Shave of the day, 29th February, #VanYulayWeek, Gentle Sauvage

Gentle Sauvage is a “good enough” reproduction of the 2015 Dior Sauvage scent, for those who are looking for a more “true” representation, you’ll know where to get one, otherwise Gentle Sauvage is enjoyable in its own right.
Less in your face with a more muted ambroxan note, more closer to Channel Bleu with the notable missing Szechuan peppers notes, this is a more gentle, slightly sweeter take, hence the name.

Paired it with Dior Sauvage EDP which is also a toned down, very much smoother cousin to the 2015 EDT ambroxan bomb, and one that I enjoy much more.

Its the Tatara.
Results were foreordained.
True glass, zero irritation BBS.
Feeling great, smelling great, now if only I didn’t have to wake up at 0215hrs in the morning to go to work. 🤣
Still a fanfrackingtastic start to the day.

  • Pre-Shave : Shower
  • Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
  • Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy, Manchurian Dual Band Badger by Frank Shaving
  • Soap : Van Yulay Gentle Sauvage
  • Razor : Tatara Masamune Plate + Nodachi Cap w/Feather Blade (2)
  • Post Shave : Van Yulay Gentle Sauvage Aftershave Splash and Balm
  • Others : Van Yulay Gentle Sauvage Deodorant and Dior Sauvage EDP

Shave of the day, 28th February 2020, #VanYulayWeek, Royal Oudh

Well sometimes a planned shave gets derailed.
Got a small mail call in the evening with the Schick Proline Blades, had hoped to use it in the morning.

Had set everything nicely up the night before but on installing the blade in the morning, discovered its not all that compatible.
Unfortunately, it seems that the blade doesn’t fit completely right the razor, with the holding nubs pushing it slightly down causing a bow in the center.

The Schick Blade is bowed in the center. Decided not to go with the shave and swapped back to a Feather Artist Club Professional Blade

Swapped out to the usual Feather Artist Club Professional Blade and things went on as per normal.
So a FYI to those who were thinking of getting some Schick Proline for the Occam Nano, it probably won’t work for you.
Don you seeing this?

  • Pre-Shave : Shower
  • Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
  • Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy Manchurian Dual Band Badger by Frank Shaving
  • Soap : Van Yulay Royal Oudh
  • Razor Occam’s Razor Oren Nano Enhanced w/Schick Proline Blade
    Error : Swapped back to a Feather Artist Club Professional Blade (1)
  • Post Shave : Van Yulay Royal Oudh Aftershave and Balm
  • Others : Van Yulay Royal Oudh Deodorant and Cologne

Shave of the day, 27th February 2020, #VanYulayWeek, Black Dragon

Being a Tolkien fan since I could read and picked up the Hobbit, when I saw the name and label I knew I had to try it.
The song later from the movie is a trigger memory for the soap.

Being a Tolkien Fan, the label and name just tickled me and I knew I had to give it a try.
Black Dragon was one of my earliest purchase from Van Yulay, I remember looking at the label, then opening the tub to lather for the first time.

As well as having watched the Hobbit, so the scene of the singing of the Dwarven Song of Old Wealth just popped into my mind, humming the song while lathering.
As I would normally do, I use hot water to make my lather and with many soaps used the first time, the scent of this soap filled the entire bathroom and then spilled into the bedroom.
Awesome stuff.

This is one of my favorite soap scents.


The Tatara Masamune Plate + Nodachi Cap is probably my #FavoriteRazor.
She is my Kunoichi, my ninja assassin.
Sleek, beautiful and with the right blade in her hands, you won’t even feel a thing as she does her thing.
The only proof of her passing is the low moan of growth being taken out and then, silence, and you know she’s done.
Where my Copper Ascension is efficiency personified in bladework, the Tatara is the hidden blade.
You won’t feel a thing.
True Glass BBS. No cuts, no irritation just smooth, squeaky clean skin.

  • Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
  • Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
  • Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy G4 Synthetic by Frank Shaving
  • Soap : Van Yulay Black Dragon
  • Razor : Tatara Masamune Plate + Nodachi Cap w/Feather Blade (1) Corked
  • Post Shave : Van Yulay Black Dragon Aftershave Splash and Balm
  • Others : Davidoff Amber Blend EDP

Shave of the day, 26th February 2020, #VanYulayWeek, Enter the Dragon

Enter The Dragon scent can be surmised as Powdery Bamboo and spice

Scents notes are :
Bamboo, Sweetness of Orange blossoms, Peppery notes of carnation, Gardenia, Nutmeg, Clary Sage Vanilla, Oakmoss, Tonka Bean and Musk

The scent is more on the green side then wood, a little grassy with fairly strong spice chaser notes.
It won’t clash with most scents out there, and for the most part unless you go dark gourmand in your scent choice, will compliment your scent of choice for the day.

