All About Kodiak: Nantahala

Thank you for your interest in our release of Kodiak: Nantahala, a Shaving Soap for a Cause and collaboration between Murphy and McNeil and Joe Katon of @BlackMountainShaving.  Please read on for more information and FAQ.
For any other questions not covered here, please email!


Release Date:

  • Saturday, October 12th at 9am Central

Where to Get It:

What is it!?
  • Kodiak: Nantahala is a special edition shaving soap set and collaboration by Joe Katon of @BlackMountainShaving with Murphy and McNeil.  It will be available both as a box set (Murphy and McNeil) or in standalone components through our retail partners.
  • Other collaborators include John Williams of Grizzly Bay Brushes and Matt Darrington of Teton Shaves.
  • Kodiak: Nantahala features more incredible artwork by the one-and-only Rafa of @xicano_design.


  • Scent Strength: Medium
  • Top: Bright Citrus, Lavender, Melon, Rosemary
  • Middle: Geranium, Rose, Pink Pepper, Aquatics
  • Base:  Woody base of notes Patchouli, Suede, Fresh Wood, Amber, Tonka, Labdanum
  • Notes: This fragrance is in recognition of all the elements of nature.  A complex yet fresh accord that we hope will remind of you a clear, cool day in the forest.
What is the Cause?
  • A portion of all sales from this release will go to benefit the Nature Conservancy at 
  • Please visit the cause here for more info or to make a contribution.


A Word from Joe @BlackMountain Shaving:

  • Every year as a boy growing up, we would travel to our place in the mountains of Western North Carolina tucked deep within the Nantahala Forest. Sometimes at Spring and others at Fall, we would be greeted by a time where things move slower. On rare occasions, my parents would let us break out the original Atari on an old black and white TV with rabbit ears that never got reception thanks to the signal blocks of the mountains. We only game we had for it: Pong. Other than that, It was just us, that endless forest, streams, and the slate that bound us together as a family on these sacred lands.

    On every path and adventure I have travelled, I have been struck by the endless connectivity that holds even the most implausible together. This realization was born trekking underneath the Nantahala’s thick canopies and its raging waters. Also known as the Land of the Noonday Sun, the trees are so think that light only seeps the moisture from the forest floor at the most opportune moment of the day..

    Nantahala quite literally means Jumping Waters in Cherokee. I am reminded of this teaming of life every time I run my blade under the faucet and feel the steel made my nature itself against my face. For some of us, our passion for wet shaving is almost a spiritual experience like those rays of light that reaches the forest and to the most inner parts of our souls. It is from these moments and the connectivity of our community, all bound by the elements of nature, that the inspiration for this soap & scent was crafted.

    The wet shaving community is much like the eclectic nature of life in Western North Carolina From those passionate about art to those who prefer to live off the land and make do with less, all are bound together like the Nantahala’s cradle of forests, its elements, and animals that surrounded us. We depend on them right down to the ground and stone beneath our feet like the mighty Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains that tie all of the Nantahala together.

    Bill Graham, one of the best shave soap artisans in the business, and I have teamed up to celebrate this representation of our great community, the exceptional, spiritual ritual of wet shaving, and nature that connect us all rooted from those memories and moments of my awakenings wandering through the Nantahala. I have crafted a scent to bring together these experiences, reflected in this community and represented by nature. I wanted you to feel rugged enough from the day’s journey outdoors, yet sophisticated enough to throw on a sport coat and head up to the Pisgah Inn for a candlelit dinner overlooking the Blue Ridge at dusk.

    The scent opens with aqua with a dry down to pink pepper to represent the clean water and minerals leached from the slate and granite. The opening continues with the sweet sunlight beaming through the trees at noon represented by pineapple, melon, pear, bergamot, and a kiss of lemon. All of which is ultimately cradled by the forest and its canopy to envelop you as the notes of wood, tonka, amberwood, patchouli, geranium, rosemary, labdanum, lavender, and a touch of suede surround you.

