Shave of the day, 29th April 2021, PAA Agharta (A PAA Story Part 2)

Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
Brush : Oumo 26mm SHD HMW Silvertips
Soap : PAA Agharta
Razor : PAA Meta4 w/Feather Blade (2)
Post Shave : PAA Agharta Star Jelly Aftershave and Aftershave Cologne
Others : PAA Scentless Deodorant and Agharta Epic Solid Cologne

(The Star Jelly is in a different dispenser bottle as the original cracked and broke during transit. Luckily it was Star Jelly and was able to salvage most of it)

Yesterday’s Al Fin shave and short story had me thinking, could I string a PAA Journey to tell a tale that people would want to read? Would they enjoy it, assuming that they’d want to read a wall of text?
Visited by the Muse Caliope or maybe it was Clio, I get confused, you guess it, there is another “short story” (or a wall of text!).

Anyways, back to the shave!
Today’s shave is Agharta.
Doug calls it the “Barbershop scent of the Underground” (I think, or was it someone else?) but whatever you want to call it, it’s freaking awesome! It is often overlooked and overshadowed by its more glamourous sister scents.


Spring of 1871

Phileas Phog set down a book by one by Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, and pondered for a moment.
“Aghata.” He mumbled in his musings.
“There’s something to this. James! James! Where is that man?”

“Here sir.” Said James Forster as he appeared at the doorway. He never liked Mr. Phog, that rich arrogant twat but he kept his feelings to himself.
If anything, Mr Phog pays well and brings him along in his travels.

“James! There you are, hurry now, pack our bags. We are going to Tibet!”


Summer of 1871

A very miserable, wet and chilled James Forster sat huddled in cave with an equally dismal Phileas Phog.
“Come to Tibet in the summer they said, it’ll be warm they said, but bloody hell, when it rains, it comes down like a bloody waterfall!” Grumbled Mr Phog.

They had searched the mountains of Tibet for two weeks for the fabled entrance to Agharta, finding of course nothing.

None of the monks they spoke to had any knowledge of the place, or if they did, they weren’t saying.
One monk however, suggested they look South East of Mount Kailash as there was a rumored holy shrine that might show them the way but would not say anything more.

For almost two weeks Phileas and James searched the Kailash range to no avail and then, the Monsoons came.
Howling winds and torrential rain made any further exploration a miserable affair.

A loud crash of thunder broke Phileas’s musings. He was ready to call the expedition off. Money and time was already wasted on this trip and he would be a laughing stock at the Reform Club for going on this one.

Another crack of lightning, thunder and a gust of wind made him involuntary flinch and moved deeper into the cave.
He hated the cold, it was part of the reason why he traveled so often, merry old England he thought, more like cold and wet England.

Looking around he realized that the cave he is in, is deeper than he initially thought.
“Come James, lets look around this cave, might as well see if we can find a more comfortable spot out of the wind.” Phileas said through chattering teeth, he really hated the cold.

Moving further back into the cave, they found a thin crevice, wide enough for only one man to squeeze through.
“Master Phog, do you think it is wise to proceed further?” Asked James.

Phileas didn’t answer and kept walking further deeper in.
James rolled his eyes at Mr Phog’s back muttering silently about spoiled rich men.

In truth, Phileas barely heard James’s question. His intuition perhaps, or a greater power called him to go deeper, further into the cave.
After several minutes of squeezing through the narrow passage, they exited into an large cul de sac.

Their lamp light barely reaching, only dimly lighting the back wall.
What they could see clearly however were rubble and what looked like to be a crude table, an altar perhaps.

“James! I think we found …” Said Phileas but trailed off as he noticed that the table or altar was too far damaged to make out what it was originally for.
Closer examination showed that at one point there was text on around the edges of the altar and perhaps a map of sorts etched in its center but most of the etching was too far gone to make out any details or what was said.

Phileas did however recognize that portions of the text he could see, was nothing like anything written in the region.
“James, give me paper and charcoal please.”
James dutifully handed him the items and Phileas very carefully made rubbings of the text where possible.


October 1872 – The Reform Club

“Where is your valet Mr. Phog?” Lord Kelvin quipped, his voice laced with malicious glee.

Phileas was not in the mood.
He had been the butt of several jokes ever since his return from the Tibetan Range and he was still waiting for the translation of the rubbings to arrive.

