Month: October 2014

Review: Above the Tie razors

This is easily the most exciting, and at the same time challenging review I have done to date. I say this as there is a lot of ground I could cover as the Above the Tie 303 stainless steel razors are probably the most complete stainless double edge razor on the market. Above the Tie offers what I like to look at as  a “system” of razor that are really revolving around the base plates and top cap. There are multiple plates and multiple handles; this is the buffet style razor to meet any shaver needs at an incredible price point considering this is all American made in Tennessee by hand in the USA by real adults that are highly trained. This is a review but also an overview of the Above the Tie system, I will try to keep to the standard format I use for a razor review, and I hope you enjoy the read !

004003

Overview

The Above the Tie razor comes from either the factory or, authorized dealers the price is always the same which is great as it supports fair market pricing, no gouging anywhere among distributors so the field is even. When thinking of the ATT razor it comes in three separate levels of aggression the M for mild R for regular and H for heavy, and I speculate that means aggressiveness. All these plates come in an open eg. R or R2, M or M2, and finally H or H2, and closed come variation with just an M, R, or an H. Now all of these plates use the same top cap, and I recommend getting 2 caps so you can have versatility without fully switching things up. This is a luxury and by no means “needed”. Now the rest is simple as can be there are three handles that vary in length and weight. You have the Atlas at 3″ and 56 grams in weight with a spiral knurling, the Kronos at 3 1/2″ and 71 grams with more of a traditional diamond full body knurling and finally the big boy the Colossus at 4″ and 86 grams with similar knurling to the Kronos, but separated at about 1/4 from the bottom by an indented circular separation. That is a simple overview the finer details are to come.

002001

 

 

Appearance

As a “system” that can distinctly be 3 separate razors this is a hard category to cover so I will give an overview.
All ATT razors are 303 stainless steel which is machinable stainless steel. 303 SS has a matte finish and has a different carbon constitution than let’s say 316L which is a marine grade SS. I am not sure how many of us shave in the ocean 🙂 ! I will say though if you have chlorides or live near salt water 316L is preferable. Now back to the appearance. The machining of this razor(s) is flawless a 10/10 there tolerances are ridiculous, I have never seen a razor so exact in 20+ years of doing this. You will notice a perfect alignment with every blade you place in the top cap which has 2 small nipples that marry to indentations in the base plate. Repeatable results zero hassle every time. The heads for all purposes look the same and are fairly basic in design. The handles are similar between the Atlas and Kronos though there is a 1/2″ difference in length and a spiral on the Atlas versus a diamond cut on the Kronos. Finally the Colossus is completely different with a 4″ length, and a flat bottom and the look of  two distinct “pieces” it IMHO is an attractive handle though longer than most shavers hands would accommodate.

006

Ergonomics

Again there are three possibilities here, but the really neat thing about the ergonomics of these razors are that the feels no matter which you use is outstanding ! The big decider with the handles is a preference of spiral versus diamond cut as well as your hand size. Above the Tie was smart enough to give 3 options for your hand size so buy the one that meets your needs or, as I did buy all three, and enjoy the diversity. The heads now here is the selling point so to speak of these razors…..the M plate being the mildest has a gap of only .25mm a very mild shaver, and my least used as I have a coarse beard that grows fast, but I do have it. Next is the R at .58mm and is similar to a DE89 for example but because of the handles weight has a completely different feel. Finally and this is big literally the H plate which has the distinction of having the largest gap in a non-adjustable razor on the market so forget the R41 the H plate destroys it at .91mm !!! that is almost a millimeter gap ! I used the H plate today and it was a 1 pass near BBS shave and comfortable as can be. I do not recommend the H plate to a new wet shaver. So what I am getting at is YOU the shaver control EVERY aspect of your shave with a razor that will literally live almost forever in the right conditions and can be an heirloom razor.

005

Aggressive nature

This is a criteria for my reviewing style, but I would be redundant to repeat what I said above. I will only repeat that you the shaver are in control based upon your purchase EVERY step of the way.

