Review Squadron - Dispatch Rider LE Shave Soap

RustyBlade

Active Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Location
Sydney
Squadron's Dispatch Rider Limited Edition (LE) shave soap

Firstly let me preface this review with a few things. Was given to me as a reward and to review it by the vendor. Have used this soap for over a week and a half with about six uses.
I only face lather and in this case I chose to use the same brush for a consistent lather and approach. My use ranged from a three, two and one days growth in that period.
So my razor choice was a Blackbird OC, Schick Krona, Paradigm 17-4 and a Colonial General Aluminium.

Feel free to skip ahead to the titled sections especially where you feel I'm being verbose.

The package
The packaging is the standard Squadron black plastic tub that holds 125 grams (4.4oz) of soap which replaced the older metal tub. The latter having a smaller opening so brush loading was harder. The wider mouthed tubs clearly are a step up in my book and loading a normal sized brush is very easy.
The labelling is waterproof and a consistent themed graphic is applied to this soap like his others. Once again a military influenced graphic with a story to match the soap's scent and bring life and thoughts to one's shave.

Direct link to the vendor's site where you can personally read the story and notes about this soap.

I enjoy Andy's soaps and their stories. The most notably 'Red Lead' and what he achieved with that soap and the feelings I recall when using.
Again a journey here into spring and a simple and effective one.
What must be noted is the use of essential oils (EO) here in this limited edition. The ingredient list is simple and not complicated by additional skin foods or conditioners.
This is a major advantage especially with individuals who have reactions to over complicated ingredient lists.
The factor of using EOs as to Squadron's normal use of fragrant oils (FO) changes this soap for the better to me.
However not all EOs are favoured by some as it is not a pure isolate and also may lead to reactions for the few.
For me I like EOs as they have depth and layers which add life with character from the regions they are from or represent.
This is seen here in this soap, initially off the tub it seems a simple scented soap but the vetiver EO has life and opens on all its levels once lathered.

Scent from the tub
From the tub you get a solid freshness like a bright spring morning. There is middle note of french lavender that centres the scent with a light herbal lavender with a tail of camphor but the latter ever so lightly.
Once you read the scent profile you quickly recall that the freshness is a combination of vetiver and lavender. This creates an uplifting note especially as a warm brush loads from the tub.

Soap & Lathering
Not a hard soap and medium to firm from my thumb test. Tallow based with a simple soap profile that most will love.
Loading heavy as I always do with a new soap only takes less than ten seconds (only need six) to get enough loaded for a three pass shave from a 26mm synthetic.
It isn't an over thirsty soap but can handle a fair amount of water but like all soaps it loses its slickness quite easily when you go over this point.
I did that twice to see how far I could go with it and I can say the lather was still good, shiny and voluminous but lacked the desired slickness and did start to breakdown.
Keeping it in the window of water usage and we have a lovely creamy and slick soap that was great to use and refreshing.

The scent
Ahhh, we love simple sometimes as we don't at 6am need a summer course on scent profiles to learn how to enjoy one's morning shave six layers down from top to bottom and back again.
Here we have a dimensional soap but basic and frankly refreshing.
Once lathered, clear top notes are fresh vetiver and lavender, slightly herbal & camphorous but immediately taken away by a strong heart of vetiver.
That light green fresh note pushed aside by the earthy vibe and wooded greens clearly show this is the main event of the soap. The vibe, a hangover of a late winter with damp ground around a tree just earthy, not heavy.
Just vetiver, as it is that strong and enough to hide the lavender. You remind yourself lavender is there and then it picks up again, like as if you ran down a path past a few lavender rows here and there.
Again and I said it a few times a refreshing scent and a blast of earth and spring.
Hiding in the base is still the vetiver but along the path you come across a cedar tree throwing shade, the nice type and not with an aggressive rap style.
Not sure if it is the vetiver or additional wood note dropped in there but it is cedar to me. Hangs around and floats away again.
Occasionally I'd get a small whiff of it during the day which gives me an inclination to throw my own cedar shade at my fellow coworkers.

Post shave
This was a complicated affair and hard to give the soap justice. In Sydney we had a warm week followed by a very cold week and my skin played along with it.
After my first shave I followed the shave with Fine's Clean (green) Vetiver which I thought matched quite well and the soap's cedar/wood base still came through ever so slightly.
Maybe it was the weather but I felt the post shave lacked a bit of moisture and I had a bit of dryness in some areas of my face.
So subsequently I used a few other products after my initial shave as it was miserably and cold here. These lotions/creams simply overrode any benefit of the soap or its scent which leads me to park the review here at this point.

Maybe later in the season as the days warm we'll see me bust this soap out again.

Final thoughts
Definitely an opening for late winter to spring and the early part of summer. Freshness and earthiness with simplicity that is most welcome in my den.
Great soap and lands in my top ten of shave soaps so anyone can't go wrong with this one.
Love the scent and a very good combination of the EOs that brightens my morning.
What Andy set out to achieve here he has done, by creating a short story with with each shave.
Scent is on the upper end of medium and I find it lingers throughout the day for me.

It is a limited edition shave soap and I think this needs to be reassess as the sales progress.
As it could be a keeper for Squadron's portfolio as it addresses a gap in their lineup.

Thanks again for the opportunity to review this soap Andy at Squadron.
Yes apologies for the time it took as things went sideways over the last fortnight. Nothing bad but the catalyst was dropping my phone.
Think I need a few more shaves with the soap to embed my thoughts until then au revoir.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Location
Hobart
Thanks @RustyBlade, a really thorough review. I am currently reassessing my entire lineup of soaps at the moment, so there will be more EO and less FO scented soaps into the future with some of the current soaps being permanently retired.
Hope you won't retire The warden, as it is the Ultimate barbershop scent for me!. It is just, a never ending soap (and I got it when you still sold it at > 150 grams sized), but I would re-stock if you decided to retire it....
cheers
Fer
 

SchoolForAnts

Member
2018 Charity Auction Winner
Artisan Producer
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Location
Adelaide
Hope you won't retire The warden, as it is the Ultimate barbershop scent for me!. It is just, a never ending soap (and I got it when you still sold it at > 150 grams sized), but I would re-stock if you decided to retire it....
cheers
Fer
Don't worry Fer - I'm not likely to retire the Warden, but I'll give ample notice when I do decide to stop making any particular scents.
 
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