Soap Review – Wickham 1912 Frankincense

Wickham 1912 Frankincense is a vegetal soap produced in the United Kingdom by a small artisan soap maker.

This is a fairly hard soap that I imagine will last quite some time. The scent is nice and very fitting for autumn and winter use.

Below are my thoughts and as ever in the wet shaving world, your mileage may vary.

Shave 1

Yaqi Badger Brush

Blackland Sabre level 1

Gem Blade (3)

I loaded up for about 50 seconds in total, 30 with a damp brush, dipped the tips in water and loaded for another 20 seconds. This was more than enough to adequately load the knot with a decent amount of soap. That may sound a lot but I have hrs water and there is no point scrimping on soap.

I face lathered and as I added water as I went along it absolutely exploded into lather. The volume was good and the slickness was also very good, but I found not much residual slickness remained after a stroke of the blade across the skin.

I proceeded to take three passes and towards the end of the shave I began to feel like I was getting a bit of a rough shave with a hint of irritation. I had two previous shaves with this razor and blade combo with Stirling soaps prior to this and had no problems with irritation.

I thought perhaps the Wickham wasn’t all that protective but decided to try it again in my next shave. Post shave my face felt a little sore and a touch dry.

Shave 2

Yaqi Synthetic

Haircut and Shave razor

Gillette Black (1)

So after the previous shave this was going to be a quick two pass shave to keep me looking tidy for work. I loaded the synthetic knot up for about 30 seconds on total, 20 with a fairly damp brush and 10 after dipping the tips.

I face lathered again and had the same lather explosion after adding a bit of water and good slick lather with lots of volume.

Again I found that the blade feel was more prominent than previous shaves with this razor and I even picked up two weepers along the way.

Therefore I feel that a lack of protection is the only thing letting this soap down.


An easy to lather soap that produces a good slick lather, but lacks residual slickness and the level of protection from the blade is quite poor. I also found the post shave feel quite drying, but I do find this to be the case with coconut oil rich soaps.

Review: The Dandy Gent range

I was contacted by The Dandy Gent to sample some of their range of shaving products. The brand looked interesting and they are UK based so I thought I would give it a try. Soon after this big parcel arrived:

Containing a facial scrub, shaving cream, shaving brush, aftershave balm, 2 aftershave splashes, a shaving oil and a beard shampoo bar. They are all nicely presented in thick glass jars which are brown tinted and very sturdy feeling lids.

Facial Scrub
The first thing I used and I like it. It is an apricot scented scrub with very fine exfoliating parts which are made from fragments of walnut shells, so they don’t have those controversial plastic beads which are bad for the environment. The scrub seems to have a moisturising effect on my skin and leaves a slick feeling behind when washed off, which can only be good for the glide of the blade over my face. I’m not usually one for using scrubs often but I keep reaching for this one.

Aftershave Splash
Ive used both the Bay Rum and the Classic 47 splash. My favourite is the Classic 47 with the spicy scent which reminds me in parts of Spice Bomb. My friend is more of an expert when it comes to Bay Rum scents and has tried many and he thinks the Bay Rum is up there with the best he has tried. It’s a nice splash that leaves my skin feeling good after a shave.

Aftershave Hydrating Gel
I’m not a big fan of balms in general but this gel was pretty good. Soothing with that greasy feeling of a thicker balm. Quite a nice scent which didn’t stay too long so it wouldn’t interfere with your EDT / cologne.

Lime Shaving Cream
I was quite impressed with this cream when I used it. A nice natural lime scent that wasn’t too overpowering. I just scooped out a small amount and spread it around my face before lathering it up with a brush. Good cushion and glide from this cream and certainly a match for the 3 T’s creams I’ve tried.

I haven’t tried the shaving oil or the beard soap yet. I’ll update this post when I do but I’m sure they will reflect the good performance of the rest of the range.

Review: Saponificio Varesino Tundra Artica

Saponificio Varesino are Italian soap makers and have been making soaps since 1945.

They started making shaving soaps and have developed the formula over time and are currently making soaps to a formula named beta 4.1. The range has various skin friendly ingredients which vary with each flavour of soap in the range.

This review is for the latest soap I have from them, the Tundra Artica with extracts of:

Icelandic lichen(soothing, purifying, antibacterial, calming)
cranberry (suitable for sensitive skin, soothing and toning, gives freshness and vitality).

This is a 150g triple milled hard soap which comes presented in a quality cardboard box with a wax tissue surrounding it. The actual soap comes in a plastic PET container whih allows you to switch soaps in their wooden bowl as and when you feel like a change of scent.
I have a few different SV soaps and they all perform as well as any other top tier shaving soap. I find that although they are a vegetable soap base they perform as well as any tallow soaps I’ve tried, which is quite a feat as I’ve always found veggie soaps to be lacking that dense creamy lather you get from a tallow soap.

It’s quite very nice scent which is like a quality cologne scent based on Agar Wood (Oud) and is a very masculine scent. One I imagine a very refined gentleman would wear. This isn’t your typical mainstream high street scent. Saponificio Varesino provide scent pyramids with their soaps which I have included below:
The scent strength is good and lasts for the whole shave. I also have the aftershave balm which allows you to carry the scent on after the shave. I have seen some people mention that they have found the scents to be on the lighter side so I assume there might be some variation in the different batches but all 4 scents I have are of a medium to strong scent.

The lather builds easily with this soap. I find leaving a very small amount of about a teaspoon on the puck while I am showering softens it to allow for an easy loading of the brush, it loads extremely easily for a triple milled soap. I’ve used a variety of brushes with no issue at all. I’ve found it best to start out with a damp brush and add drops to the lather as you go. I’ve found this soap to be extremely slick with good protection and excellent post shave feel with no dry feeling.

