Have just finished working through some Mystic Waters soap samples and thought I would offer up a bit of a review of the scents. As always scents are a big YMMV item and it is exceptionally difficult to find an objective set of descriptions. So I won't bother trying but rather I will share some of my current favorite soap scents and hopefully it will help someone find a scent they may like.
I find that scents I enjoy in cologne or AS don't necessarily mean I will enjoy the equivalent soap - my preferences have arisen over a number of months shaving with a variety of soaps and seeing what I reach for most often. I don't have a fixed rotation, rather grab what I am in the mood for but I do enjoy some variety.
In general I like strong spicy scents - favorite colognes are Aramis Tuscany and Per Uomo, favorite soap is Tabac ( I agree it smells like the inside of an old handbag but love it and it works well on me). Tend to avoid lighter scents as they tend to disappear on my skin.
I have been on the hunt for some alternatives to my favorite Tabac and hence trying a few samples (have just received some of Mikes and will post a scent review of them too when done). Mr Taylors and Marlborough were nice but landed up being traded away as they were a bit too 1 dimensional. I prefer Irisch Moos to Arlington (agree Moos smells more artificial) but still doesn't hit the sweet spot. MWF is just a milky smelling soap so doesn't see much action. The previous Proraso white gets some action in hot weather but not the green. Enjoy St James AS but don't like the shave cream and the other cologne style creams I have tried - scent is just too strong at the top end and too much in the morning.
From QCS I love the Rose Otto but would like it with a bit of a base of sandalwood/cedarwood or something similar. Vostok is enjoyable because of the cooling but don't like the peppermint scent, so usually lather with something else.
Have just got some new Proraso Red and it looks like it will stay at the top of my rotation next to Tabac - really nice woody scent without being as obviously wood as say Mr Taylors. I wish Musgo Cream smelt like Musgo AS as I love that. Speick looks like it is about to become my goto summer soap and AS.
Hopefully that gives some context so here goes the Mystic Waters - all of these were tested in the same way, left in the open for a couple of days to mellow and shaved with for 2 consecutive days:
Think this one will be popular. Has a top note like a cologne style soap but a good woodsy spicy base. Just not nice enough for me to order a puck but one I would advice to those who like Tabac, Marlborough, Proraso Red. Is definitely lightened up by the cologne top note.
Cedar and Sage
Smells exactly like the name - the sage contributes an earthiness like dried sage leaves as opposed to a herby greenness. Once lathered the two scents blend even better and is one for those who like wood/earthy type scents. Considering getting this but it might not get a cooey due to my favorite of the samples
Went out on a leg when I got this sample as didn't think I would like it based on the description (was fearing it would be too strong a scent for me like the QCS Basillica). I was wrong. Once the scent had settled down it reminded me immediately of the spiciness of Aramis Tuscany - in my brain it has now short circuited to Tuscany Shave soap. Sharp spicy notes - smelling the puck carefully you can pick out the cinnamon but this is not evident from a cursory smell or the lather. Dries down well on my skin and goes with the Tabac AS . I am preparing to stockpile this soap.
Sandalwood and Rose
Be warned I am about to sledge this scent. The puck smelt too sweet and powdery for my liking, could detect the sandalwood but overcome by the sweetness. It just got worse after shaving with it - I smelt like an old nanna - it is the single most disliked scent that I have ever had on me. For most of the morning I caught wiffs of it and grimaced. Difficult to say who would like this as the sweetness is beyond what I have experienced with other rose scents (Rose Otto, TOBS, Mikes). So probably best that we just ignore this and put it down to my personal lack of taste Soft, powdery and sweet.
Definitely going to get me some Marrakesh.
I hope this rambling helps someone.