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Stirling Varen Shave Soap Review

I just got a sample of the varen soap and aftershave. Very nice performing soap....a little on the grassy side, but not over the top.
 
I just ordered a tub of the Varen and the Scots Pine so I can try both the beef and mutton tallow. Looking forward to trying them.
I personally don't get a good read on the scent descriptions published on the site, the threads here at B&B have been more helpful in that regard.
Has anyone considered consolidating their excellent scent descriptions in one easy to find place so it can be incorporated into the Wiki?
@Hannah's Dad hint hint :lol1:
 

Hannah's Dad

I Can See Better Than Bigfoot.
I just ordered a tub of the Varen and the Scots Pine so I can try both the beef and mutton tallow. Looking forward to trying them.
I personally don't get a good read on the scent descriptions published on the site, the threads here at B&B have been more helpful in that regard.
Has anyone considered consolidating their excellent scent descriptions in one easy to find place so it can be incorporated into the Wiki?
@Hannah's Dad hint hint :lol1:
Phil, if you mean simply providing a description of each of the 6 mutton soaps, I’ll be glad to do so. As for ‘consolidation for the Wiki’ — I have no Earthly clue how to do that. Candidly, I find the ‘Wiki’ similar to the ‘cloud’ in that the location of both of these has been elusive for me.

But later I’ll post my personal thoughts on the descriptions and you and the Wiki guys can move it to the Wiki … cloud … crypto … thingy.
 
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Phil, if you mean simply providing a description of each of the 6 mutton soaps, I’ll be glad to do so. As for ‘consolidation for the Wiki’ — I have no Earthly clue how to do that. Candidly, I find the ‘Wiki’ similar to the ‘cloud’ in that the location of both of these has been elusive for me.

But later I’ll post my personal thoughts on the descriptions and you and the Wiki guys can move it to the Wiki … cloud … crypto … thingy.
Yeah, that's what I meant. If it's in one place, the Wiki Team can easily incorporate it into the right place.

If anybody else has a knack for descriptions, and is familiar with the scents that Dan doesn't know, they are welcome to post as well!
 

Marco

B&B's Man in Italy
Dear John @JCinPA , I'm very glad to hear about all your recent BBS shaves! And I'm very happy that you've found all these great new (to you) soaps. That said, my friend, I believe that these successes cannot be explained merely with a soap. I think that you have also found razors, blades and razor/blades combos that just work better for you. And, I'm also convinced that you have improved your overall technique to the highest level, pushed by the wave of enthusiasm and, of course, experience too. Again, I have no doubt at all that your latest soaps are outstanding, but a soap alone is not enough to get a true BBS. A true BBS is the result of all wet shaving aspects (great soap, great razor, great blade and - most importantly - great technique) perfectly gathered up and harmoniously working together. Very well done, my dear friend.
 
Dear John @JCinPA , I'm very glad to hear about all your recent BBS shaves! And I'm very happy that you've found all these great new (to you) soaps. That said, my friend, I believe that these successes cannot be explained merely with a soap. I think that you have also found razors, blades and razor/blades combos that just work better for you. And, I'm also convinced that you have improved your overall technique to the highest level, pushed by the wave of enthusiasm and, of course, experience too. Again, I have no doubt at all that your latest soaps are outstanding, but a soap alone is not enough to get a true BBS. A true BBS is the result of all wet shaving aspects (great soap, great razor, great blade and - most importantly - great technique) perfectly gathered up and harmoniously working together. Very well done, my dear friend.
Wise words. Those spoilers certainly have helped. 😎
 
Holy Smokes,

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To understand today's review, you have to read this from my first use yesterday.



Now, @Hannah's Dad who graciously supplied me with my sample, said to me the face feel after the shave is the best he has ever experienced. He suggested I not use any aftershave yesterday to experience that, and I did not. That's why I said this.



Well, here's what happened. I got a true BBS shave. But instead of the normal extreme concentration and 30 minutes it takes me to get it, I got it just being mindful in my shave, and in about 20 minutes. I was aiming for it, but got there much more quickly than normal, and I still felt like I was shaving without a blade at times. And I expected The Veg to light me up, but good. Splashed on a ton of The Veg, and ...

Almost no burn. At all.

