Taylor of Old Bond Street Coconut Shave Cream – Review

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

When my tub of Taylor of Old Bond Street’s Avocado Shave Cream ran out I was faced with a decision; replace it with a fresh tub or pick up a different scent. Although I will miss shaving with the Avocado scent I decided a review of a new shave cream would be most beneficial for the blog. I stuck with TOBS and opted for a tub of their Coconut Scent instead. It had been a super long winter and I figured that the coconut scent would be a nice way to start what I had hoped will be some long summer days. Four weeks after my first shave with the coconut shave cream and I’m still waiting for summer to properly arrive, it has either been rainy and cool or incredibly humid (I realize that summer doesn’t officially arrive until the 21 of June but still), but my mornings at least make it feel like I’m in a tropical location even if it is for a few minutes.

IMG_20140618_105401 (1)The scent of the Taylor of Old Bond Street Coconut Shave Cream is what would be expected – it smells like coconut. Not so much like a fresh coconut but more so like the synthetic scent that one would expect from other creams like sun tan lotion for example. To be honest after a few minutes I was doubting  whether or not I could actually identify what fresh coconut smells like. Regardless if the scent is synthetic in nature or not it smells great – on the sweet side – definitely a summer type of shave cream that has a fresh feeling to it. The scent is initially strong, not too strong, just right, but I found that it faded rather quickly after lathering my face.

As with all my other experiences with Taylor of Old Bond Street Shave Creams, lathering was a joy. Easy to whip up creating a nice full lather that is a joy to apply. I did find that it wanted a bit more water than I would normally use with other TOBS creams, but that was easy to sort out.




The cream worked as expected when it came to performance as well. A very slick surface for your razor to glide on, with plenty of cushion. Leaving your face feeling protected and moisturized.

In the end another great shave cream from Taylor of Old Bond Street. I still prefer the Avocado scent over the Coconut, but the Coconut definitely has a place in my shave cabinet. Great for the summer months and provides a nice departure from the ‘mainstream’ scents that we find in most drug stores.

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Proraso Blue After Shave Balm – A Review

IMG_20140604_092139Last month I was using  Proraso Blue After Shave Balm. This is my first none ‘liquid’ after shave that I have used since I have been reviewing them on a regular basis. I’ll be honest, I do prefer the liquid aftershave over the creamy texture that the Proraso Blue After Shave provides, but it really didn’t take away from the experience or performance.

Oddly this is the first time I have used an after shave product that had a matching shave cream (I used two creams last month Proraso Blue and TOBS Coconut which I will review later this month), and I will have to say using complementary scents is quite nice. I am a big fan of the Proraso Blue Shaving Cream, specifically its scent, so naturally I was excited to add this after shave to my shelf. If you have used the Proraso Blue and enjoyed the scent there is no need for hesitation picking up this product. Having said that the scent doesn’t linger for very long, not much of a problem if you wanted to follow up the Proraso Blue After Shave Balm with some cologne that doesn’t really complement it – just a bit of disappointment if you were hoping to get through your morning with a hint of Proraso Blue in the air. I’m not sure how to best describe the smell other than stating that it is very fresh with a classy edge to it. Great for these summer months.

IMG_20140604_091623 (1)As for performance I didn’t really have any doubts. The Proraso Blue After Shave Balm does a great job fighting razor burn, minus the burning you would get from an alcohol based product. However, I feel that it excels in is its ability to moisturize; my face felt noticeably moisturized most of the day, often realizing that I was rubbing my fingers on my face for longer than normal or healthy. The balm contains Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, and a few other natural products, perhaps making this a good choice if you daily routine is void of any other moisturizing products.

Another things worth mentioning is the packaging of the Proraso Blue After Shave Balm. As with many of their products Proraso really seems to care about the presentation they provide. The balm comes in a nice hefty glass container and can be left on your counter or sink and not look out of place, messy, or provide any reason for your wife to make you store your grooming products out of sight.

If you are a fan of Proraso products there is no need to hesitate with the Proraso Blue After Shave Balm. You will receive a great product, with a great results, and some nice packaging. As  stated above this is a cream product, if you were looking for a splash you may want to consider something like Clubman Pinaud, but I wouldn’t let the cream base deter you from trying it out.

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The Parker 89R – A Review

IMG_20140520_123834If someone would have told me prior to using the Parker 89R safety razor that it may knock my Edwin Jagger 89lbl off its perch of preferred razor I wouldn’t have believed you. But after a few weeks of exclusive use, and despite more than a few nicks and cuts during the first few shaves, the Parker 89R is definitely threatening my EJ 89lbl as my go to razor.

When I ordered the Parker 89R I wasn’t expecting much. The order was really more out of curiosity and education than anything else. When I first opened the box I was impressed by the build, and concerned by the blade exposure, and it seems that I was correct on both counts.

