Razor: Yaqi Excalibur
Blade: Feather Artist Club Professional
Brush: Moon Soaps / Kent Designs 26mm Synthetic Mixed Badger
Soap: Bartigan and Stark Campione
Aftershave: Bartigan and Stark Campione
Other: Thirsty Badger Soaker

So in my previous shave I talked about an SE razor I had on loan, the Blackland Vector.  As it just so happened, around the same time that was coming together Yaqi had released an SE on their Aliexpress site that had some serious similarities in the design to the vector.  I was intrigued and decided to order one to see if it was a clone and how it performed.   In a future post, I’m going to do a side by side comparison of the two razors and my thoughts, but I will say it isn’t a clone, it has some similarities but enough differences to stand alone.

In regards to this razor, the first thing I will say is Yaqi’s quality control is getting pretty lousy for razors.  They made one of my favourite razors in the Mellon but since then I’ve had way more failures than successes.  Just before receiving this one I also received the Yaqi adjustable and it was hot garbage.  I refuse to even try it because the alignment pretty bad.  That and the adjustment mechanism on that is mess.  This razor itself has a bit of an alignment issue.  When you put the blade on the it appears the blade is askew.  Luckily once you tighten it down and the posts engage to does true up, although I still feel the alignment might be a touch off.  This does have some blade exposure and will bite you if you don’t watch the angles.  But I can say when I work with a light touch and watch my angles, I did get a really smooth and comfortable shave.  I’ve used it several times and I’m getting good shaves out of it, but it will never be one of those razors you can work on autopilot.

The soap and splash today is a new, limited edition release from a Western Canadian artisan, Bartigan & Stark.  I previously used their Timberyard soap and while then scent wasn’t a win for me, I did get good shaves out of it before it left the den.  This particular offering, Campione, is a much better scent.  They also have gone to plastic tubs which I appreciate.  I’m not sure if the base has been tweaked but I found it much easier to load and lather than my previous experience.  It is a scent inspired (but not a dupe of) Santa Maria Novella Tabacco Toscano.  Scent notes are bergamot, clementine, dried fruit, tobacco, frankincense, jasmine, coconut, almond, hay, amber, vanilla, musk, cognac, sandalwood.  It reads as a very fruity, sweet vanilla and tobacco scent with a strength just over medium.  It is quite pleasant and would be a bit more of a multi season wear than your typical tobacco fragrance.  Performance on this was excellent.  Easy to load and offering a rich and creamy, low structure lather that had slickness for days and a real nice post shave feel.

I followed up with the matching splash, my first time trying this formulation.  This is an alcohol free splash that is pumped full of skin food.  It does go on with a bit of a tackiness that did go away fairly quickly.  The other thing that was surprising was the texture.  This is much thicker than I was expecting and if I was to put a knock on it, it is that the restrictor they have chosen doesn’t have a wide enough opening for the thickness of the splash.  Scent strength is about a medium and while the scent doesn’t stick around long, my skin still feels amazing hours after the shave.

An pretty good shave shave today, no complaints, a great way to end the weekend.  All for now – J

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