Later On

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Archive for the ‘Shaving’ Category

Another razor that clamps an extreme curvature on the blade—and a great shave

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I would really like to get some more Van Yulay soaps, and maybe I will, but the soaps are again starting to overflow their shelves. I’ll have to do some cutting back first.

Still, After Dark is a favorite, and the lather I got this morning with the Plisson synthetic was spectacular. And I love the fragrance:

Cinnamon, leather, cypress, sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, patchouli, lavender, mandarin orange, musk, benzoin, vanilla, apple, cedar and bergamot.

The soap’s ingredients:

Stearic Acid, Aloe Vera, Coconut Fatty Acid, Castor, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Coconut-Emu-Babassu-Olive-Argan-Jojoba-Oils, Calendula, Extracts, Poly Quats, Sodium Lactate, Allantoin, Silica, Liquid Silk, Bentonite Clay, Essential Oils, and Fragrance.

The Baby Smooth did its usual superb job and effortlessly left my face perfectly smooth, to which I applied a splash of After Dark aftershave after giving it a good shake. (The aftershave includes emu oil (and so is not vegan), which I thought might tend to separate.)

Written by LeisureGuy

22 September 2018 at 9:19 am

Posted in Shaving

Phoenix Ascension, adjusted

with 4 comments

I used this Phoenix Ascension DOC razor in yesterday’s shave and observed that it was extremely comfortable (which I anticipated, given the extreme curvature of the blade) but that its efficiency was such that I had to work a bit to get a smooth shave. However, as I noted, the product description offers this:

Unlike the Original DOC, The Ascension is not mild when set snug on the handle but much more aggressive and efficient. Not as aggressive as our DOC Evolution (2015-16), but more than our original DOC (2013), and not in a bad way at all, but in a smooth way. That said, you can easily change and adjust the blade angle with a simple twist of the handle and in turn, customize the quality and feel of the shave. (see what I did there?)

So today I tried loosening the head about 1/8th turn (or perhaps even less: I am wary of loosening the head on a three-piece razor, though it’s a common adjustment on a two-piece razor (cf. Merkur Progress, Parker Variant)).

First, of course, I did the prep. I continue to love Van Yulay soaps and am surprised they are not more popular. God knows that it’s not because they don’t have a sufficient range. (If you browse, you’ll note that the ingredients vary from soap to soap, but always are interesting—and the soaps leave your skin feeling wonderful.) Puros la Habana has the fragrance of a fine Cuban cigar. The soap contains clay, which was evident as I loaded the brush: I had to add a little water in the process to get the brush loaded, typical of clay soaps. This soap is a tallow soap, and the tallow in question is pig tallow: lard.

I got a very good lather, and set to work with the Ascension with its very slight loosening of the head—and it worked like a charm. The efficiency went way up with no loss of comfort. A very smooth and easy shave, extremely nice.

I think I’ll retighten the head after each shave, loosening it a fraction (a small fraction) just before I shave, rather than leave it slightly loosened. My fear is that if I leave it loosened, the loosening might increase as I use it until the head is too loose, so by resetting it, as it were, prior to each shave I won’t have to worry about that.

I carried the tobacco them forward with Phoenix Artisan’s excellent Cavendish aftershave. A great way to start the day.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2018 at 8:50 am

Posted in Shaving

Bay Rum and a double-open-comb razor

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I was intrigued by the Phoenix Artisan Ascension Double-Open-Comb Razor, machined from aluminum. What caught my eye and prompted the buy was only partly the DOC design. Mainly, it was that the baseplate and cap put an extreme curvature on the blade, which you see also on the RazoRock Baby Smooth and the Dorco PL602. Both those razors are extremely comfortable, never nick, and are highly efficient, so seeing another razor that curves the blade so much was intriguing.

First, though, the prep. My Mühle synthetic, like all synthetics, harbors a lot of water and thus requires a good shake or two (or three) before loading. I was about one shake short, so my lather was not quite the consistency I like, but quite usable nonetheless. The Clásico Bay Rum from Phoenix Artisan is quite nice. The list of ingredients is not shown on the website, but it is emphasized that the ingredients do not include cloves. UPDATE: The missing ingredients list was an oversight, and it’s now there. All Phoenix Artisan soaps have the same ingredients:

Potassium Stearate, Glycerin, Potassium Cocoate, Aqua, Potassium Kokumate, Sodium Lactate, Potassium Shea Butterate, Potassium Castorate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Cocoa Butterate, Potassium Avocadoate, Parfum [Fragrance]

The Ascension is quite light (aluminum), but that for me serves mainly as a reminder/suggestion to use light pressure. In use, comfort was quite good, with no nicks and not even any threat to nick. Efficiency, however, was not quite so good as with the Baby Smooth and PL602. But as the Ascension product description notes:

Unlike the Original DOC, The Ascension is not mild when set snug on the handle but much more aggressive and efficient. Not as aggressive as our DOC Evolution (2015-16), but more than our original DOC (2013), and not in a bad way at all, but in a smooth way. That said, you can easily change and adjust the blade angle with a simple twist of the handle and in turn, customize the quality and feel of the shave. (see what I did there?)

