A Current Trumper Hard Shave 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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bernards66
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A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by bernards66 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:24 pm

I had become dismayed by a number of negative threads or posts regarding the Trumper hard shave soaps of late. Gents were saying that they didn't lather properly and were no longer worth buying. This was not only depressing in general but worrisome because most of the hard soaps I had used in the last 15 or more years had been from Trumper....they were my hard soap 'stand-by' and I loved some of their scents. I was/am especially partial to their Limes, Rose, and Almond versions. The most recent one I had was about three years old and it was fine but...what if? I knew, from that dreadful Floris No 89 soap of a few years back, that it was indeed possible that one of these venerable London firms might offer a soap under their name that was not acceptable. So, finally, when another of these bleak threads appeared I decided to contact Clive as he is a long standing member who I knew used almost exclusively Trumper hard shave soap ( Rose to be specific ) and ask him what he thought. He replied by sending me a bowl of the Rose soap that he had, in turn, gotten from Gary...who was unhappy with it and who claimed he could not sell it. Okay, so this must be one of those recently made specimens and now I'll know. The soap arrived today in time for me to use it for this morning's shave. I chose the Kent BK4 brush because although it is an excellent brush it is fairly widely used by SMF members and is not overly expensive or rare. To be blunt, the lather was superb, damn near as good as I remember the old tallow versions to be. It was thick and rich with good cushion and a clean cut. It also did not take me long to whip it up ( I just make the lather on the surface of the soap and lather my face from there ). No fuss, no muss, and no tricks...just an excellent shaving lather. So, if this is, indeed, a specimen of the soaps people have been complaining about then I simply don't understand. The only way not to get a good lather with this stuff would be either total cluelessness on how to lather a hard triple milled soap or REALLY bad water. The Tampa water is definitely not the best but I had no trouble at all with this cake of Trumper Rose. Frankly I've never gotten markedly better lather with any hard or semi-soft soap I've ever used.
Regards,
Gordon

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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by marsos52 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:27 am

I'm SO glad to hear this. Trumpers has always been one of my favorites, both in soap and cream. I have not restocked with it because of all the poor reviews I have read here on the forum.
the only good thing that did come about from all the negatives, It make me search for a replacement product and after going thru a handful of soaps I never tried before I found Mikes Natural Saops and I have been so happy with his products.

I will give Trumpers another with my next order I make.

Thanks so much for the great news.
Marc

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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by brothers » Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:17 am

bernards66 wrote:. . . He replied by sending me a bowl of the Rose soap that he had, in turn, gotten from Gary...who was unhappy with it and who claimed he could not sell it. . . . I had no trouble at all with this cake of Trumper Rose. Frankly I've never gotten markedly better lather with any hard or semi-soft soap I've ever used.
Regards,
Gordon
According to the end flaps: The Rose Soap was made in 2006. The Limes Soap was made in 2011. Neither one is a current formulation, unless I'm mistaken.

Just to be crystal clear, and completely correct, I never complained about the Rose Soap, that is an inaccurate statement. I was not unhappy with it, as reported in error. How could I be? it was never opened. I had WAY too much soap and wanted to thin the stock on hand. it was still in plastic, and I knew it had to be good because the vendor from whom I bought it had communicated with me before I bought it, and assured me it was the good stuff. I never had any doubt in that regard. I just wanted to sell the plastic wrapped soap and the new bowl and box it came in, and after I listed it at more than one shaving forum to sell, nobody, not one, ever wanted to buy it. I lowered my price to just a bit more than 1/2 of what I had paid for it. Couldn't trade it either. Finally, Clive bought it and confirmed that it was excellent, which was no surprise to me. I had posted a photo of the end flap giving the date of manufacture to prove it was one of the really good ones, and even then, no buyers. (Except Clive).

