Sunday, May 20, 2018

Soap Commander Confidence Shave Soap and Aftershave Balm

May 20, 2018 0

Patchouli is not one of my favorite scents.  Blended with other scents, it could create a nice aroma.  My wife on the other hand just hates patchouli.  If she senses a hint of it (even if blended with something else) she has me wash it off.  So there are scents, like Soap Commander’s Confidence, that I have to use sparingly around her.

Soap Commander Confidence: Because of the patchouli, I have to use this sparingly around my wife.
Soap Commander describes Confidence as “a smooth, sensual and suave blend with notes of honey, musk, and a hint of patchouli.” Personally, I think it’s a sweet but masculine scent that I really enjoy. I can use the soap a bit more regularly as the scent doesn’t linger after washing off.  Though, as a shower shaver, I have to be more thoughtful in making sure the shower stall is thoroughly rinsed.   Regrettably, I cannot use the aftershave balm when I am around her as the scent sticks around for a while. 
One of my SOTD's using the Confidence Shave Soap.
As with the other Soaps by Soap Commander that I’ve tried, I feel that I get a nice, voluminous lather with a nice protective cushion to it.  With the Soap Commander Soaps, I’ve gotten into the habit of using the Marco Method (a soaking wet brush will barely any water shaken out).  I feel like I get the best results doing this, but as with most things wet shaving … Your mileage may vary (YMMV).

Building a lather: As I typically get with other Soap Commander Soap it's voluminous and slick. 
The Confidence Aftershave Balm is a white lotion that smells very close to the soap.  Smelling directly from the bottle it has a minty-like quality to the scent, which I attribute to the added menthol.  But  after applying that seems to go away and it smells very close to the scent of the soap.  As I’ve written in previous posts, I am more of a splash guy.  But on occasion I’ll use an alum block and then this balm if I want to enjoy the sweet and musky scent of Soap Commander’s Confidence.  

Confidence after shave balm has a hint of yellow to it.
As a side note, I’ve also started using the Soap Commander Balms as a Pre-Shave on occasion.  Personally, I find that I get a similar sensation as applying the Proraso Green PreshaveCream.  Plus, with the added Shae Butter I feel that it helps to help to keep the skin hydrated.  It’s not something I’m suggesting others do, but I’ve found that some balms work as a preshave for me.

On occasion, I'll use the Soap Commander After Shave balm as a pre-shave lotion.
I really do like Soap Commander’s Confidence scent.  Even though it does have hints of patchouli, it’s not something that I could personally pick up on since it’s blended with notes of honey and musk.  Just wish it was a fragrance that my wife enjoyed more. 

What are your thoughts on patchouli, patchouli blends, and on Soap Commander’s Confidence? Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Closer Look at the Edwin Jagger Pearl Effect Handled Razors

May 06, 2018 0
I usually have a YouTube video that accompanies these types of posts.   They are a bit time consuming to create.  So, because of the whole changes in the YouTube monetization rules I figured I’d take a little break from creating them since they don’t garnish a lot of likes.  But, if you’ve enjoyed them or if you see them as helpful let me know.  That would be good motivation to keep going.  

Anyway, back to wet shaving stuff.

Edwin Jagger Razors with Pearl Effect Handles

Edwin Jagger’s line of razors with the Pearl Effect Handles were first introduced back in 2014 and were designed with women wet shavers in mind.   Compared to the popular Edwin Jagger DE89 the handles are bit longer; which is meant to get to the harder to reach areas.  The Pearl Effect razors measure approximately 4 inches in length whereas the DE89 measures about 3.75 inches. Weight-wise they are comparable; with each one weighing in at 2.6 ounces.

The Edwin Jagger DELBE14bl was roughly the length of the Merkur 38C but weighed as much as the Edwin Jagger DE89

Lengthwise it is closer to another razor that I have in the arsenal: the Merkur 38C.  However, at 4 ounces, the 38C outweighs the Edwin Jagger Pearl Effect handled razors.  The handle of the Merkur 38C is bulkier and the extra 1.4 ounces gives it some heft.

Weight of one of the Edwin Jagger Pearl Effect Handled Razors
These Edwin Jagger razors are available in four different colors: Rose (DELRO14bl), Blue (DELBE14bl), Lilac (DELLI14bl), and Pink (DELPI14bl).   From what I’ve read the handles are constructed of acrylic.  But, to me, it has the appearance and texture of porcelain.  Compared to the other acrylic handled razors, I think the Pearl Effect razors look quite elegant.  

