In praise of the soap kitchen
When I started to get really involved in wet shaving, I scoured the forum and the net in search of every product I could find. Classic Shaving and Vintage Blades became favorite vendors, in part because of their wide selections of great products. I oohed an aahed over the three Ts, Floris, and a wide variety of others. At the same time, the smaller vendors producing their own products didn't capture my attention or imagination, not through any fault, but because I wanted variety. The website for Saint Charles Shave in particular did nothing for me, as they only carried their own house brand.
Then, after picking one up in a trade, I tried an SCS cream.
Then I tried an SCS soap.
Now I can't get enough. I have plenty of choices in the morning, but the only thing that competes with SCS as my top choice right now is Gold Dachs soap (if you have a coarse beard, you HAVE to try Gold Dachs!). Now that uninteresting website is one of my favorite places to visit, to see what's new, and to check for my next must-have.
I'm not saying SCS is the best there is (although I do personally think they're one of the best for me); I'm saying that you should give the little guys a chance. I know many folks here love Mama Bear, many love SCS like me, and I'm sure there are several others as well. They may never have the glamour or the prestige of firms like T&H, Castle Forbes, or a laundry list of others, but they do have incredible quality, spectacular customer service, and a real live person to come on the forum and stand behind the product.
To close with an example, here's an excerpt from a recent thread:
redbike: "Since you like the three SCS creams I traded to you so much, if you ever see any SCS Cranberry Crush available, get it! It was a seasonal special over a year ago, and it's my favorite SCS cream. Sue offered to make up some more, but I still have two 2 oz. tubs, so am not ready for more yet. At some point though, I'll definitely want more. I'll let you know.
Nocturne: "Cranberries would get me highly interested... to me, its like the king of berries."
Sue (of SCS): "I'll try to make some Cranberry Crush later this week for a January fragrance. "
Where else will you get that kind of response?
Two things are aesthetically perfect in the world - the clock and the cat. - Emile Auguste Chartier