Shave of the Day

Aaron’s Pick April 5th,2017: Extro & Bram Van Den Berg

Welcome to the newest feature on the Wet Shaver Review ! Every week one or, more of our team will choose a #sotd that resonates with us, to share with the whole wet shaving community. This week my pick comes from Holland by Bram Van Den Berg; I hope you enjoy this #sotd #review as much as I did ! Thank you Bram for your contributions.

Man, do I have a start of a great day!

The sun is out, temperatures outside are really nice and the dogs are in a very, very good and relaxed mood. What more can I wish for, right?

Well, a good shave would me a nice addition to the day!
And man, did I get one! grin

Yesterday I got a package in with a few new soaps and aftershaves. And one of those was this Extro Bergamotto di Calabria.

When I opened the jar for the first time and gave it it’s first sniff…
I knew this was going to be good!
As you all might know, i am a sucker for good citrus-scented soaps!

Directly out of the jar, you smell a nice blend of citrus fruits where the orange scent is the most dominant one.
So far, a good start.

Lathering is, as with any Extro soap, a really easy task.
The stuff lathers like a beast with my huge Rod Neep brush!
The lather is really nice and thick and really really slick and it smells like….heaven!

If i want to compare the scent to some other Italian soaps that I have used throughout the years, the best comparison is with the TFS Bergamotto Neroli and the TFS Zagara e Gelsomino.

It isn’t as overly sweet as the Bergamotto Neroli, but isn’t as mild as the Zagara either. A very nice middle-ground between those two.

From all the citrus scents, the orange is still the most dominant, even when the stuff is lathered.
A lovely sweet scent with a slight tangy note to it. Love it! grin

Shaving with this stuff is, as expected with the Extro soaps.
A very nice slick and a very nice and protective soap.
Nothing to complain here.

Now, the aftershave is where the whole thing comes together like PB&J.

IMPORTANT!
First, give the bottle a good shake, so you can mix up all the ingredients properly!

The aftershave compliments the soap so good! As with any Extro combo I have tried so far.

The aftershave has the more bitter/tangy citrus scents and the orange moves to the back.

An amazing combo of a sweet soap and a more bitter and tangy aftershave to make a really nicely rounded combo!
Something that really fits the great sunny weather!

And the best part of it all is, I have a pomade that matches this scent profile!

So to compliment this all, I am wearing Nostalgic Handmade Super Waterbased Clean Cut Citrus today!

I’m going to enjoy the sunshine now! Bubaaaaaai!

Have a great day ladies and gentlemen!

-Aaron

St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime”

I was introduced to SJOL a while back e.g. 3-4 years ago. St.James of London is made by Creightons the same as Trufitt & Hill, Geo F. Trumpers, and the last of the three “T’s”. I was instantly blown away that such an affordable product was so darn good ! Back then it was Cedarwood & Clary Sage; today I used an scent that would deceive.
Today I used a tube I stead of my larger jars of SJOL Black Pepper & Lime 🍋 it reminds me of a warmer place like the Caribbean, but also that spicy black pepper warms and invites those around you a bit closer, then they realize that initial Citrus also has a musk to it that is seductive and alluring. This unlikely scent is a winner for the winter ❄️! For the spring and the summer. This jewel of a scent will evoke a different response and memory each season.
What can I say about the rest ? It’s a Semogue 830 which is so well broken in could pass for pure Badger. If you do not have this brush; it is a staple for every traditional Shaver. The PAA Double Open Comb has done right by me. The DOC is affordable and attractive at that price point, just remember this is a buffing razor so buff away folks for that BBS shave. The Boulder from American Stonecraft I used as my lather bowl is worth this many of these $$$ and is a luxury; all these products work equally as well face lathered for free. That’s all I have to say, but if you contact Brittney McDermott or, Todd Fisher I am sure they would love to talk about St. James of London and match you up with the perfect cream and other products that fit your style perfectly.

