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
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 🙏🏽
The Asylum Rx like many new production razors, are modern “SE” or, injector light styles. The Asylum Rx, IMHO sets itself apart in many ways from looks to the shave itself.
Our friend on the WSR Facebook Page who is equally as unique in a good way, has an opinion, and he is not afraid to voice it ! In steps Ronald Davenport, a Renaissance man in many ways, and a observant practioner of observation, as well as trial and error; will find every nook and cranny of his ever growing wet shaving collection; often posting these musings on the Facebook page. In steps Ronald in his own words about the Asylum RX !! Thanks for your contribution good sir !
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.
Today I bring to you one of my favorite new soaps from 2015: Maria Arman’s Through the Fine Fire Craft Cut Throat. It’s a fougere in the classic barbershop style of Dana Canoe, Pinaud Clubman, Avon Wild Country, etc.
The scent is very simple. Lemon, lavender, oakmoss. Simple, clean, and fresh. To me, I find that it combines the vibrant “green” of Clubman, softened by the powder note in Canoe. Excellent smell to wake up to. While it may not be anything “groundbreaking”, it’s comfortably familiar, and sure to be a hit. Here’s how it’s described on their site:
Cut Throat shaves are straight razor, old school, shave like your grandfather kind of shaves. Cut Throat soap is a vintage take on a barbershop scent. We took our inspiration from a cologne from the 1930’s to combine a light fougere with powdery barbershop. Lavender, Lemon, Clary Sage and Cedarwood mix with Vanilla, Musk, and Oak Moss. 4oz of soap in a low profile 6oz jar will provide you plenty of room to load your brush in. This soap will provide plenty of slickness and cushion for your straight razor shave with our new hand ground razors. Pair it with the matching aftershave too!
Now performance. This is always subjective. But I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a soap that performs this well at this price point. Word to the wise. This soap is soft. Very soft. Essentially a cream. Do NOT go willy-nilly with your brush like I did, otherwise you’ll have WAY too much product on your brush, and end up wasting a bunch of really good soap. As for the lathering? Divine. Very thick, slick, and rich lather.
The post shave feel is second to none. The tussah (sp?) silk is most likely the contributing factor to this. The silk also adds a “fibrous” texture to the lather as well (any users of a fiber hair product will understand what I’m trying to get at). And as for aftershave? Well, you could always go for the matched set, but, Clubman, Canoe, or any of that ilk will match perfectly.
In short, we have a traditionally scented, lather rich, protective soap, that easily outperforms most at its price point, and is on par with many costing more. Check ’em out for yourselves at Through the Fine Fire Craft.
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!
What an excellent way to end the work week ! I’ve been neglecting my ritual of using a Fougere scented soap on Friday’s, but today I used easily one of the best made. Fougere Imperiale a rich, and robust Fougere that without apology loudly proclaims its earthy “Fern” like attributes with that dank oakmoss earthy base and livened up with floral top notes, this is a sublime representation of the style, and I would say not for the weekend Fougere lover, but the head first expierenced veteran who loves a “darker” earthy representation.
As far as the remainder of the hardware it’s near impossible to beat the quality and feel of a Thater brush when it comes to quality brushes. Today I used the 4292/4 a 24mm 2-band knot set in Cocobolo wood with silver accents. This brush while 2-band is set to be soft on the face, stronger backbone than Silvertip, but with a slightly scritchier feel. The Dovo Bismark without question is one of the best razors ever made, iconic actually. The Bismark at 6/8, shoulder less with thumb notch and very ornate gold wash and a pearl effect to the scales make this razor a pleasure to use, as always YMMV on all I said here; to me this was a top shelf shave.
Finished off simply with Barrister & Manns Fougere Tonique, and a simple Fougere balm I made myself, the shave was complete ! But overall I was not finished until I used what I feel is a very appropriate EDT, Azzaro by Azzaro Fougere which while a bit more floral than the soap mellows into a wonderfully close aroma as B&M Fougere Imperiale. Completely top notch to end the week ! Shave on everyone. – Aaron
- Pre: hot shower with Dermalogica daily microfoliant
- Soap: Barrister & Mann “Fougere Imperiale”
- Brush: Thater 4292/4 2-Band
- Lather type: American Stonecraft bowl
- Moustache: Handlebar
- Wax & Pomade: Lockhart’s & G2B Phe
- After Shave: Barrister & Mann “Fougere Tonique”
- Fragrance: Azzaro Azzaro