#1
The following is just an opinion. Yours can be entirely different. The usual YMMV ...

Mystic Water soaps has a large number of scents, far more than most “Artisans”. One thing I find appealing about this is there are NO seasonal scents. None of this “Oh, its spring/fall/winter, time for the XYZ scent” stuff or “Buy it now because it won’t be available again until next Spring.” Today, we live in a society that expects instant gratification. I want it and I want it NOW, not next December. By providing a vast array of scents, there is no waiting in line. I believe that this business model works in todays “instant gratification” society. The downside to a vast array is scents, is also their strength – there are too many to try.  Undecided This is a review of those scents – my opinion.

I am not going to discuss how to lather these soaps. Several people already have described methods and I have provided that information, with pictures, in this post http://damnfineshave.com/thread-mystic-w...4#pid40874. I’m also not going to review the technical performance. IMO, there is little to no variation between scents. BTW, this is NOT true among all other soap makers where I have found a distinct technical difference between different scents, or possibly formulas. To me, these soaps are very good performers with the BEST aftershave feel of the nearly 200 distinct soaps/creams I have tried. None, including the far more expensive ones, are better.  Therefore, the only differentials for me are purely scent. However, this does not mean they for me they are the best soap/cream, because I do feel some others are holistically better. But at the price point, they are hard to beat.

So onward … about scents ...

WindsorCitrus, shevek, Matsilainen and 2 others like this post
#2
So why is scent so important? Scent triggers memories of times past. You can Google and find the technical reason but the bottom line is that when you smell something, it triggers a memory. Scent goes directly to the brain. But all roses do not smell the same to every person. According to a 2013 research study, partially funded by the National Institutes of Health, 30% of the olfactory receptors are different between individuals. So what smells like a Rose to one can smell like sewage to another.

http://www.monell.org/news/news_releases..._receptors
Dec 8, 2013

“Humans have about 400 different types of specialized sensors, known as olfactory receptor proteins, that somehow work together to detect a large variety of odors. … the olfactory receptors of any two individuals differ by about 30 percent. This means that for any two randomly chosen individuals, approximately 140 of their 400 olfactory receptors will differ in how they respond to odor molecules.”

I view shaving as a journey and am not totally hung up on the final result. If some days I just get a socially acceptable shave, that’s good enough as long as the journey to get there was pleasant. Totally antiseptic shaves with no scent, regardless of the final result, OTH are poor to me.  

The journey is a very important part of the process, and that is where scent comes into play.

For the scent space of all creams/soaps I have tried, I have found some scents sublime, some scents faint, some last the entire shave, some fade after a few seconds, and some actually get stronger! They are all over the place. I’ve found some scents better in other brands of soaps, and some poorer. I have found I do not like the perfume/cologne/artificial scents. My wife is an ardent gardener growing hundreds of varieties of flowers. I can walk outside and smell Lavender, Rose, Lily of the Valley, Lilac, Peppermint, etc. growing in their natural states. Mystic Waters does an excellent job in their preparations.

I know what many of the scents are supposed to smell like. But, some things, like petigrain? I haven’t got a clue.  Huh However, some scents that are combinations of common scents, Mystic just NAILS the scent. For example Cuppa Joe smells just like a cup of coffee, at least to me.  Smile I just wish it were a stronger scent of coffee.

I will try to describe scents by comparison to common, everyday things. Whether it’s a Persian Lime, commonly found in supermarkets, or Key Lime/West Indies lime used in many soap preparation – basically, you still know what a lime is supposed to smell like.

Now here is where that 2013 study comes into play.  Many, many people like the scent of Sandalwood. It is commonly found in many soaps. I found I dislike the popular sandalwood/cologne type scent, for example found in TOBS.  Those perfume type scents smell “fake” to me. Yet many people swear by it. Mysore Sandalwood smells to me like a rotting stump or possibly a dark, unrefined peanut butter  However, it might smell like a Rose to someone else. And that is why scent is a personal thing. As they say – YMMV.

One thing I found surprising was that I had a pre-conceived notion of those scents I expected to like or not like, a pre-conceived bias. Sometimes, I was totally wrong.

