Tabac Original Shaving Soap

Tabac Original

Up next, we have a German product. Tabac is considered to be a staple by much of the shaving community, with a product based upon a scent which could be considered the most famous men’s fragrance in Germany, kind of how Old Spice is often considered the “default” cologne in North America.

While Maurer & Wirtz have expanded upon their fragrance line, their shaving soap is still only offered in the original configuration. It’s a scent they describe as “a sophisticated composition fragranced with peppery-spicy notes and elegantly rounded off by exotic woods, musk, ambergris and a floral complex.” Now I’ll admit, my nose is not all that well trained. When I’m dealing with such a complex scent, I can’t really pick out all the individual aromas. To me, it smells “cologne-y”, and “fairly nice”. It not something I like enough to plan on picking up a bottle of the matching cologne, but I’ll shave with it once in a while.

As should be expected from a fragrance company which decided to start making shaving soap, the scent of the soap itself is reasonably strong. It definitely hits you when you open it up. Unfortunately, as is often the case, it doesn’t transfer well to the lather. Whereas the soap itself smells rather strong (while dry) when it’s opened up and is sitting on the counter, the lather isn’t nearly as strong when sitting on your face, a few millimetres from your nostrils! What was there, however, didn’t seem to fade much.

It lathered up easily enough, nice and thick, as well as a bit more voluminous than most other soaps. However, the slickness left a bit to be desired. As per usual, that was fixed by adding more water, but in this case I needed to add too much to be able to keep the lather as thick as I would have liked it. It did at least leave my face feeling more moisturized than most soaps, and was quite irritation free, even when leaving it on my face for a while (as part of the test to see how well the scent holds up over time).

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

The 125g re-fill can be had for $18.00, or $27.99 if you also want the ceramic bowl. Which considering the surcharge a lot of shaving supply companies charge for just the bowl, isn’t all that bad. It’s also available in a stick, for $14.99.

Overall, I can’t really say I’d recommend this product. 6/10, a decidedly middle of the road rating. The scent isn’t outstanding, IMHO, nor does the shave itself blow everything out of the water. There’s better shaves to be had which smell nicer for cheaper elsewhere. Since they don’t do samples, I can’t even say that I recommend giving it a shot anyways, in the hopes that you might like it. Although I do notice that Garry’s Sample Shop currently has some in stock, maybe if you’re curious you might want to give it a shot from there, so you’re only dropping $3 if you end up not liking it instead of $15.

Ingredients: Potassium Stearate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Tallowate, Potassium Cocoate, Aqua, Sodium Tallowate, Parfum, Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, CI 77891, Limonene, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Citronellol, Courmarin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Evernia Prunastri (Oakmoss) Extract, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Isoeugenol, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Eugenol, Citral, Evernia Furfuracea (Treemoss) Extract.

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  1. mark says

    I tried tabac based on other reviews and a bit of nostalgia (used tabac when I first started shaving some 40 years ago). I like the fragrance but found it damn hard to get a decent lather with both my short and longer boar bristle brushes. I suppose that I’ve been spoilt using proraso which is extremely easy to get a good lather.

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