Tag Archives: sandalwood

Review: The Holy Black – Sandalwood Smoke Shaving Soap

The Holy Black - Sandalwood Smoke Shaving Soap

The Holy Black – Sandalwood Smoke Shaving Soap

Oh man…

So a little over a month ago I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in the NYC Shave Meetup.  I met so many awesome people, not only shavers but many producers of products as well.  And one of the best parts about this meetup was the amount of swag we all took home.

I took home a LOT of swag.  Enough to do reviews for a year at least (or 3+ years by how often I have updated lately.. sorry all 😉

So yes, I got a lot of stuff, and I wanted to start out with probably my favorite of everything I took home:  The Holy Black – Sandalwood Smoke Shaving Soap.

I don’t even know where to start.  But let’s just talk theme here.  Being that I am a fake pirate, who pretends to sail the seas in his fake ship, it’s pretty dang obvious that this stuff is themed perfectly for my shave den.  I love the black distressed tin.  I love it.  I love that there were some soaps sold by The Holy Black that had a treasure hunt involved, where one soap went out with an actual doubloon buried deep inside the soap.  I friggin love that.

But coins in the soap aside:  The scent of this stuff… man… Sandalwood Smoke is just about as grit-manly as it gets.  It’s an amazing scent.  Hands down, my current favorite scent.  And it’s not over the top, it’s not too smokey.  It’s definitely a well-rounded sandalwood with just the perfect amount of smoke to make it delicious; not like you sat next to the campfire too long, but like you just came from somewhere you should not have left.

The performance is excellent.  On par with any great soap you have in your collection.  It didn’t matter which brush or technique I have used on it, and I have used several badgers and my boar, and each time, whether face-lathering or bowl-lathering, I have gotten a great thick and slick lather every time.  And the lather lasts through all three passes if you go that far.  If I could offer any advice: you don’t need too much water.  This stuff lathers up incredibly well with very little work need.  The soap is primarily made with coconut oil and steric acid.

One mistake I made at the meetup was that I did not get the matching aftershave.  I am going to be correcting that asap.

Review: Truefitt & Hill – Sandalwood Shaving Cream

Truefitt & Hill - Sandalwood Shave Cream

Truefitt & Hill – Sandalwood Shave Cream

You bastards.  I wasn’t going to write a review today.  I was just going to check out this sample I’ve had sitting around for at least a couple months now.  I’ve been trying all kinds of shaving creams and soaps, and going back to some favorites in between reviews, and I kept looking at my sampler pack of Truefitt & Hill Shaving Creams going “nah, not today”… Well, finally today was the day.  But let me explain my hesitation.

It’s pretty simple really.  Simply smelling the samples of the Truefitt & Hill line didn’t excite me.  They all smelled somewhat “old man” to me.  I can’t tell you where I got the idea, but maybe it’s an extension of my disdain for the department store cologne/perfume counter.  For those who are not well versed in my tales, I distain them.  I distain them a lot.

Now Truefitt & Hill don’t exactly smell like that.  But, since I started this wetshaving chapter of my life, I for the first time ventured away from the can of goo.  Actually I did that a long time ago, and since then just used a cartridge razor in the shower and the natural oils on my face with no shaving cream.

Then I found bay rums.  Then I found citrusy scents like orange and lime.  Then I found the splendor of proraso, tho Im not terribly fond of the scent.  Then I ordered the Truefitt & Hill samplers, and discovered they had no sweetness to them.  No exciting bay feel.  “Boo” I booed.  And in my drawer of samples they sat, untouched, since then.

Then today came, and I reached in and randomly pulled out the Truefitt & Hill Sandalwood Shaving Cream sample.  I smelled it and thought, “I dunno”.  But then I thought, “you wrote a review yesterday, you don’t need to write one today, so just try this out today and see what you think of the cream itself.”

Am I ever glad I did.  What was I thinking waiting so long to try this stuff?

Truefitt & Hill are renowned for their scents and the quality of their lather.  I was dissuaded by the smell out of the sample tin, but I should know by now that shaving products smell different in the tin/tub/bottle than they do on your face.

This sandalwood scent was just awesome.  As I was lathering, it kicked up into my nose.  When I put it on, it was like a 6th sense, just swimming around in the air.  Not too strong, mind you, but strong enough.  And at the same time, it was light enough to take a bit of a back seat while I focused on the incredible shave.

The lather is as advertised and reviewed.  Super rich.  I used the typical almond-sized dollop of cream, and with 2 minutes of swirling and adding drops of water, found a super-rich lather that honestly was enough for at least 6 passes.  And with each pass (and just a little bit of whipping) the lather was better and better and better.

It contains a glycerin-based moisturizing formula, according to T&H, which provided one of the slickest and cleanest shaves I have had in a long time.

And the whole while, I was admonishing myself for calling this stuff “old man” because the scent and experience made me feel, even if for a moment, like I was in another time, a time before cartridge razors were invented.  It honestly whisked me away for a moment there.  I can’t say there were that many creams that did that for me.

Truefitt & Hill.  Damn you for being so unexpectedly good.  I have a few other scents that I have had sitting there, a little bit afraid of the “old man” scent.  Those will be getting a fair shake (or a fair shave?) for sure.  Awesome.

