A great shave with the iKon #101 and RazoRock’s Dead Sea shaving soap
The Fine Classic brush is one of my favorites because of its appearance, performance, and feel: a lovely soft knot that is quite efficient in making lather. Like all synthetics it tends to hold more water than one would expect, and I think I should have given it a third good shake this morning since the (quite good) lather from RazoRock’s Dead Sea shaving soap was not quite so dense as I like: operator error, I think.
The soap has a very nice fragrance—lemon, rosemary, cannabis, saffron, and sandalwood. The lemon is initially most noticeable, but the other notes give it a nice complexity. The ingredients:
Aqua (Water/Eau), Stearic Acid, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Myristic Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Lanolin, Maris Sal (Dead Sea Salt), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Extract
At the link above, Joe provides the backstory:
This soap has been a dream of my uncle for the last two years. Since discovering and using other skin care products that contained Dead Sea Salt, the idea of a luxury shaving soap using this ingredient has been brewing inside his mind. A lot of formulating and testing was required but the finished product is truly something special and a shaving soap both of us are very proud of. The scent of THE DEAD SEA is unique, containing two oils not typically used in scent building, golden cannabis oil and saffron. I can guarantee you’ve never smelled a soap quite like this one. On top of the wonderful skin care properties of Dead Sea salt, we have added both lanolin and aloe vera extract for a perfect post-shave feel. A shaving soap of this quality wouldn’t be complete unless packaged in an Italian heavy glass jar with an aluminum top. RazoRock THE DEAD SEA is not just another shaving soap, it’s a traditional wet shaving experience you won’t soon forget!
I’ll use it again very soon, and next time I’ll limit the water this soap doesn’t require much (unlike, say, a soap that contains clay).
UPDATE: The problem was indeed too much water. This soap requires very little water indeed. I made a test lather using a boar brush. I shook it well, loaded it, and used palm lathering to check the water. I had used so little in loading the brush that I had to add a driblet of water twice. I loaded a little more, added another driblet as I palm-lathered, and got as nice a creamy, thick lather as one could want.
Also, though I forgot to mention it, the presentation is really good. Very nice lid, as you see, but the haptic presentation is even better: the heavy, thick glass tub is wonderful to hold, its solidity and heft somehow reassuring—and it does predispose you to like the soap, which is indeed wonderful—and the backstory is terrific: salt from the Dead Sea, which is, as you know, the very best kind of salt there is. 🙂 At any rate, this is one soap I will be keeping when the time comes for the Great Soap Purge. /update
Despite my error, the lather did a fine job and feels good on the skin. Three passes with the iKon #101 left a BBS result. I noticed more blade feel than usual, and also had to work a little more than usual, so at the end of the shave I replaced the blade. If I sell off the razor collection to the point where I have only one razor, I’ll be able to keep track of the number of shaves per blade and won’t have to rely on feel.
Bathhouse Soapery no longer makes this aftershave, which is a shame: I really like it. No alcohol, nice feel, interesting ingredients. I did some searching and found the source for the base, which sells 1/2 gallon for $29.77 (47¢/oz), certainly a reasonable price if you want to bottle it yourself (and perhaps use some bottles for gifts). For $34.30, you can buy 1 gallon (27¢/oz), and if you’re really ambitious you can get 5 gallons for $162.45 (25¢/oz) or a 55-gallon barrel for $1346.06 (19¢/oz). Perhaps some shaving vendors will use it as a base for their own brand of aftershave.
After all these years, I continue to enjoy the morning shave: a great way to start the day.