Tallow & Emu Oil
Shaving Soap of the Gods – A Shaving Soap Experience
Description of Shaving Soap Scent:
Achilles went to battle in natural earthy fields of over grown brush. He came home to have a whiskey drink and relax. So we open with a earthy aroma. We have blended tobacco with the perfect amount of Kentucky bourbon. Among those fragrances you will get a hint of earthy infused essential oils that will tingle your senses. Hints of rosewood, cedar, smoke, and sweet birch. Take pride in all you do! You will be the greatest warrior on the battlefield after this fantastic shave.
We have Whiskey drizzle over the soap for that unique pop of fragrance!
Description of Shaving Soap:
Van Yulay’s makes a croap shaving soap. It is not a cream nor a hard puck. It is in between soft & hard.
Van Yulay whips up into a yogurt like cream lather in just a few minutes. Enjoy a rich and creamy protective lather with skin protective loaded with enriched vitamins and amino acids. We make each soap with your skin in mind. Ph balanced to have a smooth and irritation free shave. Each soap is piped in beautifully in an 8 oz. container.
How to use:
Soak your shave brush in a bowl or cup filled with hot water for a few minutes before your shave. Apply a warm, damp towel to your face (or splash face with warm water) to prep your face for shaving. Apply another hot towel to your face for a few seconds. After the brush has soaked, gently squeeze out excess water, still leaving the brush mostly wet. Apply the brush to the soap in fast, repeated circular motions to coat the brush bristles well. Shave and rinse face thoroughly with cool water. For an optimal experience, finish with Van Yulay After Shave Splash then followed with your After-Shave Balm by Van Yulay.
Shaving Soap Contents:
- Tallow – has been used as an effective skincare ingredient for centuries! As your skin need all vitamins to replenish the daily lives, tallow has Vitamin A, D, E and K, as well as Omega – fatty acids.
- Emu Oil – contains high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, therefore it is able to easily penetrate the skin’s barriers for deep moisturization. When compared to other types of oil, emu oil had 2-4 times greater penetration of the skin. These effects show that emu oil is able to moisturize and rejuvenate the skin extremely effectively.
- Silk Amino Acids – This silk forms a natural layer over the skin, keeping moisture locked in and harsh conditions out, leaving skin protected and well-nourished.
- Meadow Foam Oil- provides emollient properties without being overly greasy or unctuous. It is absorbed quickly and leaves a light skin feel.
- Coconut Fatty Acid – excellent lathering and conditioning when used in shave soap.
- Bentonite & Kaolin Clay – Gives an extra creaminess and silkiness to the shave soap. Generally, white clay’s natural absorbing, detoxifying and exfoliating properties makes it an indispensable ingredient in shaving products.
- Silk Amino Acid is a unique silk peptide and one of the best at reducing fine lines and other signs of aging. Aside from the amazing texture of silk extracts, silk amino acids contain properties which allow it to rejuvenate skin tone, reduce wrinkles and hydrate your skin tissues to protect from free radicals.
Shaving Soap Ingredients:
Tallow Formula Shaving Soap Ingredients: Made with Stearic Acid, Coconut Fatty Acid, Palm Stearic, Castor, Potassium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Tobacco Tea, Aloe Vera, Coconut-Emu-Tallow-Meadow Foam-Borage-Argan- Oils, Kentucky Bourbon, Sodium Lactate, Herbal Ground Tea, Calendula, Extracts, Poly Quats, Allantoin, Silica, Bentonite & Kaolin Clay, Glycerin Soap, Tobacco Absolute, Mica and Fragrance.
Lovely Tobacco/bourbon scent. highly recommended.
Curtis George –
Van Yulay – Achilles Shaving Soap Review
This scent is part of the Van Yula “Soap of the Gods” line. I shaved exclusively with this soap for a week using different techniques as well as a boar, badger, and synthetic brush before writing this review.
