The Blades Grim Smolder Luxury Shaving Soap

8 Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (8)
The Blades Grim Smolder Shave Soap

One of the less well known US artisan makers, who primarily make single-edge razors.

Used with: Lord Super Stainless (4th shave)

I didn’t bloom the puck as such, but covered the surface in a little water for about ten seconds before loading for thirty with my badger brush. I had to work it a lot for my first pass. I had so little when I started my second I went back to the puck to re-load, which is almost unprecedented. Once I had done that I was able to get a good thick lather with a nice consistency and had plenty for touch-ups. Slickness wasn’t great (slightly better on the second pass), but I only picked up a single nick. My neck was very good, with only a small patch of roughness to spoil it. Even my jawline was good. WTG my face was nice and smooth. ATG wasn’t bad either, with no significant areas of resistance. A couple of places even made it to BBS, which is unheard of with a blade this dull that was at the end of its use. Post shave feel was excellent too, nice and soft. The fragrance was very subtle, even with my nose in the tin, but was present and stayed with me throughout. It didn’t linger though. I was a bit dubious when I started, but this won me over and I ended up with a very good shave.

Used with: Schick Premium (2nd shave)

I bloomed the puck this time then loaded for thirty seconds with my badger brush. Lather wasn’t an issue, I had plenty. Slickness wasn’t great, even when I added water it was ‘sticky.’ I picked up a few nicks, most were sealed by the point I reached cold water, but some lingered. Generally my neck was very good, even along my jawline, but I did have a couple of rougher areas. No problems WTG on my face and ATG was pretty good except that one of my cheeks had far more resistance than the other. Nowhere made it to BBS and it wasn’t as close as I’d expected. Post shave feel was nice once again. I picked up the fragrance at the start but I don’t remember it much during the shave. I think it was there but it’s quite subtle so it doesn’t smack you in the chops. Still a good shave though.

Used with: Feather Hi-Stainless (1st shave)

I bloomed the puck for a short time before loading for thirty seconds with my badger brush. It was easy to produce plenty of lather. Slickness felt better this time but it couldn’t prevent me from picking up plenty of nicks, though they were all sealed by cold water. My neck was very good, with only some slight roughness low down. My usually troublesome jawline was all good. WTG my face was smooth. ATG was pretty good too, with the only real roughness around my mouth and top lip. Nowhere made it to BBS though (nor went close). Post shave feel was okay, but a bit dry. I remember the fragrance when I bloomed the puck, the warm sweet scent, but I don’t recall it after that. A good shave.

Used with: Gillette 7 O’Clock Super Stainless (3rd shave)

I soaked the tin alongside my badger brush. The hot water helped to provide a nice hit of fragrance. Loading for thirty seconds provided plenty of lather. Slickness was fine and I didn’t pick up any nicks. My neck was nice and smooth, only disturbed by some roughness low down. My jawline, which normally has problems, was good too, with only the barest hint of rough. My face was very smooth WTG. There was some resistance ATG and a couple of areas that weren’t as smooth as the rest. I don’t think anywhere quite made it to BBS, but a few places went close. Post shave feel was a little better this time, though not up to the best. After the initial hit I don’t remember registering the fragrance. A very good shave.

Used with: Personna Platinum (3rd shave)

I added some water to the surface while I wet my face, then loaded for around thirty seconds using my boar brush. Lather was no problem, I had plenty. Slickness felt good too and I didn’t pick up any nicks. My neck was pretty smooth with only a few hints of roughness. WTG my face was smooth and soft. ATG wasn’t bad either, with no significant resistance, but it wasn’t especially close and nowhere made it to BBS. Post shave feel wasn’t bad, quite soft, but a little dry. I don’t remember picking up the fragrance at all. A very good shave.

Verdict

My initial use left me underwhelmed, although it got better through the shave. Subsequent uses were much better, but it didn’t blow me away.

That said, it offered good slickness and adequate protection. Post shave feel wasn’t bad and it generally provided a good shave. The packaging was good too, nice to have a tin after so many plastic tubs. The biggest let down was the fragrance.

It’s described as ‘warm and toasty’ with ‘camphorous notes, subtle hints of citrus and a masculine gourmand base.’ I’d agreed with the toasty part. It’s pretty subtle, but can be insistent, staying with your throughout, but on other shaves it didn’t even register. I liked it, but the strength was a bit of a disappointment.

Other than that though, it did a good job. It wasn’t much of a head turner and I didn’t find myself excited to pick it up, but the performance was good and I can’t argue with the results.

Filed under: Soap, Software

These reviews are updated based on ongoing experience, so ratings and opinions may change.

Last updated: May 6, 2016