Mitchell's Wool Fat

Mitchell's Wool Fat

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool? Yes Sir, yes Sir, three shaves full.

Mitchell’s Wool Fat soap is so-called because it contains lanolin, a waxy-substance obtained as a side-effect of washing wool for processing prior to spinning it. That having been said, I’m not sure how much of this is a matter of a little going a long way, and how much is marketing gimmick, as it really doesn’t contain much lanolin, being 14th on the ingredient list, behind even the perfume and other scents, which considering that this is designed to be an extremely lightly-scented product suitable for those with sensitive skin, is saying a lot.

That having been said, this product gives a damned fine shave. As outlined in our fine host’s video on the subject:

It can be difficult to lather if you have hard water, but it can be well worth it if you wish to put in a bit of effort. Personally, I have quite soft water, so I ended up ignoring most of the recommendations made, with the exception of the “load the brush quite a lot” point, and the admonition to add water as you lather instead of up front.

But, taking those steps, and putting in a bit of elbow grease, yielded a wonderful shave. Just top notch, and left the face feeling great. Still probably not the best shave I’ve ever had, as I think that honour is currently held by Mike’s Natural Soaps (which funnily enough appears to have far more lanolin than MWF does, being 7th on the ingredient list instead of 14th), but I think this stuff is good enough to share the 10/10 Lather Quality score.

The scent, as I mentioned, is quite light, seemingly by design. It’d be best described as a clean scent. I can’t really pick up any individual elements within, beyond a bit of a woodsy aroma. It was strong enough when I was sniffing the baggie the sample I’m using came in, but neigh undetectable when on the face.

  • 7/10 Scent Pleasantness
  • 3/10 Scent Strength
  • 10/10 Lather Quality

A puck of MWF soap (125g) goes for $13.99, however the sample I used was $3.00 for a half ounce sample (currently not in stock at the time of writing).

Overall, my recommendation depends upon whether or not you view the scent of the soap as an integral part of the experience, as I do, or not. If so, I wouldn’t recommend it. 6/10. Far too weak of a scent, there’s other soaps out there that still give great shaves while smelling good. If however you don’t care, or have rather sensitive or dry skin, do yourself a favour and try some. 10/10.

Ingredients: Sodium Tallowate, Potassium Stearate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Stearate, Aqua, Potassium Cocoate, Glycerin, Parfum, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Lanolin, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate, Sodium Silicate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Magnesium Sulphate, Tetrasodium Etidronate.

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  1. says

    I am trying MWF because I wanted to try a better soap than Van Der Hagen but I have a no fragrance rule. My wife gets migraines from fragrances and to be honest I don’t care for fragrances myself. VDH Unscented Luxury soap is virtually scent free and for now it is my daily soap. But the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence so I wanted to try something of a higher quality than VDH but still has little to no scent. Most of the commentary states or complains that MWF has little scent…sounded like my kind of soap.

    So I tried it the first time last night. Initial thoughts: It is right on the edge of my acceptable band of smelliness. One sniff stronger and I would be pitching it, so yeah I take fragrances seriously. That said, its on the edge but still acceptable, especially because it does not seem to remain after use. Unfortunately it does leave a slight greasy swilliness that I dislike. That is another thing I like about VDH Unscented. You wash it off and it is gone. I do not like gooey skin. Here again it is right on the edge. One degree more scent or swilliness and into the trash it would go.

    So I tried it with my VDH cheapy boar bristle brush (lots of scritch…and I love it), and for the basis of comparison I handled it like I would VDH Unscented. Bear in mind I have no idea what the hell I am doing. I started wet shaving several months ago. It seemed to lather up OK, so I face lather a bit and start shaving. By the time I got to my chin from the right side, the stuff had dried up into a white powdery slime that appeared to be what I would imagine theatrical makeup foundation is like. So I re-lathered, but the stuff was drying faster than I could shave. I had to keep reapplying lather as I went. The whole experience was not so great.

    So then I get out my new Vie Long 04312 horse hair brush (the one with the metal knot collet) and then I just experimented with the stuff. Not shaving just lathering it up. In the process, I built up a nice lather in the new brush, so I decided to kind of massage it into the bristles to help defunk the new horse hair (not as bad as I read, but it does have a bit of wet dog smell when it is wet). Meanwhile I forgot that I got the damned stuff on my face and it dries while I am playing with my new brush. What an idiot I am. I am pushing 67 years old and I am like a kid with a new toy on Christmas over this brush.

    So I clean the stuff off my face and now my face was irritated. I only use rubbing alcohol for an after shave (that fragrance and gooey thing again), so I wisely decided to forgo my after shave.

    So I got on to the internet to find out what the Sharpologist has to say about MWF. I watched the above video, and tried your suggestions this morning. It worked, especially the adding a bit of water while face lathering. The other thing I did was only lather half my face at a time. Excellent shave (despite my still somewhat irritated face). I am not sure if MWF will become my daily soap, but at least it didn’t get pitched in the trash. The quality of the shave is countering my dislike of the fragrance and the remaining swilliness. Time will tell.

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