Month: August 2019

Imagine yourself in a saddlery. Imagine yourself in a BIG saddlery…

… surrounded by freshly made harnesses, beautifully burnished saddles, leather straps, highly polished boots. The smell of cleanliness, the smell of manliness, the smell of Russian leather. Well – I was transformed to such a place today. Here is the story – I was contacted on Instagram by a gentlemen called Evgeny, from Chelyabinsk – this is IN Russia dudes.. he  asked would I like to try a Russian soap called Fenomeno Cuir De Russie which translates as Phenomonon – Russian Leather. Now I know Russian Leather soaps and indeed I have one from another Artisan maker made in UK – but having a Russian leather soap, made IN Russia – how could I resist? I paid the price and Evgeny got the soap to me in less than 10 days. By the way if you want to contact Evgeny here he is: https://www.instagram.com/evgeny13doc/.

Here is the soap:

Now  know that Chanel originated the Russian Leather fragrance in an aftershave. I have never had that frag but I looked up the notes for it – listed as: “Cuir de Russie is of “wild cavalcades, wafts of blond tobacco and the smell of boots tanned by birch bark, which the Russian soldiers would wear”. The scent contains frankincense, juniper wood, mandarin orange, bergamot, rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang.” I can not say that I smell all of them in this soap but it just shouts LEATHER to me. If you like Russian Leather soaps or indeed the aftershave then you NEED this. You simply need it.

The soap lather readily and is super super slick. Quite thirsty but just superb and that Russian leather fragrance stays with you all day. I splashed a teeny bit of the rather mild D R Harris Bay Rum to layer it up.

The rest of my shave was using a Feather Kamisori shavette, Feather professional blade and my own travel brush “The Imp” with a synthetic knot – Artic Fox. Here are the rest of the shots from the shave including some lather porn!!

Regards

Steve Tinter, Alpha Shaving

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Barrister & Mann – Le Grand Cyphre. First impressions.

I’m taking advantage of some days off to try, at last, some samples my lovely wife brought me from her last trip to the US. One of these sample was Barrister and Mann – Le Grand Cyphre. Even if I have only a limited bunch of their soaps, I’m a huge fan of the brand and I consider it one of the top 3 US brands in the Wet Shaving world.

I was intrigued by this scent, which is described as

Inspired by smells indigenous to the island nation of Cyprus, Le Grand Chypre (“Leh Grond SHEEP-ruh”) combines notes of bergamot, lime, labdanum, oakmoss, and a touch of patchouli to produce an elegant, citrusy heart. We wrapped it in notes of peach, rose, frankincense, cedar, cinnamon, and other supporting smells to create an elegant, slightly fruity, freshly floral design perfectly suited to the refined shaver.

Indeed, it is quite a complex scent. Personally I get the erbacious notes first and then a strong citrusy component (bergamot and lime).

For the first test shave I used my custom Don Donato 8/8 straight razor, a small Pure Badger brush by TOBS and my shaving bowl courtesy of Rocco Contini.

The lather is easy to obtain, as it always happens with B&M soaps, and provides all the protection needed when you shave with such a razor.  My 3-passes shave was a real treat, leaving my skin really soft and smooth.

The only part of the shave I liked a bit less was related to the Aftershave. I don’t know if this is due to the fact I’m using a sample, but the AS scent smells quite different from the soap and it’s darker and earthier, while the herbacious and citrusy notes seems to be lacking. Nothing terrible, but overall this ruins the overall experience with this combo. I’m not saying these aren’t good products, it’s just a matter of personal taste related to the AS.

So far, Cologne Russe remains my favourite B&M product by a long margin! 🙂

Strikegold ‘Clinton’ Shave Soap


What are the qualities you look for in each shave soap that you use? What are your standards you follow before buying a product? In other words what determines whether or not you buy it? Does television and radio influence you? Do you see products in the store, research and then buy? or do you just buy and hope for the best? If you have answered yes to all of these questions than you’re not wrong. What product you use to shave with and why Is strictly up to you. I know I say this every time, but that’s because it’s true. Some shavers use the same products religiously because they are familiar and these products work for them, they know what to expect and they know where to buy them from. There is no thought to how this product will work for them, they already know how it works. If you fall into this category and your perfectly happy I say God speed to you Sir! I get to review lots of shaving products and I feel very fortunate to be in this position. I can review a product and relay the important information to you (my readers). I try to be as in formative as I can, I want my readers to basically know the product before they buy. More than half of the products I review you can only order online. There are shave shops located in different states that carry these items and if you are close to one count your self lucky that you can probably find and purchase the items there. Lets talk more specific shall we? I research products all the time. I also have a couple of trusted sources that I follow online through different social media platforms and what these sources review and talk about plays a big role in what kind of influence they have on me.

Social media is a great tool if you know how to use it. When I decide I want to try a shaving soap I look for different things but there are three main attributes that are at the core of my decision. These core attributes are quality, comfort and cushion. These three work together as well as overlap each other. Quality as in what ingredients are used in the production of the soap? Are they all natural or organic? How big are the batches, usually small artisan brands take pride in producing smaller batches because they can control how much and what ingredients they use. Comfort as in do any of these ingredients cause skin irritation? Usually natural and organic ingredients do not lead to skin irritation but its always good to do your research first. When reading the list of ingredients do any words look funny to you? if the answer is yes then look them up, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad ingredient, it just doesn’t look familiar to you. Cushion as in what kind of lather does this soap produce and what kind of slickness and cushion does it offer. There is a difference between slickness and cushion. I’ve used lots of soap that do not produce a lot of lather but offer an over the top slickness. The same goes for cushion, I’ve used soaps that don’t have a lot of slickness but make up for it with a slick lather that cushions the trauma from shaving. Just know that slickness and cushion mean less irritation after shaving.

