Razor: DS Cosmetic DS-S9 w/ RazoRock Barberpole
Blade: Gillette Wilkinson Sword
Brush: Oumo 26mm Cashmere Synthetic
Soap: Oumo / Smoking Monster Zen Tea

Back around Black Friday in 2021, Oumo Brush on Aliexpress announced they were releasing several shaving soaps (made by Smoking Monster).  For those not in the know, Oumo is one of the main knot suppliers out of China and along with selling wholesale knots to brush makers, they offer an Aliexpress store with brushes and knots direct to consumer.  The idea of them making a shave soap was intriguing for me.  I wondered if the product would be a basic formula, a bath soap labelled shave soap or something more in tune with what we in the community expect from a shaving soap these days.  Luckily my friend onepassben also was interested so we did a group by for a few soaps.  It took a while to get here but the 2 I ordered arrived early this week.  Artwork looks good, packaging looks good, ingredient list unique.  Scents on both (Zen Tea and Palace of Bliss), those I wasn’t too sure on.

Zen Tea seemed the most approachable off the tub.  Scent is described as a rich floral fragrance with bitter tea.  It was a light-medium strength with a sweet floral vibe off the puck.  Not really my cup of tea (see what I did there) but once I lathered it, the scent really woke up for me.  The floral vibe mixed with this herbaceous tea note that was really pleasant. Zen Tea is an accurate name, it really gave off a calming spa type vibe.  The lathered scent (slightly stronger than medium) was a big win for me.

As for the soap itself, my hopes weren’t high but I was very pleasantly surprised by the performance.  The base is very soft and was dead simple to lather.  As I was lathering it reminded me a bit of the Cold River Soap Works Glide base I recently killed a tub of in that it kind of got stringy as you added water.. until you worked in more water anyways.  It did take quite a bit of water and the resulting lather was low structure, dense, creamy and rich.  It felt great on the skin and performed extremely well.  Very slick and fantastic post shave.  Really noticeable post shave, my skin felt great for a while after.  When I saw ingredients like deep sea fish oil I wasn’t sure what to expect but I can say this is an elite level soap base.  Easily the best soap I’ve tried outside North America.  I’m 100% impressed.  The scent of the other soap (Palace of Bliss) was not for me off the puck (I will give it a try though) but I am impressed enough I will be looking at the other offerings for sure.

The brush you see here is also an Oumo and while it looks great, I wish I had similar nice things to say about it like the soap.  Unfortunately this, like some of my other recent wood brush pickups, was not sealed for water and it absorbs it while in use.  The handle is starting to develop a hairline crack that is for sure from the moisture.  I don’t expect it to last very long.  A shame as the cost on this one wasn’t cheap.  Buyer beware on their hybrid handles.

All in all, a great shave with a very impressive first go with the soap base.  I look forward to giving the other scents a try in the future.  All for now – J

 

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