On a technical note, one thing I have discovered is that the hotter the lather, the less the scent. In other words, lather created and kept in a hot scuttle is not as strong as a cold lather. Virtually all these scents were testing using a warm, but NOT hot, scuttle. A warm lather is a good lather to me. So on to my discussion on scent.  This is my opinion only. There is no “ranking” here because we are all different … I did miss a few but I’m done trying samples …

NeoXerxes, wyze0ne, ask4Edge and 1 others like this post
#3
I'm going to try to do this in reasonable grouping but the groupings because there are so many ...

Pumpkin Spice

If you like Pumpkin Pie, you will love the smell of this soap. It smells delicious, so delicious, you might be tempted to eat it, which probably would be a bad thing. I was truly expecting to love using Pumpkin Spice. But, in the end, Pumpkin Spice is not something for me. It was a bit too much to smell in the early morning hours.   But it was spot on smelling like Pumpkin Pie. The scent was fairly strong and lasting and an excellent representation of Pumpkin Pie. I might l like it after dinner! The bottom line is if you like smell of Pumpkin Pie, you will love Pumpkin Spice.

Lime

To me, the initial scent of lime was a dark lime, but not too strong. It was not a bright, airy lime, like a Persian Lime. Upon lathering it remained a dark lime but very faint. To be honest, for me, there are better lime scents in the Lime “scent space”. Castle Forbes comes to mind and GFT Essential Oil of Lime is much more sublime. There are also worse.  It’s lime – not sure what else to say and is a deep lime but faint, if that makes sense. I think for many, lime is lime.

Maestrale

I had no idea what this soap smelled like, found it strange, and could not even try to explain it. I found it a touch unpleasant. This is one of the few scents I really did not like.   There isn’t much more I can say about a combination of lavender, rosemary and peppermint. I just didn’t get it. Someone else might love it.

White Tea & Ginger

It smells like tea to me. If you like tea, then you will probably like this scent. I really did not get any ginger out of it.   But it wasn’t my cup of tea.  Sad

Brown Windsor

Different -  I tend to like simple scents with one or two main fragrances. If a soap has too many components, I just don’t know what is going on.  I still haven’t figured out what petigrain is and six different oils might be just too much for my brain to figure out. I have no idea what this smells like. You will need to figure this one out on your own.

Vanilla Sandalwood

The vanilla/sandalwood ratio seems to be about 50/50 so neither is overpowering the other. If you like Sandalwood and like Vanilla, then this combination of the two is probably something you will like. Good strength and lasting a reasonable amount of time.

Bergamot, Cedarwood, & Juniper

I felt this soap just smelled strange. It was not offensive, just strange. With Bergamot mentioned first, I expected the citrus to come through. It didn’t. Since I thought the scent weak, it didn’t really matter. I really didn’t get the juniper so much either. Maybe it was just confusing to me. I can’t really describe this scent very well and would be the wrong person to try to describe it. I just didn’t get it.

Teakwood & Cardamom

This was a weak scent.  I have no idea what teakwood smells like so I really can’t comment on it to say if it smelled like teakwood although I own some teakwood furniture. The best I can say is that it was pleasant and “woody” but not dark or strong, mostly a light woody. This is another hard scent to pin down. “Pleasant” is the right word.

The Green Fairy

Now this scent I get, anise or anisette. This is a common scent I think most anyone would get. It had reasonable strength and for the most part retained its strength. If you like Anisette, then you will like this scent and its very hard to miss what it represents, an excellent version.

Sweet Briar

This is a pleasant scent that smells just like pipe tobacco. The scent lingers through the shave, stronger than many of the others. I found this pleasant, reasonable, and a decent if one likes tobacco scents. I can see that some people might enjoy Sweet Briar all the time. Good stuff here.

Cuppa Joe

Just like Pumpkin Spice, if you like the smell of coffee in the morning, you will love this scent. MWS nailed the scent of a cup of coffee. The initial scent is terrific. I wish Cuppa Joe were stronger. I can’t see anyone who likes coffee would not love this scent.

Sardinian Honey

I don’t know if Sardinian honey smells different than American honey but I do know, this smelled like honey to me. Again, Mystic Water nailed a scent. It was pleasant. If you like honey, I don’t see how you can’t like this scent.

NeoXerxes, clint64, WindsorCitrus and 1 others like this post
#4
Barbershop

This is a tough one for me to analyze. The current crop of “barbershop” scents don’t smell like any barbershop I remember as a kid. They are mostly a sea of bergamot, basil, oakmoss, and patchouli based scents that for the most part, all smell alike to me. I don’t get why they are trying to imitate the “powder” smell. Whenever I read the descriptions of these scents, I wonder if the people actually sat in a 1950s/60s barbershop and got their hair cut (if they are going for a 1950s/60s barbershop scent).

