Month: April 2015

Meissner & Tremonia “Dark Lime”

Today I am very excited to get this review out to everyone. I have literally put this brand “Meissner Tremonia” through the fire using everything from, Double Edge razors, Straight razors, and even water typing with distilled versus tap water to really give this soap……well,  a really hard time to be blunt.

I have found that in many fields Germany is the gold standard…. I promise you if it is made in Germany they thought about every detail, and it was done purposely…and from first hand trying, do not disagree as you will not win, so I really really tried this brand to its maximum. Originally I was going to review both M&T soaps I have “Dark Lime” and “Strong n’ Scottish” together, but they are so very different this was not possible. These are distinct soaps with IMHO two very different skin types they are intended for. So enough fluff let’s get to the business of it shall we !

Packaging- Well only in Germany will you get a refill puck that is packaged better than most jewelry boxes. The soap weighing in at 95 grams comes in a very industrial almost Gothic appealing box with I believe a phoenix (bird) and the words Feinste Rasierseife….. or, Finest shaving soap if my German is correct. This 95 gram puck is securely held in place by a black Styrofoam form,  that is molded to fit snugly around that finest soap. I am getting away from “scores”, but I will say this is top-notch packing , I would have zero reservations about the protective nature of this, which in turn tells me how much this soap actually means to “them”.

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Appearance- This is a unique puck to say the least. It has a unique matte finish that I have never seen in any soap before this. It intrigued me as it reminded me of a patina …also the company name almost seemed to be carved into the soap and branded with the name and logo. The puck was perfectly rounded and actually I felt bad to use it as it was so nice to look at. I knew after a few uses that logo and finish would be gone. The best way I can describe the look is almost like stone.

 

Scent- Well the name says it all Lime ! no huge surprise there. Where it is interesting is there is a floral bouquet that is mingling behind that upfront lime, in the next sections I will get into how things interact, but not a whole lot to say then a very apparent lime note that has a back note of bitter floral accords. I suppose that may be part of the dark ; other than the color of the puck itself.

 

 

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Interesting points – This is a true lime soap, I mean this as in the ingredients it lists the actual lime oil, not a fragrance oil, but the essential oil of lime. This is important to note as lime has a natural degreasing property and also a tannic and unique feel that makes your mouth pucker,  and your skin as well. Also in the soap are Talc, and black clay ! The talc was very unique and I believe for appearance the clay however,  was to add slickness back into the soap. The clay along with the added glycerin make it so this has a stable lather and feels great on your skin bringing moisture back into your face.

*** a little trick*** – this soap is probably best for those with oily skin. Make your lather as normal, and lather up. actually use this lather to “wash” your face, then rinse, and there you go the oil has been stripped from your face and your ready for that shave.

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Lather- As I said above I really put this through the ringer and here is the bottom line. This soap is great it is stable and it works in all water and with all brushes I threw at it ! I will say the lather was most comfortable with my harder water, using my Thater 4292/4 2-band brush and also at a lower temperature appx. 80 degrees. Yes I actually went that far with this ! Next would be spring water at room temperature with a Boar brush, again these are my findings YMMV and opinions of course differ. The lather also not that it effects anything is unique in color almost a  light grey coloration and tolerates water well….I would not call this a water hungry soap by any means and is tolerant of little water for those who prefer a more paste like lather over a more cushioned lather. Now what is a lather without a razor ?

Glide- Here is the one place I would remind every one of my first few sentences. The Germans do things on purpose so my next words are intentional and meaningful so listen carefully as this is not an insult. The soap itself is not very slick, That is due to the natural lime oils and the degreasing nature of lime. Now that said I used DE Razors and Straight razors (my preferred) method. Now I just said the glide was mediocre, I have had worse…much worse. To my surprise my straight razor had zero hang ups and the blade was supported by the excellent cushion this soap produced, so where it lacked in being crazy slick it was ultra cushioning…..looks and feel were very deceiving. I did find I preferred a straight razor over a DE, but by no means did I have any issues with any razor and having a smooth and comfortable shave. The other positive is how well this soap rinsed clean, I personally hate soaps I have to rinse my face for what feels like 10 minutes to get it clean, this soap again due to the degreasing nature of lime, rinsed in moments ! See I told you the Germans know what they are doing 🙂

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Post shave feel and final thoughts – The post shave feel again in my opinion is geared towards that person that tends to have oily skin, This soap does not contain any humectants other than glycerin and a few essential oils that do not appear to be saponified. I would say this soap is by no means drying, but do not expect a Lanolin type post shave feel either, I would put the post shave at an even keel with any other soap on the market that is not marketed for that lanolin  “feel”. As I above said,  really do however love how clean rinsing this soap is, to me that alone is a selling point, especially when time is a premium in the morning.

