The Top Ten Shaving Soaps
It’s worth starting this article by saying that these are based purely on my own experience and, to use a favoured phrase of the shaving community, your mileage may vary. With that caveat out of the way, we can crack on with the rest.
I’ve tried quite a few shaving soaps and have undertaken quite a few reviews on Shave Country’s sister site: Shave & Review.
I don’t claim to be perfect, but I do go the extra mile and shave with each product multiple times before passing judgement, in an effort to iron out the highs and lows, good and bad combinations, etc. Presented below are the highest ranked soaps at the time of writing, limited to one per manufacturer.
10. Haslinger Sheep’s Milk Shaving Soap
Hailing from Austria, Haslinger is slowly getting the recognition they deserve for making great little soaps that perform really well. They’re not expensive, available in an interesting range of fragrances (honey and seaweed among them) and pack a mean punch.
9. Le Père Lucien Shaving Soap
A good, solid artisan soap that uses a veggie formula. LPL as it’s more commonly known is a well-established member of many people’s favourites. There are a couple of scents, with the traditionnel being an acquired taste in my opinion.
8. RazorRock Artisan Shaving Soap
The brand is Canadian, but the soaps are made in that powerhouse of shaving soaps: Italy. My favourite scent is XX, but there are a range of fragrances available. This is one of several different types of soap from RR. Great performance with good value to boot.
7. Nanny’s Silly Soap Signature Shaving Soap
It feels like this small British artisan isn’t as well known outside the UK community as they should be. While they have a range of products to fit your tastes, the Signature range was top dog for me. It’s available in some delicious fragrances if that’s your thing too.
6. Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap
The Fat, as it’s affectionately known, has passed the test of time, having been in production since the 1930s, based on a formula dating back to the 1890s. It’s affordable, it performs great -- the only downside is there can be a learning curve when it comes to lathering.
4. Valobra Menthol Soft Shaving Soap
An old-school Italian croap (soft soft), featuring the usual almond scent, but with added menthol. Having been around for over 100 years, you kind of expect it to be good. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t still be made! Available in both bulk and consumer sizes. It’s slightly dearer than the next entry but performance is equally as good.
5. Cella Crema Sapone Extra Extra Purissima Shaving Soap
Cella is a well-known brand in the shave community. It’s another Italian croap. The consumer version comes in distinctive bright red pots, but this bigger, more professional brother is this ‘extra pure’ version that gets cured longer. Although only available in 1kg blocks, there are plenty of places where you can buy smaller amounts after being cut up. Great value and great performance.
3. Wet Shaving Products Rustic Shaving Soap
This is the veggie version of the WSP line, but I found it to be better than their tallow offering, it’s that good. The founder wanted to take on the best for performance but add in great fragrances as well. I’d say he succeeded. The only negative is they’re hard to get outside the US.
2. Wickham Super Smooth
Sadly discontinued. Wickham are another UK-based artisan soap maker with a strong reputation. This was a belter. The good news is Wickham offer a new range of veggie soaps called 1912, which is supposed to be very good and I’m hoping it can slide into this spot.
1. Tabac Original Shaving Soap
While we all like to pull for the little guy, some of the best shaving products are made by big companies. I try not to hold that against them and it would have been hard to do so in the face of this soap. Another long-standing soap with an established reputation. It has a fragrance that divides people but no one can argue with the performance. It’s top-notch.
So there it is, my top ten list. I will say that there were a number nipping at the heels (indeed tied on points) of this list, but I had to pick one. Special mentions should go to Arko, Proraso, The Art of Shaving, Stirling, Pré de Provence,I Coloniali and others.
My list differs somewhat from other top tens, in no small part because I take cost into account. I have tried the likes of Martin de Candre, but was either underwhelmed by their ‘legendary’ performance or had to knock them down the list because they were so expensive compared to the alternatives. Many of which perform just as well or better.