Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review - Whispers From the Woods / Sandalwood

Company: Whispers From the Woods
Product: Shaving Soap / Sandalwood
Founder: Alexandra Woods
Location: Australia
It all started New Years Eve Dec 31, 2015 with my first email to Alexandra or Alex as she likes to be called. At first, she wasn’t too keen on the idea of having her soaps reviewed but knew who I was from my videos. Alex has witnessed the drama that goes on in the wet shaving community and didn’t want to be part of that scene but after a few emails back and forth she decided to give it a go. I’m glad she did, she makes wonderful shaving soaps. During our conversations I learned that she had moved from Sydney to a country town around Feb 16th of this year and her website was about to open at that time as well. Finally, 4 mouths later on April 6th 2016 the package arrived.


Let me start with a little background as told by Alex. My background is Nursing which I have been doing a long time. I bought a property in country NSW Australia just over two years ago and this inspired my creativity. I have always had problems using commercial soap and therefore sought out handmade soap. I did a soap making course however, a friend who wet shaved suggested I should make shaving soap instead as there was a lack of artisan shaving soap makers in Australia. I then did a shaving soap, aftershave balm and aftershave cologne course which I really enjoyed, the shaving soap did not lather very well and I thought I could do better. With the encouragement of this wet shaving friend I started to research how to make a proper shaving soap. I did a lot of reading and watched videos and came up with a recipe that I was reasonably happy with. I made several batches and gave them away to work colleagues who wet shaved, and asked them for feedback. The girls were quite vocal as were some of the guys and gave me a few tips to improve the soap which I took on board. I did another round of soap which they all thought was great and encouraged me to start selling it.

What was sent to me was such a great surprise. A matt black box with the company logo right on top. Green tissue paper covered the nestled contents of what looks like the full collection of shaving soaps. One full tin and the rest sample size.

All the tins have screw on lids. The logo is printed right on the top of the medal tin, and the scent which is indicated on the bottom with what seems to be from a handheld label maker. You might think this to be a problem but it gets the job done, even during my tests it never moved or came off. The full size tins have 80 grams or about 3oz the sample tins have a 12Grams or about 1oz.

When I was going through samples I couldn’t find any I disliked. Some of the scent combinations are complex, the box contained: Sandalwood / Spearmint-Vetiver-Lavender / Bergamot-Clary Sage-Geranium / Lime-Coconut / Orange-Grapefruit-Mandarin-Bergamot-Lemon / Jasmine-Ylang-ylang-Sandalwood-Patchouli / Juniper-Cinnamon-Mandarin

Although I had many scents to choose from I picked sandalwood to do the review on because I was so impressed with it. The strength is a little above the medium side from the tin. The soap texture was soft. I could push my finger right down into it so placing it into my lather bowl was not a problem.

Alexandra Woods
For this lather I didn’t have to use a brush with much backbone. The lather came right up after the second helping of water and in no time I had a rich creamy lather with a yogurt type of consistency that was ready to apply. I haven’t shaved in 5 days and that lather did a wonderful job holding on to my beard and the coverage was fantastic. Along with this great lather I had great slickness and glide too. It allowed me to go over spots that I had already shaven over many times without irritations.

I have to say I was pretty impressed with Whispers From The Woods I hope to enjoy the other scents from the collection as well. I asked Alex if anything new was on the horizon. I am planning on keeping the popular scents as staple and then will make three to four different scented soaps that I will make a couple of batches of and then regularly change. I have an aftershave toner coming and I am working on a beard wax. My website has just been launched which will stock my soaps, brushes, razors, blades and accessories followed by my toner and beard wax. I also have Australian wood shaving brushes in the works as well.

Company: Whispers From the Woods
Product: Shaving Soap / Sandalwood 3oz $15.50