 

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My final impression of this soap was overall positive. Is it my Holy Grail soap…..well no, do I really like certain aspects absolutely ! It has a wonderful aroma of a true lime scent with undertones of darker floral tones and uses some interesting ingredients like Talc & Clay for slickness,  and to add to your overall experience.  Would I recommend “Dark Limes” from Meissner  Tremonia absolutely ! mine came from the only US distributor I am aware of though they do sell online. If you live in the USA visit www.straightrazordesigns.com  as they have this and a few other flavors as well ! I can’t wait to talk about their Strong N’ Scottish soap !

actual WSR logo

Until then enjoy your shaves, keep your blades sharp and Shave on ! – Aaron

 

 

SOTD: April 4th, 2015 getting my “Ducks” in a row

Today’s shave; similar to yesterday was with a new soap today from Tiki Bar soaps.  This soap in question is none other than the new “The Kilted Tiki” which was a St. Patrick’s day release with strong accords of Peat moss and a very smooth whisky note that is very unique. Again I am now on use number two, and I will not review a soap before three uses. I will say however I love my Dubl Duck razor ! Today’s “Satin Edge” was bought from none other than Jaime Cobos about a year ago. I did some work to this blade and I must say of all my vintages the Ducks are just excellent shavers !

The Omega 63185 Black badger had the perfect scritch to softness ratio for today’s Face lathered shave and made a wonderful lather to say the least…. this is one of those brushes; you do not have to spend a fortune to get a great brush. Finally, without reviewing the soap I used a very unique combination as this is a very unique soap. Fine Accruements Clean Vetiver, and then Crabtree & Evelyn’s Nomad balm. This all led to such a wonderful shave, what I would consider the entire reason for traditional shaving; pure enjoyment.

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  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria with sensitive head and Nivea face wash
  • Prep: Hot Shower with HTGAM “ATG” pre-shave soap
  • Soap: Tiki Bar Soaps ” The Kilted Tiki”
  • Brush: Omega 63185 black badger brush
  • Razor: Vintage 5/8 Dubl Duck Perlduck “Satin Edge”
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Got 2 Be Glued & Murray’s Superior
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, Alum
  • After Shave: Fine “Clean Vetiver”
  • Balm: Crabtree & Evelyn “Nomad”
  • Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Opus 1870

 

 

SOTD: April 3rd, 2015 here come the Ducks !

I recently bought 3 new soaps, I also have a rule about reviewing anything especially a soap; that I must use it at least 3 times before I’ll even give an initial impression. Today’s shave made the second shave for Soap Commander’s “Renewal” fougere. The rest of this shave was great my Dubl Duck “Goldedge” is just amazing, the Mother Earth scuttle kept my lather warm, and the more I use a scuttle the more I learn temperatures really do make a difference (read this as don’t use too hot of water; warm is more than sufficient).  Lastly the Plisson synthetic is IMO at best adequate….many people love this brush as the brush of the “Gods” which I have issue calling anything.  Instead of focusing on what I don’t like I’d rather say the brush is super soft and despite other adversity does make a very nice lather. Enjoy the photo I hope my picture speaks more than I wrote, and one more use and Soap Commander’s “Renewal” is getting its review just in time for spring !

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  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria with Deep pore cleaning brush and cleanser
  • Prep: Hot shower with HTGAM “ATG” pre-shave soap & HTGAM Butter pre-shave balm
  • Soap: Soap Commander “Renewal” Fougere
  • Brush: Plisson synthetic
  • Razor: Vintage Dubl Duck Perlduck 5/8 “GoldEdge”
  • Lather type: Scuttle “Mother Earth”
  • Moustache type: natural handlebar
  • Wax & Pomade: Pinaud Brown & Joe Grooming compound
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse & Alum
  • After Shave: Thayer’s Witch Hazel & glycerin mix
  • Balm/Other: Soap Commander “Renewal” menthol balm
  • Fragrance: Gucci Guilty Black in the A.M. & Azzaro- Azzaro Pour Homme aromatic fougere

Orange you glad I shaved today ? 4/2/2015

Spring, it’s in the air folks in the north east of the United States of America, and I can’t wait being blunt until spring and summer.  We’ve had one heck of a winter to say the least !  So that brings us up to today, and a unusually warm day perfect for  that citrus aroma to fill the air in anticipation for the real thing, I must say the artisans here did a wonderful job recreating this near 100% Orange accord and shave, and IMHO all these items,  are top shelf ; and worth you taking a look at. Shave on everyone ! -Aaron

 

001002Thiery Mugler Ultra Zest

  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria with sensitive brush head and hydrogel cleanser
  • Prep: Hot shower with Clinique face bar mixed with Andalou citrus scrub
  • Soap: Tiki Bar “Land Locked”
  • Brush: Vie-Long 12750 65%-35% Mane-Tail ratio
  • Razor: Ralf Aust 6/8 Spanish point in Olive Wood scales
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax & Pomade: Pinaud brown & Joe Grooming Compound
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse, alum, Anthony Logistics IGHT
  • After Shave: Fine “L’Orange Noir”
  • Balm: TFS Bergamotto Neroli & Andalou Vitamin C cream
  • Fragrance:  Thiery Mugler – A*MEN  “Ultra Zest”

Shave in reverse ! and some new fragrances.

