A blast from the past

Today’s shave was very enjoyable ! I went with a floral fougère today, made a few years back; from none other than Soap Commander “Renewal”.Being this soap has a few years on it the bouquet has changed a little bit, in my opinion I like it now. The reason being is the bottom notes of oak moss and Lavender are more prominent, and the “floral” scents are present, but they do not overpower the “fougère” base. This is not a review as much as a revisit of a great LE soap. I felt that the lather was exceptional, as all of Soap Commander’s products are in this department. Totally lush, protective, purely slick, and not a worry at all anywhere during the 3 pass shave that led to a superb shave. As they say sometimes things get better with age, and “Renewal” has aged very nicely indeed.

Shave on my friends, and have a great weekend !

Razor: Merkur Progress adjustable (4)

Blade: BIC Chrome Platinum (1)

Brush: Omega Pura Setolla Ovangkol wood

Soap: Soap Commander “Renewal”

Post Shave: Thayer’s Lavender Witch Hazel & Soap Commander “Renewal” balm

Fragrance: JPG “Le Male”

Petal Pushing like New!

As I look through my shave gear for the days start, I’m drawn to a familiar scent unidimensional and soft. Long before PAA we had Petal Pushers Fancies Run by Fran Towle and Douglas Smythe. I still have a bit of that Petal Pushers Fancies “Sandalwood”; today I am going to use it ! I still feel it’s one of the best Sandalwood scents made by artisan hands. So I grab my WSP 2-band Monarch , start soaking my brush, and anxiously wait for what I knew would be a great shave.

WSP 2-band Superfine Monarch

While I am on this line of thought, I said to myself, why not keep everything uniform, and most of all enjoyable. So I grab my Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Prismatic which is a modern take on the vintage Kirby razor made by Leresche. I absolutely love this razors performance. The angle of the blade even while fully tightened, leaves a true open blade experience, while the continuous solid guard bar is a rest or, a pivot to find the proper angle of attack. This razor also has perpendicular grooves on the top cap as all Kirby vintage razor have, that serve either as an indicator of proper angle, as all lather and hair will be gathered if the angle is correct; if you leave behind lather, and it smears around that indicates the blade is at the incorrect angle. I also find it helps those of us who “buff” their shave, as it moves the lather quite effectively. I must also mention as well the PAA DOC or, Double open comb. I did not use this today, but for those who really love to buff their shaves, that is your razor of choice. Both of these razors do not have any equal and are only available from Phoenix Artisan

The PAA Prismatic

The PAA DOC

The shave was finished with what is possibly my favorite Sandalwood aftershave lotion by Fine Accoutrements “Santal Absolut. This is a replica of the original “Art of Shaving” Sandalwood which is not only an amazing scent, but can be used as an all day fragrance. The lotion screams that you love Sandalwood, and has no apologies in its performance.

Fine “Santal Absolut”

What can I say it was so enjoyable to use everything I’ve written about. If all shaves could be like this I’d be in Wet Shaving Heaven. I hope everyone has had a great weekend, and as always shave on.

What is your Shaving Heaven ? Be sure to leave a comment below.

SOTD: May 6th, 2019

What an awesome shave today ! I absolutely love Extrò products. Today I used the famous “Pirata”. Pirata is a pretty complex aroma that opens very green with notes of Rose and Bergamot but leads into a more spice like aroma with hints of light wood.

The Third-Issard 5/8 Spartacus is a no hassle great everyday shaver. I really like their semi-new C135 steel as it takes, and holds an edge like a champ. Theirs-Issard for me is the best straights before you get into custom and artisan made blades. This is just my opinion, i have many other shelf brands that are also great straight razors.

Lastly the 2016 Wet Shaver Review Aluminati by EnvyShave just kills most other brushes. With a great Silvertip Badger knot that holds ample water and lather. Combine that with the ergonomic handle and laser etching, it’s a treat to use every time. For those that also have it, you know exactly what I mean.

So May 6th has turned out to be another great shave both in a fulfilled type of way as well as simply a BBS with some of my favorite hardware and software.

