Artesania Romera – A Public Service Announcement┬á

This is a post from a good friend of mine to warn others about his experience with Artesania Romera. I have known about the issues he has had and have even used the brush first hand and cannot believe the poor condition of the finish on this handle. Interestingly he posted this on The Shave Nook forum where it was deleted within minutes and he was banned. Obviously they like to protect their paying vendors. Now on to the post:


This is a a warning or a public service announcement for anyonethinking of ordering a brush from Artesania Romera (Gustavo Romera). 

I do not make this post to tell people not to buy from him but I think it’s important to share my experience so people can make an informed decision for themselves when parting with their money. I also understand some people will have positive experiences of Artesania Romera and to save time and confusion I am not disputing those experiences I’m simply telling everyone my individual experience. I also hope this post does not fall foul of any forum rules and is taken in the spirit it is written, that is not to cause mischief but to inform and is allowed to be viewed freely by members regardless if Gustavo is a paid up vendor or not.

I ordered a 26mm Manchurian Rustic Barber Fan from Gustavo Romera on 28/03/16 and I had noted from the site that lead time could vary from up to 2 months or more and I had heard comments on the forums that he can take a while but his brushes were worth it in the end. As you will read , I’m a fairly patient man.

On the 26/04/16 ( 30 days since ordering and payment ) I contacted Gustavo with regards to an “in stock” brush that had appeared on his site for sale and I asked if I were to purchase it could he include it with the original “custom” order to save on postage , packaging etc as it was available immediately. He replied in less than an hour and said my original order would be ready and he would send both in a few days together.

During the next couple of days I received an unexpected Veterinary bill and decided not to purchase the 2nd brush. On the 29/04/16 I informed Gustavo of my decision and expressed my happiness that my original order would be shipped any day as he described when I enquired about buying another brush on top of my original “custom” order. I asked him to confirm this timeline. He did not reply to me so I gave him 7 days (06/05/16) and then contacted him again. I wasn’t expecting a reply as quickly as I had all the time but I thought a week in this day and age of e-commerce was ample time to respond so I sent another email.

Now bare in mind at this point according to Gustavo the original brush should have been shipped about a week previous as he said. He contacted me the same day to tell me the brush that he said would be ready and shipped about 7 days previous was not ready or shipped but would be finished in another weeks time. This is when alarm bells start to ring, I can appreciate the whole Artisan thing but now he is either really confused and behind on the job or worse still he is just flat out telling me lies which would make him a liar. Anyway I thanked him for replying and wished him a good weekend.

Another 10 days passed with no further enquiry from me to allow him to get on with what he does. No shipping details either or information of at what stage the order that by this stage he said would have shipped 17 days previously. Now I understand this time frame is still in keeping with the 2 month lead time but the difference being he told me when I enquired about purchasing another “in stock” brush that it would be ready in a few days, If it’s not at that stage yet just say so. Now for it to be ready to ship in a few days at that time (26/04/16) he would have needed to have had the brush coated with whatever sealant he uses and the knot glued and set for at least a day. So when he told me it would be ready to ship in a few days (estimated shipping date would have been Friday 29th) it would have been turned etc already so what could explain the halt in progress and be put back by at least another 7 days according to him which was now 10 days later and it was still no further forward. All very suspect I thought at the time. After a couple of days he got back to me

(18/05/17) with an apology and an assurance that my order was ready for shipping and would be posted out the next day. Great I thought.

I made no further contact with Gustavo aside to get the tracking number until my brush arrived on the 28/05/16 and I informed him of how happy I was with it although the black finish at the top of the brush ran off when in contact with water. He expressed his happiness at my happiness but made no mention of the black stain defect. By the 31/05/16 the brush was in a terrible condition. Not only had the black stain ran off so much that the poke marked design of the top of the brush started to look brittle and a bit flaky. This was nothing compared to the rest of the handle , huge swaiths of the finish had peeled off and I could no longer use it as I worried of water damage to the integrity of the wood. I told him of this and he expressed surprise and said he’d NEVER seen this before, something I would later find out from several customers of his was another lie.

