Later On

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

Archive for the ‘Shaving’ Category

Coffee in the morning

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Mystic Water Cuppa Joe has a good coffee fragrance — not strong, but present — and the lather my Rooney Victorian produced was excellent. Merkur’s Progress is an excellent adjustable, and three passes did the trick, with a splash of Phoenix Artisan’s Spring-Heeled Jack (which may yet return someday) finished the coffee portion of the morning, and I moved on to tea.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Storm Watcher: “black tea.”

Written by Leisureguy

27 May 2022 at 9:41 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Sandalwood Rose with Rose aftershave

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I was just thinking about the decades when I wore a beard, completely ignorant of the pleasures of a morning shave using good products and tools. The Copper Hat silvertip brush in the photo, for example, with its Delrin® handle, is a pleasure to hold and use, and Mystic Water makes a fine tallow-based soap. Sandalwood Rose turns out to be an elegant fragrance.

Phoenix Artisan’s double-open-comb Ascension is a terrific razor, down to and including the handle design, and it did a marvelous job this morning, leaving my face perfectly smooth for D.R. Harris’s classic Pink After Shave, which reprised the rose fragrance.

A great way to start the day.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Editors’ Blend: “a rich and smooth blend of black teas: Ceylon adds depth and a brisk sparkling finish, Yunnan provides smoothness and sweetness and Keemun ties it together.”

Written by Leisureguy

26 May 2022 at 11:22 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Donkey-milk shaving soap and the Charcoal EJ

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A very pleasant shave indeed. I’ve not used this soap for a while, but the lather was extremely nice. Three passes with the Charcoal company’s copy of the Edwin Jagger head, here on a Wolfman handle that I like — long, but pleasant.

A splash of Speick finished the job. It was, in a way, an ordinary shave, but still it provided a fine start to the day.

The tea this morning is Mark T. Wendell Pu-erh Tuo Cha, which comes as individually wrapped nests of compressed steamed tea leaves. “We have found that each Yunnan black tuo cha tea piece will make approximately 16 ounces of hot tea. When brewed, Pu-erh tuo cha tea yields a dark, full-bodied brew that has a unique damp and earthy aroma taste. It retains its flavor through several infusions very well.” Today, I’m going to try at least one additional infusion.

Written by Leisureguy

25 May 2022 at 9:46 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Another honeysuckle morning

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A different honeysuckle soap: Mike’s Natural Wild Honeysuckle, which made a very nice lather indeed with my RazoRock 400 (which offer various options for the handle material and color). And the RazoRock German 37 did a very fine slant shave. I prefer this razor to the Merkur 37 because the German 37 is a three-piece design that thus offers you the option to swap handles.

Three passes later, I applied a splash of Honeysuckle aftershave, and the day begins.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Earl Grey Cream: “a blend of fine Ceylon, Darjeeling and Keemun teas, lightly scented with real oil of bergamot and sweet vanilla.”

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2022 at 10:16 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Honeysuckle and the 102

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Phoenix Artisan’s Honeysuckle, recently made again available, is a pleasant fragrance in any season — in the winter it lifts the doldrums, the the summer it reinforces seasonal joy. And this formulation, his Kokum Butter formula, yielded an excellent lather with the able assistance of my Omega Pro 48. 

Three passes with the wonderful iKon Shavecraft #102, a terrific slant, let my face totally smooth, ready for a splash of the aftershave (with a couple of squirts of Hydrating Gel mixed in).

The tea this morning is Mark T. Wendell’s Hu-Kwa tea, which turns out to be (in effect) Lapsang Souchong from Taiwan (instead of China). The history of the tea, named for a famous Hong merchant, is worth reading.

Written by Leisureguy

23 May 2022 at 8:46 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Wholly Kaw’s Project Leather and Gillette’s 1940s Aristocrat

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Wholly Kaw’s Project Leather lather is very nice: thick, slick, and smelling good — “refined notes of Leather Suede blended with Cardamom, sensuous Vanilla and Tobacco notes, with Oud and Bourbon added for substantivity.” His formula includes hops extract and more. The soap responded well to this RazoRock 24mm synthetic.

