I've reviewed Tabac Gentle Men's Care extensively before, and I don't want to repeat that here, so I can focus on the #soap instead. So definitely check that out if you're curious. It's really good stuff by the brand we all know and love...
So yeah, a week or so ago an opportunity came along to take part in a test of a new soap. I won't divulge any information as to who's behind it or other details. The request was simple enough; test the soap and provide feedback on it. In order to focus on performance of the soap - it was left unscented. It came in a rather nice tin, small and sturdy, in a dark grey color that's reminiscent of CRSW and rustproof. I decided to load heavy, as I do with any new soap and hit it for a full 30s. There wasn't a whole lot of extra room at the top, and it was just wide enough to take my brush - meaning that the lather that was building up as I loaded, spilled over the side a fair bit. And from the look of it, it seemed like there would be a ton to be had in the scuttle. I whipped it up but it didn't really explode as I expected - alas, I actually had just enough for three passes. In fact, the lather wasn't quite fluffy nor was it dense and creamy - it was somewhere in between - and too thin. I had to apply it to my face in such a way that I couldn't see my skin beneath. I started off with only a little water, added a bit more as I whipped it up to boost lather production (but not too much that would account for the resulting consistency).
The shave was a really nice one overall, but I'm not sure I'd attribute that to the soap... Being thin, there wasn't any appreciable cushion. Glide was okay but secondary lubricity just wasn't there. I can't comment on the soap's post-shave face feel properties since I went with the Tabac finish - though there are coconut and shea butters in the soap:
Stearic acid, coconut oil, water, potassium hydroxide, shea butter and castor oil
I'll have to give it another go to try and dial it in, but my suggestions therefore, would be to work on making the lather thicker - both denser and creamier. Add a bit of glycerin or tweak the other components to add more primary and secondary slickness. I think the soap is close, but in today's artisan climate, competition is very fierce and it will be judged critically against some seriously top-tier stuff. As mentioned, the soap was unscented, so I can't judge it there - but I might also suggest spending quality time in developing unique (or at least "classic") scents with top quality oils.
The hardware today consisted of my "newly rediscovered" #Merkur #Futur razor fit with a fresh #Gillette 7 O'clock (black) blade set to "3" for Monday whacking. I got my shipment of 400 additional #PolSilver blades (because you know) over the weekend, but I wanted to try out my previous go-to blade. Just in case I need to consider an alternative... But I digress. The #Dovo silvertip badger brush swirled the suds in the #GTP scuttle.
An interesting experiment with a completely unknown soap and artisan(?) which left me with mixed feelings. Like I said, it was a good shave... But the soap needs tweaking. To be honest, all soaps work. But nothing stood out for me. I'm either picky - or spoiled by the really, really good stuff available today. Hopefully the suggestions I've made will be taken as constructive criticism and the issues ironed out... Just remember, it's a tough market out there.