Spring has arrived!

Rhapsody

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.

VZLRBMd

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.

schonor

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.

 

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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.

Another Shannon in my life…

silk-pajamas

Last week, I discovered a long-abandoned package of Feather carbon-steel double-edge blades in a dusty drawer at work. Curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to take one home and give it a spin on my next shave.

Even though I had over three days of growth, my prep today was minimal. A quick rinse with hot water in the shower, and I was ready to go. While my brush was soaking in some hot water to warm up, I loaded the blade into the razor. I was surprised to see that these blades are a very odd iridescent blue-green color.

Once the blade was in the razor, I shook the water from the brush and loaded it for approximately thirty seconds. While loading, I was somewhat caught off guard by the scent of this soap. The scent only became better while face lathering. Silk pajamas is a very nice name for this scent. It is very much like a floral barbershop scent. The rose notes soften and round out the scent profile in a way that sweetens it somewhat but keeping it masculine.

The performance of this soap is exactly what I expected based on my experience with Shannon’s Soaps barbershop scent. It is very slick with plenty of cushion. I was also happy with how the blade performed. It was extremely sharp, which I had expected from Feather, and from a blade intended to cut extremely thin slices of frozen tissue. Though, the blade was very sharp, it wasn’t nearly as smooth as the Feather blades intended for shaving. Since this isn’t a stainless blade, I tossed it for fear of rust.

I had forgotten how loud this razor can be. It is very nice to get that sound of the blade cutting through whiskers when you get the angle just right. It was so loud that my son asked what the noise was. If you like aural feedback from your razors, give this one a shot.

Pitralon Pure is quite an interesting scent for an aftershave. I can’t do it justice (too complex for me to describe),  so I will simply say that it is a blend of wood & fruit notes that fade into some floral notes. It is a great scent, but I think the next time I use this soap, I will opt for Fine Platinum.

This was a solid “A” shave this morning. Great performance out of the soap, no cuts, etc. I was left BBS and smelling nice. What a way to start my final week at my job!

February 6, 2017

sotd

Last Friday, I gave two-weeks notice to my employer. As a result, I was not motivated to get moving this morning. I thought a nice shave might kick things into gear, so I reached for some gear that I have not ever used before. I was rewarded with an excellent shave.

This razor was picked up on eBay, and to my surprise, did not need any major work. All I had to do was give it a quick scrub with hot soapy water, and it was ready to go. The blade gap is true, and the adjustor moves as it should, and the doors open and close smoothly.

Catie’s Bubbles is the star of this shave. This soap created an amazing lather. I loaded for about 45 seconds, then added about a half-teaspoon of water to the loaded brush. Face lathering gave me a very thick lather. The lather was very slick; I would say it is as slick as Stirling soap. Aside from the performance of the soap, this scent is amazing! It lists as: sweet tobacco, vanilla, oak, and nutmeg. These scents come together, and are much more than just the sum of their contributions. This scent is a very warm and woody, yet surprisingly sweet scent. On Catie’s Bubbles website, they claim that this is the 2016 fall scent, but I think this is great for these wet winter mornings. Depending on the aftershave pairing, this could also play well on a wet spring day.

The aftershave is very interesting. Rosemary forward, and very herbal, it may not have been the best choice to pair with this soap. Luckily, the scent dissipated quickly, and I was left with a very smooth, soft, and conditioned face. The face-feel of this aftershave is great. It didn’t dry my skin out at all. I will definitely be picking up a full-size bottle of this, but I will use it with a more herbal and less sweet smelling soap.

Overall this was an amazing shave. One of these days, I’m going to have to write about a bad shave, as it seems this is only dedicated to the stellar shaves. If you’re in the market for a new soap, give Catie’s Bubbles a try. They have a ton of great scents to choose from, and their performance is as good as any soap out there.