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Mark Herro Aka Mantic59 again takes your shave to the next level ! Thanks for everything you do Mark 🙏🏽
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Welcome to the newest feature on the Wet Shaver Review ! Every week one or, more of our team will choose a #sotd that resonates with us, to share with the whole wet shaving community. This week my pick comes from Holland by Bram Van Den Berg; I hope you enjoy this #sotd #review as much as I did ! Thank you Bram for your contributions.
Man, do I have a start of a great day!
The sun is out, temperatures outside are really nice and the dogs are in a very, very good and relaxed mood. What more can I wish for, right?
Well, a good shave would me a nice addition to the day!
And man, did I get one! grin
Yesterday I got a package in with a few new soaps and aftershaves. And one of those was this Extro Bergamotto di Calabria.
When I opened the jar for the first time and gave it it’s first sniff…
I knew this was going to be good!
As you all might know, i am a sucker for good citrus-scented soaps!
Directly out of the jar, you smell a nice blend of citrus fruits where the orange scent is the most dominant one.
So far, a good start.
Lathering is, as with any Extro soap, a really easy task.
The stuff lathers like a beast with my huge Rod Neep brush!
The lather is really nice and thick and really really slick and it smells like….heaven!
If i want to compare the scent to some other Italian soaps that I have used throughout the years, the best comparison is with the TFS Bergamotto Neroli and the TFS Zagara e Gelsomino.
It isn’t as overly sweet as the Bergamotto Neroli, but isn’t as mild as the Zagara either. A very nice middle-ground between those two.
From all the citrus scents, the orange is still the most dominant, even when the stuff is lathered.
A lovely sweet scent with a slight tangy note to it. Love it! grin
Shaving with this stuff is, as expected with the Extro soaps.
A very nice slick and a very nice and protective soap.
Nothing to complain here.
Now, the aftershave is where the whole thing comes together like PB&J.
First, give the bottle a good shake, so you can mix up all the ingredients properly!
The aftershave compliments the soap so good! As with any Extro combo I have tried so far.
The aftershave has the more bitter/tangy citrus scents and the orange moves to the back.
An amazing combo of a sweet soap and a more bitter and tangy aftershave to make a really nicely rounded combo!
Something that really fits the great sunny weather!
And the best part of it all is, I have a pomade that matches this scent profile!
So to compliment this all, I am wearing Nostalgic Handmade Super Waterbased Clean Cut Citrus today!
I’m going to enjoy the sunshine now! Bubaaaaaai!
Have a great day ladies and gentlemen!
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.
When I was a child I remember the feel of stubble on my fathers face; it intrigued my young mind. I also envied at 5 years old why I couldn’t grow this scratchy stuff that I loved to touch, it was a way I believe fathers, and sons bond; the physical contact as well as the manly aspect of the beard, and generations past that also looked at their grand fathers, fathers, brothers……or, whoever your favorite stubbled face growing up, and inspiring that youthful mind to think of the future that someday; I too will have stubble for my sons to ponder over.
How in the world does any of this have to do with Straight razors then, and removal of that moustache or, full beard ? A few month’s back I received a comment on my YouTube channel that basically read “why is anyone taking advice about straight razor shaving from a guy with a full beard” ? At the time I had a chinstrap beard, not a full beard there is a difference, actually a very big difference. So this is a good time to say why I choose to use a straight razor, and why a bearded man has a tougher job overall removing that face fur.
Many people find that using a straight razor can be tough, and I won’t disagree. If it was easy we would be using a 5 blade cartridge razor. The straight razor shave is different in most aspects of the actual shaving from the 10-30 degree angle you shave at, to the grips and reverse grips to accommodate your face. Yes it is more difficult then some people would like. Other people instantly know this was meant for them; it’s a time of reflection, accuracy, solitude and stress relief that is unique to any other form of introspective activity. I love using a straight razor ! there I said it loud, and proud or, wrote it (I was yelling in my mind). After a good 30 days most people find that while having a learning curve that ultimately the switch was well worth it. so lets get into some Straight talk.
Straight razors are broken down to a few simple terms. The edge is the actual sharp portion of the blade that shaves, The remainder of the blade is known as the face. The toe is the end of the front portion, which may have different looks like round tip, French Point, Spike to name a few and there are more. The opposite of the edge is the spine which will lead into the shoulder which are stabilizers more for the mfg. then the shave. Finally for our purposes you have the scales which is the counter balance, and grip assist to the tang which is everything the blade is not. As we see there are some terms there, but don’t drown in the physiology of the blade just know every aspect of that blade whether you use it or, not impacts your shave. So what is right for you ? the first time Straight razor user.
