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Soap/Cream recommendations that wow!

I have nine soaps and creams in my current rotation, and to me they are all excellent+. But the one that really met the “wow” test the first time, and continues to do so is Castle Forbes Shaving Cream Line Essential Oil. I did not expect to like lime, but tried it based on reviews. The scent is intense, in a great way. The scent, appearance, lathering, packaging, “face feel”, and after shaving effect on the skin are the “wow-iest” for me.
Right on! I definitely appreciate your opinion.

I actually am a fan of lime but have never used a lime soap. You have me intrigued with this one so I'll see about getting my hands on this one.
 

OldSaw

The wife's investment
Santa Maria Novella. You won’t just like it, you’ll love it. The tub is rather large and lasts a very long time. It’s in between soap and cream.

Price is a sticking point for many as it is not cheap. Because of that it doesn’t get as much play around here, since fewer people buy it. There are also some who will say it is the same thing as Proraso simply because it shares a common scent/ingredient and because they’re both made in Italy. I can assure you that it is far superior.
 
Right on! I definitely appreciate your opinion.

I actually am a fan of lime but have never used a lime soap. You have me intrigued with this one so I'll see about getting my hands on this one.
Thank you for your message. Please let me know if you try it. I pair it with Castle Forbes Lime Essential Lime After Shave Balm and Henri et Victoria Aftershave Splash.
 
DR Harris Windsor is an amazing soap AND scent. I don’t mess with the artisan stuff, and DR Harris soaps are the best, if I’m using a soap…

I much prefer creams though. Taylor of Old Bond St (TOBS) make great creams period. Are they perfect? No. But between Proraso and TOBS it’s a no brainer! They have a HUGE selection of scent profiles to choose from. St James, Eton College, Royal Forest….they mostly smell expensive and downright classy. What I most love about them is how concentrated they are. A fingertip-worth of cream either face or bowl lathered and you will have plenty of lather for several passes.
 
Thanks for helping me navigate their site better. I've been checking about a number of their soaps and have now made an account and added some to my wish list.
 
Santa Maria Novella. You won’t just like it, you’ll love it. The tub is rather large and lasts a very long time. It’s in between soap and cream.

Price is a sticking point for many as it is not cheap. Because of that it doesn’t get as much play around here, since fewer people buy it. There are also some who will say it is the same thing as Proraso simply because it shares a common scent/ingredient and because they’re both made in Italy. I can assure you that it is far superior.
Thanks for your opinion. I vaguely remember looking into Santa Maria Novella back in the day but just looked into them again. It's definitely pricy so I'll put this on my short list. My question is, do you order directly from their site or from another (possibly cheaper) source?
 
Thanks for your recommendations. I've looked into them all but have a few questions?

With Tabac, do you prefer the cream, stick or puck?

What fragrances have you used and which do you prefer with the offerings Captain's Choice line of soaps? Most are obvious but I'm very curious about 45th, Nor'Easter and Venture

I'm very interested and impressed by the Stirling soap brand but am very overwhelmed with the number of choices they offer. I mean they offer something like 80 different scents! I could go the 5 sample route but do you have an input you can share with me on this?

Your welcome! This forum has helped me when I first started wet shaving, and I like to return the favor when I can. I use the Tabac Original in the soap Puk with bowl. Tabac is a classic barbershop scent, its not a scent that many people like, but again, its high performing, providing a nice slick lather. The scent is floural in nature, but its what classic barbershops used to use.

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I've tried 3-soaps from Captains choice, Venture, Lime, and Italia.

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Venture has a masculine scent to it, and almost smells like something you would smell in a men's cologne fragrance.

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Lime is what you'd expect, its a citrus scent, but its not super strong, more on the weaker end, but it does smell good too.

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The current Captains Choice shave soap scent that I have been rocking, is the Italia shave soap, it has a lovely scent, I detect a definite vanilla note in it, but can't quite make out the other notes, but the combination is awesome, which is why I had to get the Italia aftershave as well lol.

