Most helpful critical review
on 25 February 2014
At the time of ordering this was the highest rated shaving soap on Amazon: fantastic - let's order it.
I am used to the modern shaving experience including a gillette razor and shaving gel; however, due to great reviews I thought I should give classic shaving a go. Here comes my experience with this particular piece of kit.
Aesthetics: The packaging looks brilliant: lovely box with a very well designed shaving bowl and fresh looking (imprinted) soap. This makes for the perfect gift at a reasonable price (if you don't care for how it works that is).
Application: The best way to apply this soap (as I imagine you would with any other) is wet the surface and let it soak for a short while. I used an "Edwin Jagger Best Badger Hair Shaving Brush" to create the leather. I have to admit that the soap foams very well and feels very nice during the initial stages of the application.
Odour: This is part of the reason for my 2 star review. The smell is very pungent (I mean this in the worst way possible) - a lot of people commented how they enjoyed the smell - but it will not be for everyone. It seems comparable to marmite: you either love it or you hate it, and I hated it. Certainly it is not a neutral smell, although, on the upside, it fades immediately after shaving.
Shaving: Clearly this is the most important part of the review as you are buying this stuff to reduce irritation and promote gliding of the razor. However; if you are like me and you take a long time shaving (any longer than 2 minutes) you will be disappointed with this product. It dries up very quickly on your skin becoming flakey and rendering it virtualy useless. The flakeyness makes your skin feel very dry and makes me want to wash it off as quickly as possible. Applying a particularly thick layer does not help.
Pointers: I would like to highlight the fact that I am new to classic shaving (and have now returned to modern "gillette" shaving) so it may be normal for soap to become dry and flakey in which case this product performs its job exceptionally well and I should be giving it a 5 star review.
Conclusion: This would be a fantastic gift for any grown man if you care purely for first impressions - as it looks terriffic and will give an impression of "I spent time trying to find you a nice gift". However, if you plan to use it I would recommend looking elsewhere.
I hope that I achieved what I intended to do in conveying my shaving experience and in any way helped you make a decision about the purchase of this product!