shave of the day

SOTD 7th December 2018 & Man Of Siam Thai Ginger Zest Soap Review

Hi – you know how it is when you travel, especially as I do a lot, and find yourself in a shaving wilderness – scouring the pharmacies and stores in the vain hope that you might, just might, find something other than Wilkinson Sword or those terrible Japanese and Korean brands of shave gel? Well I found myself in Thailand and as I do I started my quest for shave products – local stores – nada. Pharmacies – nada. Not even a pack of razor blades only the same old dull disposables. So – back to the hotel and onto Google – the usual searches for soap, razors and so on. I googled “Shaving Soap Thailand” and about 5th from the top a result catches my eye: Man Of Siam – I quickly go to the site and note that they have shaving soap made in THAILAND – wow!! I am here for another 4 days so I quickly email the site and get a response from Jack, the site owner (strange name Thai bloke eh?…Actually, the He is a She named Nittaya…) that they have stocked out on the Thai Ginger Zest but they do have the other soap Cadwgawn . I quickly do a deal with Nittaya to buy both soaps and have them shipped to my home in Hong Kong once they are BOTH back in stock. . So – it was with baited breath that I received them this week. Safely packed and shipped all the way from Thailand. I wanted to try them both but opted for the first one I noticed, the Thai Ginger Zest. My other shave line up was:

  • Rigarazor 8/8 near wedge
  • Van Yulay Black Bowl
  • T-400 brush with the old faithful 24mm silver tip head
  • Proraso preshave cream

Prepped with the proraso and bloomed the soap a little – it is quite a hard soap definitely not a cream. Maybe what they are calling a ‘croap’. Prep over, razor stropped and I am ready. I swirl the brush in the soap for about 40 seconds to load the tips then get down to lathering up. Wow – the lather is easy to make (soft water in my place but Nittaya tells me that hard water is okay too). Within 30-40 seconds I have a nice bowl full of delicious lather. I lather up and its a winner – the fragrance is not overpowering, nice ginger zing with a citrus grapefruit background note. First pass is WTG and is so close that I decide to do a second ATG and then a third ATG. I am sat here with a nice fragrance doing this review. All in all the soap is a winner and I can’t wait to try out the Cadwgawn.

Asia, where I live, is a nightmare for wet shavers who like quality products an we have to rely on Amazon and eBay or those trip to the US or UK where we can buy stuff from real shops! Man Of Siam is a welcome oasis in the desert and I will be back!! Follow the link and see for yourself Nittaya’s range of quality shaving gear from Muhle and others as well as these superb Thai made, all natural ingredient, soaps.

 

LINK: Man Of Siam

 

SOTD 6 November 2018 – Gillette Tech and TOBS Avocado – Van Yulay Bowl First Use

I know I am late posting this, but just did not have time to upload the photos to my Mac and so on. So here it is…

  • Lather – TOBS Avocado
  • Prep – 3P
  • Razor – Gillette Tech
  • Blade – Feather
  • Brush – Alpha T-400 batch #1
  • Knot – 26mm HMW
  • Bowl – Van Yulay Honeycomb type

I prepared properly with a nice face wash, no special soap, and then applied a nice layer of 3P whilst I soaked my brush in tepid tap water (no really cold water here – I am in Thailand on business at the moment). I slapped in about a teaspoon of the TOBS soap into the VY Bowl and started lathering. I tell you this is going to become one of my regular bowls. I have had it a while, months in fact, and had not used it once. Today was THE day. The bowl not only has the ridges to help lathering but also a repeat of the same honeycomb on the rim at the bottom so there is NO chance you can drop this bowl even with wet hands. It is a resin material too so I am sure almost unbreakable. The honeycombs inside also retain a little water so you don’t have to dip so often and all in all it was a superb bowl and I lathered up with a super thick, teeny-weeny bubbled lather and started shaving. A simple 3-pass – the usual WTG, XTG and ATG.

The Gillette tech and feather blade combo just mashed through the growth – seriously this inexpensive razor just does what it says on the tin – it is superb, just heavy enough, grippy handle – all in all a very satisfying shave. The TOBS Avocado cream soap is one of my go to soaps too – I love the fresh, green, vegetable fragrance which to me smells like cucumber and not avocados although it does have the slickness of an avocado mash.

The story behind the Tech… – I bought a set of two Bakelite shaving stick tubes from a lady in Australia – she now only sent me the tubes but also a leather case to keep them in and nestling inside a little compartment was the Gillette tech. pictured here [I emailed her and told her and she said “good luck, no charge!!” – so this razor was FREE!!!

Orange 🍊 & Amber Delight

I look forward to different days of the week; I usually have a theme for the day. Today happens to be Thursday so it’s from a “Tube”. Tubes ROCK ! They are usually compact, slick, and easy to travel with, compared to their rigid tub counterparts.

Today was going to be great as I had chose Musgo Real “Orange Amber”. This is a great transition scent as we move between summertime, and autumn. So let’s get a closer look at this classic. Musgo Real was originally made in 1920 by the Portuguese Musgo Real co. the clock has turned, and the Claus Porto Co founded in 1887, acquired Musgo Real and is now formulated by Ach. Brito

Appearance: 5/5

Musgo Real no.1 Orange Amber is a 100ml tube of shave cream. The tube utilizes a aluminum based orange packaging, that seems to be of a little thicker wall. The Orange is bold with the Musgo Real logo; a crown 👑 and a very utilitarian no.1 Orange Amber embossment. Simple and to the point making this a humble visual to the cream inside. This is a higher end cream despite its packaging and falls into that price point of $22 for 100ml or, 3.5 ounces.