Gustavo asked for me to post it back at his expense and he would repair it and by way of compensation he would give me 25% off my next purchase but I asked for a knot to be sent back with my repaired brush instead and he agreed if I would then cover the postage. I felt this was fair as the value of a 26mm Manchurian fan on his site was 41 Euros. The postage was between 10 and 15 Euros and with most of his brushes at about 120 Euros that added up for me and I agreed.

My brush arrived with Gustavo on 06/06/16 and I sent a an email on 10/06/16 to ask what he thought of the problem. He replied (11/06/16) that the brush was in treatment and would be ready in a week. At this stage he also said he made a mistake and he only had silvertip or Manchurian bulb knots in stock so I agreed to take the Manchurian bulb. I emailed him again on the 17/06/16 (Friday) to see if it was ready as he said it would be. It would be posted on the following Monday he said. On the 22/06/16 I asked for the tracking details of the parcel and received a response on the 23/06/16 saying that a family member had to be taken to hospital and he has been out of town for a few days but he had left his brother in charge of shipping, furthermore he could not tell me if it had been posted until he got back home. I expressed sympathy for his situation and left it there despite his timeline not adding up.

Now this is the stage when I started to get quite annoyed with him.

During the period of time when he said my brush would be posted right through to when he replied to say he was looking after a sick relative out of town he was advertising and posting on social media with brushes that were recently placed in the “in stock” section of the website and I knew we was in contact with people who were enquiring about buying from him. He could manage to do all this , upload pics ,make comments and reply to people on Instagram ( a platform where we both followed each other and he knew this) etc but he couldn’t contact his brother to find out if he had shipped the brush or not? Bare in mind you would think he would want to sort my brush with no delay as I had to send it back to him for repair.

I informed him on the 26/06/16 (6 days from when it was supposed to be posted) that I sympathized with his family situation but if he could be very active on social media he could have found out if the parcel had been posted as he said it was all packaged up and ready to go. I also reminded him that he said it would only take a few days to remedy this problem and he had had it by this stage for 3 weeks. He responded that day with a sorry , I’ll post it tomorrow.

The brush arrived on 04/07/16 and within 2 uses the same affliction struck the brush , the finish just started to peel away. I spoke with a reputable brush maker and he expressed doubt if the wood indeed was Briar wood as he said its very porous and takes a stain well. I put this to Gustavo and he said he was on vacation until the 18/07/16 and will talk to me then. On the 18th he tells me it must be a faulty batch of varnish and to continue using it as he was very busy at the moment! He would sort it at a later date when he had more time! To say I was flabbergasted was an understatement. I contacted him to say that if it was a faulty batch of varnish then considering it was used on the brush initially back in May then he would have seen dozens of brushes with the same problem by now and he must have still been using the same varnish he had identified as faulty to repair the brush as it happened again. I also expressed how disappointed I was in him being too busy to resolve this problem for a 2nd time. I told him that I would have expected him by now to have offered me a refund or a new brush and that I would not send him this brush until I had received it’s replacement. I felt if anything I should be a priority with all the hassle I had been receiving with this brush and he replied. He replied by saying I was as important as his other customers but that he was very busy! He then later went on to give me a story of woe that I bought at the time that I later realised he had copied and pasted from a public complaint thread on one of the forums in 2012. He complained he had to do his own washing and shopping etc and that he was only a small business in a rural Spanish town where he could not find help to run his shop. I felt bad for him at the time and on 19/07/16 I told him I appreciate his circumstances and that I would like a new brush sent as soon as possible in the circumstances.

I emailed him on the 12/08/16 , almost a month later which I felt was plenty of time for a follow up email and he said on the 15/08/16 when he replied that he would “send in a few days” So you have to assume the brush is done and is in the process of the finishing touches before posting but yes I’ve been here before. No word from Gustavo for over 10 days so I mailed him again on the 26/08/16 ,no reply. Again on the 31/08/16 , no reply and the 05/09/16 again no reply. He finally responds on the 14/09/16 nearly a whole month from when he said it would be sent in a few days. This is just wrong , how can a guy say he’ll send in a few days then a month later there is no communication or progress? He replies and casually says ” Hey , don’t worry I will send as promised , I’m busy and have almost 50 emails a day to answer!

