There is an app for that – part IV

I have previously mentioned how I found, started to use, and got statistics from the app Shaving Buddy. I liked the app well enough that I sprung for the paid version, and I ended up recommending it to all who need to keep tabs on their shaves. I still do, with one annoying caveat; part of the app seems to be broken.

Well, two parts. But one of them was a part I never used, so…

Until November 1st last year, the app would automagically upload your shave to the cloud and give you an unique URL for it. I never used it, so it is not important to me that it do not work any more.

But what is important to me is that up until the same date Shaving Buddy would easily share my shave with other apps on my phone – such as the WordPress app I use to write my blog. So since that functionality is busted… I am a bit annoyed.

Not annoyed enough to stop using Shaving Buddy, mind you. I can copy-paste my shave into WordPress, so it just takes a few seconds longer. That, and I got almost ten years of shaving data stored in the app – I am not going to give that up easily. But I am annoyed enough to tell you all about it.

I have sent feedback on the fact that it is broken. I have not gotten any response from the developer.

Still a good app. Just a little bit broken.

Quick review: Marmara Kolonya No3 Barber

It has been a while since I did a review. In part because I’ve reviewed most of my shave gear, in part because others tends to do a better job. But I haven’t seen anyone do a review of this Turkish aftershave, so I guess I have to step up to the plate.

The sharp eyed reader will have noticed this aftershave often in my Shave Of The Day posts. I picked it up at my not-quite-local barbershop just before the pandemic, and it has been my go-to aftershave ever since… it meshes well with most of my soaps, and is a safe choice if I don’t feel like picking and choosing between my other aftershaves.

Marmara Kolonya #3

It is not, in my opinion, a particularly complex scent. But it don’t have to be difficult to understand in order to be easily enjoyed. It’s a pretty clean scent, and it does put me in mind of how much I enjoy my infrequent visits to said barbershop.

The base notes are woodsy and spicy – cedarwood and rosemary. Both of which are enjoyable scents by themselves, but they goes well with the higher notes of patchouli – not too much, as it can be a little overpowering – seaweed, and juniper. There are also hits of forests and citrus. The base notes linger on my skin, while the higher notes are well gone before lunch time.

The after shave from Marmara Kolonya contains a lot alcohol, which certainly can feel a bit rough if your razor has left a cuts and nicks. But don’t blame the aftershave for that. Blame your technique. Or your razor, if you’re still using a cart…

It is perhaps not a great aftershave. But it is, to my mind, a pretty good one. A nice, solid daily driver that pairs well with most things and great with some – like a sandalwood soap. And it is inexpensive too, comparatively speaking. I paid roughly 25€ for a 500ml bottle a little over three years ago. At my current rate of consumption, I have aftershave for another five years in that bottle.

You can read more about Marmara Kolonya – both the brand and the aftershaves – on their website.

The Man and His Wonderful Shaving Device

We all know about King C Gillette, the man who invented the modern safety razor. Or claimed to invent it – there was clearly many who had similar ideas around the turn of the last century. But do we actually know the guy, and not just know about him? Turns out that we may not – hence why I would suggest reading “King C Gillette, the man and his wonderful shaving device“. Printed in 1978, it is easily available online.

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Mini-review of Body-Shop’s Maca Root shaving cream

I started shaving a long time before I got into traditional wetshaving. But even back then, when my razor of choice1 was a Gillette Sensor, I realized very quickly that canned goo was bad. So I did what any self-respecting 18 year old did… I wandered into a Body-Shop and bought a tub of their Maca Root shaving cream and a brush.2

Compared to Gillette’s canned goo, it was night and day. It made shaving tolerable, but not great. So over the next few years I shaved when I had to, dabbled a bit in electric shavers,3 tried growing a beard a few times, and generally managed. But whenever I was using the Sensor, I made sure to have some of the Maca Root shaving cream around.

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Schick B2 – introspection and review.

As I wrote verbosely about a few weeks ago, everyone has a Holy Grail razor. A razor you want. A razor you idolize. A razor which, as I said at the time, most of us would be willing to kill for. For me, that razor would be the Schick Magazine Repeating Razor. And while any Magazine Repeater would do, I’ve always had my eyes on a Schick B2. I had, in fact, just purchased a Schick B2 when I wrote about Holy Grail razor. And it arrived a little while later, looking every bit as nice as I had hoped.

Now; there is a danger to lusting after a Holy Grail razor, and then finding it.

There is the danger of it not being as nice as you though.

Not having as smoothly as you had hoped for.

Not being as, how to put, mechanically interesting as you had hoped for.

In short, does the razor you been wanting for so long deliver or is it in fact a let down.

So now that I’ve used the Schick B2 for two weeks, it is time to ask those questions you may wish you never have to ask about something you have lusted after for a long while. Is the Schick B2 as nice as I though it would be? Is it shaving as smoothly as I had reasons to think? Is it as mechanically interesting as the patent would imply?