Happy shaves my friends !

https://www.extrocosmesi.it

https://shavenation.com/products/thiers-issard-spartacus-straight-razor-6-8-blade-ebony-handle

http://envyshave.com

Enjoy these links, there are lots of great gear on all these links.

Alpha Brush & Shaving Co. – Announcement.

Alpha Brush & Shaving Co. are proud to announce that we have formed a strategic partnership with The Man Of Siam Thailand (Man of Siam)Company. Alpha are producing world class leading shaving brushes that will be of heirloom quality.

Our online store will be opening on June 30, 2019, and we will be shipping worldwide at the cheapest rates around. We look forward to expanding our product lines prior to launch, and will post images and information over the next month. Stay tuned.

The range will have handles made of premium materials such as bronze, Titanium, Architectural grade Aluminium and more. The shaving brush knots in our premium brushes have been sourced from a leading European supplier and are of absolute premium quality.

We will also be supplying world class leading straight razors, a definitive cut above the rest. We will also be selling premium grade shaving soaps that will soon become a part of many of your collections. We look forward to welcoming you to Alpha.

To sign up for our opening specials and become an Alpha member, just follow the link below. For serious wet shavers join the Alpha Evolution. It will be a paradigm shift in your daily shave.

To sign up just go to:

https://www.alphashaving.com

I am having a giveaway over on Instagram – look at this link:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvtWRDonfN4/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

It is giveaway time!! Simply share this photo and tag 5 (five) of your friends and add the hashtags:

#alphashaving #alphagiveaway #alphabrush #alphat400

The lucky winner will get one of my new 1-piece Rubberset 400 tribute brushes with a nice YAQI synthetic knot – what are you waiting for!! Please also take a moment to register at my new website for opening day discounts and offers:

http://www.alphashaving.com

Alpha Shaving
#T400 #AlphaT400 #ShaveOfTheDay #sotd #classicshave #wetshave #wetshaving #shavelikeaman #shavingbrush #shavelikeagentleman #manlypursuits #alphashavingsystem #alphashaving #T400 #AlphaT400brush

Classic Proraso Red

prorasoProraso Red is a well known classic shaving soap. The red version of the soap is often described as one of the best pure sandalwood scents of any shaving soap. I have been using Proraso Red for several months now in my regular rotation and have gotten a good familiarity with it’s characteristics.  Over the cold winter months and for my daily shave I have to say that I have enjoyed the experience.  So let’s get into some details.

Lather

My first attempts at lathering the soap were a bit frustrating.  I found it to be a bit frothy with many bubbles.  But after about 4 or 5 brush loads and whipping in the bowl, I was able to get it to a good working yogurt like consistency although with some bubbles remaining.  But I will say that the frothiness has seemed to dissipate over time as I have gotten deeper into the container.  This is not a thirsty soap and does much better if I try to wring out as much water from my boar brush as possible before I start loading.

Scent

It is fairly close to the pure sandalwood scent that you might be used to if you are familiar with sandalwood oil or incense.  I do use Australian Sandalwood oil on my hair on occasion when it is very dry outside in the winter so I have some familiarity with the scent.  But if you are not familiar with Sandalwood, I would describe the Proraso scent as a mild, somewhat medicated and woodsy smell.  You might say sweet but I would say more woodsy than sweet.

Performance

The cushioning and slickness is average.  But I would say the lather tends to be good at cushioning as long as you don’t use too much water (which can be easy to do).  The post shave feel is quite good and post shave scent is very mild.

Economy

What I mean by economy is how long the soap lasts and how much soap you get for the price.  On this parameter, Proraso Red is quite excellent and one of the best buys of any  shaving soap.  5.2 ounces for $10 is pretty much unparalleled for a good shaving soap.  But even better is that this soap lasts a long time.  Even with my typical 4 to 5 brush loads to create the amount of lather in the bowl which I prefer, those loads seem to barely dent the container.  If you want to enjoy a wet shave with a good quality soap that will last a long time and not empty your wallet, Proraso Red has to be one of your considerations.

