I was at, Food Basics, my local discount grocery store buying some milk and cream and wandered down the pharmaceutical aisle on my way to the register. I like to take a peak to see if anyone is carrying any wet shaving supplies. Generally it is a no, with the exception of maybe some Proraso Shave soap or some over priced double-edge razors. So when I came across the Williams Mug Shaving Soap I picked it up, it was surprisingly inexpensive so I thought what the hell. I’m not familiar with Williams Mug Shaving Soap, and the price made me a bit weary of the quality, but for a few dollars I could toss it without feeling too bad.
The first thing that I noticed was the packaging. If you have read some of my other posts you will know that I am a sucker for packaging. Some may look at the box and think budget, but I see retro, looks like something my grandfather would have used (which he may have given the price). The blue on white, with almost clip-art type image just screams campy.
Next to the packaging the first thing noticed about the soap itself was the scent. The box doesn’t state anything about what scent the soap is, so I opened it up, found an unwrapped puck (not a big deal I guess but was surprised to find it wasn’t sealed in some way), and took a sniff. The best way I can describe the scent is soap. Not bad, just soap. Perhaps I have been spoiled by my fancy soaps.
Lathering the soap seemed to take a bit more water than with some of the other soaps I have used. But after a bit of work and like I said more water than I am used to I was able to generate a decent lather.
The shave and its aftermath were somewhat of disappointed, feels strange saying that because the soap cost less than some cups of coffee, but nevertheless I am still looking for some satisfaction. The soap applied well enough, but during the shave I felt that it could have provided more lubrication. My shave was nowhere near as smooth as I am used to. The shave left my face feeling a bit more irritated than usual (most of the time I have zero irritation) and I had some difficulty removing the soapy feel from my skin.
The vintage ad above may have stated it best when saying that Williams Mug Shave Soap is “For the Toilet”. For me Williams Shave soap is more soap than shaving product. Yes the price is right, the box is great, and if you are curious Amazon carries Williams Mug Shaving Soap but for a few dollars more I would suggest Col. Conk Bay Rum shave soap, Proraso Shaving Soap or make the jump to something like Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream.