SOTD 28/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Habitat Shaving Soap (Vintage)
Ever Ready No.1 Pure Bristle (Vintage)
GEM Junior 1912 & GEM Stainless (3)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Novaya Zarya Shipr Aftershave Cologne
Jaguar For Men EDT

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Lovely vintage shave with a proper soapy soap, an experience continued with the soapy chypre aftershave.


SOTD 25/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
OSP Bay Rum Shaving Soap
Vie-Long Handle w/PurTech
Microtome Kamisori
Hot Rinse & Cold Rinse
Pinaud Clubman Musk Aftershave Cologne
African Black Gold & Somali Rose Attar

Good fun to use a straight again ...

I'd rather gone off straights of late, but seeing a Japanese razor recently re-awakened my initial fascination with their kamisori razors. I have yet to have a shave with one, but I have a similar experience tucked away right here in the form of a microtome razor that has been modified and fitted with a straight handle. Microtome razors, like kamisori razors, have a flat side and a slightly concave side; slightly, in the case of my microtome as it is practically a wedge, an offset wedge.

I've tried and tried with western straights, even finding a couple that really suited me. In a purge, I relieved myself of practically all that I'd collected. No regrets. Never look back. Looking forward, I think I'll try to get a proper kamisori in. I have a feeling I'd really enjoy it.

First proper outing with OSP's Bay Rum soap. Wonderful formula, tallow-based, glycerine in there, somewhat reminiscent of Mitchell's Wool Fat in use and post-shave feel. From me, that is high praise indeed! Good strong scent and just a likkle tickle.

Today's attar (well, blend ... so mukhallat) is one called African Black Gold which I can find nothing at all written about, blended with Somali Rose again, one I can find nothing about. I suspect these are re-branded oils from Haramain, their Red African and African Rose.

Anyway, the African Black Gold begins with a seriously resinous opening, medicinal almost, reminiscent of old-fashioned cough sweets. It is a sweet attar. Orchid and rosewood follow on quickly, before nutmeg brings in some warmth along with amber. Musky base with a vanilla, almost caramel finish after a few hours. Blended with the Somali Rose was just right. Green stem rose, little floral, quite dark in fact. Perfect with the orchid and picking off that tang from the rosewood just right.


SOTD 23/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Jade East Shaving Cream & Plisson Synthetic
GEM/Ever Ready Pushbutton & GEM Stainless (2)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Jade East Aftershave

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Lovely vintage shave with Jade East and this curious pushbutton, branded both GEM (on the handle) and Ever Ready (on the baseplate of the head). I believe it's a British market razor, although Ever Ready does say "Made in USA". Go figure ...

Playing off the citrus, spicy, musky shaving products, today's blend of attars was a triple layer of Surrati Al Khaleej, a citrus aromatic with violet florals and coriander spice; Al Aneeq Oudh Badar, a citrus oudh; Surrati Black Musk, a deep, powdery musk with almost coffee notes to begin with, settling down to a black fruit leather.


SOTD 21/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Ever Ready Shaving Stick
Ever Ready 500BN 'Badgerlon' w/Muhle Silvertip Fibre
Ever Ready 1912 'Peerless' & GEM Stainless (1)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
YSL Kouros Aftershave & EDT

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)


SOTD 19/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Vicco Turmeric Shaving Cream
Plisson Synthetic Shaving Brush
Zinn Gem & Personna (5)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pashana Original Aftershave & Hair Tonic
Al Rehab Rayan Black EDP

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Several new things to try ...

Huge laugh when I opened the Vicco and was met with a smiling fellow who looked just like my brother-in-law, but Indian. Subtle smell to the soap, fully released when lathering and much sharper than I had expected, almost citrus in effect. My exposure to turmeric is with the dried spice, never the root, but upon reading up I find that turmeric is related to ginger and that clicked - it's sharp, whirls up the nostrils. Fresh root scented with a curious cooling, although nothing minty or mentholated was listed in the ingredients.

Whisked up with a new brush - a Plisson synthetic, which is just right for this task as it's a floppy fellow but does hold a lot more water than other synthetics. Quite literally a perfect partner for creams. I built up a good lather and tried something I've read about whereby the lather is applied to the face and left to sit there for a couple of minutes, or more, refreshed and then the shave is commenced. It might be ritual, but the whole experience certainly put a smile on my face.

