Shave of the day, 21st October 2020, Van Yulay Bay of Roses

  • Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
  • Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Manchurian Badger
  • Soap : Van Yulay Bay of Roses
  • Razor : Rockwell 6S-R4 w/Personna Platinum Blade
  • Post Shave : Van Yulay Bay of Roses Aftershave Splash (mentholated)

From Van Yulay’s website, scent notes are :
Allspice, cloves, nutmeg, pine needles, bay rum and roses.

This soap took me a little by surprise with its scent. The spices and rose notes sits on a dark bay rum scent. (less bay, more rum) that while definitely floral, is by no means feminine, firmy unisex.
FYI, this scent pairs really well with Geurlain’s Heritage.

I am really loving the hard pucks, its easy to load, I hold the puck and load with a lightly wet (lightly shaken dry) brush bristles up.
Face lathered and as you can see, the soap produces the kind of thick and slick lather that doesn’t dissipates after painting it on.

Went of the old girl, the Rockwell 6S-R4 to reset what I know of how the razor feels and to regain a “Standard” to judge others by.
It’s still one of my best razors, even with its less nimble head compared to the Tatara, it still gave a very smooth, comfortable and efficient shave.

Perfect, true glass BBS shave.

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Shave of the day, 20th October 2020, WTF True Lavender

  • Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
  • Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
  • Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Manchurian Badger
  • Soap : WTF True Lavender
  • Razor : Tatara Nodachi w/Stropped Rockwell Blade
  • Post Shave : WTF True Lavender Aftershave

Off day shave, so its time to chill, relax, take it slow and enjoy the day.
And you can’t go wrong starting the day with a fantastic shave. WTF True Lavender is as it’s name implies, just simply Lavender. Relaxing, soothing, just the thing to start the day with.
Scent is mid-mid high, so you do get a good whiff of that herbal goodness. And Don’s lather is as always, Lather Porn worthy. 😁

Went with the default Nodachi this morning as with last night, and remembering something Cale mentioned, I stropped the Rockwell blade against a wash cloth 5 times on each side, both edges.
Results was a really smooth shave.
Was it smoother than the night before?
Maybe a tad but that might be my confirmation bias speaking.

Still, in both occasions, last night’s and this morning shave in the Nodachi had the Rockwell Blade performing far better then I expected.

I’ll need to try the stropped blade in the Model T to see if there is an improvement there.
I am pretty sure that in this case, it’s the blade geometry in the Tatara as well as the stropping that is making the blade perform at its best, so if stropping a blade makes a slight improvement in another razor where the blade felt “less sharp / less smooth” than, that’s what I will be doing in the future.

I did get a perfect, true glass “I keep touching myself” BBS shave

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Shave of the day, 19th October 2020, G&A Japanese Dream

  • Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
  • Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
  • Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Manchurian Badger
  • Soap : G&A Japanese Dream
  • Razor : Tatara Nodachi Base + Masamune Cap w/Rockwell Blade
  • Post Shave : Thayers Lavender Witch Hazel + Alum Block

G&A Japanese Dream is a beautifully scented with Japanese Plum, cherry and light woods notes.
If you like strong, in your face scented shaving soaps, this is one of them.
Lather from bowl lathering is more foamy then cream however the lather’s slickness, residual and post shave are more than decent and was painted on easily a good layer for DE shaving.
I might try to do a face lather on my night shave to see if I’ll get a thicker layer going.

The Rockwell blade is behaving quite differently in the Tataras.
In both the Zero Zero Masamune and the Gentle Nodachi, I am not getting as much drag / pull / resistance as I am with the Rockwell Model T. (I’ll need to try the blades in all my other razors) Which is kinda weird as you would think they’d perform better in the Model T.
YMMV as they say.

I’ll go with the Default Nodachi tonight and the day after to see how the blade feels with the Blade Positive configuration.
I’d suspect it’s Tatara’s blade geometry that’s giving the Rrockwell blade a second chance and I can definitely use them with far more comfort.
While it’s not my best blade, so far in the Tataras, they are performing quite well and I’d hate to waste blades and throw them away if I don’t have to.

Easily got my BBS shave, and finished with the old school application of Witch Hazel and Alum.
Feeling good!

