I found this article to be a great resource or, refresher for new and seasoned Wet Shavers alike. Get that shave you’ve been dreaming of.
Credit to Hotshavehustlers.com as well as VDH for sharing this.
Some stories defy time, oceans, countries, and words. This meeting between Luca Farina, and an older proud barber in Italy is one of these. Take this journey; feel the pride, and love this unites us for all time. – Aaron
Sometimes, if you leave the main street, you can discover a fairy-tale spot…..
I was walking through the streets of Domodossola when, looking down a little side street, an old barber-shop’s sign caught my eyes. It piqued my curiosity and I moved closer. I found myself in front of an old barber shop, where time seemed to have stopped at the 50s. Inside a white-haired barber said: “Please take a seat, if you have patience, I’ll serve you, Mister!”
Tommi welcomes me with his friendliness and his 87 years of age. After preparing the necessary items, he starts brushing, very slowly, the shaven soap on my face with an Omega 48, while explaining me, step by step, what are the right moves to do a good shaving. Then he tells me about his life. He started working at 10 years of age as barber’s apprentice. At 22 he opened his own shop. He says: “I even had 3 very good employees. At that time there was so much work, we shaved more than 100 beards a week”.
Then he explains me how he cuts and smoothes hair with the tip of the scissors; that he has travelled a little the world; that he has been an actor of dialect theatre, that he writes books and poems. “When I’m writing a book I feel alive” and he let me read a piece of the book he is going to finish. He tells me about his famous and important clients and I perceive his great love for his job.
At the beginning of this year he had an artificial hip implanted. Its shop remained closed for 3 months and he thought he would not open anymore, but back from the hospital, he told himself: “What can I do at home?”. And he opened his historical shop again, where you can find him working with his scissors and razor.
You can spend a lot of time listening to Tommi’s tales and you go away happy, well shaved and with one of his books (autographed) under your arm.
-Farinik. by, Luca Farina
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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 $$$ and is a luxury; all these products work equally as well face lathered for free. That’s all I have to say, but if you contact Brittney McDermott or, Todd Fisher I am sure they would love to talk about St. James of London and match you up with the perfect cream and other products that fit your style perfectly.
Soap: St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime”
Brush: Semogue 830
Razor: PAA Double Open Comb
Blade: Gillette 7 O’clock SharpEdge
After Shave: Royall Muske
Post Shave: St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime” gel
Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet 💐 — with Roberto Monanni and 6 others.
So I spent some $$$ today …. on what I am calling my reverse shave….. meaning I have started a new way of shaving….starting at the end and working to the beginning….in layman’s terms start with the EDT(P)or (C) then pick your balm and aftershave….then soap and brush and finally razor and method of prep…. preferably layering all variables to come out with the perfect shave. If you know where you want to end ….it’s easier to know where to start right ? who said in…sanity doesn’t have it’s place !! So this was what I bought today….. I will start with the most controversial and go to the most accepted I guess……
Thiery Mugler : Ultra Zest
This is a A*MEN variant… like all A*MEN DNA EDT’s you have that gourmand (food like) animalistic and sensual musky aroma but Ultra Zest the 2015 limited edition is the first to put a strong Orange citrus accord in that DNA. At first I HATED this scent…. so one dimensional and linear… I could not tell the top notes to the base… it was just A*MEN with some OJ for breakfast. Well today 100ml found its way into my house….. I don’t know how or, when, but I now can pick out those subtle nuances and I found a soap that matches perfectly ! Tiki Bar soaps Land Locked…. it is a great match….again work from the end forward. Also for 3.4 ounces or, 100ml for a LE Mugler EDT $90 is not a bad deal. This of all the special editions I would say will probably never come back…. so I do not regret this buy at all.
Next up a more daring, but safe buy…. in the mostly Aquatic family Giorgio Armani’s famous Aqua di Gio……., but I decided to get the eau de Parfum Essenza version….. described by the house as the more refined sophisticated and truer to the original with wood notes as well as EDP strength and sillage…. this falls actually under the Woody aquatic family and whilst being a summer scent that wood note makes it really a 3 season scent. My soap of choice for this would be D.R. Harris Windsor or, Catie’s Bubbles LPV.
Finally and probably my favorite of the three I bought was Chanel Platinum Egooiste…..from the opening to the full dry down, I love this scent. It opens with strong floral notes of rosemary, Orange, Lavender and Geranium followed with Jasmine and then finishing with Oakmoss, Vetiver, Petigrain, Sandalwood and Cedar …making this a woodsy floral musk by definition. This is a no fooling around heavy hitter that will last a long time….. as they say you can never go wrong with Chanel either men or, women. I would personally in my reverse engineering would marry well with a few of my favorite combinations…..Barrister & Mann Vetyver Santal….or, Cheshire… It would sit well with commercial soaps like St. James of London Mandarin and Patchouli or, cedarwood and Clary sage…. this is a versatile scent to say the least.
Bottom line working backwards is sometimes a great way to shave… it’s always good to know your destination before you hit the road !