Menthol

SOTD: October 13th ,2014 “Menthol Monday”

Happy Columbus day everyone ! I had to work, but I hope everyone that had off had a great day. So today is the infamous “Menthol Monday”, and I must say while a great shave; I was utterly disappointed in the menthol aspect. I have learned today a few things …like what not to do again. So this will be a very short post, but hopefully informative none the less.

I decided with all my talk about lather types lately today was an Uber-Lather day or, if you did not read yesterdays posts a combination of a hard soap, cream(s), and liquid glycerin. I went overboard today, I am trying to hold onto the summer. I used Castle Forbes “Lime” which was the dominant scent, I rarely use but thought it was supposed to be cold as it listed menthol, an Indian brand called Dettol cool, and finally for the soap Mitchell’s wool Fat. I added about 5 drops of glycerin. This was an amazing lather that I will give it.. super slick and very protective and if you like lime this was about as good as it gets especially with the added glycerin it brought the lather itself to another level . What made me unhappy was that I used either too many soaps and creams or, Dettol cool is not really all that cool at all. on a scale of 1-10; Ten being the coldest this was maybe a 2. I used my Marting custom silvertip which performed exceptionally well, and for that zero complaints. Like I said great lather and a great shave, but nowhere near a Menthol Monday shave.

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I also decided to kick the week off strong using my favorite Stainless Steel razor, the Above the Tie “Atlas” and I used the R head assembly which is the closed comb design and similar in aggression to a Edwin Jagger DE89 or Muhle R89. Great razor from the handle knurling to the feel and how flexible, and easy it is to use. this razor is always in perfect alignment and encloses the entire blade. What make the ATT even better to me is it is all handmade right here in the USA in Tennessee by skilled artisans ! this is truly an artisan handcrafted piece of mastered engineering in the world of razors. Now here is the second wow moment I am still using that Voskhod now on shave 11, and still no tugging. Not even a weeper or, the slightest irritation or, reddening of my skin.

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Finally I have finished this great yet non-mentholated shave so I did what I could. Cold water rinse, Shavex alum. I then reached for the Proraso splash ! it has menthol and while only a little cold and very short lived it was enough for me… I also used 2 parts Captain’s choice “Lime” after shave. After a nice dry down I added Truefitt & Hills “Trafalgar” balm which has a very lime like aroma and married up to today’s shave perfectly.

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Well all I can say is great shave and super close, but I failed all of you for it being a Menthol Monday, but not for  lack of desire, it just kind of turned out that way. I hope you all had great shaves and way colder than mine. – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot shower w/ Clinique facial wash
  • Prep: None
  • Cream(s): Castle Forbes “Lime” and Dettol “Cool”
  • Soap: Mitchells Wool Fat
  • Brush: Marting custom silvertip
  • Razor: Above the Tie “Atlas” w/R style closed comb head
  • Blade: Voskhod (11)
  • Lather type: Bowl
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Joe Grooming compound wax and Murray’s Superior Pomade (PB)
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, Shavex alum
  • After shave: Proraso and Captain’s Choice “Lime”
  • Balm: Truefitt & Hill “Trafalgar”

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 🙂 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

Catie’s Bubble’s “Glace’ Herbe”, and September 29th, 2014 SOTD

Menthol Monday ! A day I always look forward to, and today I will be talking about not only my SOTD but a first impression on a new soap by Catie’s Bubbles with those crazy French names….. this one is his first attempt at a menthol soap he called it Glace’ Herbe or, cold herb maybe, and more specifically methylated Vetiver. So onto the SOTD, and we’ll briefly touch on my initial thoughts of Glace’ Herbe.

I had a great shave today, and used a fairly unused razor out of my den the 1948-1950 Aristocrat. What makes mine unique is that it is an odd variant as it has the handle of the 48′-50′ Aristocrat the notched center pin also of the 48′-50′ Aristocrat, BUT it on the inside base it fully says Pat NOS on Package where in 1948 it became PAt. NOS. on PKG ! so this tells me this is an early model probably closer to the 1948 mark as Gillette was notorious for reusing parts from the previous generations in order not to be wasteful. I mean really, you didn’t think they were throwing out that precious post WWII metal ! The 1947-49 Aristocrat was extremely popular; so there was a lot of spare parts when they revised the model. Okay that was my history lesson of the day… you can also find this great info on www.razoremporium.com  and go to the razor archives section there is a full history of the Aristocrat there that is nothing less than excellent. I paired this relatively milder year Aristocrat “hybrid” with that pesky little Sputnik blade that I was using a few days back. This was now its fourth use, and you know what ? it will get a fifth as it shows zero signs of any degradation. I would usually move on after four uses but Getting Sputniks are not as easy as some other blades, yes I can get them but it may take 60 days for them to show up directly from Russia which BTW has awesome stamps on the package.

