Review: Elvado MoBay Rum Shaving Soap

Elvado MoBay Rum Shaving Soap

Elvado MoBay Rum Shaving Soap

I’m a lucky guy.  The parade of products here in the shave den of this creaky old pirate ship is unstoppable.  There seems to be a never-ending supply of soaps, creams, lotions, splashes, and definitely scents.  Even narrowed down to one category, like bay rum, there is a seemingly endless range of variations.  I feel a mixed emotion.  I feel sad for the guy out there that never tried anything else because he likes the one product he uses.  I also feel a bit of jealousy that he found something he loves so much that he doesn’t need to try anything else.  But I think we can all agree that we feel nothing but pity for the guy who gets his lather out of a can.  Yeah, it sucked being that guy.

Well, where was I.  Oh yes!  I’m a lucky guy.  Why?  Because I have yet another bay rum shaving soap to review!  Today, and actually for the last few days, I shaved with Elvado’s MoBay Rum Shaving Soap.  Elvado’s soaps are certified vegan products made with no animal testing.  So you won’t find any tallow here, gents.  However, this is a quality product.  I have been schooled lately on how non-tallow does not mean non-performance.

So lets just dive right in here.  This soap comes in a nice 3.5″ plastic tub that makes it great for loading your brush.  Not too big, not too small.  Actually there’s no such thing as too big.  But there is too small, and this ain’t it.

The scent is just wonderful.  This is yet another new take on the bay rum scent.  As I have said many times in several different reviews, bay rum is one of the best mediums to get inside the crafter’s head.  There is no definitive bay rum scent, so it’s up to the guy sitting at the desk with beakers and test tubes, and little droppers full of essential oils to craft his (or her) definition of “bay rum”.  And this one is great.  It’s seductively spicy, and has a great lime top note.  A classic lime top note jumps out to greet you and then introduces you to the rest of the lineup that is fairly reminiscent of what you would expect from a West Indies Bay Rum.  It’s a great scent that carries through the entire shave and stays with you a little while longer.

The lather is one you would expect from a veggie soap.  I have come to expect a certain consistency with veggie soaps, like a thick lemon meringue type of lather.  Tallow soaps lean to more of a yogurt consistency.  I like a balance between the two in general.  So I have played around with this soap for a few shaves, and found that my best lather came from face-lathering with a boar brush.  I tend to get an uber-thick application of lather that is far more cushioning than I get from my badger brush with this soap.  As for slickness, there is no argument.  This is a very slick soap, and when I get the lather right, I get great shaves.  BBS.  I did notice that the lather seems to be breaking down somewhat by my third pass, but comes back to life with a little refresher on the puck and some water.  This is a thirsty soap, and water does it good.

I did find at the end of my 3-pass shaves that my sensitive skin was starting to tingle a bit.  It’s most likely from the essential oils, because it is well-scented, and the ingredients are so good for your face.  The good news for me was that I also have the aftershave, and this helped calm things down.  I’ll save the AS for another review, as I think it is also a great product, deserving of it’s own entry here in the diaries.

  • Scent – 4.5
  • Lather Performance – 4
  • Lather Life – 3.5
  • Overall – 4

Review: Barrister & Mann – Seville Shaving soap

Barrister And Mann - Seville Shaving Soap

Barrister And Mann – Seville Shaving Soap

Recently, I’ve been doing several writeups on the new generation in shaving products.  Not your traditional names like Taylor of Old Bond Street, Truefitt & Hill, or D.R. Harris.  True, those guys have been around for a long time, and theres a very good reason for that.  But there is a new crop of shavemakers that truly deserve some high-end recognition because their products are just outstanding.  And recently I have added a new favorite to my list:  Barrister & Mann.

I recently ordered a sampler pack of their soaps, which also came with a sample of their awesome Kyovu aftershave.  The aftershave will get a separate review another time because it’s that good.  For today, I want to tell you about the first soap in their sampler that I have tried, Seville.  Oh man is it good.

