Aftershave

SOTD: May 4th, 2015 “SJOL Cedarwood Clary Sage”

Happy Monday everyone ! Unlike many things in this world straight razors; are one of those things, when properly cared for get better with age. I’d add wooden stringed instruments, and paintings to that list as well. There is just something to the feel of a vintage straight razor that is nearly 100 years old, and delivers a close and comfortable shave. The old time construction just lasts and they had pride in their craft; My Vintage Boker 1056 is no exception.

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Our Vendor of the month St. James of London is another one of those products that takes pride in their craft since 1953 ! A Creighton’s made brand, this cream whilst brushless; when you use a brush excels and even IMHO creates an exceptional lather that left me with a ample cushion and tons of glide. I find the aroma unique as it is called Cedarwood and Clary Sage; which is very obvious, but there is a citrus note that really brightens things up, as well as a grounding fragrance that is masculine and exudes confidence.

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Great shave today, Enjoy your days all, and of course Shave On ! – Aaron

  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria with deep pore brush and cleanser
  • Prep: Hot Shower with Jack Black’s “Face Buff” fine grit face scrub
  • Cream: St. James of London “Cedarwood & Clary Sage”
  • Brush: Marting custom silver tip badger
  • Razor: Vintage Boker 1056 straight razor
  • Lather type: Scuttle
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax & Pomade: PPF original & Murray’s Xtra Heavy
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse
  • After Shave: Ogallala bay rum, sage, and cedar (great compliment to the cream)
  • Balm: Aveeno fragrance free after shave lotion
  • Fragrance: L’Occitane Bavx

SOTD: May 3rd, 2015 “My Sunday Shave”

Happy Sunday everyone ! That’s the good news, the bad is tomorrow is Monday; so let’s make the best of the day. Today’s shave was excellent, I’ll be the first to admit I find French point razors to be the most unforgiving blade for me, but today not a single problem, and simply a smooth shave.

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As far as artisan soap makers I’ve made no question I love Barrister & Mann as they truly have unique fragrance as well as outstanding performance, and this is rare as usually artisan soaps while some are great are “safe” and fall into that “safe” Bay Rum, fruit, mint, or very recognizable fragrances. Barrister & Mann is not that soap they do NOT play it safe William Carius the owner/soaper behind B&M soaps is aside from a excellent soap maker, a true artisan perfumer that creates unique blends that push that envelope, I consider B&M a “true” artisan soap in every sense.

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Combined with that Thater 4292/4 2-band brush set in a beautiful Cocobolo wood handle I had an effortless shave and great face feel and cushion. Thater brushes are hard to beat unless you have a custom brush made, but factory made Thater sits pretty much at the top 3 brush makers in the world, of course YMMV, and this is my opinion though I know many a traditional shaver that also set Thater as the bar to compare all others.

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Everyone thanks for spending a few moments with me, so enjoy your Sunday, and as always Shave On !

  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria with normal head and cleanser
  • Prep: Hot shower with Musgo Glyce “Amber” pre-shave soap
  • Croap: Barrister & Mann “Cheshire”
  • Brush: Thater 4292/4 2-band silvertip set in Cocobolo wood
  • Razor: Ralf Aust 6/8 Shoulderless French point straight razor with ornate spine work
  • Lather type: Bowl
  • Moustache style: Handlebar
  • Wax & Pomade: Fire House Dark & O’Douds Heavy Hold Vegan all natural
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse
  • After shave: Barrister & Mann “Cheshire” Kyovu
  • Balm/Other: Anthony Logistics ingrown hair treatment
  • Fragrance: Dark aged Patchouli applied to pulse points

SOTD: May 2nd, 2015 “RazoRockin’ with my Boker SS”

Great shave today ! I’ve used a lot of soaps and creams throughout my 24 year tenure as a traditional shaver, and as far as “artisan” or, in this instance sub-contracted soaps RazoRock has never once let me down. Today’s choice; going with that unique Captain’s Choice bay rum scent made by RazoRock I had nothing less then a completely smooth shave with one of the best bay rums on the market (discounted as of 5/2/015), and literally sealed the deal with Captain’s Choice Cat O’ Nine Tails after shave: Feel The Burn ! None of this would be possible without great hardware like my Boker 6/8 Silver Steel honed by the true Honemeister himself Lynn Abrams, and of course one of my favorite brush’s of all time the Simpson’s X2L “Colonel” this was the brush that changed it all for me; Thanks a lot Simpson’s/Vulfix now I have Brush Acquisition disorder 🙂 ! Great way to start the weekend, Shave on everyone ! – Aaron

