Monday, July 27, 2015

Review - Sapone Di Paolo

Company: Sapone Di Paolo
Founder: Palolo
Location: Charleston South Carolina
Product: Sapone Di Paolo
The American Soap With Italian Roots. 

On March 6th 2015 Paolo announce his new soap company exclusively on the forum called The Shaving Nook. That was 4 months ago and things sure have taken off since then. As the grandson of an Italian barber, shaving is in his genes!  The company name, all of the scent names, and the soap itself all bear the Italian style as a nod to his Italian heritage. Palolo offers Agrume (citrus), which is a lime and basil blend, and Inodoro (scentless). Also included in the line up are the same scented balms.  All of the soaps are vegan and are based in aloe vera, stearic acid, coconut oil and mango butter. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

SOTD - Summer Storm Shaving Soap

Review - The Holy Black Trading Company Shaving Soap

Company: The Holy Black Trading Company
Product: Shaving Soap
Founder: Stefan Vincent

Stefan Vincent started his company in 2013. He was hooked on Wet Shaving after he inherited his grandfathers and brother’s old straight razors they both were barbers who came from Italy to set up shop in Brooklyn. After some time when the Stefan’s business started to explode he brought in his brother as a partner.  The Holy Black name comes from a cowboy term used to describe black gunpowder “I only Shoot Holy Black”. The company website has an old western theme to it as well.

Review - Dr. Jon’s Shaving Soap Black Label

Company: Dr. Jon’s Shaving Soap

Product: Black Label

I received a Dr. Jon’s Soap from Nathan Clark with a custom brush I ordered a few weeks back. (That story coming soon) and now had the chance to try Black Label. Not a big fan of tobacco scented soaps but I was eager to give this one a try.

 The 2oz travel size tin has a great looking label. Two crossing straight razors with a man (It might be Jon) in the middle dressed in top hat, round glasses and sporting great mustache.  The top has the popular elastic strip that wrap around the outer edge on the tin. You have to love the way Jon labels his products. They are without a doubt some of the most eye-catching graphics I’ve seen on artisan soaps they do have a way of capturing your attention. 

Review - Top Shelf Subscription Box - Take Two

Review: - Top Shelf Subscription Box  - Take Two
Founder: Garry Johnson

In my first review of Top Shelf I pointed out my concerns on a number of things and made some suggestions to Garry on how he might go about making changes. Well, Box #2 is here and it’s a whole new ball game. What a difference 30 days makes. 

Let me start off by saying how nice the presentation is now. Gone is the over sized box, no more ugly bubble wrap. Gone is the contents list on scarp paper.  Now we have a wonderful sized box tailored to its contents. All items are cushioned by a bed of tiny accordion like strips of paper (very festive) and the contents list is presented on a thicker cardboard like piece of paper. The text is clear and legible highlighting all the included items in bold text along with Garry’s personal take on each one.

Review - Deluxe Shaving Co. Cool Daddy-O

Company: Deluxe Shaving Co.
Product: Deluxe Shaving Cream
Founder: Anthony 
Location: Woodbridge, Ontario

I’ll start off with a little background about the founder. Anthony is an avid cyclist and has been since he was a teenager. He loves to work on vintage cars and is fascinated with mechanical watches and fountain pens, the older the better. 
Anthony wanting to take his wet shaving hobby to the next level, so he decided to open a small business dedicated primarily to selling artisan shaving creams and soaps. DeLuxe Shaving Company was born.  The company was founded in early 2014 and it took him almost 1 year from the time he started the company to the time of the grand opening.

Anthony sent me nine samples. I normally start off with a description of the packaging but this time I’ll take my information from the website because I don’t have the full size tubs. The description reads 5oz plastic tub with a screw on top. That being said the sample sizes are a little small but a little goes a long way with Deluxe. 

Review - Barberry Coast Shave Co. Product Lavender Royale

Company: Barberry Coast Shave Co.
Product Lavender Royale

I finally had the opportunity to try Royale Lavender a follow up to the successful Ascent the company’s first shaving soap. Royale is a large white puck. It was wrapped in a white thick tissue paper but when removed a layer of plastic wrap was around the puck. 

