If you’re like me, the first thing you do when an eagerly awaited mail call arrives is crack open every tub, puck, or bottle and take a whiff. Usually, and this shouldn’t be a surprise considering the number of incredible soap makers out there, I spend fifteen to twenty minutes popping back and forth smelling everything. So, you can imagine my surprise when I took my first sniff of WSP’s “Blackbeard” shaving soap and wondered if I had made a mistake. The “Blackbeard” did not smell at all like the smoky sea-dog I had expected, but instead like a super sweet vanilla. Don’t stop reading here, though, for this is a story of pleasant surprises.
A few weeks ago, Shave Busta hosted a Q&A on his Periscope that was a lot of fun to watch. If you’re not familiar with him, be sure to check out his YouTube channel as well. Anyway, Busta decided to test out a soap, on his live broadcast, which he had not used before. Now, this soap was supposed to smell like a day at the ballpark, but Busta wasn’t quite getting all that. Aided by the suggestions of more than a few viewers, he decided to bloom the soap. “Blooming” is the process of adding some water to a puck of of shaving soap to soften it up and begin the lather building process. Well, once Busta got that soap blooming, he could almost immediately pick up all the scents that had been eluding him. It’s important to keep in mind that, especially with harder shaving soaps, most of the scent profile waits for some water and a little stimulation before coming out.
Remembering Busta’s experience, I made sure to not jump to any conclusions about WSP’s “Blackbeard” shaving soap before running it through its paces. And I’m glad I did! Within the first few seconds of building my lather Ol’ Captain Blackbeard himself seemed to step through the mist (which was really just some steam from the hot water). This was the soap I was expecting! Smoky, cherry tobacco, spice, but still with that touch of sweet vanilla. I would not describe this shaving soap as a Bay Rum, but rather as having the attributes of someone who wears Bay Rum.
The lather from WSP’s shaving soaps is phenomenal too. With a damp brush and a few additions of water while building my lather, I have more than enough. As with WSP’s other soaps, I love the slickness and cushion. I love the minimal and simple ingredients. I love the post-shave feel. And I love the price. These are some of my favorite shaving soaps.
As we move into fall and winter, I’m sure “Blackbeard” will continue to get more and more use. This is a great shaving soap for colder weather, and it should definitely hold a place in your collection.