John Scala's New York Shaving Company also makes a line of small-batch products in Brooklyn, including three types of hard shaving soap. He points out that they're glycerin and coconut oil based, and free of parabens, sulfates, detergents, and preservatives – ingredients that keep soap from going bad but are generally scorned by advocates of organic products. We particularly like the Old St. Patrick's shaving soap, named for the Gothic Revival cathedral near Scala's shop in New York City's Nolita. It's a mild, green, and fresh-smelling soap, with an old-world profile reminiscent of the English soaps yet slightly less intense, The rich lather is an organic triumph. [$18 for 113g; nyshavingcompany.com]
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