Grooming

The Alpha Brush & Shaving Company Titanium Brush Group Buy

Right guys – those of you sitting on the fence there are about 10 places left. I am limiting this to 100 places. The counter is currently at 94 but a handful dropped out – so it is 10 more places… come on what you waiting for?

This is the Group Buy You Have Waited All Your Life For

Bringing you and affordable, beautiful and functional Titanium Shaving brush with a choice of great knots at a price that everyone will gasp at…

Sign up here to show your interest and make your knotting choices – https://app.waitwhile.com/welcome/alphatitanium

Product renders are shown below but those of you who have seen my real life Outlaws will know – they are the best. Here is what an Outlaw V1 looks like in real life – in REAL Titanium

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The time has come. The Alpha Brush & Shaving Company is pleased to announce a Titanium Group Buy with prices as follows:-
Note: No money changes hands until I am ready to ship.
Four Options

  1. Bare Titanium Handle – Outlaw style with 27mm diameter knot hole – $115.00 Shipping included
  2. Titanium Handle – Outlaw style + Quality High End generation 4 (G4) Synthetic Knot manufactured by Frank Shaving – $130.00 – Shipping included
  3. Titanium Handle – Outlaw style + Quality Super High Density 2 band Fan SHD Manchurian – $160.00 – Shipping included
  4. Titanium Handle – Outlaw style + mail in your own knot (ie knotting service) – $127.50 – ship back included

If you choose the knotting service please specify the loft and how you want it glued in – ie epoxy or silicone. I won’t modify the brush to fit the knot so please make sure you mail in a 24-26mm knot

These prices are unheard of and will probably never be seen again.

Each brush will be beautifully packaged in an eco-friendly bamboo tube with the Alpha logo. The brushes will have the Alpha logo on the base and another marking yet to be determined – maybe the chemical symbol for Titanium. Each brush will come with a certificate of authenticity signed by me!!

The brush will be made in titanium and precision machined on a CNC lathe. The finish will be a hand polish – beautiful and lustrous – like a jewel to behold. The handles overall height is approximately 65 mm, 38mm wide at its widest point. The weight will come in at about 90g once the handle is filled with resin and knot fitted.

The Outlaw is a super ergonomic handle and is designed to be palmed and not held with the finger tips. The “belly” sits nicely in your hand and your fingers are drawn, as if magnetically, to The Outlaws neck. A superb hand feel and easy to grip featuring 7 nice deep flutes.

It is going to be a relatively slow burn – I will gather the orders, make the PO and wait around 6 weeks before the handles are ready, the knots are ready and the packaging is ready. Only then will I ask you for money.

Come on what are you waiting for? By now you know the details. By now you know my reputation for customer service and quality. By now you should have already signed up!! 

The Synth…

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  • This is the synth knotting choice – a beautiful 4th generation synth by Frank Shaving


The Badger…

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  • A wonderful Super High Density 2-Band Badger Manchurian Fan

Limited numbers available – sign up NOW!! Come on what are you waiting for? By now you know the details. By now
you know my reputation for customer service and quality. By now you
should have already signed up!! 

Sign up here to show your interest and make your knotting choices – https://app.waitwhile.com/welcome/alphatitanium

Be Sharp, be an Alpha.

Steve T. (Alpha Brush & Shaving Company)

P.S. If you do have a moment please sign up for the Alpha Brush & Shaving Company Newsletter – NO SPAM guaranteed

Sign up HERE

You can also join the dedicated Facebook Group for this group buy – just follow this link:- https://www.facebook.com/groups/AlphaTitanium/

Renders:

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Dichotomy Beard Products

Caramel Nut Mocha!