My immediate reaction while using the razor for the first time was one of surprise, it felt great to hold and maneuver, it did a nice job shaving – very comfortable, eventually leading to a flinch from a lovely cut that I gave myself.

To be fair the cut was due to my own negligence, a bit of too comfortable and confident with a new razor, and a bit of forgetting about the blade exposure. The cutting and nicking continued for a few more days, but I have, happily worked out my control issues.

IMG_20140520_123902Balance 5/5:
The balance of this razor is possible my favourite aspect of this razor. It feels great, not too heavy not too light. I’m sure that the longer handle has something to do with the added weight. If you are used to plastic replaceable razors this will be a surprising change.

I had doubts about the longer hand, having grown accustomed to using shorter handles, but it actually feels very natural. The longer handle may be appealing to those thinking about getting started in classic wet shaving – it’s one last thing to adjust to.

Grip 5/5:
I was a bit concerned about the grip of the Parker 89R but after using it with both wet and dry hands I didn’t run into any issues.  The handle itself looks great, has a nice design, the divots provide a nice anchoring point. No complaints from me here.

Blade Exposure: Aggressive
IMG_20140520_124016Without a doubt this is the most aggressive, non slant razor that I own, and to be honest I would go as far as saying that it is more aggressive than my two slant razors. That doesn’t make it a bad thing, it is just good to know that if you pick this razor up, be aware that it more than likely shaves differently than your other razors. The photo above demonstrates the blade gap the Parker 89R has, I was able to fit and entire wrapped blade in the gap, as opposed to my Edwin Jagger where it the same was not anywhere near possible. I used my digital caliper to try to get a measurement of the two – the Parker 89R came in at roughly 1.75mm while the gap on the Edwin Jagger 89lbl was about 1.25 mm. Doesn’t seem like much but tell that to my chin.

Price: 5/5
Whether this is would be your first safety razor or simply an addition to your collection you can’t really go wrong with the price. A quality razor that covers its bases.

IMG_20140520_124041I really enjoy using the Parker 89R, overall it provides a great experience and a nice price, I am actually surprised that it doesn’t receive much attention. If this is your first double edge razor purchase, and you would classify yourself as an impatient individual, I would guide you towards the Edwin Jagger 89lbl only because the larger blade exposure is less forgiving. Having said that I wouldn’t want to turn someone away from picking up this razor because once you become accustomed to the blade gap it really does provide a great shave and experience.

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Nivea for Men Sensitive Shave Cream

IMG_20140513_131147Ratings:
Value: 7
Cushion: 7
Slickness: 8
Scent Pleasantness: 5
Scent Strength (balance): 7
Moisturising: 8

For the past few weeks I have been using Nivea’s Sensitive Shave Cream for Men. The first shaving product in a long time that is produced by a ‘large’ company; prior to this I would say that Proraso was the next biggest company and I’m not sure if they are really known very well outside of Europe and classic wet shavers. I picked it up mainly because I was curious if one of the big boys in health products was able memorable and quality shaving experience.

For the most part I will have to say that I was able to achieve a decent shave using Nivea’s Sensitive Shave Cream for Men, but there was definitely something missing for me. It’s too bad really because a company with Nivea’s distribution can really help lead the way back to using a brush and quality shaIMG_20140513_131113ve cream for men’s shaving routine.

My biggest issue I had was with the scent of the Nivea’s Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin. I doesn’t smell bad, it has a clean smell to it, bordering too much like hand cream for me. I would imagine that some men may actually prefer this type of scent; perhaps I have become too accustomed to the ‘fancy’ scents that are available from the wet shaving world – for example like the Grapefruit offering from Taylor of Old Bond Street – whatever the reason it just didn’t work for me. I generally look forward to my shave, a little less so with this cream. Overall the scent was not memorable.

I was also somewhat disappointed by the lather that the shave cream produced. I had a bit of a hard time finding a nice balance between cream and amount of water needed – in the end the cream seemed to be a bit more thirsty than I had initially anticipated. The lather that it produces is a bit more creamy than foamy, and after more than a couple of weeks of trying I just couldn’t get it to produce a lather that I found enjoyable to apply.

Having said all this the cream did provide a decent amount of slickness, it didn’t leave my face feeling dry, nor did it dry out in the bowl – lasting for all three passes. As much as I was not impressed by the fragrance it really did not linger all that long after my shave, essentially disappearing once I applied my aftershave. The most attractive aspect of Nivea’s Sensitive Shave Cream for Men has to be the price, as much as it didn’t strike a nerve with me, it does provide an opportunity for someone who is curious about using a shave cream that is applied the “old fashion” way and opening a door to classic wet shaving.

Tools in images:
Parker 89R
Vie-Long Horse Hair Brush
Pinaud Clubman Vanilla Aftershave

 

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