30/01/2014

SOTD 30/01/2014


Routine

Hot Towels
T&H No 10 Pre-Shave Skin Protector
TOBS Eton College
Edwin Jagger Best Badger 21mm
Gillette G2000
SuperMax Blue Diamond [4]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Ogallala Bay Rum Lime & Peppercorns

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

One day of growth gently removed with the mild Gillette G2000 and SuperMax Blue Diamond combo. Everything else was lovely.

Blimey, though! That Olgallala sorts the men from the boys!

Wow! That's spicy ...

29/01/2014

SOTD 29/01/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
Truefitt & Hill No.10 Pre-Shave Skin Protector
Arko Stick
Edwin Jagger Best Badger 21mm
Merkur 37C HD Slant
Gillette Sharp Edge [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Old Spice

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - Both WTG

Impression

Perfect! Perfect in every way.

27/01/2014

SOTD 27/01/2014

Stone's Ginger Wine
The Birthday Massacre 'Violet'


Routine

Hot Towel
Arko Stick
Pure Badger 23mm
Gillette New Standard (Frankenrazor)
Gillette Super Platinum (Indian Black) [5]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Shibden Fougere
Clubman Club Mend

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - With & Cross ... nailed it!

Impression

Last shave for this Super Platinum - it did the job but just felt like it would not do another good shave.

I really like this Gillette New Standard - the angle is quite steep and so the comb doesn't really come into play. I'm glad I managed to get it fully nipped up and good looking with a Traveller handle. I've been in contact with Iain (templ8) who is going to mill me a new key for it and thought it only right to have him make me a ball end handle as well since it was the ball end Gillette that got me into collecting these razors.

Shibden Fougere? I've been brewing again ... peppermint is such a nice cooler, leaving some nice top notes before the full blast of the fern EDT and the oak moss comes through ... I'll be waking up in a bed of ferns.

Shibden Frost

Combining the alum wash and witch hazel skin tone into one ...

You'll need:
  • 200ml Witch Hazel (Splash a little out)
  • 5ml Peppermint Extract (Alcohol)
  • 1 tsp Powdered Alum
Give it a good shake and splash on liberally after shaving for a cooling, toning, anti-septic astringent.

Enjoy!

26/01/2014

Shibden Fougere

Fougère: from Wiki "meaning "fern-like", is one of the main families into which modern perfumes are classified, with the name derived from the perfume Fougère Royale (Houbigant) by Paul Parquet, now preserved in the archives of the Osmothèque. This class of fragrances have the basic accord with a top-note of lavender and base-notes of oakmoss. Many modern fougère perfumes have various citrus, herbaceous, green, floral and animalic notes included."

I have a barely used sample of Penhaligon's English Fern which I kind of like, but not as much as I like Trumper's Wild Fern and so I decided to use it as a subtle underlying scent for an aftershave lotion.

I used the following constituent parts:
  • Gin 120ml
  • Witch Hazel 60ml
  • Penhaligon's English Fern (Sample) 10ml
  • Peppermint Essence 5ml
  • Glycerine 5ml
  • Essential Oils: Lavender (5 drops), Geranium (5), Tea Tree (5) & Grapefruit (5)
  • Absolute Oils: Oakmoss Evernia Prunastri (5 drops)
Both the peppermint extract and glycerine are readily available at your local supermarket in the baking section. Ensure that the peppermint essence is in alcohol rather than oil. Witch Hazel, likewise, you'll find in the medicines section and gin, well, you know where to find gin.

You will need to go online to procure the essential oils and absolute oils.

It's good! Soothing and calming with an initial flash burn and then doused with peppermint, soothed with lavender, toned with witch hazel, fed with glycerine and a lingering complex scent of top notes which comes through with a wafts of deep moss and fern scent later on.

25/01/2014

SOTD 25/01/2014

Well, didn't I just start from the wrong end of the Schick pile? I not have a G and had a perfectly good shave, easy, intuitive and comfortable. Why am I attracted to '70s trash? Why didn't I just go straight for the lovely Gs and Es?

Well, tonight I did ...

My just brought back from the dead Schick G loaded with a fresh Personna and raring to go.

Music? Death Cult - that collection of their seminal works in the brief period between the absolutely stunning Southern Death Cult and what they then became ... The Cult.

