melt and pour, glycerin and such things

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!
nicodemus38

melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by nicodemus38 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:20 pm

There have been some great fighting over the definition of melt and pour soap versus glycerin versus "artisan" versus regular commercial soap on the nook last month. Some nook member got banned for supporting various products as being soap.

Example, col conk soap. Was dismissed by moderators as being a simple crappy melt and pour piece of crap, several members I know got banned because they said conk was actual soap, not melt and pour. Then after the "undesirables" were gone, moderators decided it was an actual soap, but the molecular structure was so simple that it was a melt and pour soap based on how well it melts in a double boiler. And due to certain ingredients like sorbitol and surfactents in it.

arko
Williams
TOBS cream
HARRIS

And many other high quality soaps and even creams will melt easily. Ive seen many posts on how highly regarded soft soaps easily melt in the summer mail delivery system. Even see the warnings on retail websites noting that fact about ideal times to order some products. Arko is well known for its ability to melt in a double boiler.

Wet shave obsession soaps are getting a great life and love and review over on shave nook. The issue is, they are a melt and pour soap. using shavenook ingredient standards. ingredients that get a person banned for declaring col conk to be an actual soap, get this product listed as a true high quality artisan soap. Only thing I cant do is find a source for this persons soap base.

its so easy to see why so many men have closed their fists, lifted up the third finger and waived at the whole artisanal soap movement joke, and gone with something tried and true and proven since 1900 or longer and just buy good soap from Italy or England.

Whistler
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Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by Whistler » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:42 am

I would be one of those guy's who don't buy into the whole home made soap craze, the closest I came to buying an artisan soap was the first variation of XXX, and it is still sitting in the closet unused because I have to many world class hard milled soaps to use up. I stay out of the soap forums on the nook because I can't read the same review over and over and over every time someone tries their hand at soap making. I guess buying artisan soaps every week is like being hooked on buying vintage Gillette razors or brushes or whatever AD gets a bite into you. I just never had that bug.
Regards,
Marty
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brothers
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Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by brothers » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:02 am

nicodemus38 wrote:. . . . so many men have closed their fists, lifted up the third finger and waived at the whole artisanal soap movement joke, and gone with something tried and true and proven since 1900 or longer and just buy good soap from Italy or England.
A few of the really great ones, those tried and proven since 1900 . . . good soap from England, are gone forever, specifically GFT, Floris, AOS (Gillette P&G) quitters who stupidly just stopped making the good stuff and are still masquerading around with their cardboard and wax that won't lather anymore. Secondly, and far more important, is the fact that those crappy ones have simply been replaced by other men and women who work very hard to fill the gap with new soaps that perform spectacularly. Sure, within that new market, you will find uninformed nerds who want to debate over innocuous details that nobody really cares about, as you have pointed out above.

Also, we should never forget the ones who have successfully resisted or overcome the dark days of reformulation to live another day --- Valobra, D.R. Harris, Penhaligons, Taylors, C&S, just to name a few. Furthermore, it is a fact that the best of the new soapmakers are making and selling their new soaps in large volumes. Finding a need and filling it. There will always be old fogies (of any age :D) who will sit petrified and pining for the good old days as the rest of the world continues to live and thrive.
Last edited by brothers on Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gary

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

nicodemus38

Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by nicodemus38 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:31 am

as far as the English soaps go, I hear mainly "thin and weak lather" but the creams are still good. Its a touch of something to have that royal patent on the lid. The queen chose wisely when she gave the patent to Twinnings of London and to Mr. Walker of Scotland.
I might not like the queen, but for certain things her taste is great. ANd it means something.


when the popular artisans buy pre made soap from a company, its ok because they are giving us scents the main companies don't.
well the main companies don't give us geranium-orange-patchouli-watermelon for a reason. it sucks

It was hard to decide to put down 10 bucks on a tube of LEA classic cream even though 2/3rds of it lasted me about 5 months.
Paing 25 for a 4 ounce tub of "artisan" made melt and pour is an insult.
but the thing is I see so much good about the harris creams, taylors, that its like a no brainer. Its just a matter of scent strength. and complexity.
I don't mind some variation in how the soap smells from use to use, but I need consistency. LEA classic could not give me any consistency in scent. And I couldn't take it anymore.

brothers
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Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by brothers » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:44 am

Yes, creams are a whole different animal, and all of my comments here are regarding shaving soaps, definitely not creams. Just to be crystal clear.
Gary

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

nicodemus38

Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by nicodemus38 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:39 pm

to many artisans get credit for being what they aren't.

if the English would sacrifice a few cows or sheep and put the fat back in the soap... things would be good.

brothers
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Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by brothers » Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:18 pm

