Review: Saponificio Varesino Tundra Artica

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Saponificio Varesino are Italian soap makers and have been making soaps since 1945.

They started making shaving soaps and have developed the formula over time and are currently making soaps to a formula named beta 4.1. The range has various skin friendly ingredients which vary with each flavour of soap in the range.

This review is for the latest soap I have from them, the Tundra Artica with extracts of:

Icelandic lichen(soothing, purifying, antibacterial, calming)
cranberry (suitable for sensitive skin, soothing and toning, gives freshness and vitality).

This is a 150g triple milled hard soap which comes presented in a quality cardboard box with a wax tissue surrounding it. The actual soap comes in a plastic PET container whih allows you to switch soaps in their wooden bowl as and when you feel like a change of scent.
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I have a few different SV soaps and they all perform as well as any other top tier shaving soap. I find that although they are a vegetable soap base they perform as well as any tallow soaps I’ve tried, which is quite a feat as I’ve always found veggie soaps to be lacking that dense creamy lather you get from a tallow soap.

Scent
It’s quite very nice scent which is like a quality cologne scent based on Agar Wood (Oud) and is a very masculine scent. One I imagine a very refined gentleman would wear. This isn’t your typical mainstream high street scent. Saponificio Varesino provide scent pyramids with their soaps which I have included below:
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The scent strength is good and lasts for the whole shave. I also have the aftershave balm which allows you to carry the scent on after the shave. I have seen some people mention that they have found the scents to be on the lighter side so I assume there might be some variation in the different batches but all 4 scents I have are of a medium to strong scent.

Lather
The lather builds easily with this soap. I find leaving a very small amount of about a teaspoon on the puck while I am showering softens it to allow for an easy loading of the brush, it loads extremely easily for a triple milled soap. I’ve used a variety of brushes with no issue at all. I’ve found it best to start out with a damp brush and add drops to the lather as you go. I’ve found this soap to be extremely slick with good protection and excellent post shave feel with no dry feeling.

Post Shave
As mentioned above the post shave feel of these soaps are very good. I often find a veggie soap can be quite drying on my skin but Saponificio Varesino obviously have great experience in the making of soap and balancing out the ingredients for a great post shave feel. There aftershaves are like a cross between a splash and a balm so are perfect for me as I find balms a little too heavy with my oily skin.

Ingredients
Sodium Cocoate, Potassium Stearate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Rapeseedate Sodium, Sodium Sunflower Seedate, Aqua / Water / Eau, Iceland Moss Extract, Fraxinus Ornus (Manna Ash) Sap Extract, Parfum / Fragrance, Vaccinium myrtillus Fruit Extract, Sucrose Cocoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Citronellol

Summary
Overall a great soap and one I can definitely recommend, this stuff is a definite top tier product and easily matches up to my favourite tallow soaps. It is extremely slick and protective as well as easy to lather. Buy some, you won’t be disappointed.

There are many different vendors stocking the SV range of soaps. The best information on the range can be found via their website here. I found the best deal when I picked my puck up was the shave lounge with free delivery. I believe samples can also be bought from shavedash if you are looking to try out the different scents before buying a full puck.

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