This is a tallow soap, which is a breakaway from what seems to be the normal in the new generation of soaps and creams.  Most of them are vegan, or at least non-tallow soaps.  And they’re good.  They’re really good.  And this soap is on par with them all the way, and meets the demand of those shavers out there who prefer tallow soaps.

The scent is a blend of everything that is right in the world.  I have been a bay rum guy for a long time, but this scent is muscling its way into the #1 spot in my routine.  It’s an amazing barbershop scent that just leaves me floored with how good it is.  It’s a blend of bergamot, lemon, patchouli, oakmoss, lavender and rosemary.  I’m sure most of you are scratching your heads trying to imagine the scent, and thats why I almost hesitate to list it.  When lathering, shaving, even rinsing, the scent is the right blend, at the right strength.  This is one of those rare scents that simply take you away from the daily grind and make shaving something you want to do.  When you hear dorks like me say “the zen of shaving”, it’s scents like these that make up the zen part.  Have I mentioned yet that I like this scent…. a lot…?

As for performance, this stuff is right up there with the best.  I used my Duke 2 badger brush and built up a substantial lather, that was exquisitely thick and creamy.  It whips up super easy compared to other tallow soaps, that can sometimes flatten.  It does exactly what you’ve come to expect from a quality soap, giving your face an ultra-slick and cushioning layer of protection.  The razor glides with ease right through the whisker, leaving your skin feeling untouched yet as smooth as it can get.

One more thing to mention, their prices are outstanding for the quality inside of these products.  This is one of the better price-to-value ratios in the market.  Once you try them out, you’ll feel like you just ripped them off.  In my opinion, you did.

I say it all the time:  I’m a lucky man.  And I’m lucky now because I still have an entire sampler pack of Barrister & Mann soaps to go through.  And one of them is a bay rum.  Oh yeah.  Life is good.  Barrister & Mann is great.  Get some.

  • Scent – 5
  • Lather Performance – 5
  • Lather Life – 5
  • Overall – 5

5’s are for those things that just seem impossible to prove.  The scent is great, the lather is great, super slick and super protective, and is easy to whip up.  The lather lasts wonderfully for a full three-pass shave and then some.  I can’t think of any way to improve it.  How can I not give it a full 5.  Nice work guys.  Nice work.

Review: The American Bay Rum Aftershave Elixir

The American Bay Rum aftershave

The American Bay Rum aftershave elixir

It has been quite a long time since I got back to my roots and reviewed a bay rum aftershave.  While there have been a bay rum soap review here and there, you’d have thought I had lost my way.  Well, my friends, I am back with a new bay rum to tell you about, one that sounds all too familiar, but you most likely haven’t heard of yet:  The American Bay Rum aftershave elixir.

As far as presentation goes, clear out a nice prominent spot on your shave shelf.  Because this is a product that stands out.  Look at that bottle.  We’re talking a classy glass corked bottle that obviously costs the creator more to use, rather than, for instance, a plastic squeeze bottle.  The end result is that I’m proud to have it on display.  The labels are well designed and fit the product perfectly.  Really really well done…

The scent is a fantastic bay rum blend.  For the newcomer, bay rum is tough to categorize, but you know it when you smell it.  There is a lot of wiggle room in how each maker can interpret bay rum.  It’s not stringently defined scent.  So I appreciate it when someone out there takes some liberty to create a unique version of it.  This one is no different, and at the same time is totally unique.

Now there is an initial blast of alcohol.  And that is because there is Isopropyl Alcohol, but also RUM!!  Now that is awesome.  I do love it when bay rum makers include actual rum, even if it’s a splash.  But yes, there is a tinge of the isopropyl when it first hits (you can even let some of it evaporate before hitting your face), but once it’s gone, which is very quickly, the bay rum blend invades your senses.

