31/05/2015

SOTD 31/05/2015

It'll make you JUMP! JUMP! ...


Shower w/Bulldog Shower Gel
Meißner Tremonia Pink Grapefruit (Hard)
L'Occitane Nylon Travel Brush
Kriss Kross - Fully Adjustable Slant & Personna (3)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Selin & Witch Hazel Toner
4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser
Autograph Eau De Toilette

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slant)

Clever little razor, this Kriss Kross and by happy coincidence it takes modern injector blades.

Mild, but swing the handle around and you find that it can go a full 180 degrees, so you can use it as a regular razor, as a straight or somewhere in between as a slant, and it's that shave that really makes this razor - shaved on an angle is much the same as shaving on a slide. The effect is the same, and a method I deployed for my second pass.

The soap? Yes, Meißner Tremonia again ...

Tonight, Pink Grapefruit as a hard soap sample. It's okay. I say okay, but as a soap, the performance is stunning: loading, lathering, shaving, washing off and post-shave feel are all just a cut above.

The scent is light, perhaps too light ...

I know pink grapefruit is not quite as spritzy as regular grapefruit, but the scent seems to be lacking to my nose and my palate. Given Meißner Tremonia's other soaps and their scent therein, I rather expected to be able to taste this one, but no! Light.

Perhaps one for you folks who complain these soaps have a scent that is just too strong, too lingering and too out there. This is light, straight-up and fleeting.

30/05/2015

SOTD 30/05/2015


Bulldog Face Wash
Meißner Tremonia Moroccan Rhassoul
Art Deco w/Muhle 31M50 Knot
Aramis (Gillette Trac II) & Wilkinson II (1)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Shibden Spice Aftershave Lotion
Shibden Spice Special Reserve Aftershave Lotion

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Tonight, just a quick shave with a Gillette Trac II compatible razor, one from an Aramis gift set which is gold toned, heavy and has quite a long neck. Super shave!

But the soap ...

Oh, the soap! I've been working my way through the range of Meißner Tremonia soaps, some their soft paste, others their hard puck, both of which are an absolute sinch to load and lather, outstanding in performance and a joy, post-shave.

Scents are huge fun! Thomas at Meißner Tremonia is NOT a fellow who toes the line and very definitely thinks way outside the box when it comes to his scents, and Moroccan Rhassoul is no exception. Moroccan Rhassoul is a natural clay mined in the Atlas mountains of North Africa and used in all manner of cleansing practices, as a mud mask or poultice, for example, and in soaps, shaving soaps, as the clay element which gives shaving soap its desirable slip. Thomas uses natural clays in their natural form, embracing their colour and scent. Moroccan Rhassoul can be found in this eponymous soap and their Puristic Style soap, so if their scents are not your cup of tea you can still enjoy these absolutely stunning soaps in a clear and unscented way.

The scent in Moroccan Rhassoul is a clever play on a Bay Rum.

Combining further scent and properties from copaiba balsam leaves and from cloves. Strongly beneficial skin properties may be had from both, but in combination their scents intermingle into a not quite, but most definitely different and no less intriguing kind of Bay Rum.

Perfect then for a post-shave splash of my own take on Bay Rum - Shibden Spice, a "not quite, but most definitely different and no less intriguing kind of Bay Rum", spicier than most, more exotic in ingredient and mellowed with clemetine peel, all steeped for a couple of weeks in white rum before straining and blending with witch hazel. More perfect for a post-post-shave splash of my Special Reserve, an even more "not quite, but most definitely different and no less intriguing kind of Bay Rum", peppier and earthier than most, spritzed with lime and actually it has just struck me that this would be a great match for Meißner Tremonia's Dark Limes ...

29/05/2015

SOTD 29/05/2015


Bulldog Face Wash
Meißner Tremonia Mint Ice Menthol
Ever Ready 400BN 'Badgerlon' Synthetic Knot
Durham Duplex (Straight Handle) & Personna (2)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Tabac Aftershave & EDT

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Wow! That is refreshing!

Refreshing like a whole pack of Trebor Extra Strong followed by a pack of Fisherman's Friends! It's a triple whammy of crystal menthol, eucalyptus and peppermint.

As with Meißner Tremonia's other soft soaps, loading is a snap without overloading, lathering is a snap either in the bowl or on the face, in-shave performance just divine, wash off easy and post-shave feel just wonderful.

