Shave Sticks

One of the many unique and interesting products used in traditional wet shaving is the shave stick.  A shave stick is an odd piece of gear, it is basically (as the name implies) a bit of shaving soap formed into the shape of a stick.  This stick will usually have a base for the user to grip and will sometimes have an outer casing made of plastic, but is often just wrapped in foil.  Many shave sticks (Arko, Palmolive, etc.) are extremely inexpensive; however, some of the higher end sticks cost more and come in a smaller volume than the equivilant soap puck from the same company.  Just as buying prepared food costs a bit more than the raw ingredients, opting for a shave stick over a larger puck of soap will often cost a bit more because the value provided is in the convenience of the product rather than in the volume.  And a shave stick is definitely convenient.  While a shave stick is often thought of as an easy way to bring soap along when traveling, it can also be used at home to cut down on overall shaving time and mess.  To use a shave stick, you simply wet the end, rub it across your wet face and neck (or legs, or whatever), use an appropriately moist shave brush to create lather, and go to town.  There is no bowl to rinse out, no puck to clean off, and rubbing the soap directly onto the surface to be shaved reduces soap waste as well.

Most major shaving product manufacturers offer shave sticks, even the many independent artisan soap makers will often offer their products up in the form of shave sticks.  If your favorite shaving soap is not available as a shave stick, all is not lost because creating a shave stick is relatively simple.  Any container into which soap can be formed or melted can be used to create a shave stick, and there are even twist up containers created specifically for housing home made shave sticks.

The shave stick may be virtually unknown outside of the traditional wet shaving world, and may not get much attention INSIDE of that same world, but it is a product worth looking at.  The easy clean up, low maintainance, and portability of shave sticks make them the perfect item to transition new folks from corporate dominated cartridge shaving to the more rewarding land of traditional wet shaving.

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Product Links:

Shave Stick:
http://search.westcoastshaving.com/b/q?k=shave+stick&search=GO&sn=161304780

http://www.mikesnaturalsoaps.com/Mikes_Natural_Soaps/T,_L,_%26_KB_Shave_Sticks.html

http://www.shoeboxshaveshop.com/shave-stick-center.html

http://mamabearssoaps.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2&zenid=f855e1a8fbc53aab7adbe3ec305f6caf

http://www.bullgooseshaving.net/shavesticks.html

http://kellsoriginal.com/Kells-Original-Shave-Stick-4-XXX.htm;jsessionid=32C1307C8D66FA168E6B1956F33501A6.m1plqscsfapp05

Twist Up Shave Stick Container:
http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Twist-up-Shaving-Stick-Containers-2-oz_p_649.html

http://www.elementsbathandbody.com/2-oz-Natural-Twist-up-Tube-pr-486.html

Shave Of The Day (03 June 2013)

I’m just coming off of my “Desert Island” Week in which I used one set of products all week without straying.  It was an interesting experience that allowed me to really get to know my chosen set up, but it also had me considering other products that I might be able to use exclusively.  Which scents could I enjoy over and over again in the long term?  What soaps would keep my interest over an extended period of time?  Which razor would work best for me if I had to use just one?  So, for the rest of this month I will be staying loyal to one set of products all week long and will only switch up at the end of the week.  I’ll post my opening set up and thoughts as well as my close out impressions of how the week went.  In between I will continue to post product reviews as well as some of the fiction that I have managed to get done during my brief down time.  I hope you enjoy the ride.

First up is a set of gear that I have never used together, but I can list each piece as among my all time favorites separately.  For my soap I will use another superlather, this one will be Pre De Provence soap and Kiss My Face Green Tea & Bamboo shave cream.  PdP soap is an excellent french soap with a good amount of shea butter included in its ingredients list.  This soap does an amazing job of keeping the skin moist, but can be difficult to lather.  I have found that using a slightly drier than normal brush and loading up a bit longer will usually eliminate this soap’s lathering issues.  My wife loves this stuff and now uses it almost exclusively (she still pulls out a bottle of KMF or “her” tub of TOBS Rose whenever she’s in a hurry).  The KMF Green Tea & Bamboo has long been one of my all time favorite creams both scent wise and performance wise.  I use it all of the time to help boost a difficult soap or when I want something that just smells awesome.  I have to admit though, that one of the major reasons that I chose it was because I happened to be reading an old forum thread discussing (and mostly praising) KMF creams.  My brush for the week will be my Comoy/Vulfix 376S Super Badger.  I won this in a give away contest on The Shave Nook and have been mostly using it to do test lathers for my product reviews.  This brush is extremely soft, easy to rinse clean, and looks great.  The 376S seems to almost magically pick up tons of product with very little effort and I feel very lucky to have been given this brush.  The more I use the Comoy/Vulfix, the more I like it.  My razor will be my Union Cutlery 5/8 full hollow square point.  I put a lot of time and work into the UC and I consider it to be my best straight razor.  It performs reliably and always makes me happy that I chose to fix it up.  It is by no means a collector’s straight razor, but it sits proudly at the top of my collection…blemishes and all.  I am still working on my straight razor technique, so my shaves won’t be 100% just yet, but using my UC I know that I can improve without having to wonder about the whether my issues are coming from my razor or me.

