While prepping for my shave this morning, I realized I have a few great products stashed away that I have yet to get to. So, I’m dedicating most of this week’s shave experiences to using these “land of misfit toys” soaps and such that I somehow forgot about. I think I’ll start off with Catie’s Bubbles Ocean Grove. The scent profile drew me in, and I assume it’s going to be a top tier performer like every other Catie’s Bubbles soap I have used. I think I’ll pair it with Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements FU Fougere. My face is feeling really healthy and has a few days of growth as I did not shave over the weekend. Let’s shave.
Preparation: Hot shower
Blade: Gillette Silver Blue Razor Blade
Soap: Catie’s Bubbles Ocean Grove Shaving Soap
Brush: Plisson Synthetic Fiber (L’Occitane Original Design)
Finish: Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements FU Fougere Aftershave & Cologne
That was an outstandingly comfortable and efficient shave. Loading with the damp L’ Occitane Plisson brush was a simple task from the dry and relatively soft Catie’s Bubbles Ocean Grove puck. After about 10 seconds of swirling, I had plenty of paste accumulated between the fibers. I probably could have loaded for slightly less time. I applied the little bit of puck lather to my freshly showered and stubbly face, then gave a few paintbrush-style strokes with the brush to coat. The Plisson brush excels in the paintbrush-style use. I then began a quick face lather that only required a couple of dips of the brush into the hot tap water reserve. I think the combination of an easy lathering soap like Catie’s Bubbles Ocean Grove with a premium performing brush like the Plisson synthetic makes the face lather so quick and straight forward. I had whipped up a plush, creamy and slick Catie’s Bubbles Ocean Grove lather that nourished my skin and lasted the entire shave through.
I completed my standard three pass shave, one pass with the stubble growth, then two subsequent passes across the whisker pattern in opposing directions. The Parker 24c head/Maggard Razor MR5 handle combination made for a smooth, comfortable, and efficient shave. The Parker 24c head is one of the most comfortable open comb razors I have used and it cut through my three day whisker growth with ease. I think the exceptionally sharp and smooth cutting Gillette Silver Blue blade contributed to the efficient shave. The Catie’s Bubbles Ocean Grove lather provided a slick and protective layer for the razor to glide on resulting in zero irritation. After the final rinse, my face felt soft and supple, a testament to the remarkable Catie’s Bubbles post-shave feel.
The scent of Catie’s Bubbles Ocean grove is fresh and floral off the puck. As I built the lather and through the shave, the scent evolved to include a aqua/water fragrance and a touch of sweetness. During the final rinse, the fragrance dissipated allowing for the aftershave to take over. I think the scent strength of Catie’s Bubbles Ocean Grove is moderate during the shave, but I appreciate that it does not linger afterwards. I think Catie’s Bubbles Ocean Grove scent is a top choice for a fresh fragrance without the laundry detergent/dryer sheet aroma that so many “fresh” scents exhibit.
I finished the shave with a dousing of Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements FU Fougere Aftershave & Cologne. In my palms, I quickly picked up a floral, grassy, woodiness to the scent. Upon initial application, I felt a mild alcohol sting that faded quickly to a soothing rich nourishing feel. I like that some PAA aftershaves include glycerin, aloe, and alum in