Conclusion

Proraso Red is a good soap.  Perhaps the lather is not on the same level as many of the well known artisan brands but it is good enough for daily use and I have yet to find a sandalwood scented shaving soap that is as natural and having the essence of sandalwood that Proraso Red has.  And for the price it is difficult to find something better.

Misc.

Scheermonnik Soek – a soap well worth trying. Review and SOTD 27th March 2019

Ladies & Gents,

Today I used a soap I have had for a while and never used – too scared that I would not like it. I originally bought three of the Scheermonnik range, Soek, Delftes Donderslag and Delfts Wit. I have used all of them except the Soek. Today was the day. The fragrance notes on the Scheermonnik website state:

“A blend of myrrh and orange with middle notes of ginger, cinnamon and cloves. It is then rounded out with caraway seed and vanilla to give it a warm, soothing feeling. This scent is a fine balance of spice, warmth and sweetness.”

I think it was the cinnamon that kept putting me off using it as I am not a fan of the scent or flavour of cinnamon in large amounts – it can tend to be overpowering. Think shopping mall and the cloying smell of a Cinnabbon baking shop – tooooo much.

So while I bloomed the soap, it is a little hard to use without a little bloom water on top for a few minutes, I readied my other shave gear. Here is the line up

  • Razor: Gillette Tech. with Feather blade on shave #1
  • Bowl: Van Yulay Black Resin 5″ Bowl
  • Brush: Alpha T-400 in two tone red/silver with a long boar knot

I soaked the brush for 5 minutes in a nice bowl of plain tap water then I was ready to start. A new lathering technique today from mantic59 – HERE Look at the results!!

Lathering was easy and before long I was looking like Santa Claus – the soap was a super latherer and a super slick result. As you can see I has such a massive load of cream it was easily enough for 6 passes or more, of course I only did a three pass. Uneventful shave but that fragrance – I get the Orange and myrrh and a nice clove hit but the cinnamon is a background note only. It was lovey and I can only describe the smell as that of a nice spiced bun (think Hot Cross Bun)

Note: Scheermonnik soaps were on the verge of being lost to shave-world as the original guy was shuttering production. This would have been awful as they are top class soaps and top class fragrances. Luckily he handed his soaps and business to a new owner who has not only continued to supply the original 4 frags but also introduced a scentless soap called “Puur” with no perfume. Perfect for those of us with allergies or sensitive skin.

I need to complete my collection by buying a 1778 beau Brummell and a Puur. if you have not got a Scheermonnik in your den – buy one now. You won’t regret it.

Here are the rest of today’s shave photos for your viewing pleasure and for those of us who missed the last article about Jayaruh brushes here is a LINK to his brush adoption page. This is the original ARTICLE.

 

Shave Photos!!

Jayaruh Brushes and how to get one!!

Click HERE to adopt a Jayaruh Brush

I am still in Mexico on a business trip and it is a national holiday today – the birthday of Benito Juárez – it is not time for a history lesson so if you want to know more then follow the link.

The line up:

  • Soap – Crows Nest Murky Waters
  • Razor – Merkur Futur
  • Brush – Jayaruh #215

Today’s shave was nice apart from me cutting myself again… but that is not the point of the post. The lather was super, the bowl was great and the blade cut me – shave over!! The point of this post is to introduce to a wider audience the brushes made by Jim Roe, otherwise known as Jayaruh on The Shave Den forum.

I came across Jayaruh by chance. You know that in forums people have signatures and some of them have clubs – ie sub-groupings of like minded people who have the same taste in brushes, or soaps or whatever – for example The Chub Club. I began to notice a few people had one called the Jayaruh Owners Club – intrigued, I started to look up this mysterious Jayaruh. It seems his brushes were sought after. I MUST have one and become a member I thought… so what I did was a bit naughty. I found Jayaruh and contacted Jim in a PM. I asked him about his brushes, I wanted a Rubberset 400 style if possible, with a boar knot. He had just the brush – Jararuh #215. So behold, JR #215 fitted with a lovely Omega 10098 boar knot. Tt is beautifully turned by hand in some exotic wood [Bocote] or other and an aluminium ferrule is threaded on to the handle. The boar knot is aces.

