Best Selling Shaving Soaps
One of the greatest joys of the classic wet shaving gig is finding your favorite shaving soap (or soaps). Once you’ve learned to lather, you have so many options from stupendous scents to skin-sensitive suds. Here is a list we’ve compiled of perennial favorites as well as some noteworthy artisans. Check out these shaving soaps that will have you coming back for more.
The Best Classic Shaving Soaps
Let’s start with some of our favorite shaving soaps that have stood the test of time. If you don’t have these in your shaving den, stop what you are doing and get them (in no particular order).
#1 WCS Duck Fat Shaving Soap, Oriental
- Formula: duck fat tallow based
- Scent: spiced- rose woods aroma
- Note: this is a thirsty soap, so don’t be afraid of adding water
This soap has garnered some rave reviews and a loyal following. Loaded with kokum butter, palm oil, castor oil, and jojoba oil, this soap whips up a slick (and we mean slick) lather. The duck fat creates a protective density in this rich foam. The blending of smooth, warm, rich exotic woods and vanillic benzoin highlight a lightly spiced rose that won’t disappoint.
#2 Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Soap, Sandalwood
- Formula: vegetable-based, discreetly scented with essential oils
- Scent: classic fougere with floral top notes and woodsy base
- Note: easy to lather so great for all shavers
Established in 1854 during the reign of Queen Victoria, Taylor of Old Bond Street is truly an icon of wet shaving. And this classic shaving soap in a bowl is, too. So grab your brush and whip up a rich, creamy lather with Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Soap, Sandalwood. One of our best sellers here at WCS.
This easy-to-lather formula is great for newbies and experts alike. And the scent is classically masculine. It is described as a "classic fougere" (a French perfume classification for aromas with a green fern-like scent: oakmoss, tonka bean, lavender). This TOBS fragrance starts with top notes of geranium, lavender, rosemary, and amber. The heart of carnation, fern, and orange blossom are laid on a base of patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, and musk. A must-have for every shaving den.
#3 Proraso Shaving Cream Soap, Menthol & Eucalyptus
- Formula: vegetable-based
- Scent: cooling menthol & eucalyptus
- Note: nice cooling menthol in a reformulation that is even slicker than ever
Proraso has been a best seller in Italy for decades. We've been stocking it at West Coast Shaving for years and it has sold just as well for us across the pond. This is the new formulation, however it still contains coconut oil, eucalyptus and menthol, the winning combination so beloved.
#4 Fine Classic Shaving Soap, American Blend
- Formula: tallow-based
- Scent: Fine’s flagship fragrance, inspired by YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme
- Note: triple-milled, old world formula will last a long time
This soap continues to put Fine Accoutrements on the map. The renowned tallow-base whips up a prodigious lather from the triple-milled, old world formula produced in the Netherlands. It contains no artificial colors and performs great even with hard water. This aroma smells of earth, woods, and growth - very deep and masculine. Geranium, lavender, oakmoss, patchouli, and a hint of Gaiac wood combine brilliantly. It might even remind you of the old-fashioned canned shaving foam, but don't let it fool you. It is the real deal.
#5 Mitchell’s Wood Fat Shaving Soap
- Formula: lanolin for amazing protection
- Scent: lightly scented with a clean, fresh aroma
- Note: get the ceramic bowl and then stock up on refills
It was in the early 1930's that Bradford chemist, Fred Mitchell, realized that the natural lanolin content of wool fat was keeping the hands of local sheep shearers and wood sorters exceptionally soft. That realization led him to create a soap that could be beneficial to delicate complexions and sensitive skins. Now folks around the world have come to love the gentle soap from Mitchell.
This shaving soap is known for its protectant lubrication and slickness. Truly a great soap for those with sensitive skin. In keeping with the natural feel of this soap, it has little to no scent. Just a clean, fresh experience. As one reviewer put it, "I can't imagine what I would want from a shaving soap that I'm not getting in spades from Mitchel's Fat Wool."
