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Southern Witchcrafts Carmilla

So, beginning to cycle through Southern Witchcrafts' offerings - one down (Autumn Ash), quite a few to go. This one's morning shave - Carmilla - proved to be excellent in performance. To get this out of the way, so far ("n" of two) performance is identical to Autumn Ash, which was excellent as well. Lathers very easily (truth in advertising, I have a whole-house water softener, but I expect these soaps would lather well with any water), a softer soap, but not quite a "croap," slightly thirsty, it can provide a lather with whatever firmness you prefer with very little effort. Very slick and cushioning, second and third pass isn't a problem, and resulting face-feel is smooth and hydrated. I never thought I'd say it about a vegan soap, but it's the equal of any tallow soap I've used, and I've used a lot.

Scent notes. I'm beginning to realize the fragrances offered by SW are unique in the wet shaving world. Some describe them as "dark," but I would lean more toward "warm" as a descriptor. Autumn Ash has a nutty, woodsy scent. This one has only three notes described by SW - Nag Champa, Frankincense and Amber. A simple description would be "sandalwood-y," but it's much more complex than that, and in fact more complex than its three descriptors. Nag Champa is a combination - sort of - of sandalwood and magnolia, and both are in the scent profile. A Far Eastern, sort of exotic start to the profile, but not overbearing. A simple description would be a woodsy floral scent. Frankincense is the standout, to me - a more resinous woody scent, faintly reminiscent of rosemary. The forward note in this mix in my opinion. The Amber note (not the fossilized tree sap), is the more undefined fragrance - often described as sweet, warm or musky, it's a combination of vanilla/sandalwood/patchouli/rose of Sharon, with floral and spicy thrown in for good measure, that sort of binds the profile together. The resulting scent profile is distinctly exotic, Oriental and mysterious. A delicate musk, not overwhelming but very pleasant. Like most of SW's fragrances, this one is described as seasonal (meaning mostly Fall and Winter), but I can see using this mid-Summer. SW describes it as "the scent of a seductive and cloying temptress," but it's really not cloying at all to me (maybe seductive though), and I like it. A lot. AS again is a perfect match to the fragrance, non-alcohol, protective aloe-based splash. More to follow.

So, I tried this soap with my shave yesterday. I have to agree with you... the performance was quite good, if not surprising! Slick, hydrating and unlike a lot of small batch/cottage industry soaps, kept its consistency throughout the entire shave.

Jury is still out on the scent though. I chose this one because I was looking for something more "spring" seasonal for my shave, and this was a close as I could come with SW's lineup. Nag champa, frankincense and amber are scents I am quite familiar with, and like individually... in fact, I actually burn nag champa daily. But there is something that just doesnt sit right with me with the blend. Still trying to figure it out. :D Could be that both nag champa and amber are blended scents already, so everyone's recipes are different, and perhaps there is too much of X and not enough of Y for my taste. Which makes some sense since there are certin nag champa blends I like, and others I dont! Picky nose, I guess... <shrug> Either way, I would still describe the scent as "dark", but I see what you are saying about it possibly being described as "warm" as well.

Speaking of warm, something in there made my face feel like it does when I use bay rum shaving soap... it burns my skin. I had to stop using bay rum because of that, so I would imagine I cant use Carmilla either.

I will have to give the other soaps a shot and see how they fair. With such great performance, I really would like I find a soap of theirs that makes my nose happy, and my skin refreshed rather then burning. :)
I have been going through my sample pack. Yes, it performs among the top of any soap I've used. The scents pre-lather are very different than the scents as you lather. There were several I thought "I'm never going to use this." Lathering them has changed my mind.
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