He also went on to say he was in the middle of a big group buy of brushes for a Polish forum, like that should matter to me at this stage. I saw from social media that the Polish forum order was completed and I emailed him on the 02/10/16 , 04/10/16 , 18/10/16 , 23/10/16 and the 24/10/16 until I got a response. notice how Gustavo is being very remiss in his replies by this stage , more so than before ; by this time my time had ran out to raise a claim via PayPal.

By this point I was fed up and was starting to use the Andy Dufresne method of communication with him to force him to reply. I would do this from here on out as another excuse he gave me for no communication was that he gets so many emails he sometimes misses some. So by that rationale if I increased the volume of messages I stood a better chance of being answered.

By this point he had been ignoring my emails for over a month and I got desperate and pm’d him on Instagram to no avail then on one of his many posts advertising new “in stock” brushes for sale with the same knot spec as my brush that was to be replaced I posted on his Artesania Romera public Instagram and asked him to reply to his customer emails. He immediately blocked me on Instagram and continued to ignore my emails.

On 01/11/16 I told him I wanted a refund or a brush by a specified time or I would have to let people know of my dealings with him as I had given initially good recommendations to friends on forums etc and they had made orders with him on the strength of my testimonial and I could not in good faith keep this private anymore. He replied and this was his response –

Hello,
I understand that you want to be my only customer, but it is not.
Shortly after ordering, and started to complain about why you did not send. I did it before other customers, even today some have not received your brush. For some unknown reason your brush was the only lost the coat. You sent for repair and again before you send it to other customers and again for some reason lost again finishing. I gave you an extra knot.

With all this as I told you a fully functional brush that you can use while I finish orders from people who were before you.

I’ve already told you I will send a replacement brush and not because the other also you can keep it.

If all customers who have enviasen emails to half of your rate to 10 people only need to read the emails.

I have not responded to any email because I have nothing new to say. I will send you a brush as soon as it is ready.

All the movies you want to ride around in your head are, nor is there any premeditation to within Paypal or anything else cuampla.

Having said that I would no longer receive any email from you. When the brush is ready I will send. Always, always, always when I said one thing I meet, sometimes. END

I could not believe the cheek of this guy , he says he gave me a knot for free which he didn’t and that I started complaining about the delivery of my brush shortly after ordering and as you will know from the beginning of this post that is not the case. He also thinks he was doing me a kindness by allowing me to use and keep a brush that was crumbling apart. I lost interest until February of this year when he started advertising an Anniversary discount on brush orders so I contacted him daily reminding him of his broken promises to me and he finally responded on the 20/02/17 with the laughable reply of telling me to stop sending him emails and he would send me a brush.

I laughed hard at that and explained to him he told me the same story 7 months previous. I continued emailing him if just to annoy him now because even though he has taken my money and not provided the goods that were expected of him I thought I’d continue to remind him how dishonest he has been throughout the whole process to shame him into action. He replied on 22/02/17 when ridiculously he maintained he had no need to answer any more emails from me because he had no news to give me despite the fact he continued to make brushes for nobody in particular of the same specification as my brush in his “in stock” section of the website. He then goes on to say he will send me a brush when he gets his new stock of knots but he doesn’t know when that will be…… hilarious Gustavo , you crack me up. He then goes on to post on social media exactly when he will order and roughly when he will ship individual knot orders……priceless Gustavo! He also implied at this point that I had tampered with the brush for some unknown reason.

This is beneath contempt in my view.
I have emailed Gustavo several times since then and warned him if he did not resolve this issue then I would have to let people know of what possible type of service they could receive from him if my experience is anything to go by. Since briefly commenting on my experience on various threads on different forums I have heard of many other customers who have had a bad experience with him be it workmanship , customer service or both. To top it off , the knot that he “gave me” turned out to be at the absolute best some kind of silvertip. It is in no way similar to the initial Manchurian I received. It has not much backbone , has lot’s of thick scratchy black hairs and is quite a sparse knot. The man is a charlatan at best and obviously picked a cast off knot and sent it to me.

