31/03/2014

SOTD 31/03/2014

Very kindly, a chap on a UK shaving forum leant me a couple of razors: an Every Ready Streamline and his custom-made Kamisori-style cut down razor.

Well, I could not resist ...


Routine

Hot Towel
NSS Rasage Traditionel
Pure Badger
UKRob Kamisori
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two pass - Both WTG

Impression

I'm not a straight edge shaver. I have used a straight edge a couple of times and each time, my heart was in my mouth the whole time, breath held, eyes wide open, the fear factor giving me hyper-awareness.

Not with this razor. It felt so right. I just slicked and sliced around my face and thoroughly enjoyed it. I intended just a scrape down the sides and cheeks, but it was going so well I carried on and have a huge smile now ... not a razor smile, just a huge, happy smile.

Very, very much enjoyed.

30/03/2014

SOTD 30/03/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
Arko Stick - Pure Badger
Gillette Super Adjustable Black Beauty [T1]
Gillette Platinum F1 (1985?) [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Denim by Fabergé Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG (9)

Impression

Wide open, what a great shave with the super lather from Arko. What a stink from the aftershave! In a good, retro-way, naturally.

28/03/2014

SOTD 28/03/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
Wickham Soap Company Super Smooth Bay Rum & Club Cola
Pure Badger
Schick E - Gillette Platinum Plus [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Quorum Aftershave

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Three Pass - WTG, XTG & ATG

Impression

Blending a little Bay Rum & Club Cola in my bowl went perfect alongside my dark rum & Coke which I've been enjoying this evening.

A chap on a shaving forum very kindly sent me some other injector razors to try and I have to say, I did enjoy the shave where previously I've been struggling with injectors. These blades are very capable and I got a nick while shaving, something that's not happened to me for a good long while now. First shave with the blade - it can be forgiven.

The alum wash felt quite severe, something I always get with injectors, but a calming witch hazel pat afterwards sorted that out. Quorum for afters and we're feeling smooth, smelling nice and writing this up like we've just had a good shave.

We have ...

27/03/2014

SOTD 27/03/2014

Just a light shave this evening ...


Routine

Hot Towel
Edwin Jagger Hydrating Pre-Shave Lotion (Mentholated)
Edwin Jagger Traditional Shaving Soap (Cooling Menthol)
Edwin Jagger Best Badger
Bic Metal [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Edwin Jagger Hydrating Pre-Shave Lotion (Mentholated)
Ogallala Bay Rum Lime & Peppercorn

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

... after the very excellent Durham Dorset shave last night, I just wanted to level up and take the day's growth off this evening.

Very much enjoying the mentholated products from Edwin Jagger and the gentle, smooth shave from the Bic, the Ogallala afterwards gave the fire!

Champion!

26/03/2014

SOTD 26/03/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
Rose of Bulgaria Shaving Cream
Pure Badger
Durham Domino (Sheffield)
Durham Dorset Vintage Blade 04/07/1911
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Rose of Bulgaria Aftershave

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

Playing with a bunch of new stuff ...

Today brought me a whole heap of cool shaving gear, but rising to the top was a Sheffield made Durham Domino which had a vintage blade in there. Cleaned, sterilised and stropped, it had a good edge. Over 100 years old, possibly, and still stropped up ready for use.

Two passes with my new Rose of Bulgaria shaving cream and I'm feeling smooth. Very smooth. The alum wash was absolutely without sting!

The Rose of Bulgaria Aftershave was so good. It put me a lot in mind of Alt Innsbruck, menthol and scent. The menthol is cooling without any burn and the lingering scent so nice. Mrs pegged it as Turkish Delight.

In all, a great pair of shaving products and a lovely razor with a superb vintage blade.

24/03/2014

SOTD 24/03/2014 - Ever Ready 1914 Patent Centennial Anniversary

Ever Ready Centennial Anniversary

... of the "1914" patent, granted March 24th 1914.


