The Phoenix Artisan $20 plastic slant prototype
I just received yesterday a complimentary prototype of Phoenix Artisan’s Bakelite slant, and so I decided to do a full Phoenix Artisan shave.
We were discussing the Wee Scott on Wicked Edge, which prompted me to use mine. It really is a superb brush—certainly this one is, purchased some years before Vulfix acquired Simpson. Its capacity is astonishing and its feel and performance are excellent.
I easily loaded it with Phoenix Artisan’s Honeysuckle shaving soap, which I purchased a short while back and have just not gotten around to using until today. The fragrance is (of course) honeysuckle and the performance, in terms of quality of lather, is extremely good. I had no problem at all in loading the brush, and the lather was thick, creamy, slick, and fragrant. I added a little water as I worked up the lather on my face, mainly because I wanted to play more with the lather. It easily accepted the additional water without losing consistency or slickness. The soap’s ingredients:
Potassium Stearate, Glycerin, Potassium Cocoate, Aqua, Potassium Kokumate, Sodium Lactate, Potassium Shea Butterate, Potassium Castorate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Avocadoate, Parfum [Fragrance]
Kokum nut oil, shea butter, castor oil, and avocado oil probably contribute to the great feel of the soap both during the shave and post-shave: my skin feels quite soft.
The Wee Scot was still full of lather after three passes and had I wanted to do 2-3 passes more, it would not have required reloading.
The razor is relatively light, and to my hand it feels less brittle than the bakelite slant I already have. The Merkur vintage white bakelite slant is 18g; the Fine Superlite ABS plastic slant is 16g; this Phoenix slant is 17g. As I’ve noted, because of the slant’s cutting efficiency, it does not require head mass to drive the cutting edge (something that does help in conventional razors, which cut purely with compressive force: the slant uses shearing force in its cut). So the light weight is not a drawback—indeed, since slants require the use of very light pressure, the light weight can serve as a reminder.
The Phoenix slant has a comb guard and on the cap are several groves. Guard and grooves are both design elements that have (IMO) little effect on the shave for anyone who shaves every day or two.
The cutting action is very smooth—it’s a slant—and the razor is quite comfortable: no nicks and it never felt as though it wanted to nick. I do, of course, now have considerable experience in using a slant, so I did keep the pressure light.
I’m told that this prototype is “pretty close” to the production razor, which will be available in white, black, or a combination of white and black parts (black handle, white baseplate, black cap; or white handle, black baseplate, and white cap). Price will $19.95, and we’re having a surge of slants at that price: RazoRock’s German 37, this Phoenix Artisan Bakelite slant, and the Maggard slant scheduled for release next month.
A three-pass shave, most of my face BBS after the second pass (XTG) and my entire face BBS after the final pass (ATG). A very comfortable and trouble-free shave is always a pleasure.
A good splash of Phoenix Artisan Cavendish aftershave—one of my favorites—and I’m ready for the day.