PAA Mixed Soap:

This morning's shave was great. I was craving something but really wasn't sure so I grabbed my PAA Mixed Soap container. Think of a sweetened barbershop in terms of the scent. It's also my very last Bolzano Superinox DE blade which I will NOT be buying again. They're pretty good blades, but they're simply not good enough for my tough beard:

The post shave is great. Nice and pretty smooth, but not quite my usual ice rink like I get with my straight razors. No email yet from Mongoose Razors about the Alumigoose. If I don't hear anything by Thursday, I'll check my retailer and see if they have anymore Mongoose Razors in stock. The Edwin Jagger DE 89 just simply isn't getting done for me anymore in terms of both post shave feel and efficiency. With a straight razor, I only need to make 2 passes at the most. I can say the same thing with a 37C slant and if I use a Feather DE blade, PAA's double OC falls into this category as well. I've never shaved with a Mongoose Razor before but I have used those blades in the Feather Artist Club Non folding Japanese style shavette. The blades are really good.

24 hours Later and it's Good:

Well for those who actually take the time to read my blog (thank you to those that do, it's greatly appreciated), I got a really bad shave this past Saturday with a soap that normally has solid performance and a great smell. I didn't get any of that this past Saturday. So after I spoke to the artisan who made this soap Amanda Stott, I left it out for 24 hours to dry out and it aparently helped. Saturday when I open the container I got somewhat of a rancid smell, now I get and apple and cinnamon and maple butter scent instead of the rancid type of scent I got saturday:

One of the problems was that my lather was also dissipating very rapidly so I went with a heavy load. This will make some people a little nervous in a funny way:

It lathered way better than it did Saturday because I didn't even get 1/3 of what you see below:

So after I built a lather, I let it stand for exactly 5 minutes:

It dissipated quite a bit but there was still some left to make a pass with:

So thankfully I will NOT be tossing this soap out which is a good thing. I do plan on going vegan with Tiki Bar soaps which now have a new formula. They're similar to their tallow based soaps only without the tallow so they'll be a more soild puck. No more of having to put them in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours which is a good thing. So if you have a soap that was performing and has quit and the scent has turned somewhat rancid, leave the soap out with the lid off for 24 hours and it should help. I'm so glad I don't have to throw this out.


This morning's shave was great. It wasn't quite an "ice rink" type of shave that I like to get, but it was a close, smooth and extremely comfortable shave this morning. It was also the last shave on this blade. I'll be putting in my last Bolzano Superinox blade that I have in my DE 89 after it finishes soaking in Barbercide. This Fortitude is incredible. It has a aged hay and tobacco with a little bit of a dark rum type of scent to it:

Now onto the drying rack for the next 24 hours:

I decided to start doing this for a much longer time than I have been doing due to yesterday's bad shave that I got from a soap that normally has rock solid performance. I've also decided on a specific razor as well. I have decided to go with PAA's double OC again only I'm getting a much larger handle for it. The one I found is massive. And I have decided to go with Feather DE blades as well. I am really looking forward to using the Alumigoose when I get it.

Apple Pie:

I don't know exactly what happened, but something seriously has gone wrong with this soap. It would NOT lather at all this morning. I had to load the crap out of it twice just to get a decent lather which is NOT normal for this specific soap and for sure it's NOT normal for the brand either. And it kindly didn't smell like apple pie and maple butter either. I believe this soap will have to be tossed out. I'll check again here in a few days, but it's starting to turn rancid on me like my 1920's Barber shoppe did when I got to the bottom of it:

Other than this soap going bad and not lathering, the shave was decent. I got a clean shave but it was not close. It looks presentable at the most. Mom had a really bad day yesterday at work. She's putting in her notice and has asked the other store she works at on Wednesdays for more hours and the assistant manager for that store she works at on Wednesdays is tickled to death about it. The other one mom worked at yesterday has become a turd in the punch bowl. Her day was so bad there yesterday, that it effected and drained me. I eat a lot of sandwiches and I bought sandwiches frequently at the one she worked at yesterday and it's gotten where I'd rather go to another Subway than the one mom worked at yesterday.