I got an extremely nice shave with my Gillette 1940s Aristocrat, so nice I checked which blade it bore: Wilkinson Sword. Three comfortable passes to an impeccably smooth face.

A splash of Geo. F. Trumper Spanish Leather (augmented with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel) and the weekend begins.

The tea this morning is Mark T. Wendell’s Pu-erh Tuo Cha tea, the one that comes in small tissue-wrapped nest shapes. “Pu-erh tuo cha tea yields a dark, full-bodied brew that has a unique damp and earthy aroma taste. It retains its flavor through several infusions very well.

Written by Leisureguy

21 May 2022 at 8:46 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Cedar shave

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Phoenix Artisan’s Amber Aerolite made a exceptional lather from Grooming Dept’s Cedarwood, an exceptional shaving soap in his Nai formulation. This soap has a wonderful fragrance:

Scent Ingredients: Orange EO, Grapefruit EO, Ginger Lily EO, Ginger EO, Pink Pepper EO, Geranium Absolute, Rose Absolute, Howood EO, Siam Wood EO, Benzoin Resin, Carrot Seed EO, Alaska Cedarwood EO, Hiba (Japanese Cedarwood) EO, Port Orford Cedarwood EO, Styrax, Muhuhu EO, Himalayan Cedarwood EO, Virginia Cedarwood EO. Texas Hill Country Cedarwood EO, Atlas Cedarwood Absolute. Vetiver Absolute, Patchouli EO, Vanilla Co2 extract, Tonka Bean Absolute.

I increased my setting on my Rockwell T2 from “3” (shown in photo) to midway between “3” and “4” and set to work. I got a bit more blade feel, though the razor still was comfortable, and I noticed as I did the final rinse how good my skin felt — beyond being smooth. I would say that the smoothness is from the razor, the extra from the Nai soap.

A splash of Anthony Gold’s Red Cedar aftershave, augmented with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel, and I’m ready for the day — a gloriously sunny day.

The tea this morning is Mark T. Wendell’s Organic Bold Leaf Pu-ehr: “Upon brewing, you will notice the unique damp, earthy scent characteristic of a fine black Pu-erh.”

Written by Leisureguy

20 May 2022 at 8:18 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Lenthéric and the Game Changer .68-P

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Yesterday saw high winds on Vancouver Island, with trees falling across highways, onto cars, into yards — and, crucially, onto power lines. When I woke up this morning, no internet, though I was connected to the router. I of course rebooted router and computer, but still no internet and, initially, no answer at my ISP Tech Support. Finally, I got a recorded message: they themselves had a power outage at their service center, but about the same time I heard that message, their power must have been restored because my internet revived. — It showed me just how much I now use and depend on the internet. 

But a service center power outage did not affect the very fine shave I had today. My Maggard 22mm synthetic made a magnificent lather from this vintage tub of Lenthéric shaving soap, which is decades old but still has a very present (and pleasant) fragrance.

The Game Changer .68-P is a wonderful razor for me, both comfortable and efficient, and the Halo handle works extremely well. I notice at the link that the Halo handle is not on offer, but the Barber Pole is certainly excellent as well. (The Halo handle is available separately, but I would certainly be totally satisfied with a Barber Pole handle. YMMV.)

Three passes completely smoothed my face, and a small splash of Saint Charles Shave Bulgarian Rose Aftershave with a couple of squirts of Hydrating Gel finished the job.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Earl Grey Cream: “a blend of fine Ceylon, Darjeeling, and Keemun teas, lightly scented with real oil of bergamot and sweet vanilla.”

Written by Leisureguy

19 May 2022 at 9:25 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Cavendish and the iKon stainless-steel open-comb

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I like the pipe-tobacco fragrance of Cavendish, and certainly the lather from this CK-6 version was excellent. My iKon stainless-steel open-comb razor is a delight to use and produces a wonderful result quite easily. A splash of Cavendish aftershave (with a couple of squirts of Hydrating Gel) finished the shave.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Library Blend: “This blend of Ceylon, Jasmine, Keemun and Gunpowder teas has a rich, full base with the sparkle of aromatic Jasmine.”