I did not pay for my brush – I swapped him for an Alpha T-400!! – he’s happy, I’m happy!!

If you don’t have a Jayaruh brush then you need one. Visit his blog at THIS SPOT and contact him about “adopting” one of his brushes. There is even a worldwide Google Map HERE to show you where the brushes are currently living!! You might see mine in Hong Kong has a special icon – because I made the map for him and showed him how to update it dynamically

Jim is a great guy and an easy bloke to deal with – come on, what are you waiting for – lets get a Jayaruh brush on every continent!!

 

Here are the rest of the shave pics from today

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Simple Saturday SOTD – a sharp blade, a nice brush and a super cream

Many of the reviews I have done over the time since I started wet shaving have been of high end soaps and creams. That’s just the way it tends to be – I mean why not show off your best right? A lot of us forget that out there in the wet shaving wild there are dozens if not hundreds of everyday soaps and creams that are priced from less than a dollar to the mid twenties and all points in between. One such soap I used today – Musgo Real.

Now Musgo Real is, in my opinion, worthy of a place in everyone’s shave chit. Mugso Real is a light very pale green cream soap from Portugal – you can find it HERE.

The fragrance is what I can only describe as manly, barbershop, masculine and just nice. Soapy – yes. The fragrance notes on their website simply says “Woody and Oriental” but to me it is much more complex than that – yes those notes are there and can be detected but that is behind the soapy smell – the soapy smell of a laundry day with your Mum, the scent of a freshly dried cotton bed sheet that has been washed by that same Mum and then dried in the glowing sunlight of a summers day – y’getting it?

From the website:

“Musgo Real was first launched in the 1930s, and it remains a classic, found in Portuguese houses over several generations.

The brand retains its masculine aesthetic, while the products, offered in four different fragrances, have kept their rich formula.

Each of its lines are blended with lanolin, glycerin, shea butter and walnut oil to ensure a moisturizing, yet close shave. The range includes soaps, shaving cream or soap, aftershave, pre-shave oil and colognes.”

Luxury masculine aesthetic products with vintage inspiration!!

The rest of my stuff for today was:

  • Merkur Futur
  • Feather Blade on shave #1
  • Van Yulay black resin bowl
  • Future Chubby Prototype in black with a 28mm silver tip badger

Musgo Performance

I squeezed out a teaspoon full of the cream into my bowl. The badger knot had been soaking for ten minutes whilst I showered so I started lathering up. Take a look at the results – click on a photo for a closer look! This is after less than 2 minutes twirling…

I completed a three pass with plenty of lather to spare.I cut my nose, just I was feeling smug the Feather cut me. Styptic.

What can I say, if you don’t have Musgo then you NEED to buy some. My tube has a darker green colour and the current tube colour is a lighter shade but it is the same great soap.

And for those that like photos – here are the rest of the photos from today’s shave

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Today it is all about the brush – SOTD 5/March/2019

Hi,

as you all know I am also a brush maker/vendor [Alpha Brush & Shaving Company]. I have been working on a new brush for a few weeks and now it is coming to fruition and I want to tell you all about it. More later but first the SOTD:

  • Brush – Alpha Future Chubby 3D Printed in black nylon
  • Knot – 28mm silver tip badger bulb
  • Razor – Drew Dick Damascus 1/4 hollow
  • Bowl – Van Yulay black resin
  • Soap – The Holy Black/Caswell-Massey Regents Soap

The shave was awesome, the Holy Black soap performed like a trooper and produced a nice thick, Neroli/barber [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neroli] shop scented, lather with plenty for 3 passes. The Drew Dick razor – what can I say – superb, this is my second time using this Damascus steel quarter hollow blade and boy is it sharp. I had prepped with 3P and waited ten minutes for the brush to soak, a small scoop of soap, about a teaspoon full, also blooming in my bowl.

