#1

Merchant
Nashville, TN
This evening I had a face off between XPEC scented and B&M Russe - half of my face with each, switching sides at half time.

In one corner we have XPEC. This soap, at $7.10 per ounce is 40% more expensive than B&M Russe.

In the other corner we have B&M Russe, one of the Glissant based soaps, costing $5 per ounce.

Results:

Scent - The nod goes to XPEC. It just has a great scent that t.

Lather - Nod goes to B&M, which has a nice thick foam and is a pleasure to work with. XPEC makes a fluffy foam with bubbles large enough to see. While this doesn’t impact performance, I love that B&M Glissant foam.

Shaving performance - This was hard to call they are so close. The nod goes to XPEC, though the small amount of difference isn’t worth a 40% premium.

Glide - Nod goes to B&M.

Closeness of shave - Equal

Post shave feel - Remember that I switched sides after the first pass. Having said that, XPEC is very slightly better, though not by enough to worry over.

The bottom line. I would choose a different Glissant based scent, probably Seville and would choose that over XPEC even if they were the same price. The slight performance improvement would lose to that thick creamy Gissant foam with such wonderful glide. The fact that XPEC costs so much more would be a definite show stopper.

I would say that the artisans have improved to the point that there isn’t much different between popular artisan soap and the high end stuff.

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#2

Member
Blackstone, Va
I have been thinking about getting some XPEC for a long time. Now that I have finished my tub of Nancy Boy, you may have just sold me. Considering that XPEC can be purchased for less than $36 shipped from Connaught Shaving, its cost is no longer a liability. Then again, that Boellis Panama coffret is speaking to me.

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#3

Merchant
Nashville, TN
Wow, that is a great deal on XPEC, I paid $60.

Also, I mentioned that I'm not a fan of the XPEC lather, even though it works well. I'm going to purposely add less water next time I use it to see if that makes a difference. It may be a very un-thirsty soap.

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#4
I have owned both and I would easily give the nod to b&m...but xpec is no slouch.
Pannacrema nuavia vs Martin de candre would be a great battle, though

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#5

Maker of Soaps and Shaver of Men
Cooperstown, NY, USA
Pete123, you may want to try Rhapsody, when it comes back. I'm told that people find its scent to be very similar to that of XPEC. Smile

Otherwise, very cool comparison! Proud to be in such good company.

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#6
(02-20-2017, 06:33 PM)Pete123 Wrote: Wow, that is a great deal on XPEC, I paid $60.

Also, I mentioned that I'm not a fan of the XPEC lather, even though it works well. I'm going to purposely add less water next time I use it to see if that makes a difference. It may be a very un-thirsty soap.

Definitely try less water with XPEC. I don't get the bubbly lather that you mention. B&M can definitely "take" more water than XPEC.

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#7

Member
Connecticut
I am curious what role changing sides had to do in your experiment? Doesn't that confound your results? It is impossible to tell which soap left you with the better shave because both soaps were used on both sides.
I agree with Will, Rhapsody is very similar in scent to XPEC scented.
I also agree with Brian that less water and/or more product with the XPEC will produce a better, less airy, lather.

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Nathan
#8
Pete, thanks for a fine review! The Barrister and Mann glissant and the XPEC are two of my absolute favorite soaps.

I do find them to be quite different in lathering, as Nathan suggested, I find the XPEC works better with less water and more product. It provides very good glide without an overabundance of cushion. I suspect this is why some straight razor shavers speak highly of it.

As far as post-shave feel, I've found that tallow-based soaps give a 'heavier', more protective feel, while the Italian non-tallows (XPEC, AdP, SMN, Nuàvia) give a 'lighter', softer post shave. Both excellent yet a bit different.

Matsilainen likes this post
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Michael P
#9
(02-20-2017, 05:39 AM)Pete123 Wrote:  In one corner we have XPEC. This soap, at $7.10 per ounce is 40% more expensive than B&M Russe.  

XPEC makes a fluffy foam with bubbles large enough to see.  

The fact that XPEC costs so much more would be a definite show stopper.

A couple of points here. As others have noted, XPEC makes a rich, luxurious lather. If you had bubbles, something is wrong.

Second, I don't know how you got $7.10. XPEC is sold in ml or fluid oz, not in weight in oz while Barmann is sold in weight oz. You can't just say 250 ml weighs some number of oz and you can't just call it water. You need to know the density of the what is in the container.

Last, you can't just compare the cost of containers, which means nothing. You need true cost/shave. The easy way is to take a measure of the XPEC and then just count the number of shave you get per volume. I have done this and for me, which might be different than for you, it came to 39 cents/shave. I have no idea what Barrister and Mann might come to, not having tested that yet. However, at $36, that comes to a true cost of 24 cents/shave.

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#10

Merchant
Nashville, TN
SharpSpine , I tired less water and it made a big difference. It doesn't change my comparison between the two - the B&M is too foamalicious.

Merkur Man , you are correct that switching sides confounded the results. I won't do that in the future.

Michael P , you described it perfectly. They are different in lathering.

In commenting on several posts, most shave soaps will get bigger bubbles if oversaturated with water. What I meant above is not that there were bubbles indicating a problem. A different way of putting it is that B&M is heavy cream and XPEC is whole milk. Neither is better than the other - all comes down to personal preference. The XPEC performed very well.

grim, I converted ml to ounces and calculated the cost that way. It is an incorrect statement to say that ml can't be converted to ounces. I agree that getting to cost of shave is more accurate, though also feel that cost per ounce also provides a useful comparison, though not as accurate as what you described. I think I recall from other threads that XPEC is you personal top performer, or very close to it. I actually bought the XPEC based on one of your comments.

I'm not disappointed in the XPEC at all. It's a fine soap. Getting it for $37 rather than the $60 I paid brings them much closer together.

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