Going back on rotation and picking out stuff that I haven’t used in a while. The problem with having way too many great soaps, you forget how wonderful some of these smell. Agharta is one of those.
“Talc, Ambergris, Amyris, French Vanilla Bean, Japanese Sandalwood, Cedar and Oak Moss.” Oh My!
And yes, it is as good as it looks on paper. Vanilla pushing the scent towards the gourmand during the opening, the wife commenting “Oh yeah, this the one that smells like cookies!” 😁, while the woods, moss and touch of amber brings it back towards a more mellow cologne, during the dry down with talc, leaving you with a powdery rich scent that you can (and I have) worn as a work scent. Not quite Gourmand but beautifully delicious.
Used the Mysterium Serum balm as it didn’t have a companion Star Jelly. Its a shame that these older offerings will fall by the wayside, given that Doug does churn out new scents like a rabbit in heat. Maybe if more people wanted it, Doug would make some but I know if there was a full line of deodorant, solid cologne and star jelly balm I’d complete this set.
It has also been a while since I have used my Vikings Blade Emperor Augustus and have forgotten how good this thing is. One of the unique features that it has that intrigued me into buying it, besides looking awesome, was that it has a very unique head.
And the way I use an adjustable is opposite of most other shavers. Instead of dialing it down as you go into the shave, I progressively dial it up. Going setting 4-Straight Bar WTG, setting 5-Scalloped Bar XTG, and Setting 6-Scalloped Bar ATG and staying at setting 6-Scalloped Bar for clean-ups.
I was using a Derby Extra Blade so this is higher then I’d normally set than for say a Feather which is more like 3-straight WTG, 4-Scalloped XTG, 4/5-Scalloped ATG + Clean-up.
The idea is growth reduction, not elimination during the passes. Setting 4-Straight Bar takes off growth while giving a very smooth non catching/tugging first pass. Then with the following higher aggression settings along with the scalloped bar, for taking of remaining growth closer to the skin.
Results : Glass “I keep touching myself” BBS shave that was assisted by a great soap, with no nicks, weepers or irritation.
Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
Pre-Shave : PAA’s The Cube Mentholated
Brush : Friendship Shaving’s Macy G4 Synthetic by Frank Shaving
Soap : PAA’s Agharta
Post Shave : PAA’s Agharta Aftershave Cologne and Mysterium Serum
Razor : Vikings Blade The Emperor Augustus w/Derby Extra Blade (1)
This is a one of my favorite scents from Van Yulay. Deep, dark, aromatic and rich in imagery as you breath it in. It was only natural for me to pair it with Dior’s original Eau Sauvage EDP with its deep Myrrh and Vetiver.
Bowl : Van Yulay Resin Pre-Shave : Razorock Lime Shave Oil Brush : Friendship Shaving’s Macy G4 Synthetic by Frank Shaving Soap : Van Yulay’s Black Dragon Post Shave : Van Yulay Black Dragon Aftershave and Balm Razor : PAA’s Copper DOC w/Derby Extra Blade (2) Others : Doir’s Eau Sauvage EDP
Scent notes as described by the artisan : Cedar, Fir, Herbs, Leather and a touch of Musk.
Heller Highwater comes as a five ounce offering so it’s packed right to the brim, its going to last you awhile. Soap performance is as expected, really good slickness, good residual and post shave.
Scent is very a resinous combination of cedar and fir with the leather and musk firmly anchoring the woods. I am not sure what herbs Irena used, I want to say balsam or maybe black tea but whatever it is, it blended with the other scents to create what I could have sworn is a hint of gunpowder that is thrown into the mix as well. There’s that smoky, almost burnt scent that you can just catch hovering at the edges.
“If you close your eyes as you build a lather, you will sure hear the rebel yell from Heller Highwater’s men charging as they take their last stand. “
No kidding. With that scent, I can imagine that. For myself, my own scent imagery is that of a whole bunch of young men awaiting their turn at the range in a forested area, firing off hundreds of rounds in training, cleaning their M16s. Good times.
Swapped out the R3 plate for the R4 plate and that did the trick for the Derby Extra blades and I got the BBS shave that I wanted. I have said this before but the Rockwell 6C/S series razors are worth every cent you spent on it and then some. Being able to swap plates changes the way it works and can compensate for different blades to suit how it behaves for different people.
Bowl : 6.25′ soup bowl Brush : Oumo SHD Silvertip Badger Soap : Summer Breezes Sample Post Shave : Thayers Witch Hazel Lemon, Prep Razor : Rockwell 6S-R3 w/Derby Extra Blade Others : PAA’s John Frum’s Deodorant and Solid Cologne
As per the description from Van Yulay : Top notes are light which consist of bergamot, neroli, and lime. The middle notes of jasmine and orange blossom are perfectly paired alongside base notes of amber and cedar
Van Yulay’s Tallow base performs as you would expect as evidenced by the lather porn but I think I got a bad sample. Could not detect much of the middle notes and the base is almost non existent leaving mostly the top notes of bergamont, neroli and lime commanding the scent profile throughout the shave. Based on the sample, it reminds me of fresh laundry and the detergent (Fab) used.
