Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Col Conk Natural Shave Products

Legend has it that Colonel Ichabod Conk dated and later married a woman who owned several barbershops.  While helping his wife with the business, he had the idea of packaging and selling the products that were regularly used.   Col. Conk traveled the old west selling his products until his death in 1898 when the business ceased to exist. 

Colonel Conk Circa 1871
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The company informed me that the Col. Ichabod Conk Company was re-established in Newhall, California in 1972.  In 1988, Frank E. Shofner purchased the company and moved it to New Mexico where it operates today.  Mr. Shofner Passed away in 2004 but his wife continues to serve the company as Chief Operating Officer.  She and the Colonel Conk team strive to continue to preserve the legend of Colonel Conk and offer products to help make shaving a pleasurable experience. 

Colonel Conk Soap pictured in vintage wrapped packaging
The original Colonel Conk soap, now known as Amber, started as wrapped pucks and was the only variety in the Colonel Conk Shave Soap line thru 1989.  In 1990, “Almond Tone” shave soap was introduced.  The Lime glycerine shave soap was released in 1991 and the soaps went from being wrapped to being packaged in the flip open containers we’ve come to know.  In that same year the “Almond Tone” would be reformulated to the Almond formulation that is currently used today.  The Bay Rum scent would follow in 1995. The Amber and Almond Super Bars were released in 1994 and 1997 respectively. The Bay Rum Super Bar was the last release in 2009.

Traditional Scents of Colonel Conk Glycerine Shave Soaps

Now, in 2014, Colonel Conk has released their new Natural Shaving Products line. Colonel Conk’s Natural Shaving Products consists of a pre-shave oil as well as five different scents of shaving creams, shaving soaps, and post shave lotions.  The pre-shave oil is currently available in one scent, which they have named “Original.”  But the other products are available in five varieties:

Unscented: Fragrance Free
High Desert Breeze: Tea Tree & Eucalyptus
Rio Grande Lavender: Lavender Blend
Santa Fe Cedar: Cedar & Rosemary
Southwestern Sun: Citrus Blend

The Pre-Shave Oil
 Front and Back view of the Pre Shave oil from the Colonel's Natural Line

As of this writing, it’s rather cold in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the combination of the rather warm shopping malls, the hot showers I tend to take, and some of the deodorant soaps I use tend to dry out my skin.  I use a pre-shave oil, especially in the winter months, to add a little more glide and help prevent irritating my skin during a shave.

The pre-shave oil from the Col Conk Natural line is a proprietary blend of oils and vitamin E with no added dyes or fragrances.  Currently, this pre-shave oil is only available in what Colonel Conk has named their “original” scent, which smells only of the blend of its natural ingredients.  Personally, I like the scent. Peppermint oil is one of the ingredients listed and there is a light (to my nose) peppermint aroma.   

Shaving Soap
I’ve always liked Col Conk Shaving Soaps, currently I have Amber and Bay Rum in my rotation.   Admittedly, I wasn’t sure what to make of the new scents and what to expect in terms of performance.  

Southwestern Sun Shave Soap

I was pleasantly surprised.  I do like the new scents, but have to admit that Southwestern Sun is my favorite.  Personally, I found the lather to have a decent slickness and cushion to it.  I found that running a badger brush under the tap hot water for about 10 seconds, shaking out the excess, and swirling it over the soap for about 30 seconds yielded enough for one pass over my head and two for face. But as with all things wet shaving, your mileage may vary. 

Post Shave Lotion
Like the soap, the Post Shave Lotion is available the Unscented, High Desert Breeze, Rio Grande Lavender, Santa Fe Cedar, and Southwestern Sun varieties. 

Five Varieties of Post Shave Lotion
Like other post shave lotions I’ve used, it has what I would probably describe as a “calming feel” and does not have that bracing feel of a splash. Personally, I do enjoy the burn of a splash or the sting of a balm. I’ve written before that I typically use this kind of post shave lotion after use a splash or I’ll apply it more regularly if my skin has been irritated.  I have the High Desert Breeze in the rotation and I do like this lotion.  I find that it absorbs into my skin nicely and I find that doesn’t leave an oily residue on my head or face.

Col Conk Natural Line PreShave Oil, Shave Soap, and Post Shave Lotion

Have you tried any Col Conk Natural Line products?  Do you have a favorite scent? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

*Edited 5/5/2016 - Changed title, removed links to store (now closed)

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