Today following a hot shower and warm water splashes to the face I did a three pass with the grain/against the grain/across the grain shave and finished up with a cold water rinse.  The superlather was perfect.  It created mountains of slick lather that did an excellent job of protecting my face and smelled nice and green.  Imagine holding a freshly cut sapling up to your nose while sitting on a newly mown lawn and you’ll have the scent.  My Comoy/Vulfix brush held up beautifully and produced the lather with zero difficulties.  I did a bit of experimenting with blade angles and directions of attack without any real ill effects.  I received a damn fine shave with only mild irritation on my neck.  My skin feels soft and smooth in a talc sort of way rather than in the slick sort of feeling that I get from heavy glycerin soaps or from after shave balms.  There is a slight soapy sort of scent lingering in the background that I like quite a bit.  Overall this was an excellent shave and the perfect beginning to my desert island month.

Pre: Hot shower and warm water splash
Razor: Union Cutlery 5/8 full hollow
Soap: Superlather of Pre De Provence and Kiss My Face Green Tea & Bamboo
Brush: Comoy/Vulfix 376S Super Badger
Post: Cold water rinse

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Product Links:

Pre De Provence:
http://www.drugstore.com/pre-de-provence-shave-soap/qxp361594?catid=184086

Kiss My Face Green Tea & Bamboo:
http://www.pureformulas.com/green-tea-bamboo-moisture-shave-11-fl-oz-by-kiss-my-face.html

Vulfix 376S Super Badger:
http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Vulfix-376S-Super-Badger-Shaving-Brush_p_553.html

Product Review: Sik Bay Three Piece Plastic Razor

When I first decided to get into wet shaving I was on a tight budget and made every attempt to keep the costs from spiralling out of control.  Not knowing enough about the products available locally nor about the various ways to cut costs, I basically bought all of my gear online from a single source.  I was buying gear for both my wife and myself and believed that I would not have enough money to purchase everything that I wanted.  I decided that I would have to make do with a single soap, a couple of safety razors, and a small selection of blades.  There was just not enough money in the budget to include a couple of shaving brushes, a wide selection of blades, or any of the other extras that I would have liked.  Then I found Bestshave.net.

Bestshave.net is a web site based out of Turkey that sells shaving gear at rock bottom prices.  One of their big draws is the #6 brush, which they sell for less than $3.  Seeing as one of the pieces of gear that I was having a difficult time working into my budget was a brush bestshave.net seemed like the perfect answer to my problems.  Unfortunately, packages from bestshave.net can take a month or more to arrive, and by the time I received my gear from Turkey I had already managed to get a couple of brushes and a large selection of blades.  When the package finally arrived I eagerly tore it open and noticed that beyond the stuff that I had actually ordered there was also a little something extra added.  The good folks at Bestshave.net had thrown in a plastic three piece razor with my gear at no extra cost.  This razor turned out to be the best part of the whole order.

The Sik Bay razor is a black plastic three piece safety razor that seems pretty unassuming upon an initial examination.  The razor handle has a sort of bumpy texture that makes it easy to grip, even when wet.  The handle threads into the top plate in the usual way and tightens down smoothly and evenly, it seems to have a fairly solid construction which keeps the plastic threads from stripping or becoming easily worn down.  The bottom plate has two notches which work to keep the DE blade evenly and securely in place and also holds the solid guard bar at an optimal angle.  The top plate holds the male portion of the threads and the Sik Bay logo imprinted on the face.  The razor has a fairly aggressive design that allows for a quick and easy shave, even with a good amount of beard growth.  In spite of its aggressiveness the razor head is designed well and shaves smoothly and without the harshness of most other aggressive razors.  The razor is made out of plastic which means that it is very light in weight, but due to its aggressive nature it requires very little pressure in order to shave effectively.  I did not expect much from a plastic safety razor, but after using it several times I can honestly say that some of my closest and most comfortable shaves have come from the Sik Bay, and it has become one of my go to razors.  I find myself reaching for the Sik Bay almost as often as my Edwin Jagger DE86 or my Gillette Super Speed, and at a price of only $1.75 I would recommend this razor as an excellent all around razor equally suited for both travel and home use.