#6 Tabac Original Shaving Soap
- Formula: tallow-based
- Scent: sophisticated, spicy composition with citrus, woods, & musk
- Note: get the aftershave as well for positively swoon-worthy results
Tabac Original Shaving Soap is frequently on best seller lists and gets plenty of time on blogs and forums. The lather it produces is excellent for softening the whiskers in preparation for the blade. It facilitates an easy and close shave, so you get the smooth chin you are going for. So, lather it up and revel in the results.
Since 1959, Tabac has been bringing the world a classic, harmonious blend of masculine notes in a tremendous shaving soap. The top notes lend a citrusy lead: neroli, lemon, black pepper, bergamot, and petit grain. Then it gives way to a floral heart of lavender, camomile, geranium, and oakwood absolu. But it isn't flowery, because the base notes kick in. A deep bottom of sandalwood, vetiver, musk, and ambergris finish off this complex aroma.
Best Artisan Shaving Soaps
Some of these were created just for us at West Coast Shaving and some we can hardly keep in stock. Check out what some great artisans are producing!
#7 Dr. Jon’s Limited Edition Shaving Soap, Sakura Musk
- Formula: vegetable-based
- Scent: developed with WCS, a little taste of Japan with cherry and musk
- Note: loads like a cream and rivals the best tallow offerings
The husband and wife team at Dr. Jon's Shaving Soap Co. starting crafting soaps for themselves. But that little hobby didn't stay little. It turned into a passion then an obsession. This shaving soap is loaded with shea and mango butters for exceptional moisturizing and protecting. Then avocado, castor, evening primrose, and meadowfoam oil combine to nourish your face as well. Slippery elm bark, aloe, soy wax, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil give you an even more amazing shave. Plenty of slickness and cushion to prevent nicks, burns, and irritation.
For this limited edition shaving soap scent, cherry blossom notes provide a sweet start but are soon tempered by white musk and amber which lend a masculine, smoky undertone. Like wandering through the blooming trees on a cool spring evening, this fragrance will delight your senses.
#8 Barrister and Mann Shaving Soap, Beaudelaire
- Formula: tallow-based, Excelsior recipe
- Scent: dusky, leathery, decadent
- Note: this scent is recently re-released exclusively for WCS
This is a company that never rests on its laurels (although they can claim more than most). They have continued to innovate and improve. This tallow-based shaving soap is a significant upgrade from the Glissant base, says Will. It hits the best of all the bases. Beaudelaire is Barrister and Mann's much-loved (and recently re-released) fragrance that marries light and dark, sweet and bitter, clean and dirty, nice and naughty.
This shaving soap starts with the classic fougere accord known for its notes of lavender, oakmoss, and coumarin which give it a green, clean, fresh appeal. Then it is blended with Barrister and Mann's own recreation of Mousse de Saxe, a unique, richly bitter aroma of dusky, leathery, decadent charm. Along with ylang, ylang, rose, and sandalwood, this aroma is dark, soapy, and irresistible. Like the controversial poet, Charles Beaudelaire, this scent symbolizes elegance and debauchery, sweetness and sin.
#9 Wholly Kaw Shaving Soap, Scentropy
- Formula: tallow-based
- Scent: leather, tobacco, oud, spices, sandalwood topped with citrus notes
- Note: this amazing Buffalo base includes donkey milk & water buffalo milk OR get in Wholly Kaw's phenomenal vegan base
Perhaps no other shaving soap maker today has put more thought and testing into their soaps than Wholly Kaw. Natural, environmentally conscious, exceptional lather, fantastic scents have been developed through meticulous effort and extensive peer review.
The tallow-based soap is in Wholly Kaw's amazing Seiro base. You get a cushiony, protective lather with incredible glide and consistency. The vegan-base has kept Wholly Kaw customers coming back for more for years. Exclusive to West Coast Shaving Scentropy is a delight for the senses. A unique blend with a gourmand profile. Notes of almond, sage, lavender, cashmeran, leather, raspberry, mandarin, neroli, cardamon, nutmeg, hay, and woody notes create a complex, creamy fragrance.
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