WSR News

Aaron’s Pick- Asylum Rx SE: By Ronald Davenport Sr.

The Asylum Rx like many new production razors, are modern “SE” or, injector light styles. The Asylum Rx, IMHO sets itself apart in many ways from looks to the shave itself.

Our friend on the WSR Facebook Page who is equally as unique in a good way, has an opinion, and he is not afraid to voice it ! In steps Ronald Davenport, a Renaissance man in many ways, and a observant practioner of observation, as well as trial and error; will find every nook and cranny of his ever growing wet shaving collection; often posting these musings on the Facebook page. In steps Ronald in his own words about the Asylum RX !! Thanks for your contribution good sir !

 

 

Asylum RX Razor I would start off with good Pre-Shave discipline. Using a stiff Boar for a well exfoliated growth area. Then Pre-shave Oil followed by hot towels. Then my favorite Boar, but that’s just me. Remember, you get out of a shave what you have put into it (IMHO). If you are in the workforce and have a busy out the door routine, well maybe save this experience for a day off or at night. Out of the box one will notice the fine finish on this pleasantly satin metal. That and the style. It’s like a Jaguar sitting there ready to start. The fit of parts are so tight which makes this Razors curves smooth and sleek. We could hardly ask for a more sweet sexy looking instrument. As I write this, I still have a BBS face, well almost, and I shaved last night at 8 pm. It’s now 2:30pm, I have a medium to heavy beard too. Yes I chase a BBS Shave. As far as numbers? I don’t have a number where I get to and then done.
Sometimes I reach a four pass and touch ups, because touchups are a pass in themselves. When I get to a point that I’m happy with the shave, then I’m done. Much has been written on the topic of “ Comfort vs. Closeness”. However the less scraping on our faces the better. That’s where this Asylum RX SE comes in. With a Feather Professional SE Blade ( subjective ) I think one will find an instrument which reduces the amount of work it ( razor ) is tasked with. Without reservations I can honestly say this razor gave me the best shave I have ever had, from any shaving system. This in itself, in my world is a feat, as I am a (BBS chaser), and I never expected to have this razor give me a shave even approaching a straight shave. The weight and balance are ideal. Not all of the heft is balanced, top is lighter and mostly in the handle, which speaks of how well it maneuvers in all those tight spots. Handle length is just right for a big hand but not to long for a Lady’s hand. Something about angle. Just with the eyeball it may appear to be an extreme slant when compared with some modern SE razors. However when compaired with most vintage SE standing up on the base of the handle, the angle of the blade will be very familiar, pretty close to most Vintage SE.
It was designed to take the Feather Pro-Blade or equivalent, however the Pro-Guard blade will not work. Speaking of blades, most SE blades are rounded on the ends, right? also on the safety bar there end guards or stoppers to hold the blade even. We find this feature on most Vintage SE like MMOC by Gem. Good feature. One person from a well-known talk-ey forum said this; “Well, if you like aggressive razors the Rx is right up your alley. I enjoy my Rx. Incredibly efficient with a Kai blade, whether a Captain, Titan Mild Pink or the ProTouch MG. All provide smooth and clean shaves. The Feather Pro and the Rx? Now that’s when it really shows its true colors. Viciously sharp, but efficient and if used with a very light touch and care, amazing.
A friend sent me a couple samples of the Pro and I bought 3 boxes with a coupon code from a vendor I purchase from. For me, it’s the pinnacle in achieving a fantastic, BBS shave daily. Only my 2 prized straights, Wade & Butcher Wedge and Boker Celebrated are on par with it”. This Razor is at the top of the Food Chain, alongside Muhle R41 (2011), and the Icon ShaveCraft Tec,. ATT H2 and lest we forget, the most aggressive adjustable, MERKUR VISION 2000.
Thank you again Ronald, this is what we at the WSR are all about, our members helping the wet shaving community; you have the hands on knowledge. It’s an honor to us to post your review. – Aaron
If anyone is looking to have a review on any Grooming, Wet Shaving, Pipes, Pens or, anything that you are passionate about; please contact Aaron Schecter either on the Facebook group page or, at aschecte@gmail.com

