Today’s shave was one of those shaves you didn’t expect, but you were damn happy afterwards. I love Gingers Garden soaps, and Irena couldn’t be a better person or, for that matter soap maker. Today I used for the first time Octavia Noir that was a Glycerin soap. That said a lot of traditional shavers, have been taught Glycerin based soaps don’t shave as well as tallow or, butter based soaps. In this case Irena knows what she is doing, the lather that ensued was not only dense, and protective, but had a wonderful aroma of deep amber and darker floral scents, while still being very approachable in these warmer months. Octavia Noir to say the least is a winner by a long shot. I used a vintage 1909 Gillette ABC Pocket Edition scroll razor, with a Wilkinson Sword by Gillette blade, as well as my favorite brush my 2016 WSR group brush with an ultra premium silver tip badger knot, by Envy Shave. This made quick work of my stubble, which always makes me happy. The glide, from the soap made for a simple true BBS shave. I finished off with not an exact match to the soap, but a favorite Floid Menthalado Vigoroso. When it’s 95 degrees out; this is the after shave you want to cool you down. To that I wish you all happy shaves, and a wonderful weekend. Here is a link to Ginger Garden which I highly recommend for any products she offers. Gingers Garden
K Shave Worx is an up and coming vendor of soaps and bushes. Although I’ve not had the chance to get my hands on a brush, I’m planning on it. Why? Because if it’s anything like their soaps, it’ll be amazing.
My first experience with K Shave Worx was bittersweet. Why? Well, I received a sample of their Midnight Cherry Bomb. Delightful scent. Amazing performance. The soap lathered excellently, with any brush I threw at it, even with my hard water (rural area, with miles of piping to travel through before it reaches my tap). “But Tom!” you say, “you said it was bittersweet?” Yes, despite all the awesome, the scent and my face did not get along. With a heavy heart, I relayed the news to Kevin and Kelly. They too were bummed, but asked if I was game to try some others. Now, I’ll be honest and say my expectations were low. And man, that was a good thing. Because the other soaps they’ve sent me performed exactly the same, yet with no face burn!
Word to ya Mutha is a new offering, not yet fully integrated into their line. It’s a mentholated vanilla, which has become the soap I find myself going to over the past few days. In the tin, the scent is a very strong vanilla (almost offputting), but it mellows out when lathered, which also brings out the crispness of the menthol.
In terms of performance, we have a standard soft soap, that (to me) marries the qualities of two of my favourite soap styles; the dense lather bomb of the Turk style and the smooth face feel of the Italian croaps. While any brush I used gave me an excellent lather, I prefer my übersoft Nathan Clark. A few swirls, even on the small sample puck, gives me plenty of lather for multiple passes.
As for the post shave, the menthol carries through the entire shave, as well as a 10ish minute hangtime into the post shave. The menthol is right in the sweet spot. More “refreshingly cool” than “my toes are turning black”. As for my face? Remarkably fresh. Of the ingredients used (Stearic Acid, Water, Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Kokum Butter, Shea Butter, Menthol, Sodium Lactate, Glycerin) I’d say the castor oil and the shea and kokum butters are the culprits of the smoothness. As for an aftershave product, this is one of those rare soaps where none really is needed. It’s that good in my opinion.
So there ya have it folks. A great product made by some real decent people. Learn more at their website, https://www.etsy.com/shop/KShaveWorx, and check out their Instagram and Facebook accounts as well!
Simply a great shave, nothing fancy at all, but I was proud of this shave ! It was unique, special and memorable for a few reasons.
How many of us by things…. Anything, it does not even need be shaving related, and it sits ? “It was a good idea when I bought it” ! Well I bought a pretty full hone set, going from 220 DMT’s and Norton 220k/1000k to flatting stones and 1k-2k 4K/8k and finishing stones made by Norton and Shapton, and from Naniwa 12k as well as chromium oxides and Diamond sprays which are equal to about 30k ! I never used them; there was really just no need until now ! The wanna be razor doctor was in the house.
So I prayed a LOT ! As I did not want to ruin my blade, but wanted to be self sufficient, I easily could have sent my razors to Lynn Abrams or Don Addleman, and slept easily, but how do I become a better shaver by doing that ? I don’t. So I watched a few of Lynn’s video’s and the moment of truth came….. And guess what ? The world did not end and actually it worked ! My razor felt like it was brand new again to the point I did not even feel the blade ! I had to check the lather for stubble or, I wouldn’t have believed it was shaving. I had no idea how dull the blade was until I sharpened it, so guess what ? What was originally a scary process; became three razors doing a simple 12K and 30K refresh on synthetic stones ! I was proud; what is it 20 razors and I become a Honemeister ? LOL !
I have a ways to go, and I’m happy to go slow and enjoy the learning process ! I may pick up some “project razors” to learn to reset a bevel doing the circle method, learn to double bevel, and run pyramids all the way trough finishing the razor like I did here. Learning and being self sufficient is all part of the game, so shave on, don’t be afraid it’s only a razor; just do your homework first. Shave on folks and happy Friday- Aaron
- Pre: Clarisonic Aria normal brush and hydro cleanser
- Prep: Hot shower and Nivea face wash
- Super-Lather: Cella & GFT Almond
- Brush: Simpsons Duke 3 in best badger
- Razor: Ralf Aust 5/8 in faux ebony scales
- Lather: Scuttle
- Moustache: handlebar
- Wax & Pomade: Pinaud Black & Reuzel Red
- Post Shave: Cold water rinse & cold towels
- After shave: Pinaud Classic Vanilla
- Balm: RazoRock R160