The scent profile consists of: Pimenta Racemosa Leaves (yes, the primary bay scent is distilled from actual bay leaves), lime, allspice, whole spice, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla.  Now I know some of you out there aren’t that into clove.  I also don’t enjoy when the clove is too dominant.  But here’s the deal: there’s a balance.  Clove is a great scent to use to extend the bay scent.  the Bay of bay rum is a top note, a very short-lived scent.  And clove is similar, but stands out longer.  And cinnamon is similar still, and lasts even longer.  So you put it on, and go through this walkdown.  If the balance of scents is right, no scent should really stick out, but instead you’ll go from a young bay rum, to an adolescent bay rum, to the mature bay rum.  bay, citrus, cinnamon, clove… they all fit in the bay rum mix, but too much of any one can be a turnoff (clove being the prime example).  Luckily, The American Bay Rum is a really really well-blended mix of those.  Honestly, I have had it on for a while now and not one of those scents was too strong above the others.  It’s a great take on bay rum.  To compare, I would say its a more refined, maybe slightly sweeter version of Pinaud Clubman Virgin Island bay rum.

And this stuff feels great on my face with the addition of glycerin in the mix.  And it’s not too much, so my face doesn’t feel tacky, just smooth, with a fantastic scent.

If you are a bay rum kind of guy like me, you really should try this one out.  You’re not only gonna love the scent and the face feel (and the RUM!!), but even the bottle is a great addition to the shave den.  And even the price is in line with other brands in the market.  All-around great stuff!

Review: Schaf Skin Care For Men

Schaf Skin Care

Schaf Skin Care

Recently I have been noticing that I have sensitive skin.  There are just some soaps and creams out there that have been leaving my face itchy and irritated.  I’m shaving great now that I’ve found a better go-to blade for my Weber DLC.  With Gillette 7 O’Clock Yellows, I feel I have found gold, and have sent nicks for a walk on the plank.  But yes, sadly, I am noticing the issue with sensitive skin.  Tabac is an emotional example.  How I love the scent of that soap.  Too bad I just can’t use it.  It leaves my skin itchy every time.  I love the strong scent, but it’s the strong scent that hates my face.  Sad face.

Well I have a new addition to my shave den and my shower that is the answer to sensitive skin.  Enter Schaf Skin Care.  All in all there are four products available, and each of them are fantastic.  These were designed by Peter Schafrick, who was tired of all the products with all the harmful toxins and strong scents that cause irritation, and decided to make his own line of products that are simple, mostly natural, and fragrance-free, leading to an irritation-free morning ritual.

First up is Scrub:  To be used every other day, this scrub is made up of volcanic rock and ground apricot seeds, loosely bound in a foaming gel.  It feels fantastic and is easy to use, leaving your face feeling completely rejuvinated.  I probably like the scrub the most out of all these products.

Cleanse is a gentle facewash that is lightweight and rinses clean.  And it’s packed with goodness like chamomile, aloe, cucumber, and Japanese Green Tea extracts.  It gets rid of dirt and oil, leaving your face cleansed but not stripped.

Next comes the meat of the lineup, the shave cream.  I had a little trouble at first getting a good lather going, but I have found after much use that ideally you want to use as little water as possible, and lather directly on your face, instead of a mug or bowl.  I put a couple of squirts out of the can (yes its in a can, but its pump-action, not pressurized goo) right onto my brush, and face lathered and got a very slick lather.  I can’t say the lather is on par with some of my favorite creams out there, but it is a very slick lather providing a great glide for my razor.  I ended each shave baby-butt smooth and with zero irritation.  And the lather also rinses very clean very easily.  No soap residue here.

Last, but definitely not least, is Hydrate, a post-shave moisturizer loaded with fantastic ingredients like avocado oil, organic coconut oil, sunflower oil, pumpkin seed oil, vitamin e, aloe, and on and on and on.  The “final touch” is an ingredient called “Matrixyl 3000”, which according to the Schaf website, is a “proven anti-wrinkle peptide that defends against the signs of aging.”  I can tell you this:  It doesn’t feel oily or greasy at all.  A little goes a long way, and it absorbed into my skin almost instantaneously, and my face looked great every day I used it.  No joke.

