About a year ago I did a quick review of Col Conk’s Bay Rum soap, so I figured it was time to revisit it in light of what I learned since.
Col Conk Bay Rum is a decent enough glycerin based soap – which means it’ll leave my skin feeling dry after a shave. I did read up on the soap before buying, and there are some glowing reviews of it online… but in hindsight I feel it might be more rightly classed as a middle-of-the-road shaving soap and not a great one. It’ll gives a good shave and the scent is pretty good too – while not on the level of Krampert’s Finest Bay Rum – but other aspects are middling to bad. It is also quite subtle and far from overpowering, which is a Good Thing™.
The lather from Col Conk has decent slip, but the cushion could be better in my opinion. And the moisturizing properties simply are not there – a good aftershave or face balm is a must after using the Colonel. The lather also breaks down quicker than tallow based lather, even more so if you use the brush vigorously… my common approach to all problems with lather – add more product – goes some way in alleviating the issue though.
The official black oak bowl I got mine in also leeches colour into the lather, leaving me with a gray and less appetizing lather… purely cosmetic, but somewhat distracting. Col Conk’s is very lather-able for me, although I do have soft water. If you got hard water it’s likely to be a case of YMMV… at least if reports online is to be believed.
Being a glycerine based soap the puck also wears faster than tallow – so even if the soap is cheaper than most it’ll wear thin quickly; some shavers online report getting a month of shaves from one puck.
Speaking of reports online – if you put the online reviews Google will find for you on a timeline, you’ll find that the most raving ones is the older, while the, ahem, less glamorous ones are newer. there might be two explanations for this:
– They have changed the formulation, creating an inferior product.
– More and better soaps have emerged, many of which are from artisans.
Don’t get me wrong – Col Conk isn’t bad for a cheap glycerin soap… it’s just that cheap glycerin soaps are bad compared to tallow soaps in general, and compared to artisan tallow soaps in particular. But if you’re in the marked for a glycerin soap, a puck of Col Conk might be just the thing.