Later On

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

Archive for the ‘Shaving’ Category

Floris No. 89, beloved by James Bond, and the wonderful Dorco PL602

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James Bond (and presumably his creator Ian Fleming) had a high regard for Floris No. 89 (that being the street address of the shop). The fragrance from the shaving soap was exceptionally good:

Orange and bergamot blended with lavender and neroli give this scent its classical cologne aspect. Warmed with a touch of spicy nutmeg, the floral heart is underscored by the dominant woody accord of sandalwood, cedarwood and vetiver in this quintessentially English gentleman’s fragrance.

The fragrance of the lather adds immeasurably to the shave, which otherwise would be nothing more than an automatic routine of maintenance, like eating a nutritious meal that had no taste at all. You can’t pause to smell the roses if no roses are present.

Beyond the pleasure of the fragrance, the lather itself was excellent. I have no idea of the current quality of Floris shaving soap, since this tub is at least two reformulations ago, but what I have makes a grand lather, ably assisted this morning with the Edwin Jagger synthetic brush, a brush I like more and more.

My Dorco PL602 razor is in the very top tier of my razors in terms of its feel on my face and its performance. If you ever get a chance to pick up one (or a few — they eventually will probably break: after several years, the plastic seems to become brittle), then I highly recommend you get it just for the pleasure it affords as it provides a highly efficient shave.

A splash of Floris No. 89 aftershave, and the day is launched, with President Joseph Biden taking office and what’s-his-name slinking of town with his tail between his legs, devoid of grace and courtesy to the very end.

In passing, let me note I have updated my post on a quick & easy way to cook a steak to include a slow & easy method that does an even better job. And in fact, if you include the time the quick method requires for heating oven and skillet, the slow method is not very much slower, but is safer (less chance of overdone steak) and easier.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 January 2021 at 11:05 am

Posted in Daily life, Recipes, Shaving

I love a good shave — and I picked a good razor

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This shave was good all the way through — starting with the brush, Phoenix Artisan’s Starcraft. Although the 24mm knot is a bit larger than my ideal, it’s quite usable and very comfortable, both in the hand (the grip is good) and on the face (soft yet resilient). I loaded it well with Meißner Tremonia’s Black Beer No. 1, and thoroughly enjoyed the lather.

I will note for Canadian readers that Top of the Chain carries an excellent line of US-made products, including the Starcraft, Phoenix Artisan CK-6 soaps, Declaration Grooming Milksteak soaps (and aftershaves), and so on. Worth bookmarking.

The razor was of particular interest to me this morning. Last month I gave a secret Santa gift to a man newly arrived in Victoria, and naturally I thought of a shaving set-up would be the ideal gift:

Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving the Double-Edge Way
• MR GLO (actually, Ach. Brito Glyce Lime Oil soap, which is the same thing except for brand name)
• Synthetic shaving brush
• 2 shaving soaps
• Baili 171 razor (like the one above)
• 6 brands of blades, in packs of 5 blades per brand
• My Nik Is Sealed
• an aftershave

That, in my view, constitutes a complete set-up for a novice DE shaver. (I in fact keep a few of those razors on hand exactly for gifts to novices.)

So today when I shaved I focused on trying to feel how this razor would likely work for someone unaccustomed to using a DE razor. I think it would work well. It’s a remarkably comfortable razor — totally non-threatening in its feel on the face and a handle that’s comfortable in the hand. It also (to my eye) looks good. Moreover, it is also quite efficient. Despite the mild feel on the face, it easily and efficiently strips off the stubble, and this morning it effortlessly left my face perfectly smooth — one of those extra-smooth shave that lead to faceturbation.

So I imagine he’s now enjoying his morning shave.

I finished my shave with a little of The Shave Den’s aftershave milk, this one being Coconut Lime Verbena, and quite nice it is, too.