Van Yulay’s tallow shaving soap is made from very high quality natural ingredients to hydrate and repair cell damage. With the goal of, according to their website of, “Having your skin (post shave) better than when we met.” It is made with Stearic Acid, Coconut Fatty Acid, Palm Stearic, Castor, Potassium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Tobacco Tea, Aloe Vera, Coconut-Emu-Tallow-Meadow Foam-Borage-Argan- Oils, Kentucky Bourbon, Sodium Lactate, Herbal Ground Tea, Calendula, Extracts, Poly Quats, Allantoin, Silica, Bentonite Clay, Glycerin Soap, Tobacco Absolute, Mica and Fragrance.
I would describe the scent as a blend of tobacco leaf with a generous amount of fine Kentucky bourbon. I got a hint of cherry, notes of vanilla with an earthy arouma. As well as, hints of rosewood, cedar, smoke, and sweet birch.
It is a great relaxing end of a busy day, aroma. I imagine sitting in an easy chair relaxing with an expensive glass of bourbon while smoking a fine cigar. The scent is nice and strong but not overpowering.
The 4 ounces of shaving soap comes in a nice 8 ounce container that gives you more then enough room to load right in the jar. The soap is soft and does like a good bit of water while building a thick rich lather.
The following are my recommendations: 1) Bloom the puck by pinching a small amount into a shave bowl, rather then loading in the container. 2) Initially add approximately two tablespoons of hot water to your shaving bowl when whipping up your lather with your brush. 3) I suggest using a boar or synthetic brush, that holds water and lather adequately, for best results.
This soap really lathers well once you figure out the right combination of water to soap and the proper brush. It is certainly a soap for the more experienced wet shaver who recognizes the importance of quality ingredients and and knows how to use a sophisticated soap such as this.
Considering the quality of the ingredients it is hard to believe this soap only sells for $14.74 for a four ounce puck in a nice plastic container.
Scent – 5 out of 5 stars (Outstanding)
Lather – 4.5 out of 5 stars (Very Good)
Slickness – 4.5 out of 5 stars (Very Good)
Post Shave – 5 out of 5 stars (Outstanding)
Wow wow wow I have over 40 shaving soap/creams for me and my nose achilles is number 1 all day scent and performance wow
Achilles uses Van Yulay’s tallow and bentonite clay formula. Running the risk of sounding like Joe Rogan asserting every MMA fighter with whom he’s currently enthralled to be “the best pound for pound…”, I’m going to say Van Yulay can easily rival any of the soaps in my arsenal. In fact—and I’m not overstating this—Achilles, in particular, excels in all of the criteria by which I measure an excellent soap: ease of lather, water range, density, slickness, and post-shave. Which brings me to the semi-subjective criteria: scent, packaging, value, and customer service.
Van Yulay describes Achilles as, “tobacco with the perfect amount of Kentucky bourbon, hints of cherry, notes of vanilla, of rosewood, cedar, smoke, and sweet birch.” I can’t argue with any of that, frankly, but the order and impact of these notes deserve some illustration. Straight from the dry tub is a bold, bordering on excessive, sweet bourbon fragrance. We should all know by now that notes from the dry puck rarely provide much insight as to the lathered product. I can say that room temperature bourbon in an old fashioned wouldn’t have emanated throughout the bathroom to the degree the open tub of Achilles did. I was interested to see how this would transform once lathered.
While on the subject of the dry tub, still present in Achilles are Van Yulay’s signature star molds (which I confirmed are in fact piped into the tubs with an icing bag). Unlike my initial use of Van Yulay, Achilles has the molds surrounded by a lustrous dark substance that appears to be liquefied, but it’s actually firm with a slight candied tackiness. While it’s an interesting presentation, I was concerned it was unintentional and possibly the victim of the hot Texas temperatures. I contacted the proprietor to inquire about the dark syrup. She quickly responded and reassured me this was the “bourbon drizzle” and that it was completely intentional. She nailed the customer service aspect, and there’s more on that later.
