Razor: Rockwell 6c on 4
Blade: Rapira Platinum Lux
Brush: Paragon Boar
Soap: Highland Springs Havana Vieja
Aftershave: Highland Springs Havana Vieja Splash

Last week was a pretty epic week for mail calls.  I had a few acquisitions planned for a while and they all seemed to make their way to the den the same week.  I have to say, my luck on this batch has been fantastic, the products are all on the elite level and this offering from Highland Springs is no exception.

Elite, yes I said it.  I’ve been working with this base from Highland Springs for a while and now that I’ve worked it and used it around other elite level products I’m comfortable saying that.  This vegan base is one of my favorites in the den.   The soap loads easily (be careful not to overload) and can take a good amount of water.  It will take a bit of patience building the lather but when properly dialed in, this gives a lather that while not hugely voluminous, is very dense, rich, glossy and creamy.  Slickness both lathered and residual are great and post shave feel is fantastic.  This soap can compete with any of the big boys/girls.  If I was to give it a slight knock I’d say the scent strength could be dialed up on this one.  I’d say it is on the lower side of medium.  Notes are Tobacco and Vanilla.  This definitely shares some DNA as Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, but I’d say it tips a bit more to the vanilla than tobacco to my nose.  I love the new packaging upgrades, while a touch smaller at 3oz, it is wide enough to load from the tub and priced at a point that you can add a second scent without breaking the bank.

The brush today was my Paragon Boar.  I still have a love hate relationship with this brush.  I love the look of this guy.  It is comfortable in the hand (although the Paragon shape handle beats this out in that regard) but I still struggle with the knot.  I’m not a big boar user at the best of times but something about this knot bothers me.  I still get an uncomfortable scritch every time I use it, like something in the knot is scratching me.  It feels fairly localized to an area of the knot rather than the knot as a whole, yet when I investigate the knot I don’t see anything obvious like a glue bump.  I’m at the point now that this is a candidate for a re-knot.    If you are thinking of getting a Paragon (and I highly suggest you do) my recommendation is to grab the plisson style synthetic over this.  That brush still reins supreme in the den.

I finished the shave with the matching splash.  This is a skin food formulation (witch hazel, no alcohol) and feels great on the skin.  There is definitely an improvement over the previous formulation as there is no tackiness any more.  I would love to see the return of the glass bottles though.  I just feel at this price point a glass bottle should be a must.

I look forward to seeing what else might be coming down the pipe from Highland Springs.  If you don’t have a product of theirs in your den, you are missing out, I highly recommend picking one up.