The review of this amazing Italian soap from Donato Ciniello will be fully reviewed this week, but until then here is some eye candy !
Okay who loves the classic Pinaud Clubman clean scent ? The only problem I have had was matching that scent to any other soaps than the scentless or, mildly scented like the original Arko stick or, to Ingram cream. Such a great scent over 100 years old and as time passed, well it stayed relevant, but harder to pair leading up until today in 2018. Well the folks at Phoenix Arizona Accoutrements about 5 years ago made made a tribute soap, aftershave, Star Jelly, and sport deodorant to pay homage to this classic ! Really you only need is the soap, and use your original Clubman aftershave. To bring your shave to the next level though I would alternate with the ClubGuy aftershave which has rose water, aloe, and menthol; if your looking for the modern feel of a classic aftershave.
This is also part of a GIVEAWAY ! Watch the linked video, to know the easy way to get entered into winning this great set ! Stay smooth my friends – Aaron
Continuing with my journey into wet shaving, not long after I had started enjoying my wet shaves with TOBS Sandalwood, I began looking around at other soap makers to try. I soon discovered Dr. Jons and their soaps looked appealing so I first tried Hydra. I found Hydra to be an enjoyable soap to use. The original Dr. Jons formula was quite soft (although not like a cream) and I quickly found the best way to lather it was to scoop out a small amount and press it into my bowl.
Hydra is a very mild citrus scent which I enjoyed. But, after finishing a sample tin, I decided to try another Dr. Jon flavor and the most obvious choice was Anne Bonny. I was intrigued by what I had read about the tradition of bay rum as a shaving scent and Anne Bonny had taken it a step farther by adding black tea. The first time I opened the tin and took a whiff I was quite stunned at the incredible aroma. It is truly intoxicating! Sweet but with that black tea added in to tone down the sweetness. If you enjoy a good cup of tea you will no doubt love this scent as well.
I think this is the third tin of Anne Bonny I have used. The first two were in the half size which Dr. Jons has since discontinued. That’s too bad because I enjoyed purchasing those sizes as a first attempt to sample one of their scents. But no problem here as I am a huge fan of Anne Bonny. Another thing I like about Dr. Jons is that their soaps come in a metal container (a real tin) and not plastic. In my opinion there’s too much plastic being used by the artisan shave soap makers. This latest version of Dr. Jons even comes with a threaded top so it’s a bit easier to get open.
All of Dr. Jons soaps are a vegan formula and do not use animal products (such as tallow). But don’t let this put you off. The lather of Dr. Jons is quite excellent and in my experience it is as good as or better than any tallow based soap. The volume 2 version of their soaps are quite a bit harder than the original. I quite like this and I have found it actually easier to work with. I am able to bloom the soap with a bit of water right in the tin and then use that water on my face after finishing a shower. Some reviews I’ve seen say the soap is thirsty but I have not found this to be the case. In fact, I try to dry out my brush as much as possible before the first load as well as empty all the bloom water from the tin. And if you use too much water I have found that the lather will thin out rather suddenly so add water very cautiously at first until you get a feel for the optimum amount. It does take me about three or four thirty second brush loads to get the amount of lather I prefer.
I have found the soap once lathered on to be quite nice and slick. Cushioning is good as long as you get the water right. One point where this soap excels is the post shave. The feel after a good three pass shave with touch up is exceptional and one of the best I have experienced.
Another outstanding point is what I refer to as economy. The soap just seems to last forever. Even with my practice of loading and creating more lather than is typically needed, it lasts a long time and this is especially true of the Volume 2 version.
I should also add that the artwork on Dr. Jons products is really well done and very cool, especially Anne Bonny.
I have not tried Dr. Jons AS and this is something that is on my list. For this week’s shave I tried using Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum and this works to a fair degree although it is much milder than the Anne Bonny scent.
So in summery, great soap and lather with outstanding post shave feel, good economy for an average cost and an incredible scent which is without equal.
|Soap||Dr. Jons Anne Bonny|
|Razor||Rockwell 6c, Plate 4|
|Blade||Laser Ultra Triple Coat|
|AS||Clubman Pinaud Virgin Island Bay Rum|
|Bowl||Doug Smith Pottery|
A few years back it was common to mix, and match 3 piece razors to fit your personal needs. These razors called “Frankenrazors” were sometime very unique, and at times left me scratching my head; why alter a perfectly engineered razor ! Well it turns out they were all onto something. We or, at least I don’t see too many mix and match combinations any more, so what better time for me to try it out. I created my new daily Shaver, and a perfectly matched blade too boot.
So anyone that knows me, has heard me complain about the Merkur 41C (1904) Open Comb. While a great razor I always had to “shim” the razor, and mainly avoided its use all together. This was the replica of the first Gillette razors…. I would contend that I’ve never seen any early Gillette razor look like this, but it is an exact match to the Lutz razor !