So in conclusion I’d like to thank anyone who managed to get through all of this but if you are considering paying upfront for a Romera brush this may make you think twice. Again I am not telling anyone what to do with their money but what I am doing is giving my honest account of what has went on for a year now with Atresania Romera. If you are nearing the 6 month mark whereby you can no longer raise a PayPal claim for a refund I would choose your next step wisely.

I have bought several brushes in that year and had first class customer service from guys like Brad Sears , Lee Sabini, Rod Neep and a native Spaniard to Gustavo , Alfredo Hernandez. The way Gustavo has behaved throughout this whole process has been disgraceful and I have told him he should be ashamed of himself.

Of course he is welcome to counter any of my arguments or version of events and that is what I would do if I was him and had any sort of professional pride. However as I have told him on a few occasions when I tried to get him to do the decent thing and fulfill his end of the bargain , I don’t delete emails and I have every piece of correspondence between us so in short I have all the facts and crucially the truth if he would like to challenge anything I’ve said here. I have only posted that one email in case Gustavo feels I’m betraying some kind of privacy but he is acting on behalf of his company and as such any correspondance unless featuring private information should be available to the public. It is also worth noting that there is no way either on his website or on any of the social media platforms he advertises his products where customers can post comments on their experience.

Some of you may say I’m just bitter and trying to do harm to his business and If I’m honest I am still angry at what he has done that amounts to theft to me but if gustavo receives a drop in orders because of this then perhaps he will take that time to reassess his behaviour to customers and his level of service and perhaps people who continue to buy from him in the future will benefit from that going forward.

Obviously I will not be purchasing from Gustavo ever again. 

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Razor Master Pekka & B1 Slant

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3P preshave
Omega il Rasoio
Razor Master Pekka
Ikon B1 slant
Personna Red (2)
PAA Al Fin Aftershave

First try of this new soap and first impressions are very good. It’s quite a soft soap that was easily pushed into the metal tin. The soaps just come wrapped in paper which isn’t my favourite way of packaging soaps. I much prefer a container when I buy a soap.

No tallow in this soap which was a bit of a worry but it performed really well. I left a small amount of water on top of the puck while I had a bath before shaving. The soap loaded up very easily and a thirty second load was ample for a three pass shave with plenty to spare.

The scent isn’t quite what I was expecting. I was hoping for something more like the Saponificio Varesino 70th Anniversary soap, this was much woodier smelling to my nose.

The lather was nice and thick with good protection and slickness. Not drying post shave, which is where some veggie soaps tend to fall short for me.

All in all a very good shave and I might have to pick up a few more of these soaps. They are on sale at the moment at shaving station and I don’t think they will be restocking them after they have gone.

Weekend Shaves with the Gillette LC New

Saturday
Processed with Snapseed.

3P preshave
Romera Manchurian
Razorock Fresco
Gillette LC New
Polsilver SI (2)
Myrsol Antesol

After a week of shaving with the BBS-1 I fancied trying an old favourite, the Gillette Long Comb New. I must say the result was closer and a lot smoother with the New.

I’ve been using the Razorock Fresco soap for the last few shaves as its nearly used up. I haven’t finished a soap in ages so it’ll be quite an achievement to finish a soap off. I think there is one or maybe two shaves left.

The soap performs really well with lots of slickness and a nice minty fresh scent.

Finished off with a splash of Myrsol it was a great shave.

Sunday
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3P preshave
Stirling Kong
Razorock Fresco
Gillette LC New
Polsilver SI (3)
Floid Vigoroso

Another shave with the long comb New and another good result. I actually finished off the Razorock soap as well, which I’m pleased about. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I finished a soap. As good as it’s been I can’t wait to use another soap after so many shaves on the trot with this one. Here’s the evidence:

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LA Shaving Soap Co BBS-1

Saturday 

3P preshave 

Crown King Switchback 400

Strop Shoppe – Baker Street 

LASSC BBS-1

Gillette Super Stainless (1)

Fine Fresh Vetiver

My first proper shave using this razor after one rushed attempt previously. I used a fresh blade and worked up some very nice Strop Shoppe lather. This razor is quite different from the Wolfman I used previously. It has a different face feel, mainly I think as the blade is held at a slightly flatter angle. I would say it doesn’t feel quite as smooth as the Wolfman, but only by a very small margin. The end result though is very close, but without any irritation. 