Drink? The last dregs of last night's bottle of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum.


Routine

Hot Towels
Arko Stick
Schick G - Personna Stainless PTFE (Injector) [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Shibden Bay Rum
Clubman Club Mend

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - With, Cross & Against the Grain

Impression

What a great shave!

I immediately clicked with this razor, did not need to find the angle since it was just there and it shaved. It shaved. The aggressiveness is just perfect; not too much, not too little.

Two weepers on my top lip, but no drama.

Splash of my homemade Bay Rum and I'm feeling altogether happy with myself.

23/01/2014

SOTD 23/01/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
Palmolive Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Feather Artist Club SS - Feather Light [1]
Personna - Personna Stainless PTFE (Injector) [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Quorum Aftershave/Cologne
Recipe for Men Moisturiser

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Three Pass - WTG (Feather), XTG & ATG (Personna)

Impression

Three days of growth.

I am about to swap my lovely Personna for a couple of weeks and gain a PAL Adjustable in return, so wanted to shave with it before I let it go for a while. I also wanted to keep going with my Feather Artist Club SS, this time with a Light blade. One pass with the grain.

Well, I like the Light. Some folks claim it does nothing, if not encourages bad technique, but I got on with it perfectly well. Most stubble gone, onto the Personna ...

Cross and against the grain passes, done. Lovely shave. I am really getting to grips with this Personna now - it is very different to Schicks; curiously rewarding because.

So, clean, smooth and ready to hit Friday with all I've got!


20/01/2014

SOTD 20/01.2014


Routine

Hot Towels
The Soap Opera Himalaya Shaving Soap
Pure Badger 23mm
Muhle R41 - templ8 Epee Handle
Feather Hi-Stainless [7]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Wild Fern Witch Hazel/Gin/EO/Perfume Aftershave Cologne
Clubman Club Mend

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - With & Cross the Grain

Impression

Hello, old friend ...

The Muhle played wonderfully on a couple of days' growth. The Feather, alas, worked but this shave proved to be its last. Seven runs is good going for a DE blade, let alone a Feather.

I finished with a custom home made blend of gin, witch hazel, essential oils and two fern scented EDT samples (10ml in 200ml). Lovely floral scent, cooling and good evaporation, leaving a green ferny, mossy scent which will develop overnight and no doubt be with me through tomorrow. I might top up in the morning with something complimentary.

18/01/2014

SOTD 18/01/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
TOBS Eton College
Pure Badger 23mm
Schick J - Personna Stainless PTFE (Injector) [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Brut Original
Recipe for Men Moisturiser

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - With, Against & Cross the Grain

Impression

I'm starting to get a decent tune out of injectors now ... this shave seemed a lot more natural, if you like. Granted, one day's growth but it did its thing.

Enjoyed, although a little rough for my liking.

17/01/2014

SOTD 17/01/2014

Tabac Friday!


Routine

Hot Towel
T&H Ultimate Comfort PSO
Tabac Shaving Soap
Pure Badger 23mm
Gillette 1910s 'Old' (Thin Comb) - Custom Long Handle
Feather Hi-Stainless [6]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Tabac Aftershave Lotion

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - With, Cross & Against the Grain

Well, this Feather blade is still going strong; not in the least tuggy and slicks through whatever it's put against quite happily. I'll carry on with it. My secret? Hand stropping.

Impression

The rest ...

Simply, sublime. Loved it!


15/01/2014

SOTD 15/01/2014

I have over 60 ways of shaving my face, but one razor which I actually long for is the 1912 ...


Routine

Hot Towel
NSS Olive Oil & Goat Milk
Pure Badger 23mm
GEM Junior 1912
PAL Blue Carbon [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Shibden Bay Rum
Recipe for Men Moisturiser

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - With, Cross & Against the Grain

Impression

No comment other than what a great shave!

13/01/2014

SOTD 13/01/2014


Routine

Hot Towels
Edwin Jagger Pre/Post-Shave Cream (Mentholated)
Edwin Jagger Shaving Soap (Mentholated)
Edwin Jagger Best Badger 21mm
Feather Artist Club SS
Feather Pro [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Old Spice

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - Twice WTG

Impression

Pfff! These Feathers don't deserve their fierce reputation ...

