Best Badger

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 ūüôā ! 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”

 

 

Review: TGGR “Essence of Scotland” “Sweet Gale”

Here is my first soap review of 2015 ! I have wanted to try this soap from the Gentleman’s Groom Room for some time, the soap being “Sweet Gale”. I have heard over multiple forums about the soap, and the infamous Cola scent associated with this soap. I had also heard iffy at best results, but all agreed these soaps the TGGR were interesting. I agree.¬† The video is 22 minutes but is a full straight razor shave and I talk about the ups and downs of this “interesting” melt and pour soap from Scotland. Here is a written breakdown, whilst being more generalized than the video. Enjoy ! – Aaron

Overview- This is an imported melt and pour from The UK specifically from Scotland. The contents are in a plastic clear 120 gram container, with apparent suspended particulates; probably spices and herbs. This is a very hard puck of soap, the unused soap had a considerable amount of bubbles on the top meaning there was direct pour into the jars and rapid cooling. There are no apparent signs that would lead me to believe this is either a cheap nor, a top line product. The cost was very affordable appx. $15 USD for 120 grams.

Aroma- They call this “Sweet Gale” or, myrica gale, ¬†Wikipedia tells me Sweet Gale is shrub that grows in Bogs ! It is used in ¬†everything from insect repellents to gruit which is an ancient way to spice alcoholic beverages, ¬†and even to bouquets in royal weddings ! This little shrub really runs the spectrum. This soap is dominant of Sweet Gale and it listed as the first on the label. I personally did not pick up much scent upon lathering though by the last pass I was able to pick up a incense like quality. I can’t say I was overly impressed with the aroma, but it was not offensive it just could have been, stronger. It absolutely lived up to its reputation as having a cola like aroma, but this was pre lather in the tub, upon warming and lathering it was herbal, incense like and as I said above not offense and could have stood to be a bit more intense.

Lather- Simply put the lather started out very good. I used my Edwin Jagger best badger brush loaded for 60 seconds, and there was more than ample lather formed as the video shows. My complaint would be that as the passes went on, and more water added to my face the lather became unstable. I was disappointed here as the soap showed so much promise on the first pass.

Glide or, Slickness- As I mention in the video on a scale of 1-10 I would not go above a 2 or, 3. This was the biggest let down of the entire soaps use. On WTG passes it was not horrible as glide is not as pivotal, past that the soap was terribly dry even though visually, and consistency was spot on leading me to believe it was better than it actually was. This to me was the deal breaker.

Overall- An interesting soap with a decent lather amount produced. The aroma was meh at best with a incense like quality that some may like more than I. The packaging was on par for the price paid; simple plastic container with minimal graphic design. This is a melt and pour soap which IMO are harder to produce a really good quality soap though there are many out there ie. Mama Bears, Diamond bar soap, and Ginger’s Garden. This is not on par with any of these soaps I just mentioned. There was barely any slickness to this soap, and as a straight razor shaver that is a huge deterrent to use this soap,¬†I also had a mild sensitivity to the soap, but that is my personal problem not a problem with the soap.

Recommended- Unfortunately no.

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  • Pre: Hot shower with Clinique face bar
  • Prep: Clarisonic Aria deep pore treatment
  • Soap: The Gentleman’s Groom Room “Essence of Scotland” “Sweet Gale”
  • Brush: Edwin Jagger best badger in faux light horn
  • Razor: Theirs-Issard 6/8 Sheep & Wolf C135 steel straight razor
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax: Dandy Candy¬†soy free¬†formula by Petal Pusher Fancies
  • After Shave: Fine “L’Orange Noir”
  • Balm: Soap Commander “Courage”
  • EDT: Geoffrey Beene “Grey Flannel”

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 ūüôā

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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)

SOTD: October 6th, 2014 “Menthol Monday”

It’s cold outside, and it’s cold on my face ! This is a scenario where 1 and 1 don’t cancel each other out… actually it makes it even colder. I love the cold as I am as general statement a pretty bodily hot guy as my wife calls me a “heater”.¬† I wish she meant like Brad Pitt “Hot” but no she means like temperature. So I love these cool shaves even when the thermometer starts to fall.

So let’s keep it simple and relatively straight forward, I Super Lather on Monday’s as well. If you’re not familiar with this term it is when you mix a cream with a soap or, sometimes a croap.¬† Today I went with Ginger’s Garden “Arctic Mud” which I loaded very heavily, and Proraso green.¬† I know this combination, and it is slick, fragrant, and cold as ice ! This is a super lather dream combo as you really do get the best of both, in this instance the Ginger’s Garden “Arctic Mud” was the dominant scent.¬† Together it produced well more lather than needed for my 3 passes, I used my Simpsons X2L “Colonel” and bowl lathered; I almost overflowed the bowl it lathered so well.

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It was an easy choice for my razor as well, I went with my Merkur 37C Slant. There has been a bit of talk about slants on the forum, and I don’t use a slant everyday, but I bet I could; especially this one. The Merkur 37C is very intuitive and has a medium aggressive nature while never being unwieldy. This is a hands down great razor. I paired it with my Voskhod blade now on use number five ! I expect based on others to get in the neighborhood of 10 uses. These Russian Teflon coated blades, at least for me tend to last longer YMMV of course.

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Finishing off was as easy as the ice-cold shave was ! of course I did my cold water rinse, which intensified the cold from the menthol¬†in the lather ! and I used my Shavex alum which I refrigerated over-night. COLD ! Next up was some more cold water a dry down and the famous Osage Rub ! I was on the fence with Snake Bite by Fine, but I have shown Fine a lot¬†of love as of late; it was time for the¬†Osage to shine ! ¬†My hands are actually still cold as I type this.¬†I received a very close shave that slants are known for…. this is a good thing, but I get nervous about ingrown at this point and this closeness….. this is like super glide smooth on my face. So I used my Anthony Logistics Ingrown hair treatment, I actually use this fairly often though don’t usually mention it.¬† Finally while absolutely not labeled as a methylated balm, truth told it says it’s scent-free HAHAHA ! I used a combination of Anthony Logistics balm mixed with Everyman Jacks Signature mint. EMJ is a great, affordable brand that if you haven’t; you really should give a go.

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That was that my friends ! I am solidly frozen as I hope you are too ! I mean that in the nicest of ways ūüôā enjoy the day folks. – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot Shower with HTGAM/RR Lime Menthol pre-shave soap
  • Prep: Proraso Pre shave lotion
  • Croap: Ginger’s Garden “Arctic Mud”
  • Cream: Proraso green
  • Brush: Simpson’s X2L “Colonel”
  • Razor: Merkur 37C slant
  • Blade: Voskhod (5)
  • Lather type: Bowl/Face hybrid
  • Moustache: Double turned down Handlebar curled
  • Wax and Pomade: Firehouse Dark & Layrite Super Hold
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, frozen Shavex alum
  • After shave: Osage Rub
  • Additional: Anthony Logistics Ingrown hair treatment
  • Balm: A mixture of Everyman Jack’s Signature mint and Anthony Logistics balm