Overall a very good first impression with only a few patches where the shave isn’t perfect but I’m putting that down to getting used to the angle. 

Sunday


3P preshave

Brad Sears Manchurian 30mm Beehive

LASSC BBS-1

Gillette SS (2)

Fine L’Orange Noire 

I didn’t quite get the time again for a full shave tonight so I had to make do with two quick passes, just to look presentable for work the next day. I think this just made the efficiency of this razor shine as my cheeks were pretty much BBS and probably a few touch ups and it would have been perfect. I really like this Route 66 soap I picked up in a trade. Nice scent, easy to lather with really nice slick protective lather. If I hadn’t have read the ingredients I’d have thought it was a tallow soap, great creamy lather that wasn’t drying on the skin. I kept getting blasts of the orange scent from the soap throughout the evening even through the Fine Accouterments aftershave. 

Monday


3P preshave 

Morris & Forndran 2XL

Razorock Fresco

LASSC BBS-1 

Gillette SS (3)

Floid Blue aftershave 

Another good shave although the blade felt like it was nearing the end of it’s life. The M&F brush whipped up a ton of lather with plenty left to spare after three passes. I’m liking this razor but it still doesn’t feel as smooth as the Wolfman. 

Wednesday 


3P preshave 

Duke 3

Razorock Fresco

BBS-1

Polsilver SI (1)

Brut Alaska

Final shave with the BBS-1 and I’m still not a fan. It has a aggressive feel on the face and it feels to me that the blade seems to chatter quite a lot. Definitely not as smooth as the Wolfman, I thought it might have been the blade prior to using the Polsilver. Still a good result but just not the most comfortable. 

Wolfman and Castle Forbes Lime

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Trumpers Lime Skin Food
Thater 4125/1
Castle Forbes Lime Cream
Wolfman WR1
Sputnik (1)
Castle Forbes Lime Balm

This was my tenth and final shave with the Wolfman and much like all the others the end result was very close.

It’s a very nice razor and the finish is flawless and really shiny. I compared the finish to one of my ikon polished heads and you can really see the difference in the mirror finish between the two.

The shave is very smooth feeling in use and also very efficient. My ikon SB is a pretty aggressive shaver and it feels aggressive in use but after using it between Wolfman shaves last week it didn’t shave me as close as the Wolfman. It feels like the blade is held very firmly so there is minimal blade chatter. I haven’t found it to be fussy with any of the blades I used while trying it out.

Onto the software for this shave, I hadn’t used the Castle Forbes cream for quite some time but as it’s summer what better scent to use. The Thater whipped up tonnes of lather and the slickness and cushioning was excellent, I can see why this cream gets such good reviews.

Post shave my skin did feel a little dry but I find this happens more after using creams than soaps. A small amount of the matching Castle Forbes balm and my skin was feeling good again.

All in all a good shave and the Wolfman will now be going back to my friend. The price is the only thing holding me back from getting one at the moment. I’ll have to see how life post Wolfman pans out before I think about buying one, I’ve just got delivery of the ATT slant heads to try out an I’m hoping they will be just as good.

OSP Grapefruit and Menthol

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Brad Sears S8 Manchurian
OSP Grapefruit & Menthol
Ikon Standard Bar
Gillette Swede (5)
Floid Black Aftershave

A nice cooling shave after cutting the grass and doing some bits around the garden.

The menthol on this soap is about my limit for cooling, a proper face freezer for me but I guess probably not as much of a face freezer as some others. I’d say it was on a similar level to the Stirling Margaritas in the Arctic soap I have. The menthol does seem to over power the grapefruit scent though which is a shame.

The ikon SB gave a close shave but probably not as close as I have been getting from the Wolfman WR1. The Gillette Swede blade was still going strong on its fifth shave.

I finished off with the fruity Floid Black aftershave which matched the scent quite well and gave me a break from more menthol. A few hours have passed so I just had a few sprays of Penhaligons Blenheim Bouquet to keep me going till bedtime.

