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.
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.