More reviews to come…

In the next weeks I’m going to review a bunch of Stirling Soaps (see picture) as well as the only remaining soap to try from my honeymoon wet-shaving shopping (October 2016), that is, Local Gent. Shaving Company – Tobacco Lounge. If you’re asking why did I wait 2 years to try it, well… I don’t know! πŸ™‚ Probably the scent from the puck is not strong and inviting enough, but…who knows? Maybe I’ll be proved wrong πŸ™‚

The Stirling bunch includes some of the most loved scents in the whole range, like Ozark Mountain and Stirling Gentleman, while Ben Franklin looks like an outsider which could be a nice surprise to me. We’ll see! πŸ™‚

SOTD 6 November 2018 – Gillette Tech and TOBS Avocado – Van Yulay Bowl First Use

I know I am late posting this, but just did not have time to upload the photos to my Mac and so on. So here it is…

  • Lather – TOBS Avocado
  • Prep – 3P
  • Razor – Gillette Tech
  • Blade – Feather
  • Brush – Alpha T-400 batch #1
  • Knot – 26mm HMW
  • Bowl – Van Yulay Honeycomb type

I prepared properly with a nice face wash, no special soap, and then applied a nice layer of 3P whilst I soaked my brush in tepid tap water (no really cold water here – I am in Thailand on business at the moment). I slapped in about a teaspoon of the TOBS soap into the VY Bowl and started lathering. I tell you this is going to become one of my regular bowls. I have had it a while, months in fact, and had not used it once. Today was THE day. The bowl not only has the ridges to help lathering but also a repeat of the same honeycomb on the rim at the bottom so there is NO chance you can drop this bowl even with wet hands. It is a resin material too so I am sure almost unbreakable. The honeycombs inside also rain a little water so you don’t have to dip so often and all in all it was a superb bowl and I lathered up with a super thick, teeny-weeny bubbled lather and started shaving. A simple 3-pass – the usual WTG,XTG and ATG.

The Gillette tech and feather blade combo just mashed through the growth – seriously this inexpensive razor just does what it says on the tin – it is superb, just heavy enough, grippy handle – all in all a very satisfying shave. The TOBS Avocado cream soap is one of my go to soaps too – I love the fresh, green, vegetable fragrance which to me smells like cucumber and not avocados although it does have the slickness of an avocado mash.

The story behind the Tech… – I bought a set of two Bakelite shaving stick tubes from a lady in Australia – she now only sent me the tubes but also a leather case to keep them in and nestling inside a little compartment was the Gillette tech. pictured here [I emailed her and told her and she said “good luck, no charge!!” – so this razor was FREE!!!

The Pro Proraso Brush

Today was a simple, but extremely enjoyable shave. I’ve used Trufitt & Hill products many times, but not with a very awesome, and super affordable brush; the Omega Pro Pros aka, the Omega Proraso Boar πŸ— which is the brother to the #48 professional, but with more backbone, and a lower loft. This brush happens to be part of Omega’s professional lineup. The handle whilst being thermo plastic has a great hand feel which is fairly large in circumference, as well as a nice loft, and damned if this brush isn’t filled to the brim with dense natural boar hair.

I always soak any brush for 3-5 minutes for the hair to absorb as much water as possible, and the follicle to expand as much as possible; making it softer, and more likely to splay, and really pick up and whip up a substantial lather.

The dimensions are IMO very nice coming in at,

Height : 133 mmΒ 

Loft : 65 mmΒ 

Base : 64 mmΒ 

Knot : 28 mm

Making the Proraso Professional fairly balanced between loft and handle, though the handle is full in hand, and that fully stuffed 28mm knot is dense, and full of backbone. After about a dozen or, so shaves you’ll notice the break in and will load the hardest French tripple milled soaps with ease.

The rest of my shave went without a hitch. I appreciate you taking a moment to look at this short review of a top notch brush, at a $10-15 price point. Keep smooth my friends.

  • Pre: hot shower with Musgo oakmoss soap
  • Prep: Proraso White
  • Soap: Truefitt & Hill Trafalgar
  • Razor: Fatip Nero
  • Blade: Bolzano (1)
  • Brush: Omega Proraso Professional
  • Aftershave: Pinaud Gents Gin
  • Lotion: Trufitt & Hill Trafalgar Balm
  • Fragrance: Burberry Brit
  • Lightweight Travel Shave – SOTD 26th October 2018. Arko, Merkur and a Brush

    Hi – on the road again and trying to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid…). This is about as light as I can go and still have a decent shave:

    Equipment:

    Razor: Merkur Futur c/w Feather Blade
    Brush: Alpha T-400 c/w 26mm HMW Knot
    Soap: Arko Stick
    Preshave: 3P

    No bowl with me this time so a pure face lather after a 10 minute prep with the 3P. I tell you what the 3P is a great pres-have and a nice menthol kick too. Get one now!!