A Fine Saturday morning shave

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Brad Sears S8 Manchurian
Ikon B1 slant on Bulldog handle
Gillette Swede (4)
Fine American Blend shaving soap and aftershave

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a shave. I’ve been keeping fairly busy of late and I haven’t really bought a lot lately. I feel I’m at that stage where I’m pretty content with the software and hardware I have at the moment and don’t often get drawn into buying new stuff.

I’ve recently borrowed a Wolfman razor from a friend and it does give a good shave and looks really nice but I think ultimately, in my opinion it isn’t worth the high cost for the end result. I’ll be sending it back soon so I’ll try to put up a post with my thoughts and go in depth a little more.

Back to today’s shave and I’ve been hankering to use the Fine Accoutrements American Blend soap again. I got this a while back direct from the USA but I see they are now available from a few UK vendors but the prices seem quite high for just a puck of soap without a container.

The soap is very good and has that nice YSL Rive Gauche type of scent, loading up the big Brad Sear Manchurian knot was fairly easy after leaving the soap to soak in a little water in the old spice mug where it now lives. I worked a lather up on my face adding water a little at a time and soon had mountains of thick slick lather. I’ve seen this soap compared to Tabac but to me the lather is just one tiny notch lower in quality than Tabac, but it is definitely up there with the best.

I’ve decided to use the ikon slant today after using the Wolfman pretty much solidly for well over a week. Straight away I noticed how much more noisy the slant is, almost as loud as those old 1912 type SE razors. With a light touch it delivers a very smooth feeling close shave. This old “Swede” blade is still going well so I think I’ll push it for one more shave.

I rounded off my shave with a nice cooling blast of the matching Fine aftershave which did burn a little so maybe the slant was a little harsher than it felt in use. I then had a few sprays of vintage YSL Rive Gauche to keep the scent going. About 9 hours later I can still smell it.

Shaver Heaven week

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Dennis Coluccio Finest Badger
Shaver Heaven Gone Grapefruit
Merkur Futur
Sputnik (3)
Mennen Skin Bracer

I had a delivery of Shaver Heaven soaps arrive today to add to the few I already have. I went with the Gone Grapefruit which has a similar scent to TOBS grapefruit, nice and fresh and ideal for the warm summer weather we have been having.

It whipped up really nice and thick with plenty of slickness. I had about 36 hours growth to get rid of so the Futur was the obvious choice, on setting 4 WTG I was looking like I was cleanly shaven after the first pass. I turned the settings down one number per pass and after 3 passes finishing on setting 2 I was pretty much BBS all over.

A quick cooling splash of Skin Bracer and I was done and spent the rest of the night feeling my face in awe of the smoothness.

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Wolf Whiskers Bishop
Shaver Heaven Juicy Froot tallow
Ikon X3 slant
Gillette 7 o’clock green (1)
Floid Vigoroso aftershave

First try of the tallow Shaver Heaven soap and the ikon slant. I think I need to dial this soap in a bit more. It has a nice scent which smells like the little bubble gum balls you get.

The ikon did a good job but didn’t quite feel as smooth as the 102 slant. It seemed to have a different angle as well. Again more use needed to get the best from it I think.

The Floid was nice and cooling on this hot night and I’m left with the nice powdery amber scent.

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3P preshave
Stirling Kong
Shaver Heaven Vetiver & Neroli
Ikon X3
Gillette Super Stainless (2)
PAA Al Fin

Another Shaver Heaven shave with the neroli and vetiver soap which I believe is an older formulation to those used previously. I whipped up a lovely thick slick lather with the Stirling Kong brush. The scent on this is nice and when I first got it the vetiver was the dominant note, now with a few uses the neroli seems to have become the dominant note. Just goes to show that scents can change as you get through a soap.

I’m still not a fan of the X3, it’s just not as smooth feeling in use as the 102. It could be the blade I guess so I’m going to switch it out the the B1 slant and try something else in the X3 before making a decision.

EDIT: since trying a new blade it was much smoother.

Overall a good shave was had which was rounded off by a good splash of Al Fin which was very cooling and smelt great.

