As someone that looks at wet shaving as a hobby, I can’t pass up the opportunity to get shaving soap that has been discounted because of an imperfection. Case in point, Wet Shaving Products (WSP) was offering a scratch-and-dent sale on a few of its soaps that discounted the soaps by $5.00. So I did the most reasonable thing, I grabbed on in Barbershop.
This is my first product from WSP and I’m happy that I managed to try it when it was on sale. Usually, the Formula T version of WSP’s shaving soap costs $14.99 for a 4.7-ounce tin, making the price $3.19 per ounce. Not necessarily cheap, but still within the realm of being affordable.
With the discount, I managed to snag the same stuff for $10.00, brining the price of the soap down to $2.12 an ounce. That makes it cheaper than one of Stirling’s offerings and one heck of a deal. But I don’t think it would be fair to judge the soap on its discounted price, as the sale isn’t a regular thing.
Right off the bat, it’s clear to see that the whole tin thing doesn’t work. There’s a reason why WSP had, and will most certainly have more scratch and dent offerings in the future, soaps on sale due to dents. The soap I got had two large dents that didn’t take away from the actual quality of the soap, but could have been easily avoided by switching to a different type of tub.
Besides how easily damaged the tin can get, the other thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the opening and the size. Despite being a 4.7-ounce tin, the soap is tiny. And the opening doesn’t make loading easy. I used various brushes, including two 24-mm synthetic knots and one 24-mm boar knot, and all three barely fit in the tin’s small opening. Loading out of the minuscule tin also causes lather to spill over the sides in an inconvenient way.
At this price point, WSP desperately needs to replace the tin with something that makes it easier to load. It doesn’t even have to be plastic, as Mike’s Natural Soaps still come in tins, but something needs to be changed. The waterproof label, though, is gorgeously designed.
Taking the lid off of the soap reveals an amazing Barbershop scent that rivals some of the best. As WSP puts it: “Our inspiration was an Italian barbershop. We’ve blended all the signature scents of a barbershop into this intriguing fragrance…we have started with a base of powdery musk, added some bergamot, orange zest, oakmoss, patchouli, and finished it with a hint of geranium.”
The scent is reminiscent of Maggard Razor’s and Mike’s Natural Soaps’ Barbershop offerings, but is cleaner than the other offerings. I can’t detect the citrus or the powdery musk, but the rest of the ingredients combine to make a fresh, clean Barbershop note. Not only is the scent good, the scent strength is well above average, as well.
Off of the puck, the scent strength competes with the best, especially for a Barbershop scent, which tend to be quite diluted. And the strength of the scent doesn’t dissipate upon lathering either.
The soap is on the harder side, making loading times a little longer than usual. But a roughly one-minute load with my trusty boar brush ended with plenty of lather for three passes and some extra for a quick cleanup.
The soap took a bit of time to get into a creamy, thick lather, and it took a fair amount of water to get it there, but it provided great cushion and below average slickness throughout the shave. In addition to being slightly below average when it comes to slickness, WSP’s Formula T soap isn’t on part on post-shave feel either.
After the shave, my face felt pretty dry – it could be the frigid temperatures that could be adding to that – but I was still able to smell the scent on my hands an hour after. Being able to smell a barbershop scented soap five minutes after shaving is an impressive feat, but I’m not sure the compromise is worth it.
Scent Pleasantness: 9/10
Scent Strength: 8/10
Lather Quality: 7/10
WSP’s Formula T Barbershop shaving soap is a mixed bag. While the scent is superb, especially for a Barbershop lover, the lather that it is capable of producing is average right across the board. And the post shave feel, at least for my sensitive skin, is below average. If the soap was cheaper and more in line with the $2.00 mark, I would say that it’s well worth a try. But at this price, I wouldn’t pull the trigger unless the scent really stands out as a must have.