Post Shave : Sauvecito Whiskey Bar Aftershave, Thayers Gentlemen Aftershave Balm
And again a more or less Singapore “locally available” shave with the exception of PAA’s Cube and Brush, everything else you can get from a barber store (The Panic Room) store or from Singapore’s Amazon service. Bowl is from a $2 convivence store.
Sauvecito’s offering is actually not too shabby, given that’s it’s S$13 (US$9.50) and the lather made is actually more than serviceable. Go thick rather than thinner, and thin it down with a little water at a time to get that shiny slick on the face. It does however lack that final “Oooommpph!” you get from using an artisan soap but for the price I paid (and zero shipping!) I can’t really complain.
Scent is a wonderful Whiskey Eaucalyptus, with a little camphor so there is a slight “mentholated” feel to it but it’s just barely there, which can be fixed with ground in menthol if you like mentholated soaps or leave it as is for a whiskey-fresh shave. All in all, I like it!
And I have finally got a blade that best matched the Tiger Platinum. For me, that’s Derby Premium. So for those of you who are wondering what it’s like, yeah, either one is exchangeable with the other. I’d probably not be able to tell which blade is which in a blind test. YMMV of course. Blades and scents are the most YMMV in shaving.
And it’s back to regular “shave of the day” only posting. No more shave spam.
Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy G4 Synthetic by Frank Shaving
Soap : WTF Himitsu
Razor : Parker Variant -S3 w/Derby USTA
Post Shave : WTF Himitsu Aftershave, Thayers Gentlemen Aftershave Balm
One of my favorite scents from WTF, and one that the wife loves as well. Hitmitsu as long as it is available, will NEVER, EVER be missing from my stash. If you haven’t tried it, I’d suggest you get a sample to try. Beautiful spiced lemon and rose scent that will fill your bathroom especially if you use a warmed scuttle and the scent carries into the day especially with the Aftershave as it does last quite a while.
I will still be on the Parker for a while to get a proper comparison for the Tiger Blade, today running with what I thought was the closest match. I was however wrong. The Tiger is slightly sharper though about as smooth as the USTA. With the USTA in the same razor, same setting, there is just that tiny bit more resistance that puts the Tiger slightly ahead in sharpness for me.
Still with WTF’s fantastic lather, it was a very easy, 2 application shave. WTG, XTG, ATG with the first, pick-ups with the second. Perfect, clean, no feedback on alum, glass BBS shave.
I usually don’t post my “2nd” shaves or I’d be spamming, but a supply drop came in and had a few interesting stuff.
Everything above with the exception of the Thayers and Tiger Blades can be bought locally here in Singapore from The Panic Room . While Thayers is available locally as well, its easier to just get it and DE Blades via Amazon.
First thing you’ll probably notice is, Steve, where’s the brush?! And that’s the thing about this shave cream, it’s a brushless, latherless, smear it on your wet face and shave type of cream much like Thayer’s Shave cream if you have used that.
Essentially, you just scoop a little with your fingers, work it into your growth, and on the skin and it forms a layer of slickness that is surprisingly quite good. How slick? Fingers with alum had a little trouble getting a proper grip on skin to stretch.
Its also lightly lavender scented with a touch of menthol, so far so good, so what’s its downside? Being lather-less, it does not have much in way of cushioning, just glide and slide.
So for those of you who have to use a brush or if you don’t feel comfortable without a lather, this cream is not for you. Post shave feel however is very good, again, like Thayers Shave cream, feels kind of like shaving with skin food. Post shave lotion just adds to that moisturized feel.
Took out the Variant and set it to 3, which for me, is just about where any further and it’s a little too much blade on skin. Well I might go 3.5 but definitely not higher. Those of you who have used the Variant know that like the Merkur Progress, the blade exposure kind of ramps up quickly at the higher settings.
YMMV but for me, 2.5 / 3 is just nice balance of aggression (mild), blade on skin feel and smoothness.
Blade and Razor combo was much better than with the Morning’s Merkur, still feeling very smooth but this time, took everything off for a true glass BBS and post shave with alum application gave zero feedback. Win Win.
Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy G4 Synthetic by Frank Shaving
Soap : PAA Agharta
Razor : Merkur 34CHD w/Tiger Platinum Blade
Post Shave : PAA Agharta Star Jelly Aftershave, Aftershave Cologne
Others : PAA Agharta Epic Solid Cologne
Got home from work and lots of stuff to take care of. It’s going to be one of those 36-48hr day.
