Scent Pleasantness: 10
Scent Strength (balance): 10
I have been using the Vanilla Eucalyptus Mint Shave Soap from The Los Angeles Shaving Soap Company for the past few days. One of three samples I received from a fellow wet shaver. I didn’t have any experience or knowledge of the L.A. Shaving Soap Company prior to receiving these so I was a somewhat excited to try something new.
Prior to using the soap I popped over to their website to see what I can learn. Besides being a one man operation, all of his soaps are vegan and cruelty free. The one man operation is always cool, I support the cruelty free aspect, the vegan aspect is equally cool but to be honest I’m not too concerned whether or not my shave soap is vegan – but I can appreciate those who are. However, the vegan angle did make me wonder if the soap would perform well.
I’m happy to report that it performed really well. Using my Vie-Long Horse Hair brush and a bit of patience I was able to produce an impressive lather, with lots of volume, and gave me great cushion. The soap also left my face feeling rather moisturized – so a victory on two fronts for this vegan shave soap.
The combination of the Vanilla Eucalyptus & Mint provided an awesome experience with each providing a different experience. As one would expect the Eucalyptus provided a bit of an eye opening punch, the vanilla a level of comfort, and the mint was…well…minty. I would say that no single scent dominated the other. Nor was the overall combination overpowering.
In the end I would say this might be one of the better soaps that I have used in a long time – maybe ever. I’m excited about the next two samples I have sitting in my cabinet. Take a look at the website, there are some other goodies there along with their soap.
Tools in image:
Edwin Jagger 89lbl
Vie-Long Horse Hair Brush
Scent Pleasantness: 8
Scent Strength (balance): 7
Another shave, another review, another Taylor of Old Bond Street shave cream, another quality experience. Part of me thinks I should stop purchasing TOBS creams simply because they never seem to disappoint me. I feel like I could make a blanket statement regarding all TOBS creams, informing everyone to just “go ahead…you will like it”. But I probably shouldn’t. Eton College is the 5th TOBS cream to come through my shave cabinet and with it my 5th positive experience.
The only aspect of the TOBS creams that tends to waver for me is their scents – I obviously prefer some scents over others -The Avocado over their Lemon & Lime for example. While other scents work well at certain times – their Grapefruit in summer – not so much in winter.
With the Eton College any time is really the right time. It has a fresh, but subtle scent. Once lathered it becomes a bit more complex – adding a bit of spiciness. I would describe the overall scent as being more soap-like with a clean edge to it. One thing that I would prefer is for the scent to be a bit stronger, I don’t like having to work to hard to get my fragrance. But that is a minor detail, by the end of your shave you will still come out feeling good.
I don’t really need to say much about the lather. Like their other products the Eton College provides a quality lather. Easy to whip up. Nice cushion and slickness. Perhaps could provide a bit more moisturizing action – but hard to say really. End the end it is not really an issue.
So once again a solid performance from a Taylor of Old Bond Street shave cream. The Eton College offering makes a great starting point for anyone getting into wet shaving – a classic scent that is easy to lather and performs well. I wouldn’t say that it is my favourite of the five TOBS creams I have tried, that spot still belongs to the Avocado, but it will definately get some future use.
Tools in photos:
Edwin Jagger 89lbl
Edwin Jagger Best Badger Brush
A few months back my friends father gave me four of his old straight razors. My buddy had no interest in them so they ended up in my shave cabinet. I spent a few weeks trying to find someone to hone them for me but didn’t have any luck, I emailed a few people but never heard back, so they eventually were put aside. Until about a few weeks ago when a fellow Redditor offered to hone a couple for me. Now that they have returned to me I am in need of some additional tools.
First up – the search for a strop. A quick search will tell you that you could spend quite a bit on a strop. But where does one begin? So after a bit of reading here are some of the factors to consider, along with what I decided to go with.
The leather side, which can be horsehide, cowhide, or even synthetic is the side you use to keep your razor sharp. Stropping your razor helps keep your edge sharp. The quality of the leather is obviously one of the contributing factors in the final price of your strop.
The flip side of the strop is can be one of several materials; canvas, linen, or felt. You use this side prior to the leather side – it prepares your blade for stropping on the leather side.
I will go into more detail on how each of the sides functions in a future post once I finally get my strop in hand.
Size is the another factor to consider. Strops come in either 2″ or 3″ widths. 3″ strops are easier to use for beginners because the width covers the entire length of the blade. 2″ strops require you to use an ‘x’ motion when stropping in order for you to cover the entire blade – a skill that might be worth learning.
In the end I decided to spend less rather than more. Since this is my first strop the likelihood of me destroying it is quite high. But at the same time I didn’t want to learn on something that would not help me develop my skill. After much debate and investigation I decided to go with the Poor Man’s Strop a two inch strop from Whippeddog.com. Great prices and reputation made my decision easy to make. Once it arrives I will post my first impressions.
Scent Pleasantness: 10
Scent Strength (balance): 10
My sample puck of Mama Bear’s Awakenings Natural Mentholated Shave Soap has been sitting in my shave cupboard for a few weeks and I finally cracked it open this week and was blown away with its performance and fragrance. I had a really good experience with Mama Bear’s Soaps a while back with their Turkish Mocha shave soap, my only reservation with that soap was the sweetness to it’s scent.
I’m a big fan of Proraso Green, of anything menthol really, but at times I have to admit that the scent can become a bit overwhelming – in your face a bit too much. That cannot be said about Mama Bear’s Awakenings – I wouldn’t say that the menthol is weak – it just isn’t in your face. In fact I would say that there is, at least for me, a slight sweetness to it. Very refreshing, almost difficult to compare it to something like Proraso Green because the scent is that much of a departure for me. I also found that the scent didn’t linger around after my shave, making it a bit easier to decide what aftershave products to use.
The lather. What can I say about the lather? Fantastic. In every way. After the initial breaking in period, where I learned that the soap is a bit thirsty, the lather I produced with this soap was unreal. Wonderfully thick and creamy lather that was a joy to apply, and really easy to build. The lather produced the slightest tingly sensation while on, enjoyable not irritating. Lots and lots of cushion and a blade pleasing slickness. To be honest I don’t think they could improve this soap.
It is products like Mama Bear’s Awakenings Natural Mentholated Shave Soap that make me wonder how some of the current ‘top’ brands that you see in grocery stores and pharmacies instead of a wonderful product like this. I realize that marketing is the major factor, education and economics the other, but come on – why settle for a Gel from Gillette or foam from a can when you could be using Mama Bear’s to start your day?