In closing, I’ll point out Sharpologist’s review this morning of an intriguing shaving soap: Grooming Department’s Chypre Peach.  (I didn’t know what “chypre” meant — or how to pronounce it. But now I do.)

Written by LeisureGuy

19 January 2021 at 10:36 am

Posted in Shaving

A wonderful boar brush and Darkfall, with the redoubtable iKon 102

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My Omega 20102 is now well broken in, and it’s a wonderful brush — but you already knew that from the title, right? It has excellent capacity, a very nice feel on the face (a perfect degree of give and resilience), and it works up an awesome lather, though of course the shaving soap is definitely a contributing factor to that, and Declaration’s Darkfall in their Icarus formula is quite a nice soap:

Stearic Acid, Water, Castor Oil, Avocado Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Mango Seed Butter, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Bison Tallow, Lamb Tallow, Colloidal Oatmeal, Goat’s Milk, Lanolin, Bentonite Clay, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Extract, Salix Alba L. (White Willow) Bark Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tussah Silk

The fragrance is aimed at autumn as the name implies. Their description:

Darkfall is a spicy oriental designed to capture the spirit of fall in the rural south. Agarwood, amber, and benzoin provide a deep, warm base for the cinnamon and clove top notes. Birch tar adds a slight smokiness that represents the ever-present smell of burning leaves that heralds the arrival of fall in Georgia.

Because the knot is fairly large, I left it slightly wetter than usual because I wanted to load it with enough soap for the size of the knot, and that I got it well loaded in one go (no added water needed), despite the Bentonite clay in the soap.

The iKon 102 is a superb razor, and shaving with it is a delight. It easily left my face perfectly smooth in three passes.

A good splash of Anthony Gold’s Red Cedar aftershave, a favorite, and the week begins — yet another momentous week.

I’ll mention in passing that I’ve updated my quick & easy steak post with how to do a slow & easy steak, a method that strikes me as better in several respects.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 January 2021 at 10:56 am

After the Rain, Irisch Moos and the Marvel razor (no connection with Marvel comics)

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After the Rain is another fragrance in Declaration Grooming’s Milksteak line, and a very nice fragrance it is, too. With RazoRock’s 400 brush, the lather was exquisite, and my Fine Marvel did an excellent job. (Here it’s mounteed on a UFO bronze handle.) A splash of Irisch Moose — no menthol — and the weekend begins.

Written by LeisureGuy

16 January 2021 at 9:12 am

Posted in Shaving

Zi’ Peppino’s interlocking tub with the Feather AS-D1

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I have found a very few instances where the top of the lid interlocks with the base of the tub, quite satisfying when using the lid as pedestal (although pretty clearly intended as a benefit for the producer and vendor, who have stacks of the product). Zi’ Peppino is one of the blessed few, and snap-in-place feeling from placing the tub on the lid was quite pleasant, conveying a feeling of things being shipshape and in order.

And the lather itself was excellent. It has a wonderful fragrance and that 24mm synthetic did a fine job. Three passes with the very comfortable and very efficient Feather AS-D1 (one of the good ones — that model suffered inconsistency in quality, thus the D2) left my face as smooth as from a slant.

A splash of Zi’ Peppino aftershave (which has but a hint of menthol), and the morning begins with a bright burst of sunlight and good feeling.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 January 2021 at 9:39 am

Posted in Shaving

Avocado and Above the Tie R1

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Avocado is good all round: avocado oil (the highest smoke point of any cooking oil (520ºF) and a monounsaturated fat with a nutritional profile much like olive oil — like olive oil, not a seed oil but a fruit oil); guacamole; avocado toast; and, as today, avocado shaving soap. In fact, a number of shaving soaps use avocado oil, but this soap has avocado as the focus, and it’s a wonderful soap. It seems to have been a limited edition, but I still enjoy it — and I’ll add that Taylor of Old Bond Street’s Avocado shaving cream is very good indeed.

