Ah, Tabac. No other soap elicits such diametrically opposed feelings. Sold in a 4.4 oz puck, Tabac is one of the cheapest $/oz tallow soaps. But for all its praises, Tabac has one severely fatal flaw. But if you can get past the one middling side effect of Tabac use, you will enjoy some of the best lather to be had.
Let me start off with the good. Tabac makes some excellent lather. In fact, in terms of lather quality, I cannot think of a single soap that exceeds the cushioning, slickness, and ease of lather that Tabac exhibits. Tabac easily lathers up using hard, soft, or filtered water. The shave quality is excellent, providing a very slick lather and does not dry out terribly quickly. This is not to say that Tabac does not dry out, you probably want to re-wet your lather after shaving half your face, but if you are quick, you can do an entire pass without re-wetting the lather. Which brings me to cushioning. The cushioning of Tabac is everything a tallow soap should be. Which also means that you shouldn’t buy this if you are a vegetarian.
Finally, we get to the negative part. And after such a glowing review, you must be asking yourself “what could possibly be wrong with Tabac?” Well, that would be a good question if this were any other soap. It isn’t the price. Dollar per ounce, Tabac probably represents the best value for performance out of any shaving soap. Yet, for all its glowing qualities, Tabac has an extremely odorous scent. I’m not saying it smells bad. But I am saying it has a strong smell. Now, that said, some people actually really love the smell of Tabac, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, Tabac’s scent is…unique, for lack of a better term. This unique scent is extremely powerful as well. Lather up a fresh puck of Tabac and you are instantly assaulted with the smell of…well, Tabac! I really cannot describe the smell. Some say it smells like old man, some say it smells like baby powder, others say it smells awful. I just call it Tabac. It is unmistakable and very pungent.
The good news is that if you can get past the smell, Tabac is one of the best shaving soaps available. The even better news is that the smell eventually dies down, although unlike a new badger brush, the smell is very pungent for months. The weird news is that you might actually like the scent.
Bottom line: Best bang for your buck shaving soap.