I have been interested in Mike's Natural Soaps as well as Mystic Water's Soaps, but have had a hard time getting decent lather from the pucks. I did an informal test as follows:
I wet each puck with warm water; soaked a Semogue 620 in warm water; loaded the brush for approx. 45 seconds for each and palm-lathered until I obtained what appeared to be the maximum lather I could get. After the "crown" of lather was formed on the brush, I removed it by very gently scraping my hand in an upward direction (i.e., toward the bristle tips) until it just came off in my hand. I then squeezed the brush much harder to view the amount of residual lather that was in the interior of the brush.
The soaps tested were:
A. Mama Bear's Ye Olde Barbershop
B. Mike's orange, cedarwood and black pepper
C. Mystic's Sandalwood Rose
The Results: Soap A was clearly the fastest to lather and gave the most lather. Soap B was significantly less than Soap A, but a bit more prolific a latherer than Soap C.
I was affected by the incredible love (i.e., hype) that B and C get , but I will start to phase them out. The problems I have with them are too real and not worth the trouble. Mama's and Mikes I have already shaved with and they both perform well once the proper lather is obtained. The one time I tried Mystic, it just didn't create a usable lather for me to shave with. For me, Mama Bear's is still the champ.
I feel bad because I used to live a few blocks from MiKe (according to the return address on the soap package) and I am always willing to help a fellow Brooklynite.