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SW Druantia Review

Okay, here we go for my review of Southern Witchcraft's Durantia. And I must say it has me bewitched and bewildered. Not sure where to start with this one or how it will end up. So, right up front, I am not a big fan of vegan shave soaps. I like my tallow. I bought this one on a whim. Also, let me say that soap scents are inconsequential to me. Here are the stated scent notes: Cedar, Oakmoss, Rosewood, Moss, Cypress, Tobacco, Fungus, Sandalwood, Mitsutake, Myrrh, Amber, Orange, Ginger. Very interesting indeed, I must say. I like to think I know what most of those smell like. Upon opening the jar, it smelled nothing at all like what I expected. I must say the scent was extremely pleasant. I can't explain it other than to say it smelled exactly like some type cookies my mother made when I was a child. I don't remember the cookies, but I remember the scent. Wow, did that bring back some pleasant memories. I'm quite sure she did not use any of those ingredients except possibly orange or ginger. Anyway, who care what soap smells like unless it is offensive or repugnant. For me performance matters, nothing else. So, onto performance. Here's where it gets tricky. To lather this soap, all I can say is that you better have a lot of water on hand. I have used this soap now 9 times. I have 3 brushes that are well broken in and rotated each shave. So, 3 shaves with each brush (a well used, very soft badger, a somewhat stiff well used boar, and a nicely broken in perfect boar). My preference is to bowl lather. So far, I have been unable to get a good consistent bowl lather with this soap. So, after a half a dozen futile attempts, face lathering it is. Load the brush with a lot of water and go at it. 1st pass is good with an overly "wet" brush. I make the sure the brush is just shy of soaking wet. Subsequent passes require more water. I dip the brush in water again and re-wet as necessary. Believe me, it is necessary. I honestly, have never had a soap use even half the amount of water this soap requires. Also, interesting is the fact that the scent has significantly changed on a couple of occasions mid-shave. Once you get decent lather on your face, you are in for a very slick and comfortable shave. So, to summarize:

Scent - Interesting, but again I don't care about that. Can't see how anyone would not like it. It is very subtle and not overpowering.
Lather - Impossible for me to bowl lather, takes a lot of water to face lather. Very tricky. Once you think you figured it out, you still haven't. Just play each pass by ear and you can get a very close comfortable shave.
Performance - Very slick, good post shave feel.
Price - Very reasonable. I think I paid around $12.00 - 15.00
Would I buy it again - Yes, I plan to, but maybe I'll try a different scent. It's hard to explain, but this soap is very intriguing to me. I will surely buy it again. Maybe one day I'll get it to lather in my bowl.
Recommendation - I think it's worth a try, but beware that it is very unique in how it lathers or more accurately doesn't like to lather without some effort.
 

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Eben Stone

Staff member
...it has me bewitched
:sorcerer:

Great review! I love Southern Witchcrafts.

One of the most noteworthy attributes for me was its easy lathering. I do not mean its easy to create peaky meringue foamy Instagram nonsense. I mean, regardless of how badly I screw up the lathering process, the resulting lather is still usable, super slick, and gives me a fantastic shave. I cannot say the same for most other soaps.

This is what I do and it seem to work pretty well for me:

I use a synthetic brush, squeeze the water out but don't shake it out, scoop 1/4 tsp and smash it into a bowl (or load it hard from the tub for approx 40 swirls), add approx 10 drops of water, and churn like you're mad at it. I add water slowly, so that by the time I'm done, maybe 50-100 drops of water (just an estimate, I'm not counting exactly). The resulting lather is low structure, wet and almost runny; my preferred lather consistency.
 
Great review!
Southern Witchcraft products are favorites! I highly recommend purchasing their samplers.
 
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