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.

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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

 

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Fatip Grande Safety Razor First Impression & Comparison

Fatip GrandeEverything about my first impression of the Fatip Grande Safety Razor should have left me disappointed by the arrival of my latest razor; the box, the weight, the feel. But the opposite has happened.  I’m excited to use it. Everything that I expected to not like about it seems attractive to me. It feels simple, perhaps the way things should be. I feel like it is a razor that my grandfather would have used, not only because it is relatively inexpensive with no frills (not even some tissue paper to hold the razor in place while in the box – just the razor in the box), but because it accomplished what it was intended to do.

If you have read some of my other posts you will know that I am a sucker for package – sexy packaging. So when I pulled the Fatip Grande out of my shipment box I was oddly surprised to find a box that I can only classify as classic. If I didn’t know better I would say that it was produced the 70s or 80s, maybe earlier (maybe it was). Normally I would not be impressed by such lack of attention to detail, probably making me a puppet of corporate commercialism, but the box reminded me of my grand-father and of simpler times when the product and not the package determined the quality of an item.

First Look

Outside of the box the first thing I noticed was how light the razor felt. The handle is hollow, I would imagine many are, but outside of the hole on the bottom of the handle confirming that it is indeed hollow, you can sense it while holding it. My initial reaction was that it felt cheap; after holding it a few moments and getting a better feel I’m not sure that I would say that it felt cheap, it’s different than what I am used to that is for sure but it shouldn’t necessarily be a knock against the razor. Of course we are more or less talking about an entry level razor and it should be assessed as such. Outside of the initial feel the razor looks great.

AssemblyIMG_20141202_083019The Fatip Grande has a three piece design. The nub at the base of the handle provides a nice grip and the threads feel good. No complaints or concerns with the assembly.

The Handle

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I touched on the handle above. It is light, hollow, but still feels good in your hand. Most of the weight is definitely in the head of the razor but shouldn’t be a big deal adapting to it. The handle is short (78 mm), just a bit longer than my Merkur 1904. This is the first short handle razor I have picked up in a while so should make for a nice change. The ribs on the handle feels good, a nice touch of detail, probably more aesthetic than necessary.

Cutting Head

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The cutting head is an open comb design, only the second I have owned (gave the first one to my dad). I tend to stay on top of my shaving, so I’m not sure if I will fully benefit from an open comb design but curious nevertheless. I would maybe say that the construction of the head doesn’t match that of the handle – the head feels like better quality.

Final Thoughts

At this point it seems like the Fatip Grande will be a welcome addition to the razor shelf. We shall find out for sure in a couple weeks once I give it it’s proper evaluation.

The razor in the images in the Nickel version of the razor, it is also available in Gun Metal Black, Gold, Chrome.

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Elvado – Madera Almond Shave Stick

IMG_20141129_114509Ratings:

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

 

 

 

Just over a week ago I received a few shaving products from Elvado. A Canadian company, which if I’m honest, I was unfamiliar with until recently. As always, I was excited to open the package to discover what shaving adventures I was in for over the coming weeks, the package contained four products but the item that immediately stood out for me was the shave stick.  At first, I thought it was a deodorant stick due to its size, what was equally impressive was the scent that I came off that stick. A wonderful Almond, that is very reminiscent of Cella shave cream.

IMG_20141129_114636If you enjoy using Cella shave cream I don’t see how you wouldn’t love the Elvado Mendera Almond Shave Stick. The almond scent that comes off the stick is much stronger than Cella but not overpowering; the scent lasts longer while shaving, and truly makes you want to have a shot of Amaretto after shaving (which if you plan to, perhaps shave before going to bed, not before heading off to work).

The soap’s performance matches the excellence of the its scent. I was able to produce a full lather with ease – it was quite forgiving when it came to the right amount of water – which is helpful when you are face lathering. The slickness was excellent and the soap provided more than enough cushion for the razor. To be honest I can’t find a single negative thing to say about the soap’s performance. Post shave I didn’t have any irritation and it left my face was left feeling soft.

Size of the Elvado Shave Stick and La Toja

Size of the Elvado Shave Stick and La Toja

Oddly, the aspect that I find most interesting is the size of the stick itself. The shave soaps that I have been used to tend to all be smaller in size – think the size of a typical glue stick if you haven’t used a shave stick before. The Elvado stick is much larger making it better to hold and your passes cover more of your face. And unlike an Arko or Palmolive shave stick the Elvado has a plastic casing that makes it that much easier and enjoyable to use. Perhaps it is a strange thing to notice but I feel like it makes a difference and my shave that much more enjoyable.

It’s worth pointing out that Elvado’s soaps are Pure Vegan and use African Shea Butter. On a personal level I’m not too concerned about my soaps being Pure Vegan – perhaps I should be – I’ll be more aware of it now. I am quite interested in the properties that the Shea Butter offers however, if you are interested there is a write-up on Elvado’s website. If its not obvious by the above I am more than impressed with this soap, I love the performance, the size of the stick, and of course the scent. I don’t say this about many soaps I review, but I see myself replacing this once my current stick runs out.

Which leads me to the bad news, after contacted Elvado I was informed that the Almond Shave Stick was a Special Edition, so locating one at the moment might be tough (I did a quick search at online retailers but had no luck). The good news is that Elvado plans to reintroduce the Almond fragrance in the New Year due to popular demand, so bookmark or make a note to search out this gem.

Check out Elvado’s here.

Tools in images:

Merkur 43C
Edwin Jagger Best Badger Brush

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