Ratings (1-10, 1 being the absolute lowest and 10 being the absolute best):

Aggressiveness: 8
Shaving Effectiveness: 9
Weight: 2
Grip: 8
Blade Placement: 9
Overall: 8

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Product Link:

http://shop.bestshave.net/plastic-safety-razor-p-171.html

Local Pig Shaving Cream

When I first heard about the Local Pig butcher shop and their beef tallow based shaving cream I was very interested in trying it out, but I could never really bring myself to buy a tin of the stuff.  After its initial release I waited to see what other folks thought about the product before considering the purchase of some for myself.  What I discovered wasn’t great, I read several reviews of the cream which were less than complimentary and I had some bad experiences with etsy and eBay based sellers of artisan shaving soaps and creams, so I was extremely hesitant to give this stuff a chance.  There HAD been some good reviews of the Local Pig’s shaving cream, and for whatever reason it kept popping up on my radar.  Eventually I was to the point where I absolutely had to try this odd cream out for myself.  Fortunately for me, at the same time that I was agonizing over the possibility of purchasing this cream, a give away drawing was set up by a generous member of The Shave Nook…the prize was a tin of Local Pig shave cream and a nice Comoy badger brush (which is actually a rebranded Vulfix 376S Super Badger brush).  I marveled at the timing of the contest and threw my hat in the ring, hoping that I might get lucky.  When the drawing came about and my name was picked, I was amazed and quite happy that I had actually won.

My prize arrived in the mail yesterday, but since I had already shaved all I could do was give the brush and cream a quick initial try.  I was surprised when I opened the tin of shaving cream, it had the look and consistency of thick petroleum jelly, and had an unusual, but extremely pleasant, scent.  I was afraid that something had happened to cause the cream to gel in transit, but after looking at a few online pictures I decided that this was just how the cream looked.  Setting aside my hesitancy I scooped out a small amount of the cream and gave it a try.  It took a little work to dial in, but after some experimentation it lathered up relatively quickly and easily.  The Comoy/Vulfix brush proved to be extremely soft and capable, I look forward to using it quite frequently in the future.

Today I eagerly jumped into my shave.  I decided to continue with the NOS Dutch made Max Herder Elite blade from yesterday’s shave with the notion that the blade would be a bit less aggressive on its second shave, but as this would only be my second use of this particular brand of blades I was unsure of what to expect.  It’s a rare occasion when I look forward to trying so many new products at once, so to take away some of the unknown factor involved I decided to use my trusty Edwin Jagger DE86 razor.  The DE86 is a fine razor with good balance and a nice heft to it.  As I am very familiar and comfortable with the DE86, it is an excellent tool to use when trying to evaluate new products.  With all of my new stuff gathered up I prepared for my shave.

Following a hot shower (during which my new brush sat soaking) I splashed some warm water onto my face and began to work on the cream.  This time around I had some difficulty getting the lather right.  I ended up with a foam rather than the thick creamy lather that I made when I initially tested this cream, so I washed off the brush and pulled out some more product to make a second attempt.  This time I used much less water and worked the lather a bit longer, which resulted in a usable lather.  The scent of sweet almond and honey remained with the lather and made me smile as I painted it onto my face.  I performed a two pass with the grain/against the grain shave with a touch up pass on my neck and ended with my usual cold water rinse.  The shave left me baby butt smooth with zero nicks and zero irritation, but it also left my skin feeling somewhat dried out.  The brush was a joy to use, it holds a ton of product and applies its load easily and smoothly.  The badger hair is a bit floppy, but not annoyingly so; however, I did have a difficult time judging how well it was loaded up as well as figuring out just how much pressure to use when lathering.  The cream turned out to be very slick and nicely scented, but was difficult to properly dial in and provided little cushion.  I can see why some folks have a difficult time with this stuff, but I think that if it were to be paired with the correct soap that it would create an excellent superlather.  I will continue to work with this cream and have every confidence that I will be able to figure out how to make it sing.  The Max Herder Elite blade paired up with the Edwin Jagger DE86 is the perfect combination, the razor did an excellent job and felt nice and buttery smooth against my skin, although some credit must also go to the incredibly slick Local Pig cream.  In the end my shave was quite close and comfortable, but still not as good as it could be.  The Local Pig shaving cream will take some work to get right and properly using this new badger brush will also take some adjustment.  Given a few more go arounds with this gear I should be able to work all of the bugs out.  That’s part of the joy of new shaving gear, figuring out just how to utilize it properly.