Agharta! From Label, to lather to scent, this soap screams excellence from the get go. Scent is best described as an ambergris, vanilla and sweet sandalwood barbershop, and yes, smells as good as it sounds. Actually, it’s better. 😁
Picked up the Grand Old Dame today, the Merkur 34CHD. Its one of my earliest purchases along with a DE-89 which I sold to a friend to get him into DE shaving.
As suspected, the Tiger Blade was very smooth in the 34C, but because it’s not as sharp as say Feathers, the shave was a DFS. Almost BBS if not for some spots that still had micro-stubble that you can feel if you run your finger over them. However, there was zero irritation as the blade felt extremely smooth, so that’s a plus.
I’ll switch up to a more aggressive razor for the evening shave before comparing it to the blade I think matches it the closest, the Derby USTA for tomorrow.
Now its off to do stuff. Stay safe Stay sane Stay Healthy
Razor : Tatara Nodachi Base Plate + Masamune Top Cap w/Tiger Platinum Blade
Post Shave : WTF Mr Warlock Aftershave, Prep Balm
Mint? Oh yeah. Menthol? You betcha! Mr Warlock hits just the right spot if you like strong menthol soaps but do not want glacial or max menthol types. Smells fantastic too, at least for me, since I have always preferred peppermint over spearmint. Lather is as per WTF soaps, excellent.
I do have to say that the aftershave, on application, will clear your sinus up real quick. More so if you cup your hands over your nose and breathe it deep. Awesome! 😁
Took the more aggressive Assassin out and using a new blade that came in a mail call. Heard some good things about it, but as with everything shaving, YMMV. Blade feel is not bad.
It’s mid-sharp, and relatively smooth. Resistance when taking off growth is minimal and getting that BBS was nice and easy. As the blade was smooth there wasn’t any irritation at all. In the Tatara, I’d say this is a 3.5-4/5 sharpness with 4/5 smoothness blade about the same as a Derby USTA I think. I’ll use that blade to compare some other time.
Given it that smooth feeling could all be because of the Tatara. I’ll try the blade out in another razor tonight.
Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube, Proraso Green Pre-Shave
Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
Brush : PAA Peregrino
Soap : Proraso Green
Razor : Rockwell 6S-R5 w/Personna Platinum
Post Shave : Proraso Green, Nivea Men Post Shave Balm
More menthol shaves! And you can’t have them without Proraso Green. Used the PAA Cube as a wash, then applied Proraso Green’s Pre-Shave for that menthol assisted layer to soften whiskers and give a little more slickness. In conjunction with the Cube, this worked out quite well.
I usually use the old Warhammer with the R4 plate, but with the Personnas the R5 seem to perform much much better. Say what you will but the Rockwell 6S/C with it multi-aggression plate system do give you a lot of options to match blades and comfort level given its price and unlike most adjustables, because each plate is engineered to keep its shave geometry regardless of gap you choose, gives you that same smooth neutral blade to skin feel that I love whether you are using R2 or R6. (R1 does not really count, its meant to train and protect a new DE user)
The Rockwell 6C (6S if you have deeper pockets) is still my #1 choice razor for anyone wanting to get into DE shaving. You will be tempted to buy and use other razors eventually but if you can only have one that will “fit most sizes and needs” the 6C/S is it.
Easy, clean, irritation free BBS. Now its off to the Hospital for a cardio echo test.
And the only thing that came to mind on waking up was to go soak in cold water for a bit. WTF Vintage Barbershop already has some menthol in it but I decided to add in a bit more menthol, just because because I could. Feels good man! Add to that, a fantastic dark barbershop scent and you have the makings of an awesome morning shave.
Picked up the Empress (ALL razors are female to me) today, and I am really appreciating how smooth she is. It’s a shame that she has a slight blade overhang that you do have to be careful of, near the nose and ears.
Still, taking advantage of the asymmetric bars, using the solid bar to do the WTG strokes, then switching to the scalloped bar for XTG, ATG strokes it was an easy 1 pass and pickup shave. Gotta give Don’s lather props.
And it smells fantastic. Clean, easy perfect BBS.
Took another cold shower after the shave, and with the added menthol…. WHHHHOOOOOOOOOO!! EPIC!
TLDR : Long wall of text and links for a new shaver and why I think these products should be given consideration.
