The way this is going, this might as well be Menthol week, though funny enough, I don’t have enough Menthol scents to last the week. I need to fix that. Hopefully soon.
Nothing much needs to be said about Proraso green. If you don’t like menthol / mint, this is not the soap for you. If you do, you’ll overlook it’s shortcomings.
The CATA-DOC with the Sword of Achilles worked perfectly, and while I know some hate the blade or rather surprising even say it’s tug-ish, (Wait, what? Seriously?!) it goes to show just how YMMV when it comes to Wet-Shaving. What works for me might be your worse blade ever.
Floid blue is that one other scent that is unfortunately lost, while some very lucky individuals still have the last of it stashed somewhere, the rest of the world could only look on in envy. Epsilon did a good job even if the scent is a muted version of the original.
Again, today I choose to add just a dash of menthol to the shave. The heat this year might be the hottest yet. Cold shower at 0445hrs and you still start to perspire soon after. That’s the tropics for you.
Easy, perfect shave with the CATA-DOC with a Bic in it.
Soap : Ginger’s Garden Ice Grenade Variant (Scent my own Custom blend)
Razor : Blackland Razor w/Feather Pro Blade
Post Shave : Ginger’s Garden Aftershave and Balm
Others : Menthol Crystal in Salt Grinder
To be fair, got the mail call last night and had first shave with the evening shave so I knew what to expect. Hence the menthol crystals grinder addition.
I wanted Ginger’s Garden Ice Grenade without Spearmint as I am not partial to that scent and asked Irena to replace that with Eucalyptus in place of the Spearmint in Ice Grenade. I also asked for a touch of Tea Tree.
Scent is Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree. Its fairly fresh with that slight woody medicinal slant from the Tea Tree. Though if I were to but this again, I’d ask for more mint, maybe corn mint in addition to peppermint. I don’t know.
I was however expecting a stronger mint and menthol feel from the soap but sadly for me it felt very mild. So I chose to add a few turns of ground menthol to boost the soap. Lather is on par with Ginger Garden’s Tallow soaps, which is to say fantastic. And the addition of more menthol was just what was needed. The mint and eucalyptus scent just exploded into the face making it a very much more pleasant shave the the night before.
Reached for the Vector again. Yeah, really liking it. Easy, perfect shave.
Soap : Body Shop’s Maca Root and Aloe Shaving Cream
Razor : Tatara Nodachi Base Plate + Masamune Top Cap w/Feather Blade
Post Shave : Mark and Spencer’s Wood Spice Aftershave, Body Shop Maca Root and Aloe Post Shave Gel
Possibly the most widely available commercially made Wet Shaving cream Internationally. I have seen this in Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, London, New York, Barcelona and I am sure many other parts of the world as long as there is a Body Shop Store.
Performance is middling, not the best but definitely not the worst. If you use this in conjunction with PAA’s or IB’s Cube pre-shave it will perform much better. If you are fine with Proraso, this is about there, but with slightly better residual and post shave.
Something to note about Body Shop’s Post Shave Gel is that by default it smells very similar to PAA’s Future Fiction. It is very lightly scented so it won’t interfere with your scent of the day or like with my choice today, blends well with whatever you choose to use. It does leave a slight cooling feeling and dries off into a protective layer on your skin.
Went with my more aggressive Assassin today, with the Nodachi base plate. Dropped in a Feather and it became a one lather pass shave combining WTG, XTG and ATG and finishing with lather mittens clean up.
It is deceptively smooth and because that configuration has a negative -0.03mm blade exposure, even with the rather aggressive 0.90mm blade gap, its one of those razors that will make you wonder if you have the blade in, which may lead to the unconscious urge to press down, which would be a bad mistake.
I have nicked myself before doing just that, but with “zero pressure” strokes, it’ll take off growth, especially with a sharp blade in, like a red hot knife on butter. It was a good clean, perfect, no irritation glass BBS shave.
Back on my usual rotation and its time for an old school scent dating back to before I was born. Guerlain introduced its Vetiver scent back in 1961, and while today’s scent has been reformulated a few times over, its still that very masculine blend of citrus, tobacco, vetiver, woods and spice.
It was my first “real” scent, gifted by an uncle (came in a very different looking bottle) and it has been in my scent rotation for several decades now.
Fine’s Green Vetiver is a “good enough” reproduction, and its performance is outstanding. Anyone who has used Tabac or Fine knows how high this soap has set the bar at.
Grabbed the Model T today and dropped a Feather in it, set it to 2.5 and just went slow and easy. Perfect shave.
Its been a long time, I think more than 6 months since I used this guy.
A product of Finland, the soap itself is actually quite good, though I think I will need to try to face lather with it the next time and see if there is difference to lather production.
But as is, lather is decent, good slickness with residual and post shave being decent. Scent is outstanding, though I do not know if the Artisan has since reformulated, mine was V1 so it had the Sakura – Ume vibe, cherries and plum and the soap’s scent strength is “fill your entire bathroom” strong.
So why haven’t I been using it as much in rotation? The AS.
