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This soap review features the 2016 artisan rookie of the year, L&L Grooming (https://www.landlgrooming.com/) and killer post shave master, Chatillon Lux (https://chatillonlux.com/). Even with the honors of being the best new artisan on the scene in 2016, Scott, from L&L Grooming continued his assault on wet shaver’s wallets by opening Declaration Brushworks (https://www.declarationbrushworks.com/), the premiere U.S. based artisan brush maker who hand ties every knot. L&L Grooming soaps are also available at Maggard Razors. Chatillon Lux is one of, if not the top aftershave artisan in the wet shaving world. Their collaborations are always successful and highly sought after. Bon Vivant is a warm and spicy blend with a crack of sharp citrus. The scent notes feature caramel, birch tar, black pepper, maple syrup, vanilla, patchouli, neroli, petitgrain, yuzu citrus, ginger, anise, juniper berry, white grapefruit, wormwood and coriander. What does all this boil down to? For me it opens with herbaceous citrus and some black pepper before the sweetness of the maple syrup and caramel enter the fold. At its base, it fades back to earthy where the patchouli, juniper berry and petitgrain present themselves. Scent is mid-strong both off the container and through the shave. Similar scents on the market include; Mickey Lee Soapworks Unforgiven or Phoenix & Beau Sanskrit. L&L Grooming’s Bison tallow soap base is among the very best performing soap bases on the market. Some have trouble dialing in the lather because it simply loves to be drowned with water. The results when dialed in though stand in the rare air of greatness though. Above average in all metrics. "Yogurty" dense cushion, hella slickness and residual slickness and spa like moisturizing post shave is what you can expect. With an ingredients like this (Stearic Acid, Water, Potassium Hydroxide, Avocado Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Bison Tallow, Mango Seed Butter, Castor Oil, Fragrance, Sodium Hydroxide, Lanolin, Bentonite Clay, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Extract, Salix Alba L. (White Willow) Bark Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid,) its no wonder. Similar soap bases in terms of performance are: Mickey Lee Soapworks and Tallow + Steel. Get at me here: Email: email@example.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/dendj55/ Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/rudshones/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dendj55/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ruds_shaves Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/dendj55 Snapchat: @ruds_shaves
Today's Shave of the Day featured: Soap: Declaration Grooming/Chatillon Lux - Vide Poche (Limited Edition) Brush: Vintage Ever-Ready 300 NW w/ 24mm Maggard 2-band Finest Knot Razor: Charcoal Goods Lvl-1 DC w/ Stinger Handle Blade: Astra Superior Stainless (1) Post-shave: Chatillon Lux Vide Poche Declaration Grooming and Chatillon Lux have forged a collaboration unlike any other that we've seen in the community. Combining unique, elegant scents and joining them with a soap base that competes with just about any in the community. This Limited Edition release of an old classic, Vide Poche, sold out in just a few days. This newest offering is in the Icarus base, which for me, personally, exceeds its predecessor base of Bison tallow. I find this base to edge out Bison tallow alone in slickness and post-shave feel. Some may disagree but Icarus has become on of my favorite bases. Vide Poche contains scent notes of amber, orange, geranium, honeysuckle, lavender, and bergamot. To my nose, this starts out primarily on the floral side with the honeysuckle, geranium, lavender, and bergamot up front. This floral aspect is pleasantly rounded out with a subtle citrus hit of orange and amber. Absolutely wonderful scent. If you can get your hands on this, you won't regret it. Links to the artisans behind the items used today can be found below: Declaration Grooming (https://www.declarationgrooming.com) Charcoal Goods (https://charcoalgoods.com) Chatillon Lux (https://chatillonlux.com) Reyes Restorations - JR Reyes (https://www.instagram.com/reyes_restores) Social Media: Instagram: nova_shaves