To be fair, I haven’t used Tom Ford’s Nerori Portofino but I am pretty sure this not what was intended and may have had a bad sample.
Finished up with the shave and was reminded why Derby Extras are one day use blades. Didn’t get my glass BBS, I can still feel spots where there’s micro-stubble. With 3 passes, an extra pass and clean-up, and its not clean, I rather settle for “good enough” and not chase that BSS and give myself severe burn.
John Frum’s scent is awesome. Did I say it was Awesome? AWESOME! Going forward it’s going to paired with everything Sandalwood.
Bowl : 6.5′ soup bowl Brush : Oumo SHD Silvertip Badger Pre-shave : Shower Soap : The Village Soapsmith’s Bayrum Post Shave : Shower, Gabbel’s Bay Rum Razor : PAA’s Copper DOC w/Rockwell Blade (8)
This evening shave more then anything drives home that in wet shaving, the saying “Your Mileage May Vary” holds true.
Go online and read reviews of Rockwell Razors and you get nothing but praise for the most part, but reviews for their blades, not so much. Usually you’ll see more negatives than positives, Rockwell blades have the unfortunate reputation of not being sharp, tugging, and or leaving the user with razor burns. But also, you’ll notice that most of these reviews are not new, some dating a year or two ago.
So while I had a bunch of these (100s that came with the razor pakage) I never bothered to use them long term, usually just treating each blade as a day blade or one time use blade and just chuck them without really caring if they lasted long or able to keep their edge.
That is, until almost a week ago when I decided to just use one in an endurance test just to see how long the blade will last / give me clean shave. Today marks the 8th use of the blade. Still gave me a clean BBS shave and no irritation. The edge finally starting to go as it left the odd micro stubble around my usual trouble spots that fresh sharp blades takes off easily. That is to say, I had to do an extra pass and clean up to get that glass BBS on the 8th shave with the blade.
To be fair, I could probably push this blade for a few more uses. 10-12 use is not unthinkable. This is comparing to say 6-8 (max) uses from Feathers and Bics, 4-6 uses from Derby Premiums and most other blades which makes the Rockwell a fairly good blade in my book. It is definitely not the sharpest or smoothest by any measure but it is sharp enough, and smooth enough blade that lasted a long time. I would imagine shavers with thinner, less wiry growth than mine (peach fuzz) would definitely find the edge holding out easily for two or more weeks assuming they shave once a day.
I’d recommend you try some if you can get a sample pack. See if it works well with your shaver. Used this blade on both the Rockwell 6S and PAA’s Copper DOC. As with all things wet shaving, YMMV.
Glass BBS shave, no irritation, minor additional clean up pass.
I don’t see too many using Ginger’s Garden and that’s a shame. Irena’s soaps are actually pretty awesome. Her soap base is very forgiving and can take quite a bit of water but I’d suggest keeping her lather at or near that thick cream / thin yogurt consistency as while her lather can still “look good” with too much water, it’ll not give you as good a glide as you’d like.
Enigma. This is one of my favorite scents of the all soaps I have. The scent profile for it are : Pine, Cedar, Amber, Sandalwood, Patchouli and Vanilla with skin safe scented notes of Marshmallow, Musk, Brown Sugar and Coconut
Its almost gourmand but not quite as the Cedar, Amber, Sandalwood, Pine and Musk brings it back towards a more cologne type scent. I think I joked before that when Irena said that its a scent that she envisions as a woman what she would like a man to wear, that man is Aragon / Viggo Mortensen and the scent imagery is as such :
That scene where Aragon moves aside the banner to see Arwen, he knows she’s there and knows what he wants, Arwen on her part can’t help but want to leap into his arms.
And yes, with the opening of patchouli, heartnotes of coconut, vanilla, cedar, and amber and a good sandalwood and musk base, with the other notes as chasers this is an awesome scent. Very manly, very yummy.
My only problem is that I still haven’t figured a good to response to when being ask what it is that I am wearing.
All done. Al Fin. Well maybe a bath soap and shampoo to be a completionist. Love that Rose and Tobacco scent. The Rockwell blade is still going strong, surprising enough. 5th shave and its still taking growth off like its new or at least its not obvious with leaving mirco stubble, still getting clean BBS shaves without irritation.
Bowl : Van Yulay Resin Pre-Shave : The Cube Mentholated Brush : Friendship Shaving’s Macy G4 Synthetic by Frank Shaving Soap : PAA’s AL Fin Post Shave : PAA’s Al Fin Aftershave and Cologne, Star Jelly Aftershave Balm Razor : PAA’s Copper DOC w/Rockwell Blade (5) Others : PAA’s Al Fin Deodorant and EDP