Routine

T&H No.10 Cleansing Scrub & Hot Towel
T&H No.10 Pre-Shave Skin Protector
T&H No.10 Finest Shaving Cream
Pure Badger
Ever Ready 1914 - GEM Stainless Coated [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal
Geo. F. Trumper Eucris

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

Happy Anniversary to the humble Ever Ready 1914!

I dropped a fresh blade into mine and thoroughly enjoyed every stroke in a shave that simply could not have been bettered. Not only was it a special shave, of sorts, but one of those shaves where everything came together in unison.

Loved it!

23/03/2014

SOTD 23/03/2014

Sunday Night ... and it feels right for my batshit crazy Durham Artist Club. Let's pour a fresh Guinness, line up some Birthday Massacre on the 'tunes and get cracking.


Routine

Hot Towel
T&H Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil
Wickham Soap Company 1904 Mentholated (Prototype)
Pure Badger 23mm
Durham Artist Club - Personna [4]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Clubman Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - Both WTG

Impression

Lovely face feel after the soap - it's a gentle kiss of mint rather than an arctic face freeze, very nice to use, lathers well and face lathered, a really fine experience in preparation for my custom Kamisorified Durham Duplex frankenrazor!

It played out very well indeed! Two with the grain passes and I'm smooth again. I'm not talking baby smooth, but what you might call a damn fine shave leaving me feeling very happy.

Versus the traditional scaled Durham Duplex, I got on better with my custom design. I tend to prefer the Kamisori-style long hand rather than folded scales.

The blade was quite dull now after four shaves, the first quite rough, second smoother, third smoothest ... so, I stropped it afterwards on a leather belt. It felt sharp again, so I'll give it a run next time and see how my stropping faired.

Clubman for afters ... superb!

Durham Artist Club

You're aware of the Durham Dorset, right? And you know the Feather Artist Club razors, yes?

Let's make our own Edwardian version ...


First step is to take a perfectly good Durham Dorset and remove the scales.

Next, you take a length of bamboo - 4 or 5 inches is good - and gently bore out one end to exactly 7mm and deep enough to insert the shank of the Durham Dorset.

Finally, gently screw the shank into the bamboo up to the top of the jimps.

Voila! Edwardian Kamisori Shavette ...





21/03/2014

SOTD 21/03/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
SuperMax Ultimate Classic
Pure Badger 23mm
Durham Duplex (Plastic Handle c.1925?)
Personna [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Old Spice Aftershave

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

Third run with this blade, simply hand stropping in between, and it's now very smooth and still very sharp. I'd say this was the best shave yet from this blade, the first being quite frisky, the second calmer, this one smooth.

Good fun!

19/03/2014

SOTD 19/03/2014

Fun with my new Schick Stick ...


Routine

Hot Towel
NSS Ice & Slice Shaving Soap
Pure Badger 23mm
Schick Stick (1973) - Schick (Stainless) [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Denim by Fabergé Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG& XTG

Impression

What a fun razor! The gear knob makes swishing out in the sink easy, otherwise completely superfluous to the shave ... and yes, I did try "pommelling" with it, fencing-style.

As a shave, it's there with the J - efficient enough, but somehow smoother. I have not tried another L to compare, but this one, I like.

I should mention the soap - what a lovely experience! So cold! SO COLD! My skin feel phenomenal afterwards; the soap is olive oil based.

In all, a great shave!

17/03/2014

SOTD 17/03/2014

Happy St Patrick's Day

I started my shave bang on 1759 ...


Routine

Hot Towel
Palmolive Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Durham Duplex (Folding)
Personna [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

Green theme, tonight and a first go with this new to me Durham Duplex.

I got a lovely hand-written note with the razor. Who says eBay can't be personal?

As I suspected, the blade has really settled down and I was treated to a very smooth shave with no issues, no nicks, no irritation, no fear, just a great shave! The blades are rigid and reassuringly sharp, but somehow very forgiving in these razors. The guard provides the right angle and the shave proceeds quite naturally thereafter.

Veg to finish ...

Lovely job!

