With the great razor blade experiment completed, it’s finally time to get back into the world of wet shaving product reviews, and I'm starting next with Dr. Jon's Arctic Hydra shaving soap. What I find fascinating about the world of shaving soap manufacturing is that, really, the process is no secret. Everyone can google the ingredients, everyone has access to the same fragrance and essential oils, but what really enables one brand to stand out from the crowd is the specific combination of those components, and the creative process each soapmaker undergoes. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the world of artisan shaving soaps, but I feel, at this point, I’ve seen a few things and know what to expect. However, once again, Dr. Jon’s has managed to disrupt all that.
What I found in the “Arctic Hydra” shaving soap is a product that gets better with each pass. “Arctic Hydra” is the newest variation of Dr. Jon’s immensely popular “Hydra” shaving soap. Hydra is based on the blend of six different citrus scents, while “Arctic Hydra” takes this soap to eleven with the addition of menthol. And the menthol is where the true arctic beauty shines through. My first passes with this soap lived up to what I’ve normally come to expect from Dr. Jon’s. However, my second and third passes were truly something special. With the perfect amount of menthol, each previous pass was immediately soothed away. Unlike some other menthol based soaps, “Arctic Hydra” doesn’t shy away from its soothing namesake either. I would place the level of menthol somewhere in the range of the aftershaves from Fine. The true mastery in Dr. Jon's “Arctic Hydra” blend is that, in spite of the strength of the menthol, the citrus scents are still the focus of the fragrance. The result is an incredibly comfortable shave paired with a delightfully refreshing scent.
As I already mentioned, performance with this soap was on par with other soaps made by Dr. Jon’s which I’ve reviewed. My lather was incredibly slick while remaining awesomely cushioned. Like other Dr. Jon’s soaps, “Arctic Hydra” is fairly soft. As such, I recommend using a softer brush like the Semogue 1305 or the WSP “Prince” Silvertip in conjunction with the Marco Method of lather building. This will help you avoid using too much soap and still build more lather with which you could possibly know what to do.
Over the past year, I’ve developed a real appreciation for Dr. Jon’s. From their bold labels, to their outstanding and creative scents, to their dedication to quality ingredients, this is a brand to which I can always turn for some of the best wet shaving products. And much like the mythological hydra, every time I try and review one of their soaps, two more incredibly new ones pop up to takes its place. This is definitely a highly recommended shaving soap, and I can’t wait to see what Dr. Jon’s has to offer next.