I really wasn’t a fan of the original AS as it left my face feeling very tacky and uncomfortable How tacky? Picture is 10 mins after AS application. You can literally stick a sheet of paper towel to your face.
The Artisan being a fantastic guy, replaced the AS and sent me a new one and with V2, while still a little tacky at first, the AS is much better.
I had to shake mine a bit though, as you can see from the SOTD photo, there was a little settling of “stuff”.
It will take a while for the tackiness to subside, maybe 5 mins or more after the AS has dried off. You can quicken the process by patting the face with a paper towel after the AS has dried off.
Of course I can just use the soap and not the AS. But it is what it is and I prefer not to downplay a product’s issues if I find them. I do not know if there is a V3 or later reformulation.
Went with the old Warhammer, the Rockwell 6S today. (a Shout out to Seth) And it reminded me that though she’s top heavy, looks like you can’t move her around easily, she’s still able to do so and do it so smoothly, that even with a Feather blade, there was a moment when I was like, “did I put a blade in?”.
I still think that Rockwell should not have advertised itself as an “adjustable” but as a variable shaving system, getting 5 razors and 1 training razor as a package and is the best buy for anyone looking for a one time purchase. (you won’t, but you might think you will stop at one 🤣)
Easy, smooth, true glass, no irritation BBS shave.
Post Shave : Oaken Lab Far Afield Aftershave Splash
Sometimes coming back to a soap you haven’t used in a long while will surprised you. I distinctly remembered that I thought the scent was weak, the lather wasn’t “artisanal” level and the splash was ok, if just satisfactory.
This time round though, I went for a face lather and both scent and lather was very different from what I remembered.
Soap on this brush was thirsty, and took a few more teaspoons of water to the brush after applying to the face to properly build that thick lather we all look for. Slicker than memory served but still slightly lacking in residual slickness, which might be user error as on hindsight I still could have added a little more water to the thick lather on the face. Post shave was ok, face didn’t felt dry and if I had chosen to use a water wash, it would have been fine. The Aftershave is a non-alcoholic skin food type so it went on easy.
All in all, I actually rather enjoyed the shave. My only gripe is that the scents the Artisan have for this soaps are low key and non cologne types, well other than the one Barbershop type.
Reached for the Vector again. The Feather blade is still performing though I think it may be showing first signs of dulling. I’ll strop it a little and it should still give me another week or more of good shaves before I need to recycle.
Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy G4 Synthetic by Frank Shaving
Soap : Silisky Soaps Appalachian Forest
Razor : Tatara Masamune Base + Nodachi Cap w/Feather Blade (3)
Post Shave : Siliski Soaps Appalachian Forest, Mark and Spencers Wood Spice (Amber) Aftershave
Using Appalachian Forest today, I am surprised why I have not been using it as much. Its scent is outstanding, smelling of fresh oaks, cedar, pines, and will literally drop you in the middle of an Appalachian Forest. This is a very Summer-ish / Early Fall type scent.
Lathering up (Lather Porn included) gives you an amazing lather. Thirsty, super slick, fantastic residual slickness and to be honest, you don’t need post shave, I’ll touch a little on that later, as the post shave from the soap is “good enough” with just a water wash off. In short, Siliski’s soap’s lather is just epically fantastic.
Now I know I have Siliski’s old formula balm. Use this only in the winter or if like me who live in the tropics, use it after thinning it out with with a AS of choice or witchhazel if you don’t want to interfere with the scent.
The balm is very rich, smells great but holy crap that layer of oil that goes onto your skin, yeah, definitely winter level rehydration.
Reached for my Hidden Assassin again. With the feather, 3rd use, getting that precision clean, no irritation BBS shave is just a given and surprisingly smooth.
Soap : The Village Soapsmith Eucalyptus and Mint Glycerin Shaving Soap
Razor : Blackland Vector w/Feather Pro Blade
Post Shave : Mark and Spencer’s Woodspice (Original blend)
Others : Menthol in a Salt Grinder
Bonnie Howard’s Village Soapsmith’s soaps even though can be considered “artisan” since it is handmade, are more towards the “simpler” artisan soaps that is just meant to lather up and do a job. I can’t complain though since it’s price, about $8 makes it very affordable for a 4oz puck.
The lather itself is quite good being a glycerin based soap so no surprises there with decent slickness, residual and some post shave feel. Scent is however it’s weak point. Don’t get me wrong, its beautifully blended, sliding towards more herbal then medicinal and it doesn’t have any menthol feel to it (I always add my own menthol in when I use this soap anyway) so for those looking for a light, fresh scent that is gone upon wash up, this is for you.
I do however prefer stuff a little more in your face.
Paired the shave with an old favorite evening aftershave, though you can of course use it for a day shave. Mark and Spencer’s Woodspice Original blend. Shavers from the UK will immediately recognize the scent on this one though I think these days, its only in the den of us DE shavers. Scent is best decribed as a blend of Brut, Aqua Velva with a little dash of Old Spice. Very old school, fresh wood spice AS. (wife loves this one)
Reached for the Vector again. LOVING her precision and efficiency. Super smooth, super comfortable, easy, clean, irritation free, true glass BBS shave.