The Razor in Detail

The razor is one I ordered from Drew Dick last year and finally got my hands on it in the summer (UK summer – JULY) as I get stuff mailed to my relatives home in the UK to save postage and pick it up when I go to visit – it is like Christmas every time… It is a Damascus 8/8″ blade with a very slight smile. It is quarter hollow and has black horn scales and as you can see it is a Damascus blade – did I mention DAMASCUS? I think it is something like 30 layers – anyway handsome or what? It is wicked sharp. I have Three Drew Dick razors now and I love them all.

The Bowl – 5″ Van Yulay Black Resin

Yes it is a distinctive Van Yulay bowl. I bought two Van Yulay bowls last year, one light blue and one black. I misplaced the black one and only found it a couple of weeks back so here it is on show for (maybe?) the first time. Anyway it looks great and works great too. I don’t know the manufacturing process but to me it seems it is pressed from some sort of resin and it pretty much renders it unbreakable although I have not done any specific drop testing, and I won’t. The texture is like honey comb and it helps whip up a great lather in no time. The “comb’ also retains a little water. One thing that it does that does not please me though is that the soap tends to get stuck down inside the pattern so I have to mash the brush to get it out and even when the shave is completed I still see some unused soap in those dimples. The bowl is big enough, grippy and I like it apart from I use too much soap. For creams it is a dream!!

The Soap – The Holy Black/Caswell-Massey Regents Soap

From THB site:

“This shaving soap is made in our classic hot-process formula and made with only the purest essential oils and absolutes that we could source. A Rosemary top note is surprisingly mild while adding a eucalyptic (sic) element to this otherwise strictly citrus fragrance. Heavy on the Neroli oil and Bitter Orange Absolute, the floral orange notes are the obvious stars of the show here. Lemon and Sweet Orange oils balance out the bitterness of the Neroli and Bergamot and lend a fresh but not cloying aspect to this simple yet elegant offering. Due to the low flash point of the essential oils used in this soap it had to be made in very small batches at low temperatures, although highly labor intensive, we think this soap is worth every minute of work that went into it.”

All those fancy words mean something to a perfumer – I just love this soap – it lathers well, is stable and slick and smells great. Nothing more to say!!

Now – THE BRUSH – Future Rubberset 400 Inspired Chubby

This brush is inspired by, among others, Rubberset 400, Merit 99-x series and the Charcoal Goods rendition of a Rubberset 400, I noticed he has done a nice rendering of a futuristic looking chubby and I wanted to make something similar. I did email him on the subject of that brush a while back and even asked for his drawings (hee hee, he did not give them..) but he did say that “You are certainly welcome to pursue a similar design as there is no way to get a design patent or anything like that on a clone of an existing product. Good luck and would like to see what you come up with.” So I fired up my CAD software (I use Autodesk Fusion360 if anyone is interested) and got to work. I made something that was not quite right looking and then lost interest after a few weeks as I was not getting the results I wanted, instead concentrating on my redesigns for the T-400 and the Chubberset and some other new brush projects. That was until two weeks ago when I was chatting on WhatsApp to a customer in Australia – no names, no pack drill. He was looking for a chubby design so I showed him a couple of designs I was working on including this one – he helped me over the course of two days make refinements to the shape, the degree of chubbiness and the curvature until it was in a place that I really liked – I mean the brush looked great on paper and the 3D renders looked superb too.

So – bottom line is I had a design that I liked and the got it 3D printed at a local professional print works. Here is the result, with a beautiful 28mm silver tipped knot fitted. It is a lather beast…

I am having a very limited number of these made, right now, in 3D nylon, Titanium and Bronze – this is not the place to sell stuff but you know where I am. I will also have an aluminium (Spelling of Aluminium), cost effective, version in the near future. The bore is 29mm, height 65mm and max width 43mm. I have the handle fully bored out to keep the weight down – in the 3D printed ones I weighted it with some coins and filled the void with hot glue – the metal versions will also be fully bored out to keep the weight down, especially with the bronze ones, and I can then weight the handles to suit and I intend to fill the void with resin.

Finally – here are some renders of my bronze version!! 10 are being made – 6 are sold already.

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