    We then took the soap one step further. From the beginning, Bill and I realized that the soap representing this experience would be without if we failed to bring in one of the most iconic aspects of these mountains, the bear and bear fat. We welcome you to this brand new base called Kodiak. Through several rounds of testing with the community, we are pleased to present this new offering. This is an expensive base that will yield thick lather as you start dryer then dialing in the water with exceptional slickness and post shave tested using a wide range of aggression safety & straight razors, in a wide variety of lathering techniques from scuttle to face lathering. This base is meant to be a top tier product, and we hope you like it. 

  • Also of note!  We have teamed up with both Teton Shaves and Grizzly Bay and commissioned them to push beyond the norm to create brushes that represent this experience.

  • Finally, in keeping with Murphy and McNeil's values, and as a tribute to these lands and our dependents on all of these elements that connect us, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Nature Conservancy at We encourage you to check out this nonprofit group and ways to get involved in your own communities. The group fosters sustainable and restorative initiatives to preserve our environment, including working with those that depend upon the land, such as farmers, to find balance so that both people and nature can thrive. The Nature Conservancy is one of the most respected global conservation groups employing over 400 scientists with conservation efforts in 72 countries on six continents, including right here in North Carolina.

    We hope you enjoy this amazing experience. We welcome you to the Nantahala.

    Thank you for being part of my journey!

    -Joseph.K, Black Mountain Shaving

    Instagram: @blackmountainshaving

How is the product?
  • This set uses a new base that has been the result of a series of tests with some of our best friends in the community.  Featuring bear tallow sourced in Canada, along with beef tallow, duck fat, jojoba, and a range of other top ingredients this base has been tested and re-tested to give you and excellent shave.
  • The scent is an amalgamation of some of Joe's favorite notes representing his experiences in the Nantahala forest.  It is a fresh accord with every note having meaning.
  • All products related to this launch will be been posted at our website for preview purposes.  Inventory will be added to these items on launch day/time.

How does it work?  (SOAP and SETS)?
  • This set is a special edition/limited drop.  Whether or not the fragrance will be used by Murphy and McNeil in the future is TBD.
  • Once live, the product will be sold as sets.
    • There is 1 major version of this set, which includes Soap, Splash, and EDP.
      • For International Customers who cannot receive alcohol-based products via delivery, any international orders will AUTOMATICALLY receive alcohol free versions of the set.  NOTE however that these will be made-to-order and it could delay delivery by a few days.  If you prefer alcohol free but you are in the U.S.A., we can accommodate your request... please list your non-alcohol preference in your orders notes and email us at with your order number. 
    • Balms will be available sold separately.  If you purchase your balm at the same time as your soap you will save $6 off the listing price.
    • Extra EDP will be available in either 0.5oz ($19.99) or our larger 2.0oz ($39.99) sizes. (No substitutions within your sets please.) 
    • Limited Edition numbered Nantahala shaving brushes by Teton Shaves and Grizzly Bay will be available.

    How does it work? Nantahala Shaving Brushes


    • Where can I read about the soap and brushes?  Preview products and pages are visible already at Murphy and McNeil's website.  Please visit there to learn more or to sign up to be notified when the product releases (limited slots available for notification.)
    • If you sell out, will more be available?  Due to our difficulty sourcing some of the ingredients for this set, we cannot guarantee that more will be available in the event of a sell-out.  That said, we've worked VERY hard to ensure there are plenty of extras!
    • What does shipping cost?  
      • Murphy and McNeil offers 100% free U.S. shipping with no minimums.  International shipping is $10 for any order over $50 USD.  (Calculated rates apply to international orders below $50)
      • Our vendor/retail partners will follow their own policies.  For international customers, Murphy and McNeil offers a calculated rate based on the weight/size of your package and the service level chosen.

    More Info & Feedback So Far:

    Rud's Shaves Review!


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