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Shave of the day, 18th October 2020, Suavecito Whiskey Bar

  • Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
  • Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Manchurian Badger
  • Soap : Suavecito Whiskey Bar
  • Razor : Tatara Nodachi Base + Masamune Cap w/Rockwell Blade
  • Post Shave : Suavecito Whiskey Bar Aftershave

Now these software are one of the few that is locally available here in Singapore. Sold by a barbershop called The Panic Room, great place to go if you are a wet shaver as they have a number of stuff that would be worth picking up.

Scent for the soap is Whiskey and Eucalyptus. Simple but damn, it does smell quite good. Scent strength is mid-mid low so its not very intrusive. I’d prefer if its stronger but, it is what it is. They have a cream version but I chose to get the puck version. Its a soft puck so you can just press it into a container like I did and store it that way.

Went with the gentler Nodachi today. If the Zero Zero Masamune is Mild Efficiency, this the velvet gloved gauntlet. Very comfortable due to the negative -0.03mm blade exposure and its blade angle geometry, but with that 0.90mm gap, make no mistake, it is aggressive.
And oddly enough, the Rockwell blade had no tugging at all.

I might need to skip a night shave to let my whiskers grow out more and shave with the blade it was was extremely smooth in the Nodachi-Masamune.

Easy, comfortable BBS Shave.

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Shave of the day, 17th October 2020, Godrej Menthol Mist Shaving Cream

  • Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
  • Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
  • Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Manchurian Badger
  • Razor : Blackland Vector w/Feather Proguard Blade
  • Post Shave : Aqua Velva Classic Ice Blue, Alum Block

Godrej is probably my cheapest and yet most underappreciated shaving cream. It does contain Lanolin which I understand for some, this is a no no. But at roughly RM12.00 (Malaysian Ringit) for three tubes, that works out to about US$0.50 a tube this is ridiculously cheap.
Problem is, with the Covid shut downs and lockdown on travel, its not feasible to make my way across the border to get some. (Local Mustafa ran out)

Made in India, it’s scent is also an exotic mix of eucalyptus, mint, lime and ginger and is the equivalent of Proraso in terms of lather and glide.

Went with the vector today for a quick precision shave. Blade feels like its about to go, though it still takes growth off, it is starting to feel less smooth.
Still, it was a very easy and clean BBS shave but will be recycling the blade, its 24th use or more, I lost count.
Decided to finish with alum and Aqua velva and it felt great!
Yeah, it was a “I keep touching myself” BBS shave.

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Shave of the day, 16th October 2020, The Village Soapsmith Old Spice (P&G)

  • Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
  • Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Manchurian Badger
  • Soap : The Village Soapsmith Old Spice Shaving Soap
  • Razor : Tatara Masamune Base + Nodachi Cap w/Rockwell Blade
  • Post Shave : P&G Old Spice Original Aftershave
  • Others : Shulton Old Spice EDT

Still on my Budget / Obsure shaves.
Not everyone has access to the Old Original Shulton Old Spice to compare and some prefer the new P&G ones as it is a more “modern”, more powdery scent as well as toning down the natural oils heavy hitting notes of cinnamon, anise, nutmeg and aged orange peels in the old Shulton.

TVS’ Old Spice is spot on with the P&G scent profile.
And it’s mid-mid high in scent strength in the puck and lather.
You will smell the soap’s scent permeating from the mail call box even before you open it, and likewise, the moment I uncapped the tub, the New Old Spice scent wafted up to greet me.

I have to admit, even if its a shadow of the Old Shulton (yeah, I’m biased), its still very good.

Lather is as you can see in the Lather Porn pic, good, as is performance. Thick, creamy, not airy bubbly, with good ability to hold water, along with fairly good residual slickness, its definitely a good choice for those looking for an entry level or budget artisan shave soap.

Though as with all her other shaving soap products, post shave is only decent. Not complaining as you can only do so much at it’s price point.
You don’t get that dry stretched skin feel, but your face do feel squeaky clean. For those who want more moisturizing skin food, use a balm with your AS / non alcohol AS.

For me though, it great as the last two months or so I have had issues with my face getting very oily due to heat and sweat and I don’t really need too much additional oils to the face.

Again the Zero Zero Masamune with the Rockwell blade gave quite a comfortable shave and surprisingly lacking that “almost tugging” feel when I used the blade with the Rockwell. While there is still some resistance, it feels markedly less.

