Agents have gone on a secret mission to find out more about our artisan shaving soap makers. This month our mission is ‘Who is The Obsessive Soap Perfectionist’
1. We want to get to know you – tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is James Riley and I come from a small family. Only my Mum and I are left. Recently I met the love of my life, so there is three of us now! I love fishing on the odd occasion that I get some time. I also love riding and modifying motorbikes. I’m from Surrey/ South West London.
2. What do you eat for breakfast?!!!
Breakfast would ideally be a Full English or a burger with a nice cold glass of Coca Cola but either I don’t have time or it’s just a sandwich from Tesco.
3. When & why did you start traditional shaving?
I Started using a traditional shaving brush and soap in 2009 but didn’t make the switch to a proper double edge safety razor until 2012. Started due to the usual reason of irritation and bad practice that the media tricks us into!
4. When did you start soap making & why?
I Started soap making because I wasn’t happy with what was on offer. I didn’t see the point of switching to traditional wet shaving only to still use a load of chemicals! Natural was the way to go. Started sending samples on a shaving forum for feedback and it turned into a business!
5. What is the story behind the name Obsessive Soap Perfectionist?
The name came from a shaving forum member. They said I suffered from OSP - Obsessive Soap Perfectionism! And that’s where it came from.
6. What is your favourite OSP scent and why?
1882 is my favourite scent. Blending good fragrances with only essential oils is extremely hard due to not many scents being available in natural form. But with this one I feel like I’ve really managed it. This one is also my take on the original Fougere so all in this has the scent and the history. A huge favourite.
7. Is there a scent that you would really like to try making that you haven’t yet?
Restricting myself to natural scents with OSP means there is a lot I can’t do regarding fragrance. I have wanted to use synthetic scents for a while, so I have started a new line of soaps called d’Ardenne, Short & Bell. Now I can use whatever I like and have the best if both worlds! Having said that I would have loved to try using some original musk, however this is now illegal.
8. What is your secret to achieving the perfect lather from your soaps/creams?
The secret is don’t mess around. Good stiff brush, lather it like you hate it, and lather for at least 3 minutes. Pack as much water in as you can.
9. Coming soon? Talk to us about seasonal developments/future releases/ exciting things for our shaving community to look forward to…
What’s coming up? Aftershave lotion coming soon, as is shaving soaps and fragrances from d’Ardenne, Short & Bell. All imminent. Keep your eyes peeled!
Photo: James and Adele - The Obsessive Soap Perfectionist
Thank you, James, for letting us get to know you and OSP a bit better – we are really excited about what is coming to OSP this year and will keep Agents posted with developments.