Sweet & Savory

stirling

Today’s Equipment:

There’s not much that can make a quiet Saturday morning better than a great shave. Yesterday was my face’s weekly day off, so I was especially looking forward to this morning’s shave. While debating on which razor & blade combination to use, I realized this would be a perfect day to break out one of my straights. No where I need to be at any specific time, so I can take my time with prep and really focus on the shave.

Today’s preparations consisted of a few cups of strong coffee, a hot shower, then giving the blade about 20 passes on each side of the strop.

This is one of my favorite scents from Stirling. This soap does one thing (almond, obviously) and does it well. When you open the canister, you’re hit with the strong scent of almond extract, which in this case reminds me of Disaronno amaretto. I suppose that makes sense, as that is an almond liqueur. One of my pet peeves, along with “I could care less”, is when someone describes this scent as cherry. There are no cherries in this soap, nor are there cherries in Cella. It is actually almond that you smell in wild-cherry flavoring, which is why cherry candy tastes nothing like actual cherries. With that said, this soap smells amazing. It has a very warm sweetness that makes me love it on a cold morning. The performance is excellent. There is always plenty of cushion with any Stirling soap. When you get the water dialed in, it is in a league with Barrister & Mann white label.

The shave itself was quite nice. I’ve only used this razor a handful of times, so it is still almost perfectly honed. Once I hit the sweet spot with the water, the razor simply glided across my face taking a few days of growth with it. I did my usual three passes and only needed to touch up one spot along my right jaw line. I wouldn’t have needed to touch-up at all if I could find the courage to go left-handed on that area, but I just can’t bring myself to try.

I finished this up with Fine L’Orange Noir, and I can never come up with a good reason why I don’t use this scent more often. Like all Fine aftershaves, this one has plenty of menthol to cool and refresh. Once that dissipates, you’re left with a very warm orange scent with some very subtle spice notes.

When I use my straight razors, I usually judge the shave by asking myself, if I had paid for this shave at a barber shop, would I be happy with the results? Even with the minor issue along my jawline, I would’ve been quite content to pay for this shave. Also, I will be using this scent combination a lot more in the future, and you should give it a shot as well.

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