De Vergulde Hand (A.K.A. DVH, which is not to be confused with VDH or Van Der Hagen) is one of those products that gets consistently great reviews, but very little press. De Vergulde Hand translates into English as The Gilded Hand, and is a Dutch made soap that boasts more than 450 years of existence. Any product that has been around for that long must be doing something right, but in spite of its long history and good reviews it has been a little difficult to find this soap in the US (at least until recently, now it seems to be enjoying a much more wide spread distribution). I had finally found a good vendor who stocked this soap and had been considering a purchase of it when an opportunity popped up that allowed me to make a trade for it. I’m always ecstatic when a chance comes along to trade unwanted products, rather than let them linger unused, so I happily swapped out a couple of shave sticks for a nearly new container on DVH Extra Fris.
When I received my puck of DVH in the mail I was eager to try it out as soon as possible, but I still took the time to appreciate the container design. It comes in a plastic tub with bright blue and yellow coloring that looks nice enough, but is by no means a luxury type container. There is a thoughtfully placed notch that makes pulling the top off of this soap extremely easy, and when I did so I gazed longingly into the tub and instantly noticed two things. First is the nifty logo of a hand carved into the surface of the soap, I don’t know why, but I really like this logo. The second thing is the strong and unpleasant scent that wafts off of this soap. The scent is extremely sharp and smells something like a combination of Pine Sol and Lemon Pledge. I instantly disliked this scent, but was willing to give it a try anyway. I figured that if I couldn’t get past the scent then at last I would know if it was worth it to try the regular version. In the end I found that I loved DVH Extra Fris and was more than willing to deal with its initial scent in order to get the great results that come with the use of this excellent soap.
I used my Comoy/Vulfix 376S Super Badger brush to do a test lather for the purposes of this review. As I’ve said, the initial scent of DVH Extra Fris is extremely strong and unpleasant. The scent does not weaken when it is lathered at all, but after the shave is done and the residue is rinsed off, it leaves a very pleasant after scent that lingers nicely in the background. In fact, the after scent is so nice that I have come to almost welcome the sharp initial scent and is the one thing that kept me from giving the scent quality a rating of 2. The soap lathers easily and quickly and provides an extremely slick and protective surface. The tub that it comes in leaves plenty of room to load up the brush and could even hold two pucks in a single container with a little room to spare. DVH leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth, and nicely moisturised and is a great all around choice. At $8 to $9/puck DVH Extra Fris is an amazing value.
Ratings (1-10, 1 being the absolute lowest and 10 being the absolute best):
Scent Quality: 6
Scent Strength: 9
Lather Quality: 8
Skin Care: 8
Sodium Stearate, Potassium Stearate, Sodium Cocoate Function, Potassium Cocoate, Aqua, Kaolin, Glycerin, Parfum Scent, Sodium Chloride, Benzyl Salicylate, O-Tolyl Biguanide, Amino-Tri, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Hydroxide, Limonene, Linalool, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Butylphenyl Methylproprional, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Cl 77891