“I let him go. I told the man, water for my shaves has to be 30 degrees Celsius and not a degree colder. The other day the water he brought was 28 degrees. He is incompetent. Besides I have hired another, a Frenchman, he might have an accent but at least he can do his duties diligently.”

“28 degrees you say, you measured it?” Said Lord Kevin with an arched eyebrow. In the background a guffaw sounded.
Phileas’s eye twitched and he ground his teeth but said nothing.

“Here now, what do you gentlemen think of the new railway in India?” Asked a member of the club.
” Would make going around the world in 100 or so days possible.” Said Lord Kevin.

Phileas thought about the railway and his travels, did a little mental calculation and said “No, I can do it in 80 days.”


An uproar, a huge argument by all in the club and a 20,000 pound bet later, Lord Kelvin smiled.
That money was a good as his and he would ruin Phileas Phog.
The man had left with his Frenchman valet, a small man, what’s his name, Pasbatoot, or something of that nature.

He looked up as a messenger boy came into the Club, “Telegram for Mr. Phog! Mr Phileas Phog!”

Lord Kelvin’s lips turn up into a larger smile.
“He just left boy, but I can take that for him.”
“I am sorry sir.” Said the boy, “This is a personal message from the American Gentleman’s and Exploratory Club …”
“I tell you what son, I’ll pass that on for you and…” Lord Kelvin pulled out a single pound note, “This is for you and your diligent work.”

The boy eyed the money, it was far more money he’d earn in a day.
“Yes milord. Please pass on the message to Mr Phog. Have a good day!” taking the money and leaving the telegram in Lord Kelvin’s hands.

Lord Kelvin waited till the door shut behind the boy before opening and reading the message.

“Words were in ancient Greek. We could only make out a few, “Atlantis” and “Seek out The Other.” Please contact us as soon as possible.”

Lord Kelvin laughed.


Hope you enjoyed that good as zero “proofreading” wall of text 😁.

Be safe
Be sane
Be happy

Shave of the day, 28th April 2021, PAA Al Fin (and a short Story)

Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
Brush : PAA Amber Aerolite
Soap : PAA Al Fin
Razor : PAA Meta4 w/Feather Blade
Post Shave : PAA Al Fin Star Jelly Aftershave and Aftershave Cologne
Others : PAA Al Fin Deodorant, Solid Colonge and EDP

It has been a while and of all my “fresh” scents, Al Fin is still one of, if not my #1 all time favorite.
And yes, its a Full Monty Shave baby!

Rose, Bay Leaf, Lemon Myrtle, Vetiver, White Clover, Cypress, Helichrysum ,  Ambrette, Geranium and Tobacco Absolute

The blend of notes makes for a very unique, fresh and beautiful scent, a blend of contrasts if you will.

“The Quest”

The man woke with a start, awakened that haunting melody he heard in his dreams.
No, he could still hear that wordless song, melodious but sad, yearning.
Without even putting on his shoes, or changing his clothes, he moved towards that sound.

Stepping out of the house, into the Florida night, the usual sounds of insects and night creatures were strangely absent, as if all were silent, listening to that voice, calling out for someone, anyone to come.

Without thought he walked, further into the woods, towards the banks of the river.
And there he saw her.
He rubbed his eyes, for there on the banks, looked to be a naked girl no older than his own daughter, with only her hair covering her ample chest.
She smiled.
And still she sang, and he was yet drawn towards her, towards her voice.

She beckoned wordlessly, still singing, with a wave of her hand, to indicate that he should sit with her.
With his eyes now half closed, his mind lulled by the song, halfway between reality and a dream he sat with her.
Her scent, fresh as the morning dew, sweet as blooming roses filled his nostrils, heady, bright but with an edge.
He could feel her lips next to his ear, humming that song.
Then it stopped and he heard her voice speaking to him for the first time, his mind desperately grasping at her words before he felt a blackness swallow him and felt himself falling, falling, falling.


The next day, in a tiny side story in the Orlando Sentinel, an article with the blurb “Sleepwalking Florida man almost drowns” tells a story of a Florida Man found at the riverbank delirious and only in his underwear repeating words like a mantra “Must find Douglas. Must find Sister Otra”
“We never had a sister, and I don’t know who this Douglas character is.” Said the man’s brother.