Check out Truefitt & Hill Sandalwood Shaving Cream on Amazon.com!

Review: Geo F Trumper – Sandalwood Skin Food

Geo F Trumper - Sandalwood Skin Food

Geo F Trumper – Sandalwood Skin Food

This was the one that kickstarted me into wetshaving.  By wetshaving, I mean the way men used to shave.  I mean using a straight edge, single edge, or double edge razor.  I mean using a brush to work up a shaving lather, and never getting your lather out of a can.  And it was my very first time that I shaved with a straight edge that I used Geo F Trumper’s Sandalwood Skin Food as an aftershave, also for the first time.  When I shaved, and then put this stuff on, I was blown away, and I knew right then that I would never again use an expensive cartridge razor to shave.

I had seen this stuff mentioned in one of geofatboy’s videos, and “skin food” sounded awesome, and he seemed to be enjoying using it as well, so how could I go wrong, right?  Finally I had assumed correctly, not making an ass out of anyone…

So this stuff is a balm.  Perfect for colder weather, as it leaves a lot of skin nourishing stuff behind after it dries off.  Its a thick concoction that goes on cool and refreshing.  There is little to no alcohol burn.  In fact today I had shaved with a vintage Hoffritz slant razor for the first time.  Slant razors are known to be very agressive razors, and my third against-the-grain pass was a little on the heavy-handed side.  My styptic pencil got a workout for sure.  But there was almost no burn from this stuff, and it instantly cooled and eased my face.  Quite an excellent match for a rough shave (mental note actively being made).

The smell is fantastic.  Manly, smoky, and sandalwoody.  It’s a pop to the nose, and the first time I put it on, I was blown away.  Because everything in my limited cologne/aftershave experience smelled like the floor of a macy’s perfume counter.  I was never interested in any aftershaves or colognes because I was just not into musk.  Then this.  Whoa.  I like it.  I like it a lot.

It took me a while to read the ingredients list on the bottle.  The first is rose distillate.  In essence  rose water.  I never really took note of it, but there is certainly a floral background to this stuff, and it’s perfect.  It’s a clever ingredient, giving a very light but noticeable twist to the sandalwood fragrance.

Glycerin is also high on the ingredients, giving this stuff the right amount of moisturizing effect on your face.  And as I write this, my face feels awesome, and smells even better.

Geo F Trumpers Sandalwood Skin Food was the key to my newfound love of wetshaving, and I still love it just as much as I did the first time I used a straight.  I’m confident you’ll love it too.


Review: Ogallala – Bay Rum & Sandalwood Aftershave Cologne

Ogallala - Bay Rum & Sandalwood Aftershave Cologne

Ogallala – Bay Rum & Sandalwood Aftershave Cologne

It’s almost not fair.  Alright, let me start over.

I’ve been away from the bay rum diaries for a few days, and I’ve come back with a new contender here today.  I’ve also been going through a sampler of shaving creams, and their scents leave me disappointed, which has made me a little sad because the brand is a long-standing brand, and I really wanted to like their shave creams, but I just don’t.  That, however, is another diary.  This entry is about what happened after my shave today.

You know how sometimes some things come together, and it’s just … right?  Yeah.  Ogallala Bay Rum with Sandalwood just did that to me.  I don’t care what anyone says, and I know to each their own, but holy cow this is the best stuff I have put on my face yet.

Ok, sting-wise, this AS, like all the ones from Ogallala I have already tried, goes on real smooth.  Smooth smooth smooth.  And the burn is so subtle, you’ll think the water you rinsed with after your shave was harsher.  Well maybe not, but that last sentence was fun to write.

Alright, let’s cut to the chase.  This combo of scents was magic to me.  But to be fair, this is almost not a bay rum scent.  But here is what it is.  It goes on with two main fragrances that blend perfectly, sandalwood and bay rum.  Boom.  Right there on your face.  And it’s got this subtly-sweet undertone that is really hard to detect, almost like essence of delicious.  My eyes literally (and I know what literally means) opened wide as the scent hit my brain.  And here’s my best guess at the magic.  As the bay rum fades away (bay rum oil usually fades the fastest), you are left with the woody mix of sandalwood and maybe cinnamon, but the sweet factor begins to reveal itself as vanilla, a long lasting scent, that hung around for a while.

I’m no expert at smells, and I might be mis-identifying some of these specific fragrances in the mix, but this about as close as I can describe it.  I used to wear strictly vanilla scented cologne a long time ago and I feel that I can sense memories of those days wafting around these smells in my nose.  So this was a wonderful experience to me.  I am really really glad to have saved it for one of the last few scents in this bay rum sampler pack.

Again, this is a little off the bay rum path, and may not be for those who don’t like a little sweetness in their AS.  As for me, I will be damned sure to have a bottle of this stuff in my shave cave.  For me, it’s liquid awesome.

Try it out yourself… Order a bottle of Ogallala Bay Rum & Sandalwood Aftershave at Amazon.com!

(This review is of a sample decant of the original product, and as such I cannot guarantee that the sample contained the appropriate mixture of the original ingredients.)