At the end of the day, you really should check out the Schaf website, read the story of how this all came to be, check out the ingredients lists on all the products, and decide for yourself.  There is high attention paid to making sure the ingredients are as natural as possible and organic when they can be.  The ultimate goal is to provide non-irritating and non-toxic products for your entire morning routing, and I think Peter has nailed it.  This is great stuff, and if you have sensitive skin like me, you’ll love it too.

Review: HowToGrowAMoustache.com – Bay Rum Synergy Shaving Soap

HowToGrowAMoustache.com - Bay Rum Synergy Shaving Soap

HowToGrowAMoustache.com – Bay Rum Synergy Shaving Soap

I am a lucky man.  I do love starting out reviews saying that.  So why am I so lucky this time?  Because had it not been for the off chance of just checking out traditional shaving, I would not have had as good a shave as I did today.  Let me tell you about a moustached man named Douglass Smythe.  Or maybe I should tell you about his website.  Or his Synergy Shaving Soap.

If you’ve been doing any research or reading online on any or the more well-known shaving blogs, you may have come across Douglass and/or his blog, and/or his shaving soap.  As a man amongst pretend-ship-sailing-men, I can tell you without a shred of doubt that Mr. Smythe has created one hell of a product.  I’ve been using this Synergy Shaving soap for a couple weeks now.  And I’ve been wanting to tell you about it, but I’ve been out plundering the wilds of the Caribbean Islands…. That, or my new job’s hours have been keeping me on my toes.  It’s one of the two…

Ok, first things first.  And the first thing is value.  This is now the largest tin of soap in my shave cave.  It’s a massive puck.  8 oz of soap in a wide-mouthed tin that is just fantastic for loading your brush.  And it’s priced so low comparatively, that I can’t think of a soap that offers this good a value.  And it’s not that this stuff isn’t a good performer.  It’s a great performer.

Alright, so I’ve come to discover that Synergy Shaving soap loves water.  And as Douglass has pointed out, it loves hot water.  I actually submerge the entire puck and tin (along with my Duke 2 badger brush) in hot water for a minute before shaving.  By the way, the labels on the tin are vinyl, meaning they won’t fade or crinkle up when they get wet.  Nice touch there, Douglass.

So yes, the hot water really awakens the soap, which responds with an explosion of lather on my brush.  I load the brush until the soap gets tacky, then I move to my mug (I really like using a mug/bowl).  As I said, this stuff loves water, so I add it quite liberally when building the lather, and also between passes.

The smell is fantastic.  It’s a bit strong when you first open up the tin, but as you’re lathering on your face, it really ends up being just a great scent at the right strength.  It remains that way all the way through the shave.  I have had issues in the past with some strongly-scented soaps (like Tabac) causing a problem for my sensitive skin.  I was worried that this soap may give me the itchies, but I am happy to report that my skin loves this stuff!

Performance.  Alright, so here we have another vegan soap.  I have been seeing more and more of these lately, and they have really been giving tallow a run for it’s money.  I’ve been a big tallow soap guy since I started traditional shaving.  But lately I have been reaching a lot more to non-tallow soaps and creams.

So this lather is not a tallow lather.  It appears, when lathered up, to be a little on the fluffier side, rather than a thick-yogurty side.  Adding a little more water brings it closer to that yogurt consistency we look for when building a lather.  Moving the lather to my face, all “this isn’t tallow” worries are instantly quelled.  This lather is amazing.  When lathered on the face, it is very thick, and incredibly slick.  This is a fantastic shaving soap, providing a great cushion for my razor.  It also rinses clean off my face and off my tools.  The lather does need a little refreshing between passes, which I’ve noticed with other veggie soaps, but a little bit of water brings it right back to life.

