5 Shaving Soaps That Shaving Cream Guys Should Try

Leisureguy recently wrote a post titled “5 Shaving Creams That Shaving Soap Guys Should Try.”  I thought I would turn that around and suggest 5 shaving soaps that shaving cream aficionados should try.  I based these suggestions on how easy they are to lather (even in hard water), performance, and I tried to cross scent and price ranges so there’s something for everyone.  These aren’t the only choices of course but they should give you great results.

1. Arko

Arko shave soap’s scent tend to get a “love it or hate it” reaction but for its ridiculously low price and wide availability (Arko on Amazon) it is worth a try.  It is usually sold as a shave stick, where you rub it on your wet face then use a brush to build lather, but it can also be found in a tub as well.

2. Shaveplace/Emsplace

I think Shaveplace (Emsplace) soaps are a forgotten treasure.  Emily doesn’t promote or  advertise herself much so most of her business comes from word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat business.  She’s sometimes overlooked in the shaving forums but she’s a well-established vendor (in the business going on 15 years) with a great reputation.  Her glycerin-based shave soap pucks have a variety of (mostly “outdoorsy”) scents, are fairly priced, lather easily and generously, and perform as well or better than many more expensive products.

3. Strop Shoppe “Special Edition” (Tallow)

Strop Shoppe’s Special Edition line have tallow and non-tallow versions in shaving soaps in a number of different, interesting scents.  The non-tallow versions are still very good but the tallow versions are exceptionally conditioning and moisturizing to the skin.  Prices are a bit on the high side but in-line with other quality tallow shaving soap.  They also offer samples in some cases.

4. RazoRock

RazoRock is another artisan shaving soap that deserves a look from “cream guys.”  I find their “La Famiglia” line of hard shaving soaps in particular to be excellent performers with easy, generous lathers.  And the price-point isn’t too bad either.  Their new “King of the Castle” line looks very promising too, at an exceptional price-point.

5. DR Harris

Finally, a traditional, established name in the wet shaving world, DR Harris.  Classic scents (Arlington is a personal favorite of mine), luxurious lather, and outstanding performance are hallmarks of DR Harris.  Just make sure you select one of the tallow-based soaps and not the “Naturals” line.  Unfortunately DR Harris soaps tend to be pricey but you can reduce your cost by selecting a refill puck or a shave stick.

 

Honorable Mentions

I very recently tried some of Mikes Natural Soaps and the Barrister & Mann line and found them both excellent.  More coming after I have had a chance to use them for a while longer.

mantic59 mantic59 (532 Posts)

also known as "Mantic59." Shave tutor and sharpologist.


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Comments

  1. I will definitely try Arko, I need one that is easy to use or transport and everything, this one seems the best for it. And of course, it is cheap.

  2. I got the Arko Shaving Stick as well and I’m not to fond about the scent and their are better shaving soap sticks available like the Wilkinson Sword Shaving Soap Stick, La Toja Shaving Soap Stick and ofcourse the Palmolive Shaving Soap Stick.

    But one shaving soap that I really liked a lot is the France Monsavon Shaving Soap, it got a great lavendel scent and the performance is great as well. In France it can be get for less then € 1,50

  3. Martin de Candre, MWF, and Cella, should be added. All are excellent and Cella is ideal for folks that are used to creams.

  4. SoapMonster says:

    Hmm, have you guys ever found a poor performing soap?

    Or, are we just talking about different grades of satisfactory to superb?

    • Oh yes, there are shaving soaps (and creams) that do not perform well. For example, Burts Bees had a shaving soap that was terrible (luckily they stopped making it). Herbal Cowboy’s shaving soap gets very few positive comments. Trumper’s Eucris could certainly stand improvement. Some people have trouble with Col. Conk soaps. DR Harris’ “Naturals” shaving soap line is a disappointment for many. I need to do a seperate post about this I think. :)

      • Bearded Dragon says:

        My technique is still lackluster, to be complimentary to myself, and I’m the kind of guy who will just ‘tough it out’ for the most part. That said, as a neophyte wetshaver striving for gradual gains, I must sit tall in the saddle for Herban Cowboy.

        The company sounded like a darling of the eco-friendly community, earning interest and praise from me on the basis of its philosophy and ingredient choices, so it was the first soap I tried.

        Crappy lather, yes, and I can’t get it to bulk up very much even with my admittedly ersatz attempts at your Uber-lather — if I’m making the right distinction between the Super and the Uber. I specifically picked up a bottle of glycerin at the time of my Herban Cowboy purchase, anticipating the need to tweak and experiment based on the mostly unfavorable opinions about it which you mention.

        I’m very much still pedaling around with training wheels. I’m using my Van DerHagen boar brush which I fortuitously scored in a pinch at my local Rite-Aid. Clutch performance from a roughneck, remember. You should know that I was first looking to find the bushiest makeup brush available on that fateful Rite-Aid visit, only mildly expectant that I’d locate a shaving set in a wasteland of disposables, cartridges and ‘pressurized goo’.

        Anyway, I get agitated by my lathering results in general, so I’m not overly distraught about the runniness and quick disappearing act of Herban Cowboy’s negligible yield. I’ll make a miracle happen yet. The biggest defense I have to offer is for its scent. Some bozo’s ‘review’ on Amazon, if memory serves me, derided HC for it smelling like feet. Pause for effect. “My face should never smell like feet. Ever” was his statement, verbatim I believe. He must either have deficient olfactory nerves, or he’s led a privileged existence and only encountered the absolute best-smelling feet on the planet.

        Herban Cowboy’s shaving soap, given the name ‘Dusk’, is fantastically fragranced. I’m no better a perfumer than I am a latherer, so I’ll term it ‘masculine’ minus machismo. Sweetly outdoorsy without being one of those ‘pretty boy’ scents which have pervaded the market as part of the attempted emasculation of modern men.

        Herban Cowboy’s shave soap needs some critical attention, but I wouldn’t throw it out with the proverbial bathwater. A saponification expert should be able to bring Herban Cowboy’s ‘Dusk’ out of the shaving shadows and allow it to shine. Based on scent alone, this soap is worth ‘saving for shaving’, and as a brush monkey, I can still get an acceptable shave out of it.

  5. BK124TT says:

    The Strop Shoppe Barbershoppe is OUTSTANDING!

  6. For a cream like lather, one needs to go French. Martin de Candre, L’occitane, etc. There is no going back to the British stuff after these…

  7. bsmyn0708 says:

    What about Trumpers or Art of Shaving? The old versions.

  8. Clean Face says:

    Great list however, Al’s Shaving Sapone da Barba should be added to the top of the list. This product has excellent performance, leaves my skin soft and conditioned. The scent transforms during the shave into a very delightful luxurious scent.

  9. Shave Dude says:

    Tabac should be at or near the top of the list.

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