Razor: Razorock SLOC 2.0
Blade: Gillette 7 O’Clock Green
Brush: DS Cosmetic Captain Synthetic
Soap: Stonefield Shaving North of Fifty (Purely Skinful Handmade Essentials)
Aftershave: Stonefield Shaving North of Fifty Splash
Other: Thirsty Badger lather bowl

Interesting shave today.  I reached for a great Canadian made (and Northern Canadian inspired) software set and then grabbed a couple subpar hardware items to use with it.  End result was a less then comfortable shave but a fantastic result.  Complete props to the software for saving the shave.

First off, the brush.  I really like the look of this jet black handle with this unique tuxedo style knot shape, but the knot is the worst one i have in my den.  It has this artificial springiness to it and is quite scratchy.  It lathers pretty well, looks kind of cool but it sure isn’t comfortable to use.  A bowl is a must so you don’t have to face lather at all.  Even the little bit of scrub to apply the lather is uncomfortable.  Maybe I should just get a nice Tuxedo synthetic and swap the knot, but really, those are so cheap I might be better off to buy another one.

The razor, well I really want to like this SLOC 2.0 but it is has been a big disappointment as well.  The original SLOC (or the Yaqi Mellon) is one of my favourite razors so I thought the CNCed revision had to be an improvement.  It is NOT.  First, it is an aluminium head with a stainless handle.  That makes it handle heavy.  Second, the machining and polishing is not great.  The head has a bit of a texture or rough surface which causes it to not glide on the surface of the skin like it should.  I can assure you, it isn’t the soap, every time I give the razor another chance, no matter the soap, it is the same.  And lastly, this has way too much blade feel for my liking.    I wouldn’t even say it was that efficient as it took a full three cautious passes to get a clean shave.

The soap and aftershave however, they are winners.  This North of Fifty offering from Stonefield Shaving is an updated version with a new base made by Purely Skinful Handmade Essentials.  I wasn’t a fan of the original North of Fifty soap as the product was difficult to work with and I found the scent overpowering and sharp.  Those problems have all been rectified with this updated release.  Scent on North of Fifty is Sandalwood, Neroli, Ozone, Fresh Grass, Fir Needle and Cedarwood.  The original North of Fifty had Clary Sage listed in the scent notes.  I’m not sure if that note was pulled in this release or not but all the sharpness is gone.  To my nose this reads as Neroli and Fir Needle forward with a very fresh vibe from the Ozone.  Typically I’m not a Neroli fan but in this blend it just works.  Scent strength is about a medium, which is the perfect level given this scent profile.

Anyone that has followed along knows I really like Linda’s Purely Skinful Base.  This harder soy wax formula definitely benefits from blooming and a heavy load.  It can be a bit trickier to lather but once you have it figured out and dialled in you are rewarding with a very slick lather.  Excellent cushion and a fantastic post shave.  An average soap with the hardware today would have been a disaster.

I followed up with the matching splash.  I am really enjoying the splash base that Linda has created.  While it does require a heavy shake prior to use to re-blend everything, the resulting splash is rich in skin food and soothes the skin, leaving your face feeling smooth and hydrated for hours.  I’d say it has the texture of a splash and the performance of a balm.  Scent on this is about a medium in strength and leans a bit more into the woodsy notes vs the neroli side in the soap.

So considering the poor hardware I used today (lather bowl excluded of course, haha) I got a surprisingly clean shave with no cuts, weepers or irritation and my skin is left feeling nice and hydrated.  It wasn’t the most enjoyable experience but you can’t argue with the results.    I’ll have to figure out if I’m to re-knot the brush and re-home the razor…. but the software, that’s a keeper.

All for now – J

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