I’ve been using Geo F. Trumper hard soaps for over two or three years now. A few years ago, they reformulated to a vegetable oil based formula. The old stuff was based off of tallow and worked great. The great news is that the absence of tallow in the new formulation is hardly noticed! Whatever GFT has done, they have actually replaced tallow with something other than glycerin! And it works amazingly. This article will cover both the old formula and the new formula. Of course, as you can already tell, since the new formula performs almost identically to the old tallow formula, there isn’t much difference in the results.
These soaps load up extremely easily. Possibly quicker and easier than Tabac. Definitely a little easier than DR Harris soaps and Mitchell’s Wool Fat. Just a few seconds of loading on the puck and your good to go. The soap also loads just as easily using a denser brush. Normally my Shavemac takes a few more seconds to load, not so with GFT. I can get a great load with just a second or two more. I should note that GFT soaps seem to be more “hydrated/moist” than the other tallow soaps I’ve tried. This could be responsible for the ease of loading. Yet, whatever the reason, it is a joy to load the brush. It loads quickly and easily. Better than most glycerin soaps too.
The lathering process is also quick and easy. Face lathering produces a great, thick lather in one pass. Bowl lathering produces a thick lather very quickly. GFT is not as finicky as DR Harris, responding well to a greater variety of water to soap combinations. They lather up pretty similarly to Tabac. Very easily and thick if desired. Shaving with Geo F. Trumper soaps is just as pleasurable. The cushioning is great and the slickness is exactly what Iexpect from a good tallow soap.
Purchase your favorite scent by clicking the picture below.
Geo F. Trumper has a wide variety of scents. Each smells great. I particularly like the rose and sandalwood scents. Other notable scents are lime and violet. However, since the violet smells almost exactly like DR Harris’ violet, there isn’t much reason to own both. Click here to go to Geo F. Trumper’s site and see the entire list.
The performance of this soap is amazing. Both the reformulated and tallow versions provide a nice, thick lather that doesn’t dry out quickly (if that’s what you want). Or, if you prefer a thinner lather (I think it works better for straight razor shaving), GFT soap works great for that too. Personally, I like to use a slightly thicker lather for the WTG pass. I like the added scent and the cushion-y feeling I get. Then, I just dilute the lather for the ATG pass. Either case, the cushioning feels amazing. Its like the razor is a hovercraft hovering an atom above your face.
More important than the cushioning is the glide. GFT is slick. It allows the straight razor to do its thing without interference. Unlike glycerin based soaps, this formulation is, again, amazing. I can’t say too many great things about this soap. I wish I was paid to say these things…. Anyway, the glide is great. Glide is extremely important for straight razor wet-shaving because a straight razor doesn’t rely upon teflon for reducing friction. Instead the straight razor relies upon the edge polishing. A slick lather helps the straight razor cut through the hairs like a laser through…well, everything. To make most lathers slicker, you dilute them with water. In GFT’s case, it responds exceptionally well to dilution. Some soaps just turn into water if you dilute them too much. GFT can be diluted pretty far before that happens. Your virtually having water being suspended on your face by this soap.
Geo F. Trumper hard soaps are sold in 80g pucks. They also cost a pretty penny at ~$20/refill when you add shipping. However, the scent and ease of lathering is above par. Also, these refills are likely to last you a long, long time. Perhaps even two years. We haven’t even dented ours after over a year of use. So, regardless of the cost compared to other soaps, any shaving soap is actually a great value over the long term. That said, the consumer should take care not to buy too many refills because they last a very long time. You could have a lifetime’s worth of shaving soap if your not careful.
Geo F Trumper redid their hard soap formula several years ago. While the original experiments didn’t receive much praise, the stuff their selling today will impress. The difference in performance between the tallow soaps and non-tallow versions is minimal. I daresay you wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference in a blind lather test. While tallow is a great indicator of a soap’s “awesome-ness” it isn’t the be-all-end-all. Now, that isn’t to say that glycerin based soaps are better; they are different and will always be different until someone figures out a new way to make glycerin based soaps. Now, all that said, the new vegetable-formula by GFT is amazing.
This new formula simulates the cushiness and slickness of tallow extremely well. It should be noted that tallow isn’t the magic bullet. Other ingredients play a key role too. The new formula provides both a great scent, ease of lathering, and everything you expect from the tallow formulation of this soap. If you try it and still think the tallow version is hands over fist better, I’ll buy the puck off you for what you paid for it. I’m that confident you’ll like it. However, GFT isn’t using this new formula in all their hard soaps. As of this publishing date, their Eucris soap is not the same formula as their other soaps. Consequently, this review does not apply to the Eucris formulation. In other words, don’t buy it based off this review.
All in all, the vegetable formula is a smash hit. GFT did a great job in reformulating the soap and making it vegan friendly. GFT still remains a top soap in my shave den.