Written by Leisureguy

18 May 2022 at 10:19 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Dapper Doc and the Starcraft meet Lo Storto

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The luxury of a fine and fragrant lather is one factor in changing shaving from a task to a pleasure, and Dapper Doc provides the pleasure today, along with my Starcraft brush. The entire lathering process, from loading the brush to adding a tiny bit of water as I worked up the lather on my face, was totally enjoyable. 

Fatip’s Lo Storto slant is a pleasure to use, and in three passes I easily recovered a perfectly smooth face, to which I applied a splash of Dapper Doc aftershave with a couple of squirts of Hydrating Gel.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Ceylon Kenilworth: “a bright and oaky Orange Pekoe, with body and strength. The Kenilworth Estate is known for producing creamy teas with rich, full body.”

Written by Leisureguy

17 May 2022 at 9:34 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Planet Java Hive to start the week

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It’s always good to start the week with a fine shaving experience, which was provided this morning by the CK-6 formulation of Planet Java Hive, whose coffee + honey fragrance greatly appeals to me, and with a rich, thick lather made with the Green Ray synthetic. 

This iKon stainless-steel slant, now sold with a B1 coating, was my first great slant. It easily wiped away my two-day stubble in three easy passes, 2/3 of a day per pass, presumably.

A splash of Planet Java Hive aftershave with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel finished the job, leaving a face that is super smooth, supple, and fragrant.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Queen Victoria: “rich Darjeeling and Ceylon, smoky Lapsang Souchong and sweet Jasmine.”

Written by Leisureguy

16 May 2022 at 9:30 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

An old-school shave

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The traditional standby of a boar brush is hard to beat. You know already how much I like my Omega Pro 48. If you haven’t tried it, get one and for the first week don’t use it to shave — just wet the knot well under the hot-water tap and leave the brush standing on its base while you shower. The rewet the knot, give it a good shake or two, and load the brush. Work up a good lather in your palm, then rinse the brush well — with hot water until the water runs clear, then with cold water — shake out the excess water, and stand the brush on its base to dry.

After a week, start using the brush in shaving, working up the lather on your face (or in a bowl or in your palm). The lather will improve over the next three weeks, by which time the brush will be well broken in (assuming you use it daily). The brush has a wonderful feel on the face and works up a fine lather.

This morning that lather was from Mike’s Natural Barber Shop shaving soap, a traditional fragrance in a great soap. My Fatip Testina Gentile did a remarkably fine job, and a splash of Fine Accoutrements American Blend finished a flawless shave.

The tea this morning Mark T. Wendell’s Huo Shan Yellow Sprouting Tea: “This rare yellow tea from China’s Anhui province consists of beautiful hand-crafted leaves and downy silver buds. This tea is notable for its rich, full, and smooth tasting floral infusion. When brewed our Yellow Sprouting produces a naturally sweet and refreshingly clean tasting cup of tea.”

Written by Leisureguy

14 May 2022 at 11:19 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

L’Occitane Cade and RazoRock Old Type

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Although I do like the fragrance a lot, I think l’Occitane’s shaving soap is merely okay. It certainly falls short of the quality of the shaving soaps from good small producers (Catie’s Bubbles, Wholly Kaw, Declaration Grooming, and many others). But it is  an okay shaving soap, and with a good synthetic brush — like the Yaqi Target Shot shown — one can get a good (and very nicely fragrant) lather that will get the job done.

And RazoRock’s Old Type does the job easily and smoothly, with remarkable efficiency. This razor always surprises me with how very good it is — amazingly good, given its low price, which varies somewhat depending on your choice of handle. Unfortunately the excellent handle shown in the photo was available only on first release, but with the superb Barber Pole handle, the razor is only US$20.

Three passes left my face smooth, and a splash (several sprays into my hand) of Cade EDT with two squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel finished the job in fine style.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s London Afternoon. “Fragrant rose petals are interwoven with smoky Lapsang Souchong, sweetened with creamy vanilla and a touch of bright bergamot to create a comforting blend perfect for the fireside.”

