Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap (MWF) is well respected in the world of wet shaving. Some use it exclusively and most wet shavers have used it at some point or another. You may be wondering whether you, too, should take the plunge and get yourself a puck of “The Fat.”

Wool Fat Shaving Soap Images Courtesy: Amazon

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Animal Farm?

To my nose MWF has a fairly generic, though pleasant sweet “soapy” smell. The soap contains the oil lanolin which some users claim gives the soap a slight “barnyard” odor. Nothing like a “barnyard” scent was noticeable on my puck, though.

If You Build It, It Will Shave.

MWF is considered widely as difficult to lather. There are scads of videos out there on the subject of how to lather this soap. Though not as easy to lather as an Italian (soft) soap, Mitchell’s proved to be no more challenging than D.R. Harris soaps and certainly not as difficult as Williams. For best results cover the surface of the soap with warm, not hot, water and leave it while you shower. When you come back all squeaky clean just drain the water and load with any brush you like (badger and synthetic badger work best) for about 30 seconds. The trick is finding the water “sweet spot.” All Soaps have them, but MWF’s sweet spot is fairly narrow. Add water slowly and mix thoroughly. With just the right water mixture you will whip up mountains of luxurious lather with this soap.

The shave with this soap isn’t particularly cushiony and I tended to nick the blemishes on my face. The slickness was amazing, but dissipated rapidly after the lather was scraped off. Avoid shaving over in-lathered skin. Excess soap washed easily and cleanly from your face, despite the lubricating qualities of this soap. The shave was comfortable but, oh the post-shave!

It Puts the Lotion on Its Skin?

The lanolin content of this soap is reputed to be a contributing factor to its finicky nature. Without question, though, lanolin is responsible for the wonderful post-shave feel. Immediately after rinsing your face you will notice how soft and smooth your skin feels. My dry skin felt hydrated and pliable even after the water had completely dried from my face, no small feat. Aftershave is an essential part of a good shave, but MWF is the only soap that I feel like I could get away without the daily splash. The Fat has, by far, the best post-shave feel of any soap I’ve tried so far.

If you are considering this soap, I say go for it. I would buy the refill puck, though, as it fits comfortably in most large mugs and is far cheaper than with the porcelain dish. The refill puck is much more modestly priced at about $13 US on Amazon as opposed to the $33 US to pick up the dish. Overall this soap had great initial slickness and the most luxurious post-shave make it a definite candidate for the discerning wet shaver’s rotation. Beginners may want to go elsewhere, though, due to the narrow “sweet spot.” The adventurous beginner may actually enjoy the challenge so, in that case, you’ll have fun perfecting the lather.

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