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.
A fragrance based around leather, jasmine, vanilla, incense, and sandalwood, with a fresh opening of raspberry and citrus; the newest release from Tom Ford? Serge Lutens? Slumberhouse? Wait, it’s a Revlon product from the Seventies made for women that can be found in most drugstores? Wait, what?
First, let me explain that fragrance tastes have changed radically over the past fifty years, if not longer. Consider even Old Spice, which was originally released for the feminine market. In today’s market, heady orientals are looked upon as “old fashioned” or better suited for an older generation. Niche fragrance houses are turning back the clock in this regard, bringing heady, rich fragrances back into popular eye.
Charles Revson released Ciara (a play on his initials, CR) back in the early Seventies as a high end, glamour scent for women. With today’s tastes, it’s very unisex, favoring masculinity in my opinion. Upon first application, you’re met with bright lemon and raspberry, soon followed with herbaceous sandalwood, drying down into dark, smoky vanillac incense.
A truly delightful scent at an excellent price. I’d advise searching for a bottle that still contains oakmoss, as I was lucky enough to find. If you cannot, it’s still worth it. Perhaps not as deep a scent, but still overall quite excellent. For more information, check out Fragrantica.
Today is always a day of reflection for me, the title alone of this post gives away this has to do with my father. This will not be a long or drawn out post, but a glimpse into my life, and a remembrance of a life taken way too soon. I have said countless times I was raised by my grandparents and great grandparents, which is accurate….my great grandfather taught me to shave, and started my journey in this amazing community. My Father was an officer, and thus was not around as much as he or, I would have liked. So instead of moving constantly as is the norm, I stayed with family. What I did learn from my father as ironically when his time was up my tenure began, I never achieved nor, wanted to become an officer, but I was very close to say the least. My father taught me what it was to be a man, a father, to have respect for myself and to put others before myself always and in everyway. To love my God, my country, and to listen to those much wiser than myself.
Fast Forward to 8 years ago; my father passed away from Cancer, something I wish even I could just remove from anyone and everyone. Renal cell carcinoma to be exact or, cancer of the Kidney, there is no cure, and it’s a highly aggressive cancer. He was just 51 by a few days when he passed surrounded by family and friends and even brothers in arms acting full bird Colonel’s and those he served with by his side. My fathers life was measured by accomplishment not by years….I find it hard to think most people to achieve what he did in 40 something years, to be reached by those living double his time here. Driven is a understatement, and I cannot overstate he was my best friend, and I miss him dearly. Today he would have turned 59, but his time had come now near a decade ago. Well I guess I lied this is turning a bit to the longer side.
To the point, I choose to remember those both living and not, by using birth year razors, of which I have nearly one for every person in my family going back to the early 1900’s. I did NOT use my father’s birth year razor today. His razor is a B-2 Gillette Super Speed Red-Tip replated in Rhodium by Razor Emporium. It is an amazing razor and Matt Pisarcik did nothing less then a stellar job. Razor Emporium was much smaller when they did this job so me and Matt spoke throughout the process of this revamp. Instead of that razor I decided to honor my father a different way, I used his favorite after shave and cologne ! I am a straight razor shaver, and to that point even my father would tell me be true to myself not a razor in his memory. Brut was his favorite scent…plain and simple he used disposable razors, canned goo, but at least he used Brut, which was better than the razor idea as the aroma of this Fougere scent reminded me of him all day long, combined with Paco Rabanne pour homme another wonderful, and fitting EDT to go with Brut. Finally before I sign off to answer the question of “what razor did I use” ? it was a vintage 1875 Abraham Brookebank 13/16 near wedge with original horn scales and a great example of a traditional barbers notch. I choose this razor not only because it’s a stellar razor even after 140 appx year ! this razor has seen more history than any of us, and in my mind shows that nothing is ever really gone, but should be cherished and treated with care, and loved like it was your last day to ever see it again, on that note I thank you all for sticking with me through this story, and while I miss my father I do find solace by dedicating this shave today in the memory of my father, and what he instilled upon me to this day.
- Pre: Hot shower w/ Clarisonic Aria deep pore head and cleanser
- Soap: Barrister & Mann “Beaudelaire” Fougere
- Brush: Thater 4292/4 set in cocobolowood handle and 2-band
- Razor: 1875 Abraham Brookebank 13/16 near wedge with barbers notch and dark horn scales
- Lather type: American Stonecraft bowl
- Moustache type:Handlebar
- Wax & Pomade: Pinaud black & Murray’s Superior
- Post shave: Cold water rinse
- After shave: Classic Brut
- Balm/Other: Brut balm with Shea butter and aloe
- Fragrance: Paco Rabanne pour homme
Today is long over due, and I have been meaning to get this out there for at least a month now, but as they say “life gets in the way sometimes”. I’m really excited to talk about today’s soap as it is the “Other” Meißner Tremonia soap I have used. I had stated in my review of “Dark Lime” from Meißner Tremonia; I felt each of their soaps had a specific skin type in mind when they were made. I also complimented German products as some of the most stringently controlled and tested products in the world, be it a car, boiler, or shaving soap I do not feel they cut any corners. So lets get to it, and talk about some suds !
Packaging – As with the other offerings from Meißner Tremonia I felt like I was more opening a box that would contain jewelry or, some other precious item. The packaging was for a refill that as you can see in the photo above, is encapsulating the soap in a foam protective form fitted case. The actual box is like I said nothing to say lightly, this is thick; not your typical thin refill box. The label is fairly basic in design but says a lot… it is that German minimalist thing, less is more and the box, basically says Finest Shaving soap with Scotch Whisky and Wool Fat. Keep that in mind down this review a bit. The back also lists a very different ingredient list than “Dark Lime”, again I believe each soap is intended for a specific skin type. We will get to that in a moment. So as far as packaging goes; don’t throw these out, I can think of many things worthy of the protection these boxes can be used for or, recycle them. Either way we are off to a good start !
