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The Pro Proraso Brush

Today was a simple, but extremely enjoyable shave. I’ve used Trufitt & Hill products many times, but not with a very awesome, and super affordable brush; the Omega Pro Pros aka, the Omega Proraso Boar 🐗 which is the brother to the #48 professional, but with more backbone, and a lower loft. This brush happens to be part of Omega’s professional lineup. The handle whilst being thermo plastic has a great hand feel which is fairly large in circumference, as well as a nice loft, and damned if this brush isn’t filled to the brim with dense natural boar hair.

I always soak any brush for 3-5 minutes for the hair to absorb as much water as possible, and the follicle to expand as much as possible; making it softer, and more likely to splay, and really pick up and whip up a substantial lather.

The dimensions are IMO very nice coming in at,

Height : 133 mm 

Loft : 65 mm 

Base : 64 mm 

Knot : 28 mm

Making the Proraso Professional fairly balanced between loft and handle, though the handle is full in hand, and that fully stuffed 28mm knot is dense, and full of backbone. After about a dozen or, so shaves you’ll notice the break in and will load the hardest French tripple milled soaps with ease.

The rest of my shave went without a hitch. I appreciate you taking a moment to look at this short review of a top notch brush, at a $10-15 price point. Keep smooth my friends.

  • Pre: hot shower with Musgo oakmoss soap
  • Prep: Proraso White
  • Soap: Truefitt & Hill Trafalgar
  • Razor: Fatip Nero
  • Blade: Bolzano (1)
  • Brush: Omega Proraso Professional
  • Aftershave: Pinaud Gents Gin
  • Lotion: Trufitt & Hill Trafalgar Balm
  • Fragrance: Burberry Brit
  • Lightweight Travel Shave – SOTD 26th October 2018. Arko, Merkur and a Brush

    Hi – on the road again and trying to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid…). This is about as light as I can go and still have a decent shave:

    Equipment:

    Razor: Merkur Futur c/w Feather Blade
    Brush: Alpha T-400 c/w 26mm HMW Knot
    Soap: Arko Stick
    Preshave: 3P

    No bowl with me this time so a pure face lather after a 10 minute prep with the 3P. I tell you what the 3P is a great pres-have and a nice menthol kick too. Get one now!!

    The Shave

    Two passes on #4 WTG and ATG and a final pass on #1 ATG. Face lathering is the way to go for a lightweight travel shave. I soaked the Arko stick at the same time as soaking my brush. Take the stick and expose a little of the soap and rub it on your face – like this to get a good coating. The take the brush, get rid of the excess water and work that lather. The Arko explodes into a nice slick lather easily. Just keep rubbing and adding water until you get what you want

    Arko stick rubbed on face – make a thin layer like the photo

    Now, I know many people have opinions on the smell of Arko, to me it is just soap and a nice hint of citrus. Don’t be put off by the opinions of a minority of Arko haters, Arko is one of the great and classic men’s shaving soaps and I urge everyone to try it out. If you don’t like it then bin it – it costs only about 2 bucks a stick so not much to lose eh? You will be surprised I am sure.

    After face lathering for 30 seconds

    Pinaud Clubman Reserve AS Series #2 – Gent’s Gin review

    The second AS in our three-part series about Pinaud Clubman Reserve products is Gent’s Gin. Like the name suggests, the dominant accord is Gin. I’m not an expert of gins at all, but from time to time I like to enjoy a good Gin Tonic 🙂 So when I first smelled this, I knew I was in familiar territory.

    The bottle is, for all the three new entries, the classic plastic Pinaud bottle. This gives the product an old, classic Barbershop feel. That said, presentation is very nice, in pure Clubman style, with the classic gentleman clearly visible and a nice presentation which reads “The Gent’s Gin scent combines Lime and Red Cedar with Fresh Juniper and a Gin accord to finish each shave on a smooth masculine note. ” The color is a light blue, similar to the one of Pinaud Lime Sec aftershave. But while the Lime Sec is probably one of the worst AS I tried (smelled very synthetic to me), Gent’s Gin is not. Indeed, it’s definitely a very good aftershave!

    I find the description on the bottle to be spot-on; the notes of lime are there, and so are the woodsy notes from the Red Cedar. But the dominant scent is the one of Juniper, and I like it very much! Combined together, all these notes provide a light, fresh and masculine scent. My only complaint is that the longevity is on the short side. After the 45 minutes / 1 hour mark the scent is gone.

