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Noble Otter Bare versus Wholly Kaw Bare Siero

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Welcome to Round 2 of Sharpologist’s head-to-head (or beard-to-beard) scent-free soap competition. Today’s event features a pair of Bares: Noble Otter Bare versus Wholly Kaw Bare Siero. In this series I’m focusing on overall shaving performance so neither a soap’s scent nor its cost is a factor in the review.

Background

We started the competition with 16 unscented or scent-free soaps. This round features two of the eight first round winners. The format is simple: I shave four times in about a week and rate the soaps’ performances.

The Contestants

Noble Otter Bare Shave Soap

www.nobleotter.com/products/bare-soap-shaving-soap

From the website: Bare Soap was created for those guys who do not want any scent in their soap. Not wanting to mask your cologne? Can’t have a scent on in your line of work? Are you sensitive to strong fragrance? Bare Soap is perfect for you. We take our soap formula and leave the fragrance out of it. Enjoy a great shave without anything other than smooth skin afterwards. 

Ingredients: 

Stearic Acid, Beef Tallow, Aqua, Coconut Milk, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Kokum Butter, Mango Seed Butter, Sodium Hydroxide, Lanolin, Bentonite Clay, Sodium Lactate, Allantoin, Citric Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Tetrasodium EDTA, Aloe Vera, White Willow Bark Extract, Watermelon Extract, Tussah Silk 

Wholly Kaw Bare Seiro

whollykaw.com/product/shaving-soap-bare-siero/

From the website: Unscented tallow soap in Siero base. Hops Extract is added to provide biological activities such as anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic providing relief for inflammation and prevention of spider veins. Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid, the only long chain fatty acid which the body needs but cannot synthesize have long been recognized as essentials for healthy looking skin.

Ingredients:

Potassium Stearate, Sodium Stearate, Water, Donkey Milk, Water Buffalo Milk, Donkey Milk Whey, Water Buffalo Milk Whey, Glycerin, Potassium Tallowate, Sodium Tallowate, Potassium Ricinoleate, Sodium Ricinoleate, Potassium Shea Butterate, Sodium Shea Butterate, Garcinia Indica (Kokum) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, Hydrolyzed Linseed, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Lanolin

Overall Impressions

These are both high-quality soaps. They produced two of the best shaves I’ve had in this series of comparisons, with the Noble Otter Bare scoring 29/30 on one shave and the Wholly Kaw Bare Siero scoring a 30/30. Overall, though, the Wholly Kaw Bare Siero gave me more consistent results with better protection and a better post-shave skin feeling. 

Points awarded for each factor:

1: Poor

2: Fair

3: Good

4: Very good

5: Excellent

Feature: Lack of Scent

SoapPoints
Noble Otter Bare5
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero5

Nothing to smell here.

Feature: Easy lathering

SoapPoints
Noble Otter Bare5
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero4.1

I suspect my lather-building skills have improved as I work with all these different soaps. The Wholly Kaw performed better with the badger brush but the Noble Otter Bare quickly generated an excellent quality and quantity of lather with both the synthetic and the badger brushes in my soft water.

Feature: Moisture retention

SoapPoints
Noble Otter Bare5
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero4.5

Slight edge to the Noble Otter Bare although both held up well for the entire shave.

Feature: Lubrication

SoapPoints
Noble Otter Bare4.5
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero4.8

Both very good with slightly better performance from the Wholly Kaw.

Feature: Protection

SoapPoints
Noble Otter Bare3.0
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero4.6

My first shave with the Noble Otter Bare (using a Merkur 34C with a Feather blade) was rough–a 2.0 score–which was surprising given the excellent lather. The result was multiple nicks and a small razor burn patch on my lower neck. I scored the next shave a 4.0 using the same hardware and the final two shaves were good (3.0), but not great. Shaves with the Wholly Kaw Bare Siero were consistently very good or excellent, even when the lather build-up wasn’t as good as the Noble Otter’s.

Feature: Post-shave Skin Feeling

SoapPoints
Noble Otter Bare3.3
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero4.8

The rough first shave with the Noble Otter Bare hurt its score versus the Wholly Kaw Siero, which consistently earned 4 or 5 points and left my skin feeling very good, even on cold, harsh days.

Final Scores

Winner: 

Wholly Kaw Bare Siero over Noble Otter Bare by a score of 27.8 to 25.8.

Competition Recap

Round 2:

PAA Scentless Soap (Formula  CK-6) over Mike’s Natural Soaps Unscented by a score of 26.9 to 20.8 

Zingari Man Sego Unscented by a score of 26.75 to 25.6 over Wholly Kaw Bare Naked.

Up Next

  • Talbot Shaving Trust versus Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional
Ed McCarthy

Ed McCarthy

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