Pre-Shave : Shower Brush : PAA Red Rocket Soap : Col Conk Bay Rum Razor : Gilette Tech Clone w/Shark Stainless Steel Blade Post Shave : Gabel’s Bay Rum, Nivea Men post shave balm
So, what if you are a student, or a Cartridge Refugee and want to get into DE shaving but only want to spend no more than $50 or less to try out this DE Shaving thingamjig?
My first advice is to buy a relatively cheap but good synthetic brush. They cost from $1 (yes I have one of those) to about $30ish dollars depending on size of the knot and how “fancy” the handle is.
AVOID boar or any other natural fiber brushes. Not because they are bad but because with natural hair brushes, there are issues such as the need to break them in as in the case of boar, and maintaining them with shampoo and conditioner from time to time (as you would with your own hair) as well as pre-prepping the brush before use. You can get those once you are familiar with using a brush and want to get into badger, boar, horse hair or hybrid knots and find out more about brush maintenance.
Both PAA and Italian Barber ships Internationally, though IB’s shipping prices are more affordable but with a slightly longer wait. I’d also like to mention Maggards whom also do International shipping minus most aftershaves due to alcohol content.
Sad fact but for most outside of the US / Europe / China / India and even so, finding DE shaving stuff can be an exercise in patience given that Gillette has essentially taken over everything and have push for costlier made to fail cartridges razors to be stocked on shelves.
So for those of us in Asia for example, we either deal with the fact that we’d be paying a hefty shipping fee or look around for alternatives from online stores such as Amazon or look towards local importers / Barbershops specializing in shave equipment.
2nd Advice is to buy a proven Razor design. Rockwell 2C, Gillette Tech, DE-89 and its Clones. For today though, I’ll just touch on the Gillette Tech and the Rockwell 2C
The Gillette Tech that I used cost me $2 that I picked up in India. Gillette used to still sell the Tech under its own brand and name “Sterling” though I think its no longer available and or very hard to find.
You can of course get a China made clone that will cost you about $6 with free shipping from Ali Express. It will be a long wait though, as with anything coming directly from China these days (used to be around 2 weeks sometimes a week or so) and I have heard some people had to wait almost a month or more.
Why a Gillette Tech or clone? Its a design that keeps popping up even it’s been around since 1939, is a deceptively mild razor (it’ll bite if you mishandle it) but is able to handle weeks old growth. And they are cheap. $10 or less.
If however, you prefer a more modern design, go with the Rockwell 2C. (I’d recommend the 6C but if you are on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the 2C)
Why the Rockwell 2C? For one thing its the only razor system (IT IS NOT AN ADJUSTABLE RAZOR!) that comes with a combination plate that has two “settings” designed for the new DE shaver in mind. The 2C comes with a plate that is R1 / R3. For all intents and purposes, the only really useable plate setting is the R3.
The R1 is intended for the true newbie coming off cartridge razors, feeling nervous and have zero knowledge how to use or handle a DE razor. The R1 is essentially DE Razor Training wheels. While you can shave with it, it is designed to give the most gentle of shaves and is very very hard to cut yourself with that plate setting. It is meant to give the new user confidence and a grasp on how to find the right angle and so on. It also allows for shaving around, lets say, sensitive areas.
But it will not give you a BBS without a hefty price in over-shaving and that defeats the purpose of that razor. Use R1 to learn how to DE shave, then, switch to R3 and stick with it. R3 plate is similar to a DE89 / Merkur 34 (the two razors you keep seeing in recommendations) in profile but feels much smoother.
At $30, this is the most expansive of the items in this list but if you can afford it, it’s well worth it.
Soap comes next and if I were to go for the cheapest soap that I enjoy the most, it would have to be Col Conk’s Bay Rum. Since they have reformulated, it has been performing well above its price bracket of $6
Is it an “artisan” soap? No. Would it make my face feel like its pampered right out of a spa? No. What it does since reformulation, is do the job, generating good, very decent slick lather with some residual slickness and a post shave feel that is not dried out skin. Far gentler than Arko, and definitely better smelling with that fantastic Rose Bay Rum scent. Lather when compared to Williams mug shaving soap is like comparing McDonald’s Apple Pie to home baked. Did I mention its only $6
Blades are the most YMMV and varied choice for the DE shaver. MY advice for a new user is to buy a sample pack that comes with a variety of blades and make sure that they are all of a different brands. I have seen some packs that include “Black” and “Yellow” Feather Blades (they are the same just 5 / 10 blade boxes) and feathers being the more expansive of blades reduce your choices due to cost.
Just make sure you get a full range, try them all and find the one you like best.
