Just follow the link to a better shave every time !
Mark Herro Aka Mantic59 again takes your shave to the next level ! Thanks for everything you do Mark 🙏🏽
Just follow the link to a better shave every time !
Mark Herro Aka Mantic59 again takes your shave to the next level ! Thanks for everything you do Mark 🙏🏽
I was introduced to SJOL a while back e.g. 3-4 years ago. St.James of London is made by Creightons the same as Trufitt & Hill, Geo F. Trumpers, and the last of the three “T’s”. I was instantly blown away that such an affordable product was so darn good ! Back then it was Cedarwood & Clary Sage; today I used an scent that would deceive.
Today I used a tube I stead of my larger jars of SJOL Black Pepper & Lime 🍋 it reminds me of a warmer place like the Caribbean, but also that spicy black pepper warms and invites those around you a bit closer, then they realize that initial Citrus also has a musk to it that is seductive and alluring. This unlikely scent is a winner for the winter ❄️! For the spring and the summer. This jewel of a scent will evoke a different response and memory each season.
What can I say about the rest ? It’s a Semogue 830 which is so well broken in could pass for pure Badger. If you do not have this brush; it is a staple for every traditional Shaver. The PAA Double Open Comb has done right by me. The DOC is affordable and attractive at that price point, just remember this is a buffing razor so buff away folks for that BBS shave. The Boulder from American Stonecraft I used as my lather bowl is worth this many of these $$$ and is a luxury; all these products work equally as well face lathered for free. That’s all I have to say, but if you contact Brittney McDermott or, Todd Fisher I am sure they would love to talk about St. James of London and match you up with the perfect cream and other products that fit your style perfectly.
Soap: St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime”
Brush: Semogue 830
Razor: PAA Double Open Comb
Blade: Gillette 7 O’clock SharpEdge
After Shave: Royall Muske
Post Shave: St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime” gel
Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet 💐 — with Roberto Monanni and 6 others.
To a traditional wet-shaver, the act of shaving often is much deeper than just a mundane task; of removing stubble from your chin or, how fast can “I get this over with”. For the great majority, it is a very personal, and unique experience to each of us; be it the connection to our forefathers, or mothers as the case may be or, as deep as a connection to remember the loved ones; we have lost over the years. Today I dedicate my shave to my late Great Grandparents that raised me. Today they would have been 100 and 101 years old….I actually have razors older than that……yeah we collect as well 🙂
I of course had a mother and father, but I was so close to my Great Grandparents, and Grandmother I lived with them, I have a penchant for traditional ways, and continuing the “old” ways lest they go the way of the forgotten road. Now to get to the chase, and also to be a bit personal I lost most of my family by the time I was 28, a mere 10 years ago….this is how I choose to honor them, and remember all they have taught me.
Traditional shaving is not for everyone, but those who connect; it is a intense love for the art. All this said there is no need for me to elaborate on the gear……it is trivial. I would however again say this is dedicated to my family who both were born May 5th, 1914 & 1915 ! one year apart on the same day. What were the chances.
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”.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 !
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.
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
Today was a complete testing day that I am passing off to all you fine folks as a Shave of the Day (which technically this is) ! I typically face lather so my gear consists of a brush, soap, razor, blade, and finally whatever finishing materials. The last could be anything from a balm to an aftershave to styptics and a bunch of “other” stuff. Out of my entire shave only 3 were out of my normal den, being the soap and the razor and balm; I use a lot of items in a typical SOTD even though I don’t always list them. I will be reviewing at a later time the “other” material so I am doing the SOTD here and the review “where it came from” as most know I write for a few sites. I am trying to be ethical, and keep the SOTD and review as separate as possible, So let’s get to it shall we !
As I said earlier this was mainly a review day so lets talk minute about what I already owned… Today was the last day on my GEM stainless steel blade, so I had to choose wisely my razor, as I am not sure the next time an SE razor will be in my rotation. I choose the GEM “Shovelhead” ! This is a notorious aggressive razor, I personally agree, but it is also extremely forgiving. So if your into that feel, but don’t want to worry about a zillion cuts or weepers this may be a great razor for you. Technique is of course pivotal here, and no razor is forgiving unless your technique is good. a neat little fact about the “Shovelhead” is that it flips forward to open, and you almost load the blade backwards; on more than one occasion I have tried to insert the blade incorrectly, think of the Every-Ready 1914 and the Shovelhead is the exact opposite flipping forward from the rear opposed to back from the front. I paired this great razor with a GEM SS blade now on use 4 … I really did not feel much tugging, but why chance it I have a lot of GEM and PAL blue blades…. sometimes you just need to let go….. so onto a new blade I went.
