Col. Conk Products – Bay Rum Glycerine Shave Soap

When I first started wetshaving, Col Conk Lime was one of the first soaps that I used. It was also the first soap that I ever threw out. But despite that, I decided to give its Bay Rum cousin a shot. 

It performed a bit better than I remember the Lime did (or I’ve just gotten better at wresting performance out of sub-par shaving soaps). Which really isn’t saying all that much. I found that it seemed like a bit of an either-or choice with regards to adequate thickness or enough glide to the lather. It definitely needed a fair amount of water in order to provide enough lubrication, but in doing so it lost a lot of the thickness that provides your cushion.

The scent was, to paraphrase the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Bay Rum. Now, I greatly enjoy a good bay rum, so this was somewhat offputting. It’s a vaguely sweet scent with just the tiniest hint of the spices you’d find in most Bay Rums. Not that this matters all that much, because once it’s lathered up, you can barely smell it anyways.

  • 6/10 Scent Pleasantness
  • 5/10 Scent Strength
  • 6/10 Lather Quality

The cost is really the only redeemable aspect of this soap, IMHO. It’s cheap in every sense of the word, with the 2.25 oz puck used being available for just under $4.I suppose that and the fact that it seems to be more widely available in retail stores than most other brands.

There’s also a few other minor annoyances. For example, the label touts “Col. Conk Products. 150 Years of Clean Living”. Their website, however, specifies that they’ve been in business for 30 years. Also, nowhere is their ingredient listing readily available. The list I’ve got below was only obtained because someone wrote in and asked them for it. And even then, it’s not exactly the most illuminating list. The last time I checked, “soap flakes” isn’t exactly the chemical name for anything! Whether or not they actually have something to hide in their ingredient list, it sure as heck seems that way.

Needless to say, my overall impression isn’t all that hot. I’m giving it a 5/10, and would generally counsel people to stay away. I suppose it’ll do in a pinch if you’re travelling or something and need some soap that you can find locally right away.

Ingredients: Triethanalamine, SLES, Deionized water, Propylene Glycol, Soap Flakes, Stearic Acid, Tatrasoddium EDTA, Polysorbate-20, Color, Fragrance

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Palpz Palpz (35 Posts)

Royal Canadian Naval officer; amateur shave soap reviewer; political junkie


Comments

  1. I have tried the bay rum as well as the amber and both scents were off putting to me.

    Although I had great luck with the Col Conk “Lime” only after grating it and pressing it into a bowl though. Love the scent and performance after the grating process! YMMV Didn’t care enough about the other scents to try grating those though.

  2. Soap is 4th on the ingredients list… Well, there’s yer problem.

    It’s a puck of detergent (TEA and SLES are cheap surfactants). No wonder it doesn’t perform like soap. Lotsa bubbles, no performance.

  3. I can’t say I a big fan either. I have not tried their Bay Rum, but I have tried the Amber, Almond, and Lime. It is just a barely adequate shave soap at best.

  4. I’ve used the Bay Rum, Amber and now I’m working on the lime scented. I’ve never had problems getting a nice lather from Conk soaps, but the scents are extremely weak. I won’t be replenishing this brand since I can get something like Honeybee Spa soap for about the same price, and it’s supposed to be some good performing soap.

  5. I didn’t much care for their bay rum aftershave either. Too much clove.

  6. I’ve used the Amber. But I can safely say never again. There are just too many other shave soaps that are so much better. You get what you pay for in this case. You can get Proraso soaps for not much more yet they perform MUCH better.

  7. Shave Dude says:

    I don’t have good luck with the Col either. The lather appears nice and thick, but the cushion I want just isn’t there. I would have to supplement the lather with a dab of Proraso to get a decent shave. I’m sticking with my Tabac and MWF.

  8. A line of soaps I will avoid.I have tried the Alond , the Bay Rum and this one and are terrible performers.

  9. Gym Bawb says:

    I’m still pretty new to the whole wet-shaving experience (about a month now), so I’m still experimenting with alot of combinations. This morning I tried the Col Conk Bay Rum/ Proraso cream trick and it worked rather well. Since this is the first (and only) hard soap I’ve used, I don’t have anything else to compare it to.

  10. Thats so funny… Col Conk Lime was also my first shaving soap purchase. And I also felt the same way about it…. Hah…

  11. I poured the Conk Almond into one of those Do-it-yourself shave stick holders. It works great as a face lathering technique that controsl the amount on your face. The almond scent is almost candy-like. No problems with a BBS shave using my R41 with prep using Proraso Pre-Post.

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