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

Extro’ Tabacco Shaving soap and After Shave Review

An in depth video review of Tabacco by Extro’ Cosmesi. We will discuss both the soap & after shave created by Donato Cinniello, brought to me from Paolo Tondi of TVB Shaving. If you love Tobacco scents and top end European artisan shaving look no further than Italy and Extro’

  • Soap (croap) – Extro’ Tabacco
  • Brush: Marfin no.69 custom Italian Briar Silver tip badger
  • Razor: Vintage Dubl Duck GoldEdge straight razor
  • After Shave / EDT: Extro’ Tabacco

Dr. Jon’s 13 for WSR

Having had great success with our collaborative KSW soap/splash “Frosen”, we were excited to embark on another collusion. I’ve been a fan of Jon Eplin’s products since receiving a tin of Hydra (#hailhydra) from Nathan Clark (he’s not a brushmaker, he’s a Dr. Jon’s vendor that sells overpriced soap, BUT IT COMES WITH A FREE BRUSH 😉). I immediately was taken with the product. The artwork, the scent, how well it worked; this was very new at the time. Up till Dr. Jon’s (at that point Gentleman Jon’s), most non commercial products looked like they were put together by hand in someone’s spare time. That was part of the allure; the products held the “human touch”. Dr. Jon’s was very different in that regard, with its pop art labels and new yet similar scents. You’ve got a cologne (as in literal cologne [ie 4711, Farina]) scent, only with a huge grapefruit kick, a bay rum with a blast of tea, a barbershop, yet it isn’t, etc. All in all, a commercial style lineup and packaging, with a fresh twist on the whole package. This brings us to 13. We at WSR had been itching to work with Jon and were delighted when his schedule allowed it. 
Thirteen is host to a whole new batch of awesome from Jon’s company. Firstly, the soap formula changed, and for the better. Not only is the soap harder and longer lasting, it’s now palm free. Palm farming has become a huge ecological problem of late; with many farms coming into existence after razing old growth forest. In the South Pacific, these farms are critically impacting the orangutan population. So when you buy a product with palm oil, think of a baby orang separated from its mother. Then do the humane thing and set it down, and buy a sustainable alternative. In terms of the performance, I noticed no difference, save for the post shave. Same awesome lather, with same awesome cushion and glide, with better (IMO) post shave feel. So, what we have is an environmentally friendly soap that feels better on the skin. +1

Secondly, the scent. We at WSR put our collective heads together and came up with a combo of off-the-beaten path stinks. Hedione, Iso E Super, Musk, and Oud. We felt this combo would allow the scent to be multipurpose (day/night, cold/warm weather) and richly masculine, while not being your typical fougere or oriental type scent. Jon put together a knockout mix from our input. I’ve had people say I smell like fresh laundry, their grandfather, a movie star, etc. but the compliment I’ve received most is that I smell great. And that’s good enough for me. 10/10 it works every time.

Thirdly, there’s the awesome graphic art, which comes from the pen of Jason Kincaid a.k.a. McFly. The name and art came from the mind of Jon and Jason. Jon had the idea of the devil girl pinup, so of course 13 had to play a part. So, with the framework of a 50’s pinup devil who’d look at home on a Steve McQueen poster, 13 was born. 

All in all, we came up with an awesome idea for a scent, but Jon took that and ran, and ended up with a masterpiece. A great soap, with a great aftershave, with an even better scent (and my wife even likes it) with bitchin’ artwork. Where I’m from, we call that winning. Jon, we sincerely thank you for all your hard work. It was a pleasure working with you, and the end result is stunning.

Find out more about some of my favorite grooming productshand-turned shave brushesand bomb-ass artwork in these links

SOTD: December 31st, 2014 “Happy New Years Eve !”

Two days posting a SOTD in a row ! I’m on a roll  here. I thought for a while about today’s shave and I wanted to make it special, as this year has had many ups and downs in the community in general. Today’s shave was the up’s of 2014 and the products I was most proud of for whatever reason….. I figured I’d bring the year out with a high note. So to keep it simple.