But this chill! Boy, oh boy, it's cold ... and keeps building!

I really enjoyed my Durham Duplex shave yesterday, so picked another favourite from the somewhat extensive and quite comprehensive collection that I have. I think this is technically a trimmer from the later years, but with the long comb put on it works really well as a [i]Kamisori[/i] style razor.

As yesterday, one shave down, one shave up and we're done ... regrowth will be soft and smooth like today's. Love 'em!!!

28/05/2015

SOTD 28/05/2015

Durham Duplex Patent Anniversary ...


Bulldog Face Wash
Meißner Tremonia Himalayan Heights (Hard)
Ever Ready 100T Muhle Silvertip Fibre
Durham Duplex & Personna (1)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Puig Quorum Aftershave & EDT

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & ATG

Another Meißner Tremonia flavour ...

If you've missed my last few posts, let me just bring you up to speed with Meißner Tremonia - THE artisan soap maker from Dortmund, Germany. The soap has a phenomenal performance and unparalleled post-shave feel, the lather is easily loaded to brush and explodes with firm, dense lather which does not go overly foamy with the addition of too much water. In a word, superb.

What folks want to know about is the scent ...

Well, Himalayan Heights is pretty straight-up. It's cedar and salt. Himalayan, to be precise; both of them: the cedar and the salt. Cedrus Deodara from the foothills of the Himalayas: Nepal, Tibet, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India. Salt, too, and a lovely light blue colour quite reminiscent of the glacial meltwater from above the treeline.

Scent is pure green, woody cedar. Perfect pals with Puig Quorum, in fact better with Puig Quorum Silver, a fragrance which is rather lost against its stronger and better known sibling, but one which is less brash, less in your face, quite intriguing a scent to follow which Himalayan Heights own green, spritzy cedar accompanies just perfectly.

I've been wearing Puig Quorum today, shaved, used the aftershave and then, just before typing this up refreshed with a spritz of Puig Quorum Silver. Perfect partners, both Puig Quorum and Puig Quorum Silver.

Very much enjoyed as a sample, a puck I think I'll buy.

The saltiness? Well, yes, there is something of it in there, but I think it's in there more as a skin treatment than anything else. Having shaved, I didn't detect it in the scent and don't feel it post-shave on my skin.

So, three cheer for Durham Duplex!

108 years since the patent was granted to this brave step into the twentieth century for shaving, placing a firm double edged blade into a slide lock razor head to be used just like a straight edge razor, as folks of the day were used to.

Shaving with the grain for a first pass, using the Durham-slide, against the grain for the second, again, with the Durham-slide, smoother than James Bond! Great shave, and I know from experience that the regrowth will be lovely and soft.

Perhaps I'll partake again tomorrow ...

27/05/2015

SOTD 27/05/2015


Bulldog Face Wash
Meißner Tremonia Lavender Deluxe
Mohawk 5-341 PurTech
Heljestrand 923F 9/16 Quarter Hollow
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
YSL Kouros Aftershave & EDT

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Another shave with these wonderful Meißner Tremonia soaps, tonight it's time for the Lavender Deluxe in hard soap form.

I have read some negativity about the hard soaps in the glass jars which Meißner Tremonia supply, being just a little too large for the pucks (or the pucks just a little too small for the jars) and so the puck slips around when trying to load. Well, I popped my puck into any old pot and just gave it a good press down. The soap is not brick hard, nor is it a putty (like, say Arko) but it does have a little give to adhere to the container it is placed in.

Loading was a doddle, lathering exploded and shave performance, not to mention wash off and post-shave feel absolutely tremendous.

The scent of this soap is classic English lavender, flanked by rose geranium and cypress for a near heavenly scent absolutely deserving of the word "Deluxe". Not dry, not dusty, the lavender is pure floral and quite literally erupts upon opening the pot.

Asbolutely lovely!

26/05/2015

SOTD 26/05/2015


Shower w/Bulldog Shower Gel
Meißner Tremonia Dark Limes (Soft)
Ever Ready 300BN PurTech
Martin & Co. 6/8 Wedge
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal Aftershave

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

More fun with Meißner Tremonia soaps and tonight it's Dark Limes as the soft version, or "paste" as these guys put it.