Pre: Hot shower and warm water splash
Razor: Edwin Jagger DE86
Blade: Max Herder Elite
Brush: Comoy Super Badger/Vulfix 376S
Soap: Local Pig shaving cream
Post: Cold water rinse

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Product Links:

Edwin Jagger DE86:

http://www.mensdirect.com/product/Edwin-Jagger-Double-Edge-Safety-Razor-Imitation-Ebony-DE86/Safety_Razors

Vulfix 376S:

http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Vulfix-376S-Super-Badger-Shaving-Brush_p_553.html

Local Pig Shaving Cream:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/123570364/all-natural-traditional-shaving-cream?ref=shop_home_active

Dutch Fever!

I’m from Michigan originally.  I say originally because if I were to just say, “I’m from Michigan.”  it would be inaccurate.  I was born in Michigan and then quickly moved away at the tender age of one year old.  I did end up coming back eventually.  I lived in various towns and cities in Michigan on and off for approximately half of my life.  I have lived in roughly thirty cities all over the world, but Michigan is where I began.  So, while I may not be a true Michigander, I do consider it my de facto home.

Michigan is an odd state, much more diverse than people might believe.  The areas in and around Dearborn and Detroit have the largest Arab population in the world, outside of the Middle East.  You’re just as likely to see signs in Arabic or Farsi as in English or Spanish.  Places with French names like Detroit (originally pronounced: deh-TWAH), Charlevoix (pronounced: SHAR-luh-voy), Mackinac (pronounced: MAC-in-NAW), and Sault Ste Marie (pronounced: SOO-saint-muhree) are common because the French loggers and trappers were the original European settlers in the area.  There is a huge Greek and German population as well.  There are actually towns where German is the more common language and the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan holds an annual Greek festival that literally takes over down town for several days.  The Mennonite and Amish population are pretty well represented as well.  There are an enormous amount of orchards, wineries, vineyards, and fruit markets, all of which attracts a substantial seasonal worker population of various Hispanic folks.  And in west Michigan there is a town called Holland.  This town is, as you might assume, primarily Dutch in ancestry.  They have an annual tulip festival, there is a good portion of the population that speaks at least a little Dutch, and they have phone books filled with names like Voorhees and Van Der This or Van Der That.  The Dutch are actually quite well represented in west Michigan in general, you’re as likely to meet a person with far too many Os or As in their name as you are to meet a guy named Smith.  So, Michigan is a melting pot of sorts and I was lucky enough to interact with many of these different cultures.  One of my good friends in highschool was an Egyptian guy who came to the US via Germany, so he taught me a bit of Arabic and helped me to study German while I taught him how to turn an “independent study” into an ongoing rubber band war with the Spanish teacher.

When I was learning German in highschool I was also learning Dutch on the side, because in a west Michigan town with more Dutch place names than English ones that’s just the way it was.  I was quite fluent in German by the time I left for the military, but I never really took to Dutch.  I liked the Dutch culture, but the language was just too close to German for me to learn both at the same time without mixing things up.  These languages served me well when I dated a Pennsylvania Dutch girl, whose grandparents were ex-Mennonites, but beyond that I haven’t spoken German in nearly ten years and my Dutch is even further away.  It still makes me smile when I’m able to pick up a sentence or two, but I would not claim to be able to speak either language any more.  All of this brings me to my point, in a very round about manner.  I see Germanic cultures and people, especially the Dutch and Germans, as very close cousins to Americans.  I feel a sort of kinship with the Dutch, so when I learned that they had some pretty well thought of shaving gear I was curious, to say the least.  When an opportunity to get my hands on some new old stock, Dutch made, double edge razor blades popped up I jumped on it.

A very kind member of The Shave Den gifted me a package of ten Max Herder Elite blades which, after an unfortunate snafu involving the postal service and what I can only assume was an overzealous sorting machine, have finally landed on my doorstep.  As soon as I had my paws on these blades I knew that I needed to do a Dutch themed shave, so I pulled out my puck of De Vergulde Hand Extra Fris soap, my Van Der Hagen boar brush (yes, I know it’s an American company, but they have Dutch roots), and my Gillette super speed (Ok, I don’t own a Dutch razor, but I’m sure that Mr. Gillette KNEW some Dutch folks…), I loaded up a Max Herder Elite blade, tuned my computer to http://www.nederland.fm, and got down to it.