15/03/2014

SOTD 15/03/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
C&S No.88 Shaving Soap
Pure Badger 23mm
Schick J - Personna Stainless Coated [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

First go with C&S No.88 and to be honest, it's not for me. Sadly, I've pushed the puck into a glass jar which works very well, but I'll never get the puck out without destroying it. Ho-hum! It only cost £3 with the generous offer from C&S recently. It lathered well, don't get me wrong; irritable. I suppose that could be the razor and blade combination, which I am still trying to get right, but it did feel to be the soap that was annoying me ...

Onto the razor and the blade combo. I have not really got on with Schicks, but keep trying. I do get on with the E and the G that I have but I would not call it a great shave - good, not great. The J is a size I like but I do wish I could find a blade I like. The Personna that was in is on its first run - it worked, but for some reason the urge to push hard is too much and I always end up with an irritable shave.

Never mind! We have "the Veg" ...

Everything is better after the Veg. What a phenomenal aftershave. I, literally, cannot get enough of this stuff - it's as if I fell into a barrel of it as a child. One application, another, another, pulling the remainder down my chest, pat on head and tap under the arms. What a splash!

In all, okay ...

I do wish I could get on better with these Schicks. Maybe I need to find the right blade. Maybe it'll just click one day. Meanwhile, I like the E, like the G, like the M Dial wide open, getting better with this J; the Personna Injecto-matic being my yardstick - that one just works.

Anyway, bonus picture: my photography rig.


Simply, my desk cover, the lid from a similar coloured box and we're away ... rub out the line on the computer, adjust the exposure and we're done.

14/03/2014

SOTD 14/03/2014

Outstanding ...


Routine

Hot Towel
TOBS Eton College Gentleman's Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Ever Ready 1914 - GEM Stainless Coated [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud After Shave Lotion
Tabac EDC

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

I don't think this shave could have been any better!

From the fresh blade to the lovely scrape with the 1914 through the perfect lather to be finished with a cleansing wash and a great aftershave, made better only by the Tabac picking up the patchouli from the lather.

What a shave!

So pleased with it, I took a second picture ...

12/03/2014

SOTD 12/03/2014

Personna Pathology blades arrived, so ...


Routine

Wash & T&H No.10 Cleansing Scrub
T&H No.10 Pre-Shave Skin Protector
T&H No.10 Finest Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Durham Duplex T Type
Personna [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Three Pass - WTG, XTG & ATG

Impression

What a shave! Certainly the best this month ...

I borrowed a Durham Duplex T-Type from a pal on another forum and really enjoyed it. He popped a honed and stropped vintage blade in and while I found it smooth, I did not find it especially sharp. These blades are sharp! Hand stropping took some of the edge off, but this first run was very sharp and very efficient, and I nicked myself a couple of times. I think the next on this blade will be smoother.

But, I loved it!

After rinsing, applying the Veg was a sheer delight.

Seriously, I cannot wait to shave with this again ...

11/03/2014

SOTD 11/03/2014



Routine

Hot Towel
Wickham Soap Company Super Smooth Bay Rum
Pure Badger 23mm
ASR Valet VB1
GEM Stainless Coated (De-Spined) [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Shibden Spice

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Three Pass - WTG, XTG & ATG

Impression

Lovely old-fashioned shave from the Valet with a fantastic aroma throughout ... and afterwards.

Lovely job!

09/03/2014

SOTD 09/03/2014


Routine

Hot Shower
SuperMax Ultimate Classic
Pure Badger 23mm
Bic Sensitive
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - With & Against the Grain

Impression

What a lovely shave with a bunch of low-brow equipment ...

You know what? That SuperMax cream is very nice - Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil & Vitamin E enriched, my skin feels good afterwards, the lather was easy to whip up and protective throughout.

You know what? That Bic Sensitive wasn't at all a bad shave. Still scratchy after a with the grain pass, I reckoned a cross the grain wasn't going to cut it, so being such a smooth razor in use, I went against the grain and finished up with a lovely smooth shave.