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Onto my initial impression of Catie’s Bubbles Glace’ Herbe ! Well it hit me the other day I participate in Menthol Monday every week, and was starting to get “bored” as I don’t have a large methylated collection. It then struck me….. the fool I am, I had bought earlier in the month a sort of special order over stock. That was Glace’ Herbe I was lucky enough to be able to be in the right place complaining at the right time to get one of the 5 overstocked tubs;  he had from this “run”. So my initial thoughts….. I think he has a hit here to be honest.  What resonated to me was that it was so upfront…. no real hard complexities to decipher which may be a turn off to some,  but this is Vetiver no more and no less… it almost has a nutty aroma to it which a good high quality vetiver grass has and should have. So in that department I give a lot of credit. I say this as to have a single note soap or, fragrance in general and to pull it off well is harder than mixing 5 or 6 scents to make a blend. As to the menthol I was also happy I would say it is pretty middle of the road, comparable to Proraso in intensity but not in feel. Where Proraso is just straight sneak up on you cold Glace’ Herbe was more natural feeling if that makes sense not that it was better or worse,  but I believe Chris probably used a method of adding the menthol that makes it smoother in feel …. that is the best way I can describe the coolness is smooth. Now as far as slickness or cushion I also have to say this IMHO was better than a few other soaps I have from Catie’s Bubbles. I do not mean this as any offense; as I happen to really like all of my Catie’s Bubbles soaps very much, but the lather on Glace’ Herbe is different, and for me in a good way. There was a lot more cushion and the lather was denser than previous soaps I have used which had adequate cushion or, some call it depth or, I even sometime refer to it as the explosive nature of the lather. This lather really explodes ! a very little goes along way. Finally I used my favorite 2-band badger brush my New Forest “Tubby 2” which is just about as soft a brush as you can get with more than ample backbone and amazing flow through.

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With such a great shave I wanted to nail the finishing touches, and unfortunately I fell I think a bit short. I think Fine Fresh Vetiver would have been a better choice to marry up to the earthy and nutty Vetiver of the soap, but all I own is Clean Vetiver; don’t misunderstand it was close but a touch sweet compared to the nutty nature of the soap. To remedy this and the similarity was astonishing to me was the balm I used by How to Grow a Moustache “Vetiver” which is a double distilled “true” Vetiver and not cheap to make; the scent was nearly identical so I ended up exactly where I wanted to be cold and smelling like nutty soil…… yeah that makes a lot of sense right 🙂 !! no one ever claimed traditional shaving doesn’t lead you down interesting roads of scent.

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On that chilly note I hope you all had great mornings whatever you decided to use be it “Menthol Monday” or, anything that caught your fancy for the day. Have great days all ! – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot shower w/ Clinique facial bar
  • Prep: Proraso pre ( very light application )
  • Croap: Catie’s Bubbles “Glace’ Herbe”
  • Brush: New Forest “Tubby 2”
  • Razor: 1948-50 Gillette Aristocrat variant
  • Blade: Sputnik (4)
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: FireHouse Dark and Reuzel Red WB
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, Shavex alum
  • After shave: Fine Clean Vetiver (methylated)
  • Balm: HTGAM “Vetiver”
  • EDT: L’Occitane Vetyver

September 22nd, 2014 “Menthol Monday”

Ok so I am sick and I have I’m pretty sure told everyone within at least 5 countries I think I’m dying. I do not handle being sick well at all, what I handle even worse though is excuses, and I have been making a lot of them lately, and am man enough to call myself out on the carpet. When I don’t feel well this is just how I get. SOOOO where is the silver lining ? in a few places first off it’s Monday and the beginning of the week….. I have a whole week to change my outlook and secondly it is “Menthol Monday” ! when your sick with the flu or, a head cold what could be better than either a shot of booze or, menthol ? hey it’s one of the ingredients in Vick’s vapor rub. I figured it would help me breathe a bit better, no not really , but I got an awesome shave.

I Super-Lathered Mitchell’s wool fat and Proraso green after applying Proraso pre shave. This unto itself was chilling, not Yeti snot territory yet, but we will get to that soon enough, and using the Omega 63185 badger brush I couldn’t go wrong. I kept the razor fairly simple using my Edwin Jagger De89LBL which while beautiful and shaves wonderful carries such an affordable price tag, really this is a phenomenal shaver as it is priced right and shaves like a dream the key is ? The right blade. I have said this countless times over the years and YMMV I firmly believe a mild shaver paired with a sharper than average blade will be the shave of your life. So I used a Russian Sputnik which are Teflon coated. I love these blades. While on average a 4-5 shave blade they are consistent, sharp, and irritation free.

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After my clean up as I bowl lathered I pampered myself a little. I am sick after all. I took a little extra time rubbing the cold water on my face which in turn made the menthol go into over drive really chilling my face, I then used my broken Shavex block…. I am using the jagged edges as I am trying to round them off…. the block is and will not be wasted. As my friend and Brother Timothy Moore from the Royal order of Wet Shavers and I always said waste not want not. Finally I went for the coldest aftershave I own and I keep it in the fridge. Fine aftershave “Snake Bite”. As I write this an hour later I still feel the menthol and it is stronger now than when I was shaving with the Proraso. Keep in mind I am sick so my skin does feel very sensitive. Finally I closed off the shave with a product I don’t love but it is pretty chilly, Lucky Tiger Menthol Vanishing cream. This cream is pretty good and here is a little tip if you use it add a few drops of water to the cream after rubbing it into your hands. I find otherwise the cream is drying.

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This concluded my WSR “Menthol Monday” ! I hope you enjoyed the read and temporary distraction from your daily grind….I know writing it while not “cure” for the common cold made me feel great to write it as I have been absent for a bit and it made me feel better sharing my day with all of you ! I hope you all had great shaves as well. – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot Shower w/ Clinique facial bar
  • Prep: Proraso Pre shave
  • Soap: Mitchell’s Wool Fat
  • Cream: Proraso green
  • Brush: Omega 63185 black badger
  • Razor: Edwin Jagger De89LBL
  • Blade: Sputnik (1)
  • Lather type: Bowl
  • Moustache: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Pinaud natural and Suavecito firm
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse and Shavex alum
  • After shave: Fine “Snake Bite”
  • Balm: Lucky Tiger menthol vanishing cream