Saponificio Varesino’s (through their US distributor) is a new sponsor here at Sharpologist. They sent me a sample of their Dolomiti triple-milled shave soap for me to try.
Saponificio Varesino Dolomiti Shave Soap
Saponificio Varesino is a small Italian Artisan soap company that has been making soap since 1945.
From the Saponificio Verasimo (US) website:
The Dolomites – the intimidating sentries standing guard on the Austrian border in northeastern Italy. So prized is the natural splendor of these 18 peaks stretching over 10,000 feet into the sky, this portion of the Southern Limestone Alps was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009. The anti-oxidant properties of the unique mix of clay and mineral found there form the heart of this collection’s shaving experience.
The fragrance of this collection is crowned by a top note of light citrus lemon, with a hint of sage. The core is floral and definitely lavender, with a hint of cloves and black pepper. The tail notes of amber and woody vetiver, patchouli and cedar wood characterizes the personality of the perfume….
The edition features the characteristic fragrance of the collection and uses our ‘Beta 4.3’ formulation – a further step forward in the evolution of our shaving soap in pursuit of enhanced lubrication and protection during the shave and enhanced post-shave skin feel.
The renewed formulation includes ‘Limo’ from the Dolomites – a mixture of clays and mineral sediment from the Western Italian Alps. This prized material is enriched with Vitamina A, E and B-Carotene to give this soap strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
This is vegetable-based shave soap:
Ingredients: Sodium Cocoate, Potassium Stearate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Rapeseedate, Sodium Sunflower Seedate, Aqua/Water/Eau, Silt, Fraxinus Ornus (Manna Ash) Sap Extract, Erythritol, Coco Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Ricinus Communis Oil, Galactoarabinan, Sucrose Cocoate, Shorea Stenoptera Seed Butter, Parfum/Fragrance, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Copernica Cerifera Cera, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Sodium Gluconate, Citric Acid.
The Dolomiti fragrance line includes shave soap, aftershave lotion, bath soap, shower gel, and a couple “Special Edition” sets.
What Other Reviewers Say About Saponificio Varesino Dolomiti Shave Soap
The reviews I have read of Saponificio Varesino Dolomiti shave soap are consistently positive.
Many mention the mild but pleasant scent (with most mentioning sage, lavender, and lemon), easy lathering, excellent lubrication/slickness, and outstanding post-shave feel. Some reviewers who have other Saponificio Varesino shave soaps mention that Dolomiti seems to perform better, even though they share the same “Beta 4.3” formulation. They suggest this might be due to the specific “silt” used in Dolomiti.
My Experience With Saponificio Varesino Dolomiti Shave Soap
[Note: I received a puck of shave soap to try at no charge. However my opinions here are my own.]
I received a puck of Saponificio Varesino Dolomiti shave soap in an attractive “special edition” anthracite-colored aluminum tin with a stamped metallic label.
This is a triple-milled shave soap, meaning extra processing has been done to make the soap puck harder and much longer-lasting (I don’t see too many triple-milled shave soaps these days; most of the artisan-made wet shaving soaps do not go through these extra steps). This shave soap should last you months and months of regular use.
My notoriously insensitive nose picks up a quite mild but complex woody/herbal note off the puck. YMWV (your mileage WILL vary from mine) of course. 🙂 Lathered up it gets even milder and it’s not very persistent for me so it shouldn’t interfere with any fragrance you might want to apply after shaving.
I did the “blooming” routine Saponificio Varesino recommends prior to lathering:
“Saponificio Varesino Shaving Soap formulations contain soluble ingredients that need to be activated with water. For best results…cover the surface with a thin veil of hot water for 2-3 minutes.”
And when I did load the puck with my brush I was rewarded with a thick, rich lather in a surprisingly short time for my “hard” water–less than 20 seconds.
As for performance, I agree with the reviewers above who can compare Dolomiti with other Saponificio Varesino shave soaps (including other Sharpologist reviewers): Saponificio Varesino shave soaps are very good but Dolomiti in particular seems to perform even better–even though they all use the same formula base! I find the lubrication/glide aspect excellent and the post shave feel outstanding.
I think Saponificio Varesino Dolomiti shave soap is a real “classic” product–I’d classify it as almost a throwback to how quality shave soaps were made before the “modern” traditional wet shaving era. Used properly you will be rewarded with rich, thick lather and excellent performance.