Wrapping the year with a great shave: Van Yulay Puros de Habana, the 102, and Phoenix Artisan Sun Down balm
Van Yulay’s Puros de Habana shaving soap has the fragrance of a fine Cuban cigar, and with the Maggard 24mm synthetic brush shown, it made a fine lather. Its ingredients:
Stearic Acid, Aloe Vera, Coconut Fatty Acid, Castor, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Babassu-Manteca-Argan-Abyssinian-Coconut Oils, Kokum & Cocoa Butters, Calendula, Extracts, Poly Quats, Sodium Lactate, Allantoin, Silica, Liquid Silk, Bentonite Clay, Tobacco Absolute, and Fragrance.
I have no idea what Manteca oil is. Manteca is the Spanish word for butter, and if butter is what it is, then this is not a vegan soap. (I have emailed the vendor and asked for clarification.) UPDATE: She uses “manteca” for lard (in effect, more or less the same as “tallow”—just from a pig and not a cow). I did note that “manteca de cerdo” is Spanish for “lard.” So not a vegan soap. /update
I have been enjoying the iKon 102 a lot of late, and I got another wonderful shave from it. I asked on Wicked_Edge about the clogging that some people mention. Some who responded have never experienced the problem, but some have. The possible causes are (a) the use shave oil (at least one person found that the 102 consistently clogged when he used shave oil, never clogged when he didn’t), (b) using hard water to make lather (it’s possible to lather in hard water, but the chemical process that produces a sticky scum when soap and hard water are mixed cannot be avoided, and this stickiness might cause the clogging), (c) lather is simply too dry.
The fact is that I have no idea of the real cause, but it’s interesting how it is a problem for some and never happens for others.
It didn’t happen for me again today, and the shave was perfect. I used a tiny bit of my sample of Phoenix Artisan’s Sun Down aftershave balm, his take on the vintage Sun Up aftershave fragrance. The upside-down rooster on the label tricked me in my still sleepy state, and I took the photo with the rooster in a more comfortable posture.
These aftershave balms from Phoenix Artisan dry off remarkably well and quite quickly. Within a few minutes the initial slick feel is gone, and when you feel your face you find your skin is dry and very soft and pleasant to the touch. I’m not a balm guy, but I do like these.
BTW, just to be clear: I’m just a customer of these artisans, and there’s no sort of kickback from recommendations. I recommend products I like, and I include links to make it easy for the reader, but I get no sort of compensation in the form of money, discounts, or the like. I do get the occasional free sample, but in that I am no different from other customers.
Here’s hoping the new year goes well.