Soap: St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime”
Brush: Semogue 830
Razor: PAA Double Open Comb
Blade: Gillette 7 O’clock SharpEdge
After Shave: Royall Muske
Post Shave: St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime” gel
Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet 💐 — with Roberto Monanni and 6 others.

Follow the smoke…

No, I’m not going to review a BBQ Restaurant or a Tobacconist Shop. Not at all. We’re a Wet-Shaving-themed blog, aren’t we? So, what I’m going to talk about this evening is one of the most original and great soaps on the market, at least for my tastes! It was given to me as a present for my birthday by my girlfriend, who struggled a lot to get it, but in the end, thanks to the patience and kindness of different persons (the artisan himself plus other resellers) she managed to have the soap shipped to Italy!

In my previous articles I told you about my top 2 “surprises of the year”; well, this soap completes the Top 3, sitting on the third step of the podium. The soap is Cigar Lounge, by Soapy Bathman, run by Chris Erskine, a Canadian artisan who knows his job and created a very nice line of soaps, AS balms, Shampoo Bars, etc. with a variety of scents to please the tastes of the most discerning gentlemen out there.

Cigar Lounge. The name itself intrigued me from the start. I’m a very moderate smoker, but from time to time I like smoking a good cigar (both Habanos and Italian, Toscano, cigars) or smoking a pipe, just to spend a relaxing evening. I didn’t know what to expect from the soap. Cigar Lounges are not so common in Italy and reading the evocative description on the producer site didn’t completely unveil the aura of mystery about this soap.

“Imagine yourself sitting in a smoky Cigar Lounge, glass of liquor in front of you, soft raspy jazz music gently whispering in the background.  Smelling the thick, smooth scent of your cigar with every exhale. With a blend of bergamot, lemon and spiced Tobacco leaves you will picture that everytime you shave.”  (from http://soapybathman.ca/item_38/Cigar-Lounge-Shave-Soap.htm )

When the soap arrived, I instantly fell in love with the presentation and, most of all, the scent. If I had to choose the word which describes it best, it would be (apart from Awesome) Balanced. Yes, because I was afraid of a soap which would smell too smokey, resulting off-putting. Not at all! The scent is a wonderful combination of citrusy notes, with hints of liquor and cigar smoke here and there, all perfectly balanced. I think this is the key of the success of this soap, which got very positive reviews everywhere.

Scent is not everything, however; so, how does the soap perform? At first I had some difficulties in lathering; nothing dramatic, but I wasn’t fully satisfied. I asked Chris for advice and he was very kind and quick to link me his video tutorial. Soaking the soap for 3-5 minutes hugely improves the lathering process. The lather obtained is very creamy, the protection for the skin is very good and the scent is strong enough to be smelled after the end of the shave. I like the scent of this soap so much that sometimes I don’t apply aftershave just to continue smelling it! Just a bit of talcum powder. 🙂

Overall this is a great soap which I highly recommend to all those who:

  • enjoy citrusy scents
  • enjoy the scent of a burning cigar
  • want to try a one-of-a-kind soap!

In picture: SOTD 21/01/2016, the Romeo y Julieta n°3 hasn’t been smoked yet! 🙂

 

SOTD: June 9th, 2015 “Tobacco Tuesday”

What an excellent shave today, I could not have wanted more. Barrister & Mann always delivers top- shelf performance, and unique original scents. 

To most people when they hear “tobacco” the instantly think about cigarettes or, a cigar; well I don’t use either. I do however enjoy the fragrance of both green uncut tobacco leaf and even the aromatic smell of a pipe with that signature Burley or, cavendish scent. Today happened to be that theme day for the tobacco scent in any form. The brand or, what part of the shave that tobacco scent arrived was irrelevant, but I pretty much used it throughout. 

Again a great shave, a wonderful scent, and so far the sun is shinning. The day is looking pretty darn good, shave on !

