Tallow & Steel: Weirdly Excellent

Discussion in 'Shaving Soaps' started by rodmonster, Mar 18, 2019.

    Like many of us, I have a cupboard full of wonderful soaps. I may put Wholly Kaw and Declaration Grooming at the top of the list, but they are just a hair above other favorites including Noble Otter, Oleo and Mickey Lee. In a manner of speaking, all of these soaps are qualitatively similar. One may get a better score (quantitatively speaking) than another but they are not qualitatively different from each other. For lack of a better analogy, all of these soaps are different brands of vanilla ice cream. I may prefer one brand over another - vanilla may be my favorite flavor - but in the end they are all vanilla.

    Tallow and Steel is different.

    Last week I received my first Tallow and Steel, the Orangeilla from West Coast Shaving. I have had 4 shaves with the T&S, enough to get a good feel for the soap. First off, this is an extremely thirsty soap. I face lather by applying a thick paste to my face and then adding a few drops of water at a time until I get the perfect lather. Well, if you add just water a few drops at a time with this soap, you will be at it for a long long time before the lather blossoms. I quickly learned to dunk my brush in water. Second, this is a lather that is different than all of the others. Most lathers are a rich whipped cream. Sticky enough to hold together but with a certain lightness of being that makes whipped cream so delightful. T&S on the other hand, is more like a gooey yogurt or sour cream. It is noticeably thicker and denser than the typical soap without the fluffiness found in most soaps. A little weird, but intriguing.

    So, how does it shave? Because of the density of the lather, I expected a well cushioned, but not so slick shave. Boy, was I wrong. It is both shockingly slick and well cushioned. And the bonus is a first class aftershave feel. It most definitely has a WOW!! factor that separates it from other soaps.

    A quick word about the scent. Orangeilla is advertised as an orange creamsicle scent. I had visions of one of my childhood favorites: A Good Humor Creamsicle ice cream. It is not that. The scent is mostly vanilla with a background of orange. The essence of vanilla is not naturally sweet and, to my nose, the scent has a little bitter, medicinal quality about it. The orange essence comes out with lathering but it is still primarily vanilla and secondarily orange. I really like it but it was not what I was expecting.

    Has T&S catapulted up to the top of the list? It is certainly on par with WK and DG, and may be better. I will need a little more time with the T&S before crowning a new soap champ but it is really a special treat.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  1. Nice review. I also find DG and WK soaps quite ‘yogurty’ when properly hydrated. All of these are top-shelf performers. Congrats on building a fine den!
  2. Tallow+steel soaps are definitely at the top of my list for favorite soaps. They have outstanding quality and performance. Something I would like to note though is that I think when it comes to aftershave splashes Tallow+steel are in a league of their own. Thier aftershaves are my absolute favorite of all the aftershaves I have tried. My face feels absolutely amazing after applying them. In my experience no other aftershave heals my face and prevents the negative issues that arise from straight razor shaving like Tallow + Steel. Boreal and Sicily are my favorite.
  3. Great review!! :a14::a14:
  4. It is a great soap, but like many others I cannot abide their menu of weird, if not bizarre, scents.
  5. I'm sure you know, but a lot of people are put off by the scents because they are 100% essential oil, and no fragrance. My wife is an essential oil nut and I have come to love the natural oil scents and their healing properties. I literally can't get enough of Tallow+Steel scents when I open the tub and it smells only of essential oils (Boreal, Sicily, and Maya). I do agree that a couple of the soaps have an odd combination of oils that make for an odd scent, but essential oil scents do not last long, so I am usually cool with even the more odd scents they conjure up. Either way they do seem polarizing. The problem I have is that the more I use natural oils, the easier it becomes no notice very artificial scents. However, I own a ton of soaps woth only fragrance and I love them too. YMMV.
  6. I have T&S Himalaya. It is an excellent performer. @Bogeyman I do agree the scents are strange, not quite what you'd expect by the descriptions. I don't find them bad or repulsive, they are just different.
  7. Thanks for the great review. You mentioned that you had a unique experience with how the lather felt. I had a similar experience with a soap recently. Now I’m looking forward to picking up a tub of T&S to see how they compare.
  8. RTM


    I might add that I don't think T+S likes to be in rotation. It's a snobbish sort of soap. It stands out.
    By the end of the month or thereabout I will 3017 my Boreal, and I will sorry to see it goes. Worth every penny.
  9. johnwick

    johnwick Contributor

    Wonderful review!
  10. PeteVK

    PeteVK Contributor

    I purposely did not order this because I hate creamsicles, now you have me thinking about spending more money :a13:
  11. Although I love trying new soaps, T&S is not one brand I have tried. The ingredient list seems excellent, so I suspect I would love the performance. However, every time I consider purchasing one, I look at the scent notes and decide that I can do without it.

    Another soapmaker with some strange scents is Chiseled Face. I have two of the most popular CF scents and I find even those to be strange. Some of the other CF scents, especially Midnight Stag, have some really strange scent notes: Russian Leather, Motor Oil, Hoppes #9, Birch Tar, Oakmoss, Gasoline, Smoke, Cedar, Cade, Bergamot, and Vanilla. I am sure some guys would love it, but I would not want to smell like that.
  12. Great review! Could not agree more. Was also hesitant about the scent after reading the description.
    Very happy I made the purchase.Wife says its one of her favorites. Performance is excellent! Orangeilla now joins Madagascar and Sicily as part of my small T+S collection in the "den". Hope to add another "flavor" on the 21st. Thanks for taking time to write the review :thumbsup:
  13. I will definitely be ready on the 21st.
  14. Just ordered Maya. Guarded optimism....
  15. Maya isn't for everyone. However, it has grown on me a lot, and now I crave it sometimes.
  16. great review.. looking forward to try Tallow and Steel.
  17. Is anyone aware of where you can get take and steel samples from? I've been dying to get them but can't find them anywhere.

    Sent from my Vivo 8 using Tapatalk
  18. Samples are going to be hard to come by. Tallow & Steel now only sells direct from their website and they don't offer samples at this point in time. I may have bought the last few samples from Maggard, but I think that Groomatorium may still have some left.
  19. Yes, Maggard used to. I got a few samples of it a couple of years back. I still have nightmares over the Bandwagon scent! :eek: Like flowers on burning sheet metal!! Gross!!

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