What is a croap?

Discussion in 'Shaving Soaps' started by cvargo, May 28, 2015.

    So there have been a few threads floating around asking about favorite croaps or what is a croap?

    I am curious as to what you consider a croap, and how you define croap.

    I think we can all agree that soaps like Tabac and MWF are clearly NOT croaps.

    Also Cella is croap.

    But beyond that what makes a croap? I have seen people call ARKO, Soap Commander (I don't see how this can be classified as a croap), and Stirling ( I consider this a croap) all croaps.

    So as always this is YMMV but I feel that there should be some clear distinctions.

    My definition of Croap is a soap that can be molded easily and has consistency thicker than cream, therefore the three that come to mind that meet this definition are Cella, Stirling, and Proraso(in tub)

    The outlier is Arko because this stick can clearly be pressed into containers, but I think this is clearly just a Shave stick. So I have three distinctions. Soap, Stick, Croap.

    Soap: Hard not moldable, can sometime be melt and pour. ex. Tabac, Soap Commander, Williams, Col. Conk, Van Der Hagen, etc

    Stick: Comes in stick form to be used to build lather on face. Some sticks can be softer some harder, but these are all sticks. ex. Arko, La Toja, Palmolive, etc

    Croap: A soap that can be molded easily, and has consistency thicker than a cream, but still classified as a soap due to ingredients used to create product. ex. Cella, Stirling, Proraso, etc

    Cream: An item that comes in a tube or tub, but has the consistency similar to lotion or a balm. ex. Proraso (tube), Godrej, KMF, TOBS, etc.

    Let me know what you think and how you define.


    Add: Food for thought:

    ICE = soap
    Snow = croap
    Water = Cream
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  1. If you can scoop it with your finger, fill your brush with it, and start lathering, it's a cream.

    If you can scoop it with your finger, but it requires a loading process (damp brush, Marco, etc.), it's a croap.
  2. My criteria:
    1. It's soft enough that it can't be sold as a puck. It's poured into a tub when made and sold in that same tub.
    2. It's hard enough that you have to swirl your brush on it to load; you can't just dip your brush in, give it a twist, and have all you need.
  3. I'm probably an outlier here, but my personal definitions go a step beyond the OP.

    Croap is an abbreviation for Cream-Soap. To me this does not mean the same thing as soft soap. Think about a tub of Cella. It's very soft. If I push my finger into it, it all parts and smooshes out of the way of my finger. If I were to put a spoon in the middle and drag it through the middle, the soap would again kind of "flow" out of the way of the spoon.

    Now a hard soap is obvious, it can't be pressed into shape and must be melted or grated to custom fit it into another container. I'm on the fence as to whether Arko is a hard soap or not, it can be molded, but not without some effort.

    Now take another softer soap (not mentioning any brands here), if you were do to the spoon trick I mentioned above, and instead of flowing around the spoon, it separates or breaks apart into smaller chunks as it goes (not very cream-like) then it is not a croap. It's just a soft soap.

    Just for another illustration, if you were to take a small chunk of it and spread it thinly across the table.... if it spreads evenly and smears it is a croap. but if it crumbles then it's a soft soap.

    Maybe I'm just being nit-picky and keying too much on the verbiage of Cream-Soap, but that's how I see it. I believe most folks refer to any soft soap as a croap, but I do not believe that most soft soaps are actually croaps.

    Sticks don't enter into the equation. A stick is just a deliver method like a mug or a bowl. A Shave stick can be made from hard soap, soft soap, or even a croap (no very well on the latter though, but a push-up type container can turn any soap into a stick).
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  4. +1 on this.

  5. I actually agree with you on a lot of points. You just articulated it better than I did
  6. If you can dip the brush tips to load, it's clearly a cream. Some creams dry out and require a very light loading, but you aren't building a proto-lather or anything.

    Everything else is a soap, just different levels of softness. Some are harder, like Pre de Provence. Some are softer, like Cella. If you can EASILY mold it, it's a croap to me.
  7. Chad you pretty much nailed it.

    ... and while KJ is nit picky, I agree with his assertions. I too think that Arko is more Soap than Croap ('bout as close as you can get).
  8. +1 for the Steward!

    FYI I couldn't have articulated this as well as either one of you. :laugh:
  9. Don't think there's any question that Arko is not a croap. It's way too hard for that. If it is indeed a soft soap, it is certainly the first soap that crosses the line from hard to soft. Molding it into a container with your fingers is quite a workout, lol.
  10. If it is consistency of Proraso green, it's a croap. Harder = soap, softer = cream. That's my standard at least.
  11. Pepin

    Pepin Ambassador

    If I can mold easily by hand it is a croap.
    Arko, Mystic Waters, Proraso etc.
  12. PMT


  13. Right!

    If someone does not have Proraso Green or similar think a croap as a putty and more or less (more like proraso, Cella tub is on the creamier side of croaps :) ) you can mould it.
    Soap is harder, you cannot mould with your hands (regular strong hands). Triple milled is a delicious rock.
    Cream you can not mould but have a wonderful mess.

    My 2Ec
  14. There isn't an actual substance called "croap." It's a catchy word that describes soft soap. It's fun to use (the word I mean.)
  15. Let me simplify this. Cella is, by their description, a Cream Soap. The term croap was coined to describe Cella, since it's not a cream, but also is too soft to describe it as a soap.

    Therefore if you want to define "Croap", all you need is a picture of Cella. If it's not that consistency.... It's not Croap.

  16. I like this concise definition. Well done BSAGuy!

    I only have the green but with red on the way, I'm curious how those will compare.
  17. Great thread ! I have felt for some time that we on the board throw the word croap around a lot. IMHO, XPEC, SMN, AdP and ABC Soap, are all soft soft soaps , I call them croaps but are they really ? Most of the Artisan soaps are soft soaps, but for some reason they are called soaps. I feel that the croaps should be in the soap section not the crème section as they are not the same as ABC crème, TH, TOBS, CF etc.
    could the term croap be a made up name and the artisans do not want to use it as it will land them in the crème section ?
  18. I'm starting to realize that although I wanted to buy some hard soaps my recent order is almost entirely croaps (the only exceptions potentially being proraso cream, arko and la toja). Does anyone know if Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements, Captain's Choice Bay Rum and the original AOS tallow pucks are croaps or not? I would like to have at least one hard soap but with the quantity of products I just ordered, including cella and 6 different RazoRock croaps, I will not be placing a new order for quite some time. Probably over a year, maybe even two if I can hold off.
  19. AOS Tallow puck is a hard soap for sure. Almost as hard as they come.

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