Razor: Gillette Fatboy on 5
Blade: Astra Green
Brush: Spiffo Two Band
Soap: Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Lo Haiku
Aftershave: Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Lo Haiku

One of the main reasons I got into traditional wet shaving is that I like the link to the past.  Maybe it’s shaving like my grandpa or having a familiar scent like my dad did, there is just something special about that history.  Along with the historic gear (like the Gillette Fatboy used today) I also really dig vintage scents.  I’ve picked up a few of late but I’ve always been wanting to try the epic Hai Karate.  The OG is getting increasingly hard to find (and not at reasonably prices at all).  Phoenix Artisan Shaving had an homage to it called Lo Haiku that I had seen in photos and on a few websites but it was sold out and discontinued.    Until now…..

There must have been a few like me that were hounding Doug (PAA) to see if this was ever going to make a comeback.  It is here again!  Lo Haiku, in the CK6 formula.  I wasted no time ordering up the set and was very surprised at how quickly this made the journey.  I’ve been trying to hold out for the weekend to enjoy this but today I just couldn’t wait any longer…. a bit of a mistake.  I’ll get to that.

I don’t have any vintage Hai Karate and to be honest, I’m not even 100% sure I’ve ever smelled the OG.  I can’t say how accurate this is to the original.  It does smell old school and familiar.  Scent notes on this are:

  • Top notes: lavender, bergamot, lemon, rosemary, anise
  • Middle notes: geranium, fern, carnation, cinnamon, cedar, heliotrope
  • Base notes: oakmoss, vanilla, tonka bean, amber, musk

It comes out as slightly floral, slightly sweet with a musky undertone.  I’d say the scent off the puck was on the lighter side of medium (which surprised me) but it jumped up to the stronger side of medium once lathered.  I really dig this scent.  It takes me back to being a kid and taking the tops off bottles in dad’s toiletries to take a whiff of his different post shave products.  Performance was really good on the soap, very slick, so slick holding the razor was a challenge at one point.  With the really nice cushion, I was able to dial up the aggression on the Fatboy a touch and got a really efficient 3 pass shave.

Now for the post…. I picked up the matching aftershave/cologne because I’m a bit OCD and that is how I roll (this is actually standard practice now as I always kick myself later for not getting the matching post-shave).  I splashed on a small amount of the aftershave and can say the initial hit was unpleasant.  Along with a bit of an alcohol burn, the initial opening was a strong unpleasant chemical scent.  Luckily this went away very quickly and revealed a dry down that was really close to the soap…. perhaps a bit more floral to my nose.  PAA is typically known for its strong and long lasting splashes, but I wasn’t prepared for this guy.  This dials it up vs anything I’ve got in my den for a post shave, including all the other PAA products.  It projects and it stays.  An hour and a half later and it still smells as strong on me as when I applied it.  It isn’t overpowering (like a teenager on Axe body-spray) but it is too much for days at the office… like I am today.  Hence my mistake.

In summary, a great shave today, a really nice vintage scent.  This guy won’t be used on office days but I’ll be epic on the weekends 🙂  In the future…. I’ll be careful how I use it 😛