Today I was coming back home from work and I thought about the next article for WSR. I already knew that today’s shave would employ one of my Tiki Bar soaps. This thought made me travel back in time, thanks to one of those strange mental connections that sometimes happen 🙂
Premise: as many of our follower may know, Tiki Bar is owned and run by Amanda Stott, one of the most successful (and man, the success is truly deserved!) artisans in the Wet Shaving community. Tiki bar soap is based in Alabama, USA and it was this detail which started the mental connection I mentioned above.
The fact that a guy living in Genoa, Italy, uses a shaving soap made in Alabama, US, almost 8000 Km away, recalled me when I was a kid (in the late 80s) and my aunt came regularly to visit me and my parents. She came from Milan (150 Km away) and every time she brought us some products which were almost impossible to find in my town (be it a strange tropical fruit or the latest cream cheese on the market). Back then Internet was yet to come, purchasing goods was quite different and the only idea of getting those products was, at best, unlikely.
We’re in 2016, the World has changed (and not often for the best), and nowadays getting a product which is made thousands Kms away is no more a miracle! 🙂
If I had to name the brand which personally I found to be the best surprise of 2015, that would be Tiki, without hesitation. Amanda is a careful artisan, who puts passion in her activity and provides an exceptional customer care. Recently I had issues with the parcel being held at the <CENSORED> Italian customs, and when I asked her for a piece of information which was necessary to fill a custom form in, her reaction was very quick. Moreover, when finally the parcel arrived and I found out that there was an extra soap, she was so kind not to pretend the soap to be sent back to the US or that I’d be charged for it. This is a classy customer service.
What about the soap themselves? I had the pleasure to try four of them so far, and the best word to describe them is AMAZING, from the Presentation to the post-shave feeling.
The images on the soap tubs are simple yet reminiscent of the main character of the product they contain. The soaps are very easy to lather, with every kind of brush, be it boar, badger or synthetic. The lather is creamy and provides great cushion and protection to your skin and glide to your razor. The scents (which is a subjective field, I know) are all awesome and contribute to make the shave a great experience.
The full range of Tiki Bar soaps include some traditional scents as well as some more distinctive ones. The ones I own fall in the second category:
- The Captain: by far my favourite Tiki soap and one of my favourite top 3 soaps of all times. A cherry pipe tobacco flavour which is rich, complex and masculine.
- Davey Jones Locker: one of Amanda’s most complex scents, inspired by Geo F. Trumper Eucris (which I love!) but different in the final result, it’s a complex blend of amber, patchouli, ginger grass, which are added to the Eucris olfactory pyramid, which is: top notes of black currant, caraway and coriander; middle notes of jasmine and lily-of-the-valley; and base notes are sandalwood, oakmoss and musk.
- Kilted Tiki: made using Scotch Whisky, this is one of those special soaps which are so far from our European and Italian tradition. Very strong and masculine scent. Some could find it a bit owerpowering. Personally I love it! 🙂
- Go West: it took me some time to appreciate it, at first I couldn’t pick the leather notes, but after some usage know it’s becoming a favourite, as its brothers!