Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

A wonderful lemon-scented shave

with 5 comments

SOTD 10 Nov 2014

Terrific shave today—skipping a day is hard, but the reward Monday morning is worth it: starting the week with a perfect shave.

I used my Plisson brush with Honeybee Soaps Fresh Lemon shaving soap. [Full disclosure: She made this particular fragrance at my request—it’s now among her usual offerings—and I even tested some sample batches. I recall one candidate had a sort of sweet smell, like lemon custard rather than a fresh lemon. What she produced really does capture that lemon zing.]

I have learned that some have trouble creating a lather from Honeybee Soaps, but I’ve never had a problem—OTOH, I have pretty soft water and a fair amount of experience in making lather. (And I, too, occasionally have lather problems, all of which I’ve been able to solve by adapting my technique—some soaps (Stirling, for example) seem to be extremely thirsty, and for those I’ve found that adding small amounts of water as I load the brush has solved the problem.)

With Honeybee Soaps, though, my regular technique works fine. In any event, she sells very nice sample pucks, so you can try before you buy.

Three passes with the #102 slant holding a Personna Lab Blue blade and I am rewarded with perfect smoothness. No nicks nor even the feeling that i might get a nick. I really do think this is a fine slant, and the fact that you can get the head for $48 and add the handle from the $11 Utopia Care razor puts it at a total price of $59—$14 more than the Merkur 37C, and in my experience with both, the #102 is more comfortable and equally efficient—possibly a little more efficient, since I can shave with less caution.

That said, I do want to recognize that at least one person (who so far has tried only the 37C) holds a firm conviction that humpback slants are inferior to torqued slants because of science. While I cannot follow his explanation, my actual experience has been that in practice the differences between torqued and not are not so noticeable as the overall feel (comfort and efficiency) of the razor, and the #102 is (for me) a better razor in that regard than the 37C. The person who holds the position that the 37C is better has, so far, used only that slant, so his comparison is based on his theory rather than his experience.

I did want to acknowledge that there are dissenting views, but the strongest dissent so far encountered is not based on any experience, merely on theory.

The Myrsol lemon just arrived, and I couldn’t wait to do an all-lemon shave. I do like it, and the fragrance is quite satisfactory: on your face and not in your face, as it were.

It occurs to me that another good lather source for an all-lemon shave would be J.M. Fraser shaving cream. That will be my next lemon shave.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 November 2014 at 8:36 am

Posted in Shaving

5 Responses

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  1. Very interesting to see. Thanks for testing the humpback slants vs. torqued slants. Obviously you can only offer one opinion, but at least its a very experienced one opinion. 🙂


    10 November 2014 at 10:06 am

  2. And at least the opinion is based on actually trying the razors. Though I disguised it well, I am taken aback that a person would offer an authoritative opinion on a razor he’s not even tried. I repeatedly emphasize that our expectations are quite often confounded by experience, and the test of theory is actual experience. Indeed, theories generally fall because they are contradicted by experience. It was Isaac Asimov who pointed out,

    The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka” but “That’s funny…”

    And that results when one’s expectations are contradicted by one’s experience.

    With shaving, one encounters the additional complication that YMMV: my experience may not predict your experience, but (as you say) with sufficient experience you can get a rough guide.


    10 November 2014 at 10:25 am

  3. So the “scientific” theory on which is superior is incomprehensible? I’m kinda curious as to what the reason one is better would be.

    Brian Trepka

    10 November 2014 at 4:34 pm

  4. It had to do with the lines of tension and thus making the blade’s edge even more rigid than the rigid of a regular razor, and the twist somehow made the blade’s edge curved? (I start losing it around there.)

    But in my view, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, not the recipe.


    10 November 2014 at 4:44 pm

  5. Damn, Honeybee don’t deliver to UK


    12 November 2014 at 7:05 am

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