 

  • Soap: Synergy “Chocolate Bourbon” – It was the official soap of the Wet Shaver Review and carried our logo to my knowledge we were also the first to have a regular line up group soap offering by a distributor. I was and am very proud of that fact, and count it as one of my personal high points for 2014. Not to mention it is just an amazing scent ! It’s still available but under the new company name of Phoenix Artisan Accruements.

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  • Brush: Simpson’s X2L “Colonel” – Simply put it proved to me that a major brand can produce a quality brush worth the price tag. I of all my gear always put the brush last….the X2L made me re-think this after a very long time and finally in 2014 this brush made the art of brush making and luxury hair in the forefront of my purchasing. This brush led to man more brush purchases, and delving into exotic hairs and horse etc. This is not my “go-to” brush at all nor, the most artistic brush I own, but it was the one that got me to the next level.

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  • Razor: Dubl Duck “Satin Baby”- This was my fist straight razor,  which I started using a straight razor early in 2014 on April fools day to be exact 4/1/2014. Matt Pissarcik of Razor Emporium helped me choose this razor and it is perfect as it is the shorter version (length of blade) though it is still 5/8,  of the more known “Satinedge”. The “SatinBaby” is a somewhat a rarer razor in the Dubl Duck line up;  but perfect for my facial fur, and navigating my face. Today I nailed my shave ! a perfect way to end the year, and that spike point didn’t bite me once !

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  • After shave: HTGAM “Chocolate Bourbon” – Again simple choice it matches the soap…. not much more to say 🙂

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  • Balm/Other: Alt Innsbruck Emulsion- This was not really “needed” as the after shave contains a lot of moisturizing oils, but I wanted to end the year with something new. I must say I liked it as a post shave ! A lot of reviews complained it was too oily and smelled funky. I only used 5 drops and it absorbed easily into an already moisturized face. The smell was akin to the cologne IMO but not as strong and I can see where people could dislike it. It definitely left my face very moisturized and didn’t interfere at all with the Chocolate Bourbon’s aroma. It’s a keeper in my book, and I’ll have to try it as a pre-shave at some point as well.

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Today’s shave was simple as you can see, but it meant something to me….this represented my 2014 and a few accomplishments, and new things that happened in the year that made me smile just a bit more. I wish everyone a happy and safe new year, and may 2015 bring us all as much or more than ever.

– Aaron

  • Pre: Clarisonic w/ Deep pore head and deep pore cleanser
  • Prep: HTGAM Pre-Shave butter balm
  • Soap: Synergy “Chocolate Bourbon”
  • Brush: Simpson’s X2L “Colonel”
  • Razor: Vintage Dubl Duck “SatinBaby”
  • Lather type: Bowl
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Pinaud black & Hairbond “Distorter”
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, RazoRock alum
  • After Shave: HTGAM “Chocolate Bourbon
  • Balm/other: Alt Innsbruck pre/post emulsion (5 drops)

Ballenclaugh Soaps – The Woodsman

For those not familiar with Ballenclaugh Soaps, they’re handmade in small batches by Chris Bartek at his home in Nebraska. Many months ago, I had  purchased Ballenclaugh’s Cherries in the Chamber, which is outstanding and was among my favorites at the time. After months of purchasing soap after soap, I frankly forgot about Ballenclaugh. My Cherries in the Chamber just got buried beneath my newer acquisitions, out of sight and forgotten. Well,  I recently rediscovered Cherries in the Chamber and was anxious to use it,  remembering how much I loved that Tobacco & Cherry scent. Needless to say, I really enjoyed it and glad to have been reacquainted with Ballenclaugh Soaps.  When you’re a small soap maker, it’s easy to get overshadowed by the ‘Big Guys’. I believe Chris is a part-time hobbyist / soap maker  with really no marketing or functional website at this time.   The marketing has mostly been word of mouth, along with people sharing their thoughts through the various forums. There’s so much hype and fanfare with other artisans, it’s easy to get lost among all the choices and countless soaps.  His soaps are really good folks and deserve a look!