Performance: 4/5

This mini review can be finished in two words; Lanolin and Glycerin. This is the base of this top shelf cream. This allows the cream to have amazing glide, as well as being moisturizing, and to leave your face feeling not only healthy, but smooth as we say a baby’s bottom. The only detraction in my experience is the moderate lather it produces; many would argue this is not an issue, but I like a little thicker lather. Brush used: Envy Shave custom Silver tip Badger.

Fragrance: 5/5

This is a subjective topic as always YMMV, and one person wonderful is another’s awful (Lilac Vegetal for instance). The aroma wafted up to me as I lathered the cream with my brush. A combination of orange and musk along with a pronounced Amber, benzoin smell. I don’t usually pick up on the aroma that quickly, but this was well formulated.

Post Shave: 5/5

Wonderful as the lanolin has done its job perfectly. My face felt like a dream with a BBS outcome, but no redness or, irritation anywhere after 3 passes, and a mild touch up. I really debated if a post shave splash or, balm was needed. I ended up using Fine Accoutrements Italian Citrus, with a drop of Aqua Velva musk.

I hope this little overview of Musgo Real’s no.1 Orange Amber cream in the tube was somewhat helpful. I purchased this cream from Straight Razor Designs Musgo Real Orange Amber Happy shaves my friends, and stay smooth.

  • My daily driver- SS 303Phoenix Bomb Tip handle with a Merkur 41C OC
  • Blade: Gillette Silver Blue (1)
  • Soap: Musgo Real no.1 Orange Amber
  • Brush: Custom Envy Shave Silver tip Badger
  • Post Shave: Fine Accoutrements Italian Citrus & Aqua Velva Musk
  • Fragrance: Bvlgari Aqua Amara

A nice morning shave in India.

29 August 2018 Travel SOTD Chubbiness

What better way for a gentleman to start his day than a nice leisurely shave?

I found myself in Mumbai, India with a few hours to spare on this fine 29th August morning. Given my new “travel light” policy I had with me only the following:-

  • Razor – DE – Merkur Futur
  • Blade – single Feather Hi-Stainless
  • Brush  – Kent H12
  • Soap – Small pot of TOBS Avocado
  • Bowl – $2 bowl from Franc Franc

First lets look at the razor. There is little doubt that the mercer Futur is one of the best available mass produced DE razors. It is fully adjustable from a full crop trimmer (#6) down to a feather duster (#1) and all points between. I had shaved two days ago so a #3 was my setting of the day. It is a smooth matte finished razor, all stainless and easy to take apart for cleaning. I took the opportunity to take mine apart and give it a thorough wash and dry after I completed my shave. Some say the head on a Merkur Futur is too big to get under the nose properly – personally, I don’t find that at all. Be careful when adjusting the setting that you don’t cut your fingers on the blade – grip the head by the short edges and adjust the handle with your other hand – well away from the blade.

Now the brush (disclaimer: I DO NOT sell this brush and have no association with Kent Brushes) The Kent H12 – is a mock horn handled brush with a massive 31mm knot. It is a beast and lathers like a dream. A good loft, medium backbone and pillowy soft gel tips. It is a fantastic brush to shave with and it went to work on the soap in no time at all. If you can get a Kent brush – do so!! I am lucky this was bought for me by my sister as a Christmas present last year. She lives about a mile from the Kent factory!! One day I am going to have to go in and see if I can get a tour of the workshops.

Blade – Feather Hi-Stainless – what else can I say except that these blades are the bomb – aces high. Don’t buy anything else and give your face a treat. Easily the sharpest and best blades on the block

The soap – TOBS Avocado – brought a blob of the Taylors of Old Bond Street avocado soap in a small container – enough for my week away – 2 shaves worth. This soap is great, has a nice vegetal small with, to my nose, overtones of cucumber. It lathers like a dream and is super slick. When I get a new razor to try this is always my go to soap because it has consistent performance and is super slick.

The bowl – a nice, textured, bowl from a store called Franc Franc in Hong Kong. Nothing fancy, does not matter if I forget or break it and it just works. A serious lather bowl for 2 bucks! What is not to like?

The shave – a nice 2 pass WTG then ATG. A touch up across the wattles as pass # 2.5 and finished. BBS and happy for the day. Hot rinse, cold rinse and out!! No burn, no drama. And light…

SOTD: 7/27/2018 Octavia Noir

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

https://shavingbuddy2.herokuapp.com/shave/5a56629804610900041c0a01</a

<a href="https://shavingbuddy2.herokuapp.com/shave/5a56629804610900041c0a01https://shavingbuddy2.herokuapp.com/shave/5a56629804610900041c0a01&lt;/a5CCD562B-828B-444F-838D-787FC60E512B

K Shave Worx: Word to Ya Mutha

    

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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!
   

SOTD: May 15th, 2015 “Refreshed”

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