Musgo Real 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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Musgo Real soap

Post by TRBeck » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:29 am

I made an impulse purchase a week or so ago. I was perusing Fendrihan's while looking for strop paste and came across Musgo Real soap. I did have some vague knowledge that they had introduced a hard soap a few years back, but I never pursued it as I was making my own soap and not looking for commercial stuff at the time. Although I still mostly use homemade, Musgo Real has long been one of my favorite shave scents. The problem is that the lanolin in the cream irritates my skin. I used it some anyway off and on, and finally gave up on it, but I've always wished for a usable medium with that fragrance. I also prefer soaps to creams generally.

Poking around the forum archives here and elsewhere, it seems Claus Porto introduced a hard shave soap about six or so years ago, but its initial formulation was pretty bad, and it was almost universally panned. They dragged their feet introducing a reformulation, and in the meantime artisan soaps took off, and so it has never gotten much attention. There are a couple of pretty positive short reviews here and there, but there's not a ton of information on the soap. I rolled the dice. Today was the first lather with my puck, and so this is not a full-fledged review, just some initial impressions.

The scent is sublime. The ingredients list calls out both evernia furfuracea (treemoss, not oakmoss) and coumarin. This is a pretty cool and old-school scent, replete with vetiver and moss and the hay-like coumarin presence for those unfamiliar. The soap is triple-milled and, while it does contain a small amount of a detergent (less detergent than there is fragrance), is driven by potassium palmate and potassium stearate. There's some talc in here, too, along with a couple of emulsifying ingredients and two mineral chelators (pentasodium pentetate and tetrasodium etidronate). Pricewise, I paid $22 for 125g. Not the cheapest soap out there, but it ought to last a while given how hard it is.

Okay, so the lather: it formed readily and was very, very dense. No foamy sudsing, but straight to creamy and rich. It also held up really well over the course of a straight shave, which given my relative inexperience with an open blade does tend to take a while. It also held moisture nicely, remaining slick and wet on my face even though a single pass takes 3-5 minutes. The shave was really good. I had a touch of irritation during the second and third passes, but that may be owing to my technique rather than the soap ingredients, as I had no irritation upon initial lathering. I loaded from the puck the way I normally do, and after two passes and some lather for touchup on the jawline, I still squeezed out a fistful of lather that would've given me two more passes.

I will use this soap several more times to check how my skin does with it, but so far, I'm very impressed and happy to have this fragrance back in the shave rotation. Very few vendors have the soap in stock, and I have read conflicting reports as to its discontinuation, so it's possible that there won't be more whenever those vendors sell out. If you're in the market for a traditionally-scented hard-milled soap with a classic old-world lineage, this may be an option to consider. As I said, I'll report more after a few shaves.
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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

EL Alamein
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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by EL Alamein » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:59 pm

Tim, thanks for the review. I have always loved Musgo Real's scent but the cream would irritate me if I used it more than a shave or two. I still use those very old tubes now and then for a shave and it does smell wonderful. I even have a few tubes of the oldest formulation and they are wonderful smelling as well.

I have also followed the reports of the soap and I found the same as yourself so I never bought it.

I'll be watching your reports on it to determine if I want to try a cake of it.

Chris

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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by fallingwickets » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:21 am

I want to try some of this (thanks, Tim!!!)

Is there a readily telltale sign to look for between the old version and the new?

thanks

clive
de gustibus non est disputandum

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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by TRBeck » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:11 am

Clive, I think the boxes are different. The newer stuff is in the darker green box with a more upscale version of their logo. Shavenation has a pic on their storefront that looks like what I think is the old box. Fendrihan for sure has the newer soap, and I think Gifts & Care does too.
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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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by TRBeck » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:45 pm

Shave 2 was excellent. I used a DE today due to an unexpected chance to meet with my new boss. The slickness I get from this soap is simply outstanding. Not sure if it's due to the talc or the surfactant (it does have other purposes in certain products than simple foaming) or some other factor. There was slight irritation, but it felt more like my skin was a bit annoyed from yesterday's shave (and the cumulative effect of 2 weeks with a straight) than what lanolin does, or a cream that I have a bad reaction to. Again, this is an ongoing review. I'll probably hold off posting more thoughts until I give it a few shaves.
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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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by fallingwickets » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:29 am

i looked at four sites. fendrihan and sn have different colour boxes, gc and amzn have the same colour box, but its nothing like the other two. This is the hassle of buying reformulated soaps etc.

clive
de gustibus non est disputandum

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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by Brutus » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:13 am

The Classic Scent Musgo Real shaving soap is still shown on the manufacturer’s (Claus Porto) website.
So it still seems to be available.

After years of believing the bad press, I had bought the hard shaving soap about 3 or 4 years ago and found that it was much better than the reviews made you believe.

Performance and scents of the entire Musgo Real range are nothing to complain about but I find their recent pricing strategy hard to stomach.
I doubt that I am the only one, and more than anything else it was probably the shocking price increases that drove away old customers and dried up sales so that Musgo Real eventually elected to drop the Lavender and Lime & Basil series.

