2019 DFS LE - Eleven Soap & Aftershave Splash is now LIVE! Read more here!!

#1

Member
Nashville
(This post was last modified: 08-13-2015, 05:13 PM by j-mt.)
Speaking as a wet shaver, I enjoy reading reviews from your average joe to your "professional" reviewer. They come in all shapes and sizes, scales, and formats. I enjoy TSE for his to-the-point review of products and guys like Uncle Dubya for their slice of life commentary. But for me, they're all missing one specific thing: a benchmark. Without it, the category scores don't give me a lot to go on.

If you're seeking to write a weighted/scored review, please consider using a benchmark. One that's preferably cheap and widely accessible (eg: Arko or Proraso for soap). That way if you tell me you feel the slickness of Proraso is a 6 and the soap you're reviewing is a 9, I have something to give me an idea of where it stands.

And while I was suggesting this to reviewers individually, I suppose we could adopt category benchmarks for reviews here on DFS (if we could all agree, that is).

tdmsu likes this post
#2
Proaso is a 5. :p

TheCleanShaver likes this post
#3
Great ideas. I haven't done a review video for a while. I need to get back into it.
Be smooth, everyone!
- The Clean Shaver
http://bit.ly/1Hv2xca
#4

Member
Nashville
(08-14-2015, 03:56 PM)Bruce Wrote: There will be no way everyone can agree on a benchmark soap.  Be it variable or not everyone has tried it, YMMV is pretty much a given now when posting anything about anything on shave forums.

I figured as much. Ha.
#5
I honestly think in the artesian world today we would be better off listing soaps that are terrible that you wouldn't buy again than reviewing soaps. It seems the artesian community has figured out how to make excellent soap. In fact, if you have been watching TSE and his soap reviews they basically are all the same "good packaging". "Excellent slickness, glide, left my face feeling soft". It appears the only distinguishable differences amongst most artesian soap makers today is A. Price and B. Scent

To me 99 percent of the soaps I have from several different artesians all perform well and many are indistinguishable in the category of performance. The only thing in my mind that sets them apart are what I paid for them and how they smell. I have 26 soaps in my den in the last year from 18 different makers only Ogala shave soap would be one I would say is horrid in performance.
#6

Member
Nashville
(08-14-2015, 04:10 PM)steeleshaves Wrote: To me 99 percent  of the soaps I have from several different artesians all perform well and many are indistinguishable in the category of performance.  The only thing in my mind that sets them apart are what I paid for them and how they smell.  I have 26 soaps in my den in the last year from 18 different makers only Ogala shave soap would be one I would say is horrid in performance.

There is a universally accepted recipe structure for shaving soap that many companies from artisan to corporate follow. And for good reason. It yields a favorable soap that's easy and inexpensive to produce. The issue that's stemmed from it is exactly what you're noting - the performance differences in soap following that structure are fairly small. And of soaps available today, the vast majority we consider acceptable are based on said structure (giving the impression that no real differences would exist).
#7
(08-14-2015, 05:21 PM)j-mt Wrote:
(08-14-2015, 04:10 PM)steeleshaves Wrote: To me 99 percent  of the soaps I have from several different artesians all perform well and many are indistinguishable in the category of performance.  The only thing in my mind that sets them apart are what I paid for them and how they smell.  I have 26 soaps in my den in the last year from 18 different makers only Ogala shave soap would be one I would say is horrid in performance.

There is a universally accepted recipe structure for shaving soap that many companies from artisan to corporate follow. And for good reason. It yields a favorable soap that's easy and inexpensive to produce. The issue that's stemmed from it is exactly what you're noting - the performance differences in soap following that structure are fairly small. And of soaps available today, the vast majority we consider acceptable are based on said structure (giving the impression that no real differences would exist).

So then would you agree that performance really isn't a category worth delving into because most are using the same recipe that will dictate the same if not similar performance? I agree with this assessment because frankly the performance to me, is so close across the board you aren't going to get a bad performing soap no matter whose product you buy 99% of the time.
#8

Member
Nashville
Not necessarily.

The structure I'm referring to relies heavily on the use of coconut oil as a component of building lather. There are mounds of other ingredients like tallow, castor oil, rice bran oil, shea butter, etc. that can be used (saponified) to shape the lather a soap produces. The issue is that those ingredients are generally more costly to experiment with/use and just because you've used them doesn't mean the result is going to be better than the traditional structure. In fact, coming up with something that deviates from and is noticeably better than said structure is a bitch. At that point, you're more or less on your own.

That's not to say it can't be done. Artisans like B&M and CRSW were able to better the traditional structure. The only real downside is that it typically costs more to do so.
#9
(This post was last modified: 08-14-2015, 07:14 PM by brucered.)
I've tried a few artisan soaps that many use exclusively, and I thought they sucked.

Performance from artisan to artisan very greatly.

All evidence has been buried. All tapes have been erased.


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