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The Fat! And about damned time, too! Thanks to Edinburgh!

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
Well, I lamented in another thread about not having tried Mitchell's Wool Fat after ten years of being on this forum. See here:


So, many thanks to @Edinburgh for offering to send me a refill puck of said legendary soap. You, sir, are a mensch!

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And having had the inestimable Title of Lather Maestro bestowed upon me by the Shave Gods (well the guys behind the curtain here at B&B)

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And having had the cheek to post not one, but two threads purporting to have a Foolproof Lather Method (TM), I figured I'd best not embarrass myself. So, I took to the InterWebz and stumbled upon this young genius, who unbeknownst to him, no doubt, exemplified the Method perfectly! Said method being load (fairly) dry, load heavy, add water s.l.o.w.l.y, and work it, work it, work it.


Watch this space for lather pics tomorrow! It's gonna be ...

 
I've had a couple of great lathers with it lately. No secret to it.

I used a lightly wet brush to load for 30 seconds. (I go less if I use on consecutive days)

Then just add water at any kind of a normal pace and mix it until it's consistent.

(I'm a bowl latherer)

I'm sure there are several ways to get a great lather from this terrific soap!
 

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
Wow, I should have tried this long ago! It is like Tabac in the performance arena, but without the "old lady's purse" scent so many complain about (that I LOVE 😍 followed by a generous dousing with The Veg!).

I must say I approached this with some trepidation because I had heard from so many sources that it is "finicky" or "hard to lather". I nailed it on our first dance, and frankly, don't know what the fuss is about. But that's from a guy who used Williams daily for over a decade because I "didn't know how bad it was" lol. I was too stupid to realize it shouldn't be working for me.

I will say, the video by young RetroShaver, posted above, was helpful, and reinforced my dedication to my normal approach for new-to-me soaps to start drier, load heavier, and hydrate slowly, and it worked just great! In the shots below, if you see a few bubbles it is because I wanted it that way. I used to lather like the young gentleman above, and my lather was the stuff of beautiful photography, but I learned from my SR shave brothers, and experience, that I like it a little wetter than he does. He's all gushy about the ability to "stack balls of lather on top of each other and have them keep their shape", while I prefer to hydrate just a little past that stage. I still get peaks, just not what a chef would call 'stiff' peaks. I had it there, and then went beyond it, because I like the way a slightly wetter lather shaves. Be careful if you experiment with this, it's easy to go too far and end with thin dissapating lather, but mine this morning was wonderful. I did whip it a bit more for the shave setup photo.

Reaction: This is great stuff! Very much on a par with my beloved Tabac, in terms of density, slickness, and post-shave face feel. I think it's called wool fat because it has lanolin, and I'm not sure Tabac does (I don't read ingredient labels, generally--I don't understand them), and that may be why, but this stuff is terrific, IMNSHO. It does not have much of a scent at all, and if I were to describe it, it would be "soap", kind of like La Toja. Sounds stupid, but it smells like nice soap. I don't have the schnoz-ability some of you do to describe scents. I see no reason why someone should be afraid of lathering this, however, I do believe most of the problems would be due to starting with too much water. The entire premise of my Foolproof(TM) method is that you must begin below the proper hydration level and creep up on it. If you get too far over the tips of your skis hydration-wise, it's hard to recover from. Don't let this soap scare you, though.

Shave was with my Merkur slant, vintage Schick Plus Platinum on shave #8, Sterling Boar Brush, followed by Thayer's WH and then Pinaud Clubman, FTW! I've been using the newly reissued Floid-The Original, and while they are different, to be sure, these two truly are The Kings of Aftershaves, in my book. DFS, 9.0/10 shave with little effort, in no small way due to The Fat, I believe.

First, second, and third pass lathers, in order top to bottom, followed by the shave setup. Again, don't mind the bubbles, this is exactly where I like my lather to be, YMMV, of course. Stack those lather balls if you like, this soap will do it!

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Overall experience ...


 
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Wow, I should have tried this long ago! It is like Tabac in the performance arena, but without the "old lady's purse" scent so many complain about (that I LOVE 😍 followed by a generous dousing with The Veg!).

I must say I approached this with some trepidation because I had heard from so many sources that it is "finicky" or "hard to lather". I nailed it on our first dance, and frankly, don't know what the fuss is about. But that's from a guy who used Williams daily for over a decade because I "didn't know how bad it was" lol. I was too stupid to realize it shouldn't be working for me.

I will say, the video by young RetroShaver, posted above, was helpful, and reinforced my dedication to my normal approach for new-to-me soaps to start drier, load heavier, and hydrate slowly, and it worked just great! In the shots below, if you see a few bubbles it is because I wanted it that way. I used to lather like the young gentleman above, and my lather was the stuff of beautiful photography, but I learned from my SR shave brothers, and experience, that I like it a little wetter than he does. He's all gushy about the ability to "stack balls of lather on top of each other and have them keep their shape", while I prefer to hydrate just a little past that stage. I still get peaks, just not what a chef would call 'stiff' peaks. I had it there, and then went beyond it, because I like the way a slightly wetter lather shaves. Be careful if you experiment with this, it's easy to go too far and end with thin dissapating lather, but mine this morning was wonderful. I did whip it a bit more for the shave setup photo.