    The Shave

    Two passes on #4 WTG and ATG and a final pass on #1 ATG. Face lathering is the way to go for a lightweight travel shave. I soaked the Arko stick at the same time as soaking my brush. Take the stick and expose a little of the soap and rub it on your face – like this to get a good coating. The take the brush, get rid of the excess water and work that lather. The Arko explodes into a nice slick lather easily. Just keep rubbing and adding water until you get what you want

    Arko stick rubbed on face – make a thin layer like the photo

    Now, I know many people have opinions on the smell of Arko, to me it is just soap and a nice hint of citrus. Don’t be put off by the opinions of a minority of Arko haters, Arko is one of the great and classic men’s shaving soaps and I urge everyone to try it out. If you don’t like it then bin it – it costs only about 2 bucks a stick so not much to lose eh? You will be surprised I am sure.

    After face lathering for 30 seconds

    Pinaud Clubman Reserve AS Series #3 – Brandy Spice review

    When I found out that some Italian resellers had the full Clubman Reserve line, at first I wanted to try only the two fragrances we’ve reviewed so far, i.e. Whiskey Woods and Gent’s Gin. Brandy Spice was not on my list, mainly because I’m not really keen on Brandy and then because of the description, which, as we’ll see shorty, mentions apple. Apple is not something I like particularly, either as a fruit to eat or as a scent. Luckily, my Italian friends who already tried it (thanks Guido and Rocco!) told me: “Get it!! It’s the best of the bunch!”. And so I did, and Man, I’m really happy ’bout it!! πŸ™‚

    I’ll go straight to the point here: my friends were right, and Brandy Spice is the best of the bunch, by a long margin. While Whiskey Woods and Gent’s Gin were respectively good and very good in terms of scent and longevity, Brandy Spice appears to be of a higher standard in both departments.

    The presentation is similar to the other two products, the only complaint being the plastic used for the bottle. The presentation notes are the following: “The Brandy Spice scent combines Brandied Apple and Citrus Zest with mixed spice and Musk to finish each shave on a smooth bold note.”

    The description is, as usual, spot-on. The brandied apple is there to give a fruity character to the overall scent, the spices are light but still noticeable, while the Citrus Zest, to my nose, is well hidden in the background. The combination of all these notes gives Brandy Spice a classy and unique character, with a powdery finish which personally I love. The longevity is good, although I wish it would be greater.

    After some weeks of use, comparing the new Reserve line to the Classic Pinaud line was a logic consequence to me; I think the new line is more modern and could be more suitable for young people (aged 20-35) than some of the fragrances in the Classic Line (I’m thinking about Clubman Special Reserve and the Classic one, in particular). That said, I don’t see the two product lines as opposed one to each other; on the contrary, I see them as two great alternatives, depending on your mood, time of the year, weather and all of those subjective factors which makes you decide for a specific product of your rotation πŸ™‚

    Finally, let me spend some words about possible matching soaps. After a careful look in my den and days of experiments I found out that two soaps appear to be good choices when it comes to form a pair with Brandy Spice:

    • Ghost Town Barber by Chiseled Face Groomatorium
    • Jozef (Special Edition) by Lebelle Soaps

    These two, despite being different beasts, have a slight background sweetness which, IMHO, matches quite well with the fruity-spicy character of Brandy Spice.

    And this ends our journey inside the new Pinaud Clubman Reserve realm. Stay tuned for more reviews to come in the next week (Preview post coming soon).

    Pinaud Clubman website

    Chiseled Face website

    Lebelle Soaps

    Here are the links to the other articles of this series:

    Pinaud Clubman Reserve AS Series #1 – Whiskey Woods review

    Pinaud Clubman Reserve AS Series #2 – Gent’s Gin review

    Pinaud Clubman Reserve AS Series #2 – Gent’s Gin review

    The second AS in our three-part series about Pinaud Clubman Reserve products is Gent’s Gin. Like the name suggests, the dominant accord is Gin. I’m not an expert of gins at all, but from time to time I like to enjoy a good Gin Tonic πŸ™‚ So when I first smelled this, I knew I was in familiar territory.

    The bottle is, for all the three new entries, the classic plastic Pinaud bottle. This gives the product an old, classic Barbershop feel. That said, presentation is very nice, in pure Clubman style, with the classic gentleman clearly visible and a nice presentation which reads β€œThe Gent’s Gin scent combines Lime and Red Cedar with Fresh Juniper and a Gin accord to finish each shave on a smooth masculine note. ” The color is a light blue, similar to the one of Pinaud Lime Sec aftershave. But while the Lime Sec is probably one of the worst AS I tried (smelled very synthetic to me), Gent’s Gin is not. Indeed, it’s definitely a very good aftershave!

    I find the description on the bottle to be spot-on; the notes of lime are there, and so are the woodsy notes from the Red Cedar. But the dominant scent is the one of Juniper, and I like it very much! Combined together, all these notes provide a light, fresh and masculine scent. My only complaint is that the longevity is on the short side. After the 45 minutes / 1 hour mark the scent is gone.

    Suggested season: Spring/Summer. I think it goes well with citrusy and fresh colognes.

