Looking for opinions on a few soaps

Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Location
Sunshine Coast, QLD
Hi all,

l am looking to try a few quality shave soaps as I am fairly new to DE shaving and it’s time to step up from Proraso to something a little better.

I am planning to get 3 soaps from different makers in the $25-$30 range each to get a good feel for some different bases and wanting to buy locally to avoid the crazy COVID transit times for OS orders.

My current options and reason for selecting them are....

1). B&M Seville Excelsior (this base seems to be very highly regarded)
2). Noble Otter The Noir Et Vanille (love me a little vanilla and heard good things about N/O)
3). Fine Accoutrements Platinum (hard soap with a similar base to Tabac and Platinum is based on Creed Aventus scent)
4). Razorock Sicily or XXX (Razorock seems to represent good value with most of their offerings and they have lots of scents available)

There are others I would have preferred to put in front of some of these but there are so many that are out of stock at the moment. I am looking at Beard & Blade and VSHOD for these orders as I have had good experiences with both of these and they both offer fast and free shipping.

Would love opinions on any of these or on others of a similar quality that I could get delivered under $30 that you would recommend above these.

TIA
 

Razor Burn

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+1 Stirling and Artisan Arcade = great performance, generous amount of soap, multiple scents, excellent customer service
Squadron Soap's = great value, awesome soap base, excellent customer service, winning scents, local artisan
Face Fat, currently shutdown but a fabulous vegan soap base, scents OK, good value, local artisan
 

Mark1966

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+3 Stirling. . A few dollars more but packed to the brim with soap. Lather is awesome and surely to have at least one scent to appeal to you.
"A few dollars more ..." - maybe.

Worthwhile checking weight when making comparisons. The Stirling Soaps are larger, ~164g, than the, say, B&M or Noble Otter at 113g (that is 45% more).
 

rhodes96

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Australia
Hi all,

l am looking to try a few quality shave soaps as I am fairly new to DE shaving and it’s time to step up from Proraso to something a little better.

I am planning to get 3 soaps from different makers in the $25-$30 range each to get a good feel for some different bases and wanting to buy locally to avoid the crazy COVID transit times for OS orders.

My current options and reason for selecting them are....

1). B&M Seville Excelsior (this base seems to be very highly regarded)
2). Noble Otter The Noir Et Vanille (love me a little vanilla and heard good things about N/O)
3). Fine Accoutrements Platinum (hard soap with a similar base to Tabac and Platinum is based on Creed Aventus scent)
4). Razorock Sicily or XXX (Razorock seems to represent good value with most of their offerings and they have lots of scents available)

There are others I would have preferred to put in front of some of these but there are so many that are out of stock at the moment. I am looking at Beard & Blade and VSHOD for these orders as I have had good experiences with both of these and they both offer fast and free shipping.

Would love opinions on any of these or on others of a similar quality that I could get delivered under $30 that you would recommend above these.

TIA
These are a good selection of soaps to start with. I would go XXX over Sicily as you already have a soap that has a prominent note of vanilla in it. XXX has the scent of Aqua de Colonia.

I would also add a mentholated soap for those times when you want have that cooling effect during a shave. I would reccomend one of the Stirling Soaps from Artisan Arcade. Performance vs Value, they are very hard to beat.

Maybe add a fougere scented soap like Stirling Varen. Good thing with Stirling soaps is you can purchase locally from Artisan Arcade sample sizes of various scents to try. The sample sizes are very generous and go along way.
 
Joined
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Location
Sunshine Coast, QLD
Hey Guys,

Thanks for the tips so far. I was originally planning on just getting Stirling. I have set up and account on the Artisan Arcade website and started saving a few to my wishlist. Their range of scents is huge and most people seem to love the base. The issue if I go that way is that in order to keep within my COVID ravaged budget ($80-90 delivered), I would have to get just Stirling. Free shipping kicks in at $75, so I could get 3 full sized tubs, or 1 full sized and 5 samples. That represents great value, particularly with their generous sized tubs and samples but the downside is I would only be trying out 1 base.

The fact that so many of you are suggesting Stirling has me considering this option again though, as it would be easier to add the others one at a time down the track. Would love some feedback on the performance of the Stirling base compared to B&M Excelsior (or any of the others on my original list) from those that have used both. Looking for something with really good slickness and post shave feel.
 

Holiday

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@JasonC you cannot go wrong with Stirling. It's a good solid base, not as luxuriously creamy as MWF or some of the softer creamy soaps with exotic fats, but Stirling is a good solid performer and no irritation.
What are some of your favourite scents barbrshop, talc, bayrum, citrus, lavender? You can use https://trythatsoap.com/search/?q=stirling to compare similar scent profiles
@StratMan is a Stirling convert. https://paste-and-cut.com.au/community/threads/stirling-soaps.5830/post-152820
YMMV because I cannot get a slick lather from B&M unless I really work on it, but others swear by it.
 

astinus4

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Another vote for Stirling as a starting point. Barrister and Mann, Squadron and Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements are also top notch for future consideration.

