Archive for the ‘Shaving’ Category
The Simpson Emperor is a favorite, though I notice I tend to pick one of my synthetics more often. Still this is a great brush, and the lather from Phoenix Artisan’s kokum butter shave soaps is excellent. Alt-Eleven has a great frangrance, and these soaps always make my skin feel good.
The RazoRock Baby Smooth is a truly wonderful razor. This one is destined for one of my grandsons next month (his birthday, and he’s just started shaving), but I certainly will keep my other Baby Smooth, from the first run. So far as feel and performance, this one and the original are alike, though there are some small differences in the handle.
A tiny dot of Alt-Eleven aftershave balm, and the day is launched. This is a quick-drying balm with a pleasant effect.
I like that Brushguy brush, and I made a great lather from Barrister & Mann’s Leviathan shaving soap. I did find it necessary to add water a couple of times as I loaded, but the fully loaded brush worked like a charm and I really like Leviathan’s fragrance—which, oddly, is not mentioned in the Bible, although it goes into detail on Leviathan’s other attributes:
Job 41 New International Version (NIV)
41 “Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook
or tie down its tongue with a rope?
2 Can you put a cord through its nose
or pierce its jaw with a hook?
3 Will it keep begging you for mercy?
Will it speak to you with gentle words?
4 Will it make an agreement with you
for you to take it as your slave for life?
5 Can you make a pet of it like a bird
or put it on a leash for the young women in your house?
6 Will traders barter for it?
Will they divide it up among the merchants?
7 Can you fill its hide with harpoons
or its head with fishing spears?
8 If you lay a hand on it,
you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
9 Any hope of subduing it is false;
the mere sight of it is overpowering.
10 No one is fierce enough to rouse it.
Who then is able to stand against me?
11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay?
Everything under heaven belongs to me.
12 “I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs,
its strength and its graceful form.
13 Who can strip off its outer coat?
Who can penetrate its double coat of armor?
14 Who dares open the doors of its mouth,
ringed about with fearsome teeth?
15 Its back has rows of shields
tightly sealed together;
16 each is so close to the next
that no air can pass between.
17 They are joined fast to one another;
they cling together and cannot be parted.
18 Its snorting throws out flashes of light;
its eyes are like the rays of dawn.
19 Flames stream from its mouth;
sparks of fire shoot out.
20 Smoke pours from its nostrils
as from a boiling pot over burning reeds.
21 Its breath sets coals ablaze,
and flames dart from its mouth.
22 Strength resides in its neck;
dismay goes before it.
23 The folds of its flesh are tightly joined;
they are firm and immovable.
24 Its chest is hard as rock,
hard as a lower millstone.
25 When it rises up, the mighty are terrified;
they retreat before its thrashing.
26 The sword that reaches it has no effect,
nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
27 Iron it treats like straw
and bronze like rotten wood.
28 Arrows do not make it flee;
slingstones are like chaff to it.
29 A club seems to it but a piece of straw;
it laughs at the rattling of the lance.
30 Its undersides are jagged potsherds,
leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
31 It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron
and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 It leaves a glistening wake behind it;
one would think the deep had white hair.
33 Nothing on earth is its equal—
a creature without fear.
34 It looks down on all that are haughty;
it is king over all that are proud.”
Not one word on what it smells like, but if it smells like this shaving soap, then that’s probably how it lures its victims closer.
The 102 is such a fine razor. Three passes to an effortless BBS, and then a splash of Leviathan aftershave, and April is rushing toward us.
You can see all 12 here. The MWF is the very tub I used in my lathering video, so it’s famous. Strop Shoppe always made great soaps (and I’ve kept some). Pêche has a fine peach fragrance, quite pure. I also had Tim’s Soaps Greek Peach, also a great peach fragrance (and also a soap company that is no more). When I decided to get rid of one, I kept Pêche, but now it, too, must go.
Hybrid is a very interesting soap, a collaboration with Shave Revolution (now also gone) and Tim’s soaps. You can read the full story of this dual-nature soap at Tim’s website.
There are also some shave sticks this time.
Extremely good shave today. Brush selected in solidarity with a friend’s father-in-law in South Korea. (Long story.) The bush is a Maggard 24mm synthetic.
Midnight Stag is an unusual but pleasing fragrance: Russian Leather, Motor Oil, Hoppes #9, Birch Tar, Oakmoss, Gasoline, Smoke, Cedar, Cade, Bergamont, Vanilla. The ingredients:
Stearic Acid, Aloe Vera Juice, Potassium Hydroxide, Beef Tallow, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Glycerin, Fragrance, Mango Butter, Avocado Oil, Silk Powder
The lather was excellent, and the Rockwell 6S remains a favorite razor: top-notch in all respects. I started with the R3 plate as my standard, but now use the R4. All plates are comfortable and efficient, and this morning I easily got a BBS result with no trace of a nick—indeed, no close calls.
A good splash of Midnight Stag aftershave, and the weekend begins.
