Rainy Weekend Shave


Here in Nashville, it seems like it has done nothing but rain for the last week. After one particularly bad storm last week that left many neighbors with downed trees, but left our yard more or less in tact, I thought we had dodged the bullet. I was wrong. With the ground completely saturated, a tree in the backyard had nothing to support it, and came down on top of the shed. I decided that I needed something to make the weekend a little better after that, so I decided to take my new razor for its first shave.

I have been wanting the gold Merkur Futur razor for some time now, but I am having a hard time justifying over $100 on a razor. When I saw Maggard’s had the Ming Shi for $12.99, I had to give it a shot. When I opened the box, the first thing I noticed was the heft. This razor weighs more than I expected a $12.99 razor to weigh. The next thing I noticed was the blade gap. It seems like this is more aggressive than the old Gillette adjustable razors. However, I didn’t measure them, so I can’t say for sure.

The soap lathered wonderfully, as is my experience with Shannon’s Soaps. I probably loaded a little too much soap in the brush, but I was rewarded with well over three passes worth of thick slippery lather. The scent of this soap was perfect for this rainy weekend. It green, earthy, and mossy. I am always worried that the earthy scents will smell musty like a damp basement. The vetiver notes in this soap give it a fresh crispness that is quite refreshing.

The razor was quite surprising. I took it to my left cheek/sideburn area and didn’t feel any whiskers being cut. Nor did I hear anything from the razor. I assumed I had the angle wrong, as this blade gap is a bit different from my other razors. However, the razor took off most of my three days of growth like it was nothing. I continued the shave and after three passes was left BBS with nothing even resembling irritation.

I finished up with the Barrister and Mann Reserve Classic splash. This complimented the scent of the soap quite well. Clean, fresh, and cooling but not overpowering at all. My face felt clean and invigorated when I was finished shaving.

This was na A+ shave. I highly recommend this razor. For $12.99, you can’t go wrong.

Its an optimistic day!


I couldn’t wait to shave this morning. The scent of this soap is quite interesting. The pear, plum, and bergamot come together to make a sweet, crisp, warm, well-rounded scent. The plum scent is warm and nice while it is still a bit chilly in the mornings. The pear and bergamot make for a fresh crisp scent that is nice when the sun comes out and the day gets nice and warm. Soap Commander has the seasonal scents figured out!

I am in the process of packing to move, so I only have three brushes at my disposal. I have one badger, one boar, and one synthetic. I really wanted to use one of my dense Simpson badger brushes, but no way was I going to wait until the boxes are unpacked, so I reached for my synthetic brush. It performed quite well. I ran it under hot tap water until it was thoroughly wet then loaded until there was sufficient soap in the brush. Then I proceeded to face lather. I kept adding a few drops of hot water as I worked the brush on my face. After a few minutes there was more than enough lather for a great shave.

Aside from the scent, this soap performs wonderfully. It is very slick, yet is quite protective. I am looking forward to using this soap to take several days of growth off with a straight razor. It seems like the artisan soap makers today are at their best, and the Seiberts are at the top of that list!

I grabbed an Astra blade this morning to make up for a few shaves with a less-than-stellar blade. This razor with the Astra blade was great. There was no tugging at all. I made sure to use no pressure and really take my time with this shave. This patience was rewarded by a lot of auditory feedback from the razor. I had forgotten how much I enjoy that sound.

I finished this shave with a rinse of warm water, a cold towel, all followed by Fine Lavender Pour Homme. I was in the mood for something floral and cold. It was a coin toss between the Fine or Aqua Velva. My only complaint is that Soap Commander doesn’t make an alcohol-based aftershave splash. I am not the biggest fan of balms. I guess I can’t have everything, though.

A+ shave today! If you have the opportunity give this soap (or any Soap Commander soap) a whirl. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Spring has arrived!


Here in Nashville it feels like spring is finally upon us. The sun is shining and it is quite warm in the afternoons. However, it is still quite crisp in the mornings. It seems like this is the perfect time to give the Rhapsody a go.

This was my first foray into brush restoration, as evidenced by the glue visible at the bottom of the knot. Even with a little epoxy showing, this brush performs quite well. It holds a lot of lather and isn’t stingy with it. Luckily, I’ve gotten a little better with my knot-setting skills.

