31/07/2014

SOTD 31/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Erasmic Lather Shave Cream
Kent Infinity Silvertex
GEM Heavy Flat Top
GEM Stainless Coated [5]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
BrĂ¼t Original Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - WTG, XTG & GTX

Impression

Mild, yet one of those baby smooth chases ... I got it!

Lovely classic scents. Enjoyed.

30/07/2014

SOTD 30/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Mitchell's Wool Fat Soap
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Ever Ready Streamline
GEM Stainless Coated [4]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Quorum Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG (Slide) & XTG

Impression

With a couple of days growth to remove, the first pass with a 'Gillette Slide' worked out well so the second pass was just a neaten up, really.

Lovely soap, lathered beautifully and a good toning aftershave.

Smashing!

28/07/2014

SOTD 28/07/2014

Anniversary shave! We're 13 years :D


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Wickham's Super Smooth English Rose
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Durham Dorset
Personna [6]
Hot Rinse & Cold Rinse
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

Heavier than my plastic handled T-Type, this Dorset was allegedly designed for fellow with heavier beards. In use, I don't feel much difference to the other T-Types. It's a nice razor, though and this carpet cutter now at six shaves is about done. I've stropped after each couple of shaves and it's done well.

Splashing the Veg on after was just lovely ...

27/07/2014

SOTD 27/07/2014


Routine

Shower
Wickham's Spice Trade (Hard Soap)
Kent Infinity Silvertex
GEM Micromatic Flying Wing (Plastic Bullet Tip)
GEM Stainless Coated [3]
Hot Rinse & Cold Rinse
Old Spice Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

My first go with this particular Flying Wing. It's a mild shave, which was just right after last evening's shave with the Le Grelot and its yawning blade gap! This razor looks a little crusty on the handle, but the business end is all good.

My first go also with Wickham's latest hard soap formula, scented with his Spice Trade blend. Compared to the same as the softer 'Super Smooth' formula, the hard soap most definitely seems to carry and hold the scent better.

Pressed out into a flat receptacle, which happens to be a finished tin of Tabasco chocolate, five or six twirls in either direction with warm soft water and we're loaded! Several twirls on the face later, a dip into the water and another several twirls, we're ready to shave and already well cushioned with a thick (like whipping cream thick) lather.

The scent is lovely! Very reminiscent of Old Spice. Shaving, it slips well, does not catch or judder and washes out leaving firmed and conditioned skin, not dry nor greasy. Second pass was so much better as the soapy lather had matured on the brush. I often find this. So much enjoyed, I made a third application which sat on my face while I washed up the brush and the razor.

Lovely!

26/07/2014

SOTD 26/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Mystery Soap No.5
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Le Grelot (P Hospital) - GEM Stainless Coated [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Witch Hazel/Alum Splash
4711 Original

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - WTG, XTG & ATG

Impression

The razor was all I remember it to be, having borrowed one in the past and just scored my own.

Very much enjoyed!

25/07/2014

SOTD 25/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Mystery Soap No.7
Kent Infinity Silvertex
GEM Contour II - GEM Stainless Coated [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Alt Innsbruck Cologne

Technique

Face Lathered
One Pass - WTG

Impression

I only wanted or needed a single pass, but it was very welcome in this lovely summer we're having. I went with a mild razor, nevertheless capable.

Rinsed off, I dropped my alum! Disaster! Smash! Retrieving the largest piece, washing it, I was able to use it ... and then crumbled the rest into some witch hazel and peppermint essence I have in a little bottle. That's good.

Enjoyed!

24/07/2014

SOTD 24/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Arko Stick (Grated)
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Durham Duplex - Personna [5]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Hai Karate Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - WTG, XTG & ATG

Impression

Refreshing last night's Durham T-Type shave, much enjoyed.

23/07/2014

SOTD 23/07/2014 RIP Fox

After the death of my old cat, I fancied a short while to myself ...


Bulldog Face Wash
Rose of Bulgaria Shaving Cream
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Durham Duplex T Type - Personna [4]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Rose of Bulgaria Aftershave

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Rest in peace, my old bear ... I miss you.


21/07/2014

SOTD 21/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
SuperMax Ultimate 3 Classic
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Gillette Guard
Hot Rinse & Cold Rinse
Aqua Velva Classic Ice Blue

Technique

Face Lathered
One Pass - WTG

Impression

Just a quick one pass this evening ...

20/07/2014

SOTD 20/09/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Arko Stick (Grated)
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Valet VC1 (Gold) - Valet (Vintage) [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel (Mentholated)
Imperial Leather (Vintage Juice)

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

Third run with this vintage blade and it's still smooth and still as capable as the second run, but I think I'll retire it now ...

Fun!

19/07/2014

SOTD 19/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Mystery Soap No.6
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Valet VC4 - Valet (Vintage) [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Old Spice Original Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

Another run with this vintage Valet blade, this time in a Valet VC3 and a lot smoother which I think is down to the blade being run in now rather than the razor, which is more aggressive than yesterday's Valet VC4.

Champion!

