Queen Charlotte Hard Soap

What is your opinion on fine shaving creams and hard soaps? Do you like Trumpers, Coates, Taylors, Truefitt & Hill? Post your reviews and opinions here!
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TRBeck
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Queen Charlotte Hard Soap

Post by TRBeck » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:01 am

Gents,

I have been playing the field a bit more lately with soaps and creams, and I've learned a great deal about what I like and don't like, including some rather startling (to me) revelations regarding scent and brand preferences, but most of those are for another post. Right now I want to focus on one particular product: Queen Charlotte Soaps hard shaving pucks.

I have read rave reviews here and elsewhere about QCS cream, which is quite firm and functions like a soft soap/croap. To date, I have still only tried samples of this, and I was largely unimpressed by it prior to a successful pair of shaves last week. It is a good product, no doubt, but even my best lather from it thinned out by the time my second pass ended.

Despite these mixed results, on a whim, I ordered a puck of the QCS soap a couple of weeks back. I have always wanted to have an artisan-made non-glycerin soap in my repertoire, but few have existed, and the ones I've tried have underwhelmed me. Nevertheless, I thought I ought to give QCS a fair shake and try something other than a sample. I got my puck of lavender about a week ago and have lathered it up several times and shaved with it a few days in a row now.

It is truly fantastic soap. The puck is as firm as Tabac or AOS, not triple-milled of course, and the scent is straight EO, which is my preference. The lather it produces is on part with Tabac, exceeding AOS or any of the English soaps IMO. After loading my brush a bit longer than I would with a milled soap (about like I would with Tabac as one is picking up less soap from a less dense product with each swirl), I am able to generate ample lather for my three passes - I shave two passes and lather a third time for touchup/skincare and massage most of the third pass lather into the skin at the end of the shave. The lather stays dense and stable throughout.

The soap is tallow-based with ample amounts of saponified stearic acid. There's also shea butter, lanolin, and kaolin clay, all of which are potential skin irritants for some. I thought the first two would surely give me fits. However, I don't get irritation from this soap thus far. There is a slight tingle some days, but this could be owing to new blade experimentation and technique, as it is inconsistent and generally scarcely noticeable. Today there was no awareness at all, just a great shave.

I get a close cut with QCS, and there's plenty of glide despite the lather's density. Nevertheless, there is not the slick remnant left behind after shaving a pass that one gets with Harris, AOS, or even Palmolive. Rather, the skin is left feeling clean. I actually like the slick some days for touchup, but this is a minor quibble and a personal thing. Some no doubt prefer the completely clean feel of QCS.

I will be giving this soap a thorough testing before I order more pucks, but I find it very rewarding to use. I like the vibe of the English soaps some days, but I truly prefer artisan products. That said, it is possible that the minor irritant I'm experiencing is the lavender EO, as some lavender EOs and EO soaps/creams have bothered me slightly in the past. If that is the case, I can certainly get by with any of the other myriad scents QCS offers, and assuming no major problems develop in the next week of use with this puck, I'll be ordering some vetiver, some rose otto (a true rose soap!), and possibly a couple of others. Heck, I may even give the croap a whirl.

Regardless, I highly recommend the hard soaps from QCS. I haven't seen them reviewed extensively here yet, but I have a hard time believing anyone wouldn't be impressed with the lather.

Regards,
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Post by moz68 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:59 am

This excites me. I have a puck of Vostok on the way and am hoping to get similar results. The croaps are awesome performers IMO. Thanks for your input Tim.
Last edited by moz68 on Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jesse

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Post by Squire » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:26 am

Looking forward to more reflections Tim.
Regards,
Squire

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Post by Dapper Dad » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:22 am

I use the QC Vostok soap on a regular basis, and I agree with a lot of what Tim is saying. The lather is not thick and lavish, but the experience and shave quality is very "clean" and enjoyable. I reapply after every pass, but don't mind doing so.

Let us know what you think Jessie. I like the Vostok flavor so much that I'll likely try some other scents by Queen Charlotte in the future.
Eric

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Post by TRBeck » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:36 am

I do find the lather quite thick and abundant, but as I said I am loading for a bit longer than with hard-milled soaps. I find I have to load longer and with a dryer brush with soaps/croaps that are not milled, or else the lather will get very aerated and there won't be enough soap in the mix. Triple-milled soaps are more concentrated, so more soap is given up with each swirl, and a wetter brush will work.

