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
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.