Lets make this simple, and black and white as there is so much non-sense in circulation you could be turned off by taking bad advice. here is a rule of thumb. Avoid Chinese razors in general as the quality is pretty much like everything else with that logo. It works, and will shave, but the upkeep can send you right back to your previous shaving device. I will be the first one to say a quality straight razor does NOT have to be expensive, it’s just not ! this is what sends many people to those Chinese blades is price, $30-100 is the lie that anything else is a small mortgage payment. Guess what you can get a quality vintage razor for that maybe less or, even a brand new razor for $100; like the Ralf Aust base model which I still use today. The constant performance just is not there with any Chinese razor I have every tried. A straight Razor is an investment in you ! your worth the extra few dollars. I recommend buying a round point which looks like a sideways “U” at the toe, which will help you avoid cuts, and are in general, just an all around go to for most gents. Next up bigger is NOT better. You will hear mathematical terms used that sound like your back in school. Some are 3/8, 5/8, 6/8, 13/16, 15/16, 8/8 and we can talk fractions all day, but at the end all that means is the width of the face (see above) of your razor. I recommend 5/8 for two reasons the weight, and feel is great for both beginner and veteran shaver alike. The second reason is back to the guy who questioned my facial hair, because you can maneuver tight hollow of your face easier allowing you some facial hair like a chin puff, any moustache, as well as some pretty awesome side burns without the fear of loss of blade control and bulkiness. Finally you’ll see a ton of scale options (again see above) ranging from plastic to celluloid, to even precious Abalone. I would encourage the plastic or, acrylic scales as they keep cost low, and there is nothing wrong until you know a straight razor is for you, to be prudent. To cut to the point I usually just tell people there is a brand called Ralf Aust sold by SRD that is made in Solingen Germany the city of blades known for high quality carbon steel, and it fits every recommendation I said above. Just do not forget to buy an introductory strop as well it’s not an option. Down the road once you get the technique down as permits get more bling razors, but remember this is an investment, and I promise you will never find a successful business that didn’t crawl before it ran so take your time, and enjoy it !
one last thing before I go. Never let anyone say you cannot use your DE/SE razor, and a straight razor in the same shave why give up a DE or, SE razor !…. I don’t know about everyone else, but I invest in myself, and trust me all three of those razor belong in my life, and maybe yours too. Shave on everyone, I hope this helped a bit. – Aaron
A fragrance based around leather, jasmine, vanilla, incense, and sandalwood, with a fresh opening of raspberry and citrus; the newest release from Tom Ford? Serge Lutens? Slumberhouse? Wait, it’s a Revlon product from the Seventies made for women that can be found in most drugstores? Wait, what?
First, let me explain that fragrance tastes have changed radically over the past fifty years, if not longer. Consider even Old Spice, which was originally released for the feminine market. In today’s market, heady orientals are looked upon as “old fashioned” or better suited for an older generation. Niche fragrance houses are turning back the clock in this regard, bringing heady, rich fragrances back into popular eye.
Charles Revson released Ciara (a play on his initials, CR) back in the early Seventies as a high end, glamour scent for women. With today’s tastes, it’s very unisex, favoring masculinity in my opinion. Upon first application, you’re met with bright lemon and raspberry, soon followed with herbaceous sandalwood, drying down into dark, smoky vanillac incense.
A truly delightful scent at an excellent price. I’d advise searching for a bottle that still contains oakmoss, as I was lucky enough to find. If you cannot, it’s still worth it. Perhaps not as deep a scent, but still overall quite excellent. For more information, check out Fragrantica.
Ah, Drakkar Noir. The scent that started the black craze. Even if you’ve never worn it, you most likely know someone who did. As for myself? I first received it as a stocking stuffer back in the early 90’s, when I was but a boy (starting when I was 6, I received a small bottle of cologne, because men wore cologne). I used it, liked it, felt like an eight year old badass, then forgot about it. During an after Christmas sale at a local store, there was a 1 oz bottle on a great sale, so for nostalgia’s sake, I grabbed it up.
The scent, while being similar to what I remembered, didn’t have the impact that it did when I was younger. I blame several things. Firstly, IFRA. With the removal of oakmoss from nearly everything, many colognes and perfumes have lost their original character. Also, that was my first bottle of real cologne, not a cheapie/knockoff, so the “importance” of that most likely adds to the scent. And finally, in today’s world, it’s a cliche. It smells like every other black fragrance, because every other fragrance wanted to be Drakkar Noir.
However, this does not diminish the scent in any way in my eyes. While it may have lost its alpha male edge, and seem dated, it’s still a fragrance I’ll wear quite proudly. It’s a very solid “shaving cream” fougere, acceptable for wear at any time, be it at work in the office, out on the town for a night, or Sunday church. The crisp herbal/citric opening dries down to a smooth woody finish. A true classic.
While many lament the “death” of many fragrances, due to the IFRA changes, this scent is still very wearable. It may not be the most original, nor haute, but it has withstood the test of time to become an icon, and rightfully so. Go grab a bottle for yourself, and take a trip down memory lane.
