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Officina Artigiana Milano Shave Soap Review

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I recently received a tub of Officina Artigiana Milano as a holiday gift from Sharpologist sponsor New England Shaving Co.  Seems like the Italians are upping their wet shaving game!

Officina Artigiana Milano Shave Soap

There are actually two versions of this shave soap, “Stay Traditional” and “Wellness Oil.”  I received a puck of the “Wellness Oil” version.

From the New England Shaving Co. website:

Natural and traditional shaving soap mainly made of 5 precious wellness oils of an Artisan workshop (Jojoba, Argan, Almond, Grapeseed and Castor). The traditional scent is precious, innovative, refined and structured but at the same time masculine and suitable for all seasons. Whether it’s a casual evening or an elegant dinner, its discreet but constant presence will be undisputed.

The soap is hot worked 5 times with 5 different mixing phases of the all natural ingredients with a different timing, phasing and volume. A meticulous and complex manual operation allows the precious oils to nourish and result in a very distinctive product that will nourish your skin many hours after shaving and you will realize the difference.

You will be surprised of the quality and distinctiveness of the traditional shaving soap, as well as the glass packaging presented in a black cardboard. In 150ml glass jar.

The jars are filled with special nozzles to create a visual effect representing a flower with five petals resembling the five wellness oils used in the soap. Unfortunately not all pots have a perfectly successful flower, due to the manual rotational process.

Made in Italy

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Castor Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Parfum (Fragrance), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Linalool

What Others Are Saying About Officina Artigiana Milano

There are not too many reviews of this shave soap extant but those that are there seem to be pretty positive.  Most mention the after-shave moisturization is noteworthy, especially when compared with other Italian shave soap:

I like my Italian shave soaps, I know how they perform and how to handle them and I’d say this is probably a top Italian soap for me.

I thought it was awful, worse than Proraso to make the obvious Italian comparison.

I love the scent on this one and the performance was quite superb. The post shave quality was equally as superb.

I used a pea sized amount loaded straight into my brush and it created a monstrous amount of rich lather. The scent isn’t particualry strong but it is pleasant and not synthetic/fake smelling which is something I’m noticing in a lot of these modern “artisan” soaps.

I don’t think any other soap/cream I’ve used matches how slick and smooth this cream left my face feeling between passes and after I finished my shave and I’ve used soaps from lots of the popular artisans….

I have read on one of the shave forums that this shave soap may actually be blended by Tcheon Fung Sing but I have not been able to verify that.  I think it’s very different than TFS’s shave soaps so I am taking that assertion with a grain of salt until I can find out one way or the other.

My Experience With Officina Artigiana Milano Shave Soap

{Note: I received this shave soap unsolicited as a holiday gift from New England Shaving Company (NESC).  However my opinions here are my own and have not been reviewed or approved by NESC or Officina Artigiana.]

This shave soap comes in a really classy glass jar with up-scale labeling.  First opening the jar and looking at the contents I didn’t really see a flower so I guess my jar did not get a “perfectly successful flower” fill.  –Shrug-

Off the puck I get primarily a moderately strong leather-ish scent with maybe just a bit of grass/hay, followed by spices.  One reviewer likened it to the smell of a room with horse saddles in it.  It actually kind of reminds me of Ariana And Evans’ Tertius: I think the over-all feel is very classy.  The scent does soften when lathered on the face but it is still reasonably persistent.  As with all things related to scent and my insensitive nose, “your mileage may vary.”

My understanding is the “Stay Traditional” version of this soap smells quite different: primarily citrus.

Lathering is stupid-easy for me, even in my hard water.  Even easier than some of the other Italian shave soaps I have.  Fast, voluminous, and luxurious.  Perhaps it’s because of the additional oils in the ingredient list.

Performance?  Excellent!  Both lubrication/glide and protection/cushion are well above average for me.

Other reviewer’s mentions of the post-shave moisturization hold for me as well.  Maybe not quite as good as some of the super-premium US artisan shave soaps like Ariana And Evans, Wholly Kaw, or PAA (CK6 formulation)–but again well above average.


I’m really starting to dig Italian shave soaps.  While they don’t really have the historical prominence that the old-school British brands have in the US, I think they are being a lot more vigorous in improving their product and are beginning to “get the word out” beyond their own shores  In fact, while I think the US-based shave soap artisans are largely at the top of the pile when it comes to quality and performance, Italian brands like Tcheon Fung Sing, Saponificio Varesino, and now Officina Artigiana seem to be climbing fast!  A big thanks to New England Shaving Co. for putting me onto these guys.


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

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