This was the second shave with this blade, and I don’t think I will buying any more of them. It tugged quite a bit and had a lot of “blade feel” on my face. I am not a fan of feeling each hair being cut. If that’s your thing, give the SuperMax Platinum a go.

The shave was salvaged by the soap and aftershave. I got this soap early last year, so I am not sure if it is the “glissant” base or the older base. Either way, the performance is as expected from Barrister and Mann. It takes a little more water than you’d expect, but it explodes with a ton of very slick, rich lather. I shudder. to think of what this shave would’ve been with a lesser lather.

The scent of Rhapsody is essentially as described. Immediately it hits you with the pear notes and floral scents. Those give way to something that strikes me as a spiced talcum powder. It is almost a barbershop scent finish. Almost. Somehow this soap brings together flowers and fruit in a way that is surprisingly masculine.

I’m always pleased with the finish of B&M aftershaves. There’s plenty of bite that dissipates quickly, and the scent sticks around most of the day.

In spite of a bad blade experience, this was still a good shave. I ended up just shy of BBS and love the scent. This shave gets a solid “B” grade. Above average, good in a lot of aspects, but still some room for improvement.


I have had this soap for almost a year, and when I first bought it, I was very disappointed. The scent was terrible. It smelled nothing like the description. It lived in my soap storage (A shoe organizer on the back on of my bathroom door), for several months before I tried using it. It lathered fine, but I could not get over the scent. A few months after the initial use I gave it another shot. This is a very soft soap (Dr. Jon has since changed the formula and remedied this) and after being on its side for so long, most of the soap had shifted to one side of the container. I wasn’t a fan of this, so I decided to use it exclusively for a few weeks just to clear it out of my collection. Something interesting happened in the course of those few weeks. The scent never changed, but it began to grow on me. The description says it is floral and woody, but I get none of these notes. I get a musky, nutty, almost peanut butter scent. This soap is a great performer. I have to be careful when using a large boar brush because the density of this soap makes it easy to over-load. Once several drops of water were added to the mix, it produced a lot of thick lather. It isn’t quite as slick as Barrister & Mann soaps, but it is no slouch in that department.

The most interesting thing about today’s shave was the blade. This was the 6th shave on this blade, and I had expected some tugging or nicks. I had none of that today. This shave (from the blade perspective) was just as good as the first with this blade. While this blade isn’t quite as sharp as Feather or as smooth as Ladas, it hasn’t fallen off. I am curious how many shaves I can get out of this thing. It probably helps that the Merkur bakelite isn’t terribly aggressive.

This shave was great right until the end. I was very disappointed in this aftershave. This was my first use, and I had some high expectations. The other Pitralon splashes I have are great. I was expecting something spicy with a menthol punch. However, this splash didn’t have much scent other than something medicinal. Also, the menthol was all but non-existent. The only bonus is that the scent did not last long at all.

Overall this was a decent shave, carried by the soap and hardware. I think it’ll be quite some time before I reach for this aftershave again.

St. Patrick’s Day Shave!

St. Paddy's

I am a little late getting this festive shave posted, but as the great Blanche Devereaux said, better late than pregnant.

This razor was one of the first razors I bought on eBay. Even though I have had it for a few years, I have probably only used it three or four times. I’m not sure why, as it is a great shaver. I really like the ball-end razors. It has a decent amount of weight to it, but it is balanced quite nicely. It isn’t terribly aggressive, either. I’d venture a guess and say this particular razor is about as aggressive as a Gillette adjustable on about “4”.

This soap is a very nice performer. It loaded nicely in the large knot. I face-lathered, and added about a teaspoon of water throughout the process. The resulting lather was plentiful, slick, and slippery! If I hadn’t read the ingredient list, I would’ve thought surely there was tallow in this soap. I’ve had similar experiences with other Crown King soaps. They have definitely figured out their vegan soap recipe.

The scent of this soap and aftershave are very interesting. I had never smelled the Green Irish Tweed scent by Creed that this is based on, so I can’t say if it is a good match or not. I can say, however, that this is a great scent. It definitely fits the”green” of March and St. Patrick’s Day. It smells slightly woody. The main scent here is of plants starting to bud. It’s fougere, but a fresher “new” version. If the classic fougere scent is summer, than Tweed is early spring. One thing that I liked was the lack of earthy musty notes. Everything about this scent is fresh and new.

