Razor: Rex Envoy
Blade: Gillette 7 O’Clock Super Platinum Blacks
Brush: Trotter Handcrafts Berserker 26mm G5C Synthetic Kanon MKII
Soap: MacDuff’s Soap Company / Aylsworth Razors The Northman
Aftershave: MacDuff’s Soap Company / Aylsworth Razors The Northman Splash
Today is another shave inspired by my recent trip to Idaho for the Northwest West Shavers Meetup. These items have a special connection to the trip. The soap and splash were ordered before my travels but I was able to connect with both Sean (MacDuffs) and Kaleb (Aylsworth) along the way. In fact, Kaleb was one of the gents I travelled with and was part of our shared accommodations group. He brought along his own Northman set, so I was able to get my nose on it before making it back home.
The Northman was a collaboration between Aylsworth and MacDuff’s Soap Company, sold exclusively as a limited edition on the Aylsworth website. It offers notes of Douglas Fir, Fir Balsam, Black Pine, Bergamot, Juniper, Pink Pepper, Leather, Must, Oud and Cedarwood. This “pays homage to the spirit of braved adventure in the Viking tradition“. I would describe this as very leather and coniferous forward scent. You get that sharp evergreen note as if you are walking through the woods with a very prominent, yet smooth leather backbone. There is a touch of bright sweetness brought on by not only the choice of woods but a slight touch of Bergamot. To me it brings a sense of cool winter on the trees, it really reminded me of spending time at the family cabin. It definitely has a ruggedness to it that could be polarizing, but if you like coniferous scents and leather doesn’t scare you, this could be a winner. And if you are on the fence, I will remind you it is in the MacDuff Soap Company Soap/Splash and that is elite-level good.
The brush you see is the Berserker pour from Paul at Trotter Handcrafts with a G5C synthetic knot. This pour was designed as a collaboration with Kaleb to go along with the Northman release. I missed out on these at the original drop but I was able to sneak in an order from Paul prior my Idaho trip. Once there, not only did I get the brush, I got to hang out with and enjoy a few beverages with Paul. His work is stunning, some of the best handle craftsmanship I’ve seen. He is also an awesome dude and it was pretty cool to hang out with him at the meetup.
And, while I didn’t pick up this razor at the meetup, I just had to shave with the Rex Envoy. I was lucky enough to meet Matt from Rex / Razor Emporium and enjoy a few beverages with him as well. He is one of the OGs I remember learning about when I first started in the hobby so chatting shaving in person was kind of a trip. One of my favourite memories of the meetup was driving in the van in the streets of Idaho Falls, seeing Matt walking down the street and yelling “Do you even shave bro?” before pulling over and introducing ourselves. We loaded him up in the van and headed to a local brewpub to kick of the meetup. How cool is that?
The Envoy wasn’t really love at first shave. When I first got it, I struggled with what I considered to be aggressiveness and blade feel. Now that I’ve had it for a while and used it a bunch, I LOVE this razor. A gentle touch with the right blade gets me a smooth and extremely efficient shave. If I have had a couple rough shaves, I will always go back to the Envoy and it fixes what ails. Something about this razor tunes up my skin after a bad shave gives me grief. The fit and finish is second to none. I can’t wait to try the other Rex offerings. I know Matt is having a meetup at the shop in February and I’m trying my best to make it happen to attend. I really want to check out his shop and other offerings.
I know I’ve said it a bunch, but if you have a chance, hit up a meetup. It’s damn cool to make personal connections with the people that make this awesome stuff and it really gets you excited about the hobby. Like I am. Always.
All for now – J