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Santa Maria del Fiore

I never gave TSE a free jar, he bought it like everyone else, nor did I pay him or grease his palms. I prefer honest reviews because it gives me a good idea about how good a product is. Just to set the record straight.
Thanks for chiming in Joe. I never doubted the fact that these were honest reviews and I'm glad you were here to set the record straight.

Got my SMdF today and the scent is Amazing. A hint if Vanilla and Amber, a good whiff of Eucalyptus, but a really good base of green tobacco. It was 112 today in Las Vegas so it came quite soft lol. I evened out the soap by spreading it with my finger and I have the lid off so it will harden a bit. I spread the soap from my finger into my hands and rubbed it in. Washed it off about 5 mins later and my hands were baby smooth. Can't wait to shave with this tomorrow!

Update: Shaved with SMdF this morning and holy batman! This was the most beautiful soap and lather I have ever used. Unbelievably slick, fantastic cushion, and a scent that I could bathe in. This left my skin feeling absolutely fantastic, I had no need to use an AS or balm. That being said, I cannot wait for the matching AS to come out so the smell can stick with me. Excellent product Joe. I hope this one sticks around, even in limited quantities. You have a continued buyer in me!
 
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So far my "if it's in stock when I get home from work" strategy is saving my wallet. Of course that didn't save me yesterday from ordering 4 tubs of WSP and 3 tubs of B&M. Add that to the 8 pucks of P.160 the weekend before and you might start to think I have a problem. ;-)
 
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I already have a full tub of SMN...otherwise would have pulled the trigger!
That's exactly why you need to pull the trigger, so you can tell us how the two brands compare. :wink:

I considered ordering some, but I just placed an IB order over the weekend, and didn't feel like coughing up the shipping charge a second time. Some day...
 
I tried something a bit different yesterday. The SMDF is so soft, that swirling a brush on it seems a bit messy and hard to gauge (as far as loading). In a hurry and knowing that I needed to cut out clean up time, I put some of the soap on my fingertips and rubbed it on my face, like I would do with a shaving stick. Face lathered with a wet brush and ended up with as good a lather as ever. This might be the most convenient way for me to use this soap.
 
I'm super curious about the scent of this. I've never owned or tried anything else that is similar.
I've only used it once, which based on my experience with several RazoRock soaps really isn't a good way to judge it. During that first shave I felt like I was using Vick's VapoRub scented soap. The performance and face feel was great, but I am waiting for more scent complexity. I'm sure it will come after a few more uses.
 
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Finally got around to using this product for the first time today. I lathered with Florida residential well water and chose an Omega #48 boar as my lathering weapon. I find the Omega to be a real fair tool to judge practically every shaving medium whether it be hard soaps, croaps, creams. The well water is pretty unforgiving and I really wished I had used distilled water from a jug for this soap because it didn't get a very fair go of it because of the finicky nature of the tap. Nonetheless, I took my time after about a few seconds of a swirl/dip into the jar...I honestly got a couple of globs of the soap attached to the boar early on and smoothed them out prior to bringing the brush to my face.

No instant explosion of lather for me like what happens with some of my favorites such as La Toja shave stick but a gradual building over a rather slick lather and an unusual and very distinct olfactory experience. Having in the past used SMN and its reformulation, I found this offering to be a distant cousin perhaps but certainly its own structure. I dipped the brush multiple times into a dribble of H2O from the tap and applied in scrubbing circular motions as well as painting strokes. The fragrance ebb and flows into various scent treats that I would describe as unusual and complex, much like the first time I used Martin de Candre original scented.

I am a staunch straight razor shaver going on 8 years but I have lately been using a lowly Gillette ball end TECH DE circa 1956 (B-1 date Code) out of sheer boredom and the fact I found it among a boxed pile of junk I have carried from cottage to cottage since 2007. The DE equipped with a 3 time used Derby blade smoothly stroked through the acceptable cushion of lather (very SLICK I will say as to the yogurty foam) but tended to really clog with the substance it was presented with upon more than one stroke. this was dashed away by the spritz of well tap water and so on and so on. I really think the clogging aspect of DE shaving is what I miss least about it.

All in all ( and back to more critical view of the soap), I believe this is a must try perhaps if only for the edgy uniqueness of the scent complexity. The slickness would also be a hit for most shave geeks as well. I won't judge the protective cushioning aspect of it yet because I need to explore that a bit more before passing judgement. perhaps I will utilize hotter DISTILLED water as well in the near future. the packaging is superb and would be welcoming to any shave den as a decorative object to those who view it when they borrow the loo at your next dinner party. Perhaps it alone would keep your visitor friend out of your medicine cabinet checking on your daily dosage of whatever. On a scale of Crabtree & Evelyn Almond being barely a ONE and Martin de Candre Fougere being a TEN, I will award this a personal ranking of a solid SEVEN. ( with a chance to be a high EIGHT with practice )

Cheers,
Mike
 
I tried something a bit different yesterday. The SMDF is so soft, that swirling a brush on it seems a bit messy and hard to gauge (as far as loading). In a hurry and knowing that I needed to cut out clean up time, I put some of the soap on my fingertips and rubbed it on my face, like I would do with a shaving stick. Face lathered with a wet brush and ended up with as good a lather as ever. This might be the most convenient way for me to use this soap.
Leave the tub open during the day. It will dry up quite a bit and keep a firmer consistency (like a normal RR soap). Scent and quality are not compromised at all, in fact I feel that the scent comes alive a bit more during the shave. I swirl on top of the soap every shave. I think I am going to 3017 this jar...

I've only used it once, which based on my experience with several RazoRock soaps really isn't a good way to judge it. During that first shave I felt like I was using Vic's VapoRub scented soap. The performance and face feel was great, but I am waiting for more scent complexity. I'm sure it will come after a few more uses.
The eucalyptus and menthol are quite strong at first note. During my first whiff and first shave, I felt like it smelled like a honey flavored Halls cough drop. So I can understand the Vick's reference. I am about 4 shaves in now and I can say the scent has changed a bit on me. I still smell the eucalyptus/menthol, but not as strong and the tobacco/cologne fragrance has started to surface. Now I have a very difficult time describing the scent short of outstanding. The labeled vanilla note doesn't seem to come through, but I get a smokey amber scent with the ever present eucalyptus/menthol. Quite extraordinary. I cannot wait for the AS!
 
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