Reaction: This is great stuff! Very much on a par with my beloved Tabac, in terms of density, slickness, and post-shave face feel. I think it's called wool fat because it has lanolin, and I'm not sure Tabac does (I don't read ingredient labels, generally--I don't understand them), and that may be why, but this stuff is terrific, IMNSHO. It does not have much of a scent at all, and if I were to describe it, it would be "soap", kind of like La Toja. Sounds stupid, but it smells like nice soap. I don't have the schnoz-ability some of you do to describe scents. I see no reason why someone should be afraid of lathering this, however, I do believe most of the problems would be due to starting with too much water. The entire premise of my Foolproof(TM) method is that you must begin below the proper hydration level and creep up on it. If you get too far over the tips of your skis hydration-wise, it's hard to recover from. Don't let this soap scare you, though.

Shave was with my Merkur slant, vintage Schick Plus Platinum on shave #8, Sterling Boar Brush, followed by Thayer's WH and then Pinaud Clubman, FTW! I've been using the newly reissued Floid-The Original, and while they are different, to be sure, these two truly are The Kings of Aftershaves, in my book. DFS, 9.0/10 shave with little effort, in no small way due to The Fat, I believe.

First, second, and third pass lathers, in order top to bottom, followed by the shave setup. Again, don't mind the bubbles, this is exactly where I like my lather to be, YMMV, of course. Stack those lather balls if you like, this soap will do it!

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Overall experience ...



Great review! :thumbsup:

The Fat has a permanent place in my den. :cool:

It is time to "Bust the Myth" (respect and homage to the wonderful Mythbusters television show) of The Fat being difficult to lather. Gives me great lather no matter how long it's been since I last used it - a day, a week, a month or longer. :thumbup:

And, in deference to the Austin Powers theme:
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Once you've had 'The Fat', you never go back. ;) :cool:
 

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
I realized I have two threads going on this. Sorry.

SECOND SHAVE WITH THE FAT

Yesterday I got a good lather first time out with it. Today, on shave #2 I dialed it in much better. While I said I like a wetter lather than our young hero in the video in the OP, I did notice that both he and Ruds Shaves use the SR and they both do use thicker lather than I do. I still do not like the "stacking lather balls" stage RetroShaver does, but I hydrated just a little bit less today and got a superlative lather. Still very slick, very comfortable, very good face feel after the shave.

I will make two observations

#1 This is difficult to lather Myth

This, frankly, is nonsense on stilts. This is one of the easiest lathering soaps in existence. That is not YMMV, if you are having trouble lathering this, read my FoolProof Lather Method(TM), because if you're having trouble, it is not the soap, and it is not hard water (Mantic59 has a great video lathering this in his notoriously hard water). If the problem is not the soap, and not your water, where is the problem, hmmmmm? You are overshooting the hydration level if you can't lather this. I'm not saying it may not be a little different than other products you use and may take a little practice, but it is very easy to lather. Period, full stop.

I think this may be classic "Internet echo", meaning some guy posted he had issues years ago, and this got repeated over and over again until it became received wisdom. This is one of the easiest lathering products I've ever used.

#2 This has earned its place in the pantheon of classic shaving greats

I do hope they are not considering reformulating this, like Tabac did. This has been a world-class, top-tier product for almost 100 years. If they remove the tallow they may make a great non-tallow product, but they will have killed another world-beating product, which would be a shame.

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I do hope they are not considering reformulating this, like Tabac did. This has been a world-class, top-tier product for almost 100 years. If they remove the tallow they may make a great non-tallow product, but they will have killed another world-beating product, which would be a shame.
Thankfully, it is the English. No offense to our English members, but they are delightfully traditional and eccentric :lol1:. I know, because, genetically, I am half of one.
 

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
Hahahaha. Well, the tallow Tabac, IMO, was the equal of MWF, they are both in the most rarified upper reaches of performance. What I find odd is how the myth that The Fat is hard to lather keeps propagating itself. I mean with Williams, I get it. It can be good, but it is finicky, no arguing with that. But The Fat? It practically lathers itself, I just don't get it.
 
Hahahaha. Well, the tallow Tabac, IMO, was the equal of MWF, they are both in the most rarified upper reaches of performance. What I find odd is how the myth that The Fat is hard to lather keeps propagating itself. I mean with Williams, I get it. It can be good, but it is finicky, no arguing with that. But The Fat? It practically lathers itself, I just don't get it.
I think this is down to people trying to bowl lather with MWF for the first time, maybe with harder water. They add too much water at the start, with the result being a bubbly protolather that just does not come together. The best results I've seen with MWF have been loading a damp brush fairly heavily and then going directly to a face lather where water is added gradually. Another way is to treat the MWF puck like a shave stick and apply directly to the beard followed by face lathering.
 

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
^^^^^^^
Agreed. Any soap will give you that problem if one proceeds as you describe, though, not sure The Fat is any different. I still think it's a myth. I find it as easy to lather as Tabac. Adding too much water at the start was what I was trying to help folks remedy in my lather posts.

In my opinion this thing is easy as pie to lather. People are creating their own problems with it.
 
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