Ok so lets get down to the nitty gritty! we all know what beard products are for and what the do right? If not then here is a very quick run-down. Beard oil and balm keeps your skin and beard soft and healthy. Beard balm also contains bees wax which provides a holding power needed to help manage and maintain those fly away whiskers. Who/where and why you buy these beard products is up to you. Do you want to buy products that use all natural butters and essential oils? or products that use all chemicals? The choice is up to you, that’s the only right or wrong answer when it comes to buying beard products. What’s most important to me when I look for something new is, how natural are the products? and what kind of scent do they have or what’s available? To be honest, I do have some products that are not 100% all natural and I’m fine with that, it doesn’t keep me up at night. I try to stay on the all natural side but stray every once in a while. The scent of a product and the strength of the aroma is also important to me. My wife is sensitive to strong aromas so I have to be careful. I also don’t want to knock people over when I walk past them so the strength of the aroma really matters to me. I had a chance not long ago to review the Caramel Nut Mocha beard oil and balm from Dichotomygrooming.com They sell beard care products and also shaving products. They have several choices to choose from. One of the things I liked right away when visiting their website is how the shaving and beard products were tied together by scent. Yes men with beards do shave. Some men shave their neck/cheek lines while others shave more than that.

I on the other hand have opted to put down the razor and let my beard grow in with the natural look. I am shaving my neck line just until my beard gets long enough to hide my neck. I don’t bother with using shave soap because I only have to shave a very small area but if the area was bigger I would definitely check out the shaving cream selection from Dichotomy Grooming as well. Like I previously stated their beard care and shaving products work together through matching scents. They also carry after shave lotions in the same scents so you can match all of your grooming products with the same scent. I like that, it’s unified grooming, you can take care of your beard and shave with the same scented products and follow suite finishing it off with an aftershave lotion to help prevent razor burn. I received in the mail a 1 oz. fluid bottle of the ‘Caramel Nut Mocha beard oil’. The beard oil bottle is amber tinted to preserve and protect the natural oils used to make the beard oil. To much exposure to light can cause the natural oils to beak down and weaken. The dropper style lid helps you conserve oil by only allowing one drop at a time. Along with the oil came the pairing ‘Carmel Nut Mocha Beard Balm’ in a rounded 2 oz. jar. The rounded jar was also amber tinted preserving the natural and essential oils used to make this balm. The first thing I did before anything else was open each container so I could smell the product. The caramel nut mocha aroma is fantastic, if these products tasted the same way they smelled I would have eaten them by now, but unfortunately these products are just for beard care and should not be eaten.

I washed and towel patted my beard to dry in anticipation of trying these new products. I applied 3-4 drops of oil to my hands and rubbed them together thoroughly coating my hands with oil. I worked the oil into my whiskers and waited a couple of minutes to let my skin and beard soak up the oil. The ‘Caramel Nut Mocha’ beard oil contains a lot of natural and essential oils such as Jojoba-Argan-Apricot Kernel-Sweet Almond-Avocado-Grapeseed & Vitamin E Oil that have a lot of skin care benefit. These oils have Vitamin E and antioxidants that help restore and balance your skin keeping it looking supple and glowing, Moisturizes Skin, Prevents Razor Burn, Promotes Skin Health, Wont clog your pores, protects and cleanses the skin, Soothes fines lines and wrinkles, Fights the early signs of aging, helps treat eczema and psoriasis, helps stimulate hair growth, makes hair more pliable and soft, keeps moisture in the scalp, protects your skin from harmful UV rays, helps keep your skin looking smooth and healthy, helps sooth chapped and irritated skin. With all those benefits I think the question you should ask yourself is why am I not using this beard oil on an every day basis.

I let the oil work its magic for a few minutes and then decided it was time to apply the balm. I can’t say enough good things about the ‘Caramel Nut Mocha’ beard balm, but here are a few. First it has a softer consistency but yet provides a light hold. A dime sized amount of balm in the palms of my hands with a little friction and its ready to coat your whiskers and provide all the management you need for the day. The fragrance follows suite with the oil only a little more milder. I noticed this is the case with every oil/balm combo I have reviewed in the past. The aroma is fantastic just like the oil. Last but not least its full of all natural and essential oils and butters that are good for you and the environment. The Apricot Kernal-Jojoba-Grapeseed and Vitamin E Oil, Mango and shea butter along Beeswax offers the same skin care benefits as the oil consisting of containing antioxidants that help restore and balance your skin keeping it looking supple and glowing, Moisturizes Skin, Prevents Razor Burn, Promotes Skin Health, Wont clog your pores, protects and cleanses the skin, Soothes fines lines and wrinkles, Fights the early signs of aging, helps treat eczema and psoriasis, helps stimulate hair growth, makes hair more pliable and soft, keeps moisture in the scalp, protects your skin from harmful UV rays, helps keep your skin looking smooth and healthy, helps sooth chapped and irritated skin. The Mango and Shea Butter also help to moisturize and reduce beard itch, prevent beard dandruff, eliminates split ends and locks in moisture.