002

 

Value

Now this is the part everyone wants to know. Upfront quality is not cheap but this is a razor that can be a lifetime investment and only “system” you ever need. This like a few others on the market is stainless steel, it is handmade in the USA, and is made by skilled trained artisans so yes it carries a premium. I said earlier it makes no difference where you buy it so the base if you were to buy lets say an Atlas with a R (closed comb) plate it is $185 dollars plus tax and freight. the handles are remarkably cheap in my opinion at $56 so if you know the R plate is for you it is only a matter of adding a different handle for variety if desired not needed. I personally own all plates and all handles as I really believe in supporting  USA made razor company of this caliber so yes it is not cheap but I find it to be worth every penny due to the comfort, quality, and design of these razors. They may not fall into an immediate price point (they did not for me), but I saved for the set and it was worth it. Of course YMMV so please don’t spend $500 but this is where I mention they have a 30 day buy back policy no questions asked just return it in the original packaging ! so for $185 it is a razor of a lifetime, and if it’s not for you within 30 days just return it ! you can’t beat that for a company that stands behind their product.

003

 

Overall

When you buy a stainless steel razor of any type, you are buying for quality and longevity, as well as comfort a design. I will say ATT razors are not shiny nor are they even that overly attractive with bells and whistles. The design is simple and it works. I do find beauty in the simplicity of these razors as we live in a society of excess and unneeded highly marketed and horribly built products that are way over priced. The Above the Tie razors are a refreshing and astonishingly superior razor. I recommend this razor or, razors highly as they are an investment. Not many razors can say that or, even close.

 

 

 

Ballenclaugh Soaps – The Woodsman

For those not familiar with Ballenclaugh Soaps, they’re handmade in small batches by Chris Bartek at his home in Nebraska. Many months ago, I had  purchased Ballenclaugh’s Cherries in the Chamber, which is outstanding and was among my favorites at the time. After months of purchasing soap after soap, I frankly forgot about Ballenclaugh. My Cherries in the Chamber just got buried beneath my newer acquisitions, out of sight and forgotten. Well,  I recently rediscovered Cherries in the Chamber and was anxious to use it,  remembering how much I loved that Tobacco & Cherry scent. Needless to say, I really enjoyed it and glad to have been reacquainted with Ballenclaugh Soaps.  When you’re a small soap maker, it’s easy to get overshadowed by the ‘Big Guys’. I believe Chris is a part-time hobbyist / soap maker  with really no marketing or functional website at this time.   The marketing has mostly been word of mouth, along with people sharing their thoughts through the various forums. There’s so much hype and fanfare with other artisans, it’s easy to get lost among all the choices and countless soaps.  His soaps are really good folks and deserve a look!

IMG_8662.JPG

IMG_8700

 

The packaging is nothing fancy, It’s just functional. The soap comes in a screw top plastic container with no product description other than what is imprinted in black on lid. The sides are wrapped in twine to give it a rustic, woodsy feel. Personally, I can do without the twine, but who cares. It’s all about the soap. The first impression was WOW, this is different… a good different.  I never smelled anything like this before and I liked it a lot. Anyone who knows me, knows that I prefer a strong scented soap. A fragrance that I can smell while lathering and enjoy throughout the shaving process.  This didn’t disappoint and in fact, The Woodsman had a wonderful scent of Pine, that was strong and masculine with a hint of citrus. A perfect match, as the citrus subdued and mellowed the pine tar.  As you can see, I created a really nice thick and creamy lather. In my opinion, this soap also provides great protection with a nice glide, slickness and staying power. It didn’t dissapate at all. I also found that the formula was spot -on for it’s nourishing post shave feel. Perhaps this is a combination of the standard Ballenclaugh ingredients and numerous medicinal properties of Pine Tar. From the little research I have done on pine tar, I understand that pine tar soap goes back centuries and it’s great for your skin & hair. It’s been reported that pine tar possesses antiseptic properties and can be used as an anti-bacterial & anti-fungal agent. Pine wood also retains its oil during the carbonization process, so pine tar is also effective as a skin moisturizer.  Needless to say, for me, the medicinal properties is just an added bonus to a terrific soap. This is among the best lathering soaps I have used in a long time. To further illustrate this and to prove to myself that the first lather was not a fluke, I tried a second lather with my Plisson Synthetic and the results were identical. Outstanding!!!