Speaking of tallow, it's not as clear as it might seem. Art of Shaving's soaps used to be among the best, made by Valobra with tallow. Then P&G bought the brand and went with a new non-tallow recipe, and now sports a mediocre soap that's related to the past in name only. Valobra kept the tallow and added new fragrances to the hard soap line with the Valobra brand, still as fine a shaving soap as any other. Czech and Speake ignored the rush to dump the tallow, stayed with Valobra's tallow formula and suffered no loss of reputation. In contrast, Penhaligons dumped their tallow soaps and replaced them with a horrible non-lathering soap before they quite wisely came up with a far better great lathering non-tallow formula and are introducing new fragrances (Sartorial and Bayolea) of excellent shaving soaps. To it's detriment, Trumpers stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the failure of their shaving soap reformulations, and it has been my personal experience that nobody is buying Trumpers shaving soaps, other than the innocent consumers, apparently driven by fragrances and packaging, who don't know the ugly facts about GFT's currently produced shaving soaps. Cella? Tallow and going strong. 3P? No tallow, and is very close to Cella. The mystique of tallow in shaving soaps is an attractive subject of a lot of discussion.
Last edited by brothers on Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gary

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

nicodemus38

Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by nicodemus38 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:54 pm

and the same can be said with lather enhancers. MWF has at least one water/lather enhancer in it, and yet has the reputation for horrid lathering unless you use blue moons and unicorn tears.

brothers
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Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by brothers » Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:22 pm

MWF is another of the iconic English soaps that stayed with tallow and never skipped a beat.
Gary

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

CMur12
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Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by CMur12 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 7:19 pm

First of all, I use soaps exclusively, so I can't speak to creams.

Second, some broad generalizations have been made about artisan soaps, which leave the truth rather dilute.

When I first came here, artisan soaps were of the melt-and-pour/glycerin-based variety. In this case, the "artisan" generally bought the glycerin soap base and added fragrance or natural scent to it. The big advantage of glycerin-based soaps is that they are excellent carriers of natural scents, as they don't degrade them through a process of saponification. The downside of this class of shave soaps is that, while they have good glide, they usually offer less cushion. Since I use mild razors and seek maximal glide and minimal cushion, this was never a problem for me.

In more recent years, we have had artisans formulating and creating true soaps from scratch. Many of these, if not most, have been very good. I haven't tested every new artisan soap that comes out, because there are just so many, but I have found several that are exceptional and I use these more than the "big brands" now. At the risk of generalizing, myself, artisan soapmakers have been much more responsive to the desires of their buyers, while many of the traditional English brands (MWF being a notable exception) have made some wretched reformulations and have seemingly thumbed their noses at the customer. Of the traditional brands, my favorites are Italians: Valobra hard soap and Cella soft soap, which have maintained their high standards and have not resorted to reformulation. Ultimately, I see artisan soaps as the future of traditional wetshaving, as the big brands may not be able to justify production for such a small niche market indefinitely (or they may just continue to be unresponsive to the customer and lose market in that way).

My favorite soaps used to be all tallow-based. Lately, however, I have used some artisan soaps that are not based on tallow and that have all the performance characteristics I once thought exclusive to animal-fat-based soaps. So, live and learn, there are other factors at play here.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

nicodemus38

Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by nicodemus38 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 7:52 pm

Artisan has been taken to crappy standards below reality. Put artisan on something and anyone will think its better. Put a puck of your least favorite, worst lathering hard soap from trumpers or tobs or truefitt and hill, and it will get rave reviews if you put it in an "artisan labeled container".

If your going to sell something like artisan soap, the production needs to actually meet the definition of artisan. No offense, I used to make soap. I know what it takes for one person to make a batch of soap. and the amount of soap you get in a normal batch. And sadly when an artisan vendor has their newest release at 5 online vendors, and each vendor advertises they have at least 100 retail units of that new scent, you do the match.
newest release online ,500 units at 5 places. plus the "artisans" home page store advertising 300 units in stock..

Two things come to mind. That everyone refuses to accept. Each one is worse then the next.

You first think that due to the amount, and that the vendor claims its a single batch release, that they have the industrial capacity to make a 800 unit batch. How big are the units? 4.5-5.5 is common for most "artisan" labels. Some sell more in a tub. When that mass is calculated, you realize that the small mom and pop artisan with the cute labels is one of the following
1. In the possession of a commercial industrial plant.
2. Purchasing large amounts of premade base, and simply repackaging it.
3. Having it custom made by some independent company. Which is common among big companies.

Consider Razorock. Its supposed to be "artisan" but yet everyone admits online, that when the formula changes, its become the manufacturer changed.

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Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by CMur12 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:07 pm

Nicodemus38, are you saying that all artisan soaps are crap?

