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Scent-free Soaps Round 1, Match 4: Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Scentsless versus Talbot Shaving Trust

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This fourth head-to-head (or beard-to-beard) evaluation in Sharpologist’s scent-free soap competition features Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements (PAA) Scentsless versus Talbot Shaving Trust. (Note: This is not the PAA Scentsless Formula CK-6 soap–I’ll review that version next time.) 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.

The Contestants

[Editor’s note: PAA and West Coast Shaving links are affiliate.]

Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Scentsless

From the website: A super slick & protective unscented shaving puck, great for folks with sensitivity to fragrances.

Ingredients: Potassium Stearate, Glycerin, Potassium Cocoate, Aqua, Potassium Kokumate, Sodium Lactate, Potassium Shea Butterate, Potassium Castorate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Cocoa Butterate, Potassium Avocadoate

Talbot Shaving, Trust

From the West Coast Shaving Site:

Trust yourself to Talbot Shaving. With this unscented soap, the efficiency and effectiveness of the soap is sure to shine through. If you struggle with allergies or skin sensitivities, then this is the soap for you. No added fragrances to irritate or annoy. Just pure soapy goodness. 

Ingredients: Stearic acid, water, tallow, glycerin, potassium hydroxide, shea butter, fragrance, castor oil, sodium hydroxide, rice bran oil, kokum butter, lanolin, palm kernel flakes, jojoba oil, wheat germ oil, babassu oil

Overall Impressions

Image Courtesy Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements

Both of these soaps performed well. The main differences that I experienced were in lathering and the level of protection.

Points awarded for each factor:

  • 1: Poor
  • 2: Fair
  • 3: Good
  • 4: Very good
  • 5: Excellent

Feature: Lack of Scent

Soap Points
PAA Scentsless 4.5
Talbot Shaving, Trust 4.5

Very slight soapy smell from each but nothing heavy.

Feature: Easy lathering

Soap Points
PAA Scentsless 4
Talbot Shaving, Trust 2.5

My usual routine is to first try face lathering with a synthetic brush. If the results from that method aren’t good, I’ll use a bowl with the synthetic brush or some combination of face and bowl. The next stage is a badger brush with face lathering followed by badger brush and bowl. 

Both of these soaps lathered best for me in my soft water with the badger brush and bowl. But even with that combination I never got the Talbot Shaving,Trust’s lather to the volume and density I like. I don’t try to go all Santa Claus with a yogurt-consistency lather, but I do want enough good-quality lather to maintain coverage for the entire shave.

In contrast, the PAA Scentsless was very easy to lather and it produced an ample amount of  high-quality lather.

Feature: Moisture retention

Soap Points
PAA Scentsless 4
Talbot Shaving, Trust 4

The Talbot Shaving, Trust produced a thinner layer of lather but it held up nicely, as did the PAA Scentsless’ thicker layer.

Feature: Lubrication

Soap Points
PAA Scentsless 3.5
Talbot Shaving, Trust 4

I thought the Talbot Shaving, Trust did a slightly better job in this area but it was close with overall good lubrication from both.

Feature: Protection

Soap Points
PAA Scentsless 3.5
Talbot Shaving, Trust 4.5

The PAA Scentsless protected well but dried out my skin slightly. The Talbot Shaving, Trust soap surprised me. Despite the comparatively thinner lather coverage, it provided very good protection. It didn’t hydrate my skin–it was neutral. In other words, my skin felt and looked no different pre- and post-shave, which I think is still an impressive result. In fact, one day I needed a really close shave, which meant shaving against grain, something I rarely do. The Talbot Shaving, Trust came through with the same degree of protection as it did with my usual routine of with- and across-the-grain passes..

Image Courtesy West Coast Shaving

Feature: Post-shave Skin Feeling

Soap Points
PAA Scentsless 3
Talbot Shaving, Trust 4.5

The PAA Scentless left my skin a bit tuat but still produced comfortable DFS results. With the Talbot Shaving, Trust, though, I could barely tell that I had shaved. 

Final Scores

Winner: Talbot Shaving Trust over Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Scentsless by a score of 24.0 to 22.5.

Competition Recap

Previous weeks’ winners are highlighted in bold:

Round 1:

Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional by a score of 23.75 to 22.5 over Martin De Candre Nature.

Wholly Kaw(R) Bare Naked (Tallow) by a score of 21.0 to 20.5 over Wet Shaving Products (WSP) Rustic Shaving Soap Au Naturel.

Zingari Man Unscented Sego by a score of 26.5 to 23.25 over Chiseled Face Groomatorium Natural Fragrance Free.

Up Next

Declaration Grooming Unscented versus Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Scentless Formula CK-6.

Ed McCarthy

Ed McCarthy