Best care package ever

I’m currently travelling for work, and Phil of BullGoose sent me a care package that’ll make my travels a lot more comfortable and enjoyable.

I knew that Phil is an all round Good Guy™ in addition to being a purveyor in bespoke shave gear, on top of being the man behind of my favourite shave forum. Based on the box I received, I have now reached the conclusion that Phil is in fact downright an Awesome Guy™.

I knew Phil wanted to send me a brush, from an artisan he considered taking into his store but for various reasons it didn’t pan out despite the brushes being highly regarded. I knew Phil said he would include some Asylum brand shaving soap, some aftershave and “a few other things to fill the package”. Phil’s idea of package filler simply blew me away… in a good way.

So what did I get in the box from Phil?

  • Two of his own brand Asylum Shave Work’s tallow soaps – Frankincense & Myrrh and Old Virginia
  • A bottle of Asylum Shave Work aftershave – Frankincense & Myrrh
  • A total of eight tucks of blades – two each of Kai Stainless, green Astra, Polsilver Super Iridium, and Perma Sharp Super
  • A pen – but not Phil’s usual pen with a light on the end, but a TSN LE Tactile Turn Slider
  • A DE razor – and what a razor! A blinged out Mergress Adjustable, a popular razor over on the ‘Nook
  • And a Romera brush with a lovely horn handle – Gustavo Romera has a good reputation as an artisan, less so for his communication

Yeah.. blown away is a major understatement, and calling it a major understatement is a major understatement as well…

Some first impressions:

  • The brush have a 28mm or so knot of Artisania Romera Manchurian Badger hair, and is the first ‘real’ prosumer1 level bagder brush I’ve owned… it feels niiiice, and I havn’t even begun breaking it in. I’m tickled pink over the prospect of seeing and feeling it breaking in over the next few weeks. Gustavo might have a slightly ragged reputation on some forums for his inability to communicate, but this brush feels top notch.
  • The Mergress is another one of Phil’s exclusive offerings; an improved Merkur Progress, fixing any minor issues with the original razor and – allegedly – improving the balance (I’ve not used an original Progress, but the balance of the Mergress is spot in in my eyes). I’m very much looking forward to putting it through it’s paces.
  • The soaps and the aftershave come from Phil’s own brand and simply smells fantastic. Time will tell how well they work,but the reviews that other shavers have left are overall great. Again I’m looking forward to using them for the rest of my trip.
  • Most of the blades are known and liked by me – I have to wonder if Phil reads my SOTD – but the Kai is new to me. Once I gotten to know the Megress with the help of a Green Astra, I’ll have to see what the Japanese Kai can do for me.
  • The Tactile Turn Slider is a lovely artisan pen, with a wonderful steampunk vibe. My handwriting is usually like a monkey on meth, but I still look forward to using this pen.

So a big Thank You to Phil, for his amazing generosity and for making my travels so much better.

1) Per etymology 2; targeted at serious, enthusiastic consumers, incorporating professional features.

Getting ready to fly – carry on shave kit for long layover

Work is sending me on a long course far, far away.. so I figured I should be ready if I found a nice restroom during my almost eight hour layover (my job buys the cheapest tickets):

From the left: A sample-sized cologne, a sample-sized face moisturiser, one of my old BodyShop Synthetics, a disposable BiC Sensitive, what is left of my Lea shave stick, and a sample-sized Lea after-shave balsam (already half used up) – all packed in a see through plastic  toiletry bag, ready to be checked by security at the airport.

The Zen of Shaving

A thread on my favourite web-forum reminded me of this old post from October 2012, and since it’s as true now as it was then I decided to repost the post that gave rice to my blog’s tagline:

Shaving time is – at least to me – a quiet, reflective moment. It’s me-time; the time when I can close the door and just enjoy myself without a worry in the world. It’s also a very manly time; if by manly you mean “waving a very sharp blade around millimeters from your jugular veins… heck, spin that right and it sounds like you’re cheating death every time you shave…

On a more serious tone, it is the time each morning I can ‘let go’ of everyday worries and simply enjoy the ‘now’ – a perfect moment caught between lather and blade as it were. It’s a moment that flushes the system, in a manner of speaking, and lets me put things in perspective. I think that traditional wetshaving have helped making me a better man, as well as a better looking man.

I’m far from the first to notice this off course; a quick search on google will reveal a few hundred thousand hits on the subject. But even so it’s something worth keeping in mind, especially when the cartridge-and-canned-goo brigade wonders why we prefers the old fashioned, traditional art of wetshaving.

Forget the ‘better shave’ spiel; they have heard it a million times before – every time one of the huge multinationals adds another blade they promise the consumers a better shave than ever before.

Forget the whole ‘saving money’ thing too; most of us succumbs to one or more ADs shortly after we pick up a decent brush and a safety razor.

You might want to quickly bypass the ‘better for the environment’ issue as well; yes, traditional shaving is greener and wastes less plastic, but most people honestly don’t care as much about the environment as they claim to do.

But do tell them about that perfect moment caught between lather and blade – those precious minutes every time you shave that lets your worries and concerns simply drain away. The little breathing space where it’s you, your razor and perfection.

Shave of the day 21st June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap
Lather: Mike’s Natural Soap, Peppermint & Rosemary
Brush: Semogue “The Shave Nook 2012 Limited Edition” mixed boar-badger
Razor: Merkur 45C Bakelite with a PolSilver Super Iridium
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, Myrsol Agua Balsamico
Beard care: Big Red Beard Balm, and Big Red No7 Beard Comb