Here dwell together still two men of note
Who never lived and so can never die:
How very near they seem, yet how remote
That age before the world went all awry.
But still the game’s afoot for those with ears
Attuned to catch the distant view-halloo:
England is England yet, for all our fears–
Only those things the heart believes are true.
A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
As night descends upon this fabled street:
A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
And it is always eighteen ninety-five.
– 1895 by Vincent Starrett
With their Baker Street soap, the fine folks over at the Strop Shoppe attempted to evoke images “of sitting rooms, pipes, and foggy London streets” to start off your day with “The Game Afoot”.
And I would say they succeeded marvellously. The blend of Bergamot, Juniper, Jasmine, and Patchouli have combined wonderfully to create a scent that could easily be something that Mr. Watson or Sherlock Holmes would have worn. This is my 2nd favourite scent, behind TOBS’s Jermyn Street.
And they didn’t skimp on the scent either. The soap itself smells quite strongly, and the lather carries the aroma rather nicely, staying noticeable throughout the entire shave, without fading. I might have liked perhaps just a fraction stronger, but I am hardly complaining.
The shave itself was likewise great. It lathers up very easily into a thick creamy voluminous foam, with quite a wide “sweet spot” for the amount of water it needs to balance the thickness with the slickness. During a normal shave, it left the skin feeling quite and moist afterwards. The only downside I saw was some irritation when I left it sitting on my face for a while (when I was testing how long the scent would last), but that took longer to emerge than the average shave takes me anyways, but those with sensitive skin might want to be a bit wary.
I’m not sure if it’s on purpose or not, but the cakes sent out fit just perfectly into the wide-mouthed mason jars I use to store most of my soaps (when I don’t feel like paying extra for a jar from the manufacturer). A nice bonus. One note, this review was of the original vegan-friendly vegetable-oil based configuration. This scent is also one of ones being offered in a tallow-based soap or in their “special edition” with shea and cocao butter.
- 10/10 Scent Pleasantness
- 9.5/10 Scent Strength
- 9/10 Lather Quality (reflects new scoring as outlined here)
Normally, I might be debating whether or not to give it a 9/10 or a 10/10, but seeing as how this is currently my favourite shave soap to date, I’ll go ahead and round up. 10/10. Sir Conan Doyle would be proud.
- Cost: $9.95 for a 4 ounce puck from their website. Edit: If you want to avoid their website (as there are semi-frequently significant delays in shipping / customer service issues I’ve heard reported), the tallow version can be found in the US for $10.99, or from Canada both the regular (which this review was based upon) and the tallow can be found for $11.50.
- Brush: The Colonel
- Razor: Merkur Progress
- Blade: Shark Super Stainless
- Scuttle: Robert’s Feats of Clay #4
Ingredients: Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Fragrance.
Saponifying agents : Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hydroxide.
May contain : Sunflower Oil (Used as a substitute for Rice Bran Oil when needed).