Pumpkin 3.14:

This morning's shave was fabulous and very delicious smelling to say the least. PAA's Pumpkin 3.14 and Autumn Factory are phenomenal and have a very nice and strong smelling pumpkin pie scent. Unfortunately these products are seasonal so once they're gone, they will NOT be back until some time in September or October of 2016. So stock up now while you can:

The post shave feel I got today was great. No nicks or cuts, and a pretty smooth feeling post shave. But still it's not as close as my straight razors are or as close as PAA's double OC is which is pretty much a 2 pass "ice rink" type of shave with the straights and it's same with the Phoenix double OC razor as well if I use a Feather DE blade in there. That razor is a bit of a sleeper. Comfortable and mild to use, yet an "ice rink" type of shave every time you use it. Just make sure that you don't make too many passes and you'll be fine with it.


Today's shave was pretty good and it was also the very last time using this specific razor. The ONLY reason this razor wasn't tossed into the recycling bin sooner is because I wanted to get my money's worth out of it. But to make sure today's shave went great, I went with Soap Commander and their Commitment scented soap. It was a limited edition soap that they did some time back and it has an Indian Sandalwood scent. It's also the ONLY sandalwood scented soap I can use too:

So with that being said, audios Gillette Fusion Proglide. Besides being a bad shave waiting to happen, they're just simply too expensive. The replacement blades on these razors costs more than my straight razors do. And the replacement blades are nearly 10 times the costs of DE blades. These are nothing more than a money trap at the most.

Norton 4/8K Final Thoughts:

As a birthday present to myself, I place an order for a Norton 4/8K combo water stone, on July 3,2015. It was a good solid stone for me at that time and I enjoyed many of great edges on it. But in my humble opinion, it's a beginner's stone for those who are just getting started honing their own blades. But unfortunately ONLY the 8K stone lasts:

Here's why I have to send my straight razors off to be re honed:

^ As you can see, the 4K side of the stone is gone. I was using that side of the stone to set bevels which takes a little while to accomplish but NOT as long as I thought and was told that it would take which is really cool. Would I buy this combo stone again? No because it doesn't last. I don't regret buying it because I learned a lot about this stone and I also learned a lot about setting bevels and what goes into honing a razor using ONLY this specific stone and I learned a lot about myself and my honing capabilities using this stone. Unfortunately using just a 4/8K combo stone isn't enough to remove my beard anymore. In comparison to how tough my beard is now, I went from getting 4 shaves with a Perma-Sharp DE blade in a slant razor which eats DE blades, and only touching up a straight razor every 90 days with this stone. Now I'm doing good to get 3 shaves with the same blade in a mild safety razor, and this Norton 4/8K stone no longer provides a sharp enough edge on my straight razors to give me a quality shave and I'm burning through edges. So basically it's now time for me to upgrade my stones and move on.

Straight Razor Plans:

I'm sort of going through withdrawal of not using my straight razors, but there's 2 reasons behind it. My straight razors need to be re honed and I no longer have the capabilities to re hone my razor due to a stone problem which I am currently working on rectifying that at the moment. The other reason is I have to wait until I get paid again before I can get a money order. In addition to getting both straight razors seen below re honed by Anthony Esposito with a Jnat edge, I will also be buying a Gold Dollar 209 with the same kind of edge on it:

I'm also looking at investing in another strop. The 3 inch black Latigo strop has been great but I've nicked it up pretty good and the stainless steel D rings tend to bang into the door I have it hanging on when I finish stropping a razor so I will be looking at some other strops. I found a Russian oil tanned leather strop over at West Coast Shaving Supplies that have caught my eye. So even though I don't want to, I have to wait a bit until I get paid.

The Captain:

Sorry for the late posting ladies and gentlemen, it's been a long day today. But today's shave was great. Can't go wrong with Tiki Bar's The Captain which has a phenomenal cherry pipe tobacco scent to it. Today's post shave was very good. Wasn't quite an "ice rink" type shave but it was comfortable. Can't wait to switch blades:

Number 10 of 2016:

Well I knew this one was coming because I hit it pretty hard due to its epic scent which was a chocolate, root beer and espresso scent. I will definitely be getting another puck of this one for sure. This is also a record. Last year I hit the ring of death on 13 soaps and out of those, only 5 soaps were finished off completely. This year I have doubled that which is amazing:

I had about a teaspoon left which is about 2 shaves give or take a little:

How many I will end up finishing off this year is unknown at this point. But my blog helps me keep track of how many I do finish off and what not.