Lathered up, I went for it. Feather Pro in my new to me Feather Artist Club SS. I've used a CJB Kamisori before, so knew the drill - alas, with Dorco blunts. Well, this Feather just slicked straight through and left smooth skin. I love it! I am so glad I dropped a Pro in first. Not fierce, just efficient. Definitely smooth.

First pass done. Lovely! I could have, and should have left it there ...

I made a second pass, again with the grain, to catch anything I'd missed and it all went swimmingly until I tried scooping the bit right under the middle of my nose. Nick! No, cut. Shhheeee! That's a bleeder! MEDIC!!! I'd shaved the area, it looked okay, so I left it and carried on. Still going well and then a slight lapse of concentration when it was all going very well and I got the angle just too tight and ditched the edge into my chin leaving a lovely couple of centimetre cut.

Alum wash proved it pretty good aside from these two issues, both of which are beginner issues and both of which I will NOT do again.

Very different to my experience with the CJB Kamisori which I think was marred by poor blades. I am keen to try it again with this Feather Pro, and both with a Feather Light ... both of which I have in now from the deal with this razor.

In all, enjoyed. It'll be flawless next time and I'll know when to stop. More practice and I'll push the envelope a little more ...

11/01/2014

SOTD 11/01/2014

Routine

Hot Towels
Nuage Men PSO
The Soap Opera Himalaya Soap
Pure Badger 23mm
Gillette Tech (early 1940s)
Feather Hi-Stainless
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Shibden Bay Rum (Home Made)

Technique

Bowl Lathered
One Pass - WTG

Impression

Smooth again ...

10/01/2014

Shibden Spice

Bay Rum ... from Wiki:"It is a distillate that was originally made in Saint Thomas (and probably other West Indian islands) from rum and the leaves and/or berries of the West Indian bay tree, pimenta racemosa. Other ingredients may be citrus and spice oils, the most common being lime oil, oil of cloves and cinnamon."

My criteria was for a spicy, warming aftershave made from spices I already had. I did look for pimenta racemosa but could not find any locally, or online below an extortionate price.

For that, I'll cheat - I bought some Bay Rum Essential Oil.

Legend has it that this brew was put together, simply, by sailors who grabbed leaves and buds before boarding ship and stuffing it into flaggons of rum once on board. Left to steep, the brew became eminently useful for these stinky sailors to freshen up at the next port.

I wanted to follow that tradition and make it up from what I already have ...

So, what do I already have?
  • Juniper berries (10), cloves (6), peppercorns (1), coriander seeds (10), cardamom (2), cinnamon (2"), ginger (1/2 tsp) and clementine peel (1).
  • Rum (120ml) and witch hazel (60ml).
  • Glycerine (5ml).
  • Bay Rum essential oil (20 drops).
I used Sainsbury's basic rum, which is more like white spirit than anything that you'd call a joy to drink. I know the "don't cook with wine that you wouldn't drink", but don't think the adage holds for home made aftershave.

I could have used rubbing alcohol and cut it back with distilled water, both of which I also happen to have in for other reasons, but this rum seems just right. Cheap, cheerful and just right for splashing on your body as well as surviving the high seas with!


Into a 200ml jar, shred the orange peel and ginger - push into the jar. Push in the cinnamon and the smaller spices. Pour on 120ml of white rum, 60ml of witch hazel, 5ml of glycerine and let it steep ...


... 7 days later, strain through a piece of kitchen paper and you're done! Well, just 10 drops of the Bay Rum essential oil to make it a little more authentic.


The scent is good! Complex, with just the right hints of clove and cinnamon, which could overpower the brew. It's got a good initial flash burn, but the witch hazel calms while the glycerine feeds.

The scent it fleeting, but really, that's all you want from an aftershave - a quick clean, tone, light scent and get about your day with calmed and nourished skin.

SOTD 10/01/2014

Friday night ...


Routine

Hot Towel
Nuage Men PSO
Erasmic Shaving Cream
Edwin Jagger Pure Badger 21mm
GEM 1914
PAL Blue Carbon [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Jovan Musk Aftershave/Cologne

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Three Pass - WXA

Impression

Erasmic is nice! Old fashioned smell and lathers up a beauty!