Once the balm was worked thoroughly into my beard I ran my beard comb through my whiskers a couple of times evenly spreading the balm out. Next I grabbed my boar bristle beard brush and starting on the right side working my way over to the left side I stroked my beard downward. After reaching the end of the left side I did the same motion towards the right side. Next I started underneath my beard on the right side stroking my whiskers upward working my way to the left side again and then back to the right side. I always end my comb/brush ritual with one last stroke on the outside of my beard starting from the top with a downward stroke to bring my beard back into a resting position. The ‘Caramel Nut Mocha’ beard balm held strong all day long and helped manage any fly away strands of hair there might be. Would I recommend the ‘Caramel Nut Mocha’ to other beardsman? Absolutely! Thanks for reading.

-Jon Wogoman-

You can find Dichotomy on these other social media platforms

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

 

 

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

The Coup De Maitre – my first ever mustache all off shave!!

It says it like it is. When I first started wet shaving I had a mustache. One day it got filled with egg yolk and it was time to get it OFF. This is the first time I ever shaved a mustache – it went quite well I thought!!

 

Vlasta – My Journey To The Dark Side

Hi, I don’t think many of us have shared our full shaving journey so I thought it might be nice to share with you all my journey to the dark side. First of all a couple of observations/truisms:-

  • If you think that getting into wet shaving will save you money then my advice is “Don’t start”. It won’t. You will get sucked into a deep deep rabbit hole of razors, blades, the latest whizz bang soap, pre-shave oils, balms, creams, after shave, eau de cologne, brushes, knots – the list goes on and on. Unless you have a WILL OF IRON then you will spend more, a lot more. I write this from the back seat of my abandoned car using Starbucks WiFi…
  • If you think your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or sugar mammy will understand why you are doing this – they won’t. You will end up hiding your purchases and rationalizing with them that you will sell some of your stuff to make way for more – you won’t. I write this sitting on a pile of soaps, creams and razors – at the last count more than a dozen brushes, twenty or so creams and soaps despite having had a give away for what I told myself was more than 50% of my den. Thirty or so straight razors from a simple Dovo to a custom Drew Dick – and I still want more… Snailforge, Ali’s Blade, an Iwasaki kamisori – oh yes I have a list a mile long. Not forgetting the DE’s. Way more shave stuff than I can use in a lifetime.
  • You will never, ever be satisfied that you got the perfect shave. So don’t chase it. Let the technique guide you. Not every day will be the perfect shave and most will be at DFS level. Don’t sweat it, you are the only one that knows.

So, words of wisdom over. Here is a blow by blow “diary’ of how I came to be a wet shaver. I have cut and pasted most of the stuff from another forum I am involved in and only my own and relevant replies. My journey from cartridge user to addict:

My forum name on most wet shave forums is ‘Vlasta’: –

16th February 2017

Hi Chaps and Chapettes,

OK – I am almost there…. except my razor is still on its way from Japan. I am all kitted up with:-

  • Edwin Jagger Best Badger Brush
  • Feather PG15 and Pro 20 blades
  • Geo. F Trumpers Lime Cream Soap
  • Alum Block
  • Proraso Repair Gel

My razor – a Feather SS Japanese Straight Razor in Lime is in the mail from Japan and due any time!!

Now – in the meantime I am using all the above good kit with a cartridge razor – a Gillette Mach 3 – you know it is OK for a nanny-razor and with my new gentle technique – no more razor burn!

My question is this: I have been trying to use my non-dominant hand for the left side of my face to prepare myself for the day my straight arrives, and the dominant hand for my right side, and I am finding it difficult to control the razor with the non-dominant hand. Tell me, is there any compelling reason why I should use my non-dominant hand?

