Continuing with my journey into wet shaving, not long after I had started enjoying my wet shaves with TOBS Sandalwood, I began looking around at other soap makers to try. I soon discovered Dr. Jons and their soaps looked appealing so I first tried Hydra. I found Hydra to be an enjoyable soap to use. The original Dr. Jons formula was quite soft (although not like a cream) and I quickly found the best way to lather it was to scoop out a small amount and press it into my bowl.
Hydra is a very mild citrus scent which I enjoyed. But, after finishing a sample tin, I decided to try another Dr. Jon flavor and the most obvious choice was Anne Bonny. I was intrigued by what I had read about the tradition of bay rum as a shaving scent and Anne Bonny had taken it a step farther by adding black tea. The first time I opened the tin and took a whiff I was quite stunned at the incredible aroma. It is truly intoxicating! Sweet but with that black tea added in to tone down the sweetness. If you enjoy a good cup of tea you will no doubt love this scent as well.
I think this is the third tin of Anne Bonny I have used. The first two were in the half size which Dr. Jons has since discontinued. That’s too bad because I enjoyed purchasing those sizes as a first attempt to sample one of their scents. But no problem here as I am a huge fan of Anne Bonny. Another thing I like about Dr. Jons is that their soaps come in a metal container (a real tin) and not plastic. In my opinion there’s too much plastic being used by the artisan shave soap makers. This latest version of Dr. Jons even comes with a threaded top so it’s a bit easier to get open.
All of Dr. Jons soaps are a vegan formula and do not use animal products (such as tallow). But don’t let this put you off. The lather of Dr. Jons is quite excellent and in my experience it is as good as or better than any tallow based soap. The volume 2 version of their soaps are quite a bit harder than the original. I quite like this and I have found it actually easier to work with. I am able to bloom the soap with a bit of water right in the tin and then use that water on my face after finishing a shower. Some reviews I’ve seen say the soap is thirsty but I have not found this to be the case. In fact, I try to dry out my brush as much as possible before the first load as well as empty all the bloom water from the tin. And if you use too much water I have found that the lather will thin out rather suddenly so add water very cautiously at first until you get a feel for the optimum amount. It does take me about three or four thirty second brush loads to get the amount of lather I prefer.
I have found the soap once lathered on to be quite nice and slick. Cushioning is good as long as you get the water right. One point where this soap excels is the post shave. The feel after a good three pass shave with touch up is exceptional and one of the best I have experienced.
Another outstanding point is what I refer to as economy. The soap just seems to last forever. Even with my practice of loading and creating more lather than is typically needed, it lasts a long time and this is especially true of the Volume 2 version.
I should also add that the artwork on Dr. Jons products is really well done and very cool, especially Anne Bonny.
I have not tried Dr. Jons AS and this is something that is on my list. For this week’s shave I tried using Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum and this works to a fair degree although it is much milder than the Anne Bonny scent.
So in summery, great soap and lather with outstanding post shave feel, good economy for an average cost and an incredible scent which is without equal.
|Soap||Dr. Jons Anne Bonny|
|Razor||Rockwell 6c, Plate 4|
|Blade||Laser Ultra Triple Coat|
|AS||Clubman Pinaud Virgin Island Bay Rum|
|Bowl||Doug Smith Pottery|