not work, I just end up using that soap on days that I don't care about it much .. :)

I asked a similar question about razor rotations a while back. Why would you use a different razor, if you know that a razor gives you good shaves daily? The folks here were very helpful here in making me understand that the only way you can do that if your in for the experience of the shave and actually enjoy it. Expecting a BBS every shave and/or same shaves with different razors is just going to make shaving less enjoyable. Same, can be applied to the shaving soaps. Its about the experience.

TLDR: Every soap I have should be a good performer. The soap of the day is driven by the scent I feel like.
 

BigJ

Ambassador
I enjoy variety!! Plus, my choice varies with the seasons and with my mood in the AM. :a29:

That said, if a soap does not perform then it gets PIFed or used in the shower.
 

ackvil

Moderator
I take a number of soaps and put them in my rotation for a few months. I currently have ten soaps in my rotation. I use two soaps a week rotating between the two and then take another two the following week. It has been a few years since I received a soap that performed so poorly that I did not use it.
 
The lesser ones don't see as much action in the rotation but I still use them from time to time. Sometimes I combine them to make a super lather.
 
I have a dozen or so soaps I like which are used regular and just for kicks I get some samples which I tend to share with others.
if it does not perform I might blend it with a no smell good perforMing soap.

you might end up with some real nice frankensoaps with great performance

and last resort is trashcan
 
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