One look at the Dr. Jon’s “Big Green Monster” shaving soap, and you know you have to try it. In a world of retro labels and throwback logos, Dr. Jon’s unique irreverence stands out. This label just jumped out and grabbed me, and I immediately had to have it. In fact, I love all of Dr. Jon’s labels. They have such character and grab my attention every time I open my shaving cabinet just begging me to use them and ignore the other soaps and creams in there.
The response to this blog has been overwhelmingly positive that I really wanted to start getting a little more aggressive in my testing before I write a review. That’s not to say that I wasn’t diligent and honest in my reviews before, but I am really starting to feel like I owe it to my readers that I put my best effort into every product I review. I started that earlier this week with my review of the Soap Commander “Courage” aftershave balm, and I am carrying that forward with the Big Green Monster.
So, what does that mean exactly? Well, I really put this soap through it’s paces. I tested it using three different brushes: the Wet Shaving Products “Prince” silvertip badger brush, the Semogue 1305 and the Semogue 620. I also used three different razors: the Edwin Jagger DE87, the Merkur 34C and the Merkur 37C Slant Bar. I even used three different blades that I use regularly: the Gillette Silver Blues, the Red Israeli Personnas and the Feathers. Going forward, I plan on using the same setup for any cream or soap I review.
Let’s talk about the scent first. This scent is really so unique. I’m sure many people have read the label and thought, “how do lime, basil and peppermint work together?” I’ll be honest, I wondered that too. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to try this soap, and I found out it’s fantastic. It’s like shaving with a mojito, just so refreshing and eye-opening. I also really appreciate the stronger scent too. I get frustrated by soaps and creams with light scents or nonexistent scents. The “aromatherapy” during shaving is one of my favorite aspects of traditional shaving, and this soap does not disappoint. I think it’s worth pointing out here too that Dr. Jon’s only uses essential oils for fragrance, except when that isn’t possible to achieve a desired scent. In fact Dr. Jon’s only uses natural ingredients for all of their soaps, which is absolutely fantastic. I’m also really curious to see how this soap handles in the summer when the lime can really shine. Right now the peppermint is wonderful for colder weather, which makes this an excellent year-round soap.
Initially I was thrown off by lathering this soap. While the “Big Green Monster” is definitely a soap (or more accurately a croap), it’s significantly softer than a triple-milled hard soap, and it’s even softer than some popular croaps. However, at the same time, this is an extremely dense soap. By dense, I mean that it just has a real thickness or heaviness to it that some other softer soaps don’t have. These are all good things, but it took me a few tries to get the lather down. I needed to load my brushes with much less soap than I originally thought, which really provides an excellent value because of how little soap you need to use for each shave.
Finally, of course, everyone wants to know about the performance. We all have those soaps that smell great, but that’s all they’re good for. Well, the performance on Dr. Jon’s “Big Green Monster” is outstanding. No matter which razor and blade combination I was using, my shaves were incredibly close, but still comfortable. I think the best combination was the Merkur 34C and Feather blade. In fact, that day I actually had to check to make sure I really had a Feather in because the shave was so smooth and comfortable. This is one of those soaps that makes it feel like you're not shaving at all, and then, when you’re done, your face is unbelievably smooth. My stubble was even shorter the next morning than it usually is.
I was really blown away by this soap. I hadn’t seen or read much about it, so I was a little skeptical, but that was quickly put to rest. Cool graphics, natural ingredients, scent, lather, performance, this soap has it all, and I highly, highly recommend it. It’s now in my rotation among my other favorites. Make sure you stay tuned to the blog too, I have reviews of the “Classic” and “Hex” coming in the near future too!
Have you been attacked by the “Big Green Monster”? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment here or drop a line on social media.