(In fact, I’m thinking of getting a few shaving creams to have in the rotation. I would get TOBS Avocado, Cyril R. Salter French Vetiver (the most vetivery shaving products I’ve used, with Eufros Vetiver de Haiti second), Cyril R. Salter Fresh Mint (peppermint, so with the cooling effect of menthol), a new tub of Nancy Boy Signature (I’ve about run out), and perhaps Cyril R. Salter Wild Rose.)

The lather was very good — again, I thought of the brief remedial study I did with a couple of days of bowl lathering — and Above the Tie’s R1 was a treat. A completely smooth result, and my skin felt very nice indeed.

A splash of Avo Nice Shave aftershave (thankfully, no menthol), and I’m readyfor the day.

BTW, the photo above was made in pre-dawn darkness but with my new LED torchière by Globe Electric. I really like this lamp — I’ve had one before. It’s 43 watts and 3010 lumens at max output. (It’s dimmable with a touch switch.)

Written by LeisureGuy

14 January 2021 at 10:26 am

Posted in Shaving

Declaration Grooming’s Milksteak formulation: A must-have soap, today the Cuir et Épices version, with the Lupo and a gentle brush

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The gentle brush with the snakewood handle is from Strop Shoppe back in the day. Declaration Grooming’s Milksteak soaps are generous with the lather — always an ample supply in the brush. Perhaps they are simply easier to load. This soap also leaves the skin feeling wonderful. Truly, anyone who uses a shaving soap should try one of the Milksteak soaps.

I like the fragrance of Cuir et Épices as well as the lather. The Lupo has a lot of blade feel, but it never seems to nick and does not feel threatening — and it does a very good job. I would prefer flat ends, but the rounded ends are a minor inconvenience.

Three passes left my face smooth and (thanks to the shaving soap) soft and supple. I applied a good splash of Geo. F. Trumper’s Spanish Leather aftershave, and I’m reading for a momentous and historic day: the first time a US President has been impeached a second time.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 January 2021 at 8:58 am

Posted in Shaving

The excellent Maggard V2 open-comb, with Phoenix and Beau Specialist

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Phoenix and Beau’s Specialist (a limited edition for West Coast Shaving) has a fragrance profile that fits my taste — or, perhaps, smell: “vanilla, vetiver, malt whiskey, hops, barley, & freshly picked tobacco leaf.” The lather was excellent, thanks to the Wet Shaving Products Baroness (a very nice little badger brush), the technique improvement I got from a few days of bowl lathering, the softness of the water here, and (of course) the soap itself, whose ingredients are:

Potassium Stearate, Glycerin, Potassium Tallowate, Potassium Ricinoleate, Potassium Safflower Seedate, Potassium Lanolate, Sodium Shea Butterate, Cocos Nucifera Fruit Juice, Potassium Cocoate, Aqua, Allantoin, Tocopherol Acetate, Stearic Acid, Adeps Bovis, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Seed) Oil, Lanolin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Parfum

I’m sort of tempted by P&B Spitfire (“notes of leather and tobacco. Add to those warming notes the crispness of juniper as well as bergamot and cedarwood”), named after the British fighter plane of WWII and in honor of the maker’s grandfather, who presumably piloted one.

Maggard’s Version 2 open-comb razor head (V2OC) is excellent is included in my list of recommended razors, and seems to be a clone of the Parker 24/26 (see this post). Once again, it did a superb job — very comfortable, very efficient.

A splash of Chatillon Lux’s Gratiot League Square aftershave toner, and the day is launched.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 January 2021 at 10:37 am

Posted in Shaving

The wonderful Monday shave — CK-6 and a slant FTW

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I’m feeling my face — smooth, soft, satisfying. I owe it to the pictured products and tools and a certain amount of practice. Dapper Doc’s lilac & fig fragrance is pleasing, and the lather was extremely good — overloading brush, then working a little water into the lather on my face.