I’m very impressed with this soap.  And considering it’s size, I will be for a long time.  If you haven’t yet, check out HowToGrowAMoustache.com.  The soaps are fantastic, but you also should check out Douglass’s blog and podcast if you haven’t already.  When you hear his interviews and read his articles and how-to’s, you’ll see that this is a man who really just wants to make quality shaving products.  Synergy Shaving Soap is a home run.

  • Scent – 4.5
  • Lather Performance – 5
  • Lather Life – 4
  • Overall – 4.5

And how silly of me.  I totally forgot to talk about one of the best parts – the natural ingredients, most of which are organic:

Ingredients: Kokum Butter, Organic Mango Butter, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Pumpkin Oil, Organic Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Organic Neem Oil, Safflower Oil, Glycerine, Purified Water, Sodium & Potassium Hydroxide,Soy bean protein, Chaulmoogra Oil, Aloe Extract, Maca Root, Yellow Dock Root, Essential Oil

Beat that.

Review: Jack Earle Co – I’m Your Huckleberry Aftershave

Jack Earl Co - Im Your Huckleberry Aftershave

Jack Earl Co – Im Your Huckleberry Aftershave

Today’s shave was rough.  I was trying a new blade, and that blade was trying me, leaving me with a few nicks and a little bit of burn on my neck.  Which, in the case of today’s review, was somewhat of a good thing, allowing me to test this new aftershave I received in the mail: I’m Your Huckleberry Aftershave, by Jack Earl Co.

The Jack Earl Company is a newcomer to the market, being founded less than a year ago.  Their purpose is to create a line of organic and all natural products to the market.  They also target sensitive skin, which I, my friends, happen to have.

The aftershave itself is unique in so many ways.  The first impression is the texture.  It’s sort of like a fluffy pomade.  So you only need a tiny dab of this stuff, spread it on your hands, and then work it onto your face, massaging it into your skin.

Then there is the huckleberry scent, which is just phenomenal.  It’s a mixture of huckleberry and peppermint.  So you get that really gorgeous huckleberry scent with a hint of mint.  It’s such a perfect balance.  And the scent stays with you for a long time, but not in an obnoxious way.  In a way that partway through your day, as your wondering why your printer keeps saying “paper jam” when there is obviously no paper jam, you’re going to get a slight whiff and go, “oh yeah, there’s that huckleberry again!”

The ingredients list is a shining star, and contains NO alcohol:  Shea butter, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Huckleberry Oil, Peppermint Oil.  That’s it.  A whole lotta moisturizers and no unpronounceable chemicals.  Unless you have a hard time pronouncing “shea”, in which case for you there would be one.  I should mention though, and this is my experience so far with this product, that a little goes a long way.  If you use too much you could end up looking a little shiny.  A little tissue paper dabbing took care of the shine, and still left my skin feeling remarkably moisturized, and smelling great.

Now, if this sailor had a moustache, I would be extremely tempted to try out their moustache wax.  Indeed I would.

Pasteur Pharmacy

Pasteur Pharmacy

Pasteur Pharmacy

My friends, and when I say my friends, that includes you ya dirty landlubber, I have travelled to the great New City, on the shores of the Appalachian Mountains, where Henry Hudson himself first encountered the …  Ok, I live right outside of Manhattan and took the bus in.  But my point is that I have found the sole paradise of every wetshaver in the North East of the United States:  Pasteur Pharmacy.

Now I cannot truly use the word “sole” because there are actually two of them in New York City.  But for the sake of this article, I visited the location at 53 East 34th St.  Its a very small unassuming front for what is a cornucopia of traditional shaving products inside.

For those who don’t know, there is no other place that I know of in the entire area in and around New York City.  Yes, there is the occasional “Art of Shaving” store, which is great in their own right.  But that is one brand.  Inside of Pasteur’s seems to be every brand.  And every type of product.

