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Scent-Free Soaps, Round 2 Match 4: Talbot Shaving Trust versus Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional

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Today’s final Round 2 event of Sharpologist’s scentless soap shave-off pits Talbot Shaving Trust against Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional. 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.


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

The Contestants

Image Courtesy West Coast Shaving

Talbot Shaving Trust

From an earlier listing on 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

Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional []

From the website: Our traditional luxury shaving soap is formulated to create a rich, velvety lather to condition the skin and assist in a closer shave.

Ingredients: Sodium Palmate, Potassium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua, Glycerin, Potassium Palm Kernelate, Stearic Acid, Parfum, Paraffinum Liquidum,Isopropyl, Myristate,Tetrasodium Edta, Sodium Chloride, Bht, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Pentasodium Penetat, C1 77891.

Overall Impressions

Both of these soaps performed well but the Talbot Trust soap produced more consistent results, which stemmed mainly from its superior lathering performance.

Points awarded for each factor:

1: Poor

2: Fair

3: Good

4: Very good

5: Excellent

Feature: Lack of Scent

Talbot Shaving Trust4.5
Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional5.0

Very slight soapy smell from Talbot Trust but nothing heavy.

Feature: Easy lathering

Talbot Shaving Trust5
Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional3.9

These results were interesting. I recalled having difficulty getting consistently good lather from Talbot Shaving Trust the first time I used it but in this round it lathered like a champ with both the synthetic and badger brushes. It was easy to build the lather and quality and quantity were excellent with my soft water. (I suspect the improvement results from my almost exclusive use of soaps during this series of articles.) 

Lathers with the Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional varied considerably. They lacked density and quantity with the synthetic brush but were very good with the badger brush. 

Feature: Moisture retention

Talbot Shaving Trust5
Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional3.7

The lather results carried over to the soaps’ ability to retain moisture for the entire shave. Talbot Shaving Trust held up well but the Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional tracked its lather builds: Lathers with the synthetic brush were thinner and dried more quickly than those with the badger brush.

Feature: Lubrication

Talbot Shaving Trust5
Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional4.5

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

Feature: Protection

Talbot Shaving, Trust4.3
Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional4.5

Both provided very good protection with a slight edge to Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional.

Feature: Post-shave Skin Feeling

Talbot Shaving Trust4.0
Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional3.8

Both soaps left my skin feeling good after most of the shaves, even on some harsh, cold days, but the Talbot Shaving Trust’s results were more consistent.

Final Scores

Winner: Talbot Shaving Trust over Taylor of Old Bond Street Traditional by a score of 27.8 to 25.4. It’s worth pointing out that the final scores would have been closer if I had shaved only with a badger brush. 

Elite Eight Competition Recap

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

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.

Coming Up

It’s on to the final four of scentless soaps. The semifinals will feature:

PAA Scentless Soap (Formula  CK-6) versus Zingari Man Sego Unscented 

Talbot Shaving Trust  versus Wholly Kaw Bare Siero

Also, I’m making a hardware change for the next round. I’ve been experiencing rougher-than-usual shaves with the Parker Variant razor so for the next round I’ll be using a Feather AS-D2 and a Merkur 34C, both with Feather blades.

Ed McCarthy

Ed McCarthy