Wholly Kaw (https://whollykaw.com) recently released an exclusive scent, designed in collaboration with the Reddit subgroup, /r/wetshaving (https://www.reddit.com/r/Wetshaving/). Preorders took place between Friday, March 23 and Friday April 6, 2019. The soap was released in the vaunted donkey milk soap base and featured a matching aftershave splash option. Wholly Kaw offers shaving soap based in tallow and vegan, along with aftershave splashes, toners and balms and deodorant and eau de toilettes. Tempest was inspired by the God of Thunder, Zeus and features notes of ozone, rain and birch tar. The scent is simplistic to my nose and smells very much like damp soil straight off the container. It is very well blended and I cannot pick up any singular note, just the sensation of putting my face close to damp wet earth. Those who enjoy the smells of petrichor or geosim will really gravitate to this scent. Strength of scent is light both off the container and remains light once lathered. A similar scent for comparison is Barrister & Mann Petrichor. Wholly Kaw’s donkey milk formula is a gold standard soap. This soap excels in the areas of slickness and post shave. The cushion and lather density is great and resembles cool whip when properly lathered. It easily loads into various knot types and begins making a rich creamy lather that has slickness to rival the best. The post shave, purportedly because of the donkey milk, is at the very pinnacle of post shave feels. My skin is left supple and soft. The ingredients list is; Vegetable Stearic Acid, Beef Tallow, Donkey Milk, Distilled Water, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Kokum Butter, Cocoa Butter, Glycerin, Shea Butter, Lanolin, Essential Oils, Fragrance Oils. The overall shavescore for this soap base is a 95. For soap bases with similar performance, my suggestions are Declaration Grooming and Ariana & Evans. Get at me here: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/dendj55/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ruds_shaves Twitter: https://twitter.com/ruds_shaves Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/dendj55 Snapchat: @ruds_shaves
Tallow + Steel (https://tallowandsteel.com) is among the top artisans in the wet shaving community. The brand is synonymous with quality organic ingredients, bold and daring scents and giving back. A portion of the profits for each one of their soap and aftershave sold, goes to support various charities, of which are decided by the scent and theme of the soap purchased. Tallow + Steel is a Canadian based artisan, with their product being handmade in Winnipeg, Canada. Tallow + Steel is also available through Maggard Razors (http://www.maggardrazors.com/). Morocco is a scent that harkens to the Atlas Mountains located in the Kingdom of Morocco. Morocco is in the northwest most region of Africa and is known for its famous spice markets, diverse culture and the countries natural beauty. Tallow + Steel has blended Rose, Oakmoss, Cedar, Cade and Cypress with the hope to evoke the thought of walking through a wild rose field on the mountain side. To my nose, this scent is dominated by the smokey cade. It opens with a punch and remains strong and forward. The cypress and cedar compliment the smokiness with earth tones and the rose, unfortunately is relegated to just hints. The scent strength is strong, both off the sample and remains strong once lathered. Soaps with a similar scent profile are: Mike's Natural Soaps Rose & Cedarwood and LA Shaving Soap Co. The Black Rose. The performance of the reformulated T+S has firmly placed it in the upper echelon of available soap bases. In my experience, the soap loads effortlessly into the brush and lathering is a breeze. The cushion and density the soap produces is good, better than your average artisan soap. The slickness and residual slickness stand very close to the top of the spectrum. The razor’s edge glides effortlessly whether its on my face or my head. The post shave is also near the top of the spectrum as well. My skin is left feeling soft and smooth with no need for a post shave. The ingredients list is stellar, containing Stearic Acid, Water, Organic Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Tallow (Pasture-Raised), Essential Oils, Organic Argan Oil, Organic Pomegranate Seed Oil, Organic Macadamia Nut Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Castor Oil, Bentonite Clay, Organic Tamanu Oil, Vitamin E and silk. This soap base gets a shavescore of 90. This places it in line with high end soaps such as Oleo Soapworks and Australian Private Reserve. Get at me here: Email: email@example.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/dendj55/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ruds_shaves Twitter: https://twitter.com/ruds_shaves Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/dendj55 Snapchat: @ruds_shaves