And I have to say.. no. No to all three.

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When is enough enough?

Some people have a single razor. Some have a small handful. Me? I got eighteen in my regular rotation, one at work, two different ones in my GoBags, one for other travels, plus half a dozen or so in storage that I for one reason or other can’t or don’t want to let go.

And even so, I am not sure I got enough razors. So when is enough enough?

There are a couple of vintage razors I would love to get my hands on. A Schick Automatic, for starters, a Bessegg, as well as one or two 30’s Gillette one piece razors. An early Gillette New wouldn’t be amiss either. Not because any of the razors I own is unsatisfactory, but because I would like to have them.

In the same vein, and for the same reasons, there is one or two current razors I would enjoy owning as well – the adjustable Tatara Muramasa springs to mind, due to the unique way it adjusts.

And while I do have almost thirty razors and wishes to add to the collection / rotation, I only have seven brushes in my rotation. Plus a brush at work, two travel brushes, and a home made brush I trot out on occasion. And I have no desire to get any more. Perhaps I might replace one or two, but not add to the pile.

So why is it that I have enough brushes, but not enough razors? When is enough enough?

Part of it is, I think, simply because I find razors inherently more interesting. By changing such things as the thickness of the cap, the blade angle, the blade exposure, the centre of balance, and a myriad other variables… the entire feel of the shave changes.

As an example, consider the Gillette Old Types I own. One is from a 1918 Khaki Kit, the other is an early 20’s flea market find. The former has a thicker cap, the later a longer handle. They are both good shavers, but despite being similar, they are different enough to notice the differences. And different enough to appreciate the differences too.

A second example is my Schicks. While my E2 and G4 are very similar, there is enough difference in their level of aggressiveness that I cannot treat them the same and expect identical shaves.

And either of those are vastly different from my EverReady, either of my GEMs, the Phillips Phillite, my Tatara, my fifties Gillette‘s, my Evolution, and so on and so forth. There is just so much to grab my interest about various razors, without even getting into some of the weird ones that got patented over the years.

Brushes? Brushes, to me at least, simply don’t hold the same amount of interest. Some are softer and holds water better. Others have a pleasant scritch and don’t take as long to load. And some are just plain awful (I’m looking at you, cheap supermarket brush with a nylon knot). And that is more or less it. I worked out that I prefer boar and horse – and I’m going to leave it at that.

So when is enough enough? I think enough is enough when the curiosity and desire to own more have been sated. With brushes, I reached that spot some years ago – I was gifted a reasonable good badger, and found that it wasn’t as life changing as I had believed. But when it comes to razors, there is still more to discover, more to learn, more curiosity to sate. I may never reach the point where enough is enough as far as razors are concerned.

When is enough enough?
Memento mori – or, as the young people say, YOLO. You might as well enjoy the shave and not worry.

As a side note I don’t think any of the above applies to lathers, aftershaves, and other consumables. The correct number of these is n+1, where n is the number you currently own. Even so, I have gotten picky about the +1 that I buy these days, since I am a bit tight on space.

Shaving gear statistics, aka there is an app for that part III.

A few years ago I posted about Shaving Buddy, an Android and iOS app that lets you keep track of your shaving gear statistics. Since I posted about it last, it has gained one major and several minor updates. It is a much more capable app now than it was in 2015, which is why I keep using it.

Having used it for more than a few shaves, I now have quite a bit of shaving gear statistics. Which I’m sure can tell us something about my shaving habits.

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Krona vs Knack, according to Solid Shaves

A little while ago I wrote about a rather honest Schick advertisement. If you recall, it was the one where they admitted to losing money on the free razor. Which, as pointed out by a user on Reddit, is a very good illustration of the Razor and Blades economic model. However, and more importantly today, the advertisement also featured a competitors razor… leaving the question as to which would give the more solid shaves.

Now, I personally own neither a Schick Krona nor a Gillette Knack. But Kurt, also known as Solid Shaves, do. And he posted a rather nice comparison of the two on his YouTube channel this weekend.

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Summary of the 2021 Gifts&Care Solidarity Advent Calendar

As the sharp eyed reader probably have noticed, Gifts&Care were selling a solidarity advent calendar this year to raise money and awareness for the ongoing volcanic eruption at La Palma.

Luckily – and none too soon – that the La Palma volcano eruption was declared over on the 25th December 2021. There is still a need to support the people of La Palma – while no lives have been lost as far as I know, more than thirteen hundred houses have been destroyed in addition to churches, schools, clinics and other infrastructure have been destroyed and needs rebuilding.

Since the start of the month I’ve shared the daily prices and surprises in the calendar I gotten with you. And now it is time to look at the whole pile all at once!

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