So I spent some $$$ today …. on what I am calling my reverse shave….. meaning I have started a new way of shaving….starting at the end and working to the beginning….in layman’s terms start with the EDT(P)or (C) then pick your balm and aftershave….then soap and brush and finally razor and method of prep…. preferably layering all variables to come out with the perfect shave. If you know where you want to end ….it’s easier to know where to start right ? who said insanity doesn’t have it’s place !! So this was what I bought today….. I will start with the most controversial and go to the most accepted I guess……

Thiery Mugler Ultra Zest

Thiery Mugler : Ultra Zest
This is a A*MEN variant… like all A*MEN DNA EDT’s you have that gourmand (food like) animalistic and sensual musky aroma but Ultra Zest the 2015 limited edition is the first to put a strong Orange citrus accord in that DNA. At first I HATED this scent…. so one dimensional and linear… I could not tell the top notes to the base… it was just A*MEN with some OJ for breakfast. Well today 100ml found its way into my house….. I don’t know how or, when, but I now can pick out those subtle nuances and I found a soap that matches perfectly ! Tiki Bar soaps Land Locked…. it is a great match….again work from the end forward. Also for 3.4 ounces or, 100ml for a LE Mugler EDT $90 is not a bad deal. This of all the special editions I would say will probably never come back…. so I do not regret this buy at all.

ADG Essenza

Next up a more daring, but safe buy…. in the mostly Aquatic family Giorgio Armani’s famous Aqua di Gio……., but I decided to get the eau de Parfum Essenza version….. described by the house as the more refined sophisticated and truer to the original with wood notes as well as EDP strength and sillage…. this falls actually under the Woody aquatic family and whilst being a summer scent that wood note makes it really a 3 season scent. My soap of choice for this would be D.R. Harris Windsor or, Catie’s Bubbles LPV.

Chanel Platinum Egoiste

Finally and probably my favorite of the three I bought was Chanel Platinum Egooiste…..from the opening to the full dry down, I love this scent. It opens with strong floral notes of rosemary, Orange, Lavender and Geranium followed with Jasmine and then finishing with Oakmoss, Vetiver, Petigrain, Sandalwood and Cedar …making this a woodsy floral musk by definition. This is a no fooling around heavy hitter that will last a long time….. as they say you can never go wrong with Chanel either men or, women. I would personally in my reverse engineering would marry well with a few of my favorite combinations…..Barrister & Mann Vetyver Santal….or, Cheshire… It would sit well with commercial soaps like St. James of London Mandarin and Patchouli or, cedarwood and Clary sage…. this is a versatile scent to say the least.

Bottom line working backwards is sometimes a great way to shave… it’s always good to know your destination before you hit the road !

Off the bench and back into the……..

Hey out there ! Yes I am still alive, and shaving everyday. I don’t believe in excuses, but I do in explanations. Obviously people that know me realize I run this blog, am sole administrator for the Facebook group of the same name, and am very active with vendors, both commercial and artisan.  A lot has happened since November of last year, that effected me both professionally, and personally with everything from Family losses to kids in school. To sum it up I never lost the fire to continue, but did loose the drive to kindle the flame. I am again obviously an open person, and do not hold back my feelings or, why things “are” the way things “are”. I’m here today to say that I hope that spark is back,  and I want to start sharing my world of traditional shaving, and grooming a bit more again if you’ll allow me.

I have not been as active on the Facebook group either which will be changing again, more events, more new vendors to bring to the group, and of course more content here. I have come to the conclusion “reviews” are no more than opinions which are wonderful things, but as such must be treated as exactly that opinion not fact. I will be reviewing, and I encourage anyone that wants to author here on this site to let me know…..I’ll set you up in a heartbeat to review in your opinion any product, but let it be known there is only fact to the author….caveat emptor and I will always disclose when a item is gifted or, PIF’d that I review compared to the 99.9% that I spend copious amounts of money on quality gear to bring to peoples attention again based on my opinion.  Finally as I’ve already bored everyone enough first day back ! I plan on making more educational posts both written and video geared toward education for all levels of shavers; from new to veteran alike….there is no point in the years I’ve spent doing this if not to pass some knowledge on.

I leave you for today, a simple SOTD post……that was a near perfect shave.

  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria with acne head and Salicylic acid wash
  • Prep: Andalou enzymatic exfoliant peel & Lush Dark Angels scrub
  • Soap: Tiki Bar Soaps “Set Sail” Vegan
  • Brush: Nathan Clark custom 2-band badger
  • Razor: Thiers-Issard “5/8 round point Spartacus
  • Lather type: Bowl
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax & Pomade: JG compound & Royall Crown
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse and RazoRock alum
  • After Shave: Agua Lavanda Puig …(Lavender splash)
  • Balm: Every Man Jack “Signature Mint”
  • EDT: (maybe a bad combo here, but)….. Dolce & Gabanna Pour Homme Intenso…… I could do a entire review just on this EDP.