Loading is simple requiring just a wet brush and a few swirls to pick up ample. Lathering is explosive and more so than the hard soap  version I think, although that might be the shorter loft on the brush. Either way, warm, wetted face and apply the loaded brush: Boom! Lather explosion!

In shave performance is phenomenal and something I mused early on was that I thought I would really enjoy these soaps with straight edge razors, and I do. Tonight, a vintage Sheffield wedge and the cushion, slip and glide on this soap is just perfect. Really perfect! Two lovely passes.

Wash off and post-shave feel, even with a strongly alcoholic and face tautening splash like Pinaud Lilac Vegetal, post-shave face feel is soft, fed and balanced, the natural oils in the soap really playing so very well with natural facial oil replenishment.

... and then we have the scent.

Dark Limes is mysterious. I mused in my first review of the hard soap sibling, that I did not know how some puts mystery into a soap but Meißner Tremonia have. It is sour. It should be - it's lime. It is bitter. It is bittersweet, and I think that is the addition of bitter orange oil, which counterpoints and juxtaposes the sharp slice of lime as the two spin into a vortex of dancing scent. It's spritz and flavour, like the spray of the fruit skin as it is cut through as well as the spray of the fruit therein.

Absolutely lovely! Seriously up there in terms of performance and quite unique in terms of scent.

Truly wonderful!

25/05/2015

SOTD 25/03/2015


Shower w/Bulldog Shower Gel
Meißner Tremonia Indian Flavour (Hard Soap)
Mohawk 5-341 PurTech
Vincent & Feather Cut (2)
Henckels Rapide & GEM Stainless (7)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Old Spice Aftershave
Paco Rabanne One Million EDT

Face Lathered
Two Pass - Vincent (WTG) & Henckels (WTG Slide)

To preamble Meißner Tremonia soaps, quite simply they are excellent: intuitive lathering, phenomenal shave performance and luxurious post-shave feel. The rest is about preference for hard soap or for soft soap, paste as Meißner Tremonia put it, and for scent, which Meißner Tremonia give us some quite unique experiences, not least coupled with the clever selection of natural clays, salts, tars and oils which remain quite untouched, not bleached or recoloured to give us a really pure product absolutely and genuinely affording of the term artisan.

Tonight, Indian Flavour as a hard soap was simply a joy! Coriander, mint and lemongrass, Indian Flavour is a gentle touch of spice and a gentle touch of mint, cooling and refreshing, more akin to holding a cold bottle of Cobra against your head while the sun beats down and the sizzle of lunch wafts by ... the spice is in no way overwhelming, but simple and well pitched, the cool is not chilling, just cooling.

Perfectly balanced.

Superb shave using this cheap Vincent razor with a nape shaper blade, perfectly acceptable for face shaving but don't expect the edge to last long - three shaves is about it after one very excellent, a second good and from experience a third, too, which while not tuggy is most definitely the last one. Tonight was the second shave from this blade.

I also finished off a GEM blade in my Henckels Rapide, which is a nice razor but the angle is a tough one to get right with modern flat blades as they cannot be readily stopped at the angle of the top edge of a wedge, resulting in a shave which is a little steep in angle as the top clip can get in the way.

Very nice, all in ... and so well finished with a good splash of Old Spice.

23/05/2015

SOTD 23/05/2015


Bulldog Face Wash
Meißner Tremonia Strong & Scottish (Hard)
Muhle Silvertip Fibre
Klas Tornblom 9/16 Faux Frameback
L'Essor & GEM Stainless (6)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Brut Musk Aftershave
Aramis Havana EDT

Face Lathered
Three Pass - Klas Tornblom (WTG), L'Essor (WTG Slide) & Klas Tornblom (WTG ... just because)

In a word, about as good a shave as I've ever had.

To preamble Meißner Tremonia soaps, quite simply they are excellent: intuitive lathering, phenomenal shave performance and luxurious post-shave feel. The rest is about preference for hard soap or for soft soap, paste as Meißner Tremonia put it, and for scent, which Meißner Tremonia give us some quite unique experiences, not least coupled with the clever selection of natural clays, salts, tars and oils which remain quite untouched, not bleached or recoloured to give us a really pure product absolutely and genuinely affording of the term artisan.