I remember barbershops smelling of old cigarette smoke permeating everything from the two year old, musky magazines and comic books on the end tables, newsprint from the two day old Sports sections of the newspapers, to the fake leather chairs along with industrial strength Brylcream, Barbicide, and Bay Rum.

Anyway, this a decent “modern barbershop scent” among the current sea of barbershop nostalgia that really isn’t barbershop nostalgia to my memory. I wish soap makers would try to go for GFT Eucris or T&H Grafton scents which to me are more in line with an old time “barbershop”.


Orange Spice Tea

Orange Spice Tea, to my noise, smells exactly how Orange Tea smells. Again, Mystic Water just nails certain scents. The scent is strong initially, but used in a scuttle fades a bit. If you like Orange Tea, you will like Orange Spice Tea. It’s not my cup of tea but the Orange adds something to it much more than the Ginger added to the previous Tea scent. Wink

Jeff’s Lavender

This lavender is very mild, so mild I wondered if anything was there. The scent quickly fades. Of the many Lavender soaps I’ve tried, this is pretty innocuous. It’s not unpleasant in any way but of the huge amount of Lavenders out there, I believe there are better. DRH comes to mind along with MdC and CF.

Almond Vanilla

An equal split between the vanilla and almond, this was an overall a pleasant food type scent. It’s almost a bakery scent. It’s hard to see anyone finding this kind of scent unpleasant as these are very common scents.

Egyptian Dragon

I got a pleasant light musk type scent from this soap. It wasn’t the best, nor the worst. But, it was totally fine with me to shave with. I assume my nose liked the myrrh in it. The scent lingered somewhat, maybe more than most. Overall, it was a pleasant scent I can only describe as a light musk. I have no idea if I described it correctly but its what I think.

Cedar & Sage

While Mystic Waters says this contains about seven scents, I get one – cedar wood. The scent was mostly present, stronger than say a TOBS Cedarwood. It also felt a bit like it had menthol in it but I don’t know if it does. But, I got no sage out of this at all. I understand this is not the cooking sage but clary sage. Then again, I probably have no clue how clary sage actually smells. If you like Cedar, then you probably will like Cedar & Sage.

Frankincense & Myrrh

This is a subtle and pleasant to my nose scent. At best the scent is suppressed, not strong at all. I wish it were stronger. Whenever I hear these two words together, I can’t help but think of December and the holidays, but I don’t see why it needs to be limited to that time of year. It’s pleasant enough to use year round.

Coconut

This coconut scent is not the sweet coconut as in baked desserts. Rather, it’s more of a raw coconut. I found it pleasing. Again, I wish it was stronger.

Coconut Lime Verbena

Initially, I got a nice tart, lime scent from this soap with a touch of coconut, pronounced and strong. Unfortunately, this was another soap where the scent about immediately disappeared in the background. That was too bad as I wish it had maintained its tartness and strength. Initially, I thought it might be heading in the direction of CF Lime.

Rosalimone

This scent is supposed to be a bit of lemon peel and roses. I just got a faint scent of roses. It was pleasant but I found other Rose scents, particular GFT, T&H, and LPL to be superior. Nevertheless, it’s a pleasant scent if you like Roses. I don’t think I got any lemon peel from it other than to tone down the Rose scent.

Irish Traveller

I have no idea what Green Irish Tweed smells like so I cannot compare this to the original. To me, it smelled like a weak version of Irish Spring Soap. I find this not unpleasant but not something I would seek out. The scent faded quick enough to a generic soap scent anyway so to me it was innocuous. This was not one of my favorites but not unpleasant either.

Windjammer

Windjammer is the Old Spice imitation. I understand the desire to imitate the classic scents of the past but I have yet to find one that actually nailed it. The original Shulton recipe is “said” to contain 19 different scents. This version, per the Mystic website, contains 13. This is far too many for me to discern. I got a mild Old Spice “type” scent. The strength of the scent was pleasant, a bit soft or pleasing (i.e., not overall spicy), and, for the most part, lasted the entire shave.

