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Friday, June 29, 2012

Gilbert Henry Bay Rum

I received this bottle of Gilbert Henry Bay Rum from Chris Paczewitz, co-owner of the Gilbert Henry Company. I found it waiting for me at home and couldn't wait to give it a try. The company has the kind of start up story that I love to hear - he couldn't find what he was looking for, so he made it himself; some trial and error later, and we have the final product above.

This morning I went through my regular shave routine, but substituted the GHBR for my regular Art of Shaving Sandalwood Aftershave. The scent was perfect - not overpowering, not too sweet, just the right balance of bay rum and citrus.

The application was a surprise. It went on smoothly, but there was zero greasyness to it, and my skin felt very clean afterwards. It was almost a sort of powdery feel when I put it on.

My original attraction to theArt of Shaving was not only for the quality of their products, but the story of the companys creation, very similar to Gilbert Henry. The difference is that AoS was bought out by Proctor and Gamble. I don't have a problem with that, but I enjoy supporting a small business with a great product.

It looks to me like the Gilbert Henry Company is just that.

For more information on the company or their products, check them out at

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shaving in space

I was fortunate enough to make it to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum the other day. I made my way to a section displaying a bunch of Apollo 11 mission equipment, such as suits, survival gear, video equipment, cameras, and even a few personal items.

Among those personal things, donated by Astronaut Michael Collins, was this:

That is a Gillette Adjustable Razor and a tube of Old Spice Shaving Cream.

The Adjustable is a single edge safety razor; it was available in any drugstore at the time, as was the Old Spice.

I was pretty surprised to see a safety razor in the Air and Space museum; just thought I'd share a bit of shaving and aeronautical history.

Edwin Jagger Best Badger Shaving Brush

I had heard a lot of chatter about how much of a difference a good shaving brush makes. I didn't know first hand, since most of my shaving was done with a boar hair brush someone gave me.

I received an Edwin Jagger for Fathers Day. It's a Best Badger with a faux ivory handle, and it is all I have used since I took it out of the box.

Imagine the difference between driving a Maserati and a Pinto. That's about the feeling.

The brush lathers so much better than my boar brush that it isn't even possible to do a fair comparison. The lather these guys on the shaving vids on Youtube get? I can do that now. With far less effort, I get way better results. I can stir up a mountain of cream in no time, and it stays ready until my last pass. Plus, it's much softer and comfortable on my face.

One problem I have with this is that I need to reevaluate all my soaps with the new brush. So far I have only used Lavanda and Mikes.

Honestly, though, this isn't a problem I mind having. I'm looking forward to trying everything again and seeing how it all works under new circumstances.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mikes Natural Soaps

Sorry it's been so long since I posted last. I've not tried too many new things, but I have been working with a tin of Mikes Natural Soap (Orange, Cedar and Black Pepper, although I have a tin of Lime as well).

This stuff is handmade by the proprietor in Brooklyn, NY. According to his website, he started doing this because he was tired of buying sub-par shaving creams.

It is made with tallow, vegetable glycerin, lanolin, and a host of other ingredients that are really good for your skin. For more information, just google Mikes Natural Soaps - you'll find it.

At first I was using my Boar hair brush. The lather was decent as long as I didn't over/under hydrate it (if its underhydrated, you will see a lot of bubbles in the lather. Add a little more soap and lather up until that stops). But the results I was getting weren't near what I'd read about, or seen in videos on youtube.

Then I got an Edwin Jagger Best Badger Brush for fathers day, and tried the soap with that. Apparently a good badger brush was the missing link.

Lathering is now on par with what I expected when I first received the tin. The soap gets very slick and creamy, which is what you want, of course. I don't pick up much of the cedar or black pepper in the scent - mostly just the orange. The shaves are great, but I have to be sure to use a decent blade, as always.

After using this for about a month my skin is looking healthier and smoother. The ingredients in the soap are largely to thank for that, I think.

So, in conclusion, I give this soap my highest reccomendation. It will be really hard for me to switch up soaps; I really like Mikes. I suppose when the first tin runs out, I'll give a month to another brand, then come back to my Mikes Lime tin. That should give me a good basis for comparison.