It certainly wasn’t performance....


B

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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by TRBeck » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:31 am

B, I agree. The prices are ridiculous. The colognes went from $35 to $70 overnight. The aftershave splash is out of my price range, too. At least the soap hasn't hit Pen's pricing...yet.

Clive, yeah, I hear you. Like I said, Fendrihan is where I got mine, and it's the good stuff. Their shipping was also quick, if that matters.
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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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by fallingwickets » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:10 pm

thanks for the info
de gustibus non est disputandum

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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by brothers » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:29 pm

I bought the original MR soap as soon as it came out and it came from somewhere in Europe. Portugal maybe? That soap was so bad it was borderline fraud to sell something as shaving soap that was nothing but a rock (hyperbole of course, but it was as bad as the current Williams). I'm happy that the factory has obviously improved it, as you have verified. Meanwhile, I'm still not a customer.
Gary

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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by fallingwickets » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:00 am

i should have mine tomorrow....will post my opinion later in the week :D

clive
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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by TRBeck » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:43 pm

I look forward to hearing what you think, Clive. Five shaves in, I am really pleased with it. The irritation I experienced was due to razor technique, I feel certain now. The slickness is just fantastic, and there is ample protection to accompany it. I have really enjoyed using it. I would say it makes "that lather."
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

brothers
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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by brothers » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:45 pm

Maybe this experience with this soap is an example of the effectiveness of customer complaints being persuasive when a company prematurely releases a product that is obviously defective.
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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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by EL Alamein » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:57 pm

brothers wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:45 pm
Maybe this experience with this soap is an example of the effectiveness of customer complaints being persuasive when a company prematurely releases a product that is obviously defective.
Gary, I think you hit the nail on the head.

Chris

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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by fallingwickets » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:25 am

delayed the morning shave yesterday to await arrival of the musgo and will be using it again on friday with 'hard' water this time. will update then, but for now:

I like the shape of the puck. I think the dome makes it easier to load a brush. No comment on the scent, but the lathering was very, very nice and it suits my 'dry-style' preferences perfectly. if asked 'whats it similar too?" i wouldn't hesitate for a second to say MdC. With minimal soap on the brush,It lathers really fast, really thickly, razor has good slide and afterwards leaves the face feeling nice and soft. At $22'ish a puck i think its fair value and as of now, certainly takes away the need to spend $80 on MdC. Thursday or friday (im driving to SC tonight/tomorrow) will be the real test because for reasons unknown Ive been battling to get a good lather going with the water I have down in myrtle beach (btw, if any of you gents are down there and want to meet for a tea, coffee or beer drop a note) so if the musgo lathers as easily there as it does here in nj i'll be backing up the truck!!

clive
de gustibus non est disputandum

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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by Oscar11 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:10 am

Thanks for the info.

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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by nav » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:56 am

EL Alamein wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:59 pm
Tim, thanks for the review. I have always loved Musgo Real's scent but the cream would irritate me if I used it more than a shave or two. I still use those very old tubes now and then for a shave and it does smell wonderful. I even have a few tubes of the oldest formulation and they are wonderful smelling as well.

I have also followed the reports of the soap and I found the same as yourself so I never bought it.

I'll be watching your reports on it to determine if I want to try a cake of it.

Chris
The MG soap I got in 2014 is fantastic! Lovely musgo scent with great lather.

I confirmed with the vendor before purchase that it's the reformulated version.

The scent, as lovely as it is, irritates my face slightly so that I can't use it consecutively. I thought I'd point this out for you since you had the issue with the cream.

I love the shape of the puck. I use the bottom side tip keep the logo intact on top (I'm very finicky with my hard soaps).

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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by TRBeck » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:04 am

I do love the shape of the puck, too. The dome should help the soap wear a bit differently over time, as most pucks tend to dish in the middle. And, I concur with Clive that it helps with loading the brush, too.

I am wondering if I do need to consider not using it consecutively, as a one-day break yesterday seemed to help with irritation today.
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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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by brothers » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:20 pm

Musgo Real soap. I bought one from Fendrihan after reading the posts from Tim and Clive who've recently used it.
I agree with comments that have been posted here.

Today was the first lather with my new puck.
I like the scent.
Triple-milled and it ought to last a while given how hard it is.
Lather formed readily.
Dense - no foamy suds, straight to creamy and rich.
Held up well over the course of a shave.
Held moisture, remained slick and wet on the face.
The shave was good.
No irritation.
Squeezed out a fistful of lather that would've given two more passes.
I'm impressed.
Traditionally-scented hard-milled soap
Like the shape of the puck.
Lathering was nice
It lathers fast and thick
Razor has good slide
Leaves the face feeling nice and soft.
At $22 its fair value.
Musgo Real 2019 shaving soap.jpg
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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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Re: Musgo Real soap

Post by EL Alamein » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:01 pm

This is good news.

Chris

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