After an enjoyable weekend visit with my brother including a wet shaving intro and a sampling of local Great Lake’s fare, I’m reaching for a premium shave this morning. I’ve decided to shave with Cold River Soapworks Bergamot & Bay Select Shave soap and am pairing it with Fine Accoutrements L’Orange Noir. My face is feeling rather dry and in need of hydration. Otherwise, there are no wounds, and it feels relatively healthy. This should be a good shave. Let’s give it a go.
Preparation: Hot shower
Razor: Merkur Classic 1904 42c Straight Bar Safety Razor
Blade: Astra Superior Platinum Double Edge Razor Blade
Soap: Cold River Soapworks Bergamot & Bay Select Shaving Soap
Brush: The Grooming Co. New Generation Synthetic Badger Shaving Brush (available from BullGoose Shaving Supplies)
Finish: Fine Accoutrements L’Orange Noir Aftershave
That was one of the most hydrating and healthy feeling shaves to date. Loading the damp Grooming Co. brush on the dry Cold River Bergamot & Bay puck was a simple task. After approximately 10 seconds of loading, I had achieved a very dense paste between the brush fibers. While loading, a small amount of thick creamy paste developed on the puck edge that I applied that to my freshly showered and damp face. After a few paintbrush-style strokes to coat my face with Cold River Bergamot & Bay soapy paste, I began to face lather. The creamy consistency of the Cold River Bergamot & Bay lather is remarkable. As I worked the brush in circular swirls around my face and after a few dips of the fiber tips into the hot water reserve, one of the densest and creamiest lathers to date emerged forth. Cold River Soapworks really sets themselves apart from many other artisan soap makers in the premium hydrating and protective qualities they achieve with their soaps. I could feel my face just soaking up the moisture.
I completed my standard two pass shave, the first pass with the whisker growth, then a subsequent pass across the stubble pattern. I appreciate the classic design of the Merkur 1904 42c razor and the moderate to slightly mild shave it provides. The hatched adornments on the nimble but hefty handle allow for adequate grip and just look good. Pairing the Merkur 42c with an Aster Superior Platinum blade allowed for a smooth shaving experience. While the Astra blades are not extreme in any department, they give an outstanding shave at a remarkable value. I can see why they are so well loved among wet shavers worldwide. The glide and protective barrier characteristics of Cold River Bergamot & Bay lather was top tier as the Merkur 1904 42c traveled smart and smooth during the shave. After a good touch-up, I had a smooth and close shave.
The scent of Cold River Bergamot & Bay is complex and masculine. Off the puck, there is a hint of citrus the emerged from an earthy richness. As I face lathered, the light citrus sustained and mild notes of cedar and a green vegetal fragrance presented mixed with a lovely and rich bay aroma. All of these scent qualities were soft but blended together magnificently to form the clean, masculine fragrance that I truly enjoyed. No one component was too strong or overpowering. Cold River Bergamot & Bay fragrance is unique to this soap in my experience and one of my all-time favorites.
As I rinsed the final residual lather from my face, I could feel my soft and nourished skin beneath. The post-shave quality of the Cold River Bergamot & Bay is second to none. My facial skin began this shave feeling rather dry. After this hydrating shave, my face was appropriately moisturized and renewed. I finished the shave off with the legendary Fine Accoutrements L’Orange Noir aftershave. A healthy splash gave a skin tightening burn that faded shortly after application. As the aftershave dried, the delightful smokey citrus notes emerged and my face was ready for the day.
Closeness – 4
Irritation – 5
Wounds – 4
Overall – 4.33 A magnificent shave.
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