Stay safe
Stay sane
Stay happy

Shave of the day, 27th April 2021, Van Yulay Gaia

Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube Face Wash
Brush : PAA Peregrino
Soap : Van Yulay Gaia
Razor : Leaf Twig w/Treet Black Beauties
Post Shave : Van Yulay Gaia Aftershave Splash Mentholated

Wanted, maybe needed a shave that’s clean and fresh as Mommy Earth, Gaia.

This soap’s accords is too long and complex, I think Monica mentioned it has a ton of scent notes in its accord. You have earth, greens, florals, ozone, aquatic, the works.
And while label art do inspire the mind’s eye, it is an apt description of the scent.

A gust of wind sweeping down (Mentholate if you want that cold mountain rain filled wind feel and scent of ozone), bringing rain and life, wet earth fills the air, flora bloom and cast their scent out back into the wind and all the while, greens sprout and cast their growing arms wide open, and with it, a freshness you can feel.

I don’t use this soap as often (I should), I am not a fan of anything that has soil / dirt in its notes, but here its just one note in a sea of scents.

It is also one of Van Yulay’s by default Tallow soaps. Brush was loaded from the tub and face lathered.
Lather itself is a thick, butter cream type lather, it is a little thirsty, but has a narrower threshold for water, add a little at a time till you get the glide and cushioning you want.

I prefer it a little thick and this didn’t dissapoint.
More importantly, post shave feel with the soap is excellent.

All in all, I had a great shave. And smelling great, even with a little dirt in it. 😋

Stay safe
Stay sane
Stay happy

An American Shave (Blades) : 24th April 2021, A tale of 5 Shaves

Saw these at Mustafa’s and they were selling these both by the Tuck and stack of 100s.
Each tuck carry 5 blades.
Price is S$0.60 for a tuck or S$10.00 for 100 (20 tucks) which is roughly US$0.45 and US$7.54 respectively
Decided to try a tuck just to see if it’s worth getting a hundred.

Using a new blade for each day’s shave. (2 shaves a day)

Shave Day 1:

First Shave was with the Rockwell 6S-R4 as it is the standard that I judge other shaves by.
Blade wasn’t as smooth as I liked, and definitely not as sharp as I prefer, having to have to go over my trouble spots several times as the blade didn’t seem to want to give me that close BBS that I am used to.

Even caught myself pressing down a little more than I should.

Shave Day 2 :

Went with the Model-T -R4 / R5
This time I went with something that has just a tad more blade exposure compared to the 6S.

On R4 the shave was better but still didn’t feel as smooth though this time the shaves were cleaner and I had to go over the usual problem areas less to get that skin smooth BBS.
2nd Shave with the Model-T I went R5 and it felt rough and almost nicked myself.

Actually I had a micro-nick where you can see the line where the skin parted where nick would have been but no blood letting as the again, I think I fell to temptation and pressed down more than I should.

Did get that true BBS though but I did not quite enjoy the shaves.

Shave Day 3

Went with the Parker Variant this time. At setting 3.5 / 4 this guy is significantly more aggressively blade forward compared to the Model T with roughly the same gap geometry.

Now we are getting somewhere.
Very close shaves but the shave is still not as smooth as I hoped it to be with at times what seems to me, more tugging then with the previous shaves.

Shave Day 4 :

Bringing out the big guns now, and to date, the best experience so far of the 4 shaves.
The Tatara Nodachi (Std) with its 0.13mm positive exposure along with its 0.90mm gap took no nonsense from the blade.
Shaves were extremely close, but still a little tuggish when you hit problem areas.
Usually with a Bic / Nacet / Feather blade, this razor just cuts growth off like a red hot knife on butter with as little resistance.
With this blade, it wasn’t as smooth.

Shave Day 5 :

And finally, the one razor that this blade performed well enough in. PAA’s Copper Ascension.
Not sure if it is because of how close the blade is to the skin or if the additional buffing layer of lather helped but with the Ascension, the blade performed better than when used in the other razors.

BBS close shave, slight but not uncomfortable tugging.

And yes, one more artisan puck bites the dust.
Final use of WTF’s Grey’s Vetiver Tallow Puck went into the bowl to be lathered and as you can see from the lather porn, it was a glorious last run indeed.
Got to love that firmer, creamy lather you get from Tallow.

Conclusion :
Blades are very YMMV so what I experience might not be the same for you.
Having said that, this blade felt a lot like Derby Extras (Green box) and at times a little less sharp and less smooth at the same time.

But as we see in the above, blades also performs differently in different razors.
Always buy a tuck before you buy 100 if you can, and always try them in different razors.