Scent- This is a very love it or, hate it scent I will not sugar coat that. This is where that back label starts to tell us a lot about what to expect for the scent. The third ingredient is Whiskey ! the other two before it are just an oil and a hardening agent stearic acid as well as both NaOh & KOH salts to make this a shaving soap. Further down the list, but more potent in aroma you see types of wood like Cedar wood, and Juniper wood tar and Lanolin ! These all play a role in the scent you will experience. I would describe this a believe it or, not “like” a smoker used in smoking barbecue ! Similar to a southern pit that is smoke, wood, and most of all whisky ! instantly I was thrown back as I expected to smell only Scotch Whiskey, and that just is not the case. So in this department, I have to say if you were to blind buy this you may be saying “what the heck did I just get”. Please do not think I am saying it is a bad aroma, actually, I am saying it is way more complex then just whiskey….this is a smokey, woodsy, and whiskey scented soap where these scents blend wonderfully to create what most whiskey lovers would probably find to make a very fine libation. Do not drink this soap……I promise a different result from actual whiskey will ensue.
Lather- Again different soaps for different skin types and this is evident again by simply reading the back label ! The lather is absolutely on par with some of the best soaps I have used. If I was to compare it to it’s same brand “Dark Lime” I would describe the two as complete opposites, “Dark Lime” was wonderful so don’t misinterpret my words, but “Strong ‘N Scottish” was more my type of lather ! Cushioning is an understatement, easily no matter what brush or, water type I threw at this soap it was fairly consistent; Thick, Creamy, and aromatic with the scents mentioned above staying with the lather throughout the shave. Also worthy of mention is the reddish tint to the lather, which is mild and easily seen while making the lather as a result no doubt to the red clay they use (again on the label) I found it unique. Post shave this lather left my face super soft due to the lanolin that is in this specifics soaps formulation. I believe we are all starting to see with this brand each soap is formulated differently, where as “Dark Lime” is great for oily skin, “Strong ‘N Scottish” is meant to leave your face fully moisturized. It does however omit the Shea butter that is in other offerings. Just my opinion, but I’ll take Lanolin any day.
Slickness/Glide- What can I say here….. it is fairly straight forward. I would have to say aside from Scent, this is the only other place YMMV. For me as a primarily straight razor shaver, Glide is without a doubt your number one concern. Meißner Tremonia has done an adequate job creating a slick soap…I can’t really say much more, except, make your lather properly ! Too much water or, too hot of water will make this a thinned out mess that is rendered sub- par, not enough water, and you will have an airy and again sub-par lather with little to no slickness. I always recommend start drier, and add water to your desired consistency. With a DE or SE razor….I would think you would get great results fairly fast, and without much thought. I am not a DE shaver nor, do I put little thought into shaving with a straight razor held to my neck ! I make sure the lather is slick as can be, and this soap absolutely delivers ! Just take your time to “learn” the soaps nuances, once you dial it in there are few soaps that I find commercially that will come close to Meißner Tremonia “Strong ‘N Scottish”.
In Conclusion- No matter how slick or great a soap performs, you need to enjoy using it; on the most basic of level. That most basic level are two things “Do you like how it smells” you don’t want to gag through your shave, and “Does the lather hold up” no razor burn ! So based on this, same as with other offerings by literally every soap maker, there is a place in someone’s den for a Smokey Woodsy and Whiskey soap ! I would personally find this a great winter or fall fragrance as it just feels like that to me. Many could argue it reminds them of barbecue, and they would be 100% correct. Scent is subjective and to my senses I found this soap to meet the mark that I would say it’s worth a try, but remember the dominant notes ! this is not a mint julep !
Secondly the lather, as said above and again every soap has its own ways, and this is no exception. I found this soap when started a bit drier and worked into a rich & creamy lather with tons of glide was simple ! 2-3 minutes and I was on my way to a BBS shave !
My last thoughts to convey are pairings being this is such a unique blend of scents is what to use for an aftershave. Well you have a few options. My first reaction is to make sure you know Meißner Tremonia makes after shave splashes and lotions. They unfortunately do not say “Strong ‘N Scottish” or, “Dark Lime” though what they do offer will compliment their entire range of soaps as all the after shaves have a wood note combined with beer or, wine etc. or, even a unscented version. I am a fan of unscented with this particular soap as its just that unique. If you wanted to get adventurous a fine musk or, even a Bourbon infused bay rum will work well with this….Just don’t rub Scotch whiskey on yourself….. try explaining that to the police !
Would I recommend this- YES , but please judge the soap against itself not it’s name as this is a very complex soap with way more than whiskey in its vein.
You can find Meißner Tremonia at these distributors
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.
- Pre: Clarisonic Aria with normal brush & Hydro gel cleanser
- Prep: Hot shower with The Body shops Tea Tree face wash
- Soap: Tabac
- Brush: Semogue 830 boar (fully splayed and beautiful)
- Razor: Vintage Dubl Duck “GoldEdge”
- Lather type: Face and Bowl hybrid
- Moustache type: Handle bar
- Wax & Pomade: Lockhart’s & Reuzel Green (medium hold)
- Post Shave: Cold water rinse, alum
- After Shave: Tabac splash lotion
- Balm/Other: RazoRock Zi’ Peppino & Alt Innsbruck Emulsion combination
- Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Opus 1870
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.
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.
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
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
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
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”
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.
- 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