When I first applied the aftershave, I was disappointed. Even though the scent is exactly the same as the soap, it isn’t as strong as I had hoped it would be. However, what the aftershave scent lacks in punch, it more than makes up for with its staying power. Several hours after applying, I was still catching whiffs of this. The performance of this splash is top-notch. It starts with a very slight sting (which I enjoy) that gives way to a refreshing cooling sensation. Once it dried, my skin felt toned and soft. Exactly what I look for to finish off a nice shave.

This was a great way to start my St. Patrick’s Day! If you have a chance to grab any of the PAA seasonal offerings, I highly recommend you do.


This soap and balm arrived in my mailbox yesterday, and since I am a sucker for a barbershop scent, I had to give these a try ASAP.

I loaded the brush for approximately thirty seconds, added about a half teaspoon of hot tap water then proceeded to face lather. As I expected, I was rewarded with an excessive amount of slick, protective lather. The scent of this soap is great! I can’t pick out any of the individual notes that are listed on Soap Commander’s website, but they come together spectacularly. It is everything I look for in a “barbershop” scent. It smells powdery and clean, a touch of spice that gives some warmth, while still being masculine. Even though it has all the characteristics of the classic barbershop scents like Clubman or Aqua Velva, it is different enough that I don’t feel like its a ripoff of any of those scents.

This was the second shave on this blade, and it was even better than the first. I had the razor set at “3”, which is a little more mild than I usually go, but with this blade, it was very smooth. There was no tugging at all, which surprised me for a 15¢ blade. I did three passes and a few touch-ups. Each pass was as good as the first. I can’t wait to see how this blade fares over the rest of the week.

I’m not a big fan of balms, but I picked this one up since my curiosity for the scent was stronger than my preference for a splash. I love the sting and refreshing cold of an alcohol based splash. The menthol in this balm makes up for the lack of sting. It was cold and refreshing. The menthol dissipated quickly and I was left with a moisturized face that smelled just like the soap. I expected my face to feel greasy and heavy after applying the balm, but that was not the case at all. I will have to keep Soap Commander balms in mind in the winter when the furnace has me dried out and itchy. My only complaint about the balm is that the scent doesn’t last quite as long as I would like. It’s been four hours, and even though the face-feel is fantastic, the scent is all but gone.



Last night, while trying to decide what software to use this morning, I spied this soap and realized I haven’t used it in almost a year. I thought today would be a good day to give it another go.

I rinsed the brush with hot water for a few seconds, gave it a healthy shake, then loaded for about 90 seconds. Then I bowl-lathered, which I rarely do. I used a cheap plastic salsa bowl to make the lather this morning, and I was pleasantly rewarded with the scent of this soap filling the bathroom. This is a very pleasant-smelling soap. It is floral, yet masculine, with the herbal notes complimenting the floral nicely. The lather was like every other Razorock soap I have used. It isn’t the slickest, but it was quite thick and had plenty of cushion. Razorock soaps are usually half the price of most others, so I can deal with a little less slickness. My only major complaint about the, is the scent strength. It seems like there is a lot of variation from batch to batch. I have some Razorback soaps where the scent is quite strong, and then some like the Medico Delle Peste where the scent is great, but doesn’t quite jump out like I would like.

No matter how many aftershaves I acquire, the classic drugstore splashes will always have a special place in my heart. The simple “barbershop” scents always smell great, and the performance is great despite the low price. The lavender in the Aqua Velva played very nicely with the floral scent of the soap. I really enjoyed the menthol as we are starting to warm up a bit here in Nashville. Once it dried, I was left feeling cool, refreshed, and quite soft. I love the lingering powdery scent of this splash. My only complaint is the shape of the mouth of the bottle. No matter how I attempt to pour it, some always runs down the bottle and leaves a blue spot on the counter.

Overall this was a solid A- shave. If you know someone who is wanting to start wet shaving, I would suggest giving them a  Razorock soap. They are very cheaply priced, they offer great scents, and they create loads of lather quite readily. A new wet shaver can tell without much investment if it is something they want to continue doing.