I have become so accustomed to purchasing all of my supplies either directly from smaller vendors or from sailing the Amazon.  But when I walked into this place, and encountered shelf after shelf after shelf of shaving products, I had to quickly head back to the door and grab a shopping basket.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold it all in my hands.

An entire section dedicated to brushes.  So many brands, so many styles.  2-band, 3-band, badger, boar.  My BAD (brush acquisition disorder) immediately spiked.  I took a swig of rum and moved on.  I noticed another massive selection of straight razors and safety razors.  I took another swig.  No real estate was wasted.  Between shelves were thin slivers displaying many different brands of razor blades.  I loaded up my basket.

And thats when I took a deep breath and moved on to really take in what I noticed first but was so overwhelmed I had to skip it and come back.. The soaps, creams, and aftershaves.  Here they were, column after column, shelf after shelf, of these products.  So many brands.  There were entire areas dedicated to some of the more major brands, notably Truefitt & Hill, Taylor of Old Bond Street, and Geo F. Trumper.  They had just about everything these brands sell on their shelves.  And it didn’t stop there.  Honestly I had a hard time trying to conjure up a name that wasn’t on their shelves.

They even had items that are no longer for sale!  For instance, when I had visited a few months ago, they still had Penhaligon’s English Fern soap and Klar Kabinett soap, both of which are no longer in production and highly sought after.  And to my amazement, there was no markup on these products.  This was brought to my attention by a great great man named Leon.

Leon is a pharmacist who works at this Pasteur location.  I have visited Pasteur’s twice now, and both times we had a good long conversation.  One of the first things we talked about was how much Leon and the owner really enjoy the fact that they are one of the only (if not the only) brick-n-mortar establishments with this large an array of traditional shaving products.  They take pride in their stock, and really appreciate the manufacturers, and especially the customers, who give them business.

They relish it so much that they aren’t interested in it in a “making money” kind of way.  So they will never mark up any product that becomes a rarity.  They will simply sell it at the standard price, no matter what.

Leon also spent some considerable time asking me my preferences in products, and if there was anything that I don’t see on their shelves that I could recommend.  I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t think of anything, except to say that there were a good many smaller-level artisan soapmakers out there that are really deserving of attention.  Some names that come to mind are Krampert’s Finest Bay Rum, and Mike’s Natural Soaps, and Weber Razors.

And the very last time I visited the store, Leon mentioned to me that he had met another shaving blogger who had offered to give Leon an old-school shave, using products of Leon’s choice.  So at that point, Leon asked me to recommend him an aftershave.  So I scanned his shelves, and found the brand to recommend, which was quite a simple chore on my part:  Captain’s Choice Bay Rum Aftershave.  The Captain is a great man, who is very involved in the shaving community, and it was a real honor to recommend his product, which was a newcomer to Pasteur’s shelves.

If you live in or near NYC, or are planning to visit, you simply MUST head on down to either location of Pasteur’s.  But of course I highly recommend the Pasteur Pharmacy on 34th Street.  And if you do go there, please tell Leon I sent you.  He’ll know who I am and will make your visit that much better.

I really am very much looking forward to my next visit to Pasteur Pharmacy.  Do yourself a favor and make an effort to check it out.  You’ll be very glad you did.

Captain’s Note:  I had taken a slew of pictures during my last visit, but somehow they have all been washed out to sea.  Of course, the good news is that I now have to go back and take more pictures!

Review: L.A. Shaving Soap Company – Santa Monica Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Los Angeles Shaving Soap Company - Santa Monica Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Los Angeles Shaving Soap Company – Santa Monica Bay Rum Shaving Soap

I am a lucky man.  There are so many people in this world using the foam in a can to shave with, people who are literally cheating themselves out of experiencing pure bliss in the morning in the form of traditional shaving.  And one of the most pleasurable aspects of the traditional shave is the old badger brush and shaving soap combo.  And today I am lucky because I have found an amazing soap:  Santa Monica Bay Rum Shaving Soap, made by The Los Angeles Shaving Soap Company.  The only thing that John from the LA Shaving Soap Company could have done to better this bay rum experience is deliver it in a pirate ship.  Let me explain.