Fun to see out the blade in my Zinn Gem, a razor which took a completely different blade to the rest of the Gem line back in its day but being so well built, the spring is still ... well, springy, and so it can hold an injector blade in place almost as if it was made for it! One pass with the grain and a second pass with a slide.

Splash of Pash, face and hair. Being an evening shaver, I've been wearing the EDP through the day - billed as a Woody Spicy blend of Berries, Tea, Musk, Sandalwood, Vanilla & Woods, it begins with quite an Old Spice opening but settles out into something I've been unable to quite pinpoint for the remainder of the day, but I have it now: it's Werther's! You know, buttery, caramel sweets. Quite cloying really and not nice at all after the really triumphant opening.

It might just be my imagination, but I have a tingling on my tongue which reminds me of the shaving cream - invigorating!

In all, huge fun!


SOTD 17/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Meißner Tremonia "Natural White" Guaiacwood & Bergamot Market Test
Ever Ready 500N w/Synthetic Knot
Keen Kutter by Christy & Personna (4)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pashana Original Aftershave & Hair Tonic
Mellifluence Tuberous 0.1 & Sumatran Vetiver Attars

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slice)


SOTD 16/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Meißner Tremonia "Natural Brown" Bitter Almond & Texas Cedar Market Test
Edwin Jagger Black Fibre in Tortoise Shell
Keen Kutter K40 (Red) & Personna (3)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pashana Original Aftershave & Hair Tonic
Mellifluence Tuberous 0.1 Attar

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Third shave with this blade and this type of razor, and the blade is really in tune now giving a lovely, smooth shave.

The soap is simply fantastic. I hate almond with a passion, but this ... this is very nice indeed! I gather it has now reached market as Woody Almond in both paste and hard soap format, but this resinous puck is pretty special. Pashana followed on perfectly.

... all leading up to the attar: a rich floral gourmand: Top notes - Lime, Dwarf Juniper; Middle notes- Jasmine, Davana, Rose; Base notes - Cambodi Oud, Cocoa, Castoreum.



SOTD 14/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Meißner Tremonia "Natural White" Black Pepper & Coriander Market Test
Purtech Knotted Vie-Long Amphora Handle
Keen Kutter K40 (Green) & Personna (2)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pino Silvestre Aftershave
Haramain Naeem CPO

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Another fun shave with one of these Keen Kutters. It's a sound shave. Close enough, keen, mild and smooth. I went with a couple of with the grain passes - one down and one up is a lot closer, but I wasn't after close.

CPO? Concentrated Perfume Oil. Haramain's Naeem was a perfect follow on to the Pino Silvestre, a powdery chpyre will all the effect of something between Pino Silvestre itself and Ralph Lauren Polo, but different. Lovely fragrance!


SOTD 12/10/2015

Medic! We have a casualty!!!

Bulldog Face Wash
Mitchell's Wool Fat Shaving Soap
Ever Ready 100T w/Muhle Silvertip Fibre
Keen Kutter K40 (Black) & Personna (1)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Smash!!!
Blue Stratos Aftershave & EDT

Damn it! Moving my dish of alum onto the side my ceramic dishes Mitchell's went straight onto the floor. Lid smashed and the base cracked. I rescued the well hydrated puck into a vintage bakelite Dubarry Shaving Soap dish. I'll put a new ceramic dish on the wish list.

Feeling glum, I found an uplifting attar to raise my spirits.

Ajmal Arabian Musk - a mukhallat with floral notes of geranium, jasmine and ylang ylang, spiced with clove and nutmeg on a base of patchouli, cedar and musk.


SOTD 10/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Essence of Scotland Malt & Myrtle
Muhle Silvertip Fibre
KA-CE 3?49 6/8 Full Hollow
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Alt Innsbruck Cologne
Surrati Black Afghano CPO

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slice)


SOTD 08/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Simpson's Lavender & Vertivert
Edwin Jagger Black Fibre
Kai Dispo (3)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Puig Quorum Aftershave
Al Rehab Lord EDP

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)


SOTD 06/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Ever Ready Shaving Stick w/Ever Ready No.1 (Bristle)
Ever Ready 1912 & GEM Stainless (5)
Hot Rinse & Cold Rinse
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal Aftershave Cologne
Egyptian Majmua

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Today was a really proud day for me ...

