Art o Shaving

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
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Quarterstick
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Art o Shaving

Post by Quarterstick »

The other night I found myself out and about with some time on my hands, so I wandered into the local Art of Shaving store to check out the soaps. I picked up a puck of the lavender and after only one shave I understand why it gets such positive reviews.

The reason this is in General rather than Soaps & Creams is that I wanted to mention some of the curious things I saw while there, rather than just rave about the soap.

First I saw this:

http://www.theartofshaving.com/Engraved ... ng-brushes

I firmly believe if properly aimed, this thing could take out a rhino. I also submit that if used daily to build lather you will have forearms (at least one) like Popeye in no time. In other words, it is one heavy brush.

Then there is this:

http://www.theartofshaving.com/Power-Sh ... vid=razors

I was like $175!? That’s crazy… but then I saw the spotlight on the handle.
Andy

An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and you have a dime.
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Post by brothers »

Guys like gadgets, don't we? The spotlight reminds me of the long-ago summer evening I had just installed a chrome headlight on my old Monarch bicycle and I rode it all over the neighborhood after dark just having a blast! I can see why they'll probably sell more than a few of those razors.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic & badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
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Post by Gareth »

I'm quite curious about the Art of Shaving products actually as I've never tried any of them. I have noticed that they seem to be at the higher end in terms of price. Does the price of the product also reflect the quality?

Gareth
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Post by Squire »

Gareth I think the price reflects what some people are willing to pay.
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GA Russell
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Post by GA Russell »

Gareth, I've never been to an Art of Shaving store, so I may be all wrong. But my impression of their modus operandi is that they take what chain stores would call "store brand" items, and instead of setting the price lower than name brands', they set the price higher!
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m3m0ryleak
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Post by m3m0ryleak »

Gareth wrote:I'm quite curious about the Art of Shaving products actually as I've never tried any of them. I have noticed that they seem to be at the higher end in terms of price. Does the price of the product also reflect the quality?

Gareth
Methinks a fool and his money,... well you know the rest.
Tony

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ShadowsDad
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Post by ShadowsDad »

m3m0ryleak wrote:[
Methinks a fool and his money,... well you know the rest.
Oh Man! Don't get me goin'!!
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CMur12
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Post by CMur12 »

The AoS product that I like and that I have been willing to pay for is the shaving soap. It is made by Valobra and it appears that Valobra charges a lot to make soap for other brands. AoS soap is unique in their scenting of traditional hard soaps with essential oils (EO), with the possible exception of the sandalwood. Since I am very sensitive to fragrances, the combination of an excellent soap and EO scenting, as well as an unscented version, makes this soap a Godsend for me and fully worth the price of $26.00 a cake.

AoS also makes a well regarded and reasonably priced after shave balm, and some like their shaving creams, which are also scented with EO.

AoS brushes and razors, however, are way overpriced IMO.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
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AxelH
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Post by AxelH »

They narrowly avoided a PR mistake in removing a vibrating brush from their in-store line-up. It's pretty ridiculous (I dare you to think about it for more than a full minute).

Apparently the store's sales associates are in the habit of dissuading customers who purchase straight razors from also purchasing an accompanying strop, which is a well-known necessity for properly maintaining the edge (under the wisdom that it voids the warranty on the razor!). The staff are usually either uninformed or disinformed, in that they dispense disinformation, rather than information or misinformation.

There are reports coming in that convey a general sense of Proctor and Gamble's profit model for THE Art of Soulessness stores, and it is not reassuring.

I'm just sorry to see a tallow-based, hard shaving soap being sold, available in the "real world" that is pricey, and of course in the shadow of P&G's bank account.

Hate most of the other products, exorbitant and unnecessary. More appropriate for sheeple than people.
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AxelH
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Post by AxelH »

And now that I've looked at their shaving soaps it seems they only mention it being made of glycerin and coconut oil, which implies they reformulated and no longer contain the tallow, which was its only selling point to me. Nice if someone could confirm this (I don't trust sales staff, in-store or on-line).
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Post by brothers »

AOS soaps with their tallow Valobra-based formula are superb, and the only reason everyone doesn't use them all the time is the fragrance and the price. I'd equate a glycerin and coconut oil AOS shaving soap to a $26 cake of VDH. I'm one who will doubt any reformulation of AOS soaps until I've seen it with my own eyes. Just the thought of it depresses me.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic & badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
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Post by LouisIII »

Their soaps have always been described that way. Geo F Trumper and some others label their soaps similarly, at least online.
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CMur12
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Post by CMur12 »

AxelH wrote:And now that I've looked at their shaving soaps it seems they only mention it being made of glycerin and coconut oil, which implies they reformulated and no longer contain the tallow, which was its only selling point to me. Nice if someone could confirm this (I don't trust sales staff, in-store or on-line).
Valobra and AoS have been highlighting these ingredients for some time without reformulating.

After P&G acquired AoS, because of worries about what they would do to the business and this highlighting of non-tallow ingredients, I bought up a lot of this soap out of fear of reformulation. While I don't really regret having a lifetime supply of AoS and Valobra hard soaps, I have heard no rumblings of reformulation or of change to the basic Aos business model, for good or for bad.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
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Post by river1 »

I have several AOS brushes which were made by Plisson and the ones that come with their $100 Kit are quite a good value as I love the Sandlewood Cream, AS, etc. It makes a wonderful travel brush. The Lavendar is not my favorite from any Mfg. but all AOS shave creams produce excellent lather with a wonderful texture and smell; the lemon is another nice one IMHO.
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Quarterstick
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Post by Quarterstick »

In my opinion, the Art of Shaving is not really set up to cater to the hard core wet shaver. It seems to be marketed more toward a lifestyle image, which you can get a feel for from their website. Having said that, there are certainly some products which I think are worthwhile. I think the soap is priced just a little high, but it is very good and I am not sure you can get the exact same stuff elsewhere so I would buy it again. Some of the items can be had at better prices elsewhere, like the Merkur DEs. While other products just seem absurd to me, thus my original post.

As for the staff, this was only the second time I was in an AoS store; two different stores and both times I had a very similar experience. The people I dealt with were knowledgeable, friendly, and trying to sell me something. The most recent experience included a pitch to buy a straight razor, also a strop, pre-shave oil, post- shave something or other, some sort of cleanser, and so on. Both sales people were assertive, but not aggressive. Some of what they presented as fact is probably more appropriately presented as opinion, but I did not feel it was egregious.

So you make the call. If there is an AoS in your area it may be worth stopping in. As an educated wet shaver you can determine what you feel is worth the price they charge, but if you are easily dazzled you may want to steer clear.

By the way, regarding the formula of the soap these ingredients from the website match the box the lavender soap I just purchased came in, so tallow is still in the mix.

Sodium Tallowate, Aqua (Water), Potassium Palmitate, Potassium Stearate, Sodium Palmitate, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Cocoate, Potassium Cocoate, Fragrance, Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Lecithin, Petrolatum, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil , Tocopheryl Acetate, Titanium Dioxide
Andy

An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and you have a dime.
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