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Tabac Refill Shaving Soap review (New 2021 formula)

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Well, I'm scr#wed. I already had a fresh puck of tallow Tabac, but y'all convinced me to buy another just to be able to do the comparison. But the new one just came and it's the tallow formula, too. Two isn't enough to be a tallow Tabac hoarder, and I can't do the comparison either. Knowing my luck, I'd buy 2 or 3 more before getting one with the new formula, and then end up preferring the new formula. Arrrgh! Enough already for me, the rest of you please carry on.

Pasteur’s has the new version, and a good price too.
 
@mozartman , StratMan is right.

If I were spending your money I'd buy a gross of Tabac and see what shows up! You may be able to retire early with the luck you've been having!
You mean stock up tallow Tabac and sell it when it becomes worth its weight in palladium? Plays like that tend to blow up in my face. They only work when I do them accidentally, or even unknowingly.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
First things first, I’ve never been a ‘Tabaconist’ and could care less about tallow so I don’t have a dog in the race. I’ve used all sorts of shaving soaps over ten+ years from the cheapest to the most expensive.

TL;DR: Honestly I like it a bit better than the old based on fragrance and slickness. The performance is about the same. The new version is slicker. Fragrance intensity is a little less than the old which was ‘eye watering’ to me, but the new is still stout. Fragrance is a little less ‘smoky granny’s bingo purse’ but it’s still there. The fragrance seems to me closer to the AS than the old version, and I like the AS. It lathers easily and rinses cleanly. I’m more likely to use the new version than the old.



Price: $14.99 US at Pasteur’s. About mid-range for a quality European soap in the US these days.

Fragrance intensity: Slightly less. I had to air out my 10-year old tallow puck when it was new and could smell it in the second room over. The new non-tallow puck I have to be in the same room with and it’s new of course. The tallow soap scent intensity was the main reason I never used it much though YNMV (your nose may vary), and the scent it stayed in the brush and interfered with other soap scents for 2-3 days.

Fragrance: Granny’s smoky bingo purse is still there but noticeably less, possibly lessened because of the lack of tallow smell? To me, the fragrance of the new soap is closer to the AS (which I like) than the tallow soap. The new fragrance wins for me.

Ease of Lathering: Excellent. I’m using a Simpson’s Tulip 2 to test, and a Tulip 2 will lather a brick, so if there’s a lather problem it isn’t the brush. I initially used the puck fresh and dry, no bloom, and it lathered up very similarly to the tallow version.

Quality of lather: Great. Stable slick lather. Maybe a little less lofty than the tallow version but to me not much difference. Residual slickness is about average. Shaved skin needs a wipe with wet fingers if it starts drying but I didn’t have to re-lather (a straight razor doesn’t need a coating of lather on the face). Slickness isn’t as good as SV beta 4.3 or the new version of ABC, but Tabac is half the price. It’s also not as slick as Pre de Provence which is about the same price. It delivered a great shave, absolutely nothing to complain about. The image below is bowl lathered and still has a few whipped-in air bubbles but it is not an airy lather.


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I recently did a comparison of the old ABC and the new ABC hard soaps. They are different soaps in that the lather feels different on your face, but they both perform not much differently. And the new ABC is slicker. I believe that this is also true of the old and new Tabac.

Who should consider non-tallow Tabac: Everyone, especially SR users who like less intense scents (though it’s still strong). Performance difference is a non-issue.

Who should pass: Hard-core tallow Tabaconists for whom tallow is required, or those who have given both a fair shake made up their minds.

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Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Oh, I did a face lather too, loaded the Tulip 2 for about 20-25 seconds. The lather seemed dry so I was trying to dribble some water into the knot and accidentally dumped about a teaspoon into it. The Tulip 2 knot isn’t huge and I thought that I’d have to load more soap, but it ate up that water easily and the lather was still stable. It seemingly will take a lot of water with no complaints.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Tallow Tabac up this Sunday morning; I did switch off the Filly for my Sunday shaver, a Swedish Heljestrand with a fresh edge. There was a little more smoky purse and the lather feel is slightly different. Results were the same for me, both excellent.

767BA917-2154-4377-8A7E-44A9297A166C.jpegBBEE479C-9018-4831-B1A5-34D2014B2117.jpeg
 

Luc

"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
All right, coming back for a final update. I know it took me a while but I don't shave every day these days (my stash is not melting as quickly as it should I'm afraid!).

Anyways, the product is different, not as good but I wouldn't say it's a completely different product. It's not the worse soap that I used but clearly not the best either.

The scent is in the same range but it's not the exact same. They are in a similar group.

The puck is melting faster than the previous tallow version. I don't think it will last that long.

I did try my horse brush and it wasn't that great(similar to the badger brush).

My conclusions are that if you want to try this soap, give it a chance, it's all right. Use a synthetic, it really helps.

The new version of Tabac is like a distant cousin of the original that was cloned a few times. Would I buy it? I did so that I can try it. Again? Maybe not, unfortunately.
 
All right, coming back for a final update. I know it took me a while but I don't shave every day these days (my stash is not melting as quickly as it should I'm afraid!).

Anyways, the product is different, not as good but I wouldn't say it's a completely different product. It's not the worse soap that I used but clearly not the best either.

The scent is in the same range but it's not the exact same. They are in a similar group.

The puck is melting faster than the previous tallow version. I don't think it will last that long.

I did try my horse brush and it wasn't that great(similar to the badger brush).

My conclusions are that if you want to try this soap, give it a chance, it's all right. Use a synthetic, it really helps.

The new version of Tabac is like a distant cousin of the original that was cloned a few times. Would I buy it? I did so that I can try it. Again? Maybe not, unfortunately.
Thank you! You saved me some money and made me happy that I built an inventory of Tabac tallow pucks and sticks.
 
You mean stock up tallow Tabac and sell it when it becomes worth its weight in palladium? Plays like that tend to blow up in my face. They only work when I do them accidentally, or even unknowingly.
Apparently that is just what I did a decade ago; I bought the bowl, a refill puck and the stick but I am still trying to get that stick down. I don't think I will ever get myself using them pucks!
 
I think I kinda get the drift 😟

I love Tabac. But I do NOT love the fragrance. This means I rarely use Tabac except for comparisons or those once-in-month "forget me not" occasions. I have a newly pressed refill and another puck in reserve, both with the Tallow formula. I doubt I'll be able to finish it in my lifetime, so thankfully I need not run for restocking.

But I do consider Tabac (along with a couple of other soaps one of which is incidentally discontinued from the same manufacturer) to be the Gold Standard in shaving performance. A tallow-less Tabac/shaving soap is like an eggless cake to me. Sure you can make a "good" one but top of the line, I doubt. Just not worth the effort IMO. So why on earth would a manufacturer alter formulation for such a iconic product, kinda beats me. I can only guess that shaving soaps constitute a very small percentage of their revenues and they might not want to antagonise PETA and companies just because of it.

But whatever it is, it means unnecessary furore and obnoxious prices in future. Until recently I thought I had hoarded enough supplies for a lifetime but this makes me reconsider stocking on Haslinger, DRH, MWF and the likes, just to be doubly sure.

Apologies if this sounds like one of those "how great the old stuff was" rants. It is meant to.

🙁
 
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