March 16, 2013

Shave Soap Hoarding

I use shave soap and a badger brush a couple of times a week, usually on weekends when I am not in a rush in the morning. I've tried many different types of shave soap, and the soap from The Art of Shaving ranks very high. A few weeks ago I was thinking about buying a new puck of soap (because I am near the end of my puck of Tabac soap, which, by the way, is another top notch performer even though some say that it smells like an ashtray lurking in your Grandma's linen closet), so of course I browsed over to the Badger & Blade website to see about the latest and greatest trends in shave soap.

After spending some time in the "Shaving Soaps" sub-forum, I saw a post about the end of the shave soap universe - The Art of Shaving changed its soap formulation! They will no longer be tallow-based soaps. Zounds! You see, some believe that tallow is a magic ingredient for a proper shave soap, and many feel that The Art of Shaving BLEW IT by making the change. So there you go, I scratched that soap off of my wish list and decided to move on to something else.

Fast forward about a week, and I found myself wandering about in my local mall, waiting for the females in my family to complete some trivial and unimportant shopping. I spotted a brick and mortar Art of Shaving store, and the mission was ON. I immediately targeted the shave soap display but my trek across the store was intercepted by the young lady working at the store. "Are you looking for anything in particular?" she asked. At this point, I felt ready to test her knowledge of the product line, and blurted out in a holier-than-thou tone: "Yes. I'm interested in your old tallow-based shave soap formulation because I really liked that product and am disappointed that you changed it." Take that!

I was expecting a blank stare from her, but was pleasantly surprised by her response: "We actually do have some old stock left, and you're not the first person to ask about it. We have some of the unscented, lemon, and lavender soap left. You can tell which ones are the old tallow soaps by looking at the packages and [TOP SECRET CONTENT REDACTED]. See, this one is the old soap, and this one is the new stock."

Wow, this person knew her stuff, and her unexpected response caught me off guard. "If you like the old soap, you should stock up on them now," she said. I thought to myself: "Damn, she is right. This is a great product and soap has a long shelf life. Whatever." So, although I was really looking for the sandalwood flavor, I convinced myself to load up on some lemon and lavender soaps. After getting home and realizing how idiotic my acquisition was, I did some rationalization and convinced myself that the soap could be considered to be an "investment" (I should be able to break even at the very least by selling them to other like-minded idiots).

The sales lady at the store suggested that I keep the soap in a cool, dry, dark place (e.g., Grandma's linen closet). I took the advice of this knowledgeable person, wrapped the boxes in Saran Wrap, and stashed them away in a cabinet.

Hermetically Sealed AoS Soaps
As shown, I bought six pucks. My plan is to save them for a few years to see whether or not they become highly sought after on the seedy shaving goods market. Or I might sell them or trade them for other goods or services. Or I might actually use them. I have options.

After the thrill of finding these awesome soap pucks wore off, I realized that I still needed to buy something to actually use. I decided to try the Windsor soap from D.R. Harris, an English brand that claims to be one of London's oldest pharmacies (200+ years in existence). I wonder if they have any 200 year old shave soap lurking somewhere in their stockroom.

I'm not sure why the box says "Shaving Bowl" on it, because there was nothing but a piece of soap inside. Pleasantly scented, and made with tallow of course!

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