Where can I go smell some shaving soap?
November 18, 2009 12:16 PM   Subscribe

Where can I purchase shaving soaps in the Chicago metro area?

I'm switching to shaving with a brush & safety razor and I have been eagerly reading the assorted AskMes and forums dedicated to the topic. I've got my razor, my brush and other accoutrement all picked out, but I'm not sure what shaving soap to select. I'm interested in the whole soap & mug bit, after remembering that I had a plastic set when I was a toddler. I'm ordering the rest of the equipment online but Mrs. Burnfirewalls is very sensitive to smells. I'd like to take her to a store and let her select some shaving soaps for me to use. Where can I do that in the Chicago metro area?

Bonus points for recommendations of soaps that don't smell like the Proraso that comes in the green metal tube, or sandalwood.
posted by burnfirewalls to Shopping (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd try Merz (one location in Lincoln Square, one in Macy's downtown)--they're quite old-school, so they should have something like that (and they do list quite a few options in their online store.
posted by carrienation at 12:25 PM on November 18, 2009

I've been happy with getting shave soaps on Etsy, if you strike out at brick and mortar stores.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:36 PM on November 18, 2009

Crabtree & Evelyn has creams that I like, but not everyone does. There's the gentle Kiss My Face line you can find at Whole Foods. I thought Nordstrom carried the great Truefitt & Hill line, but that may vary from state to state.

Bed, Bath & Beyond carries a green tube that's exactly the same as the mighty, sinus-clearing Proraso green. (I love it!) So does Bath & Body, under the new C.R. bigelow or something.

Your local drugstore should have some cheap-ass standbys like Williams Mug Soap (a dollar or two a puck, and barely worth every cent), or glycerine soaps like Col. Conk.

Did you ask at www.shavemyface.com? I would go for the "Shaving Cerams & Hard Soaps" forum at http://www.shavemyface.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=3 Take a moment to register (I've never been spammed, don't worry) so that you can post, and you will get email alerts when someone answers. I think there's a few people on the site from Chicago-land, as well as some soap-makers, and people who will know off the top of their head which major stores (e.g., Nordstrom) should carry something that you can try in person.

Heck, I have even had people mail me samples of their own stuff! And of course, some of the larger manufacturers offer samples, but I think they may be charging for them now.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:49 PM on November 18, 2009

Whoa, I think Truefitt & Hill has a retail store in Chicago. Pretty highh-end stuff, but nice if you like that. (I love their 1805 line, but can't afford it regularly.) This store carries non-T&H stuff, too: http://www.truefittchicago.com/products.html

And vile Walmart ought to have super-cheap Van Der Hagen's soap.

C.O. Bigelow is in Water Tower Place, and they carry some good stuff.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:55 PM on November 18, 2009

Second the Crabtree and Evelyn. They have the cakes that go into the cups. Mr. chocolate likes them very much, and my father does too. They have a store in Old Orchard.
posted by chocolatetiara at 1:04 PM on November 18, 2009

My daddy uses Crabtree & Evelyn shave soaps, and his face is always smooth!

AS a chick I don't know anything about shaving cream, but CO Bigelow is just a B&BW house brand, so a lot of their products are rebranded.
posted by radioamy at 1:15 PM on November 18, 2009

I prefer creams to soaps when I use my old safety razor, and Kiss My Face makes a great unscented cream that's available at most natural foods stores.
posted by piedmont at 1:34 PM on November 18, 2009

2nding C.O. Bigelow. Nice variety all in one place and they have always had plenty of testers and samples when I've gone. (I use L'Occitane products myself.)
posted by MasonDixon at 6:10 PM on November 18, 2009

Following reading a post on shaving with 72% olive oil soap on Shaveblog, I tried it last week and I must say I'm impressed. Smell is olive, but not oppressively so, and whilst cushioning isn't quite as good as a cream or some of the other soaps, the shave is excellent and very moisturizing for winter. Worth trying out.
posted by arcticseal at 8:45 AM on November 19, 2009

Some of my favorite online soap sellers are no longer in business. But I have a few bookmarked at home that I could re-post here tonight. (Send me a MeMail reminder if I forget. Thanks!)

And, as you continue your search, make sure you find soaps that contain clay. It makes for a smoother shave. (And glycerin soaps, for me, are no good for shaving.)
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 11:24 AM on November 19, 2009

Awesome soap at this ebay store. I've found others, but haven't bought from them yet (if you do, let me know).
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 5:31 PM on November 19, 2009

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