Razor: Fatip Piccolo Special Edition
Blade: Astra Green
Brush: Wild West Brushworks Synthetic
Soap: Van Yulay Royal Oudh
Other: Creed Royal Oud

So I mentioned in my shave the other day how I had picked up several Van Yulay soaps during their recent Black Friday sale.  This Royal Oudh soap is one of those soaps.  I had wanted to try several different scents and get a bit more bang for my buck than just a sample.  Then I noticed they offer hard soap pucks in their scents in either a 3.8oz or 1.8oz format.  The 3.8oz format comes in a tin while the 1.8oz comes wrapped in paper.  Wanting to get a bit more variety in scents and knowing I have enough soap to last 10 lifetimes, I opted for the 1.8oz pucks, coming in about $5USD per puck.  Luckily I had purchased a bunch of empty tins for just this occasion.

Royal Oudh was one of the scents I wanted to try.  This particular scent is based off of Creed Royal Oud.   I did have a sample in my den of the fragrance so I thought it would be a good one to try out.  Scent notes on this are lemon, pink berry, bergamot, cedar, galbanum, angelic root, Regal Indian oud, sandalwood and Tonkin musk.  It is a really nice resinous cologne blend.  Very masculine, I really enjoy the scent.  The strength off the soap is a bit lighter that I would hope, coming in at around a 5/10 and doesn’t really elevate in strength while lathering.  I’d say it matches quite well but does miss a bit of the subtle sophistication of the real deal.  That could be the frag oil or it could be the soap format effecting the scent a touch.  No big deal, it still smells great.

For the soap base, this hard tallow base soap puck performed quite well for me.  I prefer this format over the other Van Yulay tubs I’ve tried thus far.  It still isn’t the easiest to lather, but the hydration band is a bit wider and you can find that sweet spot for cushion and slickness.  Once dialed in, cushion and slickness were very good and post shave was above average.  For me, the key to lathering this hard puck is to bloom in some hot water while you prep and then load heavy with a slightly damp brush.  Then add water slowly as you work.

And speaking of the brush, today I used my Wild West Brushworks synthetic, easily one of the best looking modern brushes in my den.  If you hadn’t heard, the family that runs WWB lost their home to fire this week.  The fine folks at Mammoth Soaps have organised a fundraiser raffle to raise some funds to help the family during this time.  If you are able, please go to the Mammoth Soaps page and help these fine folks out.  There are plenty of amazing prizes from some awesome artisans to be won, including a Thirsty Badger lather bowl of choice.