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
Just follow the link to a better shave every time !
Mark Herro Aka Mantic59 again takes your shave to the next level ! Thanks for everything you do Mark 🙏🏽
An in depth video review of Tabacco by Extro’ Cosmesi. We will discuss both the soap & after shave created by Donato Cinniello, brought to me from Paolo Tondi of TVB Shaving. If you love Tobacco scents and top end European artisan shaving look no further than Italy and Extro’
- Soap (croap) – Extro’ Tabacco
- Brush: Marfin no.69 custom Italian Briar Silver tip badger
- Razor: Vintage Dubl Duck GoldEdge straight razor
- After Shave / EDT: Extro’ Tabacco
What’s there to say about today’s shave ? Not a whole lot for once ! It was comfortable, and it removed hair 🙂 if you have never used Castle Forbes creams I would strongly recommend them, as they are formulated for ultimate glide and for a wonderful post shave feel due to the lanolin in the cream itself. The Case Red Imp delivered the goods; no two ways about that, aside from a aggressive spike point the razor is awesome, rescaled I guess with what I’d call a red coral type of scale and custom fit for the razor. Lastly Raymond Bukaty makes an amazing brush ! his knot is superb and craftsmanship cannot be denied. All said todays shave was excellent and very enjoyable. Shave on everyone and enjoy the beautiful day, and weekend ! – Aaron
- Pre: Hot shower with Nivea face scrub
- Cream: Castle Forbes Lime
- Brush: Bukaty custom Silver Tip badger
- Razor: Case “Red Imp” 6/8 red coral scale
- Lather type: Bowl
- Moustache type: Handlebar
- Wax and Pomade: Pinaud black & Murray’s SE “Vintage”
- After Shave: Captain’s Choice Lime
- Balm: Soap Commander “Respect”
- Fragrance: Lacoste L12.12 Blanc
Today is always a day of reflection for me, the title alone of this post gives away this has to do with my father. This will not be a long or drawn out post, but a glimpse into my life, and a remembrance of a life taken way too soon. I have said countless times I was raised by my grandparents and great grandparents, which is accurate….my great grandfather taught me to shave, and started my journey in this amazing community. My Father was an officer, and thus was not around as much as he or, I would have liked. So instead of moving constantly as is the norm, I stayed with family. What I did learn from my father as ironically when his time was up my tenure began, I never achieved nor, wanted to become an officer, but I was very close to say the least. My father taught me what it was to be a man, a father, to have respect for myself and to put others before myself always and in everyway. To love my God, my country, and to listen to those much wiser than myself.
Fast Forward to 8 years ago; my father passed away from Cancer, something I wish even I could just remove from anyone and everyone. Renal cell carcinoma to be exact or, cancer of the Kidney, there is no cure, and it’s a highly aggressive cancer. He was just 51 by a few days when he passed surrounded by family and friends and even brothers in arms acting full bird Colonel’s and those he served with by his side. My fathers life was measured by accomplishment not by years….I find it hard to think most people to achieve what he did in 40 something years, to be reached by those living double his time here. Driven is a understatement, and I cannot overstate he was my best friend, and I miss him dearly. Today he would have turned 59, but his time had come now near a decade ago. Well I guess I lied this is turning a bit to the longer side.
To the point, I choose to remember those both living and not, by using birth year razors, of which I have nearly one for every person in my family going back to the early 1900’s. I did NOT use my father’s birth year razor today. His razor is a B-2 Gillette Super Speed Red-Tip replated in Rhodium by Razor Emporium. It is an amazing razor and Matt Pisarcik did nothing less then a stellar job. Razor Emporium was much smaller when they did this job so me and Matt spoke throughout the process of this revamp. Instead of that razor I decided to honor my father a different way, I used his favorite after shave and cologne ! I am a straight razor shaver, and to that point even my father would tell me be true to myself not a razor in his memory. Brut was his favorite scent…plain and simple he used disposable razors, canned goo, but at least he used Brut, which was better than the razor idea as the aroma of this Fougere scent reminded me of him all day long, combined with Paco Rabanne pour homme another wonderful, and fitting EDT to go with Brut. Finally before I sign off to answer the question of “what razor did I use” ? it was a vintage 1875 Abraham Brookebank 13/16 near wedge with original horn scales and a great example of a traditional barbers notch. I choose this razor not only because it’s a stellar razor even after 140 appx year ! this razor has seen more history than any of us, and in my mind shows that nothing is ever really gone, but should be cherished and treated with care, and loved like it was your last day to ever see it again, on that note I thank you all for sticking with me through this story, and while I miss my father I do find solace by dedicating this shave today in the memory of my father, and what he instilled upon me to this day.
