Razor: George Wostenholm & Sons Celebrated 6/8 Near Wedge
Brush: Yaqi Cashmere Synthetic
Soap: Stirling Soap Company Stirling Gentleman
Aftershave: Stirling Soap Company Stirling Gentleman Splash / Balm

I opted to revisit an old faithful today.  I haven’t been using Stirling soaps that often.  I have found newer soap formulations from other artisans were really catching my eye and I found their performance was working so much better for me.  Today I figured I would revisit one of the first sets I picked up and put it thru it’s paces.

First off, Stirling still offers one of the best price to quality soap offerings out there.  They have a large number of scents, offer splashes and balms for each soap, and all perform well above average.  You get a huge tub of soap for the price that will last a very long time.  They also offer a really nice sample format so you can try a large number of scents before you commit to a set.

I’ve always found Stirling easy to lather, but the more I used newer bases from other artisans, the less I was reaching for Stirling.  Today, I wanted to push the base a bit and see if I could dial it in a bit more.  What I found is that while Stirling lathers easily, dialling it in to get the best performance out of it takes some patience.  Today I pushed the water content.  I lathered to a point it looked great, and then I pushed in some more water.  I then worked it a bit more til it looks great, and then I added more water.  Adding it slowly and working it, I was able to improve the lather a bunch vs where I normally found it.  It developed that little bit of a glossy sheen to it.  Cushion is excellent.    Slickness was very good, although residual slickness still suffered a bit for me.  I’d recommend keeping the lather on whenever you touch razor to face.  Post shave was quite nice.  I was surprised at how much I liked the lather today.  So I guess I’d revise my opinion a bit, it is easy to lather but tricky to dial in for optimal performance.  I have a much easier time getting the most out of newer bases, but with a bit of patience, you can really elevate the lather from this soap.

The scent on Stirling Gentleman is fantastic.  Tobacco, Vanilla, Amber, and Musk.  It is a really nice, masculine blend.  Scent is strong and when layered with the splash and balm, you will carry it all day.  The splash has really nice scent strength and a good alcohol kick.  With the balm, the scent is a bit toned down in strength and to me, it was a touch heavy for my preference.  It performed well, it just felt a touch heavy going on.

All in all, a great shave today.  Lesson for the day, keep pushing those lathers, see what you can get out of them.  A bit of patience and a bit of extra water and you can turn a good shave into a great one.