#sotd June 9th, 2015

#tobaccotuesday #wsr
Pre: Hot shower w/ Jack Blacks Deep Dive

Soap: Barrister&Mann “Roam”

Brush: Vie-Long SE Lord Randall badger/horse

Razor: Dovo 6/8 La Forme

After shave: Barrister & Mann “Roam”
Jams – Strung out Exile in Oblivion

SOTD: June 6th, 2015 “Saturday Night Lime”

What’s there to say about today’s shave ? Not a whole lot for once ! It was comfortable, and it removed hair 🙂 if you have never used Castle Forbes creams I would strongly recommend them, as they are formulated for ultimate glide and for a wonderful post shave feel due to the lanolin in the cream itself. The Case Red Imp delivered the goods; no two ways about that, aside from a aggressive spike point the razor is awesome, rescaled I guess with what I’d call a red coral type of scale and custom fit for the razor. Lastly Raymond Bukaty makes an amazing brush ! his knot is superb and craftsmanship cannot be denied. All said todays shave was excellent and very enjoyable. Shave on everyone and enjoy the beautiful day, and weekend ! – Aaron

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  • Pre: Hot shower with Nivea face scrub
  • Cream: Castle Forbes Lime
  • Brush: Bukaty custom Silver Tip badger
  • Razor: Case “Red Imp” 6/8 red coral scale
  • Lather type: Bowl
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Pinaud black & Murray’s SE “Vintage”
  • After Shave: Captain’s Choice Lime
  • Balm: Soap Commander “Respect”
  • Fragrance: Lacoste L12.12 Blanc

In memory of June 5th, 1956 “For my Father”

Today is always a day of reflection for me, the title alone of this post gives away this has to do with my father. This will not be a long or drawn out post, but a glimpse into my life, and a remembrance of a life taken way too soon. I have said countless times I was raised by my grandparents and great grandparents, which is accurate….my great grandfather taught me to shave, and started my journey in this amazing community. My Father was an officer, and thus was not around as much as he or, I would have liked. So instead of moving constantly as is the norm, I stayed with family. What I did learn from my father as ironically when his time was up my tenure began, I never achieved nor, wanted to become an officer, but I was very close to say the least. My father taught me what it was to be a man, a father, to have respect for myself and to put others before myself always and in everyway. To love my God, my country, and to listen to those much wiser than myself.

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Fast Forward to 8 years ago; my father passed away from Cancer, something I wish even I could just remove from anyone and everyone. Renal cell carcinoma to be exact or, cancer of the Kidney, there is no cure, and it’s a highly aggressive cancer. He was just 51 by a few days when he passed surrounded by family and friends and even brothers in arms acting full bird Colonel’s and those he served with by his side. My fathers life was measured by accomplishment not by years….I find it hard to think most people to achieve what he did in 40 something years, to be reached by those living double his time here. Driven is a understatement, and I cannot overstate he was my best friend, and I miss him dearly. Today he would have turned 59, but his time had come now near a decade ago.  Well I guess I lied this is turning a bit to the longer side.

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To the point, I choose to remember those both living and not, by using birth year razors, of which I have nearly one for every person in my family going back to the early 1900’s. I did NOT use my father’s birth year razor today. His razor is a B-2 Gillette Super Speed Red-Tip replated in Rhodium by Razor Emporium. It is an amazing razor and Matt Pisarcik did nothing less then a stellar job. Razor Emporium was much smaller when they did this job so me and Matt spoke throughout the process of this revamp. Instead of that razor I decided to  honor my father a different way, I used his favorite after shave and cologne ! I am a straight razor shaver, and to that point even my father would tell me be true to myself not a razor in his memory. Brut was his favorite scent…plain and simple he used disposable razors, canned goo, but at least he used Brut, which was better than the razor idea as the aroma of this Fougere scent reminded me of him all day long, combined with Paco Rabanne pour homme another wonderful, and fitting EDT to go with Brut. Finally before I sign off to answer the question of  “what razor did I use” ? it was a vintage 1875 Abraham Brookebank 13/16 near wedge with original horn scales and a great example of a traditional barbers notch. I choose this razor not only because it’s a stellar razor even after 140 appx year ! this razor has seen more history than any of us, and in my mind shows that nothing is ever really gone, but should be cherished and treated with care, and loved like it was your last day to ever see it again, on that note I thank you all for sticking with me through this story, and while I miss my father I do find solace by dedicating this shave today in the memory of my father, and what he instilled upon me to this day.

