A couple of months ago I picked up a puck of williams at CVS. I figured I'd give it a shot and see how awful it was first hand. Well last night I was bored so I thought I'd try it out.
I wanted to give it a fair test so I treated it just like any other of my soaps. I splashed a little water on top of the puck and let my brush soak while I showered. After the shower I shook out my brush pretty well and poured the few drops of water that hadn't soaked into the puck into my bowl. I swirled the brush on the puck until it looked well loaded, probably 30-45 seconds of scrubbing. I went to the bowl and started building lather.
At first I thought, Oh I see what everyone is talking about...the lather was weird, kinda dry and it would fade away as I stopped swirling. I kept adding water to get it to the right consistency and it just kept taking water. I must have added maybe 30ml of water and it wanted more. The lather was overflowing from my bowl (which is pretty big) so I had to scoop some out and toss it so I could add more water. Finally I got it to the nice loose peaks consistency I like and went for the shave...
The lather went on ok. not as rich and creamy as most soaps but it had cushion and I couldn't see my skin under it. It seemed like the bibble structure was a bit bigger than other soaps but in the same realm as most vegetable soaps. The lather was not very slick but it was acceptable, after the blade went over an area my skin was dry and tacky, which was not so nice. However, I did a full 3 pass WTG, XTG, ATG shave with touch-ups and got a mostly BBS shave (progress with red personna).
So, my verdict. It's not awful! for $1.99 it gave a $5.00 performace
It was not hard to lather at all, took a lot of water but I usually consider that a good thing. Am I going to toss my other soaps and start using williams exclusively? no way. Is it better than arko for the same price? no arko is way better. If I wasn't into ordering soaps online and just wanted to pick up a soap at CVS then yes using williams would be acceptable (VDH deluxe is not a soap and is therefore a cheater in my book ) Plus if I ever need to shave while camping I think it might double as a mosquito repellant.