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Pre: Clarisonic Aria with normal brush and hydrogel cleanser

Prep: Hot Shower with Clinique face bar for oily skin

Croap: RazoRock “Captain’s Choice” Bay Rum

Brush: Simpson’s X2L “Colonel”

Razor: 6/8 Boker Silver Steel

Lather type: American Stonecraft bowl from Smith’s Cheese farm

Moustache type: Handlebar

Wax & Pomade: Joe Grooming compound & Shiner Gold WB Heavy Hold

After shave: Captain’s Choice “Cat O’ Nine Tails”

Balm: Viktor & Rolf  ” Spice Bomb” milk

Fragrance: Viktor & Rolf  “Spice Bomb”

 

 

SOTD: May 1st, 2015 “St. James of London”

Let the Fun Begin ! SOTD: May 1st, 2015

Pre: Hot Shower with Clarisonic Aria with Deep Pore head and cleanser
Cream: St. James of London “Black Pepper & Lime”
Brush: Custom Raymond Bukaty​ silvertip brush
Razor: RazoRock Stealth V3
Blade: Gillette 7 O’clock black Super Platinum (4)
Lather: Direct face lather
Moustache type: Handlebar
Wax & Pomade: Proraso moustache wax & Reuzel Pink Heavy Hold
Post shave: Cold water rinse
After Shave: Captain’s Choice “Lime”
Balm/Other: St. James of London “Black Pepper & Lime” gel
Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet (Perfect Pairing !)

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Such a GREAT shave today ! of course there will be full reviews of ALL (SJOL) creams and even pomade this month, but in a few words, The “Black Pepper and Lime” cream was like being in the Caribbean ! So many great memories from this scent; not to mention slick as can be;  Shave on everyone

SOTD: April 4th, 2015 getting my “Ducks” in a row

Today’s shave; similar to yesterday was with a new soap today from Tiki Bar soaps.  This soap in question is none other than the new “The Kilted Tiki” which was a St. Patrick’s day release with strong accords of Peat moss and a very smooth whisky note that is very unique. Again I am now on use number two, and I will not review a soap before three uses. I will say however I love my Dubl Duck razor ! Today’s “Satin Edge” was bought from none other than Jaime Cobos about a year ago. I did some work to this blade and I must say of all my vintages the Ducks are just excellent shavers !

The Omega 63185 Black badger had the perfect scritch to softness ratio for today’s Face lathered shave and made a wonderful lather to say the least…. this is one of those brushes; you do not have to spend a fortune to get a great brush. Finally, without reviewing the soap I used a very unique combination as this is a very unique soap. Fine Accruements Clean Vetiver, and then Crabtree & Evelyn’s Nomad balm. This all led to such a wonderful shave, what I would consider the entire reason for traditional shaving; pure enjoyment.

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  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria with sensitive head and Nivea face wash
  • Prep: Hot Shower with HTGAM “ATG” pre-shave soap
  • Soap: Tiki Bar Soaps ” The Kilted Tiki”
  • Brush: Omega 63185 black badger brush
  • Razor: Vintage 5/8 Dubl Duck Perlduck “Satin Edge”
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Got 2 Be Glued & Murray’s Superior
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, Alum
  • After Shave: Fine “Clean Vetiver”
  • Balm: Crabtree & Evelyn “Nomad”
  • Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Opus 1870

 

 

SOTD: April 3rd, 2015 here come the Ducks !

I recently bought 3 new soaps, I also have a rule about reviewing anything especially a soap; that I must use it at least 3 times before I’ll even give an initial impression. Today’s shave made the second shave for Soap Commander’s “Renewal” fougere. The rest of this shave was great my Dubl Duck “Goldedge” is just amazing, the Mother Earth scuttle kept my lather warm, and the more I use a scuttle the more I learn temperatures really do make a difference (read this as don’t use too hot of water; warm is more than sufficient).  Lastly the Plisson synthetic is IMO at best adequate….many people love this brush as the brush of the “Gods” which I have issue calling anything.  Instead of focusing on what I don’t like I’d rather say the brush is super soft and despite other adversity does make a very nice lather. Enjoy the photo I hope my picture speaks more than I wrote, and one more use and Soap Commander’s “Renewal” is getting its review just in time for spring !