- Pre: Hot shower w/ Clarisonic Aria deep pore head and cleanser
- Soap: Barrister & Mann “Beaudelaire” Fougere
- Brush: Thater 4292/4 set in cocobolowood handle and 2-band
- Razor: 1875 Abraham Brookebank 13/16 near wedge with barbers notch and dark horn scales
- Lather type: American Stonecraft bowl
- Moustache type:Handlebar
- Wax & Pomade: Pinaud black & Murray’s Superior
- Post shave: Cold water rinse
- After shave: Classic Brut
- Balm/Other: Brut balm with Shea butter and aloe
- Fragrance: Paco Rabanne pour homme
Happy Monday everyone ! Unlike many things in this world straight razors; are one of those things, when properly cared for get better with age. I’d add wooden stringed instruments, and paintings to that list as well. There is just something to the feel of a vintage straight razor that is nearly 100 years old, and delivers a close and comfortable shave. The old time construction just lasts and they had pride in their craft; My Vintage Boker 1056 is no exception.
Our Vendor of the month St. James of London is another one of those products that takes pride in their craft since 1953 ! A Creighton’s made brand, this cream whilst brushless; when you use a brush excels and even IMHO creates an exceptional lather that left me with a ample cushion and tons of glide. I find the aroma unique as it is called Cedarwood and Clary Sage; which is very obvious, but there is a citrus note that really brightens things up, as well as a grounding fragrance that is masculine and exudes confidence.
Great shave today, Enjoy your days all, and of course Shave On ! – Aaron
- Pre: Clarisonic Aria with deep pore brush and cleanser
- Prep: Hot Shower with Jack Black’s “Face Buff” fine grit face scrub
- Cream: St. James of London “Cedarwood & Clary Sage”
- Brush: Marting custom silver tip badger
- Razor: Vintage Boker 1056 straight razor
- Lather type: Scuttle
- Moustache type: Handlebar
- Wax & Pomade: PPF original & Murray’s Xtra Heavy
- Post Shave: Cold water rinse
- After Shave: Ogallala bay rum, sage, and cedar (great compliment to the cream)
- Balm: Aveeno fragrance free after shave lotion
- Fragrance: L’Occitane Bavx
Today’s shave; similar to yesterday was with a new soap today from Tiki Bar soaps. This soap in question is none other than the new “The Kilted Tiki” which was a St. Patrick’s day release with strong accords of Peat moss and a very smooth whisky note that is very unique. Again I am now on use number two, and I will not review a soap before three uses. I will say however I love my Dubl Duck razor ! Today’s “Satin Edge” was bought from none other than Jaime Cobos about a year ago. I did some work to this blade and I must say of all my vintages the Ducks are just excellent shavers !
The Omega 63185 Black badger had the perfect scritch to softness ratio for today’s Face lathered shave and made a wonderful lather to say the least…. this is one of those brushes; you do not have to spend a fortune to get a great brush. Finally, without reviewing the soap I used a very unique combination as this is a very unique soap. Fine Accruements Clean Vetiver, and then Crabtree & Evelyn’s Nomad balm. This all led to such a wonderful shave, what I would consider the entire reason for traditional shaving; pure enjoyment.
- Pre: Clarisonic Aria with sensitive head and Nivea face wash
- Prep: Hot Shower with HTGAM “ATG” pre-shave soap
- Soap: Tiki Bar Soaps ” The Kilted Tiki”
- Brush: Omega 63185 black badger brush
- Razor: Vintage 5/8 Dubl Duck Perlduck “Satin Edge”
- Lather type: Face
- Moustache type: Handlebar
- Wax and Pomade: Got 2 Be Glued & Murray’s Superior
- Post shave: Cold water rinse, Alum
- After Shave: Fine “Clean Vetiver”
- Balm: Crabtree & Evelyn “Nomad”
- Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Opus 1870
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:
Homemade Oil (in bottle w/ black cap)
Proraso Green (small round container w/screw top lid)
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)
Osage Rub (mouthwash travel bottle)
Vintage Gillette Black Handle SS
- Blades: Voskhod
- Brush: Plisson Synthetic with Travel Container
Written by: Peter Charkalis
Happy Saturday everyone ! I was not planning on being home today and had my Dopp bag packed and ready to go. Instead of just using what I had packed for the next 5 days, I decided to pull another oldie but great cream into my “reduction” rotation. I want to be clear in case it is not; I am not trying to get rid of soaps, and creams just to get rid of them, it is because of excess. I am also choosing them based on the upcoming seasonal changes with some lateral play to through for example a great summer scent in like D.R. Harris Arlington or, Synergy “Gondolier”, today this was not the case ! here we go and I have a few tips today as well.