A member wrote that a shavette was maybe not the best choice for a beginner. Especially not a Feather SS AC Kamisori style…

17th February 2017

I am a bit scared now by the comment above on my choice of razor for a first purchase….. should I also buy a proper str8 and start learning with that before trying my Japanese Feather? I went to a local shop today and they have a nice Dovo 5/8″ with Olive Wood handle for $310 – is that a good deal?

Advised by members that this is NOT a good deal…

18th February 2017

Right…. ordered a Dovo str8, strop, strop pastes, Dovo storage pouch from www.thesuperiorshave.com – all for about a hundred buck less than my local store charged for only the razor.

So – my ordered line up was:

  • Dovo #4580 Straight Razor
  • Dovo 185-35001 Strop
  • Dovo Yellow Paste
  • Dovo White Paste
  • Dovo 9022021 Burgundy Sheath

The guy at Superior Shave honed it to shave ready before sending it to me.

24th February 2017

Right guys – I have my swag – photos coming soon. Now I need to gird my loins for that first shave… feeling scared about it. I am going to start with the Dovo str8 not the Feather shavette. My 30-day setup will be:-

  • Jagger Best badger Brush
  • Dovo str8 “Silver Steel” Primo with black ebony handle – honed by @Jarrod from TSS
  • Geo. F Trumpers Lime Cream
  • Regular alum block

28th February 2017 – THE DAY!!

I am now officially on the dark side.

The BIG day arrived friends – first the equipment. Apologies about the Photobucket watermarks but this is the only record I still have of the fateful days line up.

  • Geo F. Trumpers Lime Cream
  • Dovo straight razor bought from and honed by @Jarrod
  • Razor storage pouch from The Superior Shave site too
  • Strop – Dovo – not had the need to use it yet
  • Jagger Best Badger brush
  • Shaving Bowl – kids cereal bowl – photos on request only….
  • Alum block – standard stuff

Time – 10:00 was my start time. I finished about 30 minutes later.

Prep: Run hot water, 60 degrees, soak shaving brush for 1 minute. Soak hot towel and apply to face for 30 seconds x 2.
Lather: – dabbed wet brush into cream to just cover tips. Whipped up a nice creamy foam in my cereal bowl then put the cereal bowl in another bowl of hot water to keep it warm – like a bain-marie.
Application: Applied lather to face as per all the videos!!

Time to shave and I am not kidding I was scared. Will it slice my face? Will I score a jugular hit on the first stroke and spout my life blood all over the bathroom?….. I pucker up. I loop left hand over my head to try and tighten skin on my right cheek and then I am off – very VERY gently at first I make my first pass on my right cheek. The razor sings. IT IS ACTUALLY CUTTING WHISKERS… and not flesh. It feels great… I am on a roll now. I finish my first stroke and I am alive. I feel ALIVE. I wipe the razor on my wet towel and think to myself “This isn’t too bad. Not too hard at all”. I rub my fingers on my alum block to get grip and go for stroke 2. Still alive. I go down to the jaw line and beyond onto my throat. I cannot believe it I am actually shaving with a wickedly sharp razor on my throat and it feels safe, it feels good and by jingos it IS good!!

Next I am confident – I go for the right hand side – the same. I live. No cuts yet. No nicks yet. I do the WTG pass on my left cheek and YES I used my left hand. I am now in the zone. I go for a WTG pass down the front of my neck – all good. Next – the chin. This is where I though I would slice myself for sure – noooooo. I did not. Not even a nick on my Adams apple

Thoughts – my first pass was a success in that I managed to do it ALL without cutting myself. It was not the closest shave in the world though and this did disappoint me so I put that down to nerves and being too gentle. My soap tended to dry out – how to fettle this?

Subsequent passes – another WTG and better result. Third pass XTG – getting better and better. Fourth pass – ATG on all surfaces. I came out of it alive with only two teeny-weeny nicks, one on my left cheek near the side-burn and one on the tip of my chin – I mean really teeny – a pin prick.

All in all I made four passes and got what I would call a reasonable level of shave and certainly better than with my Mach 3 thingos. Not baby bottom smooth yet but I am sure it will come with practice.

Warmdown – Rinse, alum blocked and then Khiels after shave balm. I washed all equipment. Put the brush to dry in the breeze and dried and oiled my razor ready for next time.

