Do you believe in imminent justice? For my recollection of chivalry, fate has awarded TEN pucks of The Art of Shaving Sandalwood soap (bowl refills), which I found at "Replays" in Burlington (the Blue Mall). This thrift store actually benefits the medical center we were visiting. (All good news so far, BTW. My wife's cancer was officially staged at "1" and was completely removed. May not even require chemo, but they are still testing everything thoroughly. Healing well.) I was just killing time, looking for a dollar store that used to be there.

The knightly sum I tendered, $20, would not normally buy even one of these soaps... and it was immediately obvious that I was in the presence of a new class of soap smelliness. There might have been something defective about them, according to the manager I spoke with, who related the source of the donation, the company that makes the soap.  I wasn't seeing it. Would a bit of haze on the puck surface cause rejection? It just looked a bit aged (2014) to me.

I purchased what I could, for me and whoever is lucky enough to find me at a flea market. Any students in the Burlington, VT area should certainly take advantage of the manufacturer's charity; plenty remains.

Some folks pitched a fit when they stopped using tallow in 2013. All I can say about that is, get yourself a puck of Williams, son, and learn how to lather soap! It took about 30 seconds to get more lather than I could stack on a brush. Tabac-strong perfume, but less chemical feel, making the former seem decidedly middle-class. There do seem to be a couple of chelating chemicals missing from the tail end of the ingredients list compared to current product. It would be sad if the googlearchy influenced anything, in this case.

First Shave

Oh, my. Corn oil? Who knew? Maybe because we're all corn-fed consumer cattle here in America, this seemed one of the least irritating, highly enriched soaps ever, despite the strong essential oil. Or oils... I will say, this sandalwood is more like incense than the earthy, single-note Italian Barber for sensitive skin. I can't decide if it's more like the library in an Ivy-league English department, or a woman's vanity. Says "aspiring," more than "masculine," to my nose. I also picked up some used penny loafers at the thrift store, but they didn't fit me... maybe they'll fit my wife. Like that.

I can see how it would be considered on the dry side, by the majority of artisan soap afficionados. Less so than Williams or Tabac, but in that lineage. For me, though, the lack of inflammation inspired me to upgrade my postshave from coconut (more actively moisturizing) to cocoa butter (emollient). I had to rub my palms more vigorously to melt it before adding half a splash of just-like Brut. Really great post-shave, as if I hadn't shaved at all after an hour or so. (Still pushing for BBS.)

Happy Housekeeping

Williams moves into its proper, Armetale mug housing, so that the blue "shaving rainbow" toddler snack cup can be occupied by the matching tan TAOS puck. I know red usually signals sandalwood in Italy... this may be revisited once things have set, making Tabac "powder blue."

Tabac, right, still showing the good value of its refill.

Hardest soap yet, BTW. To avoid damaging my cheap plastic, I shaved the perimeter of the puck and filled the corner space of my cup, which luckily isn't too far off the dimensions of the wooden bowl it was molded to fit. I skipped the softening step of pressing with my wrist bone, which was probably a mistake, and went straight to single knuckling the outer edge into place, leaving the center slightly raised. Finally, I placed a coin under the cup to support its raised center, then knuckled the center down. My knuckle was definitely feeling the burn, but wasn't bruised.

My Williams had turned mushy, which I guess is a good thing, as it was easily plastered into place. While I was at it, I transferred my ring of Arko to the red salsa bowl in the kids' drawer. You are the weakest link, lol. With Palmolive, Tabac, and TAOS, I'll need a very nice citrus-scented soap to fill the yellow cup, now.  And I think I'm going to start drying out my soaps.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear the good news about your wife's cancer results. I didn't realize she was having to deal with it. I know both of you must be relieved!

    You are one lucky devil stumbling across a find like that. The way my luck usually runs, they would charge me 20 bucks just to sniff the box! Enjoy the find!