Today I shaved with Strong & Scottish, the hard soap which from a cursory scan over the ingredients gains its earthiness from "whiskey" (presumably whisky) and juniperus oxycedrus wood tar, or juniper wood tar and not dissimilar to cade, which Thomas at Meißner Tremonia mixes with red clay to reinforce the earthiness resulting in a seriously heady, woody, ashy, peaty, burnt wood experience which is absolutely sublime.

I had read about this soap being the worst scented soap ever, a scent which only its mother could love and a stink of stale ashtrays, all descriptions which I won't disagree with - yes, I get the ash, yes, I get that it is really quite unusual, earthy, mucky (not necessarily dirty) and I originally described the scent as having the same polarising effect as Pinaud's Lilac Vegetal. But, this is not a Marmite soap, one which divides opinion, but rather one with draws the absolute same opinion from all and it is the response from each that is of note - whether the person is reviled or whether the person is intrigued, even exhilarated.

I am one who is exhilarated by this scent. As a sample in a plastic bag it gains the same effect as good drink in a snifter, the scent concentrated and alive for each of the constituent smells to be explored. This is not Marmite, this is oysters, this is caviar, this is that very special bottle of red wine that gives off a prolific farmyard smell upon breathing, this is Laphroaig. And on that final note, I don't think we're far from understanding the true nature of this soap - it is strong, it is peaty, it is almost medicinal. It is strong, it is Scottish. I get it.

... and there it is: Thomas is a genuis; this soap is high connoisseur.

As a shave, lovely to fly my Klas Tornblom and my L'Essor cushioned by this very excellent soap, its wonderful scent pervading throughout; lovely to splash on the Brut Musk, rich in tobacco and very much complimenting the experience, lovely to spray on some Aramis Havana and revive the booziness.

... about as good a shave as I've ever had.

21/05/2015

SOTD 21/05/2015


Shower w/Bulldog Shower Gel
Meißner Tremonia Dark Limes (Hard Soap)
Ever Ready 100T w/Muhle 31M50 Knot
Keen Kutter K40 (Green Bakelite) & Personna (2)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Puig Quorum Aftershave & EDT

Hand Lathered
Three Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide) ... and WTG again, just because

I'm very excited to be using Meißner Tremonia soaps after taking in a good number of samples and a number of full size/volume retail products. I've test lathered these as hard soap and paste soap, both in bowls and face lathered, but tonight was my maiden shave with these very excellent soaps.

Soaps as grated samples are not the easiest to deal with and the most obvious thing to do is to press them into their own little dishes and load up as per normal, but I don't have any little dishes so the palm of my hand made do with a little sprinkle of the soap shavings, some what reminiscent of pipe tobacco ...

Lathered in the hand was a doddle. I know from my test lathers, that these soaps do not negatively respond to getting the watering wrong in the brush; underwater, overwater, whatever, they just lather up without issue. Folks who live in soft water areas will know the danger of overwatering something like Mitchell's Wool Fat and ending up with a bathroom full of suds. With Meißner Tremonia, nothing like, just good, thick lather with not even a hint of foam that might need knocking back.

That's all before I begin to talk about the scent, here, Dark Limes which is actually quite simply sub-lime! I don't know how you begin to go about putting mystery into a shaving product, but Trumpers do it with Eucris and Meißner Tremonia do it with their Dark Limes. Stunning!

And, that's all before I begin to talk about actual shave performance, which is protective, superb slip (I am going to enjoy straight edge shaving with these soaps) and easy wash off with residual post-shave feel being just right, not drying, not overly promoting of greasiness.

I'm going to leave it there as goes a review, as I have more of these shaved soap samples, a couple of hard soap pucks and a couple of paste soap jars. I will do a full review at the end after a damn good play with what is already panning out to be quite a special range of seriously good soap.

Razor? Yeah, another run with one of these little Keen Kutter razors that so conveniently take an injector blade. Lovely shave, so close, so keen. I made my usual couple of passes and a further pass at the end, just because I was enjoying the soap so much.

Usual post-shave routine and a lovely splash of Quorum and a top-up spray of the EDT for the evening. Cheers!

