Step 2 of comparison: Strop Shoppe’s Special Edition Teakwood
Yesterday was Creed’s Green Irish Tweed, today is Strop Shoppe Teakwood Special Edition with Tallow, and tomorrow Mystic Water Sensitive Skin—as I shaved this morning, I was thinking that I should include Mystic Water, and then I read a comment that also suggested it. To me, this amounts to a mandate.
Turning to today’s shave, I once again used the Wee Scot to eliminate the brush as a variable. The Special Edition soaps are much softer than Creed’s GIT, a triple-milled soap. Thus the Creed puck, ounce for ounce, will probably have a longer life, but of course you get more ounces in the Strop Shoppe package: more than half a pound of shaving soap.
The lather worked up quickly, and again the Wee Scot held an ample quantity for more passes than I would ever do. The lather is certainly as good as GIT, and I have the feeling that it leaves my skin feeling better: softer and more moisturized. This is something I would have to recheck with another comparison shave, perhaps using both soaps in the same shave (left side vs. right side).
Both provided excellent prep for shaving and supported the shave wonderfully. It’s perfectly obvious that, in terms of bang for the buck, Strop Shoppe is clearly superior, but in absolute terms, just in quality of shave, price be damned, it’s not clear at all. They are in fact very close. I’m going to have to do left side vs. right side to decide. And it may be that it is simply too close to call.
They both have good backstory: GIT made for Cary Grant, Strop Shoppe the creation of a biochemist turned soapmaker in central Oklahoma. I like Strop Shoppe’s ingredients—even the plain first formula, also completely excellent, used Rice Bran Oil, of all things. You pay your money, you take your choice, though of course when you do pay your money, you pay a lot more of it for GIT.
The iKon S3S—which, like the Pils, requires loading the blade on the baseplate (where the alignment studs reside) rather than on the cap—did a fine job with a Swedish Gillette blade. As James Cameron remarked, “Size does matter,” at least sometimes, and the mass of the S3S really makes for a nice shave with a straight-bar/open-comb cutting action.
Given the Teakwood of the shaving soap (not an overwhelming fragrance—GIT wins the fragrance sweepstakes), I went for Saint Charles Shave’s Woods aftershave, and I could take a good splash of that instead of a tiny dab as from the GIT sample vial.
Altogether a great start to the weekend.