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3P Preshave
Shaver Heaven Sweet Meyer Lemon
Brad Sears Shaveworks Manchurian
Ikon B1 slant
Gillette 7 o’clock Green (3)
Brut Sports Style aftershave

I used the oldest formula Shaver Heaven soap I have to round off this week of Shaver Heaven shaves. All of the soaps have performed great but I do find the newer formulas an improvement on what was always a good vegetable based soap.

The scent on this one is great for summer, it’s like a fruit salad type of scent, much more than just lemon, there’s some melon and mandarin in there too.

The BSSW manchurian whipped up plenty of thick slick lather. I felt a little dryer post shave than the newer formula soaps but that is all. The actual shave performance seems similar throughout the range.

The B1 slant with the same blade felt much smoother in use than the X3 and its a lot more audible in use. It’s got to be one of the noisiest razors I have. 3 passes left me nice and smooth and a splash of the Brut sports style finished the job nicely and was a good compliment to the shave soap scent.

Darwin shaves part 2

Sunday 19th June
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3P preshave
Switchback 400
Soap Commander Dixie
Darwin Deluxe
Personna 74 (4)
PAA Al Fin aftershave

Nice shave with the above. I’ve got a few new soaps I’ll be using this week and Dixie was one of them. A nice scent which I struggle to describe but a powdery, soapy barbershop type of scent to me. Good scent strength and the usual great Soap Commander performance with plenty of slickness.

The soap matched the Al Fin well and rounded off a really nice shave.

Tuesday 21st June
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3P preshave
Wolf Whiskers Bishop
Route 66 – Sweeney Todd
Darwin Deluxe
Personna 74 (5)
Fine Accoutrements L’Orange Noir

Another new soap and I’m really impressed by the performance with the first try. It lathered very easily with plenty of slickness and protection. No post shave dryness which is good too. The scent is a nice fresh summery blood orange with a woody background to it, a nice strong scent strength too.

The Fine aftershave is about as orangey as I have and was a nice match.

Thursday 23rd June
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3P Preshave
Dennis Coluccio Finest Badger
Wickham 1912
Darwin Deluxe
Personna 74 (6)
Myrsol Agua Balsamica

Not a bad shave from this Wickham 1912 tester soap. The Dennis Coluccio brush felt really nice and soft today. I’ve not used it for a while and was as impressed as ever with it, a great value brush.

Again the Darwin shaves just can’t be faulted and this blade is still going well and feels like new. I’ll be sad to send this razor back to my friend. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find my own one day.

The Myrsol Agua Balsamica seemed to fair nicely with the herby Wickham scented soap.

Saturday 25th June
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Eshave Lime Preshave Oil
Crown King Switchback 400
Crabtree & Evelyn WI Limes Soap
Darwin Deluxe
Personna 74 (7)
BdF Raffinato balm
Floid Blue aftershave

I picked up this soap the other day which is the new formula C&E soap which I heard actually lathered well unlike the previous formulation. I can confirm it does and provided a very nice shave. I hope your listening Trumpers and that you sort out your hard soaps. It would be great to have a Eucris hard soap that actually lathered.

Still getting really great shaves from the Darwin and Personna 74 combo, shave number 7 on this blade and it still feels fine.

I finished off with the balm then splash as I’d read a few guys use it in that order. I find a balm usually is too oily for my skin but it seemed to work better with the splash taking some of that oily feeling away.

Sunday 26th June
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3P preshave
Paladin Falstaff 26mm
Razorock Fresco
Darwin Deluxe
Personna 74 (8)
Barbasol Pacific Rush aftershave

Final Darwin shave before sending it back home to my friend. I can say it is one of the best razors I’ve ever used and I’d definitely get one if I could find one at a reasonable price.

There’s a large hole in the bottom of this soap so it shouldn’t be long till it’s finished. It’s been a while since I finished a soap, probably a few years!

The Paladin is loosening up nicely and let go of the lather nicely, it helps when you lather a soap like you hate it.

All rounded off with a nice cooling splash of the Barbasol aftershave.

The Darwin has left a big gap to fill. Hopefully the Cobra Classic can fill that space nicely for a while.