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Correct! One of the awesome things about Stirling, is they really know how to do their soaps, and they are very serious about it, making sure to offer us quite the variety to choose from. If you like the smell of cherry, then I highly recommend you try out their Black Cherry scent!

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When you buy a shave soap from Stirling, they like to send free samples. You see that Glacial Lemon Chill sample bath soap bar? Alright, well guess what? I've been using that as both my pre-shave/face wash bar. The lemon scent is amazing, and the menthol cooling effect, while could be stronger then it is, feels good on the face. Well, they also have a Glacial Lemon Chill shave soap as well.

Its going to smell the same cause its the same lemon, which means it will smell amazing, so I can recommend that. I only just ordered it the other day, so I am still waiting for it to arrive. I will slowly throughout the year, work my way through more Stirling soaps. And I am hoping to order more Captains Choice soaps eventually as well.

And I am not really a fan of creams, I pretty much stick with soap puks, its what I like. I get them in the full size jars. And yes, you can order samplers, so you can figure out what you like, thats always an option. But, with Stirling, there's not really going to be a bad scent I don't think, they know what they are doing over there, and so does Captains Choice IMO. So these are my recommendations thus far.
 
Plenty of good soap like Proraso, Goodfellas smile, Captain's choice etc but PAA CK6 is pretty eye opening for a dense thick slippery lather.
Thank you for your recommendations! I had never heard of Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements before but after looking them up I'm very interested in trying one of their CK-6 soaps!

Which one or ones have you tried? What is your favorite of theirs?
 

OldSaw

The wife's investment
Thanks for your opinion. I vaguely remember looking into Santa Maria Novella back in the day but just looked into them again. It's definitely pricy so I'll put this on my short list. My question is, do you order directly from their site or from another (possibly cheaper) source?
I got my last one from Pasteur Pharmacy, but they appear to currently be out of stock.
 
Thank you for your recommendations! I had never heard of Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements before but after looking them up I'm very interested in trying one of their CK-6 soaps!

Which one or ones have you tried? What is your favorite of theirs?
They have so many scents, find one that sounds interesting and see if there are reviews on the scent.
Ones that I have used are Supreme Sandalwood Science and Agharta in both soap and splashes. Ones that I am Interested in buying are Copalli and Diver Down.
 
along the lines of Santa Maria Novella, there is Antica Barbieria Colla. Their shaving soap, pre-shave and aftershave is a great combination. The WoW factor comes from incredible post shave feel, great scents and luxury, with the financial drain on your shaving budget. These great italiano brands would take you to amazing places, the decadence of the Duomos of Milan and Florence, right where these companies are located.
 
I just looked into Haslinger and find them interesting. Of the eight, which is your true favorite? Am I correct that some of their soaps used to contain tallow but now none of them do?

Thanks for your suggestions.

I like them all (especially their older ‘tallow’ which is no longer for sale). If pressed I would say schafmilch for winter and marigold for summer. But all are worth a try IMO.
 
If you go to Stirling's website, tap 'shave soap' and 'refine by' you'll be able to narrow down by scent. His scent notes can sometimes get up into a dozen or so, but there is also a feature at the bottom of many pages that lists fragrance/ essential oils soaps. Essentials might help with sensitivity problems.
Thanks for helping me navigate their site better. I've been checking a number of their soaps and have now made an account and added some to my wish list. I think I'm going to put in an order today.
 
They have so many scents, find one that sounds interesting and see if there are reviews on the scent.
Ones that I have used are Supreme Sandalwood Science and Agharta in both soap and splashes. Ones that I am Interested in buying are Copalli and Diver Down.
Right on.

At first glance the one's I'm interested in are Doppelganger Black Label, Grey Label, Meta Nectar, Sangre De Drago and John Frum. I'll have to mull over these some more and see what reviews are out there to help me decide.
 
Your welcome! This forum has helped me when I first started wet shaving, and I like to return the favor when I can. I use the Tabac Original in the soap Puk with bowl. Tabac is a classic barbershop scent, its not a scent that many people like, but again, its high performing, providing a nice slick lather. The scent is floural in nature, but its what classic barbershops used to use.