The scent is very pleasing but if your looking for a strong scented soap you’ll not going to find it here. On the scent scale it’s a 2 from the puck and a 3 lathering. They describe the scent as classic, masculine (not too flowery) and clean with a slight herbaceous note.

Let me talk about lathering. This soap produced an amazing amount but you have to work for it. This soap is extremely thirsty. My first attempt I was 

Review - Dr. Jon's Savannah Sunrise Shaving Soap

Company: Dr. Jon Shaving Soap
Product: Savannah Sunrise

For anyone who’s had the pleasure of using Dr. Jon’s Shaving Soap you already know how great they all are but for someone who never tired them before please read on.

Since I tried only one of Dr. Jon’s shaving soap, which was a great tobacco scent by the way I wanted to try more. So I talked to Jon and had a sampler created for me, which included all but one of his 2oz shaving soap. (The one missing was not released yet) Once I received the parcel I just picked one from the box. “SAVANNAH SUNRISE” The first thing that grabs your attention is the amazing packaging. I’m talking about how the label design captures the description of the scent. They narrate the story of the product. I think it’s a nice touch to see the scent description on the perimeter of each and every label. On a side note I’m starting to like the tins with the screw on tops better, hoping they become standard issue soon with all artisans. The plastic stretch bands are getter old fast.

Review - Rustic Shaving Soap – Mahogany

Company: WSP - Wet Shaving Products
Product: Rustic Shaving Soap – Mahogany
Founder: Lee / Phoenix, AZ

Why Did I Wait So Long?

First a little background from the company profile. Lee is a shaveaholic. He loves everything about shaving. The brush, soap, how the lather feels on your face you name it. Lee's philosophe is that shaving should be an experience so he set out to bring the best quality products to consumers without extra markup.

With all the soaps on the market I found myself missing the opportunity to give Rustic a try. So on the advice of a member from “Wet The Face” I joined a Facebook group called WSP Fan club. After chatting with some members I ordered up all 14 1oz soaps. As soon as the parcel came I reached in and pulled out the first soap “MAHOGANY”. 

Review - Mal Pais - Old Time Shaving Soap

Company: Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements
Product: Mal Pais - Old Time Shaving Soap
Creator: Frances Towle

It’s always a good day when an artisan announces a new shaving soap. When I saw the post for Mal Pais from PAA I was drawn to it by the name. I was told by one of the HTGAM members that Frances Towle was the creator of the soap. Not only did she create a wonderful scent but most importantly she has formulated a great performing soap.

The packaging is of the new kind from PAA. It’s a better tin I think the color is dark silver with the popular screw on top. I prefer this to the older offerings with the stretched plastic band although this one came with one too.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Making of My ZenShave Brush

Company: Zen Shave
Founder: Robert Carey
So You Want A Custom Brush?

My quest for a custom brush started when I first saw one in a SOTD post and immediately fell in love with the style and craftsmanship. The company I’m talking about is Zen Shave. Once I found out who created the brush I went right to the website and saw SOLD OUT over each and every brush. A little disappointed I began looking over the website and discovered custom Razor Handles, Shaving Bowls and Vintage Razors all sold out so I kept going back waiting for anything to change. Finally I sent an email to Robert Carey.

Review - First Canadian Shaving Soap

Product: Loretto Lime & Rosemary 
Founder: Brian Hoffman
Location: Barrie, Ontario Canada

Brian started soap making about 12 years ago when he couldn’t find a high quality fragrance free soap. Through the Internet he’s learned to sharpen knives and straight razors, use straight razors and roast coffee. So how hard can making shaving soap be? Turns out it’s real hard. He had gone the castor oil and clay route for a long time until he landed on Johns (L.A. shave soap) post on B&B.  from there he honed in of the art of making shaving soap.

Review - Flying Mango Shaving Soap

Review - The Mongoose Razor

Company: The Mongoose Razors
Product: Mongoose Razor
Founder: Bruce Weber / Matt Glass

I noticed this razor when someone posted a “Shave of the Day” with it. I marveled at the look and style. Right then I knew I had to have one. I started looking for any information I could find. While doing a Google search I came across a Facebook Group of the same name. I emailed them and found out that I would have to wait a while to get one for myself.