Later On

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

Arko and Vie-Long, topped with l’Occitane Cade

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A comment on the Sharpologist article on the best shaving soaps of 2021 pointed out, quite correctly, that Arko was not included in the list. It’s also the case that lists of the best places to eat in [insert name of city] very seldom include (say) McDonald’s in the list — and if McDonalds is included, I would take that as a warning sign regarding the culinary opportunities of that particular city. (A friend pointed out, when we moved to Iowa, that it’s not a good sign when you find Velveeta on the gourmet shelf in the supermarket.)

But the comment reminded me that I had not used Arko for a while, so I brought it out today. One immediate disqualification for Arko’s inclusion in such a list is its fragrance, which is inoffensive but also lacking in presence and character. It’s a weak and generic “soap” smell. The lather, OTOH, is pretty good.

I’ve learned to load the brush fairly heavily to ensure a thick and abundant lather, but I use shave sticks by rubbing them against the grain over my (washed, wet) stubble. (You can also load the brush directly on the stick, treating it as a very tall puck of small diameter. You can observe the technique in the (excellent) movie The Dam Busters.) So I rubbed the stick well all over my stubble, and spent extra time on my chin and around my mouth, where the stubble is toughest. Men with very thick, tough, “cheesegrater” stubble may find that do that will put too much soap on the face; with that sort of beard, just working the stick on the chin and around the mouth may provide enough soap to load the brush well.

With a good lather and a good razor (an EJ-clone head on the handle that was part of the Parker Semi-Slant), I easily got a good result: very smooth, no harm. However, the lather did not leave my skin feeling so moisturized and refreshed as do shaving soaps that include ingredients intended for that purpose. It was a good, workmanlike shave with no frills (much like a McDonald’s meal).

To get a good fragrance experience with today’s shave, I chose l’Occitane Cade EDT as my aftershave. That did the job, and the sun is now coming out, though gray clouds loom in the west.

Written by Leisureguy

27 January 2021 at 9:30 am

Posted in Shaving

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