Also, I think it was mentioned that though this is a US made blade its oddly enough exported to be sold in Singapore of all places.

My take is that its meant for “young man’s peach fuzz” or the thinner “Asian whiskers”.
Unfortunately, my old man’s thick barbed wire and my mixed heritage might have more than this blade was designed to handle.

Stay safe
Stay sane
Stay happy

Shave of the day, 13th April 2021, Barrister and Mann Cologne Russe

Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube Face Wash
Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Badger
Soap : Barrister and Mann Cologne Russe
Razor : Rockwell Model T w/Bic Chrome Platinum -R3.5
Post Shave : Mark and Spencer’s Woodspice : Amber

I have said this before, of all things, the human experience, scents and smells are your best gateway to your past.
To be honest, I have not smelled Guerlain’s Cologne Russe as an adult and I was curious about what I was going to get. That and this is my first Barrister and Mann purchase, thanks to Amazon’s free shipping, it probably won’t be my last.

So imagine my surprise when I opened the tub and took a whiff.


Nyonya Kebaya Peranakan, Women's Fashion, Clothes, Tops on Carousell

Pic is the Peranakan Kabaya (Singapore Airlines uniform was inspired by it) and I had a memory flash of me, mom and aunts going to a wedding dinner.
Mom’s scent was pretty much Cologne Russe or something very much like it, and my aunts smelling equally great with their own personal scents. (I remember First Aunt with her Frangipanni, Sandalwood and Oud scent)

But mom had her scent and while I didn’t at the time knew what it was, I do now.
I definitely want more of this.
And even though the scent may have been “feminine”, if you enjoy it, you enjoy it.
No Effs given.

Lathering up the soap was not as good as expected given all the rave reviews B&M got. But I peg it to my unfamiliarity with it.
I realized after the shave when I was washing off that I should have used a little more water and went with a looser lather as it felt much slicker on the wash off.
The scent though was excellent.

I however made the mistake of using Mark and Spencer’s Woodspice aftershave as while it did paired well with the soap, it drowned out that beautiful scent from the skin.

I’ll need to get some AS from the US and then ship it over via a reshipper.
Buying the AS from amazon isn’t cost effective as it’ll essentially cost me upwards of US$55 to $60-ish per bottle.

The Model T and Bic combo worked fantastically well and I had a great shave.

Stay safe
Stay sane
Stay happy

Shave of the day, 12th April 2021, Van Yulay Royal Oudh

Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
Bowl : Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Badger
Soap : Van Yulay Royal Oudh
Razor : PAA Meta4 w/Bic Chrome Platinum
Post Shave : Van Yulay Royal Oudh Aftershave Splash and Balm
Others : Van Yulay Royal Oudh Deodorant and Cologne

Off day shave.
Off Day for working slobs like us are really “home chores, grocery, go buy stuff for the kids” day.
So might as well smell fantastic while you are at it.

Van Yulay’s Royal Oudh is a damn good duplication of Creed’s Royal Oud, which is a clean oud, cedar, sandalwood and spice scent. Its very old school, very distinguished. Normally you’d picture yourself in a suit or someone distinguished wearing this … but frack it, going out in my polo tees and black combat BDUs.

Smelling fabulous if not looking like it.

Van Yulay’s croaps lather a little differently, requiring less water and is more cream like than thick yogurt but does the job.
Did I mention they smell fantastic?

The Meta4 is so freaking comfortable and along with the Bic, takes stuff off the face and problem areas without any trouble at all, leaving only smooth irritation free skin in its wake.

Now off to get cat stuff.

Stay safe
Stay sane
Stay happy

Shave of the day, 06th April 2021, PAA Doppelganger Gold – Creed Royal Mayfair

Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube
Brush : Frank Shaving Friendship Shaving Dual Band Badger
Soap : PAA Doppelganger Gold – Creed Royal Mayfair
Razor : PAA Ascension Double Open Comb w/ Bic Chrome Platinum
Post Shave : PAA Doppelganger Gold Cologne Aftershave w/Epic Solid Cologne

Creed’s Royal Mayfair is an odd and polarizing scent to many in the scent community.
It was meant to be a “Celebration of the British Commonwealth” that was commissioned for the Duke of Windsor but only debut 80 years after the fact in 2009 (37 years after his death) as “Windsor”.

Creed essentially went … “Ehhh … Duke of What now?” and gave the man no respect.