The blade is NOS. Rougher than the teflon coated GEMs, but a mile different to the uncoated blades I have. Two weepers, entirely without provocation, which disappeared as readily as they appeared. I reckon the blade is broken in now and the next shave with it will be fantastic! 1924 next time, this being my first run with the 1914. It's light, smooth and absolutely great to use. The 1912 still pips it, though, for me ...

08/01/2014

SOTD 08/01/2014

Well, I did it!


Routine

Hot Towel
Olive Oil Blend PSC
NSS Oudh Olive Oil SC
Pure Badger 23mm
Rolls Razor Imperial No.2
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Brut Original Aftershave

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

With a very keen blade and on three days of growth, I gave the Rolls a go ...

It likes a very steep angle, but not quite flat to the face. It's steeper than a GEM. First pass WTG was good - down my cheeks, neck, around my mouth, top lip, all good, chin, a little more problematic but I can pick it up in the next pass. Second pass XTG felt less keen and the angle became more relevant.

I got a clean shave. By no means baby smooth, but a good, clean shave.

The blade did feel significantly less keen after this first shave. It was a brand new one which I had stropped 20-30 times each side prior to use. Stropped after use, I gave it 25 each side and put it to bed.

Fun! One nick on my lip which became apparent once I'd finished, but the various rinses, alum and witch hazel struck that one off.

I think tackling three days of growth might have been ambitious for a first go with this razor, but it played out. It dulled, but then I guess I now have a [i]regular[/i] blade. I'm sure I'll use it again, but it's a lot of effort for a reasonable shave.

05/01/2014

SOTD 05/01/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
T&H Ultimate Comfort PSO
SuperMax Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Gillette Super Adjustable 'Black Beauty' T1
Gillette Super Platinum (Black) [4]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Old Spice Aftershave Lotion

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Three Pass - WTG (9), XTG (5) & ATG (3)

Impression

First shave with my beautiful birth year razor and I was not disappointed. I bought this razor from an online friend who described it as "mint", a description which I consider understated ... this is a flawless razor! The click of the adjuster and that final quarter turn clamp down, just beautiful actions.

I have been a little underwhelmed with the performance of the Gillette Super Platinum (Black). Indian made, I found them not at all smooth and perhaps a bit schizophrenic, nicking with light touches, yet not cutting without pressure ... but, today, I think I've found its perfect partner.

Beginning my shave with the razor wide-open, just to see, it whisked the lot away without effort. Dropping down to somewhere in the middle for a cross the grain pass and then down to low figures for a final pass against the grain, I love this razor.

It's up there ... certainly a top three double edge razor in my collection.

The shave? Perfect, flawless and very smooth indeed verging on my best yet.

03/01/2014

SOTD 03/01/2014


Routine

Shower
Olive Oil/EO PSO
Nanny's Silly Soaps Rasage Traditionnel
Pure Badger 23mm
GEM Contour (Pushbutton)
ASR 009 RD [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Quorum Aftershave Cologne

Technique

Face Lathered
Four Pass - Twice WTG, XTG & ATG

Impression

NSS Rasage Traditionel is "a spicy and exotic scent, with rosewood essential oil being the dominant note, but also containing cedarwood, citrus oils, black pepper, bergamot and others".

It's very nice, lathers up beautifully and does not dry the skin as you proceed through your shave.

The razor is also very nice, but mild. In fact, it's very mild. Four passes with the second WTG pass and XTG pass made with a little more pressure than I like.

I'll call it a presentable shave.

01/01/2014

SOTD 01/01/2014

Happy New Year!

If only I had a GEM 1914, I would have shaved with it. Still, if I do pick one up soon I can shave with it for the razor's anniversary on 24th March. Here's hoping ...

I finally plucked up the courage to shave with my GEM Micromatic Open Comb and was truly rewarded ...


Routine

Hot Towel
Olive Oil Blend PSO
Taylor of Old Bond Street Eton College Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
GEM Micromatic Open Comb
GEM Stainless PTFE [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Boots Bay Rum

Technique

Face Lathered
One Pass - WTG & Polishing

Impression

With a gentle touch on two day's worth of growth, the open comb scythed through my whiskers in the first pass leaving me with little more to do than gently polish up, behaviour reminiscent of the Muhle R41. What a waste of a the lovely lather from the Taylor's cream.

The Bay Rum is lovely - very short lived and just a brief scent of the West Indies, but so soothing. I know it's for hair, but it also makes a lovely aftershave.