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Scent-Free Soaps, Round 3, Match 2: Talbot Shaving Trust versus Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow) 

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Welcome to the Final Four of unscented soaps. Today’s second semifinal matchup features Talbot Shaving Trust versus Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow). In this series I’m focusing on overall shaving performance so neither a soap’s scent nor its cost factors into the review.


The competition started with 16 unscented or scent-free soaps and the list has been narrowed to the top four. The format is simple: I shave four times with a soap in roughly a week, rate each soap’s performance using the criteria below and compare the results.

By this stage, all the soaps are excellent performers. I realize another user could have had different results with the individual products, but I’m pretty confident that these final four soaps (Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Scentsless CK-6, Talbot Shaving Trust, Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow) and Zingari Man Sego Unscented) would finish high on every reviewer’s list. You won’t go wrong with any of them. 

The Contestants

Talbot Shaving Trust

talbot trust shave soap
Image Courtesy West Coast Shaving

From an earlier post 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.

Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow)

wholly kaw 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

Points awarded on a scale of 1 to 5 for each factor:

1: Poor

2: Fair

3: Good

4: Very good

5: Excellent

Feature: Lack of Scent

Talbot Shaving Trust4.50
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow)5.0

Very light soapy smell from Trust in the tub that dissipates with the shave.

Feature: Easy lathering

Talbot Shaving Trust4.38
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow)4.31

Both produced good lather quickly but I did get better results with Trust using the badger brush.

Feature: Lather moisture retention

Talbot Shaving Trust4.63
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow)5.00

The Bare Siero was consistently excellent.

Feature: Lubrication

Talbot Shaving Trust5.00
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow)5.00

Excellent performance from both.

Feature: Protection

Talbot Shaving Trust4.69
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow)4.44

 Very slight edge to Trust.

Feature: Post-shave Skin Feeling

Talbot Shaving Trust4.81
Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow)4.31

Edge to Trust on this score. One shave with Bare Siero left my skin fairly tender while the Trust’s scores were consistently in the mid- to high 4’s.

Final scores

My usual procedure is to rate each shave immediately after completing it. If it scores mid-range on an attribute, I’ll give it a 3.5 or a 4.5, for instance. If it scores more toward the upper or lower end of a range, I use two decimals, such as 3.75 or 4.25. 

With every previous competition I was able to set my calculator to one-decimal point accuracy for the final score and that worked fine. But not this time: Both soaps produced scores of 28.0. So, I went with double-digit accuracy for the summations and that produced a winner, but just barely. 

Winner: Wholly Kaw Bare Siero over Talbot Shaving Trust by a score of 28.06 to 28.01.

OK, I agree that the difference is ridiculously small—talk about splitting whiskers! Both soaps were great and their performances essentially tied, but I do rate them independently. In other words, I don’t compare notes from past shaves as I’m testing—I just rate each shave and add up the results.

Up Next

The Championship: Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Scentsless CK-6 versus Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow)

Ed McCarthy

Ed McCarthy

1 thought on “Scent-Free Soaps, Round 3, Match 2: Talbot Shaving Trust versus Wholly Kaw Bare Siero (Tallow) ”

  1. Mark.
    I recently began reading about shaving soap/creme ingredients. I was surpried by some of the negative findings about scents. Sometimes a list of ingredients will list “fragrance”. However, what the word fragrance includes is not listed.
    Thanks for testing the unscented products.

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