The slant today is the German 37, which did an excellent job. A splash of the aftershave — thankfully with no menthol — finished the job. A good start to a very rainy day and what is predicted to be a rainy week. So it goes.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 January 2021 at 9:34 am

Posted in Shaving

Brush problem resolved, with Rose of Phrygia as test case

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No problem at all using a badger brush with Dr. Jon’s Vol 3 today, the exemplar being Rose of Phrygia: “Dark, sweet spices over vetiver and tobacco with top notes of two different rose accords.” I took care to load the brush well, and I noted that today I did have to add a little water during loading, something that the synthetic brush used yesterday did not require (probably because synthetic brushes tend to retain a lot of water). I think the problem from two days ago was insufficient loading due to insufficient water available during loading.

With an excellent lather (whose fragrance is admirable), I went to work with the Rimei and easily obtained a smooth finish. The hit of menthol in the aftershave is still unwelcome, and I’ll post a warning note in the Guide update section and also suggest to Dr. Jon that the presence of menthol be explicitly noted in the aftershave description (in boldface), rather than buried in the list of ingredients. Since people can purchase menthol crystals to add their own menthol if they want it, I think a soap’s regular matching aftershave should be menthol free.

But overall a fine shave, and we have a sunny morning for the weekend opening.

Written by LeisureGuy

9 January 2021 at 11:35 am

Posted in Shaving

Eucalyptus and Spearmint in Dr. Jon’s Vol. 3 formulation, with the Baby Smooth

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Yesterday’s Vol 3 experience was not so good as I had hoped, and I suspected it might have been the brush, a silvertip badger. Barrister & Mann specifically recommend a synthetic brush for their Reserve formula shaving soaps, so I switched this morning to a synthetic brush, this Maggard Razors 22mm, a $10 brush that is truly excellent. The lather excellent all-round: fragrance, consistency, and volume. It did occur to me that it may have been that yesterday I just didn’t load the brush enough. Tomorrow I’ll return to silvertip and see whether longer loading doesn’t eliminate the problem.

I did really enjoy today’s lather. Eucalyptus and Spearmint has a head-clearing fragrance that’s quite nice, and with the excellent lather and the Baby Smooth I achieved a smooth face in three easy passes.

The matching aftershave came with the unwanted but mandatory menthol, but I recalled a familiar sequence from other contexts (food, fragrances, games, music, ….):

1. I hate this.
2. I really dislike this.
3. I guess it’s okay.
4. I can see why people like it.
5. It’s actually pretty good, once you’re used to it.
6. I love it.
7. This should be required.

So far as not having a choice, I’m still in the 1-2 area. It’s different with Alt-Innsbruck and Floïd, since they don’t have a matching soap. But if I buy an aftershave to match the soap, I want to choose whether it has menthol or not, and right now I choose not, but am forced to put up with the menthol hit. Perhaps in time I’ll move to 5.

I do like the fragrance, just not the menthol.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2021 at 10:33 am

Posted in Shaving

Propaganda Vol 3 and the aftershave, with Phoenix Ascension

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I like the fragrance of Dr. Jon’s Propaganda a lot, so I gave in to the temptation to buy the soap in the latest formulation, Vol 3. Oddly, the lather was not quite so good as previously, so I suspect that this might be a soap that works best with a synthetic brush. I’ll give that a try. It could also just be normal variation in user performance, of course.

Still, I got an excellent result, with a little work — time to change the blade in the Ascension. I am working through a pack of Swedish Gillettes, so that’s what I’ll use.

The aftershave is quite nice, except for the menthol. Sometimes I like menthol, but this morning it was not all that pleasing. I could truly do without the menthol, but it seems to be used in all his aftershaves. Be warned.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 January 2021 at 7:30 am

Posted in Shaving

Lenthéric and the iKon X3, with l’Occitane Cade EDT as aftershave

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Very  traditional this morning, I feel. The Rooney Victorian is a stately, elegant example of the badger brush in full glory, with a wonderful knot. The Lenthéric’s shaving soap, though made decades ago, still emanates a wonderful fragrance from the great lather it produces.