Pearl Effect handled DELBE14bl compared to the faux ivory DEL8714bl
Apart from the cartridge razors, Edwin Jagger appears to use the same razor head for the safety razors.  So, I find that a DELLI14bl shaves the same as DE89.  So, even though they were designed with women in mind, I see no reason why men cannot use it especially if they want to add a little more color to the razor collection. 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Dr. Jon's Aphrodite: A Fruity and Floral Scent

March 31, 2018 0
Dr. Jon’s Aphrodite scent is described as a blend of rose, pomegranate, black currant and apple to make a sweet and floral fragrance designed for either men or women.  The soap performs well, the aftershave has a satisfying sting, and I really like the packaging designs. However, the scent really isn’t my thing. While I use them on occasion I will have to say that floral scents aren’t really my thing.
Dr. Jon's Aphrodite Shave Soap and Aftershave Tonic
Like other Dr. Jon’s Shaving Soap that I’ve used, Aphrodite provided a nice, thick, and protective lather without much effort.  As far as the scent strength: I found that is fairly strong when smelling in the tin but isn’t overpowering when face lathering.  The scent washes away and doesn’t linger when rinsing off.   I have the 2 oz tin, which I believe is now out of production.  Though, as of this writing, a 4oz tin is available on Dr. Jon’s web store.

The 4oz Tin was available from Dr. Jon's site.
At one point Dr. Jon’s had a complementing Aftershave Tonic, which also I believe has since been discontinued.  As of this writing, I am not seeing the Aphrodite Aftershave Tonic on their website. The splash has a nice sting to it and I feel that it has a gradually escalating, menthol burn to it which kind of reminds me of the burn I get with Captain’s Choice Cat O’Nine Tails.  I’m not certain if others have experienced this, but with wet shaving Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).  As far as the scent of the aftershave goes, I found Aphrodite to be strong.  About an hour after applied to just my upper lip and chin I was still aware of its presence.  I thought that maybe it was just because it was under my nose but people who sat across from me at dinner made it known that they could smell it.

The scent isn't really my thing, but I thought the lather was great.

Overall, I’m a fan of the Dr. Jon’s line of shaving soap and aftershave tonics.  Like I mentioned previously, floral scents aren’t really my thing.  It’s a Dr. Jon’s shaving soap, so I enjoy using it for the performance and because the aroma easily washes away.  Regrettably, the lingering smell from aftershave tonic isn’t something I can confidently wear.

Are you a fan of Dr. Jon’s Shave soaps and aftershave tonics?  Please leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Aremel Aremel Soaps-n-Such Shaving Soap

February 11, 2018 0
Some time ago we went to the Buffalo Saturday Artisan Market. With this type of marketplace, I like to browse the soap makers’ offerings.  Not only looking for appealing scents and shapes that that both my (now) wife, but also see if they offer a shave soap or if they have line of shaving soaps.

Canalside, Buffalo for the Artian Market
During this particular visit, I discovered a stand for Aremel Soaps-n-Such.  Based out of Buffalo, NY they’ve been making soaps since 1999.  They had a number of really neat designs but I was drawn to their “Scented Shaving Soap.”  There were two pucks (each weighed about 1.5 oz) that were packaged in cellophane, tied with ribbon and a tag containing the name as well as a list of the ingredients.  I think I may have paid about $6.00 for it, so I felt it was worth the try.
The Aremel Shaving Soap
There were no directions on the tag, so I decided to just dive in.  I took a wet badger brush to one of the pucks.  With puck in hand, I loaded the brush.  Pretty quickly the Cool Whip-like consistency started to develop; which I took this as a good sign.  After having a sufficient amount of soap loaded I started to face lather.  I worried that it would yield an unstable lather.  But, it went on nicely.  I waited about 30 seconds to see if it would fade.  Fortunately, it didn’t.
Lathering the Aremel Shaving Soap 
This shaving soap by Aremel Soap, yielded a slick and protective lather as well. When shaving, the razor easily glided over my skin. For this test I used a mild razor: my Edwin Jagger DE3D14bl armed with a Treet Stainless Steel Razor blade. As I had hoped, I finished the shave with no nicks, cuts, or irritation.
Got a nice, slick, and protective, with this soap.
As far as the scent goes, I’m not certain how I would describe it.  To me it smells a bit floral and cologne-y.  It does have a masculine air about it. But when asking my wife for her impression she described it as combination of floral scents.  When applied it is a bit stronger than some of the other shaving soaps that I’ve used; which is not a bad thing, I am just a little more aware I’m using this soap compared to some of my other wet shaving favorites. 

