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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)

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”.


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

  • 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”

Diary of a Road Warrior: Travel Tips

How do you bring the comforts of home while traveling for business or pleasure? Simple, bring your gear with you! The trick is to pack them in a way that won’t take up space and provide some variety. Why limit yourself, or worse, shave with that ‘Goo & Plastic’ while away. First, decide what you would like to bring and where are you going. If you’re going someplace warm & tropical, perhaps Coconut Cream Soap or something that smells like The Beach (wink wink). For me, there’s nothing better than a nice mentholated freeze when visiting someplace hot & humid. I have tried many travel cases & toiletry bags and found that eBags is the absolute best for traveling with your shaving stuff.  My shaving gear packs nice and flat  without sacrificing space in your luggage.  At only 2-1/4″ thick, you’ll be amazed how much shaving stuff you can pack into it! My travel bag wasn’t cheap, but it works well for me, as I’m able to fit all my gear with room to spare.

Remember, variety is the spice of life and as you can see, I travel with a number of soaps, lotions, splashes and razors. All you need is to find the containers to ‘right-size’ the amount needed for your journey. Let’s start with soaps. My TOBS Sandalwood is always with me and the container tubes work just fine for travel. Tabac is another go-to soap that’s Always with me when on the road. Since the a Tabac jar is glass and very heavy, I simply added shavings that I pressed in a Tupperware container.  I also travel with the matching AS & Cologne, which I placed into miniaturized containers.  By the way, eye dropper containers work great for cologne and AS , as well as little vials pictured. I think vials can easily be found with the local crack dealer (only kidding!).  The eye dropper contains my Tabac AS and the vial has Tabac cologne. Both are secure and have never leaked. Another tip is to bring your favorite AS/Cologne in travel sprayers that can be found in any fragrance specialty store. I found mine in Perfumania in the mall for a few bucks. I have two that I have brought along for my journey. The red sprayer has Al Fin and the clear has Penhaligon’s .  I sometimes travel with more than two razors, but for this trip, decided on just two. Below is a list of what I’m  traveling with this week:

  • Preshave:
    Homemade Oil (in bottle w/ black cap)
    Proraso Green (small round container w/screw top lid)
  • Soaps: 
    TOBS Sandalwood
    TOBS Coconut
    Tabac (in Tupperware)
    Soap Commander Courage (Sample)
    WSP Black Amber Vanilla (Sample)
    Trumpers Eucris (round container w/ screw top lid)
  • Aftershave & Cologne:
    TOBS AS Gel (Sandalwood)
    Soap Commander Balm (Courage)
    Al Fin (Red Travel Sprayer)
    Tabac AS (eye dropper container)
    Tabac Cologne (tiny bottle)
    Penhaligon’s Endymion
    Osage Rub (mouthwash travel bottle)
  • Razors:
    Vintage Gillette Black Handle SS
    EJ DE89L
  • Blades: Voskhod
  • Brush: Plisson Synthetic with Travel Container


Written by: Peter Charkalis



SOTD: October 1st, 2014 “Chocolate Bourbon” WOW !

Great shave today ! I am really enjoying revisiting a lot of my vintage razors and playing around with new combinations of blades. Today is Chocolate Bourbon day for me as Wednesday is WSR Wednesday’s, and today was no different though I’ll be honest, with the colder weather, the changing leaves, and autumn in swing; every inch of my being wanted to roll with a pumpkin soap ! I don’t think I have the will power not to jump on that very soon. So here we go.

Today I used my 1921 Gillette Single ring old type. I love most everything about this razor, and despite that I reviewed my records going back to January of this year, and this is only my second use this year of this razor. I am trying to keep this razor in as good of condition as possible, as I have the full set. Razor, blade banks and case fully in very good condition, but every now and again I like to indulge in these great older design razors of which this is the #466A set with seal skin case and silver plating. I used for the last time the Sputnik I have been hanging on to. The blade had a very good run at 6 uses with no issue at all. Honestly I could have continued with this blade, but as I have said before there is no reason to tempt the fates.