First off, we’re going to talk scent.  Because this soap’s scent profile is totally unique, and includes a “generous dollop of dark rum”.  [The pirate in me just yo-ho-ho’d.]  I would think that many soap makers might shy away from adding rum to their product, in the worry that it might adversely affect the latherability of the soap.  In this case it did not, but we’ll talk lather later.

The scent blend contains West Indies Bay, Vanilla extract (hell yes), Orange extract,  Balsam Tolu, Clary Sage, Sweet Myrrh, Lemon extract, Anise extract, and Ho Wood esxential oil.  So in essence we have plenty of eye-opening citrus, which is balanced with a hint of sweetness from the vanilla, and slight wafts of floral and woody notes.

Overall the scent comes across similarly to other bay rum soaps (like Mike’s Natural Soaps, and Taconic), but leans in the direction of a spicy and slightly sweet profile.  All in all, it smells awesome in the container, awesome when being whipped into a lather, and awesome on your face.  Not too strong, and not too light.  It’s hard to imagine it getting much better than this.

This soap, which actually is soft and more of a soap/cream combo (often called a croap), is made by a vegan, and as such contains no tallow.  But considering the lather I got from both shaves I have had thus far with this product, you wouldn’t know it.  This is one of the best non-tallow soaps I have shaved with.  The lather was ultra slick and very thick and cushioning.  It lathers up really easily too.  You shouldn’t have any problems at all getting an amazing lather.  Now I have gotten thicker lathers from tallow soap.  But for a non-tallow soap, as I said, this is one of the thickest I have come across.

I did a 3-pass shave.  The lather got better and better and better with each pass too.  Thats one of my favorite aspects of a great soap/cream.

  • Scent – 5
  • Lather Performance – 4.5
  • Lather Life – 5
  • Overall – 5

Lather Performance gets a 4.5 only because personally I prefer tallow soaps, and the thickness you get from tallow.  But, as I said, this is one of the best-performing non-tallow’s I have tried.

If you want to up your shaving experience, check out the Los Angeles Shaving Company.  Their bay rum is great, and I’m really looking forward to trying out their other scents too.

Review: Razorpouch

Razorpouch

Razorpouch

Once in a while I get contacted through Twitter by a company that wants me to check out their product.  Usually it’s a soap or aftershave maker, as those are pretty much all I have reviewed.  But I have been meaning to review other shaving-related products here, and I am finally super excited to tell you about one:  The Razorpouch.

This review has been coming for a long time.  I’ve had a few of these hanging around for a few months now.  Those of you who have been following me might remember that I was away from the end of July until the beginning of September on a tour with my band.  One nice surprise upon getting back to my apartment was that the Razorpouches I hung up were still there.

The Razorpouch is a simple, yet effective pouch made of clear vinyl, which can hang several ways depending on what you are going to hold, and where you are hanging it.  It hangs by magnets, by suction cup, or through a pre-made hole in the vinyl, as to hang it from a hook.  The original intent seems to be to store razors in your shower.  But it doesn’t have to end there.

As the Razorpouch website points out, you can use it to store shaving supplies, a toothbrush and toothpaste, combs, scissors, or anything you need handy in your bathroom.  It doesn’t even need to stop at your bathroom door.  You can keep it in the garage to store pens, parkers, or boxcutters.  This is one of those really great products whose use is limited only by your imagination.

Not only are both the magnets and suction cup strong (they are both still in place since I put them up back in July), but you can even use a combination of them if you are worried.  It’s a simple, yet effective design!

And I haven’t even yet mentioned the best part: the price!  As of this writing, you can get a razor pouch from the company website for $6.99 + free shipping!  Beat that.