Prep complete. I put the iKon X3 to work. Here it’s mounted on the superb RazoRock Barber Pole handle, a handle that I like a lot. In fact, when they’re back in stock, I may buy another.

Three passes left my face completely, wonderfully smooth, and again I used an EDT as an aftershave, this time l’Occitane’s Cade. It has a spray top, so I do several sprays into the palm of my hand to get a “splash,” as it were, then rub hands together and then on face. It works well enough. Were it packaged as an aftershave, it would probably include some glycerin, but even just as an EDT it does the job as an occasional variation. Because of the lack of skin-nourishing/ehancing ingredients (like glycerin, for example), I probably would not use an EDT as my daily aftershave, but using it from time to time seems okay.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 January 2021 at 10:13 am

Posted in Shaving

Russian Tea and Old Spice

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A good shave with an Edwin Jagger Razor after good prep: Vie-Long’s horsehair brush is always satisfying to use — at least, for me. It’s the sort of thing you’d like if you like that sort of thing.

Russian Tea has a spice fragrance, which led to the selection of Old Spice as the aftershave (though it is not quite the Old Spice I recall from my high-school years).

Overall, a good start to the day.

Written by LeisureGuy

5 January 2021 at 11:29 am

Posted in Shaving

Nancy Boy has a nice Signature, and my iKon stainless slant is a favorite razor

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I do love Nancy Boy Signature shaving cream and recommend it highly. The Wee Scot (which also has a nice signature, as you see in the photo) made a very fine lather and had no problem at all in providing lather all three passes. iKon’s stainless slant, now sold with the head having a B1 coating, is truly a great razor, of which I have two copies: this one (the original) and one with a DLC coating. The keys are (a) use light pressure and (b) ride the cap, ignore the guard.

The result this morning on a two-day stubble was shaving perfection: satin-smooth skin, completely undamaged, to which I applied a splash of Saint Charles Shave’s Dark Rose EDT. Alas, that company is no more, so I treasure what I have of their products.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 January 2021 at 9:59 am

Posted in Shaving

A floral shave is a fine thing — case in point: rose

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Yesterday’s violet shave reminded me of how pleasant a floral fragrance can be, especially in the winter, so I decided today to go for rose. D.R. Harris Rose shaving cream is a stalwart, and that Maggard 22mm synthetic easily produced a rich, creamy, fragrant lather.

The Rockwell Model T somehow looks large and awkward but in fact handles quite well and — at least for me — delivers a fine shave. I negligently place the razor so the setting fails to show in the photo, but I have it set to “3.” I might try a “4,” just from curiosity.

Three passes left my face smooth for a splash of D.R. Harris Pink After Shave. My bottle of D.R. Harris After Shaving Milk, also a rose fragrance, was a victim of the move, falling to the sidewalk on the way in. At some point I might replace, since on this cold, raw day an aftershave milk would be just the ticket. (As I’ve observed, a milk is a balm’s idea of a splash.)

Written by LeisureGuy

2 January 2021 at 11:39 am

Posted in Shaving

Violet to start the year, and a commitment to Progress

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A late start, as seems appropriate for New Year’s Day. Some sleeping in, but then some tending to tasks: rotate the mattress, for one. (I alternate rotating and flipping the mattress each calendar quarter). Then reading my email sent 1/1/2020 that arrived this morning (using, and writing a letter to FutureMe that will be delivered 1/1/2022: goals, predictions, current situation, and whatnot.

I also reviewed my budget, taking a look at actual expenditures over the past year and planning for the coming year. I have a Google Sheets workbook, based on my Within Your Means budget idea but adapted as needed. (See: “My Implicit Spending Almost Did Me In.” The spreadsheet described in the article can be downloaded in Exel format, which also works in Google Sheets and Apple Numbers.) I tinkered with the spreadsheet some, adding some running totals to better track and control day-to-day and week-to-week spending.