I did however had to go with a 2 pass shave + pick up shave, the first lather application going WTG, XTG, ATG, the second lather application pass XTG, ATG and pickup lather pass with skin stretching and buffing to get that perfect clean glass BBS shave. I did get a small weeper from a pimpled spot but didn’t even feel the blade take off that bit of skin. Goes to show, “not as sharp” is relative.

Sort of funny as I was just talking with Mike about the nature of Tatara razors.
Just because you don’t feel the blade (it is very deceptive with how smooth, how little of the blade you feel) does not mean there isn’t a sharp blade riding that slick lather sliding across your skin.

Easily sorted out with alum.

Finished off with P&G’s “Original” Old Spice and the actual Old Shulton for the body.
Smelling fantastic and ready to head off to work.

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Shave of the day, 15th October 2020, The Village Soapsmith’s Eucalyptus and Mint

  • Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
  • Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Manchurian Badger
  • Soap : The Village Soapsmith Eucalyptus and Mint Shaving Soap
  • Razor : Tatara Masamune Base + Nodachi Cap w/Rockwell Blade
  • Post Shave : Osage Rub
  • Others : Menthol in Salt Grinder

Eucalyptus and Mint.
While this soap is true to its name, with a fresh green scent, it is not mentholated.
So for those who want the Eucalyptus and mint scent but not that cold feel on your skin, this might be a good one for you.
It is a Glycerin puck so its easy to lather up into that thick creamy slick stuff we all like.

I, of course, added in menthol. Just can’t have Eucalyptus and Mint with no menthol.

The Rockwell Blade actually performed better in the Zero Zero Tatara, felt a little less tugging compared to the Model T. Weird.
The Zero Zero Tatara performed as expected, though it took a little buffing to get that BBS.

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Shave of the day, 14th October 2020, The Village Soapsmith Bay Rum

  • Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
  • Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Manchurian Badger
  • Soap : The Village Soapsmith Bay Rum
  • Razor : Rockwell Model T -R3.5 w/Rockwell Blade
  • Post Shave : Lucky Tiger Bay Rum (Modified — 10% Additional Dark Rum)

Still on the Budget / Obscure soaps and shaves.
For the next few days, it’s The Village Soapsmith’s handcrafted soaps. At about $8 for a 4oz puck, (soft puck) it’s one of the cheapest artisanal soaps out there.
Though they don’t ship outside of CONUS, Canada and Puerto Rico, with a little re-shipping voodoo, I got it sent to Singapore.

Scent is a classic Bay Rum scent. It’s mild on the soap and lather but I remember when I first got it, I could smell the scent the moment I opened the box and went “Mmmmmnnnsss!” but was later disappointed that it wasn’t as strong as I thought it would be on the soap or when lathered.
YMMV of course.

Performance is actually quite good, as you can see from the SOTD pic, it lathers up to a thick, creamy yogurty lather. It performs better with a little more water than not, and holds water well, so don’t be afraid of getting that lather a little runny.

Slickness is great, with good residual and while the post shave is not as good as top end artisan soaps, given its price point, I am not complaining.
To be clear, Post Shave is actually very decent.

As to how slick is slick to me, it is good enough to do a one pass WTG, XTG and ATG, with a reapplication of lather for a cleanup pass. So yeah, its good.

Of course I had to use a Bay Rum for the post shave and chose to go with Lucky Tiger’s.
Personally I’d prefer Gabbels or Clubman Pinaud’s (ran out of Clubman’s had one of those sample sizes, waiting on a mail drop) as Lucky Tiger’s scent is more Bay than Rum.

Which lead to me modifying mine by adding about a tenth (what I used up) more Dark Rum. Smells much better now though I think a little more rum is called for.

The Model T is performing well.
After several runs with it, I feel that it is just a little tad more aggressive and might be a tad blade forward than the 6S/6C, especially when you go up from R4 to R6.
The Aggression / Blade geometry ramps up and you do get that much more blade feel along with the larger gap.
I dropped back down to R3.5 from 4.5 as I was feeling way more blade than I liked.
R3.5 on the Model T feels more like the R4 or just a tad less than R5 on the 6S.

Still, it was an easy, clean, no irritation BBS shave.