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  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria with Deep pore cleaning brush and cleanser
  • Prep: Hot shower with HTGAM “ATG” pre-shave soap & HTGAM Butter pre-shave balm
  • Soap: Soap Commander “Renewal” Fougere
  • Brush: Plisson synthetic
  • Razor: Vintage Dubl Duck Perlduck 5/8 “GoldEdge”
  • Lather type: Scuttle “Mother Earth”
  • Moustache type: natural handlebar
  • Wax & Pomade: Pinaud Brown & Joe Grooming compound
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse & Alum
  • After Shave: Thayer’s Witch Hazel & glycerin mix
  • Balm/Other: Soap Commander “Renewal” menthol balm
  • Fragrance: Gucci Guilty Black in the A.M. & Azzaro- Azzaro Pour Homme aromatic fougere

SOTD: January 18th, 2015 and Thiers-Issard Bison first impressions

Good afternoon everyone ! Just a quick SOTD, and I used my Thiers-Issard Bison in Red Stamina scales for the first time today ! Awesome shave, the guys at Straight Razor Designs out did themselves with the honing of this TI razor ! I wish they actually wrote “honed by” on the invoice etc….as I own a few TI’s, and this was by far the smoothest shave I’ve had in a while.

The Baume.BE is no joke ! I’ve been using it for the last 7 days, and it has been for quite sometime my benchmark cream. All other lathers are held to Baume.BE’s standard. Of course YMMV, and a few others like Esbjerg and Castle Forbes are also darn close, and on any given day I could say those are my benchmark ! They all perform very similarly. Zero hang up and smooth shaving for all passes including the ATG pass.

The biggest part of today’s shave hands down was the Thiers-Issard Bison 6/8 in Red Stamina scales. This is not a full on review, but a glance at my first use. I am not a novice to Thiers-Issard, and own more TI’s than any other straights in my den. The Bison today really brought a smile to my face. I loved the length of the blade ! I did not measure but it is on the shorter side compared to lets say my Spartacus TI. The hand feel and balance was excellent and the gents at SRD where I bought this razor did an amazing job getting it shave ready. The blade as with most TI’s are not “pretty” they are masterfully made, but the gold wash is nothing to write home about, and the etching was somewhat basic, but I use a straight razor to shave not to stare at the artwork. The TI’s IMHO are worth every penny as far as their ability to shave, and to hold a great edge. First shave with the Bison in Red Stamina scales was maybe my best shave this year, in no small way or,  doubt due to whomever honed it up. Last but not least the Red Stamina performed equally as well, doing their job as a water resistant form of scale. The pivot pin was a drop on the tight side but hey this was the first shave, I am sure it will loosen up !

Overall- A great cream with Baume.BE, a sharp and quality blade like the Thiers-Issard Bison in Red Stamina scales, honed by the right person, and finally finishing off with a quality artisan after shave made this guy super happy with his shave, and new razor ! – Aaron

  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria w/ deep pore head and cleanser
  • Prep: Hot Shower with Jack Blacks face wash aloe & sage
  • Cream: Baume.BE
  • Brush: Omega 63185 black badger
  • Razor: Thiers-Issard Bison Red Stamina 6/8
  • Lather type: Scuttle “Mother Earth”
  • After Shave: Gingers Garden “Haight  Asbury”
  • Lotion: HTGAM “Meta Nectar”

SOTD: January 1st, 2015

Here we are 2015 ! Happy New Year everyone. Today’s shave I dedicate to Anthony Esposito aka, the “Stallion”. Anthony educates daily on the use of straight razors, and really took the style and ran with it ! I can’t think of a better person to start off 2015 honoring.

