Shave of the day, 31st May 2019: Solstice

Bowl : Vikings Blade Grand Chairman
Brush : Phoenix Accouterments’ Atomic Rocket
Preshave : Prep
Soap and Post shave : Phoenix Accouterments’ Solstice and matching Aftershave
Razor : Rockwell 6S w/Zaza Blade (4th use)

First work day shave after being sick the past few days as a dog more or less coughing my lungs out. Hate the airport sometimes, you catch the worst kind of bugs there.
Anyways, wanted something soothing and decided on Solstice.

2 pass shave, WTG & ATG with clean up.
Blade stared to feel harsh, still got my glass BBS but I think I’ll stop at 4 use.

Evening Shave, 30th May 2019 : Wet The Face’s Himitsu

Bowl : Vikings Blade Grand Chairman
Brush: Frank Shaving Silvertip Badger
Soap : (sample sized) Wet the face Himitsu
Post shave : Thayers Witch Hazel Lemon
Razor : Rockwell 6S-R3 w/Zaza Blade (3rd use)

Getting to the samples I bought from Don.
This evening’s soap is Himitsu and I have to say, this soap smells great!

What really jumps out at you is the sweet lemon and patchouli, the saffron only the barest of hint, and the red rose to me was more like rose wood which is a good thing, wife thought it reminded her (so did I) of one of those old onsen ryokens (hot spring inns) in Hokaido where you walk in and the room smells of old rose wood furniture and fresh lemon.

Very soothing, very uplifting.

Its definitely going onto my to buy list.
Its the one that both the wife and I liked the best (the others are no slouches) but, … happy wife, happy life! 😁

Zaza blade on third use, 2 pass, WTG & ATG with cleanup.
Again, “I wana touch myself” Glass BBS.
Lets see if the blade hold up for tomorrow morning’s 4th use.

29th May 2019, Evening Shave : The Village Soapsmith’s Eucalyptus and Mint + Zaza Blades (Review)

Bowl : Vikings Blade Grand Chairman
Brush : Frank Shaving Silvertip Badger
Soap : The Village Soapsmith Eucalyptus and Mint
Post shave : Brut Original
Razor : Rockwell 6S-R2 w/Zaza Blades

New soap and blades, so again, no preshave or ground menthol to spoil the soap’s performance or effect its scent.

Soap is glycerin based, comes in puck form that you can drop into a mug but I just shaved it and repacked it into a Tupperware that is more or less the size you get when buying shaving creams.

Front loaded with a damp brush and went right to the bowl, the soap is a thirsty soap and it took quite a bit of added water to lather into the yogurt cream we want.

So onto the face and the shave.

The scent is more herbal then menthol-ish, so what you breathe in, can only be described as grassy fresh.
Strength of the soap’s scent is low mild, on a scale of 1-10, its maybe a 3 or 4, not exactly weak, but present.
This is a slick soap and has good post shave slickness, even with your lather cleared by the razor, running your finger across your skin will set it into glide mode, the only caveat is that being a glycerin soap, it does dry out faster then tallow so don’t try to go over a cleared area if you left it drying in the air.
If in doubt, re-lather, add water.
All in all, the soap is a very good performer.

Still had this much lather after 3 passes and a clean up pass from a loaded brush. I didn’t scoop, scraped or otherwise heavily load the soap into the bowl to create the lather, just the amount of soap picked up by a damp (soaked then hard shaken dry) brush.

First time using Zaza blades but have been told that it is sharp and smooth and its first impression impressed me.
It is well packaged, comes in a Red plastic blade box that will hold used blades. They used minimal, if any, wax to hold the blades in the paper wrap, which is a damn good thing. And it performed like a champ.
Its almost as sharp as a feather, taking stubble off easily and very efficiently even on the R2 plate, even around my stubborn trouble spots and I only had to do 1 clean up pass. Face is now a glass “I can’t help but touch myself” BBS smooth.