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On to Synergy Chocolate Bourbon soap ! I have never heard more people wanting to eat a soap than this one. I am very proud that it is the official soap of the Wet Shaver Review and hence why as a group day have set Wednesdays up for a group shave day with this decadent chocolate and a splash of Bourbon soap. As is VERY normal with Synergy soaps the lather was explosive as can be I know I can literally do 2 swirls on this puck and get enough lather for 3-4 passes that are more than protective. That is what everyone I have ever met talks about; the efficacy of Synergy, but the double edge sword is it last forever ! I have yet to complete a full Synergy tin in over a year. I used one of my favorite brushes as well ! My custom Bukaty Silvertip ! Raymond Bukaty was commissioned over the summer to make me this brush, and what a fine artisan he is to work with don to the finest of details…. The funniest part is when I called him an artisan he was taken aback… he never considered himself an artisan, though anyone who has used his brushes…..well you know what I mean the guy has some serious skill !


Three passes later and not a nic, weeper, or surprise to be had. An uneventful yet amazing shave reminding me why I love this sport as the Honemeister calls it…. I finished off with really just a good cold rinse and the matching HTGAM Chocolate Bourbon aftershave. I did not need it, but I did use a balm, Proraso blue. Proraso blue is the newest in the Proraso line and contains vitamin E which aside from vitamin A and C is great for skin health. There is a slight aroma of a woodsy scent, but very mild similar to a sandalwood but extremely mil and did not conflict at all with the aroma of the Chocolate Bourbon goodness !


Great shave and start to October, but I really feel there will be some pumpkin goodness in my near future. Hope you all had great shaves as well ! – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot shower w/ Clinique facial bar
  • Prep: HTGAM pre-shave butter
  • Soap: Synergy ” Chocolate Bourbon”
  • Brush: Custom Bukaty silvertip badger
  • Razor: 1921 Gillette single ring #466A series old type style #102
  • Blade: Sputnik (6)
  • Lather: Bowl
  • Moustache: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: JG compound and Axe smooth WB
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, Shavex alum
  • After shave: HTGAM “Chocolate Bourbon” splash
  • Balm: Proraso blue lotion


09/26/2014 SOTD & REVIEW of Mitchells Wool Fat

photo (3)

Mitchells Wool Fat

Omega Boar

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.

Week 3 and Final Synergy raffle !

Ladies and Gents this is it the final week of the Synergy soaps, How to grow a moustache and our time with the man himself Douglas Smythe. This last week I am envious of ! again very easy to enter and I do keep all entrants in a file though you do not see it published. I want to also take a minute to assure everyone last weeks raffle was not forgotten, being I was sick… I did not do the winning video, I will be drawing both winners for both weeks on the same video. So without further ado here is the final week and what need be done to be entered !

First off what do you win ?

The winner of this weeks raffle will win a tin of the Limited edition Steeplechase Sport ! This was a limited edition so aside from a BST there is no other way to get this soap. Autumn Factory the scent behind the seasonal Pumpkin 3.14 is also on the table ! This is a wonderful Aftershave and I personally own this and this years Pumpkin 3.14 and it is outstanding ! SO Steeplechase sport and a bottle of Autumn Factory for one winner, and this is INTERNATIONAL !!! all members abroad from the USA can enter your aftershave will be alcohol free in order to be able to ship and get it through customs etc.

So what do you need to do ???

There are now pushing 40 Moustache and Blade episodes

1- List 20 M&B guests in any order just list 20 guests that were on the show.

2- On September 6th how fast did CaD sell out ? This was a very announced time as it was so fast…. this was the first official release of CaD.

3- What 2 original Synergy soaps have been discontinued, and which Synergy 2.0 soaps are the newest.


This weeks raffle will take a bit of typing but is actually pretty easy and most can be found right on the site or, on the Wet shaver review Facebook group using the search feature.


Good Luck to all and remember this is international and open to ALL member so please enter !