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I also use for the first time a Vie-Long “Lord Randall” mixed Horse/Badger brush for the first time, the video says it all WOW ! The video is a complete shave, and a bit long, but I really hope you enjoy and take something away from how I use a straight razor while navigating my facial hair.  – Aaron

  • Pre: Clarisonic with normal head and hydrogel
  • Prep: Hot Shower and Water
  • Soap: Barrister & Mann “Vetyver Santal”
  • Brush: Vie-Long “Lord Randall” mixed Horse/Badger
  • Razor: Dovo “La Forme” 6/8 shoulderless straight razor
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Pinaud Brown and Layrite Super Hold WB
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse, RazoRock alum, Anthony Logistics IGHT
  • After Shave: Fine “Clean Vetiver”
  • Balm/Other: Alt Innsbruck Emulsion with a little Cremo balm
  • EDT: L’Occitane “Vetyver”

SOTD/Trial: October 11th, 2014 ” Almond Cavendish Delight”

 

What happens when you mix a great classic British soap house’s cream and an American Artisans soap ? Some really amazing stuff ! I know we call these Shaves of the day, but as of late I have been trying to push the envelope trying new combinations, and today was one of those days. Now I wasn’t sky diving or, going face first down the Flume; we are talking about super-lathering again, but to me this is just as exciting as this may be a combo you may want to try, it is that good !

Today I decided to use my Ikon modular OSS mounted on the 316L stainless steel bulldog handle that came with the open comb head. Recently a member of the WSR had asked about the OSS head, and I wanted to reply, but for once I did not know exactly how to reply. Traditionally I would say for multiple passes the open comb is great initially for the reduction pass followed by the closed comb for the remainder. Today I would not have said that. I did 100% on the closed comb side. I did not need a super aggressive shave so I stayed to the one side . I did not find this to be a hindrance at all I found that I could get about 3 passes between rinsing, and it did not to my internal clock extend the shave at all. I to be honest found the Ikon to be quiet pleasurable to use. I will say though with a heavier growth than I had today I would have started on the Open Comb side. I paired the Ikon with the Voskhod now on use 9 !! not a drop of a problem, I average 10 shaves, but we are going to see if we can shoot for 12 just out of again a “trial”.

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now this is where some real magical stuff happened ! It came to me last night while just thinking about certain scents that would compliment each other. This was a result of a great Q&A with Frances from Petal Pushers Fancies who made me think a bit about how scents for soaps are made. The jist of what was said was a lot of bad soaps happened before the good soap was finally made…. in other words trial and error. Now I do not have the patience Frances has, but I do have a huge soap and cream den ! So while I was up thinking it came to me I am focusing on Geo F. Trumpers “Almond” and I thought “I wonder how a combination of GFT “Almond” and Synergy “Cavendish” would be ? So long story short it happened today. All I can say is I cannot believe how perfect this super lather was ! GFT “Almond” is a strongly scented and sweeter almond scent and “Cavendish” is also a strongly scented soap. Neither of which dominated the other nor, did it feel like there was a struggle for scent dominance. The lather had the best of both the cream, and the soap; super slick, massive cushion, and unique and smooth in aroma that stayed throughout and even after the shave. I made the magic happen with my Semogue 1305 which is my traditional “Cavendish” brush ! Great combination that I cannot recommend highly enough, just remember to use a sweet almond like GFT not a bitter one like Cella … I’m not sure about that one.

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To end this great shave full of “trials” why would I end any differently ? I did the classic cold water rinse, and Shavex alum rub. I had zero irritation and great feedback. This really was a great shave. I then moved over to a more traditional toner and used the HTGAM alcohol free “Cavendish” after shave, but after drying I mixed a homemade Corn Huskers lotion and Almond essential oil mixture with the HTGAM “Cavendish” lotion and it made again a really great aroma where both the almond and the Cavendish scent stood out wonderfully. The mixture left my face silky smooth feeling and ultra moisturized. Now would I go through this effort every time I use Synergy “Cavendish”, but it sure will be a nice treat every so often and now that I know this combination works, it gives me an option I didn’t have yesterday.

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So that ends my SOTD so I learned today that I can just use one side of the Ikon OSS without any problems, that GFT “Almond” and Synergy “Cavendish” make a GREAT super-lather and finally a similar combination of CHL w/ almond EO and HTGAM “Cavendish” lotion also make for an outstanding after shave.