IMG_8691

 

Ballenclaugh Soaps Standard Ingredient List:

Saponified oils of Camellia Seed
Castor
Coconut
Kokum Butter
Palm Kernel oil
Soy Bean Oil
Shea Butter
Beef Tallow
Stearic Acid
Glycerin
Tussah Silk
Bentonite Clay
Sodium Hydroxide
Potassium Hydroxide
Water
Essential oils of :
Lemon
Pine Tar
Litsea
* First lather was done with a Nathan Clark Custom 24mm Silver Tip Brush
* The second lather was done the following day using my L’Occitane Plisson Synthetic Brush
Feel free to contact Chris via his Facebook page here:
Written by Peter Charkalis

Week 3 Petal Pusher Fancies Raffle !

Welcome one and all ! Gather round as week 3 of the Wet Shaver Reviews Vendor of the Month has graciously offered yet another amazing week of fun trivia, and a prize that is truly one to strive for ! This week we all have the opportunity to win a tin of Ciderhouse-5 ! This 2014 release will be available at the end of this week so the winner will be among the first to have this amazing soap. In my opinion this soap defines the season, and living in the north east I can attest this is the smell of apple orchards, and the smell of autumn. A top performer not only by my standards but in competitions ! Which leads me to how do you get entered ! Again Frances has made this raffle very accessible, and easy to enter. Please as always only reply to me Aaron Schecter and there are to be no comments on the pinned post itself or, unfortunately this will disqualify you from the drawing. The drawing is open until 11:59 PM Saturday the 25th of October one day more than normal with the drawing on the 26th of October in the evening. Good luck to all !!

 

  1. What kind of “Flower” is the PPF man on their homepage and on some of the soap ?
  2. What “kind” of Bicycle does the “Flower” ride ?
  3. Who invented that “type” of Bicycle ?
  4. This is a two part question. Both questions are regarding the Soap off in 2013. What score did PPF get with Ciderhouse-5 both overall and secondly in Performance ? This is a two part answer. To find the answer you must visit our friend Mantic59’s website the Sharpologist and the answers are there.

I wish EVERYONE good luck again this is open to ALL members of the WSR and is international and CONUS so everyone may enter just please do so by the raffles deadline.  Enjoy !!! and have fun. – Aaron

SOTD: October 16th, 2014 “RazoRoctober I’m finally here !”

RazoRoctober ! I am finally jumping into the fray ! I for the first half of the month used my dedicated rotation that I am trying to make a dent in. For the rest of the month it will be 100% RazoRock centered EXCEPT WSR Wednesday. I must say here it is Thursday and I will openly say this has been the best lather so far this week. Here are the details !

I own 4 RazoRock soaps… not the biggest RR collection by a long shot, but everyone of them  is a top-notch performer that outperform soaps literally triple the price I paid for the RazoRock line. Today I broke out the XX, I really like this scent a lot it’s very what I call sophisticated cologne like in fragrance. In other words I can’t see this being a scent that a 18 year old is wearing to the club, I literally can see a Italian businessman talking a client to lunch wearing this scent. sophisticated is a really good descriptor as well as Mediterranean with both citrus, and green notes to it. The lather was amazing only a cream coming remotely close to how well this lathered. I am always amazed this is not a tallow soap and is vegan as it lathers just like tallow and feels like tallow as well it’s simply put a great soap. I face lathered using my WSP Stubby ! Another great product the Stubby holds the heat and just releases soap easily…. another great performing part of a near perfect shave.