SOTD with the Aremel Shaving Soap
In closing, I was really impressed with the Aremel Soaps-n-Such Shaving Soap.  If I were to choose a downside, I’d have to go with the scent. But for the price, I think it was worth the try.  As of this writing, I am not seeing this soap on The Aremel Soaps-n-Such Etsy store or their Facebook page.  I suppose I’ll check back from time to see if they’ll have a shaving soap is available. But if not, they have a number of others that are pretty neat (in my opinion); such as a Moai shaped soap and a Lucky Cat bar.  
Did like the lather from this shaving soap.
Have you tried any soap from Aremel Soaps-n-Such? Please leave us a comment below and let us know.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

RazoRock Alum Stick

January 04, 2018 0
I caught an interview with RazoRock Joe on the Moustache and Blade Podcast.  By the sounds of it, alum was the start of RazoRock.  As the story goes, Joe was tasked by his father-in-law to find alum blocks while on vacation in Italy with his uncle and business partner.  Eventually they found a little shop in Tuscany that had it and they purchased all they had left.  At dinner one night they had the idea to import these alum blocks and sell it.  They would call it RazoRock and the rest is wet shaving history.  Check out the podcast here: Moustache & Blade Podcast - Episode 2 : Feature Interview with Italian Barber

RazoRock Alum Stick
Admittedly, prior to getting into traditional wet shaving the only time I heard about alum was from Looney Tunes cartoons I watched as a kid.  I’d remember Sylvester the Cat getting this powder poured in his mouth and his lips would involuntarily unwilling pucker until he could only try to ingest Tweety Bird with a straw.  I remember that I asked my father what that Alum on the label was and he simply said that it was for shaving.  Fast forward a few years and I would find out from a cursory Google or Bing search that this was most likely Potassium Alum. 

"Birds Anonymous" - the toon that turned me onto alum (around 5:33 mark)

According to an article on ThoughtCo: “Potassium alum is a fine white powder that you can find sold with kitchen spices or pickling ingredients.”   Potassium Alum is also the most commonly used form of alum in wet shaving.  There are a lot of great sources and detailed information on the types, chemical make-up, and different uses for this compound.  But rather than get too deep into that; check out the article Shaving alum: what it is, why you shoulduse it on Why I Wet Shave, it's a good read.
If the alum in stick form isn't your preference, RazoRock also has it available in a block version 
In many of the forums I hear that an alum block is a great way to get “feedback” from your shave.  Basically, this means that you experience some stinging when applying the alum those are areas that have probably shaved too roughly.  It also helps to stop the bleeding from nicks and cuts. 

The stick and base weighed 72 gm on our scale.  The base alone was 5 gm.  So, got a little more alum than the 60 gm listed on the box 
Personally I like using alum (block or stick) as an aftershave.  It provides good feedback for my head shaves and is an indicator if I need to replace my DE Blade or HeadBlade cartridge.  Moreover, I like to use alum on the head because it soothes my scalp without having to apply a splash; which (depending on the aftershave) can make me feel as if I’ve bathed in it. 

The base is a soft plastic that could be cut away and free up about 22 gm of  alum used to secure the stick in place.
I also enjoy using it for my face shaves as well.  My face, particularly my upper lip, craves more of the astringent sting of an aftershave splash .  I’ll do a first post shave pass with the alum, but will follow it up with a splash and potentially an aftershave balm.  Then I’d complete the routine with a moisturizer, preferably one with some SPF protection. Specifically, I like the RazoRock alum stick for travel. The alum sits in a plastic holder and is protected by a plastic cover.   In its case The Alum Stick measures about 3 inches tall and 2.5 inches at the base. So it doesn’t take up a lot of space in my small dop kit. 
My small hoard of RazoRock Alum sticks

As far as the weight goes, the package notes 60g. But I wasn’t sure if the usable alum was 60 grams or if the entire stick was 60 grams. After weighing, it appeared as if the alum stick and the plastic base weighed 71 grams (on our scale), and the plastic base weighed 5 grams. So, the entire stick of alum weighed 66 grams. There is product in the plastic base to secure it in place. I’ve seen photos of people breaking it apart to get at the remaining alum, but I prefer cutting the base with a pair of small scissors. What was left was a 22 gram alum block that can be used for a few more shaves. I have a small hoard of RazoRock Alum Sticks because since discovering alum, I use it quite regularly in the routine. 

Overall, I really like it. The alum stick is a nice, compact, post shave that soothe my skin after a shave and it doesn’t leave any residual odor that could mix oddly with my aftershaves.  Are you a fan of Alum in your shave routine? Please leave a comment below and let us know.