I have decided to pair it with Zaharoff’s offering which is quite the mix of old school and new.

Top Notes: Cardamom, Lavender, Black Pepper, Pear, Cypress
Heart Notes : Ginger, Cedar, Oud, Iris, Pimento, Fir
Base Notes : Sandalwood, Patchouli, Amber, Myrrh, Frankincense

This scent harks back to old school perfume making with complexity and the more modern take to tame traditional male scents with a touch of sweetness and florals.
You will notice Lavender for most of the life of this scent, at least right till its dry down several hours later. Opens with that beautiful medley of pepper, cardamom lavender, pear, cypress with ginger bleeding into the early stages making it a fresh, somewhat floral / fougere type scent.

It then blooms as cedar and oud comes into play. The oud note here is clean, thankfully, not a trace of funk, or as some may describe as moldy-animalic, it is more like the Oud from Santal Royal or Creed’s Royal Oud. Iris keeps the scent from going too heavy and maintains that more fougere vibe especially when the more masculine scent notes of sandalwood, patchouli, amber myrrh and frankincense comes into play.

Make no mistake this is a very masculine scent but instead of a bull of a brute who muscles his way into a room, Zaharoff’s Signature Pour Homme is more like that Stately Gentleman who turns heads when he walks in. No fanfare needed, just presence.

Loving this scent.


No surprise to most, the CATA-DOC is one of my top girls in my Razor Harem, she’s the most skilled in close quarter multiple quick short passes, in other words buffing. Put a blade like the Bic Chrome Platinum, The Sword of Achilles, in her hands and she’ll take off growth like hot knife on butter.
Where my Tatara is my Kunoichi, my stealthed assassin, the CATA-DOC is my Whirling Dervish.

Zero resistance, zero irritation, true glass BBS shave that when applying aftershave, your skin squeaks.

  • Pre-shave : Shower, PAA Cube
  • Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
  • Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy Manchurian Dual Band Badger by Frank Shaving
  • Soap : Van Yulay Enter The Dragon
  • Razor : PAA Copper Ascension Twist Adjustable Double Open Comb w/Bic Chome Platinum (3)
  • Post Shave : Van Yulay Enter The Dragon Aftershave Splash and Balm
  • Ohters : Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme EDP

Shave of the day, 25th February 2020, #VanYulay Week, Gaia (Mentholated)

Gaia’s scent is complex.
Even more so when you add menthol to it!

Its pretty much nuts to even try to describe all the notes and melody of notes you get from this.
The poet in me would describe it as a Breath from Mother Nature, cold as ice as it comes down from the mountains, bringing freshness, water and life to the land.
Flora bloom in its passing, vegetation burst forth from the soil, life renews and you smell it all.

In not so many words, Ozonic Green Fresh.

A new beginning, a new life, waking up to a world reborn.

Happy Birthday Monica!


The Oren giving that ultra comfortable BBS shave. A little more work and stretching of the skin needed but true glass BBS with absolutely zero irritation was worth it.
Feeling fantastic.

Off to the barber’s for a haircut.
Joked with the that wife I was going to shave my head, and she kinda gave me the “don’t know if you joking or serious” look.
But I know that look, its the “do it and I’ll murder you in your sleep look.”
Ah well.
Guess I gotta wait till I am actually going bald. 🙂

  • Pre-Shave : Shower , PAA Cube
  • Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
  • Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy G4 Synthetic by Frank Shaving
  • Soap : Van Yulay Gaia
  • Razor : Occam’s Razor Oren Nano Enhanced w/Feather Pro Blade (7)
  • Post Shave : Van Yulay Gaia Aftershave and Balm
  • Others : Menthol Grinder, Van Yulay Gaia Deodorant and Cologne

Shave of the day, 24th February 2020, #VanYulayWeek, Dress Bleus

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

Memphis Belle’s End Title Suite, an awesome track to shave to in remembrance of the men in our lives known and unknown who have given their all.

We all have different scent memories, triggers, or sometimes out of our id, an image or scene plays out when you hear a name, smell a scent or as in this case a combination of name, label image, scent and recent topics.

The scene is from Memphis Belle.
A homage to an age of men, who lived, died and fought for us and our freedom in the skies of Europe.
A homage to men, and the spirit of whom, I hope still lives in among us.
A homage to those who had the will to put lives, hopes and dreams behind the duty to protect, to keep something so precious, that they would die so that others can be free.