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I've tried 3-soaps from Captains choice, Venture, Lime, and Italia.

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Venture has a masculine scent to it, and almost smells like something you would smell in a men's cologne fragrance.

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Lime is what you'd expect, its a citrus scent, but its not super strong, more on the weaker end, but it does smell good too.

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The current Captains Choice shave soap scent that I have been rocking, is the Italia shave soap, it has a lovely scent, I detect a definite vanilla note in it, but can't quite make out the other notes, but the combination is awesome, which is why I had to get the Italia aftershave as well lol.

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Correct! One of the awesome things about Stirling, is they really know how to do their soaps, and they are very serious about it, making sure to offer us quite the variety to choose from. If you like the smell of cherry, then I highly recommend you try out their Black Cherry scent!

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When you buy a shave soap from Stirling, they like to send free samples. You see that Glacial Lemon Chill sample bath soap bar? Alright, well guess what? I've been using that as both my pre-shave/face wash bar. The lemon scent is amazing, and the menthol cooling effect, while could be stronger then it is, feels good on the face. Well, they also have a Glacial Lemon Chill shave soap as well.

Its going to smell the same cause its the same lemon, which means it will smell amazing, so I can recommend that. I only just ordered it the other day, so I am still waiting for it to arrive. I will slowly throughout the year, work my way through more Stirling soaps. And I am hoping to order more Captains Choice soaps eventually as well.

And I am not really a fan of creams, I pretty much stick with soap puks, its what I like. I get them in the full size jars. And yes, you can order samplers, so you can figure out what you like, thats always an option. But, with Stirling, there's not really going to be a bad scent I don't think, they know what they are doing over there, and so does Captains Choice IMO. So these are my recommendations thus far.
First off let me thank you for the detailed response. I appreciate your take on the way Tabac smells. I know its subjective, but I've not seen a lot talked about it.

It makes me happy to hear you've used one of the Captain's Choice soaps I'm most curious about, in Venture. I guess by cologne I'll interpret that as masculine and an attempt at a "higher-end" quality feeling with the product.

Interestingly someone else suggested a Lime centric soap which has me recognizing my naturally affinity for Lime. I feel like it would be wise for me to jump in on the Lime soap wagon with one from some brand (yet to be determined).

I do like your take on the Italia shave soap as I also happen to really like vanilla. My bottle of Pinaud Clubman - Classic Vanilla is my favorite aftershave splash. I think Italia may be first offering of the Captain that I try. With all that said, It sounds like I should also try the Italia aftershave as well.

As far as Stirling goes, I have identified one so far that I'm going to purchase, assuming it doesn't sell out, as right now there's only one left in stock. We'll see. If I do happen to miss out on it, lol, there's no shortage of other choices to choose from. I do like eating black cherries but am not sure I want to smell like one. I do appreciate your recommendation though. As I said before, I am a fan of Lime but the more I think about it, I'm a fan of citrus in general. That includes orange, lemon and I guess possibly grapefruit. I find it interesting that you're using a lemon soap as a pre-shave/face wash. I could easily see myself using lemon scented products as well as lime or orange.

Like you I tend to stick with soaps (pucks) but wouldn't say that I don't like creams. They're just different and I use them at curtain times. If I had to answer the question, I would say that I prefer soaps but mostly because I like swirling my brush on them and the shear length of time they last. Do please share with me your thoughts on the Glacial Lemon Chill shave soap once your new order arrives. I'd also love to hear about any other Stirling soaps as time goes on.

Again, thank you for your detailed response!
 
First off let me thank you for the detailed response. I appreciate your take on the way Tabac smells. I know its subjective, but I've not seen a lot talked about it.

It makes me happy to hear you've used one of the Captain's Choice soaps I'm most curious about, in Venture. I guess by cologne I'll interpret that as masculine and an attempt at a "higher-end" quality feeling with the product.