18/07/2014

SOTD 18/07/2014

Friday night, and I'm drinking some rather nice root beer from Boylan's of Teterboro, New Jersey ... seemed only right to partner it with some Club Cola & Bay Rum.


Routine

Bulldog Facial Scrub
Wickham's Super Smooth Club Cola
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Valet VC4 - Valet (Vintage) [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud Virgin Island Bay Rum

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

Sort of a goodbye shave with my lovely Army & Navy Stores Valet VC4 which I have up for sale, just in case it sells. Very nice.

The aroma from the soap was just right, great soap, lovely lather, good slip and left my skin feeling really good.

The blade is carbon steel and noticeably firmer than modern Feathers or de-spined GEMs and seemed to need a slightly steeper angle than usual. Smooth as they come, this could not have been nicer.

Cracking shave!

17/07/2014

SOTD 17/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
NSS Citrus Zinger (Original)
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Wilkinson Sword Bonded Razor
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Tabac Aftershave Lotion

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

I really wanted this to be good ...

The razor is, I think, the first of what we'd call cartridge razors. The set I got was mint and unopened. I had to, after all I bought it to shave with.

The shave was not bad, but it was not good. Not especially close and put out a few weepers which I didn't feel while shaving. It did the job, as in shaved me, but it was not altogether great ... and I did have high hopes.

Alum wash proved it was a bit rough, sadly. The aftershave stung, but who can hate Tabac for that, eh? I had to have a second helping after a couple of minutes.

16/07/2014

SOTD 16/07/2014

I tried my Darwin DeLuxe ...


The case has been very well restored, clean, shiny and free of scratches, so kudos to the fellow I bought it from for his excellent polishing work.

The hone has two sides - Fine and Course. Looking at the instructions, there is mention of two kinds of strop paste: Fine and Course. I guess the hone is no smoother one side or the other, but gained its abrasiveness from the strop paste. The instructions also mention to maintain the strop with olive oil, so I massaged in a little olive oil into the fine side and stropped the better of the two blades.

There were two blades included, one with a sort of spider webbing on the edge, the other appeared perfectly good and was itself already sharp, as proven by just touching it to my thumb. I gave that a damn good stropping, loaded up the razor and got going ...

Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Mitchell's Wool Fat Soap
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Darwin DeLuxe
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Quorum After Shave

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - WTG, XTG & ATG; High, Medium & Low, respectively

Impression

Face washed, brush wet, flicked out and loaded up in the soap, lathered on wet face and I had more than enough for three passes.

The blade itself is adjustable by a small turn of the screw in the middle of the blade, which raises or lowers the blade in relation to the frame. In the end of the handle is a screw-out driver.

I was sceptical of the adjustable nature of the blade since I expected to use it like I would the Rolls Razor simply angling it against my face and scraping, like a mini-straight on a stick ... not so! Actually, the razor works out best used like any early single edge razor with a wedge or hollow ground blade.

Talking of Rolls Razor, their blades will work in the frame once their protective bar is slipped off. Somehow, this blade gets to be sharper than the Rolls Razor blade. Maybe it's the initial grind, maybe the angle in the case when stropping. I don't know ...

... but the shave went ahead very smoothly and I finished up with a good and very presentable shave, much akin to any shave with a wedge or hollow ground in a single edge frame, be it Rolls Razor, Wilkinson Sword or one of those more antique lather catchers.

The blade has screw-threaded holes each side which correspond to the pitch of the tip of the handle. Great for pushing the blade into the stropping clip, inserting into the head and so on, but also useful simply to have the raw blade on a stick in the orientation of a sort of Edwardian British kamisori. I finished up neatening off around my sideburns with the blade au naturel.

An excellent experience, and one I will repeat ... as I will with my Rolls Razors and Wilkinson Swords. It's not a daily shaver for me, but when I feel like spending a little more time and really make the best of preparation, this is a shave I'll reach for.

Enjoyed!

15/07/2014

SOTD 15/04/2014

... after a fun shave yesterday going back to where I started, I thought it right to go with my second razor: the Muhle R89 (on a Merkur long handle).


Routine

Billy Jealousy White Knight
Palmolive Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Muhle R89 - Bic Chrome [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Shower
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

Again, two highly regimented passes. I'm not sure I can tell the difference between the Merkur and the Muhle.

Good enough ...

14/07/2014

SOTD 14/07/2014

It's been a while since I had one of those real "back to basics" kind of shaves, rediscovering the wonder of it all when first starting out traditional shaving ...


Routine

Billy Jealousy White Knight
NuAge Men Shaving Oil
Ingram's Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Merkur 23C - Bic Chrome [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Shower
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

Using my Merkur 23C, the first double-edge razor that I bought, I set about two highly regimented passes over face lathered Ingram's shaving cream. I wanted to rekindle that feeling I had when I first started traditional shaving, taking time, care and really getting the most out of every stroke.

To be frank, it was not the closest shave I've had but certainly very enjoyable, absolutely irritation-free and with no cuts, nicks or weepers.

In all, a really good shave.

13/07/2014

SOTD 13/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Edwin Jagger Tea Tree Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Gillette Guard
Hot Rinse & Cold Rinse
Pinaud Virgin Island Bay Rum

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

Sorted!