Following my usual prep I performed a two pass with the grain/against the grain shave followed by a cold water rinse.  The shave left me baby butt smooth and left my skin soft and with zero irritation.  I did manage to get a pretty good nick on the left side of my chin, but that was entirely my own fault.  The DVH Extra Fris soap continues to make me happy, providing an excellent lather and leaving my skin soft and pleasantly scented.  I would love to try either the regular DVH soap or the shave stick.  The VDH boar brush did a passable job with this soap, but was nothing remarkable.  The Max Herder Elite blades were crazy sharp.  These Dutch made Swedish steel blades mowed down my stubble in record time and with zero difficulty.  These blades are so sharp that I could have stopped after one pass and had a damn fine shave.  They are a little bit harsh, but not in an unmanageable way, if you begin with a little bit of respect for the insanely sharp edge on these blades, then you will be rewarded for your caution with an extremely close and comfortable shave.  The one nick that I received happened because my hand slipped on my first pass…it didn’t even begin to bleed until I was rinsing off after my second pass.  I have a feeling that my capillaries were so shocked at how easily and cleanly they were severed that they didn’t know that they were supposed to bleed all over my face until then.  In spite of the nick, my shave was very pleasant and enjoyable.  I’m sad that these blades are not in current production, I would absolutely buy some if they were available.  I am happy to say that the Dutch make some awesome shaving gear and I’ll have to see if I can find a Dutch made straight razor in the near future, but in the mean time I’ll continue to enjoy my Max Herder Elite blades.

Pre: Hot shower and warm water splash
Razor: Gillette black handled super speed
Blade: Max Herder Elite
Brush: Van Der Hagen basic boar
Soap: De Vergulde Hand Extra Fris
Post: Cold water rinse

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Product Links:

De Vergulde Hand Extra Fris:

http://search.westcoastshaving.com/b/q?k=de+vergulde+hand&search=GO&sn=161304780

http://www.royalshave.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SRCH

Van Der Hagen basic boar brush:

http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=155181&catid=288501&aid=338666&aparam=goobase_filler&device=c&network=g&matchtype=

http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=155185&catid=196102&aid=338666&aparam=goobase_filler&device=c&network=g&matchtype=

Shave Of The Day (08 May 2013)

I decided to go basic today.  Every now and again I feel the need to set aside experiments and fancy ideas and just go with what absolutely works.  For today’s shave I pulled out my trusty Edwin Jagger DE86 and a Croma blade.  The DE86 was my first safety razor and is still the measuring stick that I used to judge all other razors by.  Very few razors surpass the Edwin Jagger in terms of function and only a few manage to equal it.  It is a nicely compact, yet heavy razor that does an excellent job with just about any blade.  The Croma Diamant blade is manufactured by Feintechnik,the same folks who produce the high end Bolzano Superinox Inossidabile.  The Croma is a fine blade that is much less harsh and much more forgiving than its sibling the Bolzano.  Cromas are a little difficult to find, but they are worth the effort and the price.  For my brush I am continuing with my #6 Turkish Horsehair.  It is an amazingly inexpensive little brush that would be a steal even if it cost five times as much as it does.  Once it is deodorized the #6 is a seriously impressive brush that is equally capable of bowl or face lathering and performs well even with the most stubborn of soaps.  Speaking of soap, today I am using my workhorse soap, the soap by which all other soaps are gauged: Vitos Extra Super.  Vitos Extra Super (A.K.A. Vitos Red) is an amazing tallow based soft Italian soap with extra glycerin added to give it a much slicker feel.  Vitos is easy to lather, has a pleasant almond scent, and provides an amazing surface for the razor to glide across.  It always leaves my skin feeling smooth and soft and is a constant in my soap rotation.  I have a big jar, double filled, that I expect to last me for quite some time.

I took my shower while my brush soaked and then performed a two pass shave today, starting with a warm water splash and ending with a cold water rinse.  I considered using some after shave, not because I needed it, but because my skin felt so good that I thought it might add to the overall slickness.  In the end, I went without because I just didn’t want to mess with success  The shave was an easy with the grain/against the grain shave that was quite pleasant and resulted in a baby butt smooth finish.  I would never call this shave exciting or life altering, but if I had to live with only one set up, then this would be it.  It’s extremely comforting to know that you have a group of products that will always result in an excellent and effort free shave, it makes it easier to asses the abilities of other products and allows you to get a good shave even when you’re in a hurry.  For anyone looking to get into wet shaving, I highly recommend these products.