I recently had a chance to try a soap that met and exceeded the three main attributes quality, comfort and cushion, that I always look for in any soap. the ‘Clinton’ shave soap from Strikegoldshave.etsy.com is from the C.I.C series which stands for ‘Commander In Chief’. Hand made in small batches in Massapequa NY this soap contains several all natural ingredients with many skin care benefits. Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and Glycerin helps moisturizes dry skin, Treat acne and blemishes, Reduces skin inflammation, Has anti-oxidants such as Vitamin E and A slowing down the aging process, Is anti-irritant providing relief to itchy and peeling skin-Reduces razor irritation and bumps, Restores and can increase the elasticity and collagen production of the skin while improving cell maturation, Reduces stretch marks and can tone your skin. I couldn’t wait to try this soap for myself. I’ve read several great online reviews for strike gold soap, more specifically on social media and every review has been positive and after the first use of this soap I can definitely see why. I received in the mail a sample size of the ‘Clinton’ soap so I decided to test it in two ways. The first way by pressing a small portion of soap into the bottom of my shave scuttle and the second way by just rotating my saturated brush over the surface of the soap. Both ways produced a great lather but the first way for me worked much better. The process was more manageable. I pressed a small amount of soap into the bottom of my scuttle and started rotating my brush with force across the top of it. It didn’t take long to produce a thick and creamy lather that filled my scuttle from top to bottom. I then filled the scuttles reservoir with warm water and set it aside to wait for the lather to warm.

After I completed my skin prep on my head and face I dipped my saturated shave brush into the full scuttle of lather making rotations filling the bristles of my brush with warm and soothing lather. The lather spread across my skin evenly in a nice thick manner. The weight and warmth of the lather felt very soothing and luxurious. Its consistency was creamy and thick not dry and fluffy. The glycerin and tallow created a creamy/thick lather with a lot of slickness providing my razor with a lot of cushion that lead to a close and comfortable shave. I could feel the razor glide across my skin with the razor blade cutting my hair with no left over irritation cuts or nicks. The quality of shave on my face followed suite with the head shave, nice and comfortable with no left over irritation. Overall I really enjoyed shaving with the ‘Clinton’ shave soap from Strikegoldshave.etsy.com it has the three main attributes that I talked about above. The quality of soap is above the mark containing some natural ingredients such as Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and Glycerin. Comfort from this soap containing some natural ingredients that help clean your skin without clogging the pores, increasing hydration and moisture at skin level while hydrating at an even deeper level. Last but not least cushion from the thick, rich and creamy lather this soap produces providing a nice cushion for your razor taking razor burn, cuts and nicks out of your shaving routine.

The second way I tested this soaps lathering abilities was by merely saturating the bristles of my shave brush and rotating them over the surface of the soap with minimal pressure. After this creates a thin pre-shave lather you continue to turn it into a full blown shave ready lather by rotating the bristles of the brush on your skin with a small amount of pressure. This method works up a lather in no time and takes less product compared to creating a full blown bowl of lather. This method is also a little more messier since your not using a bowl to catch the rest of the lather. This method is great if your in a hurry and you still want to practice wet shaving. This method is also useful for traveling light. Both methods of lathering this soap were great and your gonna love this soap no matter how you decide to lather it. Would I recommend this soap to another wet shaver? Absolutely! Thanks for reading!

-Jon Wogoman-

You can find Strike Gold on these other social media platforms

(1.) Instagram
(2.) Facebook
(3.) Etsy.com

 

Quick info

I am aware I have not been posting here for a while, but life became a bit busier than it used to be. However, I did not forget the articles I announced months ago. Just a little more patience, and I’ll be back! 😉In the meantime, have a look at the other great articles and reviews from the other guys here at WSR!

My first attempt at an Uber lather – SOTD 7th August 2019

I know I am years late but here it is. I used DFS O2 from Pannacrema as the soap/croap and Proraso white as the stabiliser. Look at the results!!

 

Other items:

* Brush Alpha Outlaw with 28mm Arctic Fox synthetic knot
* Blade Drew Dick 8/8 damascus in plain black scales
* Bowl Van Yulay Black Resin
* Soap DFS O2
* Cream ProRaso White

Enjoy!!

 

A touch of Italy

What a great day for a shave, what a great scent that captures “summer”, and the essence of Italy. Bergamotto di Calabria is a wonderful citrus scent with underlying florals and white musk in the base note. The lather like all of the offerings from Extrò made by Donato Ciniello are very easy to dial in, and have both great cushion and glide. I used my New Forest “Tubby 2” Brush which is an all around great face lathering brush with gel tipped Silvertip badger 🦡. The Tubby 2 is a beast of a lathering brush, pretty even in loft and handle (which is quite large in diameter). Unfortunately these brushes were discontinued back in appx. 2015-16. I’m very blessed to have been able to get a few of these artisan brushes.

As an overall statement and a minimal review, I’ll finish with just saying the small pleasures in life are embodied in this shave. I also need to thank Jeff Conrad as well for his generosity and love for wet shaving. Shave on my friends !