I’ll use the razor again tomorrow and try adjusting the razor a fraction of a turn. The razor did a fine job even fully tightened—I just had to work a little to get a smooth result. We’ll see what happens tomorrow with the adjustment. [Update: Loosening the razor head just a smidge worked like a charm: see shave report.]

I wanted to return to Gilbert Henry’s Bay Rum aftershave balm. It really is very nice, in fragrance and in how to feels. It has been lost on the back of a shelf, but I’m bringing it forward for the future.


Written by LeisureGuy

20 September 2018 at 8:30 am

Posted in Shaving

Avocado again

with 2 comments

The Colonia soap shown is quite good, and my Kent BK4 quickly produced an excellent lather. The Dorco PL602 is a first-rate razor in terms of comfort and efficiency, and it left my face perfectly smooth (and unharmed) for Saint Charles Shave’s Avocado Oil aftershave.

UPDATE: I couldn’t find the ingredients list on the website, but it’s there: you scroll to the very bottom of the page listing the products, and there’s a link to a comprehensive page of product ingredients. The ingredients for Avocado Oil aftershave balm:

Aqua, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana). Glycerin, Avocado Oil, Glycol Monostearate, Acrylamide Copolymer, Octyldodecanol, Isopropyl Myristate, Hydrovance (Proprietary Hydroxyethyl Urea), SD Alcohol, Panthenol, Cosmocil CQ (Parabens Free Preservative), Isopropyl Palmitate, Dry Flo (Corn Starch Modified), Allentoin, PEG-20 Glyceryl Stearate, Ceteareth-14, Polysorbate 85, Aloe Vera Extract, Menthol, Polysorbate 20, Iodopropanol Butylcarbonate, Fragrance. No added color.

The ingredients for each of the Saint Charles Shave products are there. /update]

I was surprised a bit by the ingredients, which includes some that I don’t generally see in artisanal products. Still, it feels and smells good.


Written by LeisureGuy

19 September 2018 at 9:28 am

Posted in Shaving

A bay-rum morning

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An excellent lather, easily achieved, and then set to work with the Charcoal razor. I got this razor some time ago, and Charcoal Goods seems to have moved to a high-end razor, though the head looks much the same: the high-end part is the handle in various materials, shapes, and finishes.

The head here looks like an Edwin Jagger clone, but it shaves a little more like the Maggard V3A: a little more blade feel and efficiency than the EJ, but still quite comfortable and not at all nick-prone. This is, I’m sure, their Basic Safety Razor head.

I finished with Gilbert Henry Bay Rum Aftershave Balm, which is very nice indeed, although I would call it an aftershave milk rather than an aftershave balm. It feels good on the skin and dries readily—no greasy feeling. Their list of ingredients is annotated:

  • MOISTURIZE YOUR SKIN – with Organic Aloe Juice, Organic Coconut Oil, Vegetable Glycerine.
  • SOOTHE RAZOR BURN- with Witch Hazel and Black Willowbark Extract to help heal and reduce redness.
  • PROTECT YOUR PORES – with Neem Oil for antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
  • SMELL GREAT – thanks to Premium Jamaican Bay Rum Essential Oil (Pimenta Racemosa) and blend of other Essential Oils.

An extremely nice shave. I’m going to be using the Charoal Goods razor and my Gilbert Henry Bay Rum aftershave balm/milk more often.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 September 2018 at 9:29 am

Posted in Shaving

Shaving with a feather-light touch

with 6 comments

Marvelous shave today—I’m happy to move the two-day stubble shave back to Monday: it seems right, like clearing the decks for action (which I write as a devoted fan of Patrick O’Brian’s series of novels of the British Navy in the Napoleonic era, which begins with Master and Commander—read them in order).

The Fine slant is an excellent slant if used with a very light touch, as suggested by its very light weight. I did select the D.R. Harris Rose shaving cream for its cushioning and protective lather, and it did the job with a fine fragrance (so “fine” all around).

Three light passes and my face was perfectly smooth. A splash of Geo. F. Trumper’s Coral Skin Food, which also has a rose fragrance, and the week is well launched.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 September 2018 at 7:47 am

Posted in Books, Shaving

Rosy but rainy

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Soap Commander’s Love is a very fine shaving soap, and the Maggard 22mm synthetic easily made a very nice lather indeed. I’m not sure what razor this is. I think it’s a RazoRock clone of the Edwin Jagger head. The shave was comfortable and efficient, and a splash of Thayers Rose Petal witch hazel with aloe vera finished the job.

The weather is a very light rain—what the Irish call a “soft day“: lighter than a drizzle. I did my walk, but with the wet pavement I walked with greater care and shorter strides. I took a minute longer than usual but with shorter strides I took more steps, so my cadence was 109.7 steps per minute. And tomorrow is an off day: no shave and no walk.

A friend who bicycled through Europe a month ago tells me that Nordic walking is very popular in Germany.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 September 2018 at 11:20 am

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