I told Clive I was very happy he had been able to give this soap a good home. But still nobody wanted the Limes, even after all of the above. I listed it on ebay for a starting bid of $19.99 with free shipping, and not a living soul worldwide, (on the face of earth) wanted to buy it for a bit more than half what I had paid for it. Yes, I was and still am angry that GFT has such a poor reputation that nobody is buying their soap, except two people: Clive, and me. Two people. I ranted, and had fun doing it. Wouldn't change a thing! :D Ultimately, I made a decision that I'd break the seal on the still NIB Limes and if I couldn't lather it, I'd throw it away. It lathered quite well! I was sure that it would, because I had also bought this soap from the same vendor who sold me the Rose, with confirmation that it was a good soap. I only bought it because I had been assured it was not of the batches of GFT soap that do not lather well, and has been widely reported on the forums. After confirming that the Limes soap lathers just fine, I posted that fact and have enjoyed the Limes every time I've used it with the badger brush. I'd much rather have sold it to someone who wanted it, rather than having just one more soap on my shelf.

If nobody's buying the Trumpers soaps, other than Clive and me, then what's wrong???
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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Mr.Max
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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by Mr.Max » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:31 am

All I know is that I had a bowl of current stock coconut oil soap a few months ago, and it wouldn't lather worth a damn. With my bk4, or any other brush that I have. I've been buying these soaps for years, and I don't have bad shaving water. It was totally useless compared to the other, slightly older stock, trumpers soaps that I had on hand at the time, which I've sadly used up at this point. Lately, I have been using Harris lavender and almond, Mitchell's wool fat, and Tabac as far as soaps.
~Matt

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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by bernards66 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:01 am

Matt & Gary, So, what you are saying is that; even though both this Rose cake and the Limes that Gary still has while having been bought fairly recently are still 'old' soaps? And if so, if the Limes was made in 2011 and is still good, then at what point did they go off track? And, how again can one determine exactly how old the soap is before purchase? It would seem that there's still quite a bit of the 'good stuff' around in various vendor's stocks. And if the brand new stuff is really that bad there is the possibility that it was just an 'off' production run. We had that with the Trumper ( and Harris's ) creams a number of years back. I got a pot of their Limes cream that was distinctly not right. I posted what turned into a very long thread called 'The crack of doom'. But some disagreed saying their pots of Trumper creams were just fine. Ken was one respected member who did so. Finally I just sent that pot of Limes to him and he had to agree that it was 'off' but insisted that he had never gotten a bum pot and I'm sure he was telling me the truth. Some other regular Trumper cream users got these bad pots ( and the Harris's as well ) but others, even others buying around the same time, never did. I wouldn't touch a new Trumper cream for a couple or three years after this debacle, nor a Harris's one. But every pot of cream I've gotten since, from either firm, has been excellent. So, 'the crack of doom' turned out to be a temporary glitch. Hopefully, that's the case here as well. Does anyone have any of these 'bad' cakes of Trumper soap that they'd be willing to send me?
Regards,
Gordon

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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by drmoss_ca » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:35 pm

You could use the Eucris soap, Gordon. It only exists in the new formulation so there wouldn't be any confusion.

Chris
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bernards66
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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by bernards66 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:26 pm

Chris, Yes, I suppose but even if the soap itself proved satisfactory I don't like the scent so I wouldn't use the soap regardless. No, I'm hoping that someone has a cake of one of the 'regular' scents that they see as 'bad' that they would be willing to send me. And I'd also like to know how one can date when these soaps were made by the package so if I go down to that shop south of here that carries some Trumpers I'll be able to avoid purchasing any from this lot. I mean, according to the above posts, this cake of Rose I have is almost 10 years old and yet it wasn't purchased that long ago.
Regards,
Gordon

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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by fallingwickets » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:31 am

Gordon, good luck with your search. Every single time I have asked to buy said 'bad' trumpers soap from a member complaining about it, i have never received an offer. Price cant be a reason because for the most part my offer always includes mention that I'm willing to pay fair value. In any event, maybe its all psychological for me: If i will my self to have good lather , I will have good lather no matter what the slimes at trumpers have cooked up. So there! take that trumpers HAHAHAHAHA

clive

p.s. Ive used soft soaps and creams that other people rave about that i think are terrible, so my opinions about all of this should be taken with a pinch of salt
de gustibus non est disputandum

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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by RazorRamone » Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:03 pm

There are few hard shaving soaps that I have not been able to create a decent lather with my T3 and soft water.