Actually now that I think about it, considering how smooth it shaved, I’d say its almost a clone of Kai Blades (minus the whole no label on the blade thing that Kai does), but at US13.00 for 100s, that’s almost 1/3 to 1/4 compared to what you have to pay for Kai Blades.

I need to buy more of these. 🙂

Finished up the shave with Brut.
All in all, was a damn good shave.
Sharp blades and Slick lather!

Shave of the day, 28th May 2019 : Grey’s Vetiver

Brush : Frank Shaving Silvertip Badger
Soap : Wet The Face’s Grey’s Vetiver in a Frank Shaving Apothecary mug
Post Shave : Wet the Face’s Grey’s Vetiver After shave, Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver (EDP)
Razor : Razorock SLOC w/Rapira SSS Blade (2nd)

This being a first time shave with a soap and aftershave I have never used, I usually use them naked, with no preshaves to avoid getting contaminating performance results and scent.
The puck itself is a relatively soft puck so it was easy to just push it into the Frank Shaving mug (Still wish the mug had a slightly wider base) and form fit it nicely. And being a tallow puck, opted to do it the old way and just face lather and add water as needed to get the lather to the texture I want after loading the damp brush and going to the face.

It took a little bit of work, its a little thirsty but … look at that yogurty goodness. Had enough there for at least 4 passes (face already lathered).

So how is the soap?

Slickness, glide and post shave slickness is really good as you would expect from a tallow soap.
Even after the blade takes most of the lather off on its pass, you can easily buff or rework an area within reason.
I’ll trust this soap when I shave with the shavette.

All too soon, 3 passes and the clean up is done and my face is glass BBS.
On goes the aftershave which has a low burn. Scent is good, close enough to the real thing, you get the initial spike in scent and the fade into dry down leaving a light hint of the TFGV scent on the skin.
Follow up with layering Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver of course adds that scent layer already there and boost everything back up.

Scent wise is a slightly mixed bag. Both soap and after shave is closer to TFGV compared to the other well known soap that is inspired by Grey Vetiver.

The difference is slight, that being Fine’s Fresh Vetiver is a “brighter” scent and that Fine’s Fresh Vetiver is just a tad ahead in scent strength.
That is not to say that you can’t smell TFGV in Grey’s Vetiver’s soap, it is just a little more muted if more truer, compared to Fine’s soap.

All in all, Wet The Face Grey’s Vetiver soap and After Shave gave a great shave, had a good scent and that’s all we really want in our shaving products.

Shave of the day, 26th May 2019 : Cold Spice

Bowl : Vikings Blade Grand Chairman
Brush : Phoenix Artisan Accouterments’s Atomic Rocket
Preshave : Prep
Soap : Phoenix Artisan Accouterments’s Cold Spice
Post Shave : Phoenix Artisan Accouterments’s Cold Spice and Mysterious Serum (Mentholated)
Razor : Razorock SLOC w/Rapira blade

Now that Douglas has made a CK-6 version of Cold Spice, I’ll need to use this one up so that I can get the new one. I’ll need to get more bottles of the AS anyways. 🙂
Every time I use this I am glad that someone went back to recreate the old Shulton, P&G should have never reformulated, the “new” Old Spice smells flat, synthetic on top of not lasting long.

Shave of the day, 25th May 2019 : Proraso Wood and Spice

Bowl : Vikings Blade Grand Chairman
Brush : Frank Shaving Silvertip Badger
Preshave, soap and post shave : Proraso Wood and Spice
Razor : The Razorine w/Derby Extra Blade

Scent profile as described by Proraso :
A woody fragrance vaunting balsamic and spiced nuances. Top notes open with cumin and saffron within a few minutes before evolving into cedar and sandalwood. The persistent base consists of vanilla and rockrose.

This is the best scent by Proraso so far and to be honest, you only get the barest of hints of cumin and saffron as with vanilla and rockrose, the spice profile on this soap is very muted but the woods, hooooo boy, the woods jump out at you and whack you over the head like a two by four, a Cedar with a strong Sandalwood backbone two by four.