Power Hammer:

This morning's shave was great. I was going to put one more shave on the Bolzano Superinox blade I had in there but I said to heck with it and put in a fresh Perma-Sharp blade. It done a good job and removed by beard pretty well this morning. But tomorrow's shave will pretty much tell the same story. I'll get 1 more good shave on this blade tomorrow and that will be it for this blade. About this time last year, I would get 4 shaves out of these blades in a Merkur 37C slant bar razor. Now I am doing good to get 2 shaves out of these blades in an Edwin Jagger DE 89 razor. And the 37C slant is a blade eater to boot. Welcome to 40 is basically what my beard is now saying:

The scent on this soap is root beer and espresso and you also get a few notes of chocolate in there as well. PAA's chocolate bourbon scented aftershave was basically made for this soap.

The Kraken:

Today's shave was pretty good. I'm just about ready to switch this blade out for a new one. Pay day can't get here quick enough for me this time around. If all goes well, I will have 2 brand spanking new razors. The Alumigoose and a Gold Dollar 209 with a Jnat edge on it along with my other 2 razors. That's why I have not been using my straights. They need re honing and due to my beard being like barbed wire now, an 8K edge is NOT enough for me now:

The Edwin Jagger DE 89 is a good razor for those that are just getting started and/or have severely irritated skin from either a bad shave or an allergic reaction to a soap or cream. If I can't get the aluminum version of the Mongoose which I've been on the waiting list for, I will go to either Maggard Razors or Straight Razor Designs to get it because they both now carry Mongoose Razors. I have been told it's very good and almost equal with a straight razor. I am also looking at some other DE safety razors as well.

Number 9 of 2016:

Well this one will definitely turn some people's head especially since these are hard pucks. It took me 2 years to finish off this tub. This was my very first artisan made soap that I ever bought period. I bought this one before I ordered any of the artisan brands I have today which says a lot considering how many brands I have and use today. This was the soap that got me hooked on artisan made products and I will most definitely be ordering this one again:

I have about a sample size left which equals 10 shaves give or take a little:

This one here took a really long time and has out lasted several soaps even after I hit the ring of death on this one. I have also NOT even come close to finishing the matching aftershave balm either. There's no telling when that will happen, wow. 1 tub of Soap Commander = 740 shaves which also includes the amount I have left. Now the L.E. Soaps will be half of that which is 370 shaves roughly estimated of course.

Endurance & 2 Year Anniversary:

Today is Sunday and I needed a Soap Commander fix this morning very badly. Their Endurance scent was up next which is a vintage old spice scent from the original company that was founded in 1938. This morning's shave was great and extremely comfortable. Not quite as close as I would like it to be but it's really good and close:

This week makes 2 years since I placed my very first order for wet shaving gear and soap over at West Coast Shaving supplies. Hard to believe how fast it has went by and how far I have come on this epic journey, wow. I've become a straight razor user and have since learned how to hone. I have learned about the different properties of various oils in making shave soap and it's been fun and will continue to be fun for many more years to come.

Dragon's Blood:

This morning's shave was great. Switching to a sharper blade did make a difference, but still not quite what I am looking for. I basically had to make 4 passes today to get cleaned up which is too many. So it's confirmed that a new DE safety razor and blade combo is needed. I'm also still waiting on the aluminum version of the mongoose razor. That will probably be just about the only razor I will use apart from the DE and of course my straight razors. Reef Point Soaps was up next and so far this dragon's blood is my favorite. It will be a little bit before I get to try some other soaps:

500th Blog Post & Stropping Session:

After stropping every pair of scissors that we have in the house and getting phenomenal results out of them, I decided to go ahead and strop the 3 kitchen knives I use the most. I did 2 round trips on the nylon, 4 on the scrub leather 8 on the smooth leather and every round trip was an "X" stroke. How these will perform will be determined at another time:

This is also my 500th blog post. Little did I know that I would end up posting this many entries in my blog as I document my journey into shaving, stropping and honing both straight razors and knives. So I must say thank you to all of those who took a moment or 2 to read my blog.