012013006

I am still using that Above the Tie razor aka the “Atlas” handle and I stuck with the “R” plate as it is what I needed. as a daily shaver this and the “R2” will be the most used of the lot without a doubt. Starting next week I will start using the “Kronos” set up and maybe a “M” plate as the weight distribution is different etc….and after that the Colossus set up. This all boils down to me deciding if I want to dedicate myself to a 90% of the time daily driver….. I will say since I have only been using the ATT setups… my shaves have improved 100 fold. Where I used to get irritation is 100% gone, where weepers would form; nothing happens. It really has made my shaves better for whatever reason Moving on I used  a Rapira Platinum Lux now on use two. I must say I hear a lot of negative about this blade and I either got a good one or, these blades are a good blade for my needs and I’m lucky. I never review a blade though until 12 uses, so take what I said with a grain of salt.

002003005

Finally to end my shave was great and so simple. A cold water rinse, RazoRock alum block. Followed up by FINE Platinum after shave, and finally the XX after shave balm. This and yesterdays shave were basically for all purposes near perfect shaves and near perfect BBS shaves. I know RazoRock has new labels but I am running low on XX, so when the time comes I hope the formula is still the same as this is a great soap.

009010

 

As always I hope everyone had a great day and a great shave ! – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot shower w/ Clinique facial bar
  • Prep: Glycerin
  • Croap: RazoRock “XX”
  • Brush: WSP Stubby in HMW
  • Razor: Above the Tie “Atlas” w/ “R” plate”
  • Blade: Rapira Platinum Lux (2)
  • Lather: Face
  • Moustache: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Pinaud natural and Crew molding clay
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse and RazoRock alum
  • After shave: Fine Platinum
  • Balm: RazoRock “XX”
  • EDT: Versace “Eros”

SOTD: October 13th ,2014 “Menthol Monday”

Happy Columbus day everyone ! I had to work, but I hope everyone that had off had a great day. So today is the infamous “Menthol Monday”, and I must say while a great shave; I was utterly disappointed in the menthol aspect. I have learned today a few things …like what not to do again. So this will be a very short post, but hopefully informative none the less.

I decided with all my talk about lather types lately today was an Uber-Lather day or, if you did not read yesterdays posts a combination of a hard soap, cream(s), and liquid glycerin. I went overboard today, I am trying to hold onto the summer. I used Castle Forbes “Lime” which was the dominant scent, I rarely use but thought it was supposed to be cold as it listed menthol, an Indian brand called Dettol cool, and finally for the soap Mitchell’s wool Fat. I added about 5 drops of glycerin. This was an amazing lather that I will give it.. super slick and very protective and if you like lime this was about as good as it gets especially with the added glycerin it brought the lather itself to another level . What made me unhappy was that I used either too many soaps and creams or, Dettol cool is not really all that cool at all. on a scale of 1-10; Ten being the coldest this was maybe a 2. I used my Marting custom silvertip which performed exceptionally well, and for that zero complaints. Like I said great lather and a great shave, but nowhere near a Menthol Monday shave.

Glycerin%20(2)_JPG_opt419x738o0,0s419x738016001002004

I also decided to kick the week off strong using my favorite Stainless Steel razor, the Above the Tie “Atlas” and I used the R head assembly which is the closed comb design and similar in aggression to a Edwin Jagger DE89 or Muhle R89. Great razor from the handle knurling to the feel and how flexible, and easy it is to use. this razor is always in perfect alignment and encloses the entire blade. What make the ATT even better to me is it is all handmade right here in the USA in Tennessee by skilled artisans ! this is truly an artisan handcrafted piece of mastered engineering in the world of razors. Now here is the second wow moment I am still using that Voskhod now on shave 11, and still no tugging. Not even a weeper or, the slightest irritation or, reddening of my skin.

003002

 

 

Finally I have finished this great yet non-mentholated shave so I did what I could. Cold water rinse, Shavex alum. I then reached for the Proraso splash ! it has menthol and while only a little cold and very short lived it was enough for me… I also used 2 parts Captain’s choice “Lime” after shave. After a nice dry down I added Truefitt & Hills “Trafalgar” balm which has a very lime like aroma and married up to today’s shave perfectly.