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Shave of the day, 13th October 2020, Col Conk Amber

  • Pre-shave : Shower
  • Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Manchurian Badger
  • Soap : Col Conk Amber
  • Razor : Rockwell Model T-R4 w/Rockwell Blade
  • Post Shave : Marks and Spencer Amber Woodspice

Just a simple work day shave. Still on my budget / obscure rotation.
One thing I really like with Col Conk’s soaps is that because it’s glycerin based, they are easily heated up (10-20 secs) in a microwave to melt them down and form fit into whatever container you want to put them in. In my case a resuseable, sealing tub.

Probably going to play with the Model T for a few days, I’ll most likely be storing the rest of my adjustables, pulling them out only when I feel the urge to use any of them.
The Rockwell blade though, not my favorite. Does the job, is relatively smooth, though it would have been much smoother if it was a notch or two sharper, as while it does shear off growth, resistance is almost at the point of tugging.
It’s a little better then Derby Extras, but not by much. Reminds me why I relegated these blades as a One day / shave blade

Still, it was a good, clean BBS shave.

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Evening Shave : 12th October 2020, Rockwell Model T – Revisited (Replacement Set)

  • Pre-Shave : Shower
  • Bowl : Stainless Steel mixing bowl
  • Brush : PAA Peregrino
  • Soap : Van Yulay Recovery Sample
  • Razor : Rockwell Model T (Replacement) -R4 w/Feather Blade
  • Post Shave : Nivea Men Deep Comforting Aftershave Lotion

So, a while back after months trying to get the razor to work, and finally giving up after taking measurements and finding that it was really an equipment issue, I contacted Rockwell to see if I could ship my faulty Model T back, and get a replacement.

Rockwell, in goodwill, just replaced my razor sans shipping cost without too much fuss.

And about a month and a half of waiting due shipping / customs delays, my Rockwell Model T replacement finally got here.

Older faulty Razor on top.
Replacement below

The first thing that I immediately noticed on picking the razor up is how the knurling felt. I can confidently tell you that even blindfolded, I can pick up the replacement just by touching it.
While it’s still not as deeply knurled as I liked, it is a huge improvement from the one I had, which when holding with soapy or wet hands had a tendency to slip.
Ridges and valleys are just more defined with the replacement.

Left is the Faulty Razor
Right is the Replacement

More importantly, the replacement sets the blade correctly without issue. Pic of the side by side comparison makes it even more obvious how imbalanced my original Razor is.

While there are slight marring on the finish of the replacement, to be honest, I don’t really care at this point.
I just wanted a razor, that I paid a rather hefty chunk of change for, that worked.
Besides, I’d probably scratch it like I did with the first anyways.

Thankfully, the blade looks perfectly set with equal exposure on both sides and without slant.

Older Faulty razor on the Left
Replacement on the Right

And lastly, it also seems that the blade has a little more curvature compared to the older razor, though this is more of an eyeball look and feel since I don’t have the tools to take precise measurements.
I am not sure how well one can see that curvature from a picture taken but I have included one.

Yeah, the silos don’t quite close perfectly, but again, at this point I just want a razor that doesn’t shave like its taking a jagged machete to the face.

Paired the razor with a Feather Blade and yes, that was done with the purpose that if there was an issue with the razor, I’d know immediately.
So, how did it shaved?

FANFRACKINGTASTIC!

Had I got this razor the first time, I would be singing it’s praises like a choir boy high on Spiritual Ecstasy.

Started with a tentative setting of R2.5 based on experienced of the first razor and immediately could tell that the razor felt very different. Far less blade exposure, far less blade chatter and definitely much much smoother!

It’s almost like they went slightly negative blade exposure (guestimate -0.05mm) or true neutral (0.00mm) from the positive blade exposure (guestimate +0.18mm) I had with my first razor.

Went immediately to R4 and it felt more akin to the 6S-R4 than what I originally experienced with the first razor.

Shave was very smooth, very much less of the blade trying to flex and more of that very familiar guillotine feel of my 6S.

All in all I am very happy with Rockwell and the replacement.
While I do still think that there are cosmetic issues, what really counts is that this razor felt good in the hand, I wasn’t fighting to keep a grip, and it replicated the 6C/6S feel which is what I believe most wanted when they bought the Model T.

Two thumbs up to Rockwell’s Customer Service.

Oh yeah, it was a perfect, true glass and, this time, a damn comfortable, zero irritation BBS shave.

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