WindsorCitrus, NeoXerxes, clint64 and 1 others like this post
#5
Gingered Cranberry Pear (GCP)

This scent jumps out and grabs you. You will not forget it. It pretty much rocks. I can smell the ginger and pear but no cranberry. I liked GCP quite a bit and if you are looking for a holiday scent, look no further. It will brighten your morning on a dark and cold winter morning. Come to think of it, it will brighten ANY morning. This was a terrific scent.

Bay Rum

The Bay Rum is not a heavy bay scent, which seems popular at the moment, nor heavily spiced. It’s a middle of the road scent. I like the middle of the road Bay Rums more than the overly sweet Bay Rums or the heavy “Bay” bay rums. The scent itself is light. While lasting the entire shave, I found myself wishing it was stronger but I found this Bay Rum pleasant. This was a decent Bay Rum scent that any Bay Rum lover should find pleasant.

Sandalwood Rose

The Sandalwood and Rose scents were about 50/50 although I did get a bit more rose. This is hard to explain. I don’t like sandalwood and found myself wishing Mystic Water made a pure Rose scent. In any case, it turns out this combination was pleasant enough for me to tolerate the sandalwood and shaving with it was, to me, pleasant. This is actually a compliment to the Rose scent since I find sandalwoods overrated and not entirely pleasing.

Orange Vanilla

The scent of Orange Vanilla was exactly how it sounded. It was weighted more towards the orange than the vanilla but there was no doubt vanilla was present. It smelled somewhat like a creamsicle. The scent was of reasonable strength and only dissipated somewhat during shaving. Overall, it was pleasant. Think Creamsicle. Smile

Poggio dei Pini

This soap smelled like a Christmas Tree to me. I would characterize it as a Holiday Scent. This is not surprising since Mystic describes it as Pine and Cypress. The scent was of reasonable strength and maintained itself most of the shave not totally disappearing as so many soaps do. I liked this scent a lot.

Viola di Bosco

Scent strength starts out good, then pretty much fades away with some lingering bit that returns upon re-lathering, especially if one face lathers. This is a decent violet, but IMO not the best, which I reserve for Trumpers Violet Cream, which is sublime. Regardless I like this scent a lot and if you know the scent of violets, look no further.

Lily of the Valley

Mystic pretty much nailed the scent of Lily of the Valley. It did not fade as quickly as the Jasmine and each re-lathering brought a fresh wave of floral to the nose upon a face lather. This is a beautiful scent for a Spring morning, very pleasant and pleasing.

Jasmine

Jasmine is a wonderful scent, full, flowery but not a cologne/perfume type scent. It starts strong but fades. Although another floral, it’s a singular (to me) floral and because of the fading, actually makes more sense to me in that its not overwhelming. Overall, Jasmine is a very good floral and at the same time not an overbearing perfume type scent.

Lilac

We grow Lilacs. I can walk out and smell lilac in the spring in the air. The initial scent of Lilac is almost spot on to a true Lilac bush. It’s slightly off with a bit of a perfume type scent rather than a true lilac but it is very close to the real thing. Overall, this scent was very, very good for me. If you like the scent of lilac, you will like MW lilac.

Lemongrass & Blue Gum Menthol

I wasn’t expecting much from this scent. I was wrong, very wrong. I like the scent of lemon. I don’t mind the scent of eucalyptus. Put them together and … bam. Add a touch of menthol, just a touch, and the combination for me was eye opening, a near perfect combination for a hot summer morning. This is not something I would want to use on a cold Winter morning in the dark before the sun is up but for a warm day? Yeah, it would rock. And, if possible, the scent seemed to INCREASE while using the soap, not decrease. This is one of the few scents I have found that does this.

Marrakesh

Wow. On par with Lemongrass & Blue Gum Menthol, the perfect compliment for the cold Winter morning, this soap just hit the right marks for me. The Marrakesh, soap strength seemed to INCREASE as I lathered my face each time. This is the complete opposite of most scents that usually quickly fade. While GCP resembles a bright, airy, scent filled Winter Morning, Marrakesh was a darker scent, one reminiscent to me of say a Christmas or Holiday bazaar, just spot on.

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#6
I found Mystic Water lather to degrade severely in a warm scuttle. In fact, I find all lather to degrade to some degree in a scuttle, so I stopped using them. Sad, because I invested in 3 of them and find them to be very attractive. Oh well...