In an age where men are demonized, their contributions defiled, their place in society seems uncertain, unwanted even, there are still those who stand tall and firm to protect, and cherish, mother and country, home and family, loved ones, and even those who hate them.
To those who have served, or still in service, I salute you.

Today, the day before your Birthday, I will be dressed in Dress Bleus (so to speak) to also salute the men in your life, Monica.
To those who have shaped your life, to those whom have left but not gone from your heart, and those who still remain.

Memphis Bell’s Danny Boy and the song I associate with Dress Bleus
It was a pity that the song was recorded but never fully featured in the movie.
  • Pre-Shave : Shower
  • Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
  • Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy G4 Synthetic by Frank Shaving
  • Soap : Van Yulay Dress Bleus Hard Puck
  • Razor : Tatara Masamune Plate + Nodachi Cap w/Feather Blade (1) Corked
  • Post Shave : Van Yulay Dress Bleus Aftershave Splash and Balm
  • Others : Van Yulay Dress Bleus Deodorant and Cologne

Shave of the day, 23rd February 2020, Col. Conk Amber

TLDR : Amber was disappointing coming off Col. Conk Bay Rum. Occam saves the day.

Shaved with the same soap last night, though hardware was still the Copper Ascension.
And, I was kinda surprised, not so much in a good way.
Last night’s shave did left me with a bit of irritation, with alum burn indicating that I had a very very close and more likely, rough shave and we’ll get to the why in a bit.
Just to qualify, that was the first evening alum burn in weeks.

Morning’s shave I decided to go with the Occam’s Razor, it feels gentle-mild, my most comfortable razor, not the most efficient but given the burn I had last night, I thought it wise to go with something more gentle.

Now I am not sure if the amber puck I had is of the new formulation or if they didn’t do as good a job with it for the Amber puck.

Several reasons :
It didn’t feel as slick as the Bay Rum puck.
Residual slickness wasn’t as slick but still present.
Scent was quite weak, almost not there.

I would have immediately thought that this was the old formulation if not for that the Post shave feel is actually comparable to yesterday’s Bay Rum and it lathered differently than I remembered from the old formulation.
Lather is thirsty, you can add quite a bit of water before you get that thick sheen into a more slick sheen that indicates “slippery when wet” glide.
I did face lather, so it did took me a while before I had lather that wasn’t too thick / would dry on the face after the blade goes over it.
This is different from the old formulation as I remembered it to just turn into a wet unusable mess with the amount of water I added into the brush. I spent almost 5 mins on that first pass face paint dialing it in.
Lather was stable though, as I was able to set things up to take a picture (SOTD pic) and come back to shave without reapplying lather.

Aftershave application had a very slight and minor burn but nothing out of the ordinary, and expected considering last night’s Copper Ascension’s disagreement with the slickness of the lather.

The Occam did a fantastic job and turned the morning shave into one that was very comfortable while chasing that BBS.
Going forward, if this is the new formula for the Amber puck, I’ll stick with getting the Bay Rum.

  • Pre-shave : Shower
  • Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy Manchurian Dual Band Badger by Frank Shaving
  • Soap : Col. Conk Amber
  • Razor : Occam’s Razor Oren Nano Enhanced w/Feather Pro Blade (5)
  • Post Shave : Clubman Brandy Spice

Shave of the day, 22nd February, 2020, Col. Conk Bay Rum (New Formulation)

Probably the most underrated, most overlooked and probably looked down on, Col. Conk’s Bay Rum Shaving Soap.
For those who aren’t aware, Col. Conk has reformulated and in all honesty, they did a really fantastic job of it.

Scent is so much better, slickness is through the roof, residual slickness is better than many other commercial offerings, and I dare say, equal to many artisan soaps, and while though its post shave lacks that final “spa” feel for your face, it is the far cry from the dry feel you used to get or from an equally priced shaving soap at $5.90 for a 3, 3/4 ounce puck, and your face do feel a little of that hydration you’d come to expect with soaps like Stirling or PAA.
Think of it as “Williams soap mug” cheap but with artisan soap value.

Oh by the way, the picture of the brush above, is AFTER 3 passes and clean up.
I could go on for a few more rounds I would think.

Post shave, while I love the scent, do wished that the cologne last a little more than what seems to me to be around half to just under an hour, at least for the price you pay for it.
Not expecting the scent to last, today used Body Shop’s post shave gel as a sealing balm,

PAA’s Copper Ascension is as always a joy to use, the slickness of the lather made buffing even more easier and yes, end result was a no irritation, true glass BBS.
Fantastic shave.