It takes me a couple of days to grow whiskers enough to go for round two but I am going to do it. More results soon

BTW – no top lip report – I am growing a moustache so won’t be shaving the top lip for a while, if ever…

Review: Extrò Felce Biancospino

Sit back, and enjoy as this review has been a long time in the making, but what’s great is I have had an easy 6 months using the product. To start off this review we need to take a journey to a short ride from Turin, Italy to the Extrò shop to meet Donato. Donato Ciniello is the owner operator owner of Extròcosmesi, and easily one of the best men I’ve had the pleasure to know. Extrò makes everything from Shaving soaps to EDT, Refreshing eucalyptus splashes, as well as promoting other blade smiths, and artisans within his storefront. The great news is Donato will ship anywhere in the world for amazing rates, and very fast shipping. From Italy to me here in New York, USA takes about a week to 10 days. That’s huge ! Great prices and fast shipping 👍🏽👍🏽 that’s a win. Hopefully that is a good back ground on Donato and Extrò so let’s get onto the product

Felce Biancospino

Fragrance– for those of us that are blessed enough to speak Italian this translates into Fern Hawthorn. I find that it has an equal amount of each fragrance, nothing overpowering the other. They work symbiotically together to produce a beautiful bouquet of what I would call an aged forest, full of greens as well as fragrant trees and bushes. Their is zero flaw in the fragrance. Over the past 6+ months it has been stable and consistent with no unexpected spots.

Lather– Years ago we were confined by tallow shave soaps in the Wet Shaving community. Donato has been ahead of the pack for years using different vegan oils and bases. This particular Crema da Barba uses Shea Butter which is known for the post shave smoothness associated with Shea. This would be considered the quintessential Italian softer Croap or, somewhere between a cream, and a hard soap. I found an easy 30-45 second loading led to ample lather for equal more than 3 passes. This will be factored by your water being hard or, soft. If it’s any indicator I have hard water which in theory should be a negative, gives me zero problems. I will say though this soap does prefer colder to warm water. I’ve used my scuttle many times, but I temper the water to be enjoyable, but still create ample thick and slick fragrant lather.

Post Shave– As I have said above the main factor in the post shave is the Shea Butter Donato uses. People have used Shea for as long as smooth skin has been preferred (a really long time). I use the matching aftershave as a layering, but the true softness comes from the soap !

Conclusion- Easily put this is one of my favorite soaps to use. I prefer the earthy Fern and Hawthorn fragrance. It’s very natural in scent, and very protective. Felce Biancospino has the added benefit of containing Shea which gives a natural soft post shave feel. When combined with the aftershave you have a beautifully layered shave that’s fragrance lasts for quite sometime depending on your skins individual properties. There are very few soaps or, brands that equal the mastery of Donato Ciniello so, when you get a moment check out his website, and you heard it here on WSR that this is a solid purchase from a great European Artisan.

https://www.extrocosmesi.it

Facebook:

https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Shopping—Retail/Extrocosmesiit-1727013654268658/

Soap: Extrò Felce Biancospino

Brush: Alpha Brush & Shaving co. T-400 Silver tip badger

Razor: Vintage Gillette President

Blade: Personna Med Prep

Aftershave: Felce Biancospino

Scuttle & Scotch Porter beard balm

SOTD 23/1/2018 SOTD 22/12/18 Augustini left handed Kamisori, Man Of Siam Cadwgawn soap and an ΑΛΦΑ T-400 with a Long John boar knot

I am in Australia on holiday and what better way to shave than with an Australian razor and some soap from Jack Jarvis – purported to be an Aussie too. So today’s line up is:

  • Augustini left handed kamisori by Augustini razors of Melbourne, Australia
  • Jack Jarvis Cadwgawn shaving soap by Man Of Siam (Jack Jarvis late of Sydney, Australia)
  • Van Yulay shaving bowl in blue resin
  • Alpha T-400 brush with a nice long 80mm boar knot

The razor – I ordered this razor on December 4th in anticipation of my going on vacation to Australia (save postage costs…) I finally picked it up on 19th December on arrival. It is an awesome piece of work – super polished and shave ready. It comes with it’s own leather pouch and you can choose the stitching colour – I chose red.