What the heck is this stuff? Sterling makes great soaps with beef tallow. Why this stuff is so different, I have no idea, maybe the chemistry expers can enlighten us. But this soap was amazing, and completely unique in that I got a true BBS with less irritation than I get with other soaps in a normal daily shave. And no Veg burn after a BBS? Unheard of! I don't get it. But you should. Get it, I mean.

The Varen, I don't know how to describe the scent, but it's mild. Just a clean soapy scent to me, not very strong at all. Maybe Dan can tell us what it is, I'm not good at describing scents. As I said, it is not the slickest stuff around, but I got a closer more comfortable shave with this than I ever have with any other product. Any. Other. Product. Tabac, Haslinger, Noble Otter, SMdF. This was a close, easily-achieved BBS, with no discomfort, and no Veg burn. I cannot explain it.

I can hardly believe it.

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I got the Glacial Electric Sheep that @Hannah’s Dad recommended and it is great, he also recommended the Varen and it should be here tomorrow, I discovered the same thing the face feel afterwards is great it is right up there with my MDC & Ethos, the added feature it has is that it has a bold scent and that is why I have added those two sterling soaps to my rotation.
 

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
@Esox Thanks for that post! I never thought of that. I am also not a fan of Feathers, and since I discovered Kais I cannot think of a reason to ever use one again. The Kai is about as sharp, much, much smoother right out of the gate, and shaves for a week for me, so why fiddle with Feathers any more? Well, as a soap test, that's a really interesting idea, thank you!

@Marco I do think you are correct, it was not just the soap. After settling down with one razor and blade for five years, then kind of going nuts when I got active here again, I've tried a half dozen new (to me) razors, both DE and SE, about ten new blades, and over a half dozen new lather products. And since I've been "testing" things, especially new blades, I've been much more mindful in my shaves than I used to be. My technique has probably improved more in the last 3 months than it had in the previous 10 years.

And I'm discovering nuances between soaps that I never would have been able to detect 5 years ago. Still, I find I like lots of different products, and two from one maker is pretty much my limit. I usually have one product at a time from any maker, but I just ordered Varen because of this mutton tallow thing. So I'll have Sharp Dressed Man and Varen from Stirling, that's enough. Because I still love all the other stuff I have now.

And as @BradWorld said the Spoilers help, you are most certainly correct. My Schick Plus Platinums and these Gillette Spoilers are truly wonderful blades.

P.S. I realize I posted much of this earlier in this thread. I can't keep track or where I'm posting anymore.

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Dear John @JCinPA , I'm very glad to hear about all your recent BBS shaves! And I'm very happy that you've found all these great new (to you) soaps. That said, my friend, I believe that these successes cannot be explained merely with a soap. I think that you have also found razors, blades and razor/blades combos that just work better for you. And, I'm also convinced that you have improved your overall technique to the highest level, pushed by the wave of enthusiasm and, of course, experience too. Again, I have no doubt at all that your latest soaps are outstanding, but a soap alone is not enough to get a true BBS. A true BBS is the result of all wet shaving aspects (great soap, great razor, great blade and - most importantly - great technique) perfectly gathered up and harmoniously working together. Very well done, my dear friend.
I think what you are saying is true, since I went back to bowl Lathering first to get the lather perfect I have found my face is still perfectly smooth 12 hrs later, I have added the Glacial Electric Sheep and the Varen to my MDC & Ethos soaps because of its bold scent plus the face feel, which is comparable to my other soaps.
 
And whoever said the Spoilers help, you are most certainly correct. My Schick Plus Platinums and these Gillette Spoilers are truly wonderful blades.
That was me. If you really want to blow your mind, try a Personna 74. It will last you 30 plus shaves and rival in sharpness anything out there. If we ever get to meet for a drink in Philly, I will toss one your way. A pre 1982 Wizamet too. Perhaps my favorite blade ever. 😎
 
I need y'all's help... I want a tub of Stirling mutton, but I'm torn between Varen, Scots Pine and Electric Sheep scents. Which of these is the least grassy? I hate grassy scents like Port au Prince
Electric sheep is citronella no grassy and you can get it in mentholated
 

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
@BradWorld I'll keep an eye out. I have found a few Personnas on the 'bay for about $3 a blade, and I just won't pull the trigger. Because I get a week out of my Schick and Gillette vintage blades, I don't mind paying about a buck each for them. But $3 seems excessive. And since I am blissfully happy with the Plus Plats and the Spoiler, I'm not sure I want to learn there is something better out there. :lol:
 
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