    The first soap which came to my mind when I thought about a suitable combo was, of course, Stirling Gin & Tonic. However, my sample of this soap run out weeks ago, so I tried different products and I found out that Edwin Jagger Lime and Pomegranate cream appears to match quite well with this aftershave. I’m not saying the scents are similar, not at all; but I think there’s a common “mildness” in scent between these two products which make them a great pairing.

    Speaking of Gin-themed products, I can’t help mentioning Captain’s Choice North, which, despite being described as “North will bring to mind those deep coniferous forests of the Canadian wilderness. It has a full-bodied evergreen scent with top notes of juniper and a hint of vanilla.” is, at least in the bottle I ordered sometime ago, a very very strong Gin-like aftershave, where the Juniper note prevails by a long margin.

    Gent’s Gin is a gentler product, while I like to define North as “Gin in your face”, very straightforward (and very good, if you like Gin, of course). I think both of them are worth a try, if you like Juniper and anything related to Gin.

    Links:

    Pinaud Clubman website

    Edwin Jagger website

    Stirling Soap Company website

    Captain’s Choice website

    SOTD 14 Oct 2018 OSP 1882, Thiers-Issard Le Dandy, Alpha T-400 Brush

    SOTD 14 Oct 2018 OSP 1882, Thiers-Issard Le Dandy, Alpha T-400 Brush

    I was inspired by Geo Fatboy @geofatboy to break out the Theirs-Issard. I coupled it up with a beautiful soap from James Riley one at OSP (Obsessive Soap Perfectionist – soaps made on London, UK). A great blade and a great soap. A nice brush with a 26mm High Mountain white knot – I decided not to do a straight video today and instead had my son take a load of photos during the shave – how does this work for you guys?

    SOTD 12 Oct 2018 Jayarauh #215, Saphiro Fuego & Custom Kamisori

    A quick and lovely cold water shave this evening. My lads are back from a trip to Mongolia so nice to have them home. No Yaks milk soaps so far….

    Tonight’s shave was a nice one. A custom prototype Kamisori by Tony Milton, a Nice Polish soap called Fuego by Saphiro and my new friend the jayaruh #215 26mm boar – chub alert!!

    Check out the video and of course I have to have a quick plug for my own YouTube channel – Click here to see it and please subscribe: There Will Be Blood…

    SOTD 8-10-2018 the Spice

    As they say, he who controls the spice controls…….. okay, enough Dune references. Today’s shave was fantastic. Everything from the New Forest Tubby-2 to the Oxblood Bakelite slant razor from PAA was superb. Not shown, but I’ve come to love the Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Star Jelly. It really has an additive effect to the overall shave leaving your face smooth and subtle. More in depth reviews on each of these products, are to come. For now here’s to staying smooth my friends ! Cheers 🍻

      Pre: Hot shower w/ Jack Blacks Face Buff
      Soap: Phoenix Arizona Accoutrements Atomic Pumpkin πŸŽƒ
      Blade: Gillette made Wilkinson Sword (1)
      Brush: New Forest Tubby-2
      Aftershave: PAA Atomic Pumpkin Star Jelly
  • Fragrance: Viktor & Rolf SpiceBomb
  • Pinaud Clubman Reserve AS Series #1 – Whiskey Woods review

    When I read that Pinaud Clubman had released three new aftershaves, Whiskey Woods was the one which tickled my fancy the most. I like Whisky (with or without ‘e’) very much, so this aftershave looked very promising.

    The bottle is, for all the three new entries, the classic plastic Pinaud bottle. This gives the product an old, classic Barbershop feel, but personally I’d prefer glass instead. That said, presentation is very nice, in pure Clubman style, with the classic gentleman clearly visible and a nice presentation which reads “The Whiskey Woods scent combines Tobacco Leaf and Bergamot with Whiskey and Woods to finish each shave on a smooth smokey note.” The color, despite the image featured on the website being orange, is brown, a brown reminiscent of tobacco rather than whiskey.

    Since there are no matching soaps to use with these series of aftershaves, I had an intense look at my den and finally opted for Mickey Lee Soapworks Grand Havana, one of my favorite US scents in the Tobacco department. Tobacco notes are combined with tea and vanilla, for an overall results which is classy and, IMHO, matches well with the Pinaud Whiskey Woods aftershave.

    So, what about the aftershave itself? I have to be honest here and I’ll immediately tell you that this is my least favorite of the three new entries πŸ™‚ Probably my expectations were too high on this and too low on the other two products (more about this in the next articles). Don’t get me wrong, Whiskey Woods is a very nice aftershave, with a manly character which will please many of us. The Whiskey and Tobacco notes are there, the post-shave effect is good, the alchool burn is not too strong. The only (minor) drawback is that it reminds me of Pinaud Clubman Virgin Islands Bay Rum, a product I have a love-hate relationship with (I use it rarely). To my nose, the two products are related, somehow.

    That said, Whiskey Woods is a good product which, however, struggles to stand out in the ocean of aftershave the market is full of. Worth trying? Yes. Unique? No.

    Spoiler: the matter is completely different for the other two entries.

    Links:

    Pinaud Clubman website

    Mickey Lee Soapworks website