So, first off, I guess I’ll go over the rating system I’ll be using.
I’ll be giving one rating for overall shave quality. Thickness of lather, slickness, moisturizing properties (if any), irritation factor, ease of lathering, etc may all come into play here. One thing to keep in mind is that I do have rather soft water, so your mileage may vary.
The scent is also being broken up into two categories. How good it smells, and how strongly it smells. How good it smells is self-explanatory, and of course likely the most subjective component of the entire review. The scent strength is, in my humble opinion, just as important to the shaving experience as how well the soap smells. I have tried some soaps that smelled quite pleasant in the container, but when lathered, were undetectable on the brush. And on the other end of the spectrum, soaps whose scents wouldn’t vacate the bathroom over the weekend!
The scent strength and the pleasantness are, while listed separately to allow people to adjust things based upon their own scent strength preferences (since a lot of people would find a soap that I consider pleasantly strong to be completely overpowering), aspects of just an overall scent rating, which is roughly equivalent to the two multiplied together. After all a soap that smells awesome, but you can barely detect it really doesn’t help much, and a soap that smells very strongly of bile and garbage shouldn’t exactly merit a 5/10 overall for smell.
And finally, an overall impression and recommendation (or lack thereof). All soaps will be given at least two days worth of shaving, to ensure that the review isn’t tainted by me just having a bad day, or having to change the blade. The exception will be companies that produce very consistent soaps / creams, in which case it’ll only be the scent which is expected to change; they’ll get 1 day each.
The overall score will, generally speaking, be a function of average of the lather quality score and the overall scent score, as follows: [(Scent Strength * Scent Pleasantness) + Lather Quality] / 2, with a bit of fudge factor built in. For example, if I rounded up when assigning the lather quality, I might round down when assigning the overall score.
Any prices listed will generally be from wherever I actually purchased the stuff from (with the exception of something I bought in a retail store without an online component). If an item is on sale, I’ll list the non sale price. I’m not affiliated in any way with Italian Barber, Men Essentials, Maggard Razors, or any shave supply company whatsoever. And of course, if I was given a free product for the purposes of reviewing it, I will disclose this.