I’ve been having a lot of conversations about scent lately, and I’ve definitely found that it’s a pretty significant driving factor in the choice for shaving products. I still think that performance is the most important factor. However, with so many fantastic, artisan shaving soap makers out there, the choice of a top-performing soap is getting easier. This makes the factor of more appealing and stronger scents a higher priority.
We’re only half way through the year, so, instead of making a best of 2015 list, I wanted to take a look at some of the manufacturers producing the best-smelling soaps. Scent is subjective, so this list is not an endorsement of any fragrance in particular. These are just the folks, in my opinion, who are doing scent better than anyone else right now, while still making top-performing soaps too.
As with any list, I’m sure I won’t be choosing everyone’s favorite. Keep in mind, too, that I haven’t tried everything either. With so many wonderful manufacturers, who could? Some of the producers I plan on experimenting with in the second half of the year are Soapy Bathman, Tiki Bar Soap, Mickey Lee Soapworks, Razorock, and Soap Commander. Even then, I’m sure I’ll still just be scratching the surface of growing soap makers. Anyway, on to the best of 2015 (so far…)
The first soap that truly blew me away with it’s scent was made by Barrister & Mann. You can still read the review here. Every soap these guys put out is crafted to be a fragrance stand-out. By his own words, founder Will Carius has, “devoted considerable energy and research to constantly pushing the envelope of fragrance creation.” I love what he and his company are doing, and highly recommend trying one of their soaps if you haven’t.
I really couldn’t decide which soap maker was more explosive with their fragrances, so I decided to list two. Like B&M, Dr. Jon’s will make you re-think what a shaving soap can and should smell like. With two types of tobacco soaps, two variations on their incredibly popular Hydra soap, and the amazing Big Green Monster (read the review here), Dr. Jon’s has created a full product line of olfactory opulence.
As far as I know La Toja only produces one shaving soap, and as far as I know it is only available as a shaving stick. However, this one stick is so classically European, and it reminds me so much of the Mediterranean Coast, that I could not imagine my shaving cabinet without it. One of my all-time favorite shaves is the combination of the La Toja shaving stick with the Floïd “Vigoroso” aftershave. Considering the price, every single wet shaver should own (or at least try) the La Toja Jabón de Afeitar.
Across the channel, classic British grooming carries a higher air of sophistication from the European mainland. Lesser known than some of the other British producers, I think D.R. Harris has soap fragrance down. Their three proprietary scents (Arlington, Windsor, and Marlborough) are all incredible while each maintaining their own uniqueness. If you’re a fan of classic triple-milled shaving soaps, and you like using products with some history and aristocracy to them, no one does it better.
I’d love to hear any thoughts on this list or any suggestions you have for soap makers I need to try. Please hit me up on social media or leave a comment here!