I liked the head, but the handle was too light, and it offered a sub par shave for me. In comes the Stainless Steel 303 Bomb Tip from Phoenix Arizona Accoutrements. This is a game changer adding 66 grams for the 3.5″ handle; it’s made to fit most razors and all PAA razors. The balance was now more bottom heavy allowing the razors handle to do all the work without pressure or, too much pulling. 303 SS Bomb Tip 3.5″
On to the Merkur 41C 1904. Im sure this razor has a population of enthusiastic users that now hate my descent from its true form. That’s okay because it’s all about comfort, enjoying your shave, and what works for your face. So if you like a super mild razor or, have a thin beard type this razor may be all you, so give it a try it may be your go to razor ! Merkur 1904 Open Comb
This awesome homage to the South West with what I’d call the aroma of the locale is back, and ready for your shave dens. Available individually, A great Bundle Package (link below) to save some money, Royal Star Jelly !, an EDT, body soap, and bar shampoo, to name a few, Absolutely, take a moment to read about Solstice, and watch the product spotlight video’s from Douglas, and find out for yourself why Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements, and Crown King rule ! Shave on my friends, and stay smooth.
I prefer lathering in a bowl. I think I initially started with a bowl because I didn’t know you could lather on your face. And, using Taylor of Old Bond Street (TOBS for short) cream which I started out with was very easy to use in a bowl. In fact, if you are in a hurry, using a cream like TOBS is a very fast way to get a good lather going quickly.
But there are other reasons which lead me to recommend using a bowl over lathering on the face. Ultimately I believe lathering in a bowl gives you better control over forming the best and most optimum lather. It is easier to control the amount of water that you add and it is visually more accurate. You can see right there in the bowl how good the lather is. You don’t have any feel for it on your skin but you can feel how the brush moves and in that way also determine how thick or thin the lather is. As well as just lifting the brush up and out of the lather to see how it peaks.
Once the lather is formed, you don’t have to spend much time painting it on your face, it’s already formed so just spread it around and get on with the shave. I also like to use my brush like a painter uses a brush with a paint can and scrape lather off the brush on the side of the bowl. This also allows me to control where the lather is on the brush which in turn allows me to optimize the lather on my face.
Ok, now that I have convinced you to use a bowl (probably not), you have to decide upon a bowl to use. At first, if you don’t want to spend any money, just find a cup or small bowl from your kitchen and use it. If this works for you and you are happy, that’s good. If you want a mug that has been specifically designed for lathering there are lots of good choices. I see many people using the Captain’s Choice mugs which seem to fit nicely in the palm of your hand. I like the Doug Smith Pottery bowl in the photo above because it adds to this idea a thumb hold. So you can have the bowl in the palm of your hand and an added bit of security to prevent dropping it.
The Wet Shaving Podcast (a great resource by the way) did a discussion of bowl vs face lathering in a recent episode and Joe suggested that it is inconvenient to take a nice bowl when you are traveling. This is true but it’s easy to take an inexpensive metal bowl which will work fine.
So, have I convinced you to lather in a bowl yet? Maybe not. But whatever the case, it’s part of the shaving ritual and whatever floats your boat is certainly good and fine. Feel free to ask questions about this or offer your thoughts on your favorite form of lathering. But whatever the case, enjoy the shave!
Today’s shave was one of those shaves you didn’t expect, but you were damn happy afterwards. I love Gingers Garden soaps, and Irena couldn’t be a better person or, for that matter soap maker. Today I used for the first time Octavia Noir that was a Glycerin soap. That said a lot of traditional shavers, have been taught Glycerin based soaps don’t shave as well as tallow or, butter based soaps. In this case Irena knows what she is doing, the lather that ensued was not only dense, and protective, but had a wonderful aroma of deep amber and darker floral scents, while still being very approachable in these warmer months. Octavia Noir to say the least is a winner by a long shot. I used a vintage 1909 Gillette ABC Pocket Edition scroll razor, with a Wilkinson Sword by Gillette blade, as well as my favorite brush my 2016 WSR group brush with an ultra premium silver tip badger knot, by Envy Shave. This made quick work of my stubble, which always makes me happy. The glide, from the soap made for a simple true BBS shave. I finished off with not an exact match to the soap, but a favorite Floid Menthalado Vigoroso. When it’s 95 degrees out; this is the after shave you want to cool you down. To that I wish you all happy shaves, and a wonderful weekend. Here is a link to Ginger Garden which I highly recommend for any products she offers. Gingers Garden
While I’m in the midst of redoing our website, and adding excellent authors like Bob W, here’s a very popular video off of YouTube, I posted a while back. Happy shave my friends, and 3 Extrò reviews are on the way.