Personally I prefer good sharp blades like Feathers / Bics in mild / mid-mild razors.
I used Sharks today. They are mid-sharp 3.5 out 5 or 4/5 and relatively smooth 4/5 for me. But as with everything shaving, YMMV. They cost less then $10 for 100 blades.
OPTIONAL : POST SHAVE
Post shave is optional. For many a cold water wash is enough, though if you still want that little bit of luxury, nothing wrong with getting an aftershave, balm or both.
Pinaud Clubman, aftershaves go for about $10 per bottle, Nivea men’s balms are around $5. Thayer’s Witch Hazel cost more but but that huge bottle last forever. All are good. That Gabels Bay Rum I used is $17 for a 16oz bottle, well worth the money spent.
All in all your cost for the initial setup is anywhere from $30 to just under $50 (a little over if you go the Rockwell 2C route with Aftershaves) and an operating cost of a couple of cents per day.
And oh, I had a great shave, smooth easy BBS with the Tech.
Brush : Friendship Shaving Macy Dual Band Badger by Frank Shaving
Soap : Ginger’s Garden Eau Sauvage
Razor : Occam Razor Oren Nano w/Feather Professional Super Blade
Post Shave : Thayers Lemon scented Witchhazel
Others : Christian Dior Eau Sauvage (2017) Parfum
It’s no surprise that wet shavers either come from the fragrance circle or get into the fragrance circle due to the love of scents. For many, finding that soap that smells fantastic to compliment your scent of the day is a holy grail that we chase in an unending quest.
Ginger’s Garden soaps are fantastic in that regard with Irena being able to match scents pretty much to many the scents out there in the market. For the most part she hits the nail on the head though from time to time, results aren’t what you expected.
In my case I think there might have been a mix up with the supplier of the oils used or in production / labeling. To be fair Dior’s Eau Sauvage (1966) is often confused with Eau Sauvage Parfum 2012, Sauvage 2015 and Eau Sauvage Parfum 2017.
(I’m out of the original Eau Sauvage (1966) type EDT but for comparison sake, while they all share the same DNA, both Parfums have much more of that 1966 DNA than the 2015 Sauvage)
The Original 1966 Eau Sauvage was a very beautiful citrusy, floral, spiced fougere type scent, it’s original 2012 Parfum release was oddly enough actually a flanker boosting it’s darker mid and base notes, and adding enough Myrrh that it is affectionally known as the “Myrrh Bomb”.
Then in 2015, Dior released the currently more recognizable Suavage, faced by Johnny Depp, which took “blue” notes, pepper and the ambroxan note to extremes.
More recently, Doir re-released Eau Sauvage Parfum 2017 to better match that original 1966 scent, scaling back on the darker notes of Myrrh and smoky Vetiver while bringing back to the fore its citrus and fougere-wood notes.
Ginger’s Garden’s Eau Sauvage in my case, has that very distinctive blue and ambroxan note that is not present in Eau Sauvage and is very much closer to the 2015 Sauvage release. Lather however is fanfrackingtastic and Irena’s soaps are on my top “must haves”.
Matching scents, especially with soaps is hard considering they are different mediums and more so when there is so much confusion with scents of similar names and I honestly think the oil blend used may have been mixed up.
Just a heads up for those who do want that beautiful old school, citrusy, cumin, lavender, rose, oakmoss, cilantro, vetiver and amberish sandalwood 1966 Eau Sauvage scent, the quest is still on.
And oh yes, the Oren Nano is just pure comfort. Easy, extremely comfortable shave.
Post Shave : PAA Supreme Sandalwood Science Star Jelly Aftershave, Cologne Aftershave
Others : PAA Supreme Sandal Science Deodorant, Epic Solid Cologne and Guerlain Santal Royal EDP
Still on the Sandalwood scent trail and this time its layering Sandalwood on top of Sandalwood on top of, yes, more Sandalwood. And then, you spray on still yet more Sandalwood (well more Oud Rose .. but semantics!). 😂
CK-6 lather needs no introduction, and prepped by the cube, it’s just ridiculously luxurious. Did I mention I love Sandalwood? Scent is of course out of this world with PAA’s unique blend of the stuff.
Was thinking of going with the Sword of Achilles with the CATA-DOC but kept the red theme going. Still for me, the Zaza Blade is no slouch (YMMV) and it was an easy and smooth, no irritation BBS shave.
Heading off to do some really hard physical labor inside a hot stuffy aircraft. I might sweat like a pig but I’ll be smelling like a King.