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

nicodemus38

Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by nicodemus38 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:22 pm

well the only artisan labeled soap ive used is razorock classic vegan. Its supposed to be wonderful, and next to godliness. It get such wonderful reviews, it almost sounds like it should lather itself up, and shave you to boot.

I knew a fellow on badger and blade. He traded 3 wood bowl pucks of tobs or truefitt and hill hard soaps for 3 sticks of arko. He said he might not have gotten a nicer smell in arko but he got a better performance. And his nicest comment on artisan was that he wouldn't trade 3 tubs of artisan soap for a single stick of arko on the basis he wouldn't want to screw someone over that bad on a trade.

most artisan soaps aren't even artisan. give enough money, and valobra will rescent their shave soap, and put it in a custom wrapper for you. doesn't mean its artisan because it has my custom logo.

CMur12
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Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by CMur12 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:35 pm

I've never seen anyone suggest that Valobra soap, under any brand name (AoS, C&S, etc) is an "artisan soap." I think we can agree that that would be inaccurate.

Artisan soaps that I have used and that I consider as good as those of any big brand are Mike's Natural, Mystic Water, and Tim's Soap. Tim has been especially innovative and his soaps effectively challenge the whole notion of tallow superiority. Of course, YMMV with these and the big brands. I have never tried Razorock soaps, myself.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

nicodemus38

Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by nicodemus38 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:48 pm

Im not a scent fiend. I have allergies. and I have only seen a few unscented artisan soaps. and I wouldn't buy from those folks.

[Edited inflammatory comments on other forums - Admin]

brothers
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Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by brothers » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:59 pm

Nic, in reading your posts, I see you have only used one individual product from one vendor that you consider to be obtaining his soap from an "artisan". Respectfully, doesn't this fact prove you are ranting about a mere unproven assumption on your part, and insulting many soapmakers whose products you have admittedly never used? No offense, but where's your credibility? Just my personal observation ---
Gary

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

nicodemus38

Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by nicodemus38 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:25 pm

[-X use your thinking and almost 4 out of 5 threads on [Edited inflammatory comments on other forums - Admin] would need to be removed.

if you go to a doctor and they don't even know half the information found on the back of a bottle of aspirin in regards to usage warnings,,, you get a new doctor that day.

If you TALK with a self proclaimed artisan, of any craft or trade, and they don't even know the basics of their craft.. say the soap maker who has no idea of what "tallowate" means, or a cheese maker who doesn't know what rennet is... you find one that does.

people say mwf is all natural and pure even though it contains lather enhancers, the same ones that Williams contains. And those people say Williams is unpure crappola.

people say MWF is horrible to lather, it must be soaked and all that jazz. People say the same thing about Williams. I get great lather from Williams. I use a 3 step process that ive seen advertised for getting great lather from MWF.
I get great shaves from my old type Gillette. and I don't shim. Im told without shimming its impossible and a blood bath.

Ive seen how current formula t&h, trumpers, and taylors hard soap cant be lathered. But ive also seen how it merely is very water sensitive like MWF is. millage I guess.

I guess its like ammunition. One company says 1 misfire in a lot of 100,000 rounds is to many. while another company says, 45 misfires in a box of 100 is normal and acceptable.

SOme people tell me Art of Shaving is an artisan brand.

artisan is all about putting in scents that I physically cant tolerate. only a few have an unscented version. and the ones that don't offer unscented, seem to treat me like dirt when I ask about one. And no one selling these products will take a return unless the product arrives defective. And ya cant claim defective/damaged in shipment if you've used it.

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Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by Squire » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:03 am

I suppose any of them could be made to melt if one were determined enough. I really don't care about melting points or definitions, rather does the product work for me. One exception though, microwaving a bar of Ivory soap is a hoot.
Regards,
Squire

nicodemus38

Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by nicodemus38 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:30 am

ive heard that arko does indeed melt in a microwave, but some say it will double in size if you do. SO double boiler your friend.

now I don't have an interest in most instances is that they refuse to take returns on a product unless there is something actually wrong. Say it comes and the jar is empty, or the jar exploded during shipment. Then you can get a return on it. But if you open it, take a sniff, and end up on your knees puking...

no return. and from perusing shaving forums, its almost impossible to get rid of an artisan soap unless its made by 2 or 3 very specific companies. And I have no interest in collecting soaps.

I just made that link right now, from the soap trade threads on forums. If only a few of these totally wonderful {sic} products aren't even considered good enough to trade , unused but only smelled can of soap for say a pack of unused razor blades, and by fan boys who force it into every thread possible and being the best soap of all,,,,

how do I tell myself its worth buying?

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Re: melt and pour, glycerin and such things

Post by Squire » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:54 pm

If it interests me I'll buy it and since I paid for it will use it up even if I don't particularly like it.
Regards,
Squire

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