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