Blackbird Safety Razor

b693d2d543e9709cbfbea0886105ff28_originalI came across a Kickstarter campaign that might interest many of you.  The Blackbird Safety Razor, which has just started its campaign a few days ago, is a sharp looking razor that (will) come in black oxide or brushed steel with the option of two handle lengths, and is American made.

I haven’t had a chance to try the razor yet but there is an early review of the razor over on the  I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one as well.

This is more of a public service post than a review of the razor, but I hope to have an interview up with the developer of the razor in a couple of days.  I haven’t contributed to any Kickstarter campaigns yet, but this might be a fun place to start. Its worth taking a moment to see what the various contribution levels provide.

For more info head over to their website.

Just for the record I have no affiliation with the Blackbird Safety Razor or its developer.

Arko Shaving Cream – Maximum Comfort

If there can be a ‘classic’ wet shaving product it might have to be the Arko Shave stick – from it’s very distinct smell, to the nostalgic looking label, to the very attractive price tag – it has a certain appeal to it that goes beyond the fact that it provides you with a good shave.  Unfortunately the same cannot be said of  the Maximum Comfort Arko Shaving Cream – from the scent to the shave this just did work for me.

I didn’t have high expectation when it came to the scent, but I didn’t expect to be as disappointed as I was with it. The scent reminds me somewhat of a cleaning product, which I guess isn’t terrible, but not what I expect out of a shaving cream.

IMG_20150609_205448The lather was disappointing as well.  I found that it was a bit weak and in an effort to produce an acceptable lather it resulted in a product that was a bit too watery. In the end it was usable, but not desirable.  The cushion and slickness it provide was OK. By no means did it provide a wonderful shave free from irritation. At times it felt like I was using a blade that needed changing – I did change my blade the first time I noticed it but it didn’t correct the problem.

The only thing that the cream really has going for it in my opinion is the price. But at a certain point there is a trade off where spending less isn’t exactly worth it.  For an extra couple bucks you can find a cream that will perform better and smell better.

I realize that outside of the brand I am essentially comparing two different items but it is completely lacking any of the charm or appeal that the Arko Shave Stick provides. So if you were considering picking the up the Arko Maximum Comfort Shave Cream based on your experience with the shave stick, I would suggest that you move on to another option.

Tools in images:

Merkur 37C
Edwin Jagger Best Badger

Scent Trunk

IMG_20150606_081106A few weeks back I received a shipment from Scent Trunk, a fairly new company based out of Canada that offers a monthly subscription box of men’s fragrances.  Subscription based services have been popping up over the last couple of years ranging from shaving products to accessories.  I have had fragrance samples included with some of the subscriptions, but this is the first one that I have come across that exclusively offers fragrances.  I have to admit there is something appealing about the fragrance option.

Generally I don’t have a ‘scent’ and to be honest for the most part I haven’t bothered with any type of cologne. The biggest reason being that I can’t or don’t want to deal with the search for my scent. Which is what might make Scent Trunk appealing to some of you.  When you subscribe to their service you are asked to fill out a short survey (choosing either a novice direction or experienced) that they use to help tailor your monthly selections. Everyone receives three samples per month, more than enough to last you until your next shipment.  The samples range is size based on the concentration of the scent – so if you receive a smaller vial it should be an indicator to not apply too much.  If you find something you love you can order a larger bottle directly from Scent Trunk, if not you can continue with your search.

In addition to the samples, the shipment box comes with some interesting info cards corresponding to each cologne.  Providing not only background on the fragrance, but also when to wear it, how long you should expect it to last, and it’s sillage.   Unnecessary information? Maybe.  Interesting and informative absolutely.

IMG_20150606_081603Scent Trunk is not limited to men, they have a female offering as well, and if you so wish you can take the survey from a unisex perspective. In addition to the standard subscription mentioned above there is also a seasonal option that you can choose that includes four fragrances, four times a year. The price is right for either subscription and if you don’t find it appealing for yourself it could make for an interesting gift – fathers day is right around the corner. At the time of writing there is a discount being offered so a bit more incentive to head over to Scent Trunk.

What is the Best Shaving Cream?

shave soapWhat is the best shaving cream? A question that can only really be answered by the shaver. But with an enormous number of choice out there it is always nice to have a starting point. So below is to my top five list of shave creams that I have used that I would consider the best shaving cream that I have come across.

In order for any best of any value there has to be some sort basis of comparison along with a list of elements to compare. If you haven’t used one of the soaps listed below you will have to give one a go in order to find out if we are on the same wavelength when it comes to shave creams. If we are great! You can trust my reviews even more, if not I guess you should be focusing on reviews of creams that I did not enjoy.

To keep things simple my choice are based on a combination of:

Efficacy: The most obvious. The all around performance of the shave cream in provided a irritation free shave, sufficient cushion, and moisturizing ability.

Scent pleasantness: A category that is really based on the user, but if you have used one of the shave creams below you will have a basis to go off of.

Cost: Not so much how cheap you can purchase it, but rather value for you dollar.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado – I haven’t come across a Taylor of Old Bond Street Cream that I didn’t really enjoy in some way, but the Avocado was one of the first I used and has a very distinct smell that it is always my go to recommendation for anyone who asks what cream they should try.

La Toja Shave Cream – A scent that really needs to be experience to be explained properly, not to mention a great shave.

Proraso Blue – Proraso is one of the staples of the male grooming world and I’m not sure that they produce very many items that are not enjoyable. They are probably most famous for the Green scent, but I would have to say that their Blue line is my favorite.

Speick Shave Cream – Like the La Toja a scent that really needs to be experienced to be understood.  I gave my partially used tube away to a friend and I regretted it.

Sapone da Barba Al’s Private Stock – Al’s Private Stock is a great example of what the wet shaving world has to offer.  As far as I know it is only available online but most definitely worth it.

What would your list look like? Add your list in the comment section below.