Seasonal soaps do not work for me either. I think they make sense for people that only purchase soap from one vendor, since they could use up the soap fast enough to keep up with the new releases. Just doesn't work for me, as I like to have a soap or two from a variety of vendors. Mystic Water's does make it tough though, as she has so many great scents that tempt me.
-Rob
#7
Cracking read mate! I am going to be taking a large delivery of MW in the near future and I was going to write a post very similar to this. It will be interesting to see the differences we come up with.

Just a very small thing, MW does actually do seasonal scents but Michelle does a good job of not overhyping them. I think the current ones are Egyptian Dragon (which I think may be staying) and Gingered Cranberry Pear.

Again, great job Smile

wyze0ne likes this post
Oli AKA Windsor Citrus
Surrey, UK.
#8
(This post was last modified: 03-22-2016, 10:27 PM by NeoXerxes.)
grim, this is a wonderfully complete, well-considered, and detailed post. Brilliant, brilliant work! Well done sir Smile. The scent roundup will be very helpful for many, including myself.

The only thing I will mention on performance is that I notice a difference with Mystic Water Sensitive and with all the other scents, which makes sense since they are actually two different formulas.

Overall, I haven't had a huge success rate with the scents of MW soaps, as many of them are too simple or not reflective of what they are trying to portray (for instance, I didn't find the limes to smell much like limes, and to me Irish Traveler is more accurate to Irish Spring Soap than Green Irish Tweed). That said, a few of the scents that I've tried are fantastic and quite unique. In particular, I enjoy the natural scent of the Sensitive, and the scented soaps Poggio di Pini and Bay Rum.

This guide will be useful when I get around to ordering my next batch of samples. Thank you!!
#9
(03-22-2016, 10:10 PM)shevek Wrote: I found Mystic Water lather to degrade severely in a warm scuttle. In fact, I find all lather to degrade to some degree in a scuttle, so I stopped using them. Sad, because I invested in 3 of them and find them to be very attractive. Oh well...

Seasonal soaps do not work for me either. I think they make sense for people that only purchase soap from one vendor, since they could use up the soap fast enough to keep up with the new releases. Just doesn't work for me, as I like to have a soap or two from a variety of vendors. Mystic Water's does make it tough though, as she has so many great scents that tempt me.

Yes, I agree about the scuttle. That is why I say "warm". I just love the warm lather so I am not giving it up, but it cannot be hot.

I don't like the "seasonal scent" marketing scheme. It just says to me "BUY ME" Hurry. Meh. Sell it year round or dont sell it at all. Society has moved to the instant gratification concept. Not producing them year round loses sales.

(03-22-2016, 10:23 PM)WindsorCitrus Wrote: Cracking read mate! I am going to be taking a large delivery of MW in the near future and I was going to write a post very similar to this. It will be interesting to see the differences we come up with.

Just a very small thing, MW does actually do seasonal scents but Michelle does a good job of not overhyping them. I think the current ones are Egyptian Dragon (which I think may be staying) and Gingered Cranberry Pear.

Again, great job Smile

Thank you. OK my bad if GCP/Egyptian are seasonal but she sure it hides it well. None of this blatant marketing with "upcoming" dates and "buy now because they will be none tomorrow" or "buy NOW, only 100 made". I find that kind of cheesy.


(03-22-2016, 10:27 PM)NeoXerxes Wrote: grim, this is a wonderfully complete, well-considered, and detailed post. Brilliant, brilliant work! Well done sir Smile. The scent roundup will be very helpful for many, including myself.

The only thing I will mention on performance is that I notice a difference with Mystic Water Sensitive and with all the other scents, which makes sense since they are actually two different formulas.

Overall, I haven't had a huge success rate with the scents of MW soaps, as many of them are too simple or not reflective of what they are trying to portray (for instance, I didn't find the limes to smell much like limes, and to me Irish Traveler is more accurate to Irish Spring Soap than Green Irish Tweed). That said, a few of the scents that I've tried are fantastic and quite unique. In particular, I enjoy the natural scent of the Sensitive, and the scented soaps Poggio di Pini and Bay Rum.

This guide will be useful when I get around to ordering my next batch of samples. Thank you!!

Thanks Neo. I didn't forget Sensitive and in fact I have some somewhere and just need to find it!

NeoXerxes likes this post
#10

Posting Freak
Canada
Wow! What a post! Happy2


And, folks say I like this soap. Big Grin

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Celestino
Love, Laughter & Shaving  Heart


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