The Eldest recommended the book Atomic Habits, which seems just the ticket for a time of year when we are reconsidering our habits and thinking of improvements we might make. The reader reviews are impressive (especially the one that provides a detailed outline of the book), and it’s currently in my shopping cart. I’ll probably buy it next week.

So I’ve had a busy morning, and I rewarded myself with a pleasurable shave. Violet is a wonderful floral fragrance, and the lather from Jabonman’s Eufros shaving soap seemed especially good today in all respects. The Progress is my favorite adjustable, and it generally is well behaved, but I did get some nicks on the upper lip today. My Nik Is Sealed took care of that quite handily.

A small splash of the Vanille Violette EDT as an aftershave, and the new year is looking pretty good.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 January 2021 at 11:59 am

Posted in Books, Daily life, Shaving

Meißner Tremonia Warm Woods and Saint Charles Shave Woods, with the Ascension DOC

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Meißner Tremonia has revised their label design, as you see. Curmudgeon that I am, I like the old label better, but just as a book should not be judged by its cover, so a shaving soap should not be judged by its label. Warm Woods is a fine soap, very typical of MT soaps in its lather (and its use of clay, in this cased brown clay). The fragrance — “Woody, warm fragrance made from five different woods and balsamic resin” — is interesting, a deep sort of fragrance, and a good match to the aftershave. The soap’s ingredients are typical of MT soaps:

Stearic Acid, Cocos nucifera oil*, Aqua, Potassium Hydroxide, Orbignya Oleifera oil*, Sodium Hydroxide, Macadamia ternifolia oil, Glycerin*, Juniperus Mexicana oil (and) Bulnesia Sarmientoi Extract (and) Styrax Benzoin Sumatra (and) Alcohol (and) Amyris Balsamifera oil (and) Cedrus Atlantica oil (and) Pinus Cembra oil, Kaolin, Talc, Simmondsia chinensis oil*, Maris sal, Brown Clay, Limonene. *) organic quality

Phoenix Artisan’s Ascension stripped stubble comfortably and cleanly, and a splash of Woods aftershave ended the shave and started New Year’s Eve on a good note.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 December 2020 at 10:04 am

Posted in Shaving

Creed’s Green Irish Tweed (a fine fragrance) and an Edwin Jagger razor (a fine razor)

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Today I was struck anew by the fougère fragrance of Creed’s Green Irish Tweed. No wonder it is so often imitated (in a plethora of “Green-Irish-Tweed-style” shaving soaps). The lather, with the little Vie-Long brush was excellent owing to a few sessions of studying process by making lather in a bowl. The consistency was exactly right and the fragrance was wonderful.

This Edwin Jagger razor seemed especially good this morning. It’s easy to understand why the Edwin Jagger line is so popular (and the head so imitated, with a plethora of clones). Three passes left my face perfectly smooth and comfortable, and a splash of GIT EDT finished gthe shave — and the sun is shining! (as you see).

Written by LeisureGuy

30 December 2020 at 11:25 am

Posted in Shaving

Yuzu/Rose/Patchouli and the inestimable Mk II

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Here you see Declaration Grooming’s Yuzu/Rose/Patchouli shaving soap (another of their joint projects with Chatillon Lux) in the bison-tallow formula. It also comes in the newer Milksteak formula, and that is the one I would recommend. The lather still was superb, with the RazoRock synthetic brush in the Italian-flag handle. Although this bears the same colors and is made of the same material as yesterday’s Omega brush, this handle is superior in providing a better grip and more interesting design.

The fragrance is very pleasing, and with Fendrihan’s marvelous Mk II razor I easily and comfortably produced a smooth result. A splash of Chatillon Lux’s aftershave toner in the same fragrance, and the day begins on a very nice note.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 December 2020 at 9:09 am

Posted in Shaving

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