Well, the straight is actually out of Sheffield and I have never been anywhere near Compton. As much as Compton is known for the birth of Gansta Rap and N.W.A, Sheffield England makes wet shavers think of steel and straight razors. It is interesting how certain places make you think of certain things. When I hear Sheffield I immediately think of Wade & Butcher. And when I think of Wade & Butcher I think of old England. I love how wetshaving brings so many nostalgic memories and thoughts to my mind.
I love how certain soaps make me think of different people in my life and places I have been. They make me think of places I want to go as well. It is amazing how artisans can create scents that conjure up these thoughts and images. One of the best at creating scents in my opinion is William Carius of Barrister and Mann. Sure not all of his scents are for everyone, but many would agree on just how creative and unique his scents are. My first experience with Barrister and Mann was Roam. At first the scent was slightly off putting, but the scent grew on me unlike any other. With each use I liked the scent more and more as I appreciated just how much was happening with the scent. Before wetshaving I had no idea about fragrance and notes etc. Things used to smell good or bad. Scents were more singular to me, but shaving opened my eyes to top notes, base notes, etc. Roam was my initiation into complex scents. It didn’t just smell like one thing. I had to take time to smell it and not just take one whiff and decide if I liked it. Also, blooming the soap really brings out a soaps true scent. If you don’t bloom your soaps you are truly missing out and not getting the soaps intended scent. Here is the description of Roam straight from Barrister & Mann’s site “Inspired by the rugged individualism of American cattle ranchers, we blended the aromas of real pipe tobacco absolute, smoke, leather, herbs, damp earth, and grass into a bright, robust scent reminiscent of life on the open range. Timeless and virile, Roam harkens back to the days of the Old West.” Its pretty awesome that you can actually pick out certain notes in the soap when you really try. I find the damp earth and leather really stand out, while the others are more background notes. However, others find the smoke and grass shine. Our noses differ as much as artisans soaps and their scents. The next two B&M soaps I tried were Seville and Cheshire. Seville is a Barbershop scent and a fan favorite in the shaving community. When recommending Williams soaps Seville gets brought up very often as it is such a pleasing scent. To me it was more floral than Stirling’s Barbershop, but just as awesome. It also made me realize that Barbershop scents are all different. Cheshire to me smells like Thrills gum……which I think taste like soap. So to me it just makes sense. I have a tub of Ferox on route at the moment and cannot wait to smell it and use it. Ferox is a seasonal scent which William releases quarterly I believe. These scents are made for the season and are Highly anticipated by B&M fans.The Ferox has notes of grapefruit, sage, thyme, rosemary, tea tree, and vetiver! If it smells half as good as it sounds I will be very happy.
I could talk for hours about Barrister and Mann scents, but equally impressive is B&Ms performance. Absolutely top-notch soaps. Without question in my top 3 artisans. These soaps are extremely close to Haslinger Schafmilch(my top soap) in performance but with incredible scents. Easy to load, thick, rich, slick, protective, cushiony lather. And it is no slouch in the post shave department either. Well above average post shave feel in all B&M offerings. There is a reason not many guys only have one Barrister and Mann soap…..they are so good you want to try them all, and you wont be disappointed if you do either.
Are they cheap…No. These soaps are about $20 a tub. This not expensive for soaps by any means, but it isn’t a value brand like Razorock either. However they are worth every single penny. William knows fragrances more than anyone I know in the wetshaving community. A few of his releases have been based on older scents from MANY years ago. Odes to the past, but he makes them work. It is incredible what he does.
I remember a Q&A session with William on a Facebook group many months ago and I was in awe with his knowledge of scents. Impressive to say the very least, and very personable. The fact he makes these soaps with such fantastic scents and amazing performance is made even more unreal by the fact that I believe he is in Law school. Another awesome Artisan in our community turning out top-notch products.
This leads me to today’s shave!!!
Razor : Wade and Butcher
Brush : Oscar11 w/ Omega Boar knot
Soap : Barrister and Mann’s NOCTURNE
Toner : Thayer’s Cucumber Witch Hazel
Aftershave : Huggy Bear’s Mentholated Cherry Tobacco + Local Gent Eucalyptus Mint Balm
So, I used a straight for the first time in way to long. I was a bit rusty but managed a nick and weeper free shave. Not BBS but pretty close to DFS. I really enjoy the challenge of a straight and just how old school it feels. My razor is probably at least 60-70 years old and its cool to imagine someone using it way back in the day and getting great shaves with it. Im very big on nostalgia and vintage razors feed that hunger and need for it.
The soap for today was Nocturne. A seasonal scent that evokes memories of apple orchards and a fresh fall day. It is such a fresh and bright/crisp scent to my nose. Kind of like that smell you get when you walk into a ‘Body Shop” store in the mall. Its described as a New England day with the scent of Apples and fallen leaves and woodsmoke….it is described as the scent of a cider mill as well. I think that hits the nail on the head. it smells like the shop at big apple orchards that sell cider and apple pies etc. A wonderful scent to my nose. I feel I could use it year round with ease.
The performance of the soap was awesome yet again! Not that I expected any less. Try some B&M if you haven’t. It is truly a great artisan soap. If you don’t want to buy an entire puck I know that Maggards and other places sell samples.
To finish my shave I used Huggy Bears Mentholated Cherry Tobacco AS splash again. Well, if yesterday was a slap from the menthol today was a kick! POW right in tha kissa! What an invigorating feeling. In fact it brought a tear to my eye it was so cold. I really am digging this stuff! And the scent once it is applied is really really nice. Once this sample bottle is done I will be hitting him up for a full bottle. I truly think Huggy is going to be an artisan to look out for. Both of his aftershaves I have tried have been fantastic.
The brush today was my Oscar11. As beautiful as it is, its functionality matches. It rips into soaps and lathers up so quickly its amazing. The knot is set deep so it doesn’t splay like an SOC and fling lather everywhere.
An overall great shave to end week. Have an awesome weekend and stay weeper free!