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  • Pre: Hot shower w/ Clarisonic Aria deep pore head and cleanser
  • Soap: Barrister & Mann “Beaudelaire” Fougere
  • Brush: Thater 4292/4 set in cocobolowood handle and 2-band
  • Razor: 1875 Abraham Brookebank 13/16 near wedge with barbers notch and dark horn scales
  • Lather type: American Stonecraft bowl
  • Moustache type:Handlebar
  • Wax & Pomade: Pinaud black & Murray’s Superior
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse
  • After shave: Classic Brut
  • Balm/Other: Brut balm with Shea butter and aloe
  • Fragrance: Paco Rabanne pour homme

Fougere Fridays May 29th, 2015

What an excellent way to end the work week ! I’ve been neglecting my ritual of using a Fougere scented soap on Friday’s, but today I used easily one of the best made. Fougere Imperiale a rich, and robust Fougere that without apology loudly proclaims its earthy “Fern” like attributes with that dank oakmoss earthy base and livened up with floral top notes, this is a sublime representation of the style, and I would say not for the weekend Fougere lover, but the head first expierenced veteran who loves a “darker” earthy representation. 

  
As far as the remainder of the hardware it’s near impossible to beat the quality and feel of a Thater brush when it comes to quality brushes. Today I used the 4292/4 a 24mm 2-band knot set in Cocobolo wood with silver accents. This brush while 2-band is set to be soft on the face, stronger backbone than Silvertip, but with a slightly scritchier feel. The Dovo Bismark without question is one of the best razors ever made, iconic actually. The Bismark at 6/8, shoulder less with thumb notch and very ornate gold wash and a pearl effect to the scales make this razor a pleasure to use, as always YMMV on all I said here; to me this was a top shelf shave.

   
 
Finished off simply with Barrister & Manns Fougere Tonique, and a simple Fougere balm I made myself, the shave was complete ! But overall I was not finished until I used what I feel is a very appropriate EDT, Azzaro by Azzaro Fougere which while a bit more floral than the soap mellows into a wonderfully close aroma as B&M Fougere Imperiale. Completely top notch to end the week ! Shave on everyone. – Aaron 

  • Pre: hot shower with Dermalogica daily microfoliant
  • Soap: Barrister & Mann “Fougere Imperiale”
  • Brush: Thater 4292/4 2-Band 
  • Lather type: American Stonecraft bowl
  • Moustache: Handlebar
  • Wax & Pomade: Lockhart’s & G2B Phe
  • After Shave: Barrister & Mann “Fougere Tonique”
  • Fragrance: Azzaro Azzaro

SOTD May 27th, 2015 “Sherlock”

Awesome SOTD with some new scents, and long time favorites ! Simply awesome. Wonderful soap, no one will argue the post shave feels and great lather from Mitchell’s Wool fat, the After Shave from NevermoreBody  co. Was brand new to me and a gift from a fellow wet shaver Josh from our Facebook group. Awesome scent mostly like raw honey but had back notes of orange blossom and pepper like spice, but very subdued in he mix. The Nathan Clark custom was just that, custom to my likes but the Envy knot is worthy of mention I have never had a brush with such amazing backbone. The backbone is not for everyone and makes 2-band brushes look weak, but for the chosen who love those soft tips and ample backbone this is the knot you want. Finally the Thiers-Issard “Spartacus” delivers a wonderful shave every time; though it’s getting close to refresh time. All said this was my best shave this week ! Again simply awesome.

   
   Pre: hot shower with Garnier face wash

Soap: Mitchell’s Wool Fat

Brush: Nathan Clark custom with Envy fan knot ” “orange burst”

Razor: Thiers-Issard “Spartacus” in faux tortoise scales

After shave: NevermoreBody co. “Sherlock”

Fragrance: NevermoreBody  co. “Sherlock” cologne oil