bowl lather

A blast from the past

Today’s shave was very enjoyable ! I went with a floral fougère today, made a few years back; from none other than Soap Commander “Renewal”.Being this soap has a few years on it the bouquet has changed a little bit, in my opinion I like it now. The reason being is the bottom notes of oak moss and Lavender are more prominent, and the “floral” scents are present, but they do not overpower the “fougère” base. This is not a review as much as a revisit of a great LE soap. I felt that the lather was exceptional, as all of Soap Commander’s products are in this department. Totally lush, protective, purely slick, and not a worry at all anywhere during the 3 pass shave that led to a superb shave. As they say sometimes things get better with age, and “Renewal” has aged very nicely indeed.

Shave on my friends, and have a great weekend !

Razor: Merkur Progress adjustable (4)

Blade: BIC Chrome Platinum (1)

Brush: Omega Pura Setolla Ovangkol wood

Soap: Soap Commander “Renewal”

Post Shave: Thayer’s Lavender Witch Hazel & Soap Commander “Renewal” balm

Fragrance: JPG “Le Male”

The Pro Proraso Brush

Today was a simple, but extremely enjoyable shave. I’ve used Trufitt & Hill products many times, but not with a very awesome, and super affordable brush; the Omega Pro Pros aka, the Omega Proraso Boar 🐗 which is the brother to the #48 professional, but with more backbone, and a lower loft. This brush happens to be part of Omega’s professional lineup. The handle whilst being thermo plastic has a great hand feel which is fairly large in circumference, as well as a nice loft, and damned if this brush isn’t filled to the brim with dense natural boar hair.

I always soak any brush for 3-5 minutes for the hair to absorb as much water as possible, and the follicle to expand as much as possible; making it softer, and more likely to splay, and really pick up and whip up a substantial lather.

The dimensions are IMO very nice coming in at,

Height : 133 mm 

Loft : 65 mm 

Base : 64 mm 

Knot : 28 mm

Making the Proraso Professional fairly balanced between loft and handle, though the handle is full in hand, and that fully stuffed 28mm knot is dense, and full of backbone. After about a dozen or, so shaves you’ll notice the break in and will load the hardest French tripple milled soaps with ease.

The rest of my shave went without a hitch. I appreciate you taking a moment to look at this short review of a top notch brush, at a $10-15 price point. Keep smooth my friends.

  • Pre: hot shower with Musgo oakmoss soap
  • Prep: Proraso White
  • Soap: Truefitt & Hill Trafalgar
  • Razor: Fatip Nero
  • Blade: Bolzano (1)
  • Brush: Omega Proraso Professional
  • Aftershave: Pinaud Gents Gin
  • Lotion: Trufitt & Hill Trafalgar Balm
  • Fragrance: Burberry Brit
  • SOTD 12 Oct 2018 Jayarauh #215, Saphiro Fuego & Custom Kamisori

    A quick and lovely cold water shave this evening. My lads are back from a trip to Mongolia so nice to have them home. No Yaks milk soaps so far….

    Tonight’s shave was a nice one. A custom prototype Kamisori by Tony Milton, a Nice Polish soap called Fuego by Saphiro and my new friend the jayaruh #215 26mm boar – chub alert!!

    Check out the video and of course I have to have a quick plug for my own YouTube channel – Click here to see it and please subscribe: There Will Be Blood…

    SOTD: June 9th, 2015 “Tobacco Tuesday”

    What an excellent shave today, I could not have wanted more. Barrister & Mann always delivers top- shelf performance, and unique original scents. 

    To most people when they hear “tobacco” the instantly think about cigarettes or, a cigar; well I don’t use either. I do however enjoy the fragrance of both green uncut tobacco leaf and even the aromatic smell of a pipe with that signature Burley or, cavendish scent. Today happened to be that theme day for the tobacco scent in any form. The brand or, what part of the shave that tobacco scent arrived was irrelevant, but I pretty much used it throughout. 

    Again a great shave, a wonderful scent, and so far the sun is shinning. The day is looking pretty darn good, shave on !