004003003

 

Well all I can say is great shave and super close, but I failed all of you for it being a Menthol Monday, but not for  lack of desire, it just kind of turned out that way. I hope you all had great shaves and way colder than mine. – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot shower w/ Clinique facial wash
  • Prep: None
  • Cream(s): Castle Forbes “Lime” and Dettol “Cool”
  • Soap: Mitchells Wool Fat
  • Brush: Marting custom silvertip
  • Razor: Above the Tie “Atlas” w/R style closed comb head
  • Blade: Voskhod (11)
  • Lather type: Bowl
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Joe Grooming compound wax and Murray’s Superior Pomade (PB)
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, Shavex alum
  • After shave: Proraso and Captain’s Choice “Lime”
  • Balm: Truefitt & Hill “Trafalgar”

Petal Pusher Fancies Week 2 Raffle

Ladies and Gents ! I am really excited to announce the second Petal Pusher Fancies raffle on the Wet Shaver Review ! This week one lucky winner will be the recipient of 2 awesome prizes ! First off you will win a puck of PPF’s “Speakeasy” which; is one of the “new” offerings from PPF. Petal Pushers Fancies has not released a new scent in a long time and the first reports are amazing for this soap ! The winnings do NOT end there ! You will also win a stick of “Steam River Rum” Deodorant ! I love PPF’s deodorants and they are all I personally use. They all contain live enzymes to eat your stink away and are as always made organically !! This is a great week to enter a raffle if I do say. So what do you have to do ? Between us I think these raffle questions are too easy, but Frances wants you to become educated and to spread the word Petal Pusher Fancies is out with NEW scents ! So here are those questions, and as always answer only to me, Aaron Schecter.  Do NOT post in the comment box in the Facebook site under the pinned post as this will automatically disqualify you. So here are the questions.

Okay 5 simple questions to answer to become entered ! most of which can be found right on the PPF website. http://www.petalpusherfancies.com/

1- What order are the Kokum butter soaps listed on the drop down menu ?

2- How many sizes do PPF soaps come in ? and what sizes are they ?

3- What is used to tint the Dandy Candy Moustache wax ?

4- What are the available colors for the Dandy Candy Moustache wax in the tinted line ?

 

Seriously that is all ! I cant even believe it ! so let the fun begin and again PM me directly this is an International affair and NOT CONUS only !!! so I hope to see some international entry’s. the deadline for submission is Friday October 17th, 2014 and 11:59 PM, and the winner will be announced by Sunday the 19th. Good luck to all that enter.

 

Tips: Regular, Super, or Uber-Lather which one ?

Last night and today I really wanted to mix two of my favorite soaps of the season; Petal Pusher Fancies “Ciderhouse-5” and Synergy “Pumpkin 3.14”. These are amazing soaps on their own, and after lathering them together today with added Glycerin I have my opinion…., but that is not the focus of this article. I questioned last night is there a fancy name for when you mix two soap ? There are names for soaps and creams, and soaps, creams, and glycerin. Is there a name for two soaps ? or, a soap and croap ? The majority agreed on all the traditional lather “sub” categories and we also all agreed that two soaps is basically just blending which as far as I’m concerned is just as cool ….let’s call it Dopple-lathering ! It pays homage to my brewing as well, Dopple is German for Double.

As the conversation on the Wet Shaver Review went on, many members had no idea or, heard of super-lathering or, uber-lathering. Well that is why the WSR is here. We are not only a Facebook group, but a resource to cross educate one another, and really make this renaissance of traditional shaving all that it can be for everyone. So I am going to bring you through each type of lather. I hope this helps and never be afraid to experiment !

003002002

Soap or, Cream lather

A basic lather is just that a single soap or, cream that is either loaded (the brush is coated in soap or, cream) onto your brush or, squeezed into a mug or, bowl. Now in the case of soaps a good rule of thumb is 30 seconds of swirling with a semi-wet brush or, to a pre-soaked puck of hard soap will generate an adequate lather. Now in the case of a cream the size of an almond some time called a “snurdle” is placed onto the brush or, into a bowl. Start by swirling on the face or, in the bowl for appx. a minute and feel the lather…chances are it is still too thick, and not slick enough. Add water slowly and if for whatever reason it becomes too thin; you can always add more soap or, cream.  No one ever seems to mention that part though I agree it is easier to add water slowly than to play the back and forth game to get it correct. A good rule of thumb is peaks will form in the bowl as well as on your brush’s hair think like the peaks of a meringue after bating egg whites, this is a great visual comparison.  Whether you face or, bowl lather is a matter of preference, but usually once a routine is established people quickly identify with their style of lathering, and will often say “I’m a face latherer” or, “I’m a bowl latherer”, in my case personally it depends on what I am doing for the day.

