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Rochester, NY
... Or perhaps just come up with a bit of a spectrum?

Is Soap Commander a hard soap? I'd say it's relatively hard. Then again, Tabac is hard enough to use as a weapon if you ever needed to defend yourself within the confines of your den. So does that mean we should consider Soap Commander a soft soap? It's probably somewhere in the vast middle area between triple milled bricks and croaps. It seems like (with the exception of the extremes) we just sort of wing it.

It'd be cool if we had a system for this. I wouldn't necessarily say that it's hugely important or anything, but we discuss these products quite a bit and I think "degree of hardness" is a point where we're sort of weak at communicating. A lot of us were scratching our heads when Busta did a recent video with Soap Commander, and I remember the comments were actually quite divided as to whether to consider it hard or soft. Honestly, I don't even remember which one Busta treated it as.

For me, the line between "hard" and "soft" is whether I can press it into a bowl with my thumbs. If it has to be grated, it's a hard soap. So I would consider Soap Commander to be a soft soap.
A decade ago when someone mentioned shave soap they were almost always talking about triple-milled soaps that had much of the water squeezed out of it making for a very hard soap. To me hard soaps are like Tabac, Mitchell's Wool Fat, Pre de Provence. D.R. Harris is slightly softer, but still a hard soap. With the advent of soft Italian soap, particularly RazoRock introducing soft italian soap in scents different from the polarizing almond/marzipan scent - these soaps sky-rocketed in popularity. At the time some people referred to the softer soaps as "croaps" because they felt that the soap was a hybrid between soap and cream.

So hard and soft are both relative or comparative terms. Many folks in the past few years have started with artisan soaps which are mostly soft soap (early HTGAM and Soapy Bathman would be an exception to this). If someone started out with Catie's Bubbles, I suppose that Soap Commander would be a hard soap. If one started out with Tabac, Soap Commander would not be a hard soap.

Good Lather = More product + More Water + More Time lathering

Soap Slinger
Burnsville, MN
It's definitely a spectrum, and so is the transition from soap to cream.

I generally categorize things the way Aaron said - do I have to use tools to get it into a container? My bar of Mike's Natural, for example, was definitely softer than a triple milled manufactured soap - but still too hard to just press into shape with my thumbs. So they are filed under "hard soap" in my mind.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have Catie's Bubbles, which is softer than my soap, which is softer than Barrister & Mann, etc. Plus you get things like Castle Forbes cream, which is about as firm as Catie's Bubbles.
I would say soft would be proraso
Medium would be castle Forbes
Hard would be any triple milled

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