With regard to packaging: My introduction to Van Yulay was outlined in my first impression of “Puros La Habana”, one of their “manteca” soaps. At that time, my impression was overwhelmingly positive. To recap, the only negatives I encountered was a slightly arbitrarily organized website and sub par label printing. After sending my first impression review to the vendor, the majority of the website issues were corrected within minutes. And the labels? Well, there’s still room for improvement, there. Following my positive experience with “Puros La Habana”, I purchased 3 more VY soaps. I note that the label issue was not an isolated one. They are quite susceptible to scratches (not unlike the PAA tins of old), and the colors are crushed and muted as compared to their representations on the website. I know this is a bit frivolous, but honestly this is where the negatives stop.
In my mind, value is married to performance. I’ll expound on the performance later, but Achilles at $17 performs at least as well as soaps for which I unreservedly pay $25. There’s no question that $17 is more than fair for a soap of this caliber.
Now I will address the performance. Again, adapting my behavior slightly to accommodate the clay, I used a slightly wetter knot than usual. This resulted in a very quick capacity load for the HMW knot with a controlled amount of protolather. Despite the very dark brown “bourbon drizzle” and the tan stars, the resulting lather was slightly lighter than the head on a draught stout beer. I dumped quite a bit more water into the knot using the finger dribble method and proceeded to face lather. I achieved a usable lather within a few seconds, but I knew VY could do more, so I continued to challenge the limits of this tallow-based soap by adding even more water. With my hard water, this would have destroyed most of my other tallow soaps, but Achilles revealed its sweet spot and exploded into a ridiculous amount of a strikingly creamy and dense paintable lather.
As expected, the intense bourbon fragrance immediately settled down when the water hit it, and it transformed to a more realistic representation. Bourbon kept the stage throughout the shave, but it was sweetened a bit with cured tobacco and to a lesser extent, dark cherry and vanilla alcohol. The vanilla and cherry somehow suggested to me cola. One could deduce that Achilles then took on the fragrance of bourbon and Coke, but the mellow warm tobacco kept that from happening. Towards the end of the shave, the scent got even more complex with smoky, woody notes.
I admit I’m ignorant as to which ingredients contribute to post shave feel. After a cold water rinse, Achilles left my scalp and face feeling the way I’m accustomed to it feeling after using lanolin and shea butter products. Yet, I don’t see either of them mentioned in the ingredients list. Nevertheless, my skin felt at least as good as it does following a shave using my benchmark products.
The pleasant sweet bourbon scent lingered as I cleaned up my gear. I took pause before applying the paired after shave splash. My prior experience with Van Yulay’s splash proved that the scent perfectly matched the soap and lingered for a good 4-5 hours.
I began to wonder if such an accurate bourbon fragrance was actually a good scent to wear for a prolonged period, if at all. To my surprise, the splash turned the tables on the fragrance profile. Warm, sophisticated cured tobacco was the dominate note with bourbon remaining in the background. This was precisely the opposite of its properties with the soap. The same notes are present but with a different impact and presence, making the prolonged scent of the splash less whimsical and much more refined. While I am sure this is an intentional turn, I suspect the mellow aloe carries the tobacco better, where an alcohol base may have pushed the bourbon to the forefront. The alcohol-free splash just added more goodies to my skin. The key ingredients are aloe and witch hazel, but there are a number of ingredients the benefits of which I admit I am ignorant.
Then came the real test. The overall scent profile of Achilles shares some properties with another artisan’s soap that I love. Achilles is not a duplication of this soap, but the sweetened tobacco notes were enough to remind me of it. The problem is, for my wife, the mere hint of this unnamed soap evokes nausea. She’s normally not very vocal about my choices in fragrances, but she absolutely abhors it. Therefore, I’m given to only using it while she is gone for a prolonged hunting trip. To my relief, she found Achilles to be quite pleasant. As a result, I look forward to using this combination time and time again.
This was a 5 out of 5 shave. I’ve been late to the game with regard to trying out Van Yulay’s products. Many of you are already familiar with them, but Achilles is listed as a “new” product on their website. If you haven’t tried it, and bourbon and cured tobacco is your thing, you really need to pick up a tub before the vendor wises up and charges what it’s worth.
BANGER of a scent if your looking for an excellent bourbon & tobacco scent profile. Strong and bold without being over-powering. Excellent slickness, but the soap does require a little bit of finesse to build a quality lather depending on the type of brush used.