012016

Dopple-Lather

Remember we just created that word for the use of two soaps or, two creams. It is inventive and is for me; a way to blend two like scents or, two complimentary scents to hopefully achieve an aroma I/we/you enjoy. As wet-shavers this is as close as we get to really being creative, and inventing unique blends that the soaper did not originally intend. For example I blended as I said above Pumpkin 3.14 and Ciderhouse- 5 ….. I called it Pumpkin Apple Delight. I learned use less Ciderhouse-5 as it is a more dominant scent, but that is the fun in blending ! 30 seconds here on one soap and 45 on the other or, whatever the case may be…. let your creative side flow and take notes !

001005

Super-Lather

Okay this is a real deal style of lathering. Typically here forward you will be bowl lathering though it is possible to face lather any of these methods. A super lather is the best of both worlds a Soap and a Cream combined ! This is a very generalized statement as creams are known for their ease of lathering and slickness and soaps for their moisturizing and volume. These are generalizations, and I can cite many soaps and creams that fall way outside that “mold” no pun intended. So how do you make a super-lather ? Simple as can be ! take your bowl and add that snurdle of cream or, even a bit less (remember you are using soap too), next with your brush load for 30 seconds on your soap. Now the hard part….. start mixing the two in the bowl LOL !! really that is it, and like a regular lather you add water slowly until a slicker than a normal lather is produced, and those tell-tale lather peaks are forming on your brush. I find Super-lathering to be great, and truly enhances even the best soaps or, creams out there. The trick is to use complimentary products and not conflicting aroma’s or, otherwise. A great example I find myself using for a Super-Lather is Mitchell’s Wool Fat and Proraso cream. You get that awesome lather full of lanolin, the menthol and slickness from the Proraso…and the scents work well together. I find a one minute load on the MWF and an almond sized dollop of cream to be perfect, and just add the water to the proper consistency.

015016Glycerin%20(2)_JPG_opt419x738o0,0s419x738

Uber-Lather

This is an easy one and a very important one to say the least. I cannot stress the importance of the Uber-Lather. An Uber-Lather is exactly the same as a Super-Lather except you add 3-5 drops of liquid vegetable glycerin to the Super-Lather. It really is that simple, but here is why it is so great. Glycerin is a humectant and a hygroscopic agent that acts as a lubricant, it draws moisture into the mixture making it super slick and often thickens up the lather making it more protective. I add glycerin to all the above lather types to achieve a “similar” but not exact result even if only doing a single soap lather. One of the most reported claims of an Uber-Lather is how soft and silky your skin feels after the shave, this is due to the glycerin puling moisture into your skin, and it acting as a slippery maker 🙂 !

001

No matter what type of lather you make the important thing to remember is know your brush and soak it accordingly and don’t expect a 14mm knot to hold as much lather as a 26mm knot. Know the soap or cream you are using. Is said soap water hungry or, the moisture in the brush is more than adequate ? I have seen many a soap not need a drop of added water, and others so much was added I almost gave up on shaving ! and Finally know “why” you are mixing soaps and creams or, adding glycerin. Your face or, legs or, whatever will guide you and use these methods as a way to pamper yourself or, as a practical way to enhance your daily shave. I hope this has helped you and enjoy your shaves ! Dopple-Lather spread the term it started here 🙂 !

SOTD/Trial: October 11th, 2014 ” Almond Cavendish Delight”

 

What happens when you mix a great classic British soap house’s cream and an American Artisans soap ? Some really amazing stuff ! I know we call these Shaves of the day, but as of late I have been trying to push the envelope trying new combinations, and today was one of those days. Now I wasn’t sky diving or, going face first down the Flume; we are talking about super-lathering again, but to me this is just as exciting as this may be a combo you may want to try, it is that good !

