Sunday, 1 February 2015

Review: Mitchell's Wool Fat Shaving Soap

If any shave soap has developed a cult following among wet shavers world wide it is Mitchell's Wool Fat (abbreviated MWF or also known simply as 'The Fat'). The soap is made in England using a recipe that dates back to 1893. Bradford chemist Fred Mitchell realised that sheep shearers and handlers always had exceptionally soft hands. This was down to the natural lanolin found in sheep's wool. He then devised a soap recipe using sheep's wool lanolin that performed brilliantly for all complexions and sensitive skin. It is that same soap formula that is still used today. 

I reviewed the 125 gram puck. It sold as a 'refill' puck due to the fact that the soap is also sold in a white ceramic dish. The soap comes in a brown cardboard box, and is wrapped in wax paper. The scent is very mild and clean. The first thing that struck me when I unwrapped the soap puck was how hard this soap was. Definitely one of the hardest shaving soaps I have come across. I put the soap into a plastic container and while I left my badger brush to soak in warm water.  I also decided wet the soap with a bit of warm water (just o ease the lathering process - very hard soap this!).  

After soaking my brush and shaking off a bit of the excess water I set to work lathering up. I got a decent load on my brush after about 20-30 seconds. I decide to build up the lather directly on the face. This soap creates an extremely slick lather. It works up fairly easily and a touch of extra water may be needed to get the lather to right texture. 

I then set to work with a Parker 99R razor with a Rappira blade. The slickness of the MWF soap is amazing. Incredible glide and good cushion as well. I had more than enough lather for 3 passes. One can easily see why this soap has such a large following. It has a very delicate clean scent, and it performs superbly. There's not much more you could ask for from a shaving soap (in terms of performance). 

The skin care properties are also very good. The lanolin content of the soap leaves the skin feeling baby soft and smooth. The soap goes on gently and is very mild on the skin, I would highly recommend for shavers with sensitive skin. 

The cost/ per gram ratio of MWF soap is a bit high (compared to Arko, Derby and Godrej), but you do get you pay for with this soap. This is a very hard soap so a puck should take you a long way. 

Overall, this an excellent performing shave soap. The slickness of the lather creates very good slide and reduces blade 'skipping' (even when going against the grain).  The scent might be too mild for some, but I was more than satisfied. 

Verdict: Highly Recommended!

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