Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

A lather every bit as good as from a Mama Bear shaving soap

with 5 comments

D.R. Harris is the only big-name English shaving soap company that continues to make its own soap: the others contracted out soap production and accepted the reformulation that the soap producer imposed. As a result, D.R. Harris is the only big-name English shaving soap company to preserve quality and reputation.

When I was in the early days of my return to DE shaving I would occasionally think, “Wow! Excellent lather today,” and look to see what soap I was using. Virtually always, it was D.R. Harris, and once again today I had the “Wow!” experience. The lather was thick, creamy, and dense, just like the lathers I get from Mama Bear soaps, though the two differ considerably in their formulation—D.R. Harris is a tallow-based soap, Mama Bear’s is a glycerin-based soap. But the lather from both is, if I may be technical, scrumptious.

My little Whipped Dog silvertip did a fine job, and the Baili 171 was its usual wonderful self, delivering a BBS result in three passes with total comfort. A splash of Marlborough aftershave, with its wonderful woody fragrance, finished the job and left me feeling ready for the day and what it might bring.

Written by Leisureguy

28 February 2019 at 8:48 am

Posted in Shaving

5 Responses

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  1. You say DR Harris is the only big name left making their own soap. What about Mitchell’s? Is the wool fat shaving soap made by someone other than Mitchell’s themselves? If so, has that impacted their quality?



    28 February 2019 at 9:24 am

  2. Good point: “big name” is at best ambiguous. I was referring to Geo. F. Trumper, Truefitt & Hill, and Taylor of Old Bond Street—the “3 T’s”—which were the leading brands. Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving soap is more a niche product (IMO), and lacks the name recognition that the big three have. D.R. Harris is another major brand.

    You’ll note that MWF does not produce any shaving creams, any other shaving soaps (different fragrances), or any aftershaves, which is why I see it as a niche product: they make one shaving soap, and that’s it.

    So far as I know, their formulation has not changed, but their soap has been superseded by many artisanal soaps that also include lanolin (and include various tallows, including beef tallow, mutton fat, bison tallow, duck fat, lard, and emu oil as well as many plant-based fats (kokum butter, shea butter, cocoa butter, avocado oil, and so on—see, for example, this page on Phoenix Artisan’s CK-6 formulation).



    28 February 2019 at 11:07 am

  3. Have you tried any of the PA pre shave jells?


    Michael Napier

    28 February 2019 at 12:38 pm

  4. I have not, but mainly because I’m so happy with MR GLO. I have tried some pre-shave gels—use a week, skip a week, use another week—but none have made such a noticeably difference (for me) as MR GLO. The TOBS pre-shave gel, for example, I gave away—but let it be noted that the recipient found that it made a noticeable improvement for him. I have in general have had good experience with PA products, so it’s worth a try, but do the test to be sure.



    28 February 2019 at 12:53 pm

  5. I use MR GLO also and have good experience with PA products. I will give it a try and let you know.


    28 February 2019 at 2:27 pm

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