In terms of non artisans, I highly recommend Mitchell’s Wool Fat, Tabac, DR Harris, Palmolive shave stick (Euro), Wilkinson Sword shave stick. Of course there’s also the infamous Arko which is a great performer and IMO doesn’t smell as bad as it’s reputation would suggest. 😏
 

rhodes96

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The issue if I go that way is that in order to keep within my COVID ravaged budget ($80-90 delivered), I would have to get just Stirling. Free shipping kicks in at $75, so I could get 3 full sized tubs, or 1 full sized and 5 samples. That represents great value, particularly with their generous sized tubs and samples but the downside is I would only be trying out 1 base.
Actually there is two bases

Beef tallow base
Mutton tallow base

From my experience, the Mutton tallow formula has a slighly creamier texture lathering , and noticeably better post shave feel.(YMMV) That's why I also reccomeneed Varen to try, as it's a fouguere type scent in the mutton tallow base

Happy shaving.
 

TomG

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Stirling soaps have always been solid performers for me.

But, in your list, you have Noble Otter The Noir Et Vanille, which I think is really good as well.
I was expecting from the name a tabacco vanilla scent, but the "Noir" is actually a black tea note. It makes for a great scent in my book.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Location
Sunshine Coast, QLD
OK, thanks again for all your tips. I have decided to go with the Stirlings and then just grab the others one at a time over the next few months. I went with a tub of Executive Man (scratched that Aventus itch) and 5 sample tubs. $78.20 delivered for 6 soaps that were endorsed by every comment received on this post. So excited to receive these now.

@rhodes96, thanks for the tip on the Mutton tallow base, I did not pick up on that initially. They seem to have 5 soaps available with this base, but unfortunately none of those scents made it into my final selections. Not a huge fan of pine, eucalyptus or forrest scents and most of these are in that style.

What are some of your favourite scents barbrshop, talc, bayrum, citrus, lavender?
@Holiday, not a big lavender fan. My current faves are citrus, vanilla, rum, spice, plum and also like a little hit of menthol, so have included samples of Orange Chill and Margaritas in the Arctic.
 

Mark1966

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Jason, thanks for the order. We have a Scent Selector on the shop page that can be used to select the scent notes you are after rather than going through each soap, one at a time.
VERY cool!
 
Joined
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Jason, thanks for the order. We have a Scent Selector on the shop page that can be used to select the scent notes you are after rather than going through each soap, one at a time.
Hey @Ozwhisker, great feature of the site and I did use it, but I ended up going into most to read the notes anyway. Looking forward to giving these soaps a run.

I picked out 6 scents today but there were at least that many again that I am keen to try. Once I find my favourites, I will look to get the matching splashes & EDTs.

How would you rate the Stirling splashes on a dry to oily scale? For example I have found Proraso Red splash to be quite an oily, moisturising splash and Fine's splashes tend to have a dryer finish.
 

Gargravarr

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Hey @Ozwhisker, great feature of the site and I did use it, but I ended up going into most to read the notes anyway.
This is a good policy anyway, otherwise you can end up making cockups of choices like I did with B&M Cheshire, which is a fine soap, but I can't stand the smell of patchouli. I read their blurb which said something about evoking the scent of Earl Grey tea (a smell I do like) but didn't read the ingredients list properly. A good soap lasts a LONG time, so if you can avoid mistakes, the happier you'll be.

Having said that, some of my mistakes have grown on me. My first question I ask myself when trying a new soap is "will I replace this when it's gone?". When my tub of Noble Otter Two Kings arrived, I was on the fence about it and would have maybe said "no", but it is now a firm favorite, and I sometimes find myself just opening up the tub just to have a good sniff.

Edit: BTW, Stirling Bergamot Lavender has the dominant notes of B&M Cheshire, but without the patchouli, and you'll find in another thread that it's my pick for my Desert Island Soap...
 
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Joined
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@JasonC i am def a convert for Stirling soaps, awesome soap plus great value for money also.. congrats on your purchase. One soap you have not mentioned above that i feel deserves a mention is A&E soap especially the kaizen base (but the previous goats milk base is also excellent)

Fine Accouterments make an excellent soap, in protection and slickness but loses some marks for post shave feel.. an application of witch hazel fixes this issue and fine soaps are great value and yes your right very similar to tabac.
 
Joined
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Location
Sunshine Coast, QLD
Hi @StratMan, thanks for your input. A&E Kaizen is no.1 on my wishlist. Unfortunately I can't find anyone with any stock locally atm.
Thanks also for tip with the Fine products. I use Thayers after every shave already (love the stuff) so hopefully that won't be an issue when I get some of their gear.
 
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