Great shaves everyone and enjoy the weekend ! – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot shower w/ Jack Blacks facial wash
  • Prep: CHL & Almond essential oil
  • Cream: Geo F. Trumpers “Almond”
  • Soap: Synergy “Cavendish”
  • Brush: Semogue 1305 boar
  • Razor: Ikon modular OSS head on 316L stainless bulldog handle
  • Blade: Voskhod (9)
  • Lather type: Apothecary mug
  • Moustache type: natural flow handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Brooklyn Grooming “Williamsburg” wax & Old Spice ” Spiffy mixed with Tres Flores Brilliantine
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, Shavex alum
  • After shave: HTGAM alcohol free “Cavendish” aftershave tonic
  • Lotion: CHL + Almond EO & HTGAM “Cavendish” lotion
  • Deodorant: Petal Pusher fancies “Cavendish”

SOTD: October 10th, 2014 “TFS Cinnamon Therapy”

I am amazed, to the point of almost speechless, can you imagine that ? I being speechless ! I say this as today’s shave was such a difference from yesterday. Yesterday while a close shave, it was absolutely uncomfortable, and at my own fault for using untried gear. I sharpened up overnight. I used gear I knew would work, and even took a slight chance, but on a very educated guess. So onto the shave as it was just that good there’s not much to say aside from what worked for me today.

It is no secret I love the Merkur Progress in its original iteration, while I think the Mergress or other variations of altering and fine tuning this razor look great, it does not change the shave itself. I may down the road by another Progress just to “trick” it out, but for functional use; there in my book is no better adjustable than the long-handled Merkur Progress. Just my opinion YMMV but I always get close shaves today at a milder 3,2,2 three pass setting. I also threw caution to the wind, That Voskhod is now on use Eight ! I knew I had about a 99% chance I would be fine as I always get 10 close shaves with a Voskhod, never any less and in theory maybe more….. I just haven’t pushed them. I think this may be the blade to really see how many shaves I can get. Just a great pairing nothing else to say here.

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For my soap as it is COLD here ! and I knew that before I left home I packed wisely. I brought my Tcheon Fung Sing “Cannella Arancio Amaro Aroma Intensio” croap. I was told by my Italian friends on the WSR Facebook group that it is a name, but also a description ! it just simply put means Bitter orange with Cinnamon with an intense aroma…. TFS is awesome the name describes the soap ! Talk about straight forward marketing. Great lather which I face lathered with a “test” brush I am reviewing though I will say it is a boar brush that I would put in the travel / starter category. This brush and soap did not disappoint at all, on the contrary I was very impressed with how well the brush is breaking in, the scritch, backbone and how well the lather generated into an easy three passes and I lost about another 1-2 passes down he drain. Perfect in the lather department !

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Now into the travel lab I went ! I don’t care where in the world go I will always travel with my “lab” today it paid off very well. As stated above today’s flavor was bitter orange and Cinnamon. So after a great cold water rinse, Shavex alum, and some more cold water…..zero feedback and super smooth btw. I decided on a very unique combination…..this was GREAT ! I mixed Fine L’Orange Noir with Masters Bay rum a bit heavier on the Bay Rum, I’d say a 3 to 1 ratio, but it did not end there I then after a great dry down applied a very underused, and ultra moisturizing Baume.BE after shave balm which has a citrus like aroma in the vein of orange meets lemon and Verbena. This combination not only felt great but smells wonderful.

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Todays shave proved to me the old saying tomorrows a new day could not be truer. I would have to say this was the best shave I’ve had all week…… If you’ve made it this far, and you have a Mergress or, modified Progress leave a comment I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have great days everyone and great shaves ! – Aaron

 

  • Pre: Hot shower w/ Clinique facial bar
  • Prep: Lather and hot towel
  • Croap: Tcheon Fung Sing ” Cannella Arancio Amaro Aroma Intensio”
  • Brush: “Test” brush in boar
  • Razor: Merkur Progress 3,2,2 for three passes
  • Blade: Voskhod (8)
  • Lather type: Face (and a wonderful feel to it also)
  • Moustache: Double turned handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Pinaud natural and a combination of Crew Fiber and Royal Crown
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse and Shavex alum
  • After shave: Masters bay rum and Fine L’Orange Noir 3 to 1 ratio
  • Balm: Baume.BE lotion
  • EDT: Viktor and Rolf “Spice Bomb”