Regards,
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Post by Dapper Dad » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:34 pm

Good advice Tim, I'll lighten up on the water. Maybe I just need a new brush. :wink:
Eric

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Post by Squire » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:58 pm

Certainly Eric, a new brush is always a good idea.
Regards,
Squire

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Post by drumana » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:37 pm

Tim - Nice write up. I'm looking forward to ordering up a QCS shave soap when I get a chance. I've already finished a couple of tubs of the shave cream, which works superb for me. The lavender smells great and the other scent offerings are very nice too, IMO.
-Andrew-

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Post by churchilllafemme » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:42 pm

That's a good thoughtful review, Tim. I appreciate it. I have some of the QC Basilica soap that I've used just a couple times, and I haven't made up my mind yet what I think of it beyond the fact that it lathers up really easily for me.
_______
John

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Post by m3m0ryleak » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:31 pm

Squire wrote:Certainly Eric, a new brush is always a good idea.
Just ask Gil, he'll tell ya!. :lol:

Tim,
Thanks for the review, I like the QCS bar soap and the "hard" shave cream somewhat less. I'll have to give the soap pucks a whirl
Tony

"They say that dreams are growing wild just this side of Burma Shave" - Tom Waits

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Post by brothers » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:03 am

Tim, thanks for the thorough and thoughtful review.
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 SRD » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:55 am

Thanks for the review. I just received 3 of the shaving creams but have not tried then yet. Will do so after a finish a couple of near empties.
Dave

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Post by TRBeck » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:52 am

I just wanted to follow up about the irritation thing. I have been experiencing intermittent tingling and light irritation of my skin for about a week or so now, and I was thinking it might be due to the QCS soap. However, I used my standby kit with Valobra soap today and had an identical experience of a faint annoyance to my skin. It occurs to me that this has happened before in dry, cooler weather, which we are experiencing (sort of) here in TX right now. Additionally, due to some meds I'm on following surgery, I'm experiencing a bit of dehydration. And, finally, I'm adapting to a new razor, which, while mild and user-friendly, is still different than the vintage Gillette I've been using for several months or the Merkur 1904 I used for a year before that. So, my technique, while certainly good enough to yield close, smooth shaves, may be just enough off to cause minor skin problems.

The irritation may be a combination of the above. Regardless, if anything, my skin felt better an hour post-shave yesterday than it does today. I'll do QCS again tomorrow, then a standby such as Valobra or Palmolive on Saturday and see where I'm at. Meantime, I'll try to hydrate myself better and perhaps use a bit of my Clinique PSH to see if I can avoid blaming skin dryness. Assuming things go well, I plan to use QCS as my primary hard soap going forward. If not, there's always the croap, and I've got a stable of good shave preps. So I can't lose...but I can win big if QCS works out for me.

Regards,
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Post by moz68 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:54 am

Received my Vostok SS yesterday and shaved with it this morning. Easy to lather, nice dense creamy slick lather in abundance. The scent is a nice peppermint. Face rinsed off easily afterwards. So far very happy with it.


Oh and Vostok is a very cold soap for those who like menthol. Cooler than Godrej mentholated.
Last edited by moz68 on Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Jesse

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Post by OtherMoe » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:56 am

moz68 wrote:Received my Vostock SS yesterday and shaved with it this morning. Easy to lather, nice dense creamy slick lather in abundance. The scent is a nice peppermint. Face rinsed off easily afterwards. So far very happy with it.


Oh and Vostock is a very cold for those who like menthol. Cooler than Godrej mentholated.
+1 - I think this is the most mentholated soap/cream I have ever used.
--------------------------
-Moe

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Post by Dapper Dad » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:20 am

Follow up from me...

Took Tim's advice (and his BK-4) and got much better lather results. I was using too much water and not enough soap. I don't want my former comments to deter anyone. Great menthol bang in the Vostok, I use it more times than not. I'm learning that not all soaps behave the same.
Eric

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Post by Squire » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:44 am

Indeed they do not Eric, or the same with different brushes for that matter. Not a concern though as minor adjustments in the lathering technique produce equally good results.
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Squire

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Post by michiganlover » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:48 pm

I have been working on a puck of QCS Green Irish Tweed Shaving Soap for about the last month. Makes a nice thick lather, and gives a great shave.

I think it's significantly better than the QCS Shaving Cream/Soap (soft soap) which I had several samples of. I could get a decent lather from that, but not stellar.

If it matters, I lather it directly on the puck (in an unbreakable apothecary mug) starting out with a fairly wet brush.
~JOHN~

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Go Slow. Proper Angle. No Pressure.

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Post by TRBeck » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:42 pm

John, I must concur that the hard soap is significantly better than the cream. I cannot get multiple passes worth of stable lather from a single brush-loading of my cream. It is good, but not great.

The hard soap is spectacular.

Regards,
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Post by brucered » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:32 pm

TRBeck wrote:John, I must concur that the hard soap is significantly better than the cream. I cannot get multiple passes worth of stable lather from a single brush-loading of my cream. It is good, but not great.

The hard soap is spectacular.

Regards,
don't tell me that....i have 2 tubs of CREAM on order :oops:
Elephants never forget!

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