    Suggested season: Spring/Summer. I think it goes well with citrusy and fresh colognes.

    The first soap which came to my mind when I thought about a suitable combo was, of course, Stirling Gin & Tonic. However, my sample of this soap run out weeks ago, so I tried different products and I found out that Edwin Jagger Lime and Pomegranate cream appears to match quite well with this aftershave. I’m not saying the scents are similar, not at all; but I think there’s a common “mildness” in scent between these two products which make them a great pairing.

    Speaking of Gin-themed products, I can’t help mentioning Captain’s Choice North, which, despite being described as “North will bring to mind those deep coniferous forests of the Canadian wilderness. It has a full-bodied evergreen scent with top notes of juniper and a hint of vanilla.” is, at least in the bottle I ordered sometime ago, a very very strong Gin-like aftershave, where the Juniper note prevails by a long margin.

    Gent’s Gin is a gentler product, while I like to define North as “Gin in your face”, very straightforward (and very good, if you like Gin, of course). I think both of them are worth a try, if you like Juniper and anything related to Gin.

    Links:

    Pinaud Clubman website

    Edwin Jagger website

    Stirling Soap Company website

    Captain’s Choice website

    SOTD 8-10-2018 the Spice

    As they say, he who controls the spice controls…….. okay, enough Dune references. Today’s shave was fantastic. Everything from the New Forest Tubby-2 to the Oxblood Bakelite slant razor from PAA was superb. Not shown, but I’ve come to love the Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Star Jelly. It really has an additive effect to the overall shave leaving your face smooth and subtle. More in depth reviews on each of these products, are to come. For now here’s to staying smooth my friends ! Cheers 🍻

      Pre: Hot shower w/ Jack Blacks Face Buff
      Soap: Phoenix Arizona Accoutrements Atomic Pumpkin 🎃
      Blade: Gillette made Wilkinson Sword (1)
      Brush: New Forest Tubby-2
      Aftershave: PAA Atomic Pumpkin Star Jelly
  • Fragrance: Viktor & Rolf SpiceBomb
  • Pinaud Clubman Reserve AS Series #1 – Whiskey Woods review

    When I read that Pinaud Clubman had released three new aftershaves, Whiskey Woods was the one which tickled my fancy the most. I like Whisky (with or without ‘e’) very much, so this aftershave looked very promising.

    The bottle is, for all the three new entries, the classic plastic Pinaud bottle. This gives the product an old, classic Barbershop feel, but personally I’d prefer glass instead. That said, presentation is very nice, in pure Clubman style, with the classic gentleman clearly visible and a nice presentation which reads “The Whiskey Woods scent combines Tobacco Leaf and Bergamot with Whiskey and Woods to finish each shave on a smooth smokey note.” The color, despite the image featured on the website being orange, is brown, a brown reminiscent of tobacco rather than whiskey.

    Since there are no matching soaps to use with these series of aftershaves, I had an intense look at my den and finally opted for Mickey Lee Soapworks Grand Havana, one of my favorite US scents in the Tobacco department. Tobacco notes are combined with tea and vanilla, for an overall results which is classy and, IMHO, matches well with the Pinaud Whiskey Woods aftershave.

    So, what about the aftershave itself? I have to be honest here and I’ll immediately tell you that this is my least favorite of the three new entries 🙂 Probably my expectations were too high on this and too low on the other two products (more about this in the next articles). Don’t get me wrong, Whiskey Woods is a very nice aftershave, with a manly character which will please many of us. The Whiskey and Tobacco notes are there, the post-shave effect is good, the alchool burn is not too strong. The only (minor) drawback is that it reminds me of Pinaud Clubman Virgin Islands Bay Rum, a product I have a love-hate relationship with (I use it rarely). To my nose, the two products are related, somehow.

    That said, Whiskey Woods is a good product which, however, struggles to stand out in the ocean of aftershave the market is full of. Worth trying? Yes. Unique? No.

    Spoiler: the matter is completely different for the other two entries.

    Links:

    Pinaud Clubman website

    Mickey Lee Soapworks website

     

    A Wet Shaver PReview

    This 2018 has been a tough year for me. Hence the few posts here on the website, as well as on the various Facebook groups. Nonetheless, Wet Shaving remained one of my favorite hobbies, helping me to relieve the pains of my personal life.

    Moreover, this has been a year in which my wallet told me “Thank you Roberto!”, since my purchases have been few and selected ones.