I picked up an Ever Ready 'Service Set' which appeared to be unused. Upon arrival, it was clearly unused. Boxed, plastic wrap, sealed blades, brand new shaving soap, unused brush and unused razor. What a score! I have had razors which I thought might be unused, but this really was an actual, bona fide brand new razor.

The brush was just a little dry with ends cracking off upon touch, something I thought disappointing and left it be for a few days. Yesterday, I pulled it from its retaining strap with a view to cutting off the knot in readiness for re-knotting, but decided to let it soak for a few minutes and give it a damn good lathering with a favourite soap just to see if it picked up, or whether it just turned into a stump of snapped bristle. I am so glad I did because there was only a small amount that cracked off and only a couple of hairs which fell out and the brush was a lovely, perfectly shave-ready, soft, vintage boar.

The soap looked good. It was dry, but I knew it would be good to use. It had a smell much like my vintage Rolls Razor soap - clean, fresh; fresher than the Rolls soap, like freshly washed cotton sheets in the breeze. I know that phrase is used a lot when it comes to clean, fresh smelling soap, but it really is apt: no soapy aroma, just clean and fresh.

Ready to shave ...

Washed, soap applied, lathering was an absolute dream. Immediate, I think it the word. Immediate, thick and shiny. Very classy lather indeed. But wait, there's something more ... more than clean and fresh, there's a gentle cooling. I'm loathed to say mentholated, because it's not, it's just a gentle cooling. That'll be the breeze in the sheets, then. Brand new razor at the ready, I started, and had a wonderful shave seeing out the blade.

Rinsed, what better than Pinaud Lilac Vegetal? Well, I did go one better ... vintage Pinaud Lilac Vegetal. Oh, what a scent! Compared to the modern splash, it is chalk and cheese; vintage is all floral with a strong, stem green like the crunch from snapping daffodil stems. An absolute joy!

Where now? What scent for the day?

I have a burgeoning interest in middle-eastern perfumes: attars and mukhallats. I have a fledgling collection going and one which arrived just yesterday is an Egyptian Majmua.

Majmua is a blend (mukhallat?) or kadam flower,  described as "reminiscent of both neroli and champaca"; kewda flower, "a smooth, refreshing balsamic scent; floral but not too sweet, with hints of hyacinth and honey"; mitti, (literally) an essence of baked earth in sandalwood oil; ruh khus, "green and sweet, with a woodsy, smoky aroma and a hint of mint". That green, sweet and fresh (not) mintiness along with the florals follows on from Pinaud Lilac Vegetal and the Ever Ready soap just perfectly, still present for some time while the wood and smoke builds.



SOTD 04/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Essence of Scotland Mountain Yew w/Muhle Silvertip Fibre
Gillette 'Psycho' Tech & Treet Carbon (3)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pashana Original Aftershave & Hair Tonic
Madani Perfumes Musk al Kastoori

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Final shave in this enjoyable diversion into double edge razors just to finish off the blade. Champion!

I tell you what ... those Essence of Scotland soaps are good! I believe they're made by Shetland Soaps but sold by The Gentleman's Groom Room up in Dundee; lovely aromatics and honey in the mix. Mountain Yew is juniper, for folks needing a translation, and at that I think I'm ready for a G&T.

Cheers, all!


SOTD 02/10/2015

Bulldog Face Wash
Essence of Scotland 'Malt & Myrtle' w/Muhle Silvertip Fibre
Treet 'Tech' & Treet Carbon (2)
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pashana Original Aftershave
Jacques Bogart Pour Homme & Madani Perfumery Musk Al Kastoori

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & WTG (Slide)

Another shave with a double edge razor to use up this blade. Enjoyable!

The keen-eyed amongst you, particularly the single edge crowd, will notice the trademark ASR hex handle on this razor. Once ASR had moved over to double edge razors, both the Treet brand and Star carried double edge razors with these handles.