The scent also is pretty long lasting, with only the soap and balm, it stayed with me for about 3-4 hours.
I have could only get the balm at the moment until I can ship in the Aftershave and Cologne but that is on the top of my list. Oddly enough, the balm works as an aftershave and it really soothes the skin (even though it’s supposed to be for the beard).

Proraso pro Wood and Spice made today’s shave one of the best I have had in a long time.

I was checking the Proraso site and it seems that they have discontinued the Preshave (the soap is after all very very slick) so you might not be able to find this anymore. I am thinking of buying up some more while I can. 😆

Evening shave : mail call, 24th May 2019, G&A Artisan : Japanese Dream (First impressions)

Bowl : Vikings Blade Grand Chairman
Brush : Phoenix Artisan Accouterments’s Atomic Rocket
Preshave : Prep
Soap and Post Shave : G&A Artisan’s Japanese Dream cream and After Shave. (I transferred some aftershave into a dispenser bottle for easier application)
Razor : Razorock’s SLOC w/Derby Extra blades

Lets talk about the new.
Soap : G&A Artisan’s Japanese Dream, price 20 Euros, limited run.
Soap’s scent profile : “A fresh, spicy, fragrance with top notes of cherry , pine needles supported by a middle note of clove, cinnamon and pimento resting on a base of fir balsam and precious woods” as described by the artisan.

My initial impressions:

Soap is a relatively soft resinous gel-like cream.

It is easy to load onto a brush or you can simply finger scoop some into a bowl. Either way, a little goes a long way. A small dollop about the size and thickness roughly of my pinky’s first digit gave enough lather for 5 passes easy.

Soap’s lather was good, stays on the face without dissipating for good long minutes. Slickness and cushion were also good allowing for a smooth glide and shave.
Post shave slickness is acceptable, if you aren’t getting that slickness, your lather / face needs a little more water.

Scent: This is gourmand scent. Cherry comes off strong, You can smell a little clove, maybe the cinnamon but generally the spice and woods are very subtle, muted and blend into the cherry. It is definitely more fruity then woods and spice.
I can easily see myself pairing this with Paco Rabbanne’s 1 Million, Gautier’s Le Male or an Aventus clone for that fruity scent day.
All in all I enjoyed the soap and shave.

After Shave : Cost 15 Euros for a 200ml bottle
The aftershave is a liquid balm / lotion.

So no alcohol, no burn. Those looking for that burn, this is not the lotion you want.

It goes on easy onto my face, but after the dry down, it went downhill for me.

The lotion left my face feeling tacky and a little sticky.
I didn’t apply more than what you see in the picture, about a squirt into the hand, rubbing it between my hands and applied to the face.

After the dry down, running my fingers on the dried skin, it felt like a layer was left on the skin, no glide, resisting, and you can feel a little tacky residue transfer onto your finger tips.
Unlike other lotions I have used where it gets absorbed into the skin fast and dry down to a non tacky, matte and or smooth skin feel, this one left me feeling “off”.
Even my finger tips, when touching the face left feeling “off” like you touched dried spilled syrup.

While the scent is good, and seems to last for a bit (I left it on for about an hour), I did feel uncomfortable and I eventually did washed off with Nivea’s face wash and reset with witch hazel and body’s shop post shave.
To clarify, there was no itch, no burning, just that tacky feeling. Like you drank cola and it spilled over your face and you left it to dry down.

Not sure why the lotion performed the way it did.
I’ll want to experiment with it a little more to see if I can salvage this. It does have a nice scent but doesn’t seem to want to be absorbed into my skin, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and I’ll chalk it up to something in the formula that I can’t use or didn’t agree with my skin.

As with everything shaving, your mileage might vary, while the AS didn’t work for me, it might for you.
It would be interesting to see what others say.
I did like the soap, the aftershave, not so much.

Update :
I experimented and found that if I mixed the Aftershave with some Witch Hazel, I used Thayer’s Lavender, though it might have been better to use an unscented version, at a ratio of 30/70 AS/WH and added some menthol in, it worked perfectly for my skin.