I rarely talk about my before shave ritual, today it’s worth talking about. Everyone loves to talk about pre-shaves; love them or, hate them ? use them or, not. Guess what ? I you shower before you shave and wash your face ( I hope you are ) you have done the simplest of pre shaves. The alkaline nature of a pre shave soap helps soften the hair or, the glycerin content helps expand the follicle by up to 30%. Today I not only washed my face with The Body Shops “Maca Root” face wash but I used my home-made almond skin food pre shave lotion. Here is the recipe and you can use any essential oil, that is known to NOT have any skin reactivity.
1- Bottle of Corn Huskers Lotion, this old-time product is mostly glycerin and very comparable to GFT skin food.
1- Essential oil of your choice ( do your research about sensitivity and start on the low side ).
3- Add the essential oil of your choice to the desired strength you enjoy. I have used Rose, Lime, Almond, Cedar, Orange and Lavender
4- You just made a pre or post shave skin food and depending on the oil it could have been less than $5 !!!
So today I used my homemade almond skin food which I actually built around the aroma strength of RazoRock’s ‘Classic” scent. I would call it a medium strength. I applied the skin food with a light touch don’t glob the stuff on… a thin layer is more than sufficient. I then got to work bowl lathering my Geo F. Trumpers “Almond” cream. What an amazing cream ! I always wondered why the huge difference in the three T’s (Taylor of old Bond street $14.99, Geo F. Trumpers $30.00, and Truefitt & Hill $30-40 appx. prices) Well the answer is I believe in the aroma as well as the slickness and the amount needed to make a huge protective lather. I used way to much cream today… it’s been a while since I last used this and used a TOBS sized dollop which is about a Brazil nut or half USA dollar coin. Massive is an understatement to what I produced. The smell was amazing ! There IMHO is no better almond cream or, soap on the market. This is well worth the money if you like the scent. I used my Vie-Long 12750 which is great both in bowl or, directly to the face. I had a conversation today on the WSR about horse hair brushes…. I wont mention names as I don’t have their permission, but it was a “what should I expect” type of conversation. It was a no brainer as to what I was using today, and I’ll repeat it here. I rank generally in softness Synthetic, Badger (HMW Silvertip, Silvertip, superfine or best, 2-Band, best, Pure), Horse, and finally boar. Today was a great pair !
After yesterday’s insanely close shave with the ATT “Atlas” H2 I brought it down about 100 steps. I decided to use my 1973 Gillette black handle Super Speed. This razor is in mint condition and showroom quality. This is not a super collectible razor so I do use it as a user grade, I may eventually regret that, but whatev ! This is a pretty mild shaver similar in feel; falling between a bluetip Super Speed and the Flair Tip Super Speed. So it’s mild is the bottom line. I paired it with that trusty Voskhod now on use two. This is a very sharp blade falling in the upper tiers of sharpness. The razor tempered the aggressive nature of the blade, don’t get me wrong… a better choice for today would have been a Astra SP and the BH SS , but I don’t like having multiple blades out there. I believe it or not ended even with three passes with a DFS not a BBS I actually had so little of growth from yesterdays uber close shave, I don’t think I hot that optimal blade angle for such low growth. Still no one in the world will be able to see the difference unless they rub my face ATG …. and no one best be rubbing my face 🙂 !
To end this shave it was a simple no-brainer. I used the last of my Dickinson’s witch hazel toner, and allowed it to dry. After that a simple, but generous application of the RazoRock R-160 sweet almond balm was it. No aftershaves etc…. really a simple ending to a great shave, the only other standard touches where the cold water rinse and actually I switched to RazoRock block alum. I am starting to believe I like the RazoRock alum more than the Shavex, but that’s for another time.
That was all folks ! I hope that tip for homemade skin food helps all of you out if you decode to take a try with it, and on that note enjoy your days, and I hope you all had great shaves ! – Aaron
- Pre: Hot shower w/ Maca root facial cleanser
- Prep: Home-Made almond skin food
- Cream: Geo F. Trumpers “Almond”
- Brush: Vie-Long 12750 Horse hair brush
- Razor: 1973 Gillette Black Handled Super Speed
- Blade: Voskhod (2)
- Lather type: Bowl
- Moustache: Handlebar
- Wax & Pomade: Pinaud Black & Crew Fiber
- Post shave: Cold water rinse, RazoRock alum
- Balm: RazoRock R-160
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.
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.
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.
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