Later On

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

A French shave: Plisson, Institut Karité, and the Eros slant

with 4 comments

SOTD 2016-12-05

The Wife brought me the Plisson European Grey badger brush from a trip she made to Paris, where she went to the shop of the last Master Barber in Paris, and this is the brush he recommended for a lifetime of good service. The feel on the face is coarser than a silvertip, but not particularly prickly and not at all uncomfortable—indeed, the coarse feel is pleasant.

I had no trouble at in loading the brush from Institut Karité’s shaving soap, 25% shea butter, and I worked the lather into my stubble a little longer than usual because of the pleasant feel of the brush. The fragrance of the soap is pleasant but low-key: basically, a clean soap-like smell.

The Eros slant is quite good for me and feels and performs much like the iKon 102. The blade on both of those slants is not twisted, but the efficiency is extremely good, and improved even more after the first pass when I put in a new blade. (The first pass went well, but the ease and smoothness of the cutting was a bit subpar for this razor; things improved noticeably with the new blade, which means the old blade was well past its change date.)

A perfect BBS result with no problems or nicks. I used a very tiny dot of Institut Karité aftershave balm, and it was ample. This is an excellent balm for winter’s cold dry air, and it’s less costly than other good balms. (Note that the bottle is 250ml—most balms seem to be sold in 100ml bottles, at about the same price as the IK.)

Written by LeisureGuy

5 December 2016 at 8:50 am

Posted in Shaving

4 Responses

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  1. the balm is very good,got a bottle 2 weeks ago. the 102 is my favorite razor,used med and polsilver blades,tried a personna red blade and the results were amazing. Your theory about razor/blade combos is spot on as the difference in performance is considerable. Live and learn. Happy Holidays…RonL

    Ron L

    5 December 2016 at 10:11 am

  2. Thanks, RonL, and best wishes to you and your family for a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.

    Yeah, IK stuff is quite good, though their marketing is… subdued.


    5 December 2016 at 10:23 am

  3. I understand the benefit balm can provide, during the last few days in Solana Beach we have had Santa Ana winds and they will dry out the skin. The problem I have using a balm is that I really like the tight clean feel provided by an alum pass and aftershave. Been thinking about trying a balm from Phoenix which you have used recently.

    Will be receiving my Whipped Dog Black Badger today. I asked for your opinion on the brush a couple of weeks ago and your response was that it was a little coarse for you. I will let you know what I think after I use it a few times.

    Happy Holidays to you, your family and all of your followers!


    5 December 2016 at 1:34 pm

  4. I know what you mean: many balms, IK among them, leave a feeling on the skin that’s not greasy, exactly, but in that general direction—something quite unlike the clean brisk feel of a splash. However, just as we now know the answer to the question “Do you want your next razor to be comfortable? or efficient? Which?” is “I want both, and a lot of each.”

    So what we want is something nicely moisturizing and have a clean feel. I have two suggestions: from the splash side, try Krampert’s Finest Bay Rum. It’s a splash but it seems to me moisturizing.

    From the balm side, we have what I used just a few days ago: Hermès Eau d’Orange Vert Facial Moisturizing Lotion. It costs a pretty (around $45 using Google), but you really use very little each time, and it strikes me as amazingly good.

    You also might look at the Van Yulay aftershaves. The splashes are nice, but I wasn’t struck by the moisturizing qualities.

    Another very nice balm tha tI used a few days ago is Phoenix Artisan’s Alt-Eleven after shave balm… here it is. I really like that one. It’s like IK, but not so far in the greasy direction. (And I want to say that IK has that in-the-direction-of-greasy-without-actually-being-greasy feeling only for a few minutes, and then your skin just feels nice. But I agree: that initial hit is important.

    Of course, beyond moisturizing we have protection: from wind and from sun. I don’t know that these have any SPF rating, and I don’t know what wind protection they offer. (I’m from a mild climate.)


    5 December 2016 at 1:58 pm

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