I should note:  This blog caters to traditional shaving.  So I will be honest that I don’t use my straight razor or my double edge razors in the shower.  Either of them falling with all that water would be very bad for my toes.  That said, I’ve got plenty of other uses I can imagine for the Razorpouch.  It really is a great product 🙂

Review: Castle Forbes – Lime Oil Shaving Cream

Castle Forbes - Lime Oil Shaving Cream

Castle Forbes – Lime Oil Shaving Cream

Yo Ho!!  I have travelled around the US, visiting almost every state, and I am back, freshly shaved, and ready for some reviews!  As I said in my last post announcing my trip, I was hoping to write a couple reviews and articles.  As it turned out, my time was extremely limited, so I was not able to write a single lick.  My apologies to all of you who were holding your breath: you may now exhale…

So first up in my line of reviews-to-be-written:  Castle Forbes Lime Oil Shaving Cream.  This shaving cream is a virtual juggernaut in the shaving forums.  People love this shaving cream.  It’s consistently well-reviewed, and it’s price tag suggests superior quality.  Well, as far as I am concerned, this is my proof of Rule #1 in the shaving world:  YMMV (your mileage may vary).  I have tried and tried and tried but I cannot seem to get this stuff to like me.  Let me explain.

Before I get into what I don’t like with this cream, let’s talk about what I do like.  Lime.  Of all the lime-scented products I have tried, this one is probably the sweetest.  I don’t know if it’s pure lime essential oil (the product’s name suggests that it is), but this stuff smells exactly like a lime Lifesaver candy.  It doesn’t get any more lime candy than this stuff.  I have a hesitation to use the word “candy” because I don’t want to come across like this stuff is childish or whatever, but honestly it sure does smell like lime candy.  Me personally, I like candy, so the scent is delicious.  But it’s also pretty simplistic.  After having tried so many complex versions of lime (like Captain’s Choice Lime Aftershave, or Truefitt & Hill’s West Indian Limes Shaving Cream), I find myself wanting a little hint of spice somewhere in the mix.  Regardless, if you like lime, you’ll love the smell of this stuff.  And the lime lasts, too.  It stayed with my shave the entire way through.

Alright, the lather.  So I’ve tried this stuff four to five times now, and I cannot get lather of the quality that I get from giants like Taylor of Old Bond Street or Truefitt & Hill.  Just can’t do it.  And I’ve gone through message board posts, Amazon.com reviews.. You name it, I have tried it.  Face lathering, mug lathering.  Use the brush to sweep out cream from the container, or put a pea-sized dab on my brush and then lather.  Too much water, too little water, and in between.

On a consistent basis I get a lather that is “good” when it comes to slickness and “ok” when it comes to cushion.  I have a hard time getting a thick layer of lather to stay on my face.  (I use a Simpson’s Duke 2 Best Badger brush).  The lather seems to be a bit better on my second pass, but seems to be failing by my third pass.  Don’t get me wrong, the lather is passable.  I had a very good shave today.  But I believe I may be somewhat spoiled by the amazing lathers I have gotten out of other creams and tallow soaps.

I also cannot honestly finish this review without mentioning one ingredient in this cream:  Triethanolamine.  Triethanolamine as been shown to be a toxin with possible links to cancer.  Now, I’m sure their customers are not dropping like flies, but I don’t understand why they have not removed this ingredient and substituted it with something else.  It’s possible that the amount is so negligent that there isn’t a concern, but it’s there.

So that is my feeling about Castle Forbes Lime Oil Shaving Cream.  It’s got a great lime scent, and has some decent slickness, but I feel the lather is not as great as some other brands out there.  It also has a hefty price tag, but that is balanced by the fact that you get a very decent amount of shaving cream.  This tub will last you a long time for sure.

  • Scent – 4
  • Lather Performance – 3.5
  • Lather Life – 3
  • Overall – 3.5

By the way, if you want to scold me for technique or if you want to tell me how you get a great lather from Castle Forbes Lime, or even if you want to agree with me so I don’t feel so left out, just post a comment below and let me know!  Thanks for reading 🙂