Razor: Karve CB on C OC (Open Comb)
Blade: Rapira Platinum Lux
Brush: CSB Plisson Synthetic
Soap: Purely Skinful Handmade Essentials Siren
Aftershave: Purely Skinful Handmade Essentials Siren Balm
Other: Proraso Red Pre-shave (not pictured)

I’ve decided to take a break from #SampleSaturday for a few weeks.  I have something I’m working on for better presentation of sample photos so I figured I’d take a break until it is complete.   I did want to give a couple new products a go today in the new Karve Open Comb plate and this new Siren set from Purely Skinful Handmade Essentials.

First off, I took the photo before the shave (as I almost always do).  I gave the label a quick peak before lathering and noticed sandalwood in the notes so I changed up the SOTD a bit, adding in the Proraso Red Pre-shave.  Scent it subtle and it blends well with almost any sandalwood note in a soap.  I’m really enjoying this pre-shave and am using it often.  I find it makes every shave better.  If they had an unscented version I would likely use it every shave.  It is a fantastic product.

On to the shave…  Up today is Siren and this is a very citrus forward scent.  Notes are lime, bergamot, blood orange, tangerine, lemon, grapefruit, kumquat, olive branch, sandalwood, musk, ylang-ylang and vanilla.   Off the tub you get a blast of citrus and citrus peel with a subtle softness of light musk/vanilla.  I’m not a huge citrus guy so this wouldn’t be a regular use for me.  I might even consider moving it but when I walked up stairs my wife comment I smelled nice, like REALLY nice.  She is obviously a citrus fan.   Strength on this one is on the lighter side of medium to my nose (citrus scents almost always are), and it does jump a tad once lathered.  This is the deer tallow base so I was very cognisant to notice differences from the beef tallow base.  Id say this was a bit tougher the load and lather, but once dialed in, I think I preferred the slickness and post shave to her beef tallow base.  It is very close and both are very good, but the shave today was just another level good.

Which brings me to the razor, my first go with the Karve open comb.  I have the C and D closed comb so I figured the C OC plate would be a good test.  I’m a big fan of this design.  It isn’t quite a smooth as the C CC, but didn’t feel as aggressive as the D CC.  I’d put it in the middle of those two for aggression.  I do think the open comb design made the shave better, working to channel the lather a bit better during each pass.  It is also damn efficient.  I literally could have stropped at 1 pass and called it a day with a DFS.  2 passes later and I was pretty damn smooth with 0 weepers or irritation.  I will be using this on the regular.  My only knock with this and the Karve in general is the brass design isn’t for me.  The patina is very evident now that I have a new plate with the weathered razor.  And soap doesn’t rinse off as nice as my other razors (unsure if that is the brass or the bead blast finish).   It functions and looks fantastic, it just requires a bit more care.

For the post, I used the matching balm.  I’ve said it before, the post shave product from Purely Skinful is fantastic.  It is light, absorbs well, and leaves your skin feeling great.  The scent on this was a perfect match and carried well for a balm.  A great finish to a great shave.