19/05/2015

SOTD 19/05/2015


Bulldog Face Wash
Martin De Candre Savon À Raser Original w/Lugosi (PurTech 19mm)
Keen Kutter K40 (Red Bakelite) & Personna (Injector) [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Rose of Bulgaria Aftershave
Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme EDT

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

17/05/2015

SOTD 17/05/2015


Bulldog Face Wash
De Vergulde Hand Shaving Soap
Ever Ready 100T Muhle Silvertip Fibre
Ever Ready Natural Angle Deluxe & GEM Stainless (5)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Denim Aftershave Lotion

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

15/05/2015

SOTD 15/05/2015


Bulldog Face Wash
Mitchell's Wool Fat Shaving Soap w/Ever Ready 300N PurTech
GEM Pushbutton & GEM Stainless (4)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Jade East Aftershave (Vintage)
Eden Classics Rapport EDT

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Mitchells, quite simply the best. I really should use it more.

The vintage Jade East had a real sting in her tail! Kind of enjoyable, if you like that sort of thing ...

13/05/2015

SOTD 13/05/2015


Bulldog Face Wash
Bay Soap Company Arctic Blast w/Kent Infinity Silvertex
GEM Safety Razor Corp 'Test Outfit' & GEM Stainless (3)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
YSL Kouros Aftershave & EDT

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Basically, the same as my previous shave with the Star and Bay Soap Company's Grapefruit, but with the GEM equivalent and another Bay Soap Company Soap, a refreshing blend of peppermint and spearmint.

11/05/2015

SOTD 11/05/2015


Shower & Bulldog Shower Gel
Bay Soap Company Grapefruit w/Kent Infinity Silvertex
Star Safety Razor Corp 'Test Outfit' & GEM Stainless (2)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Blue Stratos Aftershave
Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey Pour Homme EDT

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Formerly given the moniker Lidless Little Lather Catcher due to its patent date of 24th March 1914 and similarity with the Little Lather Catcher of the same year, I found a picture of the GEM equivalent box which was referred to as the 'Test Outfit' ... "GEM Safety Razor with that marvelous Double Life Blade", the direct equivalent of this Star, boxed as "Star Safety Razor with that marvelous Cru-Steel Blade".

So, 'Test Outfit' it is!

Super shave! One I regarded as a little mild upon first use, but I've found my groove with this one ... I'll follow on with the GEM equivalent next shave.

09/05/2015

SOTD 09/05/2015


Bulldog Face Wash
Erasmic Shaving Soap w/Valet No.470 PurTech
Personna Double II - Double II (1)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Eyüp Sabri Tuncer Küba Tütünü Kolonya

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Smashing shave, that!

Double II, basically a Trac II, but twice. Moreover, the correct shave angle is readily achieved by simply following the shape of the head which is contoured just right and much akin to their double edge razor:

07/05/2015

SOTD 07/05/2015


Bulldog Face Wash
Monsavon Bol à Raser Shaving Soap
Ever Ready 300N (Nylon)
Thompson 'Gold Gem' 9/16 Hollow Ground
Valet VC1 & GEM Stainless (7)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Puig Quorum Aftershave & EDT

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG (Thompson) & WTG (Valet)

05/05/2015

SOTD 05/05/2015

Ever Ready 'Wall Cabinet Set' Design Patent 67209 Anniversary 5th May 1925


Bulldog Face Wash
GFT Eucris Shaving Soap w/Ever Ready T40 Silvertip
Ever Ready 1924 Wall Cabinet Set & GEM Stainless (1)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal Aftershave Lotion
GFT Eucris EDT

Face Lathered
One Pass - WTG

Design Patent 67209 was granted 5th May 1925, some 90 years ago and so today I shaved with a fresh blade in that very model and what a joy that single pass shave was.

03/05/2015

SOTD 03/05/2015


Bulldog Face Wash
TGGC Essence of Scotland - Malt & Myrtle w/Valet No.470 PurTech
Vintage Japanese Shaper & Personna Super Stainless (5)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Shibden Spice Aftershave Lotion
Dana Tabu EDP

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

01/05/2015

SOTD 01/05/2015

Thank Tabac it's Friday!


Bulldog Face Wash
Tabac Shaving Soap w/Slovenian Professional Boar
Bengall Cast Steel 11/16 Wedge
L'Essor & GEM Stainless (6)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Toner
Tabac Aftershave & Cologne

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG (Bengall) & WTG (L'Essor)