Razor: Yaqi Excalibur
Blade: Kai Captain Titan Mild
Brush: Erebus and Terror 26mm Synbad Synthetic
Soap: Tallow and Steel Spiced Fougere
Aftershave: Tallow and Steel Spiced Fougere

So my plan was to not buy anything for myself before Christmas after the Black Friday sales this year.  Thursday I went back on that plan.  I was at my favourite barbershop, High Noon Barber, getting my monthly trim.  They are one of the few (might be the only) places that carry Tallow + Steel products in-store.  During every cut, the barber does a cleanup on the neck with a shavette and applies an aftershave.  My barber that day, Kia (highly recommend) asked if I wanted to try the Tallow + Steel’s Christmas release this year.  I didn’t even realize Tallow + Steel had released a new Christmas scent.  I figured, sure why not.  I was instantly taken by it.  Tallow + Steel scents have never been big wins for me so it really caught my attention.  When she mentioned they only had a couple of sets left, I had to grab one.

Tallow + Steel is an artisan based out of Winnipeg, MB Canada.  Fun fact about this one, they worked with Denatured, a perfume lab local to them in Winnipeg.  I hadn’t heard of them prior to this shave but they are on my radar now.  The scent on this is fantastic.  Scent notes on this are Bergamot, Tonka Bean, West Indies Bay, Texas Cedarwood, Patchouli, Lavender, Labdanum, Vanilla, Frankincense, Myrrh, Allspice, Oakmoss, Geranium and Cardamom.  I dare say this is masterfully blended into something interesting that is part spicey Christmas and part masculine cologne all over this subtle traditional fougere peaking through.  The balance of each of the notes is just perfect.  You can pick each note out with none being overpowered but the sum of the parts hits home the concept they were looking for.  At the time of writing this, there may only be a few limited sets left.  If you are on the fence on this one, let me enable you here, buy it.

Since I was running with a couple of Winnipeg artisans in the software, it made sense to use a brush by a Winnipeg artisan as well.  This brush by Erebus and Terror was a no-brainer to grab.  They are doing some really unique designs with natural wood handles and this one is no exception.  Comfortable to hold and a real eye-catcher, my only knock on it is the knot I chose.  The synbad just isn’t a good knot for me.  It is really soft and floppy without much density and backbone.  That one is all on me, as I chose and set it.  One day I’ll fix that by replacing it with something more fitting this wonderful handle.

Lastly, I had to talk about the razor.  During the Black Friday sales I ordered this Yaqi Excalibur.  I had originally picked one up quite some time ago when it was called something different (Raster?).  At the time I was looking to compare it side by side with the Blackland Vector, something this is clearly is a clone of.  The razor had some quality issues but was fun to shave with.  I sent it along when I returned the Vector that I had on loan so the owner could compare as well.  I was kind of missing it so I ordered another because it was hella cheap.  Well, now I’m wondering if it was more than a name change, it shaves like a different razor…. in a very good way.  It still has some fit and finish issues (I don’t expect the post to hold up long term) but the alignment is better and the blade load/lock seems much improved.  They also seem to have tweaked the blade exposure a bit as well, I’m getting less blade feel.  The resulting tweaks (or the result of me getting lucky with the quality assurance) have made this a MUCH better razor.  Paired with the Kai Captain Titan Mild blades, I’m getting the best shaves I’ve had all year with this thing.  It is smooth and comfortable and yet really efficient.  Angle is super intuitive and 3 passes leaves me BBS with no effort at all.  The handle is still aluminum trash but paired with any of my other nice handles (like this other Yaqi pictured) results in a truly fantastic shave.  I hate to say it, but I can take the vector off my want list.  Probably a good thing since the price of that is high and it is almost never in stock.

A fantastic shave today to kick off the weekend.  Christmas countdown is on.  Work has been crazy busy with me taking on another new position this week so I’m really looking forward to being disconnected and having a little downtime.  Maybe I’ll get a few more SOTDs in and the prep work done for our next drop.  One can hope 🙂

All for now – J

 

 

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