Razor: Edwin Jagger DE86
Blade: Croma Diamant
Brush: #6 Turkish Horsehair
Soap: Vitos Extra Super

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Product Links:

Edwin Jagger DE86:

http://www.mensdirect.com/product/Edwin-Jagger-Double-Edge-Safety-Razor-Imitation-Ebony-DE86/Safety_Razors

Croma Diamant:

http://www.razorbladesandmore.com/content/10-croma-diamant-stainless-steel-double-edge-blades

http://www.razorbladesandmore.com/content/100-croma-diamant-stainless-steel-double-edge-blades

Vitos Extra Super:

http://www.razorbladesandmore.com/content/vitos-extra-super-shave-cream-sapone-da-barba-125ml

#6 Turkish Horsehair Brush:

http://shop.bestshave.net/wooden-handled-shaving-brushes-no6-p-67.html

Vintage Shave/Shave Of The Day (07 May 2013)

In honor of vintage week at one of my favorite forums, The Shave Den, I decided to pull my awesome old school Gillette Thin blade out of the Edwin Jagger DE86 razor and throw it into my Gillette black handle super speed.  The Gillette Thin is a new old stock carbon steel blade that is no longer in production, but can still be found new and in the package with a little hunting on eBay or shaving forums.  The Gillette black handle super speed is, likewise, an out of production razor which can easily be found for under $20 on eBay and is an excellent and mild shaver.  I do not own any vintage brushes, so the #6 Turkish Horsehair, purchased from bestshave.net, will have to do.  It has that old world feel to it and is as close to vintage as I can get.  The #6 is an excellent brush and costs just under $3, but can really only be found on bestshave.net, which is a site based out of Turkey.  The brush smells just awful when it is new, but some judicious use of pet shampoo and leaving the lather from some strongly scented shaving soaps on it for a few hours will help to eliminate the scent (it took me maybe two weeks of use to completely eliminate the scent).  Bestshave.net has excellent deals, but does take quite a while for shipments to arrive (think three to five weeks).  Seeing as I also do not currently have any vintage soaps, the Godrej shaving round is standing in for a vintage soap.  This Indian soap just feels right for the whole vintage theme and absolutely has a vintage sort of scent.  I debated between this soap and my De Vergulde Hand, but seeing as it has been a while since I last used the Godrej, it won out.

The Godrej shaving round has a very sharp and medicinal scent to it and I doubt that anyone would list it as their favorite smell, but in spite of it not being a pleasant scent it is also not an awful one.  I do not mind the smell, but I could see not wanting to use it if I were feeling sick.  The soap comes in a little plastic jar and is one of the smaller soaps that I have used, weighing in at only 50g (approx. 1.7oz.), but is also extremely inexpensive.  The Godrej lathers quickly and easily and is easy to apply, if you’re a newbie and looking for an easy, inexpensive soap to try out, then I would highly recommend this one.  The soap provides good cushion, but only OK glide, if I were to pair this up with a slick cream, like Karo Classic, for a superlather then I have no doubt that this soap would work exceptionally well.  I plan on using this in combination with Every Man Jack Sensitive as a sort of preshave cream next time.

I did my usual three pass shave followed by a cold water rinse and was rewarded with a damn fine shave (I was in a hurry to get my daughter clean and ready to go to the grandparents, so my neck did not come out perfectly).  The Gillette blade and razor proved to be a delight to use together and I find myself wishing even more that the Gillette Thin carbon blade was still in production.  My skin felt smooth and relatively soft, but definitely not softer than usual or particularly moist.  The Godrej did its job well, but does little to nothing for my skin.  The scent lingers a bit, but stays in the background and does not interfere too much.  Overall, a good shave that has the potential to be a great shave.  I will enjoy trying a few different things next time and hopefully be rewarded with a new inexpensive combination to add to my arsenal.

Razor: Gillette Black Handle Super Speed
Blade: NOS Gillette Thin (3rd shave)
Brush: Turkish Horsehair #6
Soap: Godrej Shaving Round

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Product Links:

Godrej Shaving Round:

http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Godrej-Shaving-Round-Soap_p_548.html
(This soap is also often available in two packs on eBay around $7 or $8.)

Turkish Horsehair #6 Brush:

http://shop.bestshave.net/wooden-handled-shaving-brushes-no6-p-67.html