    #sotd June 9th, 2015

    #tobaccotuesday #wsr
    Pre: Hot shower w/ Jack Blacks Deep Dive

    Soap: Barrister&Mann “Roam”

    Brush: Vie-Long SE Lord Randall badger/horse

    Razor: Dovo 6/8 La Forme

    After shave: Barrister & Mann “Roam”
    Jams – Strung out Exile in Oblivion

    SOTD: June 6th, 2015 “Saturday Night Lime”

    What’s there to say about today’s shave ? Not a whole lot for once ! It was comfortable, and it removed hair 🙂 if you have never used Castle Forbes creams I would strongly recommend them, as they are formulated for ultimate glide and for a wonderful post shave feel due to the lanolin in the cream itself. The Case Red Imp delivered the goods; no two ways about that, aside from a aggressive spike point the razor is awesome, rescaled I guess with what I’d call a red coral type of scale and custom fit for the razor. Lastly Raymond Bukaty makes an amazing brush ! his knot is superb and craftsmanship cannot be denied. All said todays shave was excellent and very enjoyable. Shave on everyone and enjoy the beautiful day, and weekend ! – Aaron


    • Pre: Hot shower with Nivea face scrub
    • Cream: Castle Forbes Lime
    • Brush: Bukaty custom Silver Tip badger
    • Razor: Case “Red Imp” 6/8 red coral scale
    • Lather type: Bowl
    • Moustache type: Handlebar
    • Wax and Pomade: Pinaud black & Murray’s SE “Vintage”
    • After Shave: Captain’s Choice Lime
    • Balm: Soap Commander “Respect”
    • Fragrance: Lacoste L12.12 Blanc

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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: January 4th, 2015 “Pomander day 2”

    I am amazed, I made 3 New Years resolutions. The first was a very strong “No more shave soaps until I use 50% of my den”, the Second was I must use a straight razor 3 times for every DE/SE shave or, a 3-1 ratio, and finally I did NOT have to shave everyday. Last year my resolution was to shave 365 days ! I did it; I was writing more for as well so it made sense. I am still an author there,  and recommend them as a great resource, as well as they are just great guys.

    actual WSR logotop hat 365

    Well, I can live with the no new soaps, no problems with using a straight razor….., but I’m emotional messed up ! after 365 shaves in a row;  I can’t stop shaving daily. That in a way is great, but now I feel “naked” if I don’t shave like I forgot an important part of my day. So here I am still shaving daily, though if I miss a day I doubt I’ll beat myself up too bad.

    Today’s shave was excellent, I am using Catie’s Bubbles “Pomander” soap every day for a week, and changing all the other variables to see how flexible I can make my shaves. Pomander is a clove/orange scent and I have a pre-sale production version in a mason jar from early 2014; almost a year ago. The soap held up great, and has about a week maybe 2 worth of shaves left. I loved today’s shave and as I said yesterday Pomander delivered a cushioning, slick and fragrant shave. No reservations using this soap with a straight razor even against the grain it has ample glide though I added vegetable glycerin out of habit. I hope you all had excellent shave this weekend as well, details below, shave on everyone ! – Aaron


    ** side note- The Lord Randall brush is breaking in amazingly well. Not a single shed hair, a bit more scritch is coming out and the flow through is becoming a lot better, holding the lather inside, but releasing it easily, again I can just tell this brush is something special. **

    • Pre: Clarisonic Aria with sensitive skin head and cleanser
    • Prep: Hot shower with Razorock/HTGAM lime pre-shave soap
    • Soap: Catie’s Bubbles “Pomander” beta version
    • Brush: Vie-Long Lord Randall mixed horse/badger
    • Razor: Ralf Aust 5/8 straight razor in faux ebony scales
    • Lather type: Bowl
    • Moustache type: Natural
    • Wax & Pomade: Ginger’s Garden beard oil & None
    • Post Shave: Cold water rinse, RazoRock alum, Anthony Logistics ingrown hair treatment
    • After Shave: Old Spice
    • Balm/Other: Catie’s Bubbles whipped Shea butter
    • Fragrance: Prada Luna Rossa Extreme EDP

    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.



    • 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.




    • 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 !




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



    • 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.



    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)

    Madame Scodioli Soap & Aftershave Review

    What does a bearded lady do during her spare time while traveling with the carnival? Well, she makes shaving soaps, creams, aftershaves and colognes. Riley Fouts, aka Madame Scodioli (the Bearded Lady) has created a unique persona and even more unique products. First, I’ll tell you that I find this scent intoxicatingly exotic and mysterious. Friends, this is among the best I have ever used. This soap scent is unlike anything I have tried thus far. As soon as you open the package the fragrance fills the room with this sweet, yet masculine scent of  cedar, patchouli, saffron and vetyver. The ingredient list didn’t mention whiskey, but I understand Madame Scodioli likes her whiskey and may have added a few drops. I believe I caught some tobacco as well. Needless to say, this is one heck-of-a fragrance! I was home alone during my testing and evaluation. Upon my wife’s arrival, she asked “what smells so good”? I told her it was this new soap and aftershave that I’m reviewing. She said the house smells wonderful and that she loves the fragrance. Therefore, I think your significant other may love this as well.