Hello out there ! It has been quiet sometime since I have posted here, and this post is a great informative, concise, and correct way to strop a straight razor; especially for the new shaver. Now before I post the video I want to thank Lynn Abrams of Straight Razor Design and Straight Razor Place for allowing me to share his video. I could make a stropping video, but how do you improve what a living legend in the industry has already done. I consider myself very blessed to befriend such a giving and generous gentleman who is the worlds true Honemeister. I will add my .02 cents now though of course and dispel what stropping is, and why do it. This video is dedicated to @mickeyobe who requested a stropping 101 style video.
Stropping is not honing; honing is when you remove metal from your razor to sharpen or touch up the edge of the razor to make it shaving sharp again (That is the most direct, and basic description of honing) period. So what then is stropping, and why do I always say to buy a strop with your first straight razor ? Stropping inn my opinion is actually more important, again in my opinion; as you do it every time you shave before and/or, after. What stropping does is pull all those micro pieces of the edge, and basically like in basic training says get in a straight line ! Stropping is what tidies up all those erratic shards of microscopic metal the previous shave displaced ! yes your beard is really that strong, and literally pulls everything so it’s going in the same direction. This makes your shave more comfortable, the edge last longer, and finally you the new straight razor user interested in the art yes I said “art” of straight razor shaving. On closing yes there are many types of leather you can use for a strop as Lynn says in his video; I use Kangaroo personally, but also own Latigo, and English Bridal. For the new shaver buy yourself a nice Latigo strop also sometimes called a starter strop (I loathe that term), and go with 3″ these are only suggestion, you can use whatever you want to buy, but be forwarned just as honing is a skill stropping is as well, and strops are leather hence if you cut it, you have to replace it. I personally would replace Latigo than English Bridal, and hey Latigo is just fine to use don’t let a lower price tag make you think it’s less effective. Now get out there buy yourself that straight razor and strop and watch this video ! slow and steady wins the race, Shave on ! http://www.straightrazordesigns.com
When I was younger, I was immediately taken by O Brother, Where Art Thou. One of my favorite adaptations, Coen films, and movies in general. The music really killed it for me. Up until then, I had never really listened to any kind of Americana; be it blues, country, bluegrass, what have you. That movie changed my life, musically speaking. However, the other bit that caught me was Everett’s undying love for his hair.
After that, I immediately needed pomade. I was, and still am, a huge Clooney fan, so emulation was a must. I spoke to my hairdresser and she plopped a tub of American Crew in my hand, and away I went. For years, that was my go to. It was only until much later that I realized, “holy shit, that was the Thirties! There’s no way they had a washable product back then!” So, with my trusty internets and a feeling of superiority (I was in college, out of the house, A MAN), I got to researching.
In my surfing, I learned that most old timey products were essentially petroleum jelly, oils, and a bit of something for the pleasing aroma, and were the same products used in the Zuko era. They’re still made by companies today, and can most often be found in the ethnic sections of most stores. So I headed down to the store, on foot, in the cold, determined to get me some.
Once there, a bright red can immediately popped. I grabbed it. Popped the lid off. The pleasing aroma hit me. A dark, waxy, spiced scent wafted. Yes. This was it.
I RAN back to campus, and immediately applied it. Hmm. This is sticky. And pull-y. This is not what I remembered. Hmm. Oh well, I’ll go wash it off. Uh oh. It’s not coming out. Let’s repeat. Oh shit. It’s still in there! What the hell is going on?
Yes, I panicked. I flew into town this time, and ran right into the salon, and lamented my hair. The hair dresser said, “Honey, that stuff never comes out. It’s quicker to buzz it.” FML. Well, with a heavy heart, I left the shop. There was no way I was going to pay hairdresser prices for a buzz cut, so I moped to the town barber. And this, my friends, is where the story gets good.
I walk in. Barber nods to the chair. I hop in. “Jesus, son. What did you do to yourself?” I explained what I did, why I did it, and why I was there. He commenced to laugh. Asked if I wanted to keep my hair or buzz it. I obviously wanted to keep it. He told me to go buy some dishwashing detergent, “y’know, that blue gunk they pour on animals in oil spills”, and pour some of that on my head, let it sit for a bit, and proceed to wash. He let me know it won’t all come out at once, “…but it should knock most of that shit out.” He reminisced about similar products he used when he was my age, and how hard it was then to remove. He said he used bar laundry soap for the task. He also gave me tips on how to apply it (warm up the can on a hot plate, really work it in your hands, make damn sure that you start at the root and go up, etc.).
I don’t remember his name. I never walked in his shop again. But to this day, I’ll be grateful for that guy. And to this day, I still use that product in the red can. Dax Wave & Groom. A great hair pomade. To those who regularly use traditional oil based pomade, I know you’ve had a can at some point. Who hasn’t? Well, ain’t that a thing. Some of you haven’t? Well now, here’s what you do. Go to my delightful Instagram page to find the details. To those of you who haven’t yet tried an oil based product, but were considering it, give this a go. You won’t be disappointed. If you want to skip the contest, check out Dax and buy direct. Good luck, and I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.