Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube Brush : PAA Peregrino Soap : Palmolive Shave Stick (2 sticks grated into a tub) Razor : Leaf Twig w/Voskhod Blade Post Shave : EU Williams Aqua Velva
Saw a post of Julio J. Giuliani’s daughter posting a belated post mortem Father’s day post and I could not help but think of the stuff we talked about and the shaves we experimented on and found to be amazing. We’d often laugh at our growing “bling” stuff and at my crazy collection of shaving stuff that I will never be able to use up before I die. Yeah. We both knew we could go at any time, and chose to live, to enjoy each day as much as we can.
And when it comes to shaving, it’s only shaving. Whether you have the most expansive artisan set or store bought cheapies, at the end of the day, if you find something you enjoy, (even if you are a heretic cartridge user 🤣) let no one tell you what you can or can’t enjoy.
Today’s shave for “cheapies” were actually pretty exceptional. And while I did use the shave stick, I grated mine (well 2 sticks) into a tub and wet brush loaded directly from it. The lather I get, is just phenomenally thick, fantastically slick, smells great, and I mean really smells really great with that mint/menthol note added, making the scent closer to a blue fougere, something both Julio and I really enjoyed.
Razor and Blade were extremely smooth, no surprise there given what I used. Though I still think people who go gaga over Voskhod and diss on Derby Premiums are crazy since they, are to me, feels so much alike. YMMV of course.
The real star though, is the EU version of Aqua Velva. And yes, its a milder version of the US version but smells so much more Mediterranean in origin (not that I don’t enjoy the US version) and of higher quality. YMMV of course.
Pre-Shave : Shower, PAA Cube Brush : PAA Amber Aerolite Soap : Soap Commander Endurance Razor : Tatara Masamune Base + Nodachi Cap (Zero Zero Masamune) w/Voskhod Blade Post shave : Gentleman Jon’s Alum Block, Soap Commander Aftershave Splash and Balm
Been doing morning shifts (gotta wake up 0400hrs) so most the morning shaves recently were my “Me Zombie” shaves. So my Evening Shaves are when I can really relax, and enjoy the scent and blade.
The shave itself was perfect though the experience marred with the post shave. Usually I don’t post a pic or mention the Alum block, this is one where I felt I need to as a warning to other fellow Wet-Shavers.
This brand does not sell true blocks but instead reconstituted alum blocks. Whether it was due to the rigors of shipping or whether it was an accident, a good portion of the block had crumbled to dust. A little more than ¼ of the block lost.
To be fair, there’s always a chance that sooner or later you will accidently drop your block, and even if its less than a feet or two or 50cm+/- , your block will chip.
Pic shows a true cut Alum Block vs the one I just got.
Notice the true block can still be used and will wear smooth, while the reconstituted block will now in my experience, crumble with use as the loose core is weakened due to moisture.
Pre-Shave : Cold Shower, PAA Cube Bowl : Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Brush : Oumo 24mm SHD ACE Dual Band Badger Soap : HC&C Scentless + Badass Scent Drops Razor : Vikings Blade Emperor Augustus w/Treet Black Beauty Blade Post Shave : Marks and Spencers Woodspice Aftershave Splash Others : Dior Homme EDT
Off day shave, and went with HC&C which is really slick, but not as full bodied as some of the other soaps I have. This is also their older formulation though, so I am not sure if things have changed. Good lather is still good lather and you still get a really creamy surface for your blades to glide on. Lather Porn included. 😁
Paired the shave with Dior Homme EDT as it really complement’s Badass scent.
Pre-Shave : Cold Shower, PAA Cube Bowl : Stainless Steel mixing bowl Soap : Proraso Blue Razor : Parker 87R w/Derby Extra (Blue) Post Shave : Osage Rub Others : Menthol in Salt Grinder
So shave 6 with Derby Extras. Morning I went with the Greens and Evening, the blues. With the same razor. This time with a Parker TTO, which is a little more aggressive and anyone who has used one will know, it has that distinctive audio feedback as long as your blade runs across any growth, so you know exactly when you are “clean” with nothing left for the blade to take off.
Also, although I have mentioned this before, evening shaves are when I sometimes do a “swimmer’s shave”, meaning underarms and “Speedo” ready lower body. So yeah, if the blade tugs, I’ll know.