    The Step Right Up Soap
    The ‘Step Right Up’ soap is available on Etsy and comes in a square or round puck.  As mentioned, this Glycerin based soap has an amazing fragrance. I was able to create a nice lather, but it took a little time to dial-in on the amount of water to use. The lather was luxurious, fragrant and had a decent slickness to it. A nice shave and will definitely be in my rotation. The scent had nice staying power and was evident throughout the shave. I definitely was sniffing my brush throughout the shave and ended up with an exceptional experience. By the way, I used my Gillete Red Tip with a Voskhod blade and my new Nathan Clark Silver Tip brush for this review. Now to the aftershave….

    Photo Oct 03, 4 49 06 PM

    The Aftershave
    The ‘Step Right Up’ aftershave is a perfect match to the soap.  The AS comes in a wonderful old time 5.0 oz. amber glass jar with screwtop lid.  Like some of our other favorite vendors, it comes with a useful reducer in the neck for reducing spillage.  It has a woodsy-exotic masculine fragrance that consists of cedar, smoky patchouli, sandalwood, musky saffron and finished with a touch of vetyver. I just love this lotion. It goes on smooth and is just soothing. No sting from alcohol, no alum, just a real nice lotion with an intoxicating fragrance.
    The aftershave can be found here:

    Photo Oct 03, 5 10 40 PM

    The Madame Scodioli Scents are as Follows:
    Aged Bourbon: Kentucky Single Barrel
    Dust Shaker: Mahogany + Sandalwood
    Fiji Mermaid: The Briny Deep
    Fortunato: Pine, Smoke + Whiskey
    Gray Skies: Nag Champa
    Hierophant: Sage + Sweetgrass
    Laudanum: Tobacco + Black Tea
    Sentinel: Leather
    Step Right Up: Cedar, Saffron + Vetyver
    Timshel: Tobacco + Vanilla
    Widdershins: Frankincense + Myrrh

    Thank you for taking the time to look at my review. Hope this was helpful.
    Peter Charkalis



    SOTD: August 13th, 2014

    Today I had a bit of a show down of razors yesterday I used the HTGAM “Name Taker” a hefty fat handled 92 gram awesome razor very reminiscent to me of the 1914-24’ish Gillette Bulldog. Today I used the HTGAM Symmetry which the previous mentioned razor was half based upon. I found the Symmetry a pleasure to use…. not that one was better that the other as they both have advantage over the other, but the longer handle felt more comfortable in my hand. I paired the Symmetry with a new Personna Med Prep on its first use. I felt the Derby even though on its second use still had life in it I just did not like how the blade looked to be honest.


    Moving forward it is Wet Shaver Review Wednesday ! that means only one thing “Chocolate Bourbon” by Synergy soaps the official soap of the “Wet Shaver Review”. I almost want to laugh or, cry when I say this today, as so much has revolved around this soap, and aftershave over the past two weeks that it has been a roller coaster emotionally. The soap itself is an enormous lathering soap full of white chocolate truffle notes, oak with a hint of bourbon I whipped this all together with my WSP Stubby in Superfine grade badger which has a stiffer backbone… the after shave is a different animal; it is a sweet and alcoholic blend that smells amazing much like the soap, but with a menthol bite that cools and adds another dimension to the finish. I would say that the after shave compliments the soap perfectly, and completes the soap ; your peanut butter to the jelly sandwich if you will . Not that you cannot use a Bay Rum as I find that is a great pairing as well…. but there is no comparison to the actual signature after shave.


    I honestly am humbled that the sales of Chocolate Bourbon have far exceeded both what Synergy and WSR had ever expected selling out in under 10 minutes on both occasions and the soap is in constant demand. Despite the Limited edition nature of the after shave Douglas is bending the rules but this is the last go “for a little while”.  This may make a return at a later date seasonally. On September 1st, 2014 100 more bottles are being released. I will fill everyone in more as time goes on. I used the space I normal close my shave with to share this information. What is there to really say …. I rinsed off and used the matching after shave ! 🙂 – The End now go get your shaves on !

    – Aaron

    • Pre: Hot Shower with HTGAM ATG pre shave soap
    • Prep: ATG pre-shave
    • Soap: Synergy “Chocolate Bourbon”
    • Brush: Semogue 1305 boar
    • Razor: HTGAM “Symmetry” open comb
    • Blade: Personna Med Prep (1)
    • Lather: Face and Bowl combination
    • Moustache: English
    • Wax: Pinaud black
    • Pomade: Uppercut Deluxe ( this stuff is just awesome)
    • Post shave: Cold water rinse, RazoRock block alum
    • After shave: HTGAM “Chocolate Bourbon”
    • EDC: HTGAM “Chocolate Bourbon”