Santa needs your help!

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Dapper Dad
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Santa needs your help!

Post by Dapper Dad » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:58 am

Shaving stuff is great for Christmas. There are many products out there for $20 or less. When pressed by friends or family I never feel comfortable going over a $20 item. It's my rule of thumb, afterall Christmas should not be about "stuff."

That said I need some help defining soaps/creams. In addition to a variety of scents, I'm looking for a variety of STYLES. There are terms thrown around like, "triple milled, hard soap, soft soap, cream, croap, artisan soap etc." If someone could throw a style definition on the following list it would help me (and likely others) understand what people mean when they use some of the above terms. Clear as mud...but here's my list, feel free to check it twice.

Razorock XXX
Queen Charlotte Vostok Soap
Razorock Caprician Lemon

Please note that we are keeping scent out of this discussion. I'm also a big fan of comments like, "People who like ____ soap like it because it _____"

All those who offer help will be put on the nice list!

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Post by TRBeck » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:00 pm

Eric, I'll start by giving you sort of a continuum:

Triple-milled soap-->hard soap-->soft soap/croap-->cream

Croap is soft soap, sort of a hybrid of cream and soap. There's a continuum in there with firmer things like Cella or Valobra soft soap on one end and softer things like RazoRock, QCS cream (not the soap pucks, which are a hard soap), and Al's The Bomb on the other. QCS, for instance, can almost be lathered like a cream.

Triple-milled soap is its own thing, hard soap that has been repeatedly milled to make it harder. It's very concentrated stuff, and a puck of triple-milled soap usually will last longer than an equivalent weight of soft soap or cream.

Proraso - tubes are cream; tubs are soft soap
Razorock XXX - croap
MWF - hard soap, sort of artisan
Queen Charlotte Vostok Soap - hard soap, artisan
Razorock Caprician Lemon - soft soap/croap, artisan
Tabac - hard soap
Palmolive - hard soap
Speick - hard soap
Cella - soft soap
Harris - triple-milled soap

In general, the triple-milled soaps are made by larger soap manufacturers who have the equipment to do the milling. Hard soaps can be made by large manufacturers or artisans, ditto for soft soaps, croaps, creams.

Technically, all of them are the same thing: saponified fats. However, the type of lye used, the oils used, and the way the soap is treated and aged afterward affect the final texture. So, for instance, Proraso uses the same ingredients to make tubes of cream and tubs of soft soap. OTOH, QCS uses different ingredients to make its hard soaps than its creams/croaps.

I usually prefer hard soaps like Palmolive or Tabac to triple-milled as they tend to load more easily on the brush and thus lather quite well. I prefer soaps to creams or even soft soaps/croaps as they are more traditional, require fewer preservatives (generally...some creams have no or few preservatives), and are easier to keep around forever: you can hold onto a triple-milled soap for decades and its texture and scent, if it's cared for correctly, will be largely intact. Creams dry out, and in the case of some croaps, they can go rancid or otherwise "off."

Artisan is just a term to refer to soaps made by smaller producers, often out of their homes or small facilities. It's not a term with any real legal or universal definition. MWF is really pretty close to an artisan product: small producer, minimal facilities (compared to, say, Maurer & Wirtz who make Tabac and Irisch Moos). Used to be that most artisan soaps were glycerin soaps, but these days, Alraz, QCS, Prairie Creations, RazoRock, and a few others offer artisan soaps that are true, traditional soaps very comparable to soaps from big manufacturers.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by TRBeck on Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by 95% » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:45 pm

Great post, Tim. It's helpful to novices and old-timers alike.

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Post by Squire » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:01 pm

Since we are leaving scent out I'll refrain from commenting except to say Tim summed it up nicely.

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Post by churchilllafemme » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:04 pm

Great information, Tim. Thanks for summarizing.

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Post by brothers » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:11 pm

I was still trying to figure out what the question was, then I plowed through Tim's clear response, and it all clicked into place. Good question and a good response.
Last edited by brothers on Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Nitrox » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:12 pm

Tim that was great information and very accurate in my opinion. Thanks.

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shave every day and you'll always look keen."

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Post by TRBeck » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:23 am

Thanks guys. :oops: :)


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 15, 2011 7:30 am

Tim, you hit the nail on the head for what I was looking for. I actually thought of PM'ing you, but decided I didn't want to bug you too much. If you answer any more of my questions you'll be eligible to count me as a tax deduction. Thank you for taking the time.

Your answer was so complete I hope the mods will consider a modified version to pin in the soap forum. That's for the higher powers to decide though.

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Post by Quarterstick » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:42 am

This is a fantastic resource. Thanks Eric for starting it and thanks Tim for a clear and well presented response. I had a broad understanding of the terms, but the descriptions and examples are very helpful.

An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and you have a dime.

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Post by jww » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:49 pm

Agreed -- wish I had the wherewithal to have said what Tim said.

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Post by cryhavoc » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:06 am

Just read it, nice sum up Tim
"Hello Floyd, this is Barney Fife. Who's in the chair...well
get rid of 'em. I'm coming over and I'm ready for action!
That's right, I want the works...shave, haircut, witch hazel,
O.D. cologne, toilet water...If it smells I want it!"

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