New contender out of Jakarta
I had never heard of Oaken Lab before, but the scent profile grabbed me enough to give it a try. At $25, it's not cheap, but the free shipping promo got me past that. Turns out this formula is amazing! It generates a dense, slick, cushiony lather with great protection, and a 35-40 second load is plenty for a 3-pass shave. I knew it would be good because of who recommended I try it, but I wasn't prepared to love it. To top it off, it has excellent post-shave properties: skin feels soft and hydrated for several hours, just like some of the top domestic artisans. The price/tub is on par with PAA's excellent CK6 formula, and performance is similar. I plan to try the other two scents, and hope they'll offer more variety in the future. This scent is already among my favorites in my den.
This shave soap is excellent. I used a Parker best badger brush to bowl lather. After a little warm water bloom, the brush loaded up super easily. With incremental additions of water I had a rich, dense lather in very little time, and I have somewhat hard water. I love the scent; I smell wood, pipe tobacco, a little vanilla, and coffee. I can't say enough good things about the scent, it's really a pleasure. The lather had excellent slickness, and my Oneblade was able to glide across my face. The closeness of my shave was ridiculous. This soap isn't cheap, but it's a treat to use. I will definitely keep coming back.