Saturday, March 19, 2016

Review - Passionately Natural / Spring Fresh

William & Wanda Hughes
Company: Passionately Natural
Product: Spring Fresh
Founders: William & Wanda Hughes
Location: Yardley, PA

I came across Passionately Natural simply by chance. I noticed a picture of their shaving soap after doing a google search for natural shaving soap. About a thousand images came across my screen but I locked on to a picture having a brush and puck with the name Spring fresh on the label. That sounded great to me so I click the images which took me right to the website. All I had to do was read the words Lemongrass & Eucalyptus and I was hooked. Lemon is one of my favorite scents. This is the second shaving soap for Passionately Natural the first one is called Mossy Woods with notes of Amber, Sandalwood and rosemary which is also an amazing scent. After speaking with William he was nice enough to send me samples. I will be using Spring Fresh for this review.

First a little about William and his company. I ask him about his start in soap making and when did he turn his attention to shaving soapWe started making soap about 4 years ago. Store bought soap always gave me super dry skin. I tried them all and always had the same results. I always liked to make things myself and my wife, Wanda, was always supportive. I was always buying machines and materials to make different things. I've made furniture, pens, gun holsters to name a few. Soap started out as just another thing I wanted to try but turned into something that we both very much enjoy doing.

I started wet shaving about 8 years ago. At the time I used a straight razor with a few different shaving soaps that all worked well enough, I just don't remember the brands. After a few years of this I no longer needed to shave everyday so I stopped wet shaving and would just trim it really short with some clippers. I even grew a killer beard for about a year.

After we started selling soap I felt like I needed to start shaving again to look more professional. I went back to wet shaving but found myself a bit rusty on honing a straight razor. So I bought my first DE razor, an Edwin Jagger DE89. I still had the old shaving soaps from before but thought that I really should try to make my own. Having been a long time lurker on a few shaving forums I was able to skip the typical farmers market shave soap mistake of adding clay to bath soap and calling it shaving soap, and move right into the real thing.

When I started making shaving soap I tried the standard recipe of stearic acid and coconut oil but I wanted to do something different, more natural. Stearic acid is the key to a stable lather, but instead of using straight stearic acid, I chose ingredients that were naturally high in stearic acid. The soap not only has the benefits of a stable lather from stearic acid but also the added skin benefits from ingredients like kokum butter and cocoa butter. We only use essential oils for scent and don't add preservatives. We make all of our products with all natural ingredients.

In the near future we will be changing the packaging to a wider plastic tub with more room to load the brush. We are going to focus on adding more scents then in the more distant future we will get into aftershaves. We did just add our second scent, Spring Fresh, which scented with eucalyptus and lemongrass essential oils.

Spring Fresh currently comes in a light gauge tin with a screw on lid. The tin seems a little inferior to the heaver gauge ones I often see. It would take no effort to crush this in my hand or in shipping for that matter. This could present problems for sure. I love tins but when they come dented it can be annoying. The puck comes neatly wrapped in wax paper with the product label in front and sealed with a sticker on the back sporting a QR code, once scanned, it will take you right to the company website for ordering . nice feature if your running out..

Before you start unwrapping the puck the scent  jumps out in all directions. I have to admit I just love the smell of lemons and this one is by far the best lemongrass scent I have come across. The lemongrass is way up front almost hiding the eucalyptus but you still can make it out.  

Lathering was no problem with this soap. I started with little water and by addy a few drops here and there built a rich and creamy lather. The coverage was great all areas of my face had a thick layer of lather that was outstanding. During the shave I had excellent slickness and glide and the post shave feel was wonderful. Let me also say not once during the shave did the scent drop in strength in any way. Amazing performance in all areas.

 So a solid performer and one I’ll be using all year round.

Company: Passionately Natural
Product: Spring Fresh 3.5oz $10.00 Puck Only / $12.00 with Tin