Shave of the Day ~ Mystery soap testing ~ Day 1

The maker requested that we keep it hush hush so I will not be revealing the artisan till a later time.

Prep

  • Hot shower/ soap (Ivory)

Shave

  • Soap – Mystery Soap
  • Brush – Parker best badger
  • Razor – Merkur 23c
  • Blade – Astra SP (1)

Post

  • Warm rinse
  • Cold rinse / Alum
  • Mystery aftershave lotion/balm

For testing purposes, I’ll be using three different type of brushes: Parker best badger, Semogue 830 boar and Omega Sintex. The blades will be Astra Sp’s and the razor will be the Merkur23c.

The shiny thing is the balm that I got from the maker. I’m not much of a balm/lotion kind of guy but I do know what balms I really like so I may compare that too.

testsetup

Today I’m starting with the Parker. I had soaked the brush in hot water while I showered and then shook it out till it was pretty dry and loaded directly on the soap. The soap is soft, like Cella, and was easily molded into this Anchor Hocking glass dish. After some swirling I looked at the brush and what had been loaded. It wasn’t much, but it was thoroughly embedded into the brush. I wet my face and proceeded to lather. I added drips of warm water to the brush here and there and the lather for the first pass proved to be just right.  I did not get the silky thickness of, say, Tiki (vegan formula), but it was thick enough and plenty slick to give me a comfortable shave, across the grain (XTG). This is one of the more fragrant soaps I have used. It is quite strong in the bowl, mellows on the face but still stronger than most of mine. It has been, well, months since I used an Astra SP and this first pass was very, very, very, very good! It is a sharp and smooth blade. You can get a box of 100 blades for about 11 dollars on Amazon. Done with the first pass and no nicks or sore spots so I add some water to the face and re-lather. This time the lather is much thinner (Forgot to mention I do not bowl lather once soap is loaded) but the slickness is still spot on for me as I make the dreaded Against the Grain (AGT) pass from jaw line up and a mix between XTG and ATG on the neck. I am surprised to see no nicks and the face feels pretty good. The result is a completely stubble free face!

I decided to rinse off with warm water to see how easily the soap rinses off. It did a pretty good job but I could tell that there was still a soap residue on my face so I went to my usual cold rinse and alum.  I waited for about 5 minutes before I did anything else.  During this time I could feel the effects of the alum. This is normally the case with most all my soaps except the HTGAM Synergy soaps. I decided to try the balm. It has unscented on the package but I could smell some menthol perhaps. I put a dab in my hand, ran my hands together and observed. It’s kind of a thick balm and didn’t seem to absorb in my hands so I then added to my face and got a bit of menthol cooling power going on. I liked that, but it felt thick on my face and 4 hours later my face feels like something is on it. Same feeling I get when I used to use Nivea sensitive aftershave balm, which is why I don’t use it. My preferred balm is The Body Shop Maca Root Razor Relief and Art of Shaving Ocean Kelp. Going to start to do half faces with each to compare and provide better feed back.

The color of this soap is similar to a puck of Godrej (bluish). Loading with a mostly dry brush yields about the same results too, but the mystery soap lather is thicker where Godrej is more foamy. Tomorrow I will use a wetter brush to test, then the day after I will use cold water to shave with . After that I will start with the boar.

Soap Review

  1. Scent – Strong. One of the strongest in my line up. I think it reminds me of a cologne I may have smelled but it’s not familiar to me.
  2. Lather – Loading a fairly dry brush may not have been best choice. Got enough for two passes with that method.
  3. Cushion – Not sure how to answer this.
  4. Glide – Plenty of glide for both passes.
  5. Post Shave Feel – Typical of half my soaps
  6. Overall Experience – I have a bbs face with just two passes and no nicks so something is working right here. I don’t identify with the scent much but that could change as I use it. I’m sure my perception of this soap will improve as I adjust my method tomorrow on the loading.

 

3-29

 

So, what were my results of Micromatic Month (24 shaves)?

Soaps Used:

  • MdC Fougere – (4)
  • SRD Frankincense – (2)
  • Strop Shoppe Black Tie – (11)
  • Kiss My Face Mint – (1)
  • Tiki Set Sail – (2)
  • HTGAM Synergy Cavendish – (1)
  • Shaving Yeti Shore Leave – (1)
  • BDF Esclusivo – (1)
  • Boots – (1)

Strop Shoppe was used the most as I was trying to burn through a sample after the MdC. After 11 uses I had to use some of my usual things.

# of Treet Blades used:

7 blades – 6 blades were new and one was left in from a previous time and was only used once

Razors:

  • Open-comb – (14)
  • Bullet-tip – (10)

Brushes used:

  • Parker best badger – (8)
  • Ever~Ready 200T – (4)
  • Rubberset 153 – (3)
  • Semogue 830 – (3)
  • Van der Hagen – (2)
  • Century #4 – (2)
  • Monclair – (1)
  • Omega Sintex – (1)

Suprised that the ever~ready 200t beat my Semogue 830

Aftershaves used:

  • Stetson Cooling Moisture – (4)
  • Aubrey Men Stock North Woods – (3)
  • Speick – (3)
  • Old Spice (vintage) – (2)
  • Old Spice lime – (1)
  • Brut Attitude – (1)
  • Avon Tai Winds – (1)
  • Avon Leather – (1)
  • Aqua velva Musk – (1)
  • Boosters Mosswood – (1)
  • Pinaud Special Reserve – (1)
  • Pinaud Citrus Musk – (1)
  • T.F.S. Neroli  balm – (1)
  • Witch Hazel generic – (1) (only counted when used alone)

If the Stetson wasn’t so gosh darn good smelling, I think we would have seen more Speick and Aubrey uses. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s