3rd use of the same Derby Blue blade and its starting the dull I think, face shave was good, not perfect, needed an extra pass or two to get true BBS, but wasn’t as much needed when using the Green Blade.
At this point I am just going to stop comparing the two. I know they are the “same” blade, but the shaves I am getting is noticeably different. To be fair, I do not have any new or recently manufactured Derby Extra Greens to compare with and its very likely my blades are more than a few years older, so processes and quality tweaks may have been made since when my Greens were made.
Long Story Short, give Derby Extra Blue a try if you can score a tuck or samples. Otherwise they come in a 200 blade stack.
Pre-Shave : Cold Shower, PAA Ice Cube Bowl : Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Brush : PAA Peregrino Soap : Ginger’s Garden Special Blend (Mint, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree) Razor : Tatara Nodachi Cap + Masamune Base + RR’s SS UFO Handle w/Derby Extra Green Post Shave : Ginger’s Garden Special Blend Aftershave Lotion Others : Menthol in Salt Grinder
Shave 4 on the Derby Extra Blue vs Derby Extra Green (DEG) test. This time I pulled an exceptionally good DEG blade as it fared better then the previous DEG blade, but still kind of tripped just before the finish line.
Shave again was extremely smooth but again when it came to the stubborn area of mine, you hear the audio feedback, you even feel the blade as it goes over your bristles but it still takes a few repeat buffing passes before the area is swept clean as opposed to just a pass or three + pickup
I am at this point pretty sure that Derby Extra Green and Derby Extra Blue are the same blades but something was tweaked in the process when they started selling Derby Extra Blues that gave the Blue versions a slightly better edge.
I still think that Derby Extra blades’ smoothness in a shave are in the same ballpark along with Gillette Nacets and PolSilver / Wizmet Super Iridiums but those two blades are very consistently higher by a notch in sharpness.
Also it’s been awhile since I posted some Lather Porn, and recently a topic came up about using “cheap lathering bowls”. Can’t get cheaper than a $2 stainless steel mixing bowl that’s been given micro texture on the insides with elbow grease and sandpaper. 🙂
Pre-Shave : Cold Shower, PAA Cube, Proraso Wood and Spice Pre-Shave Bowl : Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Brush : Oumo 24mm ACE SHD Dual Band Badger Soap : Proraso Wood and Spice Shaving Cream Razor : Tatara (Zero Zero Masamune) Masamune Base + Nodachi Cap + Standard RR SS UFO Handle w/Derby Extra (Blue – *New*) Post Shave : 2nd Cold Shower, Proraso Wood and Spice Beard Balm and Aftershave Balm Others : Cartier Declaration EDT
Everyone likes to dunk on Derby blades, rightly so if they are thinking of Derby Extra (Green), though there are worst blades and the Greens are still more than useable.
The problem is, there are more than just the one most are familiar with, Derby Extra (Green), that their other blades gets a pass. And for the most part, I think much to the shaver’s loss.
Derby USTAs were prior to this, was the best buy for me, YMMV, as I thought them having almost as good an edge while being as smooth a blade as their much pricier Premium Blades, however with the new Derby Extra (Blue) I have changed my mind.
I managed to find some blues to try and they are relatively cheap (USD$13 (SG$16.90) for 200s here) and got a tuck to try.
I was blown away with how smooth and sharp the blade is on my first shave. Using my “Defacto Razor” when I want to test a blade, my Zero Zero Tatara configuration, I’d easily put that first shave with this blade in the same ball park as if I used a Nacet or Super Iridium and definitely blows Feathers out of the water with how smooth the shave felt.
Will need to test out more but my first impression with the blade is, this is a definite winner. Now only time will tell if they have any longevity and if they will perform in other razors.
As for the shave itself, today is definitely a treat for the nose. Proraso’s Wood and Spice smells fantastic, and paired with an old (1998) EDT release by Cartier, Declaration with its Bitter and Sweet Orange, Ginger and Cardamom, Iris and Jasmine, Cedar and Vetiver (there are more notes in the accord of course, but these are the ones that popped out at me) I’m smelling fantastic.
Now to enjoy the off day and catch up on video games and stuff.