Elvado Fragrance Free Classic Shaving Soap

IMG_20150118_080053Ratings:

Value: 9
Cushion: 8
Slickness: 9
Scent Pleasantness: 10 (or a zero depending how you look at it)
Scent Strength (balance): 10 (see above)
Moisturising: 9

 

 

How does one describe in great detail a product that doesn’t smell like anything? There are literally no words other than ‘nothing’ that I can use to elaborate on Elvado’s Fragrance Free Classic Shaving Soap – it truly is fragrance free. I feel like I’m stuck in that Seinfeld episode when they are pitching their sitcom idea to the NBC executives. Nevertheless here is my attempt to describe nothing to you.

I often come across ‘fragrance’ free products that are not actually free of any scent, but I can’t say the same about this offering from Elvado. When I first opened the tub I wasn’t paying attention to what I actually opened, and after a couple of futile attempts of picking up a scent I took a look at the label and realized then that my ability to smell was in fact still working properly.

IMG_20150118_080621I have been using Elvado shaving product for a few weeks now (reviews here – with a review on the aftershave to follow in a couple of days), the consistency in formula, and as a result quality, made for an excellent shaving experience regardless of the soap I was using. Happily the same can be said about their Fragrance Free offering. The lather was easy to develop, it didn’t irritate or dry out my skin, and of course provided an excellent surface for my blade to work on with a nice balance between cushion and slickness.

This is one of the shorter reviews that I have written in a while, but perhaps, at least like in the case of the scent in the Elvado Fragrance Free Classic Shaving Soap, less is more. If you are looking for a true scent free shaving soap this would be one of, if not my top recommendation. One last thing to consider is that Elvado’s offerings are certified vegan products and free from animal testing.

Click here for more information on Elvado and their products.

Tools in images:
Merker 37C
Vie-Long Horse Hair Brush

Fatip Grande Safety Razor Review

IMG_20150102_160340We got off on the wrong foot the Fatip Grande and I, and we had a real tough time getting things back on track. The first couple of shaves resulted in more cuts and nicks that I am accustomed to (which is usually zero – but I provide some leeway for new razors), but I chalked it up to being unfamiliar with the razor. Then there was the dreaded night of the party. Company was coming over and I was running out of time, I ran upstairs for a quick shave, naturally grabbed my newest razor and shaved a little too quickly and with not enough focus, leaving my face a burning nightmare for the rest of the evening. But I refused to give up on the razor – after all I loved the way it feels, the way it looks, even the price point is attractive. There had to be a way for me to salvage this razor experience.

IMG_20150102_160538I discovered, as with all razors really, is that less force/pressure is key for a comfortable and successful shave. It just seemed that I required even less pressure with the Fatip Grande than with any of my other razors. The culprit more than likely is that I am working with an open comb razor instead of one with a safety bar – which can be found on all of my other razors (I did own another open comb razor but I gave it to my dad soon after receiving it). Once I learned to ease up, the experience improved, but unfortunately the damage was done, four of five weeks later, I still pick up the razor with a sense of hesitation based on my first few experiences. A fault of mine surely – I should be able to let it go – but I am unable. I will definitely keep the razor, I do like it, I hope to have more confidence with it the more I use it.

Balance 3/5:

I have to give it a 3 for balance simply because the handle is so light. Nearly all of the weight is in the cutting head of the razor, which I guess could be one of the factors contributing to my longer than usual learning curve with this razor. That is not to say that the razor is unusable, rather that it may take some getting use to.

IMG_20150102_160423Grip ~ Handle 4/5:

The handle has a great, classic looking design. the ribs that run along the handle provides a great grip. The nub at the bottom of the handle also a nice touch aesthetically and functionally – I am able to rest my little finger on there for some added control. Not a 5/5 simply because it is a bit too light (see above).

Blade Exposure: Semi/Aggressive

The nature of the open comb will make the razor somewhat more aggressive than one with a safety bar – but I can’t say that the Fatip Grande is an aggressive razor. After my first few experiences I would have definitely said super aggressive, but that was more me than the razor.

Price: 4/5

Nothing wrong with the price of the Fatip Grande, it’s what one would expect for a razor of this build, on par with other razors like the Edwin Jagger 89lbl or the Parker 89R. I’m not sure if it would make for a great starter razor, but perhaps a good place to start with your first open comb.

Just for the record, the Fatip Grande I own is the nickel version, it is also available in chrome, gunmetal black, and gold

The Open Comb, the Slant and my Wife

thumbnail (1)The other night my wife and I were bathing the kids and while they were playing in the tub I took the opportunity to show my wife my latest razor acquisition – the Fatip Grande – which has an open comb design. She appeared to be interested in what the benefit are of the open comb design. Getting excited by her interest I decided to kick it up a notch and break out my Merkur 37C  slant and proceeded to explain the benefits of the slant, pushing my luck, she lost interest.  Oddly the following day Leisureguy over at Sharpologist posted this article on slant razors – WHAT’S UP WITH SLANT-BAR RAZORS? I forwarded it to my wife, who will more than likely delete it straight away, but I’m sure some of you out there will find it interesting and it will shed more than enough light on the slant razor if you are unfamiliar.

Elvado West Indies Bay Rum

IMG_20141210_094738Ratings:

Value: 9
Cushion: 8
Slickness: 9
Scent Pleasantness: 9
Scent Strength (balance): 10
Moisturising: 9

 

 

Prior to discovering the world of classic wet shaving, I would have classified myself as a typical male shaver who purchased all his shaving needs at the pharmacy or big box store. So my only exposure to different scents was essentially limited to what Gillette and the other shaving big boys decided was best for me. I bring this up because I have been using a Bay Rum shave cream for the last week or so and I can’t help but think of how much I enjoy it and if it wasn’t for my entry into wet shaving, I may have never experienced it. Which of course makes me think of how unfortunate it is that the Bay Rum scent (along with many others) is really limited to a small portion of shavers out there because of the hold the big boys have on shelf space.

The good news is that you found this article, and if you have yet to try a Bay Rum shave cream Elvado’s offering is a great place to start. Offering a great all around product.

IMG_20141210_102409My first experience with Elvado’s products was a couple of weeks ago with their Almond Shave Stick, which I really enjoyed. I can say that their Bay Rum offers the same excellence when it comes to the efficacy of their lather and overall final results. This isn’t really surprising because all of their “Shaving Soap Base is the same regardless of fragrance” (I contacted the guys over at Elvado for more information). Which of course is a real positive because if you are happy with one soap you are bound to be happy with the next – at least for performance.

As I mentioned above I really enjoy the Bay Rum scent and the Elvado offering has a slightly different take – as you would expect – but it is right up there with some of the best that I have used. A big thing for me when it comes to a soap’s fragrance is how well it is balanced, I don’t want the fragrance to be overpowering, nor do I want to struggle to find a scent. I would have to say that this soap has it just right. There is just the right amount of spiciness, a lovely hint of lime, and an overall sense of freshness to the soap that remains throughout your shave.

It’s worth mentioning that all of Elvado’s offerings are certified vegan products and free from animal testing. I’m not sure if this information would turn some people away from the Elvado line, if it does, you shouldn’t let it. The soap is a quality product that provides a great experience. You can find more information on their website.

Tools in images:
Vie-Long Horse Hair Brush
Fatip Grande