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SV Longevity Test Finished

I just finished a tin of Saponificio Varesino Opuntia. I'm not really big on soap fragrance, but this was quite nice to my nose. "A fruity and aromatic fragrance with top notes of bergamot, pineapple and blackcurrant that give way to floral body notes of birch, rose and jasmine. Woody, musky and slightly amber base notes anchored by patchouli, vetiver, white musk and oak moss."

My inspiration for this test was a comment on the forum something like, "I'll use SV, but MdC is just too expensive." That struck me as fundamentally incorrect, but I wasn't sure.

METHOD: The SV, strangely enough, didn't hold up well to the heat of the scuttle, so I ended up doing 2 pass face lathers, rather than my usual 3 pass scuttle lathers. I started with the SOC 2 band badger soaking wet and shook out a few drops of water (how's that for exact?). I loaded for 6 seconds (truth in advertising, as a conductor I know what 60 BPM is on a metronome, and these were slightly slow "seconds" - around 56 BPM).
I added more water in the usual fashion and the lather was lovely.

Obviously my load time is not exactly the same as your load time. You may not use my brush, or water, or speed/pressure on the loading swirls. But comparing it to MdC (and WK) my usage is consistent, so if you've used any of those you can adjust the numbers to fit your usage. I do make a reasonably robust lather. Some will like thinner, while some will think mine a little thin. I'm pretty sure I'm in the middle, looking like most lathers I've seen in videos. There is always a bit left in the brush, but certainly not nearly enough for another pass.

I did 175 2 pass shaves. Assuming another 3 seconds of load time that would be about 116 3 pass shaves. The soap is $49 on the SV website, but I got it on Amazon for $45 free shipping. If you like to think of usage as a daily weight this is a 150g tin. I prefer to think about what the cost would be for a year of daily shaves. For me this would be $135 a year for 3 pass shaves.

I use Nature MdC, which is currently $43.95 without shipping for 200g (significantly more). I always purchase them in pairs, which cuts down on the shipping (directly from Martin de Candre). A jar of MdC lasts me 13 months of 3 pass shaves. With shipping that brings the cost to about $45 a year.

I also like WK Pasha's Pride. That runs $25, but I need 3 to get through the year, so $75.

SV - $135 a year.
MdC - $45 a year.
WK - $75 a year.

Clearly, SV is not cheap. But I will buy it again. Lovely scent and a richness to the feel that's hard to describe. It may not add anything to the shave, but it's totally enjoyable and I'm going to die someday - I deserve to have some things purely for the enjoyment factor.

I waited an extra day to report so I could have another MdC shave. It seems to be a little closer, but today's shave did coincide with the need for a new blade, so I'm not really putting any stock in that feeling. I get very similar shaves with all three of these soaps. MdC is my favorite, but not by much. Obviously dollars and cents leans heavily toward MdC, but nothing's too good for me and I will no doubt continue to buy all three. I use MdC most days, but like a change once or twice a week.

I hope you find this helpful.
 
I have finished one SV puck and have two in reserve, all purchased at favourable prices. I have one MdC jar that I am slowly working on. I agree with your analysis, in general. My non-scientific analysis suggested SV was twice as expensive…very rough math. But, I spent more on MdC and less on SV.

SV is a terrific product, but I’m unlikely to repurchase preferring to put the money towards more MdC.

For comparison, with other products I like, MWF is a bit less than MdC per shave, Haslinger about equal, and Tabac (guessing) likely a touch less too (tallow).
 
I loaded for 6 seconds (truth in advertising, as a conductor I know what 60 BPM is on a metronome, and these were slightly slow "seconds" - around 56 BPM)

i love the interesting things that pop up when describing concepts here!

SV - $135 a year.
MdC - $45 a year.
WK - $75 a year.

In all things life, one has to make a decision on what you value and can obtain joy from. I’m still on a tubs that i dont know when they will end but enjoying the variety and choice! Enjoy the lathers!
 
This is just excellent! I am all about quantifying things scientifically.

Over several shaves, without trying, I am consistently getting the following usage rate:

Most softer "Artisan" soaps: 0.9 g
SV: 0.6g
MdC: 0.3g

One thing I really appreciate about SV and MdC is the ability to add a certain amount of water to the brush and load soap until it won't load anymore. I never have overloaded and am left with a mostly dry puck. It calms my need to measure every time.

Edit: I wonder if my low usage is some combination of only using distilled water and being a cold water shaver? I have tried to use more in the past and it just doesn't layer on and goes to waist.
 
I have around 30 soaps. I assume most of the people in here have even more. This thread is useful for a guy who owns a couple of soaps and wants to buy just one premium soap that will see regular use. But for most hobbyists longevity doesn't matter. Be it 100 or 125 shaves, they will still be great shaves. Personally I am more worried about the longevity of my soft American soaps which are quite hard to come by here in Europe. Just my 2 cents. I enjoy the simplicity of MDC and the complexity of the 30 ingredient SV. Both fantastic in different ways.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
The price of a tub of soap is not that strongly related to the cost of using a soap. MdC is one of the cheaper soaps to use, and 1/2 gram for a 2-3 pass shave means a tub lasts 400 shaves, a year plus as stated. And remember martym got almost 2 years out of a tub of MdC using a Wee Scot. That’s about $25/year and closing in on Arko cost.

@musicman1951 numbers beg an interesting question, what soaps can you shave with for a year for $45 excluding drug store soaps?

Martin de Candre
Pre de Provence (I suspect that PdP is cheaper to use than Arko)
Italian bricks
Cyril Salter hard soap
Stirling
Castle Forbes

Close, but no cigar except on quality:

Santa Maria Novella, $71 for 220g+ would be about $60/year, but still cheaper than the cited cost of WK and SV.
If we in the US could buy AdP at the European price, a years worth would be about $65-75.
 
Well, for kicks if La Toja lasts only a month a dozen sticks runs $42 delivered from YourrShaving.
shavemac.com has Speick Sticks a dozen $51 to your door.

The link above suggests La Toja could last 60 shaves so that would make the dozen stick purchase $21/year of shaves. Likewise if Speick will last 60 shaves it's $25.50/year. But as @Luc points out how many passes, size of the brush, etc.
 
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I find it pretty ironic that a lot of us stocked up on cheaper soaps to make sure we liked old style shaving only to later find out that if we invested early on and bought these substantially more expensive (but longer lasting) soaps we'd be happier. There's no winning in this hobby is there?!? Without trying out the cheaper things you can't be certain you're gonna like it and you won't have anything to compare to. Oh well, I'll get around to picking some up eventually!
 
Well, for kicks if La Toja lasts only a month a dozen sticks runs $42 delivered from YourrShaving.
shavemac.com has Speick Sticks a dozen $51 to your door.

The link above suggests La Toja could last 60 shaves so that would make the dozen stick purchase $21/year of shaves. Likewise if Speick will last 60 shaves it's $25.50/year. But as @Luc points out how many passes, size of the brush, etc.

I like La Toja quite a bit and use it for my travel soap. But for me it is not in the same class as SV and MdC.
 
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