12/07/2014

SOTD 12/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
TOBS Eton College Shaving Cream
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Gillette Rocket HD - Bic Chrome [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
4711 Original Eau De Cologne

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

First go with the Gillette Rocket HD, which I found very nice indeed with the extra weight and most certainly putting me in mind of the heftier modern razors like the Merkur 34C HD.

First go with a Bic Chrome, which ran perfectly well but if I had to criticise, perhaps not as smooth as I expected.

In all, a great, smooth shave.

10/07/2014

SOTD 10/07/2014

Today's shave was a dream ...


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Arko Stick (Grated)
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Durham Duplex Kamisori Hack
Personna [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Hai Karate Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - WTG, XTG & ATG

Impression

Smashing! The Durham Duplex head on a stick is so much easier to wield than on traditional scales ... for me.

Super smooth and without any irritation, fear of nicks, cuts or grazes.

... a dream.

09/07/2014

SOTD 09/07/2014


Routine

T&H No.10 Cleansing Scrub
T&H No.10 Pre-Shave Skin Protector
T&H No.10 Finest Shave Cream
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Wilkinson Sword Roller Shaver - GEM Super Stainless [4]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & A/XTG

Impression

Oh! Very nice!

This is everything I thought it would be. So much more nimble than the Empire razors, less fiddly than the Pall Mall, longer, more comfortable handle and despite the last of adjustment, a very well pitched shave; nearer too aggressive nor too mild, smack bang in the middle and a perfect compromise of efficiency and comfort.

The blade did not move around much at all despite not being screwed in place. I tried it angled by sitting on the base plate and pushed up against the blade stops, but in use the angle is determined by the handle. I might well fashion a little wedge to sit in behind GEM blades which, for me are just fine.

08/07/2014

SOTD 08/07/2014


Routine

Shower
C&S No.88
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Merkur 37C - Gillette Rubie Platinum Plus [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Alt Innsbruck Aftershave Cologne

Technique

Face Latherered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

Swift, efficient and absolutely trouble-free. Lovely cooling aftershave, a scent very prevalent upon waking.

06/07/2014

SOTD 06/07/2014


Routine

Shower
Wickham Soap Company  - Master Lather Mentholated (Prototype)
Every Ready 1912 (c.1930s) - GEM Stainless Coated [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold RInse & Alum Wash
Brut Musk Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

I love the 1912. Champion!

05/07/2014

SOTD 05/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Mitchell's Wool Fat Soap
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Bakelite Long Comb - Gillette Super Nacet Platinum [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Imperial Leather Aftershave (Vintage)

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

What a great razor! It's broken, though ... at some point, the thread got stuck in the handle and it's cracked, but it does nip up enough to hold a blade perfectly well ... and what a great shave it gives.

MWF and a good Gillette blade, what a cracking shave! The vintage Imperial Leather was a nice finish.

04/07/2014

SOTD 04/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Rolls Razor Shaving Soap (Vintage)
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Rolls Razor Imperial A 48 7
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash -
Jovan Musk Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - Twice WTG

Impression

The blade was honed outside the case which has been modernised with FeOx on the strop and the hone lapped with film. The resulting razor it a kit which can be fully maintained inside the case with modern materials.

The shave was good. Not skin close, certainly not sub-skin, but close and delivering a smooth shave which I'm sure will grow out very nicely.

The soap is vintage Rolls Razor soap - very slick, lovely lather, very moisturising and probably chock full of things which made soap so great back then, but are entirely illegal for modern soap manufacturers. Lovely stuff!

03/07/2014

SOTD 03/07/2014

A shave too far ...

I've been playing around with disposable razors recently, the Gillette Guard and their Trac-II and modern P-II derivatives, namely. I got on well with both and the Guard will certainly be my travel razor.

Out of curiosity, I bought into the Atra/Contour/Vector; a modern one which came with a modern two blade cartridge complete with lubrication strip.


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
Rose of Bulgaria Shave Cream
Kent Infinity Silvertex
Gillette Vector [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Rose of Bulgaria Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

I was immediately reminded why I came to traditional shaving in the first place. While the Gillette Guard is also a pivot head, it's that pivot I just don't like - a static head is fine. Somehow the Guard plays out well for me. Also, that lubrication strip. Horrible!

Despite a light shave, I got several nicks. The alum saw them off, but I am left feeling a bit sore and so wonder if I got too close a shave as I used to.

I'm not being down on disposables since Gillette got a LOT right with their Guard, and their Trac-II is one I do really like, but this was not fun.

02/07/2014

SOTD 02/07/2014


Routine

Bulldog Face Wash
NSS Citrus Zinger (Original Recipe)
Kent Silvertex Infinity
Durham Duplex - Personna [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Old Spice Noir

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - WTG, XTG & ATG

Impression

Second run with the carpet blade and it's settled in. This was a lovely shave, so smooth and efficient that a third pass to really finish off was just lovely.

Old Spice Noir is an interesting one - I rather think it would be happier with a Brut label on it, though. Nice enough, nevertheless.