This raffle starts today September, 24th and will be drawn on October 1st, 2014 when the new vendor steps in ! Please PM me Aaron the answers to the raffle and nothing in the body of the Facebook comments or, this will disqualify you from entry. Thanks again and good luck to all !! – Aaron

September 24th, 2014 “Chocolate Bourbon”

I’m really happy to be home today and back on my feet so to speak. Today was WSR Wednesday, and my shave was in camaraderie with all the great people over on the Facebook group. I’ve said it before that any soap can be used it’s more about the fellowship than the products used. I did happen to use our official soap “Chocolate Bourbon” from Synergy soaps loaded with my WSP Stubby in high mountain white badger. This brush is great as it is perfect for face lathering due to the stubby handle, but has a decent back bone while having super soft tips also and maybe most important is how easily the brush also releases the lather. this is a very dense brush so the fact that it release the lather so well is a big deal, of all my WSP brushes this is the one I would recommend without hesitation. Chocolate Bourbon is just a phenomenal soap, Typical Synergy performance with that explosive lather and a scent that is completely decadent and of all the scents I have this is the one I probably get the most compliments on. I really changed up my razor today to a 1957 Gillette Super Speed Flair tip; actually it is my mother’s birth year razor, I just felt like using it…. no ones birthday or, anything like that. I paired it with the Sputnik blade I have been using and where the Sputnik was less than ideal in the HTGAM Symmetry it worked great in the milder super speed the blade is now on the third use.


To finish up after 3 passes and one or two touch up spots, I followed my normal post shave routine. I started with a really good cold water rinse, and Shave alum (even though it broke I am not letting go to waste). Again after rinsing the alum and cleaning up the few pieces of gear I had to clean up….. that is a positive of face lathering; less mess. I used the matching “Chocolate Bourbon” aftershave. This stuff is amazing and I think anyone that has tried to get it while it was selling out in under 8 minutes will agree this is a top-notch aftershave as well as cologne that lasts all day ! a very little bit goes a very long way, and what’s great to top it off is the aftershave contains alum and a touch of menthol. Simply an amazing aftershave; unfortunate that it is limited edition so I’ll keep my fingers crossed it is re-released a few times over the course of a year. The soap though is year round and part of the regular rotation.


That my friends was my simple but excellent SOTD ! I hope all your shaves were great as well – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot Shower with Clinique facial bar
  • Prep: Proraso pre shave cream
  • Soap: Synergy ” Chocolate Bourbon”
  • Brush: WSP Stubby in HMW
  • Razor: 1957 Gillette Super Speed Flair tip
  • Blade: Sputnik (3)
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Pinaud natural & Crew Molding Clay and Royal Crown mixed
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, Shavex alum
  • After shave: HTGAM “Chocolate Bourbon”
  • Balm: Simple brand scent free face moisturizer

Week 2 of the HTGAM / WSR vendor of the month raffle !

Welcome one and all ! Gather around Ladies and, Gents we are here week number two of the Wet Shaver Review and How to Grow a Moustache / Synergy raffle for the Vendor of the month Mr. Douglas Smythe has generously offered to our online community ! Yes this is the new face of how these raffles will go out to our members on the Wet Shaver Review, but instead of things getting lost over time in the shuffle here it remains permanent. I hope that hold some value to us as we can always reference this down the road.  SO onto the raffle shall we ?


This week is AWESOME ! I just bought (Yes I do buy from all vendors, no free rides here). The winner of this weeks raffle are:

1- 8 oz. Tin of Synergy soaps Pumpkin 3.14 (pie) as well as

1- 3.5 fl. oz. bottle of the matching after shave Autumn Factory

Like I said I JUST received mine yesterday and I am biting at the bit for October so I can start my seasonal change to the fall and winter themed soaps and creams. SO HOW DO YOU ENTER ?

AND Finally !

  • either email, call, post on the Google plus page (just use the hashtag for the Moustache and Blade show), ask a question. NOT ABOUT SYNERGY or HTGAM or, even Douglas himself. Ask a Shaving related question. For example how to make a bowl lather, selecting the proper blade for you….etc. Shave related questions, not HTGAM or, Synergy. All questions are great beginner to advanced questions. also by phone you can ask the question at 347- 333-1511

That’s it ! Just PM me when you have completed these three tasks ( really 2 out of the three are single clicks of a button ! ) and only me….. Do NOT COMMENT in the pinned post box or, you will be disqualified so only PM me directly. I will add your name in the Pinned post section. Thanks everyone and GOOD luck.

I think international members will like this !! HTGAM is opening this up internationally !!!! The only thing is that if a non-CONUS member wins the Autumn Factory aftershave will be alcohol-free !! Good luck to all  – Aaron