I tried several Trumper shave soaps over the past 4-5 years and eventually threw them out. I could not get close to a thick lather.

There are too many excellent shave soaps and creams on the market for me to bother with Trumper products.

RR

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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by Mr.Max » Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:02 pm

I would have definitely sent along that coconut oil soap but I threw it away awhile back. I'm telling you guys this soap was bad news. Trumpers used to be some of my favorite soaps, especially the rose. Before I bought the coconut oil soap I did notice that most of the online vendors were out of stock on it for a period of time before the newer lot of trumpers soaps showed up. My guess it that most coconut oil trumpers soap kickin' around at most vendors is new stock at this point.
~Matt

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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by Thalay Sagar » Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:36 pm

I have a tallow puck of Violet and it makes a very nice, creamy lather. In 2011, I purchased a of Rose that was as bad as the puck of Floris 89 I got around the same time. It even failed as a good hand soap. About a year later I bought a puck of Limes. The lather from it was serviceable, but was dry and crisp as opposed to creamy. I don't have these problems with other soaps, so I don't think it is a water or user thing.
Best,
Chris

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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by bernards66 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:16 pm

Chris, Interesting in that that cake of Limes that Gary has, and that he has discovered is actually quite good, is from, he says, 2011. And RR says that even cakes he got 5 years ago were no good and yet the two I have as well as the last cake of Limes that I used up awhile back are/were fine. So it's all quite..a...confusing. While I certainly don't want to get stuck with a useless puck, so far I've not had that problem and, apparently, neither has Clive. There were some posts a little while back regarding how one could tell when a given soap was made, by the bar code I think, but I don't know where those posts are. And I do find it odd that no one has responded to Clive's offers to send/sell him a bum cake. Unlike some other members, I am not of the opinion that there are plenty of other good shave soaps so what the hell. For me, the Harris's soaps are about the only ones that I'd actually pay money for today. Granted, the MWF and the Tabac are both fine soaps per se, but I have personal problems with both of them so they're not really an option. For me, if the Trumper soaps really are now bad, and stay that way, I'd be loosing all the hard soaps I'd buy save two from Harris's ( and even those make me a little nervous because the last cake of Harris's Almond soap I had I wound up trading for a cake of Trumpers Almond as the Harris's had no scent ).
Regards,
Gordon

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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by Mr.Max » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:38 am

I really do want to be able to use the trumpers hard shave soaps again. I would love to have a cake of rose and limes soaps especially. I just don't want to take the risk that I'm going to get a bum cake. Hopefully this is just a blip on the radar, and I can go back to using them again.
I definitely did get a bad coconut oil cake though, and I believe other members on here that got bad ones as well because it wasn't just me, or one or two other guys. The confusing part though, is how to tell exactly what it is that you will get if you buy.
~Matt

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Re: A Current Trumper Hard Shave Soap

Post by bernards66 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:36 pm

Matt, Yes, that does seem to be the main issue; how to tell by the packaging...if there is indeed a way. Back when some of us had that issue with the Trumper creams we knew that the pots that still listed the Curzon Street address on them were older and therefore safe but other than that there was no way to tell unless one could buy in person. Since, back then, I often could buy that way, I would simply open the pot and check before purchase. The 'off' creams had a distinct overly glossy look. But with wrapped hard soaps there is no way to tell until one actually uses the soap. I was also not the only one who received a cake of Harris's that had no scent, but other members who ordered around the same time did not get scentless versions. So, frankly, I'm a little hesitant about ordering either one. I'm mainly a 'cream guy' and since I currently have good cakes of Trumpers Almond and Rose ( plus a couple of other odds and ends ) as well as several pots of assorted excellent creams I think I'll just let the whole hard soap thing sit for awhile and see. I'm hoping that like it turned out with the creams that any problems with the soaps is just a temporary snafu and not a permanent state of affairs. A few members have posted that the Floris soaps are again excellent despite those dismal cakes of a couple of years back so, I'm willing to wait a bit.
Regards,
Gordon

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