Written by Leisureguy

12 May 2022 at 10:16 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Lavender morning

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Mike’s Natural Hungarian Lavender has a great fragrance — and makes a great lather, this morning with the able assistance of my Whipped Dog 22mm silvertip, whose knot is set at the standard depth. Three passes of the Vikings Blade Chieftain easily removed every trace of stubble — and if you want a twist-to-open razor, this is an excellent choice at a very reasonable price.

A splash of D.R. Harris Old English Lavender Water, augmented with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel, and I’m ready for the day — which today begins with starting a new batch of tempeh, this time chickpea and black rice.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Anniversary Blend: “The combination of Assam, Keemun, Ceylon, Yunnan and Gunpowder single origin teas produces an expansive cup with light briskness, full mouth feel and a rich amber hue.”

Written by Leisureguy

11 May 2022 at 8:51 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Stout-hearted shave

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Mystic Water’s Oatmeal Stout is a good replacement for the no-longer-available Mickey Lee Soapworks The Drunken Goat — no goat milk, but a good tallow-based shaving soap that has the sturdy fragrance of stout:

A dark brown soap made with Guinness stout and scented with a smooth beer fragrance that is blended with creamy oatmeal, orange peel, butterscotch, farm-fresh milk, almond and vanilla.  It doesn’t smell like actual beer but it is a warm, comforting scent.  Fragrance and lanolin.

She notes that her shaving soaps are.. 

made with beef tallow combined with stearic acid, shea butter, castor oil, sustainably sourced organic palm oil, avocado oil, aloe vera, bentonite clay, silk protein, allantoin, and extra glycerin. 

I got a very fine lather with my Plisson HMW 12. I did have to add a little water a few times as I loaded, and as I worked up the lather on my face — and later, as I rinse the brush — that this Plisson has a very full knot. It’s not dense, but it has a lot of volume and bristles.

The Above the Tie R1 did a very fine job, quickly and easily stripping off the stubble, and a splash of The Drunken Goat, augmented with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel, finished the shave.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Balmoral Blend: “a strong, traditional, rich blend of bright Ceylon and malty Assam teas… Recommended for traditional tea lovers, fans of Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast, Scottish Breakfast and Assam Pure looking for a different mix of teas or tea drinkers looking for a strong black blend with some briskness but not as much as pure Ceylon.”

Written by Leisureguy

10 May 2022 at 10:01 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

A rosy morning, with the superb Fine aluminum slant

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It’s always a pleasure to use the Omega Pro 48 (10048), and it easily created a great lather from Mystic Water Yellow Rose.

Now that I know to keep the angle shallow — i.e., to keep the handle well away from my face — Fine’s aluminum slant is one of the best razors I own: totally comfortable and fiercely efficient. My face is a marvel of smoothness, after applying a splash of Saint Charles Shave’s Dark Rose EDT, smoothed out with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel.

Great shave, sunny morning, and a good night’s sleep. Life is good.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s 1894 Select Orange Pekoe: “one of Murchie’s original blends, named after the year of our founding. A union of bright Ceylon and rich Assam teas.” It was only recently that I learned that “pekoe” is pronounced “peck-oh,” not “peek-oh.”

Written by Leisureguy

9 May 2022 at 9:54 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Yaqi, Otoko, and Southern Witchcrafts

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My Yaqui Cashmere was perfect for Otoko Organics, and I immediately had a wonderful crisp lather. “Crisp” is not a common word to use with lather, but if you’ve used Otoko Organics (which I recommend), you know what I mean. I really like the fragrance of this lather — it comes, I imagine, from the pear essence in the formula.

The Yaqi double-open-comb is a wonderful razor, and though it has a fair amount of blade feel, it is non-threatening and I got a perfectly smooth result without any damage at all.

A splash of Southern Witchcrafts Valley of Ashes, which strikes me as a milk, and the shave was done. The ingredients of this aftershave:

Water, stearic acid, shea butter, castor oil, potassium hydroxide, glycerine, coconut oil, sodium lactate, sodium hydroxide, jojoba oil, aloe powder, liquid aloe, isopropyl myristate, kaolin clay, fragrance

I didn’t feel Hydrating Gel was needed in this case.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Jasmine Downy Pearls: “Long leaves of spring-picked green tea are scented with jasmine blossoms and then meticulously rolled into compact pearls. As they steep, these pearls unravel and produce a mellow, honey and jasmine flavour.”

