#21

Administrator
Philadelphia, PA
(09-18-2018, 04:00 PM)Marko Wrote: There's no doubt that the limitations of online shopping is partly responsible but then it becomes a paradox of choice by default doesn't it?  You're at the mercy of the marketing descriptions that all sound wonderful.  There's nothing like the nose stuck into a tub of soap to tell you if you like it or not and in my experience theres very few soaps that improve much with lathering from my initial reaction.  That being said, and to be fair, I recall my first couple of shaves with B&M Leviathan - I thought it smelled of wet dog but then there was some weird transformation, in my brain I think and its become a favourite.  I'll grant you that the Leviathan effect is a rare occurrence.  Usually if I don't like it initially it stays in the don't like it camp.  

I've gone through hills and valleys in this  - for a long time I was pretty stable and satisfied.  I watched the evolution of Grooming Dept. for  long time, over a year but thought, nah, sounds good but hard to get so I'm not going there.  Then Carmine at Top of the Chain stocked some and I figured, what the heck, I'll try it.  Well damn its a really good soap.  I think thats what pushed me off the wagon.  Thanks Carmine, and mostly thanks Mohammad Happy2   So I'm guess I'm looking for unicorns and as we all know, there aren't many of those around so its bound to lead to disappointment.  You know, I almost fell into the trap again yesterday.  There's a thread where members are talking about how good Shannon's soaps are so I went to have a look.  My only concern was whether they blended their own scents or used commercial blends.  I then gave my head a shake - thats the same thinking that got me four tubs of Lisa's Natural soap a couple of weeks ago that while good, its no unicorn.  

Its a constant battle. I'm winning today though Big Grin

this is why I tend to stick to scents in soaps and aftershaves that I know I'll probably like. I use a lot of stirling and soap commander aftershaves. the problem with these, especially stirling, is that if you're not fond with the scents, they're so cheap that you're barely breaking even after shipping something.

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Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
#22

Super Moderator
(09-19-2018, 06:44 AM)Blade4vor Wrote: Not to throw fuel on the fire, Marko, but I believe Shannon does blend the essential and fragrance oils herself for Shannon's Soaps.  Maybe try one of Shannon's "Rust Belt Reserve Soaps?"  I really enjoy the Forest City Fern.  Grab the Forest City Fern Gift Set for the soap and aftershave together.  That'll save you $2.50USD.  Not sure what shipping to Canada would be, though.  Maybe that will save you from another shaving soap purchase, eh?  Tongue    









personally, I don't need anymore shaving soap.  probably for the rest of my life.

Well thats good to know. Yes the high cost of shipping from the US to Canada has stayed my hand on numerous occasions as it will add anywhere from $15 - $40 to a purchase and when you'r eloping at that it makes sense to buy multiples right? To bring the average per soap shipping cost down? Bad idea unless you're buying a known item. Thats why Top of The Chain has been a blessing (and a curse?) because he stocks some of the best artisan products and he has free shipping.

I'm going to see how long I can go without buying a tub of soap. Big Grin

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#23

Member
Knoxville, TN
Interesting thread Marko

Maybe the problem is not too much choice but not enough. There was a post by a gentleman on another forum about soaps in particular, that his latest artisan soap ‘...was just another badly scented soap that went fast and was pricey.’ I am paraphrasing here, but that pretty much summarizes my experience lately. It would liven the artisan soap scene up a bit if the fragrances were actually made by a perfumer and a $25-30 tub lasted more than 3 months. For $100 a year you can shave with XPEC or I Coloniali (if you can find them at MSRP), Santa Maria Novella, Martin de Candre, and for much less with Castle Forbes (a tub lasts about a year).

Cheers, Steve

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#24

Member
Los Angeles
I read all of the replies and believe there is a common factor. The
following are some excerpts that I choose.  

too much choice

expensive is not always the best choice

amount of options eventually became overwhelming

what if that one is better

one strategy is to just buy it all

fear of missing out

having stuff others can't get or before them

the latest and greatest product is either a slight improvement or no improvement

It all boils down to the following.


There are far to many soaps and creams available.  Many are not worth purchasing and many are just copies of products already out there.

We want everything that we can buy and when we get them we are not happy with the product; or, that we purchased it.

I want it now even if I don’t need it, so I will have it.

We are always looking for that pot of gold because this one may be the best.  If I keep buying I will find the best.

And there will never be a brick and mortar location in every city so you will have to take a chance when you purchase sight or smell unseen.

We want happiness that we will never find in a product; which makes us compulsive buyers.

I own 91 hard soaps, soft soaps and creams.  Many of the products that I believe are great I have purchased backups of.  Have I found that pot of gold?  No, well maybe, I really don’t know.  We are all guilty of it.  Let me repeat that “we are all guilty of it”.  I too have purchased products and felt it did not live up to the hype or, someone’s review.  I never read reviews.  I do not believe in them.  What they like I may not.  An example, there is an aftershave that has been produced probably longer than most of us have been alive, Pinaud Lilac Vegetal.  I have heard some say it smells like cow crap and others like myself love it.  So don’t be distracted by someone’s review or opinion.  Too much time is wasted by disguising packaging.  I could care less if it comes wrapped in toilet paper as long as it is a good performer.  To me smell is the least attribute I care about.  Smelling it in the tub does not always translate to the same smell when it is lather.  Soome do but most don’t.

I also believe that more expensive makes no difference.  Many years ago some believed that one would save money if they started wet shaving.  Well that did not work did it?  No because of compulsive buying.