The Aftershave Solution now gets absorbed in fast, it doesn’t have that tacky feel or rather its not noticeable anymore and the menthol did help to settle the face.
It not only held the scent, which is a very pleasant cherry and pine mix, it felt awesome!

The only sad part is that the scent being diluted didn’t last as long but hey, I’ll mark this as a win and can work with it.

Shave of the day, 23rd May 2019 : Proraso Green Infinite!

Bowl : Vikings Blade Grand Chairman
Brush : Phoenix Artisan Accouterments’s Atomic Rocket
Preshave : Proraso Green, Salt Grinder w/Menthol Crystals
Soap and Post Shave : Proraso Green
Razor : Razorock SLOC w/Derby Extra Blades

What do you do when you live in the tropics, its about 30°c ( about 86°f ) at 4:30am, already taken a cold shower but still feel the need to cool off?
You add more menthol to your shave that’s already a menthol and eucalyptus face bomb. 😁
2 full twist of the good old salt grinder with menthol crystals, worked the lather and the entire bathroom smelt as fresh as an ice box of frozen mint.

Almost 15 mins after the shave and I can still feel the menthol as the morning air touches the face. Good stuff!
I do want to say that those who are also grinding menthol into their shaves, experiment but do be careful. 15-20 mins for the menthol effect to last is pretty much pushing it I think. With 2-3 twists, my face and lips were starting to go a little numb so while I could go a few more twists, that would be going into menthol burn territory. Don’t.

Shave of the day, 23rd May 2019 : Proraso Red, Sandalwood!

Brush : PAA’s Atomic Rocket
Preshave : Prep
Soap and Post Shave : Proraso Red
Razor : Rockwell 6S w/Derby Extra Blades

Back to some old basics, though as far as basics go, you can’t really fault Proraso red.
From the time you load the brush, face lather to the finishing aftershave splash on, it is pretty much a sandalwood face bomb, well I loaded Prep as preshave for that slight menthol kick, but oh man, that sandalwood scent…mmmnnnnnnhhhhhh!

Going R3 on the Rockwell, after using the SLOC razor, the Rockwell still edges out the SLOC by a narrow margin.

Shave of the day, 22st May 2019 : Alchemy, mini Razorock’s SLOC Razor review.

Bowl: Vikings Blade Grand Chairman
Brush : PAA’s Atomic Rocket
Soap : Razorock’s Alchemy
Post shave : Razorock’s Alchemy, Singapore Memories Paranakan Oud
Razor : Razorock SLOC

Alchemy scent is a blend of citrus, mint, vetiver and resinous woods, which exact woods though, I am not sure. But its bright, herbal and soothing. So I’ll pair it with a scent that is attributed to my people, the Peranakans (Though my GGGrandda was Portuguese).
Peranakan Oud’s scent profile is Oud, Tonka bean, Praline and Green Tobacco leaves, making the day’s shave a very soothing one.

The razor itself is a surprise.
Given its price at US$16.99 if you get it with the Bulldog handle (the one I got) or US$19.99 for the other handles (Bamboo, Radio Knob and Barber Pole), all handles are stainless steel.
The head itself is badass looking :

The blade exposure and angle of exposure as you an see is mild and given that this is an open comb razor will rate just a tad more aggressive giving you a really close shave.
It’s also a very easy razor to find your cutting angle and optimal blade contact against your skin.
With just two use, I was already dialed in, and getting glass smooth BBS shaves with minimal passes, even with Derby Extra blades which would normally take an extra or two clean up pass to clear my problem areas.

At this point, this razor easily rivals my Rockwell 6S in terms of efficiency and smoothness though I think the Rockwell is still beats this guy out in terms of not getting nicks. While I haven’t nicked myself yet, I can feel the blade more on this razor compared to the Rockwell so if I am not careful, nicks will be more than a possibility.

But so far, so good. No cuts, nicks and really smooth glass baby butt smooth finishes.
Can’t ask for more then that.