There's a new hobbyist soap-maker on B&B. Mike from http://www.mikesnaturalsoaps.com/Mik...s/Welcome.html.
The description of his soaps (main ingredient: tallow, with lanolin and other good stuff present) made me want to try them out, so I ordered a couple last week. They arrived on the weekend, and I've used them a grand total of twice..................so take this review with a grain of salt.
The ones I ordered were - Lavandin and Eucalyptus, and Barbershop. He also sent me a generous sample of the Rose and Cedarwood.
The soaps were packaged nicely, like most artisan soaps are. They're rough-cut, and are rectangular, so you'll need an appropriate container for them.
Like most artisan soaps, the first thing you notice when you get the package and open it is the scent. Mike has done a good job with the proportions, and they're not overwhelming (I have a very sensitive sense of smell, and too much scent is an issue for me).
The Barbeshop fragrance is really nice - makes me feel good, but I can't really describe it, so I'll leave that to the experts. The Lavandin and Eucalyptus smells like Eucalyptus when you sniff it, but I haven't used it yet. Other notes may turn up when I use it. The Rose and Cedarwood also smelt like rose mainly. All the fragrances were lovely, but the Barbershop really called to me, and I stuck it in a container, ready for use.
The soaps feel slick, even when they're not wet. I used a vintage Plisson (shaken dry) to pick up the soap, and then I built the lather in a bowl. It was easy, and the lather quality reminded me of what I get from Tabac. It was thick, creamy, and easy to build. It felt great on my face, and the razors seemed to like it too. I don't soak my soaps, and the bar is on the hard side, so you'd need a brush with some backbone if you lather the way I do, but it was easy to pick up enough product for a 3+ pass shave.
I was very impressed with the performance. My skin liked the soap too - it did seem to keep my skin hydrated and supple. The thinig that really stuck out was the scent - I really love it! I kept doing more 'touch-ups' just so I could smell it on my face a little longer.
Once it was rinsed off, the residual scent was minimal, and didn't clash with my after-shave.
All-in-all, a couple of very nice shaves. It's early days yet, but it seems like this is a winner.
Price: $8 each - on par with other artisan soaps. Shipping is very reasonable.
Fragrance: A big thumbs-up from me for all of them, especially the Barbershop
Slickness: It doesn't get slicker than this
Thickness of lather: As good as anything I've used
Skin reaction: No adverse effects of the fragrances used, and my skin liked the other components.
Post-shave: Skin stayed supple, and there was minimal lingering fragrance.