So here's a confession: before I used this soap, I had never shaved my armpits in my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a dirty hippy (okay, I'm totally a dirty hippy), I've just always had a fear of dragging a razor across my flesh and would rather burn the stuff off with poisonous chemicals or rip it out with hot wax. But this soap bar was a shaving bar, so I felt I had to have a go at shaving with it. Armed with my disposable razor from the supermarket, I dived in.
Molton Brown are known for their soaps, just not the solid ones (they only produce 2- this one and an exfoliating one). Their handwash is a good gauge of the quality of the restaurant you're in. I've had the pleasure of using their liquid body-wash before too and loved it, so I hoped that their solid stuff would be just as good. My brother got me this for Christmas; I actually wanted the other bar because I don't shave, but hey, you don't look fancy soap in the mouth.
Price- £12.50 for a 250gr bar. It's a bit of a luxury price, but you get a good sized bar for your money.
First Look- the packaging on this bar was awesome- I just broke the sticker seal on the back and it opened up like a cardboard butterfly. The bar was a milk chocolate brown with Molton Brown embossed on it.
Dry Feel- it was a very strong block, almost wooden. Despite the shea butter content, the bar didn't feel oily at all or melt on my fingertips.
Smell- incredibly mature and musky, the sandalwood here was much nicer than the Howling Pig stuff. The soap base was present as well as a hint of the shea butter and overall the smell was relaxing but invigorating. A little masculine, but in a naughty, sexy way, it clung very heavily to the skin, but I didn't mind because it just made me feel rich all day.
Shaving- now, I'm a lady who doesn't shave. And this is shave soap. As much as I wish my facial hair was illustrious enough to shave, it isn't, so I had to resort to shaving various other sections of my body. The soap forms a great shaving lather when dampened and rubbed directly on the fuzz patch, and I felt little to no irritation while I hacked away. I somehow escaped my first real encounter with a razor without any cuts, so this soap passes the shave test with flying colours.
As a body soap- the soap performed well in the shower too, lathering up well without melting too fast. I get the feeling that a bar would last a long time even if you were using it twice a day in the shower. My skin was left feeling supple and recharged afterwards, without feeling artificially pumped up.
As a hand soap- this is not a hand soap! Why would you waste this on your hands unless it was the only soap in the world?
As a face soap- obviously, this soap was designed for use on men's faces as a shave soap for use in the shower (so you can hack away at your fuzz face and wash your gross pits at the same time). It did leave my soft delicate lady face a little tight but not dry, almost like an instant facelift.
Overall- this soap worked excellent for shaving and that's exactly what I'm going to keep it for. The scent is sexy, and I do like it on my body, but I don't really want to waste it. If you are a guy looking for a better alternative to shaving foam that comes in a can and runs out in a week, then you need this bar. Hell, even if you're not looking, you need this bar. This bar will get you laid. End of story.