"That Lather"

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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EL Alamein
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"That Lather"

Post by EL Alamein » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:49 pm

I'm going to take you all back a bit here to about a decade or so ago. This is pre-Crack of Doom.

In those days excellent tallow based soaps were still available. All the rage on the various forums was their beginning reformulation.

In those days many of us had correspondence with Trumper's and the like about the changing situation. If I recall correctly a representative of Trumper's admitted to someone here that their newly reformulated soaps didn't make "that lather" anymore.

I recall that about 15 years ago I was a newly-wed. I was just getting into the high-end stuff that all the English houses offered. I had ordered a cake of Trumper's Coconut soap and what arrived was their old formula soap. I loved it. It made "that lather".

Now fast forward to the present. I know now that we have very hard water. We live in a suburb of Philadelphia. Hard water is a b!tch. I've had my struggles with it going through experiments with distilled water (excellent alternative to hard tap water) and lathering techniques.

Many of you know I have a life-time supply of old formula Taylor's and I use it most of the time. But recently though I decided to try a little nostalgia experiment.

Through the generosity of member here, Churchillafemme, a few years ago I was able to obtain a cake of the old formula Trumper's Coconut shaving soap. I rarely used it since I acquired it because I want to preserve it for nostalgia sake. The scent always takes my back to that small apartment my new bride and I shared as newly-weds. Well I decided to compare it to some modern soaps like the No 89 I bought a few years back (thoroughly reformulated and yet excellent).

Switching between a few soaps and it for a few days brought back the distinction of "that lather". Many soaps are excellent and very worthy but the tallow based Trumper's was just superior, it made "that lather" of yore. It's hard to describe yet so evident in hard water that the old soaps just were a notch above most anything offered today.

I guess this post is more about pining after what used to be and I hope that one day we'll get back to that. There are still a few soaps out there that perform like the old stuff but my hope is that all the high-end stuff will return to their former glory.

Chris

brothers
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by brothers » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:12 pm

Chris, it would be awesome. I'm with you. Many of the active shaving soap artisans are making and selling some top shelf tallow soaps right here right now, some triple milled, at fair prices. Some of the best are located in UK. It is clear to me that IF folks like the 3T crowd simply got up one morning and changed their formula to tallow based equal or better than in the past, there'd be no resistance whatsoever. They can do it. Do they want to do it? Obviously NO. I say they simply don't care. "That lather" is currently selling an avalanche of shaving soap. Wouldn't it be a hoot if one of the ghosts of lathers past were to post and say something like "We would change our formula tomorrow if it weren't for ___ that has forbidden us from doing so."
Gary

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Brutus
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by Brutus » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:58 pm

Haslinger recently switched from tallow to non-tallow shaving soaps.
Last December I spoke to the owner who told me they had wanted to switch to animal-free products for quite some time, but that it took them a while to get the formulation right.

The ultimate test before releasing the new product to the public was to ship one puck of the old formulation and one puck of the tallow-free formulation to distributors and challenge them to tell which one was superior.
Haslinger took the fact that distributors could not say as proof that the tallow-free product was as good as the old one.
An opinion that after some initial grumbles most users have come to share.

If an Austrian company can do it then maybe the Brits didn’t try hard enough 15 plus years ago and the sometimes quoted myth that it was because of EU rules is just that - a myth.


B.
Last edited by Brutus on Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CMur12
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by CMur12 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:27 pm

I was spared all the turmoil among the British soaps by the fact that they were all heavily fragranced, constituting and assault upon my olfactory. As such, I looked elsewhere and ended up settling on Italian soaps. My favorite commercial soap is Valobra's hard soap, which has not been reformulated, as far as I know. It still has tallow in it. The same with Cella soft soap.

In recent years, I have also found some truly impressive artisan soaps. Artisan soapmakers have come a long way from the old melt-and-pour, glycerin-based products of yore (which I, personally, liked just fine). They actually make soap now and they do a good job of it. They listen to their customers and they accommodate the customers' desires. It is the artisan soapmakers who offer quality soap scented with EO, while none of the traditional soapmakers (with the exception of Valobra for The Art of Shaving) have been willing to do this.

- Murray
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drmoss_ca
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by drmoss_ca » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:04 am

I have old formulation creams and tallow soaps from the big names from that era. Chris is absolutely right: they outshine the palm oil crap and don't come with a free, but dead, orang utan. I don't suppose Brexit will mean the reversal of the EU directives that have destroyed some of our favourites, especially with regard to scents. The money men who run these companies these days will see no reason to use anything but the cheapest ingredients.
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fallingwickets
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by fallingwickets » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:16 am

As a non soap nerd :D but one who has for the most part used the same soap for 10+ years, I can't tell the difference. There must be plenty of others just like me, and so its understandable why a trumpers et al won't go out of their way to make 'that lather'

clive
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Gene
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by Gene » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:46 am

When I got back into wet shaving (2008) the move away from tallow was in full swing. It took me quite some time to develop a taste for soaps - I only ever used creams back then.

But, I noticed one day that my shaving rotation had distilled down to this:

1) Creams in a tube if I shave in the shower (some days I need to shave, but am pressed for time)
2) Creams for when I travel (I bought several of the small Coates travel tubes - so nice!)
3) Soaps for everything else

The only soaps I use now on any regular basis are Cella (and they boast that their formula is unchanged since the 1800's) and Mitchell's Woolfat - which lists tallow as a first ingredient, but the other components are things I can't pronounce, so I am not sure if the tallow content is the same as it once was.

