Review: TGGR “Essence of Scotland” “Sweet Gale”

Here is my first soap review of 2015 ! I have wanted to try this soap from the Gentleman’s Groom Room for some time, the soap being “Sweet Gale”. I have heard over multiple forums about the soap, and the infamous Cola scent associated with this soap. I had also heard iffy at best results, but all agreed these soaps the TGGR were interesting. I agree.  The video is 22 minutes but is a full straight razor shave and I talk about the ups and downs of this “interesting” melt and pour soap from Scotland. Here is a written breakdown, whilst being more generalized than the video. Enjoy ! – Aaron

Overview- This is an imported melt and pour from The UK specifically from Scotland. The contents are in a plastic clear 120 gram container, with apparent suspended particulates; probably spices and herbs. This is a very hard puck of soap, the unused soap had a considerable amount of bubbles on the top meaning there was direct pour into the jars and rapid cooling. There are no apparent signs that would lead me to believe this is either a cheap nor, a top line product. The cost was very affordable appx. $15 USD for 120 grams.

Aroma- They call this “Sweet Gale” or, myrica gale,  Wikipedia tells me Sweet Gale is shrub that grows in Bogs ! It is used in  everything from insect repellents to gruit which is an ancient way to spice alcoholic beverages,  and even to bouquets in royal weddings ! This little shrub really runs the spectrum. This soap is dominant of Sweet Gale and it listed as the first on the label. I personally did not pick up much scent upon lathering though by the last pass I was able to pick up a incense like quality. I can’t say I was overly impressed with the aroma, but it was not offensive it just could have been, stronger. It absolutely lived up to its reputation as having a cola like aroma, but this was pre lather in the tub, upon warming and lathering it was herbal, incense like and as I said above not offense and could have stood to be a bit more intense.

Lather- Simply put the lather started out very good. I used my Edwin Jagger best badger brush loaded for 60 seconds, and there was more than ample lather formed as the video shows. My complaint would be that as the passes went on, and more water added to my face the lather became unstable. I was disappointed here as the soap showed so much promise on the first pass.

Glide or, Slickness- As I mention in the video on a scale of 1-10 I would not go above a 2 or, 3. This was the biggest let down of the entire soaps use. On WTG passes it was not horrible as glide is not as pivotal, past that the soap was terribly dry even though visually, and consistency was spot on leading me to believe it was better than it actually was. This to me was the deal breaker.

Overall- An interesting soap with a decent lather amount produced. The aroma was meh at best with a incense like quality that some may like more than I. The packaging was on par for the price paid; simple plastic container with minimal graphic design. This is a melt and pour soap which IMO are harder to produce a really good quality soap though there are many out there ie. Mama Bears, Diamond bar soap, and Ginger’s Garden. This is not on par with any of these soaps I just mentioned. There was barely any slickness to this soap, and as a straight razor shaver that is a huge deterrent to use this soap, I also had a mild sensitivity to the soap, but that is my personal problem not a problem with the soap.

Recommended- Unfortunately no.

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  • Pre: Hot shower with Clinique face bar
  • Prep: Clarisonic Aria deep pore treatment
  • Soap: The Gentleman’s Groom Room “Essence of Scotland” “Sweet Gale”
  • Brush: Edwin Jagger best badger in faux light horn
  • Razor: Theirs-Issard 6/8 Sheep & Wolf C135 steel straight razor
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax: Dandy Candy soy free formula by Petal Pusher Fancies
  • After Shave: Fine “L’Orange Noir”
  • Balm: Soap Commander “Courage”
  • EDT: Geoffrey Beene “Grey Flannel”

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