Review: Oaken Lab

I came across these soaps on the Shaving Time website and curiosity got the better of me. They're made by an American expat living in Jakarta. He uses locally available ingredients due to some of the strict restrictions on alcohol and other such things.

IMG_20210218_184804.jpg

There's three scents available to us in the UK. Here are the official descriptions:

Far a Field: Far A Field is a scent of Mountain Mist, Sill Lake, Cedar and 5am. With notes of Aqua, Cedarwood and Citrus.

Batavia Barber: Batavia barber scent is said to be that of a hot barbers towel with worn leather and a rusting fan. With notes of Neroli, Bergamot, Orange, Lavender, Jasmine, Moss, Musk, Patchouli and Leather.

Earth of Mankind: Earth of Mankind is based on the rich fragrance of the Malaysian interior, a thick kretek haze envelopes a rich base of agarwood and warm mystical spice. With notes of clove, cassia, tobacco, vanilla, agarwood, patchouli, vetiver and sandalwood.

I've never been by a sill lake at anytime, let alone 5am, I've never had someone shave me near a rusty fan and I've never been inside a Malaysian building. Despite this, the scents take me there in my imagination. These are really unique scents - unlike anything else in my collection. I was expecting to dislike one or two of them but they smell great from the tub - I liked them enough to subsequently order the matching splashes. There's not much information on these soaps but I've noticed that a few of us have picked them up on the acquisition thread so thought it worthwhile starting a review thread.

I'll be starting with the Far a Field tonight.
 

Blademonkey

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I came across these soaps on the Shaving Time website and curiosity got the better of me. They're made by an American expat living in Jakarta. He uses locally available ingredients due to some of the strict restrictions on alcohol and other such things.

View attachment 65036

There's three scents available to us in the UK. Here are the official descriptions:

Far a Field: Far A Field is a scent of Mountain Mist, Sill Lake, Cedar and 5am. With notes of Aqua, Cedarwood and Citrus.

Batavia Barber: Batavia barber scent is said to be that of a hot barbers towel with worn leather and a rusting fan. With notes of Neroli, Bergamot, Orange, Lavender, Jasmine, Moss, Musk, Patchouli and Leather.

Earth of Mankind: Earth of Mankind is based on the rich fragrance of the Malaysian interior, a thick kretek haze envelopes a rich base of agarwood and warm mystical spice. With notes of clove, cassia, tobacco, vanilla, agarwood, patchouli, vetiver and sandalwood.

I've never been by a sill lake at anytime, let alone 5am, I've never had someone shave me near a rusty fan and I've never been inside a Malaysian building. Despite this, the scents take me there in my imagination. These are really unique scents - unlike anything else in my collection. I was expecting to dislike one or two of them but they smell great from the tub - I liked them enough to subsequently order the matching splashes. There's not much information on these soaps but I've noticed that a few of us have picked them up on the acquisition thread so thought it worthwhile starting a review thread.

I'll be starting with the Far a Field tonight.
I wonder if it smells different at 6.15am!
:)
I jest of course!

Paul.
 
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Boycie83
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Devon
IMG_20210218_185011.jpg

Razor: Oneblade Genesis V2
Blade: Feather FHS-10 (3)
Brush: Yaqi Sagrada Familia
Soap: Oaken Lab Far a Field
Pre: Proraso White
ASL: Oaken Lab Far a Field
ASB: None

I'd say this is the weakest of the three in terms of scent strength. The scent note from the tub continues in to the lather and becomes a bit crisper during application. It quickly subdues though and the scent then remains very mild. I'd say as mild as the Esteem soap I used the other day.

This was a very easy soap to lather. A 10 second load provided enough thick yoghurty lather for 3 passes. Plenty of residual slickness (useful when using the Oneblade) and my face felt pleasant afterwards. The splash is witch hazel based so lacks the alcohol burn. It really does feel nice when applied. It's one of the few times that I've felt I don't need to apply a post-shave balm. My skin feels really nice after using it. The scent of the splash takes a similar note from the soap tub but quickly moves to something more aquatic before fading away quickly. This would pair nicely with an acquatic EdP and wouldn't compete with it.

In summary, this isn't one for those that like big bold scents but it appears to be an excellent performer.
 
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Boycie83
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Location
Devon
Razor: Oneblade Genesis V2
Blade: Feather FHS-10 (1)
Brush: Yaqi Sagrada Familia
Soap: Oaken Earth of Mankind
Pre: Proraso Cypress and Vetiver
ASL: Oaken Earth of Mankind
ASB: None

No photo today I'm afraid as the ensuite sink has been decommissioned for repairs. The temporary decant meant I forgot all about the picture.

On to Earth of Mankind. The scent from the soap tub is cocoa. A strong cocoa note. Once lathered the sweetness of the cocoa remains but a dark woody note takes prominence with a background of some Far Eastern spices. It's really unique and I like it. It's the one I've been most on the fence about but it brings something new and pleasant to my den. The lather whips in this light chocolate coloured yoghurt and holds that colour. It reminds me of Angel Delight.

The lather was really slick with plenty of residual slickness again. An effortless shave. Post shave seemed pleasant but I didn't get much time to feel it as I was eager to apply the splash.

The splash has the same nice qualities as the Far a Field I used but I'm not enjoying the scent. The Cocoa has gone and the splash arrives with the same woody note but a fruity sweet spice note follows that puts me off a bit. It reminds me of something I dislike but I can put my finger on it. That said, this is my personal opinion and I'm sure there's many people who will find this peasant.
 
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Boycie83
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3,555
Location
Devon
IMG_20210221_143818.jpg
Razor: Oneblade Genesis V2
Blade: Feather FHS-10 (2)
Brush: Yaqi Sagrada Familia
Soap: Oaken Batavia Barber
Pre: Proraso Cypress and Vetiver
ASL: Oaken Batavia Barber
ASB: None

37degC, rustling fan, worn leather and a fresh towel. That's the description of this soap from the maker. I get it. I felt like I was there. The leather is the dominant note in the lather, similar to the tub. A very light cologne note in the background. This may be my favourite of the three. The lather was absolutely spot on - probably aided by the fact I've dialled this base in now. My face felt great afterwards as I washed the remaining lather off.

The splash takes a different scent journey. The leather is there but this time it's moved to the back and a citrus note comes forward. It's almost like the end of the barber journey - I've now got a towel to freshen up. Whilst different, they work very well together. I'm lookin forward to giving this a try in summer.

Overall I'm impressed with the Oaken Lab range. The soaps work very well for me and I enjoy the three scents - worth noting that the Earth of Mankind and Batavia Barber are stronger scented than the Far a Field. If another scent is released in the UK, I'll probably pick it up.

The splashes also work very well and do wonders for my skin. Although the scent of Earth of Mankind didn't work for me, I can't fault its performance.
 
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Location
London
I came across these soaps on the Shaving Time website and curiosity got the better of me. They're made by an American expat living in Jakarta. He uses locally available ingredients due to some of the strict restrictions on alcohol and other such things.

I'm out.

If they were made by a Canadian in Bali or a Swedish guy in Eritrea we'd be talking.
 
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