    Among these, there are the new Pinaud Clubman aftershaves: Whiskey Woods, Gents Gin and Brandy Spice.

    New Pinaud AS

    This short post is just a preview of a series of three articles in which I’ll try to give my thoughts about these three new products by the glorious American brand. In doing this, I will propose some (IMHO) good Soap/AS pairings featuring these products.

    Are they as good as their classic line brothers? Do they really add value to the whole range of products of Clubman? Stay tuned!

    The 3 day crisis of 2018

    Wow rarely do I go 3 days without shaving, when I say rarely I mean never. This happened, and yes I feel the shame; yet the interest of a certain product made me excited to shave.

    So earlier this year we had a group razor and soap made, it was a phenomenal deal. The razor made by Riccardo Tonarini, is fully custom 8/8 set in Olive wood with a T10 bolt 1/4 hollow and French tip. The grade steel escapes me, but something like “awesome” comes to mind.

    So the 3 day challenge; I was ready to go like a kid on Christmas morning. Soap 70th Anniversary Saponifico Varesino… Check. Totally rocking Alpha Shaving & Brush co.’s T-400 Silvertip Badger brush…check. WSR Custom 2018 LE razor… BIG CHECK. So when your dealing with a razor this large being careful is sage advice. Luckily I made it though the shave with zero effort. Riccardo Tonarini my hat is off to you Prego Mille !

    Now I’m as they say BBS smooth, made it through the 3 day crisis of 2018′ and have gained more experience using large blades. This is where I leave all of you for now so as always thank you, and stay smooth !

    -Aaron

    Tips for Straight Razor Beginners

    1. Watch lots of videos on how it is done. Read lots of information. BEFORE you start. I recommend the “geofatboy” and “mantic59” videos on YouTube
    2. Take your time – enjoy it. Waving around a surgically sharp blade in the bathroom is NOT for the times you are in a hurry.
    3. Soap dilution matters – don’t make the lather to pasty or the razor will skip. Slick is the trick.
    4. Shave prep matters – use a pre-shave. I use a number of different ones – Prep, 3P and Proraso. Sometimes I use a pre-shave oil
    5. TAKE NOTE – it is very very important to stretch your skin in order to get a good result.
    6. Did I say stretch your skin….
    7. Don’t get too caught up on which hand you use for which side of the face. I use both hands but it is not a hard and fast rule of left for left and right for right. Getting the razor positioned is far more important. Being able to both position the razor and also stretch the skin properly means, to me at least, that I use a combination of hands/sides that may seem unorthodox but hey it is MSMY!! as they say (My Shave My Way)
    8. Don’t get caught on the trap of thinking that pressing the razor to your face will mean a closer shave – it only means you cut yourself. A closer shave takes only a sharp razor, good soap and a good technique
    9. Don’t think you are going to get BBS straight away. Don’t make the mistake of shaving again and again to try and get it… on my second shave I did 5 passes and boy oh boy when I alum blocked did I suffer. I must have taken off way too many layers of skin and was sore for a day or more after. The mantra is be patient and gentle. No matter what you do the shave will be more satisfying and closer than with your cart.

    YOU WILL ENJOY IT MORE!!

    Love those Almonds !

    Today’s shave reminded me of a few general rules of traditional shaving. Firstly a great soap does not have to be ultra expensive. The second is that you need to enjoy every part of your shave, from the soap to the method of hair removal. Lastly your shave should be memorable !

    Today’s shave hit every one of those three simple criteria. Natura Essenziale alla Mandorla is a modest Italian soft soap that cost around €5 and has a wonderful sweet almond aroma, and ample glide and cushion. This is also a vegetable based soap.

    I enjoyed literally every moment of today’s shave, from the prep using hot towels infused with almond essential oil to my 6/8 Thiers-Issard Bison Straight razor, to my post shave of Chella Cool by Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements. I took my time, and overall I’d say the experience lasted one and a half hours.

    Finally yes it was memorable on many levels. The soap reminded me of my friendship with a great friend I proudly call my brother. About a half hour before I was able to add another wonderful author to our page, and to the shave itself the individual components of soap, brush, razor and post shave delivered a close, no super close shave that made me proud that I stuck with using a proven soap, a freshly honed razor, and a vigorous aftershave that left my face feeling great, and smelling like I was going to conquer the world.

    What I suppose I am getting at, is make your personal shave count. The art of traditional shaving is so much more than one part, but the sum of all the parts combined. On this wonderful Saturday I wish you all happy shaves, and as always stay smooth.