Razor: Karve CB on B
Blade: Gillette 7 O’Clock SharpEdge Yellows
Brush: Ever-Ready 100T 24mm 2 Band Badger
Soap: Passionately Natural Soap Company Root Beer
Aftershave: Passionately Natural Soap Company Root Beer Balm

I’ve had Root Beer/Cola shaving soap on my wishlist for a while, probably since I initially tried a Wickham Club Cola sample some time ago.    Club Cola quite often gets mentioned as the go to Cola soap but I was left wanting from that sample.  The scent has that sweet caramel syrup vibe but not any of the wonderful effervescence brightness you get from a great Cola.  I also found that soap to be overpriced for a pretty average base.  I grabbed a set of Merchandise 7x from Tallow + Steel for the Cola vibe but that soap was a disaster causing skin irritation so bad I can’t even remember how it smelled.  Fast forward to a short time ago I saw this Root Beer soap from Passionately Natural Soap Company drop at the Stonefield Shaving Company website.  I had to give it a go.

This offering from PNSC is in a vegan base, scented with only essential oils.  Does it smell like root beer?  Well, kinda.  I’d say it more plays a trick on you making you think you smell root beer from the blend of oils.  At first sniff I got that effervescent Root Beer scent and thought, man, this is pretty good.  But as I took a few more whiffs of the puck, I picked out mint, either spearmint or wintergreen.  It is s scent I’m kind of sensitive to and don’t particularly care for.  Now that is all I can smell.   If you don’t take a hit right off the tub and smell it once lathered it is much better but I still keep picking out the mint.  I think if that note was dialled back a bit, this could have had the root beer vibe and been a bigger win for me.  Scent on this soap as a whole is quite strong.

The soap base itself was good.  It loaded and lathered quite easily.  It was very thirsty and took a lot of water but the resulting lather had good structure and a fair amount of volume.  Cushion and slickness were quite good.  Residual slickness was still good enough to buff.  Post shave was better than I was expecting for this vegan base.  Given the right scent, I could really get into using this soap.

The matching post-shave was something different.  This aftershave balm comes in what I would describe as an extra large lip balm tube.  I was quite unsure about it when I ordered given the size to price ratio and the fact I generally don’t reach for balms.  I decided to give it a go anyways.  I can say the mint balance with the scent was much better on the balm.  This is much much closer to Root Beer to my nose.  It also has pretty decent strength for a balm, it carried for a little while post shave.  Unfortunately I didn’t love the base formulation and I hated the format.  Applying it was strange, I didn’t know if I was supposed to rub this all over my face or apply some to my hands first.  When I saw the soft texture of it I opted to rub some on my hands, work it, and then apply to my face.  I used quite a small amount and applying it that way I still found it didn’t absorb particularly quickly and I was left with a shiny skin surface.  After absorption the shine was still somewhat present.  Skin felts nice enough after that but I just didn’t like how it looked or how long it took to absorb in.

Given the scent fail on this for me I’ll be moving on from this set.  I wouldn’t hesitate to grab another soap scent next go round but the balm would be a hard pass for me in the future.

Oh well, they can’t all be winners.  All for now – J




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