Oh Mann….Barrister and Mann that is! We are very lucky to have so many great artisans making awesome soaps. You can pretty much get any scent you want just by browsing vendors sites or even contacting an artisan. Over the past few months I have tried quite a few different artisans and an even greater number of scents. Amongst them all Barrister and Mann sticks out to me.
About a year ago I got two samples from B&M. Cheshire and Seville were the scents I tried. From the first sniff I was hooked on both, but Seville was something special. I had no idea what was meant by ‘barbershop scent back then, and to be honest I am still not %100 clear on what constitutes a Barbershop scent. I am not sure I appreciated the scents fully back then. About a month ago I received Nocturne and I quickly remembered why I had liked B&M soaps. Not only was the scent incredible, but the performance was as good as anything on the market…..if not better! Then a couple of weeks ago I got FEROX! I used this soap again today. This to me is just about perfect…..a little menthol would push it from a 9.5 out of 10 to pretty close to 10 out of 10. Simply put it’s a grapefruit scented soap. But there is just so much more to it. The grapefruit smells just like you sliced open a grapefruit. Tart and just like a yellow grapefruit and the secondary notes can be picked up as well. Then, once bloomed and lathered the scent just expands and to me is just intoxicating!!! It is so bright and refreshing that it is tough not to use everyday. And I am sure if the puck makes it until the fall and winter it will be great to use all year round to lift my spirits.
Last week a fellow Canadian sent me 4 samples of B&M that I hadn’t tried before. Rhapsody, Lavanille, Diamond, and VHCS(Vetiver, Heather, and Clary Sage). Each scent is so different and complex. The Diamond and Rhapsody really stood out for me….but I won’t get into that as I plan on using a different B&M soap each day next week!!! I will say that I have a tub of Rhapsody on the way and a sample of the new Fougere Aromatique. I am not sure if I am a Fougere guy, but I hear amazing things about this particular one……time will tell.
TIME FOR THE SHAVE!!
Razor : Gillette Aristocrat
Blade : Rapira Swedish Supersteel
Soap: Barrister & Mann FEROX
Brush : Zenshave/HTGAM LE
Toner : Thayer’s Lemon
Aftershave : QCS Iced Key Lime aftershave Balm
Fragrance : Geo F. Trumpers West Indian Extract of Limes Cologne
It was another citrus shave this morning. As I mentioned I used the Ferox soap and I am loving it! Top notch in every respect. William Carius is a wizard with scents. Yes, some are polarizing, but I for one have loved them all. He just knows so much about fragrances that it blows my mind.
I lathered the soap with my Zenshave Canada LE….what a brush. It has Gel tips and the tips are really hooked so this thing is so pillowy soft once wet. It lathers very well and isn’t as much of a lather hog as other 24mm knots I have used. A real gem amongst my brushes.
The Aristocrat loaded with a Rapira SS provided a great shave. The Rapira’s are not the sharpest or smoothest blades, but they are great mix of both. For $12 for 100 blades these are a great buy. I would say they are s step up from the beloved Astra SPs, but of course your results may vary.
Again I ended up with a DFS! I am sure with an extra pass or some clean up on my necks trouble spots I could be BBS. however that extra pass will cause irritation as my neck is really sensitive compared to my face. So I am very happy with a DFS.
I finished the shave with a splash of Thayer’s lemon witch hazel. Unlike yesterday I didn’t have any burn(or very very minimal). Love the scent of the lemon as it continued the citrus theme. I then applied my QCS Iced Key Lime which is laced with an awesome amount of menthol. Again this continued the citrus theme. The menthol kick made me feel like I had a citrus smoothie poured on my face.
Lastly I applied a bit of the Geo F. Trumpers Extract of Limes cologne. This is a nice fragrance, but doesn’t last very long sadly. Realistic scent, but it fades like an aftershave. I am glad its just a sample and I didn’t buy an entire bottle. however I may try applying it more liberally next time and see if I can get some longevity out of it because the scent is really nice.
Now, to finish off my post I have a question for everyone…..its also a test to see who reads to the end. Who is your top artisan and why? Also if you can list your top 2 or 3 scents by that artisan it would be great to see, not only for myself but our fellow wetshavers.
Ill start….at the moment I will say Barrister and Mann.
Why? As I said above I just love his scents. To my nose they just work so well. There are other artisans that have scents that I love like Espresso by Reef Point off the top of my head(this is a absolute killer scent).
Top 3….. In no particular order FEROX, Diamond, Rhapsody. Note that in the fall/Winter these may change to Nocturne, Seville and Lavanille.
A huge thank you to Mark Herro(mantic) as well as Chris Bailey(TSE-The shaving Evangelist) and Joe from Italian Barber for recently reposting and/or sharing my blog via twitter and Facebook and I think Google+ . I appreciate all the reblogs and reposts from everyone else as well. It’s just crazy that guys that I have looked to for advice on shaving and products take the time to read my blog and now I’m getting 3 or 4 times more traffic since they have shared it……I really cannot thank everyone enough…All of you ROCK!!!
Cheers my friends and thanks for the continued support.