The soap – packaged as pictured. Scent notes are lavender, rosemary and clove. The lavender is subtle and the clove evident with the whiff of rosemary – smell like a trader!! The main thing I was worried about was lathering, the place I am staying in uses water derived from an Artesian basin well and is HARD – I mean super hard. I bloomed the soap for 5 minutes and soaked the brush while I stropped the razor on linen and leather. I loaded the brush tips for about 30 seconds and then transferred to the lather bowl – it whipped up a storm – super thick and glossy lather. A superb shave – WTG and 1 x ATG. A DFS for my first run on this razor.

Conclusion – the Man of Siam soap lived up to it’s reputation as a super latherer and the Augustini razor was a wow!!!

 

Merry Christmas to all.

Stirling Soap Company: Episode 1 – Ben Franklin

The first article in a series dedicated to Stirling Soap Company is about a soap which features one of the most awkward descriptions in the whole Wet Shaving community:

This soap smells like an older gentleman’s pantaloons at the end of a hot July day in Philadelphia, drafting important documents with no air conditioner. It’s actually a very unique scent that reminded a few of my testers of a root beer float. An instant favorite.

Many customers wrote to the owners asking for clarifications, because later they added to their website:

NOTE: The description is tongue-in-cheek. It smells like a wonderful blend of Frankincense, Benzoin, Nutmeg, and Clove. It doesn’t actually smell like sweaty old man pants. As of 3 March 2015, we have been averaging about 2-3 inquiries per week as to why we would make a soap that smells like an older gentleman’s trousers…


That said, let me start with some memories… 4-5 Years Ago my fianceè (who now is my wife) bought some Stirling soaps as part of a larger bunch for my birthday. The three soaps were Executive Man (which I liked), Coniferous (which I loved) and Texas on Fire (same as Coniferous, maybe even better!). I was nicely surprised by the lather produced by these soaps, a very creamy and thick lather, which, combined with the original and, in certain cases, uncommon fragrances, made a great combo for the wet shaver enthusiast in me. Years later, I had the chance to grab some samples thanks to a friend visiting the USA, and I was able to get some of the most praised soaps like Ozark Mountain and Stirling Gentleman, among others, and, of course, Ben Franklin. For all soaps, the formula is the usual Stirling one, with Tallow, Lanoline and Shea Butter, which provides a great slickness and tons of creamy lather.

The sample is a generous one, I think it will last for at least 15-20 shaves. I personally like the round shape, which allows to keep the sample on one palm and lathering with the brush directly on the soap surface. Of course, the other common option is to pick a small piece of soap, put it in your favourite bowl and theh lather inside the bowl. Be aware that these soaps are quite thirsty, so don’t be shy when adding water!

So, what can I say about the scent? This is definitely a soap which needed some time (i.e. shaves) to be fully appreciated. I spoke about my sensations with my brother-in-shaves Aaron and we both agreed that the scent reminds of an old, English artisan’s boutique; an ancient, warm, spicy, old-world reassuring scent. A scent in which the frankincense, the benzoin and the nutmeg are clearly noticeable, with a slight hint of lime (this was suggested to me by Aaron, at first I didn’t pick it up), too.

Two fragrances came to mind when trying Ben Franlin: Sartorial by Penhaligon’s, for that old-shop feeling, and Barrister and Mann’s Beaudelaire (which is much stronger, however).

Tested with both DE and Straight razors, with both Badger and Boar brushes, the soap performed great every time.

Since I don’t have any Stirling After Shave, every time I use one of their soaps I need to find a good matching aftershave (which, I must confess, it’s a task I love 🙂 ).

For Ben Franklin, I found these to work great:

  • Extròcosmesi FràRinik
  • Krampert’s Finest Bay Rum – Acadian Spice
  • Captain’s Choice Bay Rum

Overall, Ben Franklin has become a new favourite of mine, thanks to its unusual but really pleasant scent and its awesome performance. I wouldn’t define the scent as a crowd-pleaser, though. IMHO it’s a scent for those who like to sit back, relax and let their minds wander, thinking about past times.

Links:

Ben Franklin Shaving Soap

Krampert’s Finest

Extrò Cosmesi