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What, Me Worry? Wm. Neumann & Co. Shave Soap

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William Neumann & Co. shave soap tries to recapture that “old time” shaving spirit.  Its story is one of family bonds and unfinished business.
As Bill Neumann II tells the story,

“…my Great-Grandfather was a pharmacist during the early 1900’s. As a pharmacist during the turn-of-the-century, he took detailed notes and filled several journals with his formulas and aspirations for his business. He had a truly remarkable vision, but unfortunately he was never able to fully complete it, as he passed away unexpectedly when his son, Wilford (My Grandfather), was just a young boy. Wilford understood the importance of keeping his father’s legacy alive, and maintained his father’s notes and records to be passed on to future generations.”

Bill continues:

“Reading through William’s formulary notebooks and journals, we learned that beyond traditional pharmacy, he had a deep passion for developing fragrances and the finest grooming products for men. He developed several “prescription” fragrances for prominent gentlemen whom frequented his drugstore, and was dedicated to using only the finest ingredients in his preparations. He maintained an unwavering commitment to providing only the finest quality products and services.
“Our passion is to continue his vision and legacy in his honor. Using his formulary notes, we have re-introduced some of his favorite fragrance formulas. My sons and I are excited to bring back his hard work and dreams.”

Neumann currently formulates various grooming products including bar soaps, hand & body lotions, shampoos, pre- and post-shave products, and of course shaving soaps.  All these products are available in a variety of “classic” scents such as Bay Rum and Peppermint Clove, with some additional “signature” scents.  I’ve been using a shaving soap with one of their “signature” scents, 1907.  The scent is described as

…Plum and Apple Brandy combined with Cinnamon and Caribbean Spices, Vanilla, Juniper, Cardamom, Labdanum, Cedar, and Sandalwood.

It’s hard for me to pick out specific notes.  But to me the cologne-like scent evokes impressions of what a gentleman might smell like around the turn of the century.

But How Well Does It Work?

Scent aside, the shave soap performs pretty well.  It’s a bit picky about the right amount of water during the lathering process though.  Treating it like Mitchell’s Wool Fat, by soaking the puck and starting with a slightly-drier-than-normal brush, seems to help with the hard water I have.  I also think it provides perhaps a bit less cushion than similarly formulated shave soaps I’ve used.  But on the other hand it has excellent lubrication!  If you are comfortable with your shave kit and reasonably careful with your technique, you will get a very close shave.
Ingredients include: Coconut, Palm, and Safflower Oils;  Oat Straw, Marshmallow Root, and Chickweed; Kosher Vegetable Glycerin and Sorbitol; Soybean & Wheat Proteins; Slippery Elm Bark and Bentonite Clay; Green Tea and Blue-Green Algae; Nettle, Milk Thistle, and Black Willow Bark.


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

7 thoughts on “What, Me Worry? Wm. Neumann & Co. Shave Soap”

  1. This is the first ‘premium’ shaving soap that I’ve used and I didn’t end up thinking that I would have been better off, or at least as good, if I had used Van der Hagen Luxury Soap. Furthermore, I would have ended up saving a whole lot of money as well. Not so with this soap. It has nice enough cushion, its very slick, it doesn’t dry out as I’m shaving, and it leaves my face feeling very nice. Then, on top of all that, its smell is terrific! I’m using Bay Rum, and it not only smells like what I think Bay Rum should smell like, but it’s very powerful – they didn’t skimp one bit on the scent. As a matter of fact, some folks may complain that it’s too powerful. Not me though. I like a nice strong scent, and if it lingers after the shave, that’s fine because I use their Bay Rum Balm afterwards.
    Well, that’s enough of me rambling on. I’m looking forward to using the rest of their line. I have a sample of their ‘1911’ after shave, and I love the smell of it. I can’t wait to try it out. Glad I found this product line. Mighty fine stuff, or as the kid used to say, “Good stuff, Maynard!”

  2. All of their products are first class but my favorite line is the 1911. I use the soap, after shave, and balm. Bill and his family are great people to deal with.

  3. I have samples of all their aftershaves and they smell great. Glad to read the shaving soap is good too! I usually don’t have a problem with MWF, so the comparison makes me feel a little safer ordering. Thanks Mark!

  4. I’m still relatively new to this, and I’ve never quite understood the difference between cushion and lubricity. What exactly does that mean when a soap provides great lubrication but not great cushion?

    1. As it has been explained to me cushion is the thickness of lather produced. Lubricity is how slick the lather is.

  5. Great to know that the soap is working well. After trying some samples I ended up buying their 1911 After Shave and After Shave Balm.

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