A short review of Martin de Candre soap

A couple of years ago – a Norwegian couple, that is – I received a sample of Martin de Candre as part of a PiF from a fellow shaver. For the longest time I left it alone, but now I’ve have sampled my way through the sample.

Let me preface by repeating one of the basic tenants of traditional wetshaving:

Your Mileage May Vary

That said…
I’ve read multiple reviews of MdC online, several made by wetshavers whose judgement I trusts. The overwhelming view seems to be that MdC is an awesome soap in every way. Personally I can’t see what the fuss is all about, less so given the high cost of it.

Yes, it is long lasting – but so are many of my other soaps.
Yes, it smells pretty nice – but so does many of my other soaps.
Yes, it makes great lather which cushions and provides great slip – but so does many of my other soaps.
No, it don’t leave my face feeling dry – but neither do many of my other soaps.
Yes, it is an overall solid performer – but so does many of my other soaps.
And yes, it’s costly – more so than many of my other soaps.

Perhaps my view on the McD would been different if I wasn’t blessed with soft water, perhaps I would been more awestruck by it if I wasn’t spoiled by a certain artisan soap maker…

Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with McD – far from it. But to me at least the McD isn’t so right I’ll go out and buy more – I rather stock up on more of Mike’s Natural Soaps which to me is just as good and comes in a lot more scents.

As I said, YMMV – but if you want to give McD a spin then do yourself a favour and get a sample first.

Method of making razor blades

While I was looking for something unrelated, I stumbled over this patent from 1914;
For the mechanically inclined among us – well, the subset of the mechanically inclined that has access to a well supplied workshop at least – it looks like one could put one together in the shed and start cranking out DE-blades for fun and profit… it grinds, wraps, punches, folds, and packs blades – ready for shipment and sale.

Shave of the day 24th March

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner’s Liquid Lavender
Lather: Martin de Cadre
Brush: Vie Long 13051M pure horse
Razors: Vintage Ever-Ready 1914 SE with a fresh GEM
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Proraso Liquid Cream Aftershave

Comment: The Ever-Ready was patented on 24th March 1914… so while mine was likely made in the twenties or thirties, it is in some way a hundred years old today.

Another look at the cost of shaving

Continuing from Tuesday; I’m still poking at the internet to figure out just how much cheaper traditional wetshaving can be, compared to cartridges, and I’ve found another article that takes shaving cream into account.

Caveat; it’s from a online retailer of shaving gear… so there will be a bias. The math is sound though, and his data on the longevity of carts is from the manufacturer.

Cost of shaving – a breakdown per shave

Every now and then someone makes the claim that you can save a load of cash by switching to traditional wetshaving. Having a bit of downtime, I decided to hunt the internet for data points, and came across – among a lot of other, semi-related articles – one article that at least seemed to have done the math.

His breakdown?

  • Going electric costs you 0.08 to 0.16 USD per shave – with a high up front cost.
  • Using cheap disposables bought in bulk costs 0.08 to 0.11 USD per shave – or about the same as a gifted electric.
  • Carts sets you back around 0.39  USD per shave – it adds up, even if you eeek the last bit of life from the blade.
  • If you invest in a razor sharpener, both disposables and carts runs to about 0.02 USD per shave – much more reasonable.
  • Traditional DE they claim run in at 0.05 USD per shave – although that is at just two shaves per blade.
  • Traditional DE with a razor sharperner ticks in at ~0.03 USD – or about the same as disposable and carts when sharpened.

Keep in mind that the breakdown don’t include pre-shave soap, shave soap, brushes or aftershaves… in fact, I suspect that if the author had invested in a decent shave soap, he would get a lot more than two shaves out of each blade without nicking… or he could be using a less then good brand of blades.