The second “in my den” item is Mitchell’s Wool Fat aka MWF. I love this soap ! At first I hated it and couldn’t get it to lather, as many others have made mention of, and have shied away from MWF because of this. I happen to have very hard water and by rights should have a terribly difficult time generating a lather. I used to have that problem, until one day on YouTube; I watched one of MAtic59’s video’s on lathering MWF, it changed my world. I finally was able to get this puck to lather ! I also have made video’s since as I modified the original Mantic video to my personal ways and to my “likes” in a lather. I find this soap relatively neutral to maybe powdery meets a barnyard hay like green aroma. I also find it does not residually leave much scent after fully rinsed. What it does leave is a very moisturized face as the lanolin in the soap is a wonderful moisturizer…. I think this also sometimes inhibits lather formation due to the heavy fat concentration, but that is only a guess. At another time I will do a tutorial again on MWF but lets leave it at today I could not have had better performance from this soap.
Now onto what is “new” and up for review in a bit. I was very graciously PIF’d a single first month “Wet Shaving Club” starter box kit. These Kits seem to be very popular, and a lot of sites now have “boxes” or revolving monthly products. It reminds me of when I smoked cigars more often. I would subscribe to one of the larger cigar sites, and each month 5 Random cigars would be at my front door. This is the same concept, but with traditional shaving ! Today I used the Boar brush, Whiskey ink and Lace cedar wood after shave, and yes match type styptic alum called Legends of London. I won’t go into detail as all these items are going to be reviewed. I will say I think some of these items are absolutely brilliant, and I would use again and recommend and others are still too “new”, and need to break in a bit more before I pass judgment. In fairness of the SOTD though I will say I had a great shave, and I used the Whiskey ink and Lace aftershave which has moisturizing oils as well as the great L’Occitane Baux balm, and that was the end of my shave. More on these items later though.
So that was my shave in a round about kind of nutshell !! I wish I could say more about these “club” items but it’s just firstly not time yet, and secondly these items will be reviewed from the PIF source before I go into details here out of respect, and simply I just haven’t used some items enough times to fairly talk about them …maybe Ill do an initial impressions review and later a “real” review. I hope you all had great shaves, and awesome days ! Tomorrow it’s back to work. – Aaron
Mitchells Wool Fat
HTGAM Tombstone AS
Gold Dollar from Bill Tsugranes 6/8 Barbers Notch
HTGAM S42 Prototype
Supermax Super Platinum Blade
We have all heard about “The Fat” and how difficult it is to lather. If you follow a few guidelines that I picked up off of You Tube it will be much easier. I soak the puck with slightly warn water while I shower, then soak my brush for about 30 seconds and shake all of the water I can out of it. I do find it’s easier with a stiff brush. I then load my brush using more pressure than I normally do for 30 seconds to a minute and voila! this works every time with my hard water.
The scent to me is a soapy scent that’s moderately powdery. I doesn’t last long post shave which makes it great for choosing any AS or cologne that strikes you. Also post shave your face is soft and slick due to the lanolin. I get great lather by doing a face lather and not being afraid of adding water. Remember you started out dry. The cushion and glide are very good, this soap performs really well.
as far as packaging I sprung for the ceramic bowl. It’s very well made but don’t drop it as it will break. I think the trade off is worth it as it looks very classy sitting on the counter awaiting the next use. YMMV if you have children.
I’m a noob to straight razor shaving, and loving it. I did my entire face with a single WTG pass, then switched to my DE. The Fat performed well as always and I never felt in danger from not having a good lather which is very important with a straight razor.
upon completion I did a cold water rinse and finished with my favorite AS, HTGAM Tombstone. I love the beginning scent that reminds me of a Bourbon soaked saloon, in a good way, followed by the gunpowder scent that changes to a mix of the two.
This was a great shave but I expected nothing less.
Thanks for reading.