Monday, August 5, 2019

Love or Hate Your Shave Soap Fragrance?

I don't like most shave soap fragrances: too flowery, too girly, too strong, too much like Grandma's potpourri.

What to do? Discard? Suffer the olfactory insult?

No! There is a better solution, and it lies in the fact that most fragrances are volatile. They won't explode, but they will dissipate over time if left in the open air.

A great example of a good and inexpensive shave soap is Arko, which is often disliked because of its overpowering fragrance.

The solution is simple. Unwrap it, and leave it exposed to circulating air. Over days the fragrance will start to diminish. Over weeks it becomes mild and pleasant.

I am doing this with a large tub of shave soap that I won as a door prize in a shaving meet up. I hated the fragrance, but the lather was good. So this morning I opened the container and left it to air on my bathroom counter.

Not surprisingly, my bathroom soon acquired the subtle scent of this shave soap. That's an indication that the fragrance is leaving the soap and going into the air. Over time, the soap will have a weak enough fragrance that it's unlikely to bother me.

The reverse is true of a soap with a smell that you like. My sad story is that I ordered a menthol soap that I like a lot, but which is no longer available. I put the puck of soap in an open yogurt container, where it has been for many months. I went to use it the other day, and there was little menthol to be felt or smelled.

Oops, I should have put that puck in a sealed container to preserve the fragrance and feeling. But I didn't think about it at the time.

Don't make my mistakes. Air out the soaps with strong or offensive fragrance. Seal the soaps you like to preserve the fragrance.

Happy shaving!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A Premium Shave Experience for Pennies!

I recently had a rare experience in which I was super-pleasantly surprised by trying a shave product that I had largely dismissed before really giving it a fair trial. Here's my brief story:

For a few days I was trying a shave soap sample with a pleasant vanilla scent. The lather I was able to produce was adequate, but just a bit flat. Then I remembered that I had some lather-booster soap from Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements (PAA)*.

This is the version of lather booster that I've been using -- containing menthol.

So for my next shave I swirled my warm, wet shave brush on the puck of lather booster, then into the vanilla shave soap and gave it a go.

The result was a luxurious lather unlike any I've experienced with brush and soap! It reminded me very much of all the good things about lather from a can -- its body and richness -- but, of course, without the propellants and without the need to spread the lather with my hands. (Also without the wasteful, non recyclable, ecologically irresponsible can!)

So after a couple of days of lather-boosted vanilla soap, I pulled out the Toyota Yaris of shave soaps (economical but hardly the lap of luxury), Williams.

Same story (yeah!!!): a rich lather, super premium!

I, personally, also like my particular version of lather booster because it's mentholated; I love the cool anesthetizing effect of menthol. However, PAA also offers other varieties for your shaving delight, which are pictured below:

A mentholated prickly-pear version of PAA's lather booster.

This is the same lather booster that I use, but in a soap stick instead of a puck.

A scent-free lather booster.
These soaps are very affordable and turn any run-of-the-mill, economy shave soap into a Rolls-Royce experience. My suggestion is to skip paying top dollar for expensive shave soaps and instead choose any "value" soap and add a little lather booster. The outcome will likely surpass the lather from any so-called premium (and very expensive) shave soap.

And frankly, adding lather booster to even your top-dollar soaps is likely to improve the experience.

To easily peruse these lather boosters on the PAA web site, choose any of the links in this article and search on "lather booster."

Happy shaving!

*Shave Like Grandad is an affiliate partner with PAA.