#9 & Tombstone:

For this morning's shave, I needed a Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements fix. So I went with their Hoppe's #9 scented soap which matches the legendary gun cleaner exactly and of course I had to pair it with their Tombstone scented aftershave which has a gun powder, leather, tobacco, and rose scent and goes perfectly with the #9 scented soap:

In terms of post shave feel it was a really good and a solid post shave. I could get closer with another pass but I already performed 3 passes and I also touched up the left side of my neck next to my Adam's apple which didn't get close enough for me after the 3rd pass. So a new blade and safety razor is definitely needed. I'll be holding off a bit until the Alumigoose is ready and made available. It's pretty much what I consider a hybrid razor because it's neither a safety razor nor a straight razor. You get the best of both with that specific razor. And unlike the Cobra Classic or the King Cobra, it's more affordable and has a better quality to it and better finish as well.

Number 8 of 2016:

Time to freak out. Say hello to my 8th soap of 2016. This one here I've had for a while and what little bit I had left of it after this morning's shave smelled a little rancid. So none of this one got saved. Plus I really didn't have enough left to save. I'll see what else she has in stock to replace this one with:

I guess it just went bad on me.

1920's Barbershoppe:

This morning's shave was pretty good. I ended up finishing with a Gillette Fusion. I needed a Tiki Bar fix this morning (new post coming right after this one) and up next was the 1920's barbershop which I paired Clubman aftershave with:

This is the last time I will be using this replica injector. I tossed it because I can NOT justify pif'ing it out or reselling due to poor performance and inconsistent blades. The Persona blades did good, but they're not sharp enough to remove my beard. So it's either going to be a DE safety razor, the Mongoose, or better than that, a straight razor in my S.O.T.D. posts.

Chocolate Bourbon:

This morning's shave was great. After taking a nice relaxing hot shower, I decided to go with Phoenix Shaving's chocolate bourbon this morning. It has an old school chocolate cake batter scent that was mixed with an electric mixer and it smells delicious. Now with the aftershave, you get a little more of the bourbon in the scent which pulls it all together:

In terms of post shave, I got a really close and smooth shave today. But it still wasn't quite an ice rink type of shave yet. And I private messaged Anthony Esposito and will be buying a razor and having the other 2 re honed with a jnat edge (Ozuku Miza level 5). Next month the alumigoose will also be ready which is going to be good.

Number 7 of 2016:

Well this will put some people into either complete and utter shock or send them into orbit. But with that being said, say hello to number 7 of 2016. I am on a roll this year:

I really didn't have a lot left out of this one to put into my left overs container:

Yeah this one will be getting filled up pretty quickly over the next couple of months. I hope to finish off 10 or more soaps this year. I hit the ring of death on 13 soaps last year.


Today's shave was pretty good. I should have switched out the blade because I ended up making 4 passes which is a really bad thing to do. Thankfully I was using Through The Fire Fine Craft's shave soap which has extremely good if not epic performance. Extinguish was up next and it has a very delicious smelling raspberry gelato scent along with a touch of menthol which was definitely needed today:

My moustache area along with the bottom of my chin didn't quite get cleaned up enough for me and those areas got hit 4 times. I did 2 full passes and 2 touch up passes in those areas and still didn't get clean enough to my liking. My straight razors need to be re-honed but I'm waiting on my next pay day to get some stones. I'm also getting a bulk pack of Feather blades mainly because I don't have much of a choice but to get them. Thankfully I'm very familiar with them and know which razor to use them in to get a really good shave with. It might be a whole entirely new experience for me as well because the last time I used a Feather blade was before I had a full year of wet shaving in.


Today's shave was fabulous. Soap Commander never ceases to amaze me with their performance and post shave feel. Today I felt like using my limited edition "Resolution" which has a mistletoe, fir/pine and fresh cranberry scent to it which was perfect for this morning:

The post shave feel is great. Not quite an ice rink but it's extremely comfortable.


Today's shave ended up being really good. I needed a Soap Commander fix today and Gusto was up next. This particular scent always makes me thirsty due to its raspberry pink lemonade scent which is epic. Today's shave was also the last shave on this Persona injector blade. I lost track of how many shaves I had on it for sure, but I can definitely say that these blade are great for someone who has mild hair and is in their early to mid 20's. My beard is just too tough for these blades along with the Schick injector blades. I was also told that it will get worse in the next couple of years as I turn 40 next year. So it looks like I will be going to Feather blades and a 37C slant which I am very familiar with because I've had one before and I do miss having it: 

Now I have also decided to get just an Arkansas soft oil stone for setting my bevels and sticking with a Norton 4K (by itself, no combo stone). I have still got more than enough of the 8K side of my Norton 4/8K combo stone and I will indeed be getting an ILR natural slate finishing stone. So multiple mail calls will be coming this month. I also will be hitting EBay pretty hard and looking to see what I can find there.