A commenter pointed out that the upcoming Rockwell Model T adjustable will include some cast zinc-alloy parts. From the Kickstarter update post: “The new materials for the production that will ship to the backers will consist of an internal stainless steel rod, 12 parts of machined chromed brass, and 4 cast chromed zinc alloy parts.” Gareth explained in an email to me:
Changing those 4 (of 17) parts to zinc alloy was an unfortunate consequence of the cast brass tolerances simply not producing a razor that functioned properly in full production. . . Gillette’s all-brass razors were stamped brass, and then chromed. We were attempting to use cast brass, which unfortunately does not produce tight enough tolerances in full production for the Model T to function as intended. Brass stamping is what create the well-known variability between Gillette adjustable models, and in some cases between units of the same models, which is an affect we wanted to avoid.
I was initially taken aback by the news, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Rockwell knows more about the production process and its requirements than I ever will, and I believe in their intentions to deliver a quality product that matches the high standard set by the final version of the 6S. My belief is based on their response to the initial 6S problems (when they attempted to use cast stainless steel), which involved finding a better way to do it and replacing all the razors of the unsatisfactory first run. In other words, Rockwell has proven itself to be trustworthy, so I trust them. I’m looking forward to the shipment of the Model T in late July (the usual Kickstarter production slip due to the mismatch between optimistic plans and harsh reality—e.g., the discovery that the cast-brass head would not work).
So my own decision is to stick with the Model T. Gareth mentioned that he is looking at an all-stainless Model T, which presumably would be more expensive, and that will be interesting to see. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the current model T—stainless steel, brass, and zinc alloy, each selected for being able to do the job well and also be manufacturable.
I did quite get the Omega 20102 fully loaded—it’s a big knot, and I should have added water during the loading and continue loading a while longer. That’s the trouble with constantly switching the tools: you can’t just fall into a routine. I suppose that’s also the benefit: you have to pay attention. I didn’t.
Tim’s Soap Wood & Roses is a very nice fragrance:
This is the result of my long-standing love affair with the combination of sandalwood and rose in old-line British wetshaving products. Rich and decadent, evocative and comforting, this is as complex as scent gets. While hints of pepper and musk add depth, the classical duo of sandalwood and rose is powerful and layered enough to stand alone. Classically built, Wood and Roses is meant for the Anglophile, the fan of last-century fragrances, and any guy who – like me – has bought every sandalwood product he can get his hands on since the first day he encountered this marvelous, mysterious note.
The formulation is fairly simple, with avocado butter the only exotic ingredient: “Stearic acid, water, coconut oil, potassium hydroxide, fragrance, sodium hydroxide, avocado butter, sodium lactate.” It is a very nice soap that lathers easily and feels good on the face.
As I’ve noted, Tim’s Soap has closed its doors, so this is now officially a vintage soap.
Fatip’s Testina Gentile is a great razor, IMO: extremely comfortable and extremely efficient, and hefty in the hand (since it’s plated brass, though it’s also available with a wood handle). Three passes, perfect smoothness, and not the hint of a nick.
A good splash of Anthony Gold’s wonderful Red Cedar aftershave, from The Copper Hat, and the day is launched. And I had bacon for breakfast, thanks to a sale at my supermarket: 5lbs of thick-cut pepper bacon for less than half price. 🙂
The Vie-Long horsehair brush shown did an excellent job of bringing lather from Meißner Tremonia’s excellent Lavender de Luxe, and it does have a great fragrance.
I must have just changed the blade in the Progress: the feeling during the shave was an extreme smoothness, gliding over my face with no problems, just wiping away the stubble.
A splash of Chatillon Lux’s Champs de Lavande, and I’m refreshed and ready for the day.
f you have one of a type of item, that’s just a possession; if you have two, then you have a “pair” of them or a “brace” of them (e.g., a brace of dueling pistols); at three, the word is “collection.” I suppose the idea is that we have a common word for a pair of items (there, I’ve just used it), but no common word for three items of a kind, and we switch to “collection.” This must be ancient, since it is in effect, “one, two, many.” We do have “a few” (3-4, IMO) and “several” (5 or 6, 7 at the most, IMO).
Of course, you can have a collection of collections (e.g., you collect card decks (a deck being a collection of cards) or jigsaw puzzles (each puzzle a collection of pieces). (Obviously, you can also have a collection of pairs, as for those who collect salt-and-pepper sets.)
Note, however, that we are restricting ourselves to instances in which the components are of individual interest: a salt shaker does not represent a “collection” of salt. For aggregates of indistinguishable items, we might use, say, “a bucket of x” or “a bag of x,” but we would never say “a collection of x.” A collection of chess sets, however, is a collection of sets (a tip-off word) that are collections of chess pieces.
Let’s define collection depth as the maximum number of levels of a collection (since some collections within a collection may not be a complete collection—a card deck missing some cards or a jigsaw puzzle missing some pieces).
A collection of shaving brushes: collection depth = 1
A collection of straight razors that includes one or more 7-day sets: collection depth = 2
A collection of 20-pack cartons or carts of packages of five blades each—e.g., I have cartons of Astra Superior Platinum and Wilkinson Sword blades, and cards containing 20 packs of Gillette Silver Blues, Zorriks, and others, and each of the packs is a collection of 5 blades. Collection depth = 3
Any ideas for collection depth = 4? It need not be shaving related, but cool if you can do it.