It has since been reissued and now renamed as “Royal Mayfair”

Notes are :
Tops : British Gin, Jamaican Lime, Scottish Highland Pine
Mids : Duke of Windsor Roses
Base : Bahamian Orange, Canadian Cedar, Australian Eucalyptus

And the reason why this was a polarizing scent was that the scent accords opens with that gin, lime and pine.
To some it can comes across as boozy gasoline. Seriously, you do get that “petroleum” sort of vibe with the opening that will take some getting used to.
I actually hated it originally but like oud, it became an acquired taste so to speak.

As well as, depending on the your skin, the mix of Eucalyptus, Cedar and Orange as base can come across as a little “off” if your body oils don’t quite agree with that mix.

However for those for whom Royal Mayfair played nice with your body oils, this is a beautiful, heady fresh scent.
And Doug outdid himself with the accuracy, at least to my memory.
Make no mistake, this is definitely one of Creed’s more unique fragrances and in today’s terms, its not Aventus. 🙂

For myself, once the opening accords fades into the background, they never really quite go away after that initial blast but kind of hangs around for much of the scent life, once the rose, orange and eucalyptus come to the fore sitting on that bright, almost spicy cedar, is when the scent really shines.
The Opening accords actually become a lot more pleasant for me once it fades into the background, harmonizing well with the mids and base.

Speaking of which, its been about 7+ hours since I applied the Epic Solid Cologne / Cologne AS and while the AS scent has more or less faded off (I can no longer smell the scent off the face when I cup my hands over the nose, mouth and chin), the Epic Solid Cologne is still going though fading, is still creating a personal scent bubble that only you, or someone that gets really close into your personal space will detect (maybe).

At 7hours+ I can still make out tiny hints of gin and lime, though its mostly rose, orange and eucalyptus at this point.
And it still smells as good on application.

If I have to describe it in terms of PAA’s product similarity, I’d say imagine like Dapper Doc + Saint Martin’s Land (without the ginger and add gin) had a baby.

So far, I think only Doug has the Doppelganger of Creed’s Royal Mayfair as even the usual Clone houses aren’t really picking this one up.
So getting a sample of Doppelganger Gold is a good way to go if you want to give the scent a try.

(Next Creed’s Doppelganger -Spice and Wood Doug! Spice and Wood!)

Stay safe
Stay sane
Stay happy

Shave of the day, 5th April 2021, Wet The Face Sakura

Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube Face Wash
Bowl : Stainless Steel $2 Mixing Bowl (micro-textured – sandpapered)
Brush : Oumo 26mm SHD Silvertips
Razor : Frankenstiened Tatara Zero-Zero Masamune w/RR SS UFO Handle (Nodachi Cap + Masamune Base -0.00mm blade exposure) w/Derby USTA Blade
Soap : Wet The Face Sakura
Post Shave : Wet The Face Sakura

It took a while for the package to get here but I got a notification from DHL that my package was ready for collection, so I held off my usual “coming home” shave till I got my package.
And it was well worth the wait!

So lets get down to what I think about the soap and aftershave.
Scentwise, I think for most, they will find the soap’s scent to be apples and peach being the most forward with that slight hint of the Cherry Blossoms and Tamarind being more in the background. The soap scent strength while strong is not as punchy as Don’s other offerings but is still very present and depending on how you lathered up, can still fill your bathroom with its scent.

The Aftershave though, is as always, the follow up right hook that knocks your socks off.
Here, the floral Cherry Blossom note is a little more stronger and more balanced with the apple and peach. The touch of Tamarind lends that slightly sweet and sour note to balance off the sweetness of the florals and fruit to a perfect T.

This is a Floral-Fruity scent, but still slanted towards the masculine (think Dapper Doc, with Cherry Blossoms instead of Lilac), though if you do not think you’d like this kind of scent, I’d suggest getting a sample to try first, you might be surprised to find you do.

Yeah. Definitely a winner here.
Also, I think Don improved a little on his base, as I seem to be getting a firmer, slightly more full bodied lather than compared to my older WTF soaps.
That and the lather not loosing any of its slickness and post shave qualities made for a fantastic shave.

The Tatara Zero Zero Masamune did its magic giving that perfect zero irritation faceturbation shave, and as I am typing this an hour after the shave, I am still cupping my hands to breath in that Sakura goodness.


Stay safe
Stay sane
Stay happy