This morning, I needed a "Tiki Bar" fix and since it has been a while since I have used it, Volcano was up next in the rotation. It has a freshly sliced tropical fruit scent with a little hint of sweetness to it. The post shave was perfect. No cuts or anything and there was no sting with my "Walk The Plank" aftershave balm which has a coconut, salt water, and rum scent to it:

Stropping my Scissors:

Before crashing for the night, I decided to try something and man I am glad that I did. My mom has several pairs of scissors in the house which you can see below. Some looked rough under my magnifying device and some wasn't too bad, but they ALL struggled to even cut paper. So I decided to strop all of these scissors to see how much of an improvement there really was. It was epic. First I wiped them down and glassed them to see what was going on. Next I did 2 trips on the nylon at the same angle of the bevel on both sides of the scissors. Next I did 4 trips on the scrub leather using the same process followed by 8 trips on the smooth leather which also was done using the same angle of the bevel. After wiping them down again I glassed them and they looked much better than they did. The real shock came when I tested ALL of the scissors on a piece of a paper and it was effortless in terms of cutting the paper. Tomorrow I will think about stropping my kitchen knives. No real rush on those though:

I got so many kitchen knives to sharpen that it would take a while to do so and I would also have to wash them again. I may just do 2 of my kitchen knives that I use the most.

Don Marco:

Today's shave was great. It's been a really long time since I used RazoRock's Don Marco which has a very strong orange creamsicle scent to it and it smells delicious. Didn't really have time for a straight razor today or much of anything else, so I grabbed my Edwin Jagger DE 89. It was a pretty close shave but not quite an ice rink:

Razor Renew:

Earlier today I mentioned in my shave of the day post a company called Razor Renew and they make small leather strops specifically for cartridge based razors. Here's the link: . To me this is an awesome and necessary product because I use straight razors on a regular basis. If I have a lot to do or get a little too busy and have to be some where in a hurry, I will grab either a DE safety razor or my injector. So after watching a few of their videos, I tried their technique with my injector razor on my own strop this morning and it made a huge difference with that Persona injector blade. So I will be looking at getting one of those strops and doing a full review on it. It's pretty simple you just simply just do 4 trips in the opposite direction that you shave in on the scrub leather :

Then you turn the razor around and do 4 more trips in the opposite direction that you shave in:

You do 8 trips on the smooth leather and simply repeat the process listed above. Me buying a strop is nothing new because I straight razor shave. But to see one come out for cartridges is pretty cool. They do NOT do it before every shave though. According to them, they say and I quote: "Only when the razor pulls is when you strop." The problem I have with that statement is that the cartridge razors always pulled even with a proper soap and brush. They make my eyes water after 3 shaves with a proper soap and brush. But I also think that this strop they make would be great for DE safety razors and single edges as well.

Number 6 of 2016:

This will definitely turn some people's heads. But say hello to my 6th soap for this year alone. Pretty cool isn't it? The good thing about me finishing off these soaps like this is that it gives me an excuse to buy more soaps and the artisans love it when they sell a lot of soap:

This is all I have left of the Wisp scented soap. Time to get more of it:

And yes I do plan on getting the matching aftershave to go with it as well.

TTFFC's Wisp:

Today's shave was excellent. Through The Fire Fine Craft's is a top notch soap. Wisp was up next in the rotation which is a citrus based barbershop scent. My injector replica doesn't get too much use these days due to my barbed wire type of beard so I thought I would use it today and boy am I glad that I did. Here lately I've been looking at what cartridge users have discovered that I've known for quite some time. They now make a leather strop for cartridges. Yes that's what I said. I'll explain later in this post. Aqua Velva's classic ice blue goes perfectly with soap:

In terms of post shave it was close and comfortable, but NOT quite a BBS shave and it's no where near an ice rink type of shave either. The chin area could have gotten at least 2 more passes easy but I already performed 3 passes and a neck touch up. My moustache area is perfect and is an "ice rink". The head of this specific razor is the perfect size for that specific area. As I mentioned earlier, cartridge users have discovered stropping and that's what I did with this razor today before shaving. Here's the link to that specific strop and they have several YouTube videos on their website: :

I do need to get more strops in and have been looking at the ones in the link above along with a few others. Before I showered and shaved, I went ahead and loaded the injector and stropped the blade which is simple to do. You simply go in the opposite direction than you would when you shave. I did 2 on the nylon webbing, 4 on the scrub leather and 8 on the smooth leather :

Next I repeated the progression, only I turned the razor around on the strop and went in the opposite direction than you would when shaving:

This made a huge difference in the performance of Personna's injector style blades because I consider these blades too mild for my beard especially now that I am pushing 40.

One Week Later:

As most of you know, last Wednesday I shaved my head completely and it was a horrible experience. This is a week's worth of growth since then. For me a buzz cut with a #2 guard is plenty. I figure it will be about a month before I get back to the level I was at when I got the buzz cut give or take a little. Right now I am waiting on the phone technician and the little brown UPS truck to deliver both my new modem and get my new services installed:

I can't get away from Comcast fast enough. Between their poor customer service, going up on their rates and offering less and less each year and the fact that they refuse to acknowledge that it's their service, it's a wonder they haven't lost anymore customers.

PAA Mixed Soap:

Today's shave was simply amazing. Yesterday I decided to open up my PAA Mixed Soap container and I was hooked immediately and wanted to shave right then and there. Basically what I did was stir the soap up a bit and get all of the scents mixed a little better. This morning morning proved that I made the right decision in doing that, wow what a scent. Think of a sweet version of C.a.D with a little hint of Clubguy that calms the sweetness down:

In terms of post shave, I got yet another "ice rink" type of shave yet again. But I did have to go back and get my neck area a little more so technically it was a 3 and a half pass shave. Once I get paid, I will be investing in some stones. I have been looking at Shapton Glass stones along with few Jnats and a couple of others. I believe I will be going with them along with an ILR.

Oh Yeah:

Picked these up at a local super market tonight. So if you get to the point where you can no longer load a brush up from the "ring of death" in a container of soap, get you some of these and have some fun scooping that soap out of the container:

Some people will be like "oh no, there he goes again" which is funny at times. Others will be like "what?!" and "how is that even possible?!" which is also a classic and very funny at times. The reason I got these containers is because I'm getting low on some other soaps and yet I still have quite a bit to go before finishing them off. Plus I opened the lid today and stirred my mixed PAA soaps that I have finished off and the scent is epic. Think of a slightly sweet C.a.D. with a little hint of Clubguy in the container. It's fun mixing scents together and seeing how they turn out. Now I get why these soap makers stick with it. It's very addictive mixing scents. The next soap that will get finished off will be my 6th soap this year.


What and incredible soap this is. This morning's shave was epic. Not one nick or cut and it was another ice rink in terms of post shave quality and feel. This soap was even better after I bloomed it. I got a nice warm hay and tobacco scent that has been aging in an old barn with a little hint of dark rum that gives it a full bodied scent with a little hint of sweetness. All I can say is wow about this soap. If you don't have this soap, shame on you:

My late grandfather on my mom's side use to raise tobacco and cattle so I am very familiar with these scents from my childhood and this soap took me back to my childhood.


Today's shave was exceptional. I first saw this epic smelling soap around Christmas of 2014 and I wanted to get it then, but certain circumstances prevented me from doing so which was some what disappointing because I've always wanted a holiday scented soap from Soap Commander. So you fast forward to Christmas 2015 and another chance was missed as it was a limited edition soap for the holidays and a lack of funds prevented me from getting it. So you fast forward to February 5, 2016 and when I saw it up on their website I went ahead and ordered it and it arrived today:

This shave was excellent. If I had made one more pass, I would've had an ice rink type of post shave but that would've been too many passes and caused some irritation and I did NOT want to ruin this experience. The scent was phenomenal. You get a note a mistletoe with a Little hint of a fir/pine tree with a bit of sweetness from the cranberry scent.

The Comfort Knot Brush:

This brush has just became my all time favorite shave brush  in my entire collection. The lather this beast builds is unreal and since it&#...