Now to go make coffee and breakfast.

  • Pre-shave : Shower
  • Brush : Oumo SHD Silvertip Badger
  • Soap : Col. Conk Bay Rum (new formulation) in Santa Fe Bowl
  • Razor : PAA Copper Ascension DOC w/Bic Chrome Platinum (2)
  • Post shave : Col. Conk Bay Rum Aftershave, Body Shop Post Shave Gel

Shave of the day, 21st February 2020, Body Shop’s Maca Root and Aloe

#ForgottenAmmo : Body Shop Maca Root and Aloe

Body Shop’s Maca Root and Aloe is probably the ONLY wet shaving soap and post shave that you can easily find world wide, as long as there is mall, chances are, there will be a body shop store in it.

It does come across as expansive initially until you realize that it’s a 6.3 ounce tub, it’s going to last you a while.
Scent is non intrusive and somewhat pleasant but nothing that would wow you.

The reason though why it’s left forgotten is this particular batch and formula, is really not the best in Performance.
It lathers up great, has fantastic stable body but slickness, residual and post shave is a little lacking. Thankfully, PAA’s cube came to the rescue and if not for the cube, this guy would probably be left unused and forgotten.

The post shave though, I really like.
It is actually a fantastic calming balm / gel that leaves a very thin protective layer on the skin that you’ll notice if you rise your face later in the day.
Good stuff.

  • Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
  • Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
  • Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy G4 Synthetic by Frank Shaving
  • Soap : Body Shop Maca Root and Aloe
  • Razor : Occam Razor Oren Nano Enhanced w/Feather Pro Blade (4)
  • Post Shave : Clubman Brandy Spice and Body Shop Maca Root and Aloe

Shave of the day, 20th February 2020, Japanese Dream (Revisited)

#ForgottenAmmo : G&A Japanese Dream

Nothing like starting the day with your first cup of coffee. And yes, that’s almost a liter. 😁
About G&A Japanese Dream, it’s another of my #ForgottenAmmo of soaps that I have but rarely used.

This is one product that was polarizing to me, on the one hand, I loved its scent and scent strength, it will fill your bathroom with a cherry and plum scent that your significant other will walk and and ask you what you are using.

On the other, those of you who know me will wonder where’s the matching aftershave?

The bottle on the right (green) is the original matching scent aftershave that was originally sent, note the residual built up on the glass, don’t know what that is but my guess is alum.
It was unusable, leaving the face sticky and uncomfortable.

The artisan however, even after a misunderstanding where I canceled a second order where he was to sent a replacement along with another soap and AS set, he forgot about the order, sent a replacement (left, off-white, decanted but in the end didn’t use much of) on his own dime, and an action that I appreciated coming from an Artisan and two thumbs up 👍👍 for that response.

Sadly though, while the second aftershave is better, it doesn’t have the same scent as the soap and still felt a little sticky.
Usable but not comfortable.

Needless to say I was pretty much disappointed and left the soap aside.

As you can see, I hardly used the soap which is more gel-like than cream or craop. This is definitely a bowl lathering soap.
It is also very deceptively thirsty.
It’ll take a lot of water but there is a tipping point past where even though lather goods great, goes on great, is slick to the touch but will lack cushioning. You do have to lather this one up on the thicker side.


Last night’s shave with the Oren with the 3 Dot Plate and Feather Professional Blade was the first I had weepers in a long while!
Imagine that!

It was user error coupled with a raised part (proto pimple) but still, I knew the gap was significant and should have shaved as I would have with a DE, but Feathers be Feathers and caught that raised bit and took skin off.
You definitely can use a 3 Dot plate with the Feather Pro, just have to be more careful.
Even so, I returned the 2 Dot plate, since that seems to be the sweet spot for efficiency and comfort.

But as for today’s shave, gods I missed my Tatara and Bic combo.
You almost never quite get used to (well I would if I stop playing around with so many razors) that almost no blade feel.
I mean, you CAN tell that there is a blade against your skin but it is so light, at times you have the urge to press down, that would be a mistake.
The Bic blade mowed through all stubble, not leaving even micro-stubble behind, only clean, squeaky smooth skin.
With the Tatara’s light blade touch, it was a perfect, no irritation, no weeper, true glass BBS shave.

  • Preshave : Shower
  • Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
  • Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy G4 Synthetic by Frank Shaving
  • Soap : G&A Japanese Dream
  • Razor : Tatara Nodachi-Plate+Masamune-Cap w/Bic Platinum (The Sword of Achilles! -1)
  • Post Shave : Nivea Men 2 Phase Aftershave lotion, Prep Balm