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The packaging is nothing fancy, It’s just functional. The soap comes in a screw top plastic container with no product description other than what is imprinted in black on lid. The sides are wrapped in twine to give it a rustic, woodsy feel. Personally, I can do without the twine, but who cares. It’s all about the soap. The first impression was WOW, this is different… a good different.  I never smelled anything like this before and I liked it a lot. Anyone who knows me, knows that I prefer a strong scented soap. A fragrance that I can smell while lathering and enjoy throughout the shaving process.  This didn’t disappoint and in fact, The Woodsman had a wonderful scent of Pine, that was strong and masculine with a hint of citrus. A perfect match, as the citrus subdued and mellowed the pine tar.  As you can see, I created a really nice thick and creamy lather. In my opinion, this soap also provides great protection with a nice glide, slickness and staying power. It didn’t dissapate at all. I also found that the formula was spot -on for it’s nourishing post shave feel. Perhaps this is a combination of the standard Ballenclaugh ingredients and numerous medicinal properties of Pine Tar. From the little research I have done on pine tar, I understand that pine tar soap goes back centuries and it’s great for your skin & hair. It’s been reported that pine tar possesses antiseptic properties and can be used as an anti-bacterial & anti-fungal agent. Pine wood also retains its oil during the carbonization process, so pine tar is also effective as a skin moisturizer.  Needless to say, for me, the medicinal properties is just an added bonus to a terrific soap. This is among the best lathering soaps I have used in a long time. To further illustrate this and to prove to myself that the first lather was not a fluke, I tried a second lather with my Plisson Synthetic and the results were identical. Outstanding!!!

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Ballenclaugh Soaps Standard Ingredient List:

Saponified oils of Camellia Seed
Castor
Coconut
Kokum Butter
Palm Kernel oil
Soy Bean Oil
Shea Butter
Beef Tallow
Stearic Acid
Glycerin
Tussah Silk
Bentonite Clay
Sodium Hydroxide
Potassium Hydroxide
Water
Essential oils of :
Lemon
Pine Tar
Litsea
* First lather was done with a Nathan Clark Custom 24mm Silver Tip Brush
* The second lather was done the following day using my L’Occitane Plisson Synthetic Brush
Feel free to contact Chris via his Facebook page here:
Written by Peter Charkalis

Week 3 Petal Pusher Fancies Raffle !

Welcome one and all ! Gather round as week 3 of the Wet Shaver Reviews Vendor of the Month has graciously offered yet another amazing week of fun trivia, and a prize that is truly one to strive for ! This week we all have the opportunity to win a tin of Ciderhouse-5 ! This 2014 release will be available at the end of this week so the winner will be among the first to have this amazing soap. In my opinion this soap defines the season, and living in the north east I can attest this is the smell of apple orchards, and the smell of autumn. A top performer not only by my standards but in competitions ! Which leads me to how do you get entered ! Again Frances has made this raffle very accessible, and easy to enter. Please as always only reply to me Aaron Schecter and there are to be no comments on the pinned post itself or, unfortunately this will disqualify you from the drawing. The drawing is open until 11:59 PM Saturday the 25th of October one day more than normal with the drawing on the 26th of October in the evening. Good luck to all !!

 

  1. What kind of “Flower” is the PPF man on their homepage and on some of the soap ?
  2. What “kind” of Bicycle does the “Flower” ride ?
  3. Who invented that “type” of Bicycle ?
  4. This is a two part question. Both questions are regarding the Soap off in 2013. What score did PPF get with Ciderhouse-5 both overall and secondly in Performance ? This is a two part answer. To find the answer you must visit our friend Mantic59’s website the Sharpologist and the answers are there.

I wish EVERYONE good luck again this is open to ALL members of the WSR and is international and CONUS so everyone may enter just please do so by the raffles deadline.  Enjoy !!! and have fun. – Aaron