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The essential soap stable

greetings. I am sorry if this has been covered - I’ve been lurking and searching for a while, but did not find anything that quite covered my inquiry. If there were a fistfull of ‘essential’ soaps a relative newcomer should become at least passingly familiar with, what do you think would make the cut?

I’ve seen lots of recommendations for good soaps, and the same names keep popping up, so I figured i’d try those several first.

In no particular order, I submit some observations from a newcomers perspective;

Proraso
Arko
Mitchell’s wool fat
Taylor of old bond street
D. R. Harris
Tabac

No other names come up more often than these. Be it here, or elsewhere on the web these seem to be the common ‘go to’ shave soaps that everyone is aware of, and often get recommended to us new folks.

So how about it? Am I leaving any essentials out? I am sure there are ‘better’ options, and I’ll get to those in days to come, but for now I am more interested in the basic staples that form the common basis.
 
Are you only looking for mass produced soaps? Your list does not contain any of the artisans.
I figured I would start with the ‘tried and true’ stable of ‘old standbyes’. I’ll get to individual artists later, but i’d Rather gather the fundamentals before spoiling myself.

It was meeting Tim Zowada in2006 that planted the bug in my bonnet to learn to shave properly. I have no end of appreciation for the work of individual artists, but there is a great deal of learning for me to do on this end of the curve, and I am trying to get a handle on the fundamentals first.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I only have two essentials, Mitchell's Wool Fat and Palmolive shave sticks. I haven't tried any of the others on your list. I really don't feel the need to do more exploring while ever I can keep buying these two. I have tried a few others (very few), but I'll just be going back to my two favourites.
 
Cella and Palmolive were really really close to making the List on the OP.

When I totaled the mentions from all the various places I was looking (including the ‘soaps you have purchased again’ thread here- that was a good read.) Those two disn’t Quite get as many mentions as the initial list. Maybe they make the list after all?
 

shavefan

I’m not a fan
I agree with removing Proraso. I tried several flavors when I started DE shaving and none performed that well for me. Their Single Blade cream OTOH is great.

My list, in no particular order, would be...

Mike Natural
Speick stick
Haslinger
Valobra
CRSW Select (I havent tried their Glide)
Wholly Kaw DM
Barrister and Mann
MdC
MWF (Although I don't use it anymore, to difficult to get a consistent lather)
Arko -cheap enough, give it a shot
Saponificio Varesino 4.3

Tons of great soaps out there

EDIT: I'll add that just because one may be a 'newbie' doesnt mean they should start with the less expensive stuff. Quite the opposite, I believe one should start off the bat with the top tier soaps/creams
 
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Wholly Kaw
Declaration Grooming
Barrister & Mann Reserve
Noble Otter
Oleo Soap Works
WSP Formula T
Sudsy Soapery
Haslinger
Tabac
Fine
Mike's Natural
Stirling
Soap Commander

These are the artisan soaps I'd direct newbs to.
 
Hmmmm, nobody seems to have mentioned Captain's Choice products yet. Scott's soaps, creams and aftershaves are all top notch products.
 
I would definitely recommend u try tobs jermyn street. Nice cologne scent. Also I know everyone raves about tobs sandalwood but I would recommend d.r.harris sandalwood cream. Better scent to me and a good cream.
 
Hi,

My list of essential soaps are,

Tobac stick
Haslinger
Arko
Williams

Tobac stick and Haslinger are two old world soaps that are still as good as any commercial offering you can buy. The scents are classic and lather quickly and had superb cushion and slickness.

Arko and Williams are another pair of classic that have been around nearly forever. But in these more modern days they are pretty polarizing with shavers. Everyone should at least try them.

Arko suffers from a scent you either like or just can't tolerate. But might be one of the easiest soaps to lather. It's slick and cushiony.

Williams smells nice and soapy clean, but often gets a bad rap for being impossible to get a good lather from. But if you spend the time to really learn it, it still makes about the slickest lather going, even if it's a tiny bit thinner. And it can often found for under a buck.
 
Another vote for Williams Mug. It's probably the most universally available, it's inexpensive, and is something that everybody can compare another brand to. Sort of a baseline reference point.
Even badly-made lather from it works well.
I prefer to use a "stickified" version of it.
I would personally drop proraso. It simply doesn't perform well compared to others on the list, IMO.
It depends.
Proraso Red is one of my favourites, for performance and scent. I'll always want to have some in rotation.
Proraso Green or White - I will never buy them again. They just don't seem very slick. I do not understand their appeal, especially Green, which perversely is the only kind I can find in local stores.
 
Proraso Red is one of my favourites, for performance and scent. I'll always want to have some in rotation.
Proraso Green or White - I will never buy them again. They just don't seem very slick. I do not understand their appeal, especially Green, which perversely is the only kind I can find in local stores.
Oddly enough I dislike proraso red, even though I love the scent. The performance is just not cushioning at all for me, and I get razor burn every time I use it. I have especially sensitive legs though.
 
Your list is spot on for a n00b. Within those brands, you will establish a good soap foundation. You will have plenty of time to go down Artisan Way.

marty
 
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