Today I decided to use my Ikon modular OSS mounted on the 316L stainless steel bulldog handle that came with the open comb head. Recently a member of the WSR had asked about the OSS head, and I wanted to reply, but for once I did not know exactly how to reply. Traditionally I would say for multiple passes the open comb is great initially for the reduction pass followed by the closed comb for the remainder. Today I would not have said that. I did 100% on the closed comb side. I did not need a super aggressive shave so I stayed to the one side . I did not find this to be a hindrance at all I found that I could get about 3 passes between rinsing, and it did not to my internal clock extend the shave at all. I to be honest found the Ikon to be quiet pleasurable to use. I will say though with a heavier growth than I had today I would have started on the Open Comb side. I paired the Ikon with the Voskhod now on use 9 !! not a drop of a problem, I average 10 shaves, but we are going to see if we can shoot for 12 just out of again a “trial”.

008009

now this is where some real magical stuff happened ! It came to me last night while just thinking about certain scents that would compliment each other. This was a result of a great Q&A with Frances from Petal Pushers Fancies who made me think a bit about how scents for soaps are made. The jist of what was said was a lot of bad soaps happened before the good soap was finally made…. in other words trial and error. Now I do not have the patience Frances has, but I do have a huge soap and cream den ! So while I was up thinking it came to me I am focusing on Geo F. Trumpers “Almond” and I thought “I wonder how a combination of GFT “Almond” and Synergy “Cavendish” would be ? So long story short it happened today. All I can say is I cannot believe how perfect this super lather was ! GFT “Almond” is a strongly scented and sweeter almond scent and “Cavendish” is also a strongly scented soap. Neither of which dominated the other nor, did it feel like there was a struggle for scent dominance. The lather had the best of both the cream, and the soap; super slick, massive cushion, and unique and smooth in aroma that stayed throughout and even after the shave. I made the magic happen with my Semogue 1305 which is my traditional “Cavendish” brush ! Great combination that I cannot recommend highly enough, just remember to use a sweet almond like GFT not a bitter one like Cella … I’m not sure about that one.

010012005

To end this great shave full of “trials” why would I end any differently ? I did the classic cold water rinse, and Shavex alum rub. I had zero irritation and great feedback. This really was a great shave. I then moved over to a more traditional toner and used the HTGAM alcohol free “Cavendish” after shave, but after drying I mixed a homemade Corn Huskers lotion and Almond essential oil mixture with the HTGAM “Cavendish” lotion and it made again a really great aroma where both the almond and the Cavendish scent stood out wonderfully. The mixture left my face silky smooth feeling and ultra moisturized. Now would I go through this effort every time I use Synergy “Cavendish”, but it sure will be a nice treat every so often and now that I know this combination works, it gives me an option I didn’t have yesterday.

005006011

So that ends my SOTD so I learned today that I can just use one side of the Ikon OSS without any problems, that GFT “Almond” and Synergy “Cavendish” make a GREAT super-lather and finally a similar combination of CHL w/ almond EO and HTGAM “Cavendish” lotion also make for an outstanding after shave.

Great shaves everyone and enjoy the weekend ! – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot shower w/ Jack Blacks facial wash
  • Prep: CHL & Almond essential oil
  • Cream: Geo F. Trumpers “Almond”
  • Soap: Synergy “Cavendish”
  • Brush: Semogue 1305 boar
  • Razor: Ikon modular OSS head on 316L stainless bulldog handle
  • Blade: Voskhod (9)
  • Lather type: Apothecary mug
  • Moustache type: natural flow handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Brooklyn Grooming “Williamsburg” wax & Old Spice ” Spiffy mixed with Tres Flores Brilliantine
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, Shavex alum
  • After shave: HTGAM alcohol free “Cavendish” aftershave tonic
  • Lotion: CHL + Almond EO & HTGAM “Cavendish” lotion
  • Deodorant: Petal Pusher fancies “Cavendish”