A prestige brand from the US of A.
Used with: Feather Hi-Stainless (4th shave)
I left the puck dry and loaded with my badger brush. Thirty seconds produced what appeared to be plenty of lather but I ran out before my second pass so went back to the puck and loaded again. This time I had more than enough to complete my shave. Slickness wasn’t great following the first pass, but improved thereafter. It didn’t prevent me picking up quite a few nicks and some irritation. Those nicks that weren’t sealed by the end of the shave were by cold water. My neck was generally good, but I did have some resistance and rawness, plus the usual issues with my jawline. WTG my face was very smooth. It was good ATG too. Nowhere quite got to BBS but large parts went very close. There was some irritation though. Post shave feel was soft but a bit dry. The fragrance is very subtle on the puck and I only got the faintest hint as I applied my first pass, after that is disappeared. A good shave that was knocked from being a very good shave due to the irritation.
Used with: Super-Max Stainless (2nd shave)
I splashed a little water on the surface, but this disappeared (either down the site of the puck or absorbed by the wood of the bowl), so it was basically dry when I started loading with my boar brush. After ten seconds with almost no suds I dipped the bristles and then continued to load for another thirty seconds, which resulted in plenty of lather. Slickness was okay, decidedly average. I didn’t pick up any real nicks though, but a little irritation. My neck was very good with the only roughness coming along my jawline. WTG my face was nice and smooth. ATG was very good too. There was minimal resistance and a couple of small patches made it to BBS. Post shave feel was soft but dry. I didn’t pick up any fragrance at all this time. A great shave.
Used with: Personna ‘Med Prep’ (1st shave)
I left my synthetic brush quite wet, shaking it over the puck before loading. Thirty seconds provided a ton of lather. Slickness was good and I didn’t pick up any nicks, although I was left with irritation, most noticeably on my top lip but also on my neck. My jawline was better than usual (as I spent a fair bit of time on it), but not perfect. The rest of my neck was pretty good except for some roughness in a usual trouble-spot. My face was very smooth WTG. ATG was good too, with little in the way of resistance. That said, only a small area of my chin made it to BBS. Aside from feeling a bit raw, post shave feel was fine, if dry. I got a whiff the fragrance at the start this time, the faintest hint of a lemon meringue. It was pleasant but I had to hunt for it and it quickly vanished. A very good shave.
Used with: Rapira Super Stainless (3rd shave)
I splashed some water on the surface before loading for thirty seconds with my synthetic brush. Suds exploded off it and I was able to work them into a good lather. Slickness was okay and I only picked up a couple of small nicks, both of which were sealed by cold water. I had a little irritation on my top lip and my neck was a little raw. The latter was generally close but there was some roughness in the usual places. WTG my face was smooth. ATG there was some resistance but only one small patch of roughness. Nowhere approached BBS. Post shave feel wasn’t bad, but was very dry. I hunted for the fragrance at the start and I did get the odd waft, but it was very hard to detect. It soon disappeared. A good shave.
Used with: Gillette Silver Blue (4th shave)
I doused the surface with water, shook out my synthetic brush and loaded for thirty seconds. Suds poured off it, I had them everywhere. It was easy to build plenty of lather and I had so much I abandoned touch-ups rather than try and use it all. Slickness felt good too, except I picked up a ton of nicks and a lot of irritation (some of that may be down to the alum I used afterwards). Aside from being raw, my neck was pretty good, with roughness limited to my jawline and a usual trouble-spot. WTG was smooth on my face aside from a little patch on my chin. ATG was very good, with minimal resistance at most. Only one small area made it to BBS but much of the rest went close. That was balanced with an overall soreness though. Post shave feel was soft but quite dry. I did get the faintest whiff of the fragrance at the start and I thought I did when I hunted for it during the shave, but I could have imagined that. A good shave, but without the irritation it would have been a great shave.
Although they don’t shout about it, and perhaps even give the impression of being an independent, the brand is actually owned by P&G, owners of Gillette. Let’s not hold that against them though.
I’ll admit that the last shave, from which I am still suffering as a I write this, was a bit of a horror show and may be colouring my feelings towards the rest. That said, looking back at my notes, they all mention being left with irritation or rawness. So while I often achieved a pretty good finish, it didn’t provide much in the way of protection.
For loading, I found the soap preferred a pretty wet brush, and one with backbone seemed to help too, the latter being common to a lot of soaps. Doing that, I had to no problem getting plenty of lather.
The lack of any real scent and the price go against it (assuming you can find it in the UK at all). It’s supposed to be lemon but I struggled to pick up much of anything, even when actively looking for it.
So the question, I guess, is whether the end result (which was generally a close shave) was worth the irritation. I’ve come across plenty of products that give the finish without the pain, and cheaper too.