Interestingly someone else suggested a Lime centric soap which has me recognizing my naturally affinity for Lime. I feel like it would be wise for me to jump in on the Lime soap wagon with one from some brand (yet to be determined).

I do like your take on the Italia shave soap as I also happen to really like vanilla. My bottle of Pinaud Clubman - Classic Vanilla is my favorite aftershave splash. I think Italia may be first offering of the Captain that I try. With all that said, It sounds like I should also try the Italia aftershave as well.

As far as Stirling goes, I have identified one so far that I'm going to purchase, assuming it doesn't sell out, as right now there's only one left in stock. We'll see. If I do happen to miss out on it, lol, there's no shortage of other choices to choose from. I do like eating black cherries but am not sure I want to smell like one. I do appreciate your recommendation though. As I said before, I am a fan of Lime but the more I think about it, I'm a fan of citrus in general. That includes orange, lemon and I guess possibly grapefruit. I find it interesting that you're using a lemon soap as a pre-shave/face wash. I could easily see myself using lemon scented products as well as lime or orange.

Like you I tend to stick with soaps (pucks) but wouldn't say that I don't like creams. They're just different and I use them at curtain times. If I had to answer the question, I would say that I prefer soaps but mostly because I like swirling my brush on them and the shear length of time they last. Do please share with me your thoughts on the Glacial Lemon Chill shave soap once your new order arrives. I'd also love to hear about any other Stirling soaps as time goes on.

Again, thank you for your detailed response!

You are very welcome, I like to help where I can, even if all I can report on, is the scent of something. I can't specifically place the Venture scent to any specific cologne. I can only say, once the soap has been bloomed, when its wet, it smells like a masculine scent, like something you'd smell from a mens cologne. If you like men's colognes, I am sure you will like it, and performance wise, the soap is excellent.

The Lime soap is a bit on the weak side, its not super strong, I personally think it should be stronger, but it is also a nice scent. Performance wise, its also an excellent performer. And yes, I think that if you love citrus scents like I do, you'd like just about any citrus scent. The real question really is, which citrus based scent will you buy first?

Well, amazing news for both you and I, my order from Stirling ended up coming a day early, they sent my package via 2-day shipping! And just like the last time, they also sent me another bath soap sample, because they are awesome that way hehe.

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For education purposes, I am also going to include a photo showing the shave soap puk, so you can see what it looks like when brand new. I am also putting my photo's in my shaving supply thread to update everyone. I haven't had a chance to use the shave soap yet, but I expect no performance difference from that of the Black Cherry. I can report on the scent, it smell lovely, and its powerful!

Even when all the soaps were wrapped in plastic, and sealed in the box they came in, I could smell the lemon just bursting out to greet me and say hello. Stirling has been providing me first rate service, and I couldn't be happier with them right now. They appreciate you as a customer so much, that they hand write a thank you note on the invoice package sheet!

And not only that, but I took note of something very interesting on that same sheet. That sheet is initialed by the one who packed my order, then its initialed by a separate person, who double checks everything. Basically, it was proof of their top tier quality control. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I've made the realization that going with Stirling was an excellent choice on my part that I do not regret.

I also don't regret choosing Captain's Choice for soaps as well. I will say, Stirling soaps are cheaper, where as Captains Choice soaps are more expensive, and you technically get less. If your looking for value to go with that quality, probably Stirling is going to be your best bet. When I opened my package today, there were several different things that just completely wowed me speechless.

(1) Package sent Priority 2-day shipping, when I know for a fact I paid for 5 to 7 day ground!
(2) All my soaps were packaged well, sealed in plastic, a sign that Stirling really cares!
(3) Stirling uses that eco friendly shredded paper for packing material, which works really amazingly!
(4) The invoice sheet, with the hand written thank you note, and signed initial's showing QC!
(5) Stirling's included FREE bath soap sample, to show how much they care!

Please keep us updated on what you buy, and please by all means, take pictures and post them, we love pictures here. And as you can tell, I love taking pictures and posting them lol.
 
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