Monday, September 12, 2016

Two Value Observations....

The other day I did something unusual (for me). I was at my corner pharmacy and, on impulse, bought a puck of Williams shave soap, which still typically sells in the ballpark of US$3 (or less) per puck.

Many men look down their nose at Williams. However, as I've said before, I was a marketing major long ago prior to my retraining as a registered-dietitian nutritionist. And marketing majors know that for many people, product price significantly affects perception. Low price must mean cheap goods, right?

Well, not necessarily. Williams is a tallow-based soap, which often means good performance. It's bouquet is pleasant, in my humble opinion.

Some complain that it is difficult to lather. But it's not. I never had difficulty lathering Williams, but I think the easiest way is to face lather. That is, wet the beard, rub the flat of the puck directly on the wet whiskers. Then with a wet brush lather away.

I believe Williams soap to be a sleeper; it's the best value available in shave soap -- and it's often available locally in retail stores.


I put a new Dorco ST-301 blade in my Merkur 33C this week, and have gotten some very good shaves. In the mild and forgiving 33, the Dorco 301 seems an ideal blade for my face. It's sharp enough to give a close shave, but smooth enough that I get virtually no irritation or sightings of blood.

The 301s are also a reasonably durable blade. As with all my blades, after each shave I press them dry and then give them a light stropping with a single light swipe down my forearm for each side of each edge. Then I put them back into my dried razor for the next day's shave.

I believe these blades are a good value, and I'm pleasantly surprised about the results whenever I use them.

Happy shaving!


  1. Doug,
    I haven't tried Williams yet. How does it compare to Van Der Hagen Deluxe or Arko Shave Sticks.

  2. Not terribly different from Arko except that the fragrance is much milder right out of the package (I always recommend letting Arko "rest" unwrapped in open air for a week or two to attenuate the strong bouquet). Also Williams may not "explode" with lather in quite the same way as Arko, but it's easy to lather and, ultimately, I believe the shave protection to be similar. Regarding VDH shave soap, again, the bouquet of Williams isn't quite the same (Williams is simpler, more old-school, not as "sweet"/perfumey), but the protection of the lather is about the same as I recall (it's been quite a while since I've used VDH soap).

  3. Williams is one of the best in my opinion. The best way to lather Williams is to lather it directly on the puck, in the mug, with plenty of warm water. Do NOT just load your brush on the puck and try to lather it in a different mug or in face. And do not just swirl the brush around, pump it up and down to fill the lather with air. I think this is the reason why so many fail to get good lather out of Williams and even so with Mitchells Wool Fat. Both of them requires a lot water.Try this and you will never go back.