I also have two cakes of Woods of Windsor soap - I THINK they are the tallow version - I know they made two styles - but I don't remember for sure. Got them from the BST section of our forum.

I have some other soaps, but they are in plain tubs, too, and I don't remember too much about most of them and hardly use them.
Gene

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EL Alamein
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by EL Alamein » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:48 pm

I am very appreciative of all the replies. I admit I am out of the loop on the newer stuff that may be as excellent still as that of the old Houses. I haven't bought anything new in years. The Taylor's supply I have is old formula and makes "that Lather" in spades so I am content in that aspect, I guess. Just wish so many venerable houses didn't change what worked so well.

Chris

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Janus
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by Janus » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:44 am

Here's an old house moving against the current, apparently:

https://www.cyrilrsalter.co.uk/products ... 5428871305

No first hand experience, though, so I don't know if it's any good.
Janus

brothers
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by brothers » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:50 am

Awesome! Hopefully we have members who've ordered this new tallow based shaving soap, and can give us some feedback on performance.
Gary

EL Alamein
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by EL Alamein » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:01 pm

Janus, thanks so much for this. I have to tell you that it comes just as I recently used my Salter French Vetiver cream the other day for the first time in years. It's so old it's still in the white pot with the double walls.

When I was using it the other day I was reflecting on how good it is and that I should use it more often. I was a big fan of Cyril Salter's creams and thought them the equal to the three T's. I do not know if they are still as good as they used to be.

That Salter cake, off the cuff, strikes me as a MWF cake scented differently. Maybe it's the label configuration and ingredients list that reminds me of this? If it is made by Mitchell's then it's probably going to be excellent. And with a lavender scent to boot? Fantastic!

At this point, I'll be waiting for many field reports though before making any moves.

Here's hoping for the best.

Chris

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blantyre
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by blantyre » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:26 pm

I have wondered if the big players dropped tallow out of fear of product liability now that “mad cow” disease is a constant background story. Even the suggestion that someone had a problem e.g. a frivolous law suit, could more or less destroy a brand overnight. Better to sell mediocre glycerine soaps than take the risk. Also the EU is much heavier handed than most US agencies when it comes to additives etc, hence the loss of many great frags over the last 20 or so years.

The good news as brothers pointed out this that there are plenty of good quality tallow soaps coming out of the cottage industry soap makers.
Rick

EL Alamein
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by EL Alamein » Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:45 pm

Rick, that's a good point. I had forgotten about the "Mad Cow" hysteria and it had been proffered at the time, if I recall correctly. But I seem to remember someone posting that mad cow would not survive the soap making process. I don't think that would give soap-makers legal cover though so it seems reasonable to ditch the tallow for that.

If that was part of the decision making process though I think it was just icing on the cake so to speak. In reality, I think it's driven by trend. Everyone seems to want to be "animal friendly". You read it on a lot of products etc. Seems the way of the world today.

I am glad that artisans are using though and I may yet try some of their offerings. It would be a blessing if it worked out well.

Chris

brothers
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by brothers » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:29 am

EL Alamein wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:01 pm
Janus . . . . That Salter cake, off the cuff, strikes me as a MWF cake scented differently. Maybe it's the label configuration and ingredients list that reminds me of this? If it is made by Mitchell's then it's probably going to be excellent. And with a lavender scent to boot? Fantastic!

At this point, I'll be waiting for many field reports though before making any moves.

Here's hoping for the best.

Chris
Chris, I compared the ingredients lists of MWF and the Salters soaps. They do have 13 ingredients in common, but MWF has 8 unique ingredients that Salters doesn't, and Salters has 11 unique ingredients that MWF doesn't have. This doesn't mean they weren't made by the same hands, and maybe the differences are by design, so as not to be an MWF clone, but more of an attractive alternative. I have a small cake of Salters coming in the mail from Connaught, and I am busting my buttons in anticipation of lathering it with the Dubl Duck professional boar.
Gary

EL Alamein
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by EL Alamein » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:35 pm

Gary, looking forward to your report. I hope you have a wonderful experience with it!

Chris

brothers
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by brothers » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:49 pm

I have been deceived by many and disappointed by many. Salter shaving creams are held in high regard by a lot of guys. That gives me hope.
Gary

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Re: "That Lather"

Post by slackskin » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:48 pm

What about D R Harris? Their soaps still have tallow. I have used DRH and it seems to me their soaps are superior performers. For the old-timers, how does the current DRH compare to the days of yore?

EL Alamein
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by EL Alamein » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:07 pm

Slackskin, I can't speak for the current iteration of D.R. Harris shaving soaps but the soaps of yore (the one I have) were excellent.

I rotated through it recently and it is excellent.

Many report that they are still the same. Here's hoping that is still the case.

Chris

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blantyre
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by blantyre » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:00 am

I used Czech and Speake #88 soap today and was reminded that it is still a tallow based soap (according to the posted ingredients list). It also does produce “that lather” nice creamy dense bubbles. It smells pretty good too! Maybe time to order a refill just in case.
Rick

EL Alamein
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Re: "That Lather"

Post by EL Alamein » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:09 pm

Rick, good post!

I believe that C&S soaps are now made by Valobra, the same Italian maker of the old AOS soaps of yore. They made "that lather" as well.

Here's hoping C&S sticks to their guns. If they don't it seems there may always be Valobra as the Italians don't seem fazed by the current trends.

Chris

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