Post Shave
As mentioned above the post shave feel of these soaps are very good. I often find a veggie soap can be quite drying on my skin but Saponificio Varesino obviously have great experience in the making of soap and balancing out the ingredients for a great post shave feel. There aftershaves are like a cross between a splash and a balm so are perfect for me as I find balms a little too heavy with my oily skin.

Sodium Cocoate, Potassium Stearate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Rapeseedate Sodium, Sodium Sunflower Seedate, Aqua / Water / Eau, Iceland Moss Extract, Fraxinus Ornus (Manna Ash) Sap Extract, Parfum / Fragrance, Vaccinium myrtillus Fruit Extract, Sucrose Cocoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Citronellol

Overall a great soap and one I can definitely recommend, this stuff is a definite top tier product and easily matches up to my favourite tallow soaps. It is extremely slick and protective as well as easy to lather. Buy some, you won’t be disappointed.

There are many different vendors stocking the SV range of soaps. The best information on the range can be found via their website here. I found the best deal when I picked my puck up was the shave lounge with free delivery. I believe samples can also be bought from shavedash if you are looking to try out the different scents before buying a full puck.

Review: Proraso Aftershave Splash

This aftershave splash from Proraso is my favourite splash of all. It’s certainly one I can recommend strongly for either old or new wetshavers, and seems to be a staple of many wetshavers and is always on the list when people are looking for good aftershave recommendations.


The scent of Proraso aftershave is a really nice classic Italian Barbershop scent. It’s hard to describe, kind of like a minty, citrus scent with a tiny bit of powder and a hint of menthol. The scent isn’t that strong and fades fairly quickly and I don’t think anyone could find this scent offensive

Post Shave

I love the post shave feel you get from the Proraso splash, it does a great job of easing any irritation or razor burn and the menthol cooling it gives is very nice. It’s not a massive face freezer like Osage Rub for example, but I find it more cooling that most and just about the right level for me. For an alcohol based splash I find this is very moisturising and leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated and there isn’t much of an alcohol burn unless you have really overdone your shave, but this is to be expected.

This is my favourite splash of all, so much so I have the 400ml bottle on standby for when my first bottle runs out soon. Definitely a 10/10, and one I wouldn’t be without.

The ingredients are as follows:

Alcohol Denat., Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Menthol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Coumarin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cl 42090 (FD&C Blue No. 1), Cl 19140 (FD&C Yellow No. 5).

Review: Gillette Long Comb New


The Gillette Long Comb New as shown above is one of my favourite razors and one that I will always suggest to someone when they are looking to upgrade from their first razor or simply to get into trying a vintage Gillette razor. The one shown above is a common bar handle which I had replated in chrome as it was down to the brass metal when I got it. Some people like the look of these razors when they are down to brass, but I thought it best to restore it to its former glory and hopefully extend its long life even further.

I won’t go too much into the history of this razor, but focus on the performance. This razor head was produced around the 1930’s and was available in a variety of sets with differing handles. There is also a short combed variant, but I have so far not tried one of these.

I have used the original handles with these razors on many occasions and they deliver a great shave, but lately I have found a preference to using the head with a heavy stainless steel handle.

It is an open comb razor which usually are thought of as aggressive razors, but I find the Long Comb New to be efficient without feeling rough or too aggressive on my skin. I think I have had some of the closest shaves ever using this head with the right blade and soap combo. The theory is that because of the nature of the open comb on the underside of the blade, it allows more lather to stay in contact with the blade whilst shaving resulting in a more comfortable shave compared to safety bar razors which remove a lot of lather prior to the blade cutting the hair. I also find that due to the open comb it’s a great razor to use on a few days stubble growth as it copes very well and does not clog up as the longer stubble can escape through the teeth of the open comb.

In regards to the various models available, not only for the New but almost every other type of Gillette razor I would suggest a visit to the Mr Razor website it is a great resource for identifying the many different models of Gillette razor.

I thought I would give the Long Comb New some scores as below:

Effectiveness: 8/10
Ease of Use: 8/10
Aggressiveness: 6/10

I hope you have found the above review helpful, and if you have anything to add feel free to comment below

Review: Soap Commander – Respect

I promised some reviews so here goes. At the moment I think the Soap Commander Respect shaving soap is my favourite soap of all. Bearing in mind I have quite a few good quality soaps that says a lot.

The soap is listed as Lime and Patchouli and I would say it has a good scent strength with a nice strong fresh lime scent which is nicely complemented by the patchouli scent in the background. This gives the scent a nice depth. I find the scent lasts throughout the shave and is a great scent. It’s one of those where I keep going back to the tub to get another smell of the scent.

I’ve used a variety of brushes with this soap all producing great results. The last shave with this I used the L’Occitane Plisson Synthetic brush which produces some great lather with this soap. It loads up very easily and my preferred method of face lathering works a treat. The lather quickly builds into a nice creamy lather with very little effort, even with my hard water. The glide and slickness of this soap is up there with the best of them. I also find the cushion and protection this soap offers to be top notch.

Post Shave
Another strong point of this soap is the post shave feel. It contains shea butter which I feel leaves the skin well hydrated and in top condition. The scent lingers around for a little while and I prefer to finish off with a nice citrus scented aftershave when using this soap.

The Soap Commander soap is a vegan recipe containing shea butter and castor oil and come in a nice big tub with waterproof labels. I can see this lasting a long time as you get 6oz of soap in each tub. I will definitely be buying this again. I’ve spoken to Darren the maker of this soap a few times and he is a really nice helpful guy.

I can’t wait to try some of the other scents in this range. It’s available from the Soap Commander website, but if you are UK based Shaving Station stocks this as well and is where I bought mine from.

If you’re thinking of trying Soap Commander and like the scent of limes then this is the one for you. This is a soap I definitely recommend trying.