I little off subject but I liked what Lipripper660 said “I know that I much prefer a restaurant menu with fewer choices” so true.  I lived in Boston for a few years and there was a restaurant in New Hampshire called the “Blue Strawberry”.  No menu, they had two servings a night and they made the decision of what there meal consisted of.  You either liked it or you stayed home.  Has anybody looked a  menu in a Jewish Deli or the Cheesecake Factory?  It’s not a menu it’s a novel.  Too many choices just like with shaving soaps.

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#25

Vintage Razor Fan
Southwestern NY
(This post was last modified: 09-20-2018, 02:01 AM by Blade4vor.)
^Great post, Tidepool!

(09-19-2018, 03:13 PM)Marko Wrote: I'm going to see how long I can go without buying a tub of soap. Big Grin

Good luck with that, Marko!

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-Rob
#26
I stopped buying soap a long time ago. I just looked at all of it and said, "How the hell am I going to use all of this?" I think I have just over 40 right now (WAY down from what I used to have), and I am looking to thin it down to about 25 or so. There are about 4-5 that I really like so I am only going to keep those brands. I'd love to get rid of some of them and PIF them, but shipping costs prevent me from doing it. Then there is the tub of TOBS that I started with in 2013. It barely has anything left in it and I don't use it, but I have to keep it as a momento.

Done with razors I think also. Every time I use my ATT S1 I ask myself why I even bother looking at buying anything else. I think I have about 30 between DEs, SEs, and a couple straights.

Brushes also. I think I have tried almost every type and have sold off what I don't want/like. I have about 15 or so, but I won't get rid of any of them. I like them all for different reasons.

I basically have come to the point where I just want to enjoy what I have. I really don't need anything else honestly. I get great shaves with the things that I do have, but the Karve sounds interesting.

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#27

Super Moderator
(09-19-2018, 03:56 PM)Steve56 Wrote: Interesting thread Marko

Maybe the problem is not too much choice but not enough. There was a post by a gentleman on another forum about soaps in particular, that his latest artisan soap ‘...was just another badly scented soap that went fast and was pricey.’  I am paraphrasing here, but that pretty much summarizes my experience lately. It would liven the artisan soap scene up a bit if the fragrances were actually made by a perfumer and a $25-30 tub lasted more than 3 months. For $100 a year you can shave with XPEC or I Coloniali (if you can find them at MSRP), Santa Maria Novella, Martin de Candre, and for much less with Castle Forbes (a tub lasts about a year).

Cheers, Steve

I'd agree that the really good stuff is limited.
#28

Super Moderator
Well said Tidepool - too much choice isn't better. If I see a menu like you describe with a ton of items I think first, nobody can be good at that many things and second, nobody can keep fresh ingredients for that many items on hand so its certainly coming out of the freezer. Blech.

I just stuck my nose in a tub of THB Elixer shaving soap that I had lying around and now I have 4 soaps that use the same scent - Soap Commander Fortitude, Mickey Lee Soap Works Jurate, Lisa's Natural Amber and Tobacco and THB Elixer. A popular scent I guess. Downside of too many soaps is that if soap makers use third party scent blends the odds of duplication are higher.

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#29
(09-17-2018, 04:04 PM)Marko Wrote: I've been somewhat dissatisfied with many of my wet shaving purchases lately.  Its this ennui I feel when I get a package with the latest soap from an artisan or merchant and then after sniffing the tub and shaving with it once, I shrug my shoulders, mildly dissatisfied and toss the tub into the box in the basement where its likely never to be used again.  The performance may be good but often the scent hasn't lived up to its hype or its just another iteration of a scent used by several other soap makers.  Now don't get me wrong, I still enjoy my morning shave and there are definitely some artisans whose products I find very satisfying.  Despite that, I still find myself clicking the buy and then kicking myself later swearing that in future I will be more disciplined and will only buy from that select group of artisans that I know will deliver what I expect in a satisfactory manor.  

So whats going on?  Why do I feel that way?  Well, I read an interesting article this morning entitled The Paradox of Choice and it seems to offer at least a partial explanation - too much choice.  In any case, if you're perhaps feeling the same as I am, give the article a read and post your thoughts.

Cheers,
Marko

Thanks for sharing that article! It was fun and a joy to read! Happy



https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/...f44f6e96dd

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#30

Super Moderator
(09-20-2018, 05:12 AM)49erShaver Wrote:
(09-17-2018, 04:04 PM)Marko Wrote: I've been somewhat dissatisfied with many of my wet shaving purchases lately.  Its this ennui I feel when I get a package with the latest soap from an artisan or merchant and then after sniffing the tub and shaving with it once, I shrug my shoulders, mildly dissatisfied and toss the tub into the box in the basement where its likely never to be used again.  The performance may be good but often the scent hasn't lived up to its hype or its just another iteration of a scent used by several other soap makers.  Now don't get me wrong, I still enjoy my morning shave and there are definitely some artisans whose products I find very satisfying.  Despite that, I still find myself clicking the buy and then kicking myself later swearing that in future I will be more disciplined and will only buy from that select group of artisans that I know will deliver what I expect in a satisfactory manor.  

So whats going on?  Why do I feel that way?  Well, I read an interesting article this morning entitled The Paradox of Choice and it seems to offer at least a partial explanation - too much choice.  In any case, if you're perhaps feeling the same as I am, give the article a read and post your thoughts.

Cheers,
Marko

Thanks for sharing that article! It was fun and a joy to read!  Happy



https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/...f44f6e96dd

You're very welcome. Although some folks may find the name Art of Manliness to be a little hokey, I find it to be an excellent site with all kinds of great articles, advice and tips for men both young and less young. Their podcast is one of the best in my opinion - the principle, Brett McKay interviews authors of excellent books mostly. I've found numerous great books from the podcast.

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