08/03/2014

SOTD 08/03/2014


Routine

Hot Shower
Wickham Soap Company 1904 Mentholated (Prototype)
Pure Badger 23mm
Schick E - Schick Injector [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Brut Musk Aftershave Lotion
D&G 'The One' For Men

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

Why didn't I start with the earlier Schicks? I got a fantastic shave out of this E (thanks, Erwin) without any of the frustration I've experienced from the later Schicks.

Cracking shave!

06/03/2014

SOTD 06/03/2014


Tonight felt right for another run with my Feather Artist Club kamisori-style "injector straight" ...

Routine

Hot Towel
Erasmic - Pure Badger 23mm
Feather AC - Feather Light [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Ogallala Bay Rum, Lime & Peppercorns
Czech & Speake Cuba Cologne

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - Both WTG

Impression

I now have three shaves worth of experience with Feather blades and after my first rather bloody encounter with a Feather Pro, I know to really go easy, only ever shave purposefully, never get carried away, always keep your eye on the razor, both ends and the angle, and always stop ... stop if you gash yourself.

I gashed myself with the very last intended stroke - just getting the angle wrong under my ear behind my jawline. Stop! After the rinses and alum, it's gone, but I bet it shows up as a red line in a couple of hours - then, I'll give it a dab of neat patchouli and be confident that it will be gone in the morning.

Two passes - both with the grain and I now have a smooth face. I am very happy with this shave and feel to have made a lot of progress with this razor. While it took nearly 40 minutes, this is not a tool to run quickly around your face and even when I'm proficient with it, it will be a slow shave. It is not a safety razor.

The Ogallala was very welcome - really nice heat and burn from the blend and then a good splash of C&S Cuba behind the ears and a little just under my nose for [i]that[/i] fleeting smell ... some will know what I mean, others will be puzzled.

Good shave. Damn good shave!

04/03/2014

SOTD 04/02/2014

It feels like a Tabac night ...


Routine

Hot Towel
Tabac Shaving Soap
Pure Badger 23mm
Germany Tech Clone - Derby Extra [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Tabac Aftershave Lotion
Tabac Cologne

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

Ahhhhh ... I love Tabac!

The razor is a Tech clone, simply marked "Germany". The head is well made but the handle looks a little rustic and it is small, so off it popped and on went my templ8 version ball ended handle. The extra weight is excellent and made the razor quite intuitive with a narrow angle, but effective when you catch it.

Alas, I did not enjoy the blade. Used once on a few day's growth with a seriously aggressive razor worked out. In a Tech/clone it felt rough. Trying the blade on a fingertip, it proved to be quite blunted. So, out it goes ... two runs. Not a great blade.

03/03/2014

SOTD 03/03/2014

First shave with my new to me GEM Featherweight finished in gold tone.


Routine

Hot Towel
Arko Stick
Pure Badger
GEM Featherweight (Gold)
GEM Stainless PTFE [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Old Spice Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

Quite a rough shave if the truth be told.

Just a single day's growth and I thought the mildness of the GEM Featherweight would be just right, but I think the blade might have been pushed a little too far. Binned.

Old Spice made up for everything. Love it!

02/03/2014

SOTD 02/03/2014

Back from a short jaunt to Iceland and four days of growth. You're thing what I'm thinking, right? Time to Muhle it ... R41 style!


Routine

Hot Shower
T&H No.10 Cleansing Scrub
T&H No.10 Pre-Shave Skin Protector
Wickham Soap Company Master Lather Mentholated
Pure Badger 23mm
Muhle R41 - Derby Extra
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Bowl Lathered
One Pass

Impression

I've heard good things, bad things and terrible things about Derby blades, but one thing I have not heard is my own opinion on the matter.

Strapping a Derby Extra into my Muhle R41 was potentially suicidal, but ... what could go wrong?

Concentrating and with the lightest touch, I got a great single pass shave - it was all I needed. The blade was not the smoothest, but it was sharp and kept under strict personal control it did a great job!

Lovely feeling to be shaved again ...