Oaken Lab (OAKENLAB.COM) is a brand new artisan soap maker based out of Jakarta, Indonesia. Oaken means "made of oak". The oak tree symbolizes: Integrity, Strength and spirituality, and that it has similar meanings in many cultures all over the world. “Lab” refers to recreating the artisans travel experiences through scent in their lab. The owner is an American, based in Jakarta that began making soap in order to fill the need for a high quality shaving soap. Soaps available in the area and restriction on personal use importation drove this need. What started as a hobby has now become a small business venture that will aim to serve this underserved market. The artisan has hopes to expand from selling through some barber shops/retailers in Bali and Singapore, to expanding to other countries in the region. There is also plans to talk with resellers in Australia and the US. Stay tuned for the website launch in early October and follow Oaken Lab on Instagram (@oakenlab). Earth of Mankind “is based on Java in the dutch era, which you still see glimpses of today. It has a rich base of vanilla, and agarwood (oud), mixed with spices that were highly coveted and mystical. It’s all wrapped in a smoky kretek (clove cigarette) haze.” This scent is mysterious and mesmerizing. Notes are listed as: Agarwood, Patchouli, Vetiver, Clove, Cassia, Tobacco and Vanilla. My nose is initially met with the richness of vanilla before being met by the spices and smoky spice of the kretek. This scent sits nicely on it’s oud backbone. Scent strength is mid-strong out of the container and remains mid-strong lathered up. While quite unique, scents with some similarity from wet shaving are; Chatillon Lux Unconditional Surrender and Declaration Grooming Darkfall. Oaken Lab’s soap base is a tallow soap base featuring: Stearic Acid, Aqua, Tallow (Beef), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerol, Potassium Hydroxide, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Fragrance, Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Butter), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Sodium Hydroxide and Lanolin. The soap base meets ASEAN standards. The soap is of mid firmness and quickly loads into any type brush you decide to use. The lather is on the thirstier side and when properly dialed in resembles sour cream. The slickness of this soap is excellent. Primary slickness and residual slickness both excel at ensuring glide. The post shave is also excellent. Having used this soap base on three occasion, I even opted to forgo a post shave product with my last use because it is that nice. Oaken Lab’s soap base receives a shavescore of 90. Soap bases with a similar performance experience for me are Tallow + Steel and The Sudsy Soapery. Get at me here: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/dendj55/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ruds_shaves Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ruds-Shaves Twitter: https://twitter.com/ruds_shaves Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/dendj55 Snapchat: @ruds_shaves
Wholly Kaw (https://whollykaw.com/) collaborated in 2017 with Chatillon Lux to make a limited edition soap in one of Chatillon Lux’s most loved scents, Yuzu Rose Patchouli (YRP). The previous LE of this scent was produced by top Canadian artisan, Tallow + Steel. Wholly Kaw’s donkey milk base was used for this LE soap and as expected it sold fast and the quantity produced could not meet the demand. Wholly Kaw makes artisan soap, aftershave (alcohol based, toner and balm), deodorant, beard care and fragrances. They are available at third party re-sellers in the U.S. such as Maggard Razors (http://www.maggardrazors.com/).
YRP is a stunning yet simplistic three note accord. As one can garner from the name alone, yuzu, rose and patchouli have been blended into this scent. To my nose, it opens with a citrusy pop from the yuzu before being met by the soft floral rose, which is then grounded by the earthy and dry patchouli. This scent is not for everyone and each note has its detractors, but for me this one is a winning smell. It reminds me of a garden where plants and fruits grow and co-exist. In reading Chatillon Lux’s description, I believe that was their aim and they executed it to perfection. The scent strength is strong out of the soap container but slides to mid-strong once lathered. The closest comparable scents I can offer would be Grooming Dept Yuzu or Through the Fire Fine Craft Quench.
Wholly Kaw’s donkey milk formula is a gold standard soap. This soap excels in the areas of slickness and post shave. The cushion and lather density is great and resembles cool whip when properly lathered. It easily loads into various knot types and begins making a rich creamy lather that has slickness to rival the best. The post shave, purportedly because of the donkey milk, is at the very pinnacle of post shave feels. My skin is left supple and soft. The ingredients list is; Vegetable Stearic Acid, Beef Tallow, Donkey Milk, Distilled Water, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Kokum Butter, Cocoa Butter, Glycerin, Shea Butter, Lanolin, Essential Oils, Fragrance Oils. The overall shavescore for this soap base is a 95. For soap bases with similar performance, my suggestions are Catie’s Bubbles, Declaration Grooming and Ariana & Evans.
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