This tea is exceptional, and I did brew it at the proper green-tea temperature (175-180°F / 79-82°C) for 2-3 minutes. Wonderful stuff, particularly if you have a clear-glass teapot so you can watch the leaves unfurl.

Written by Leisureguy

7 May 2022 at 11:20 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Up & Adam and Dark Chocolate

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Espresso and vanilla (the soap), followed by dark chocolate (the aftershave): a pleasant way to end the week. 

WSP’s Monarch is a first-rate brush, and Stubble Trubble’s lather is always good, so my Henson Shaving AL13 had no problem at all. I was struck this morning by how, if held at a bad angle, this razor simply doesn’t cut. 

A splash of Phoenix Artisan’s Valentine’s Day special from a while back, and I’m ready for the day, which will require a 45 PAI walk…

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Hatley Castle: “A historic blend reflecting the Edwardian tastes of James and Laura Dunsmuir who had this tea delivered during their residency at Hatley Castle, now known as Royal Roads University, in Victoria, British Columbia.”

Written by Leisureguy

6 May 2022 at 10:08 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Exceptionally good shave from a good combination

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Fairly often I will be pleasantly surprised by the excellence of a shave. Partly, I imagine, it’s due to subjective factors — my mood, how well I slept, and so on — but I’m sure that also the combination of things used plays a major role.

As I customarily do, I began the shave with a little Grooming Dept Moisturizing Pre-Shave massaged well into the stubble, then applied a little water to that. Then with the WSP Baroness I loaded the brush — easily and quickly — with Wholly Kaw’s Merchant of Tobacco shaving soap. I use the tallow formula (see the little cow’s head silhouette at the bottom of the lid):

Potassium Stearate, Sodium Stearate, Aqua, Donkey Milk, Glycerin, Potassium Tallowate, Sodium Tallowate, Potassium Ricinoleate, Sodium Ricinoleate, Potassium Shea Butterate, Sodium Shea Butterate, Garcinia Indica (Kokum) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Lanolin, Fragrance

The hops extract is not a common ingredient. The maker notes:

Hops Extract is added to provide  biological activities such as anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic providing relief for inflammation and prevention of spider veins.

The fragrance is extremely nice:

Tobacco, Bourbon, Oud, Black Pepper, Vanilla, Peru Balsam, Honey and Bitter Cocoa giving the overall blend a pipe tobacco forward scent with warm and woody notes of bourbon and oud. Aromatic and musty Black pepper lends the scent several dimensions and the Vanilla, Honey and Bitter Cocoa tones the woody notes a bit without making it sweet.

So I start with excellent prep. Then the Parker (Semi-)Slant, here on a Yaqi handle and quite a good slant, did an excellent job of comfortably removing every trace of stubble.

And then I ended the shave with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel added to a small splash of Phoenix Artisan Cavendish. 

The result was an exceptionally smooth shave, with my skin feeling soft and supple.

The tea this morning is a favorite, Murchie’s CBC Radio Blend: “A blend of choice Ceylon and China black teas, Jasmine and other green teas with a touch of citrus.”

Today is a day of light rain, but walk I must: PAI at 87. I want it to be at least 100.

Written by Leisureguy

5 May 2022 at 11:11 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Strop Shoppe and Chiseled Face

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Strop Shoppe has been gone quite a while now, and this morning the fragrance of this soap seemed off, so I don’t think I’ll be using it again. I also had trouble with the Vie-Long horsehair brush, but that may be due to the soap. I’ll try it with a fresher soap and see whether it performs better.

My Fendrihan Mk II, a stainless steel razor of excellent quality (here coated in bronze) made up for those deficiencies and delivered a wonderfully smooth and close shave, and then a splash of Easy Street with a couple of squirts of Hydrating Gel finished the job.

Overcast day, but still a good start.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Earl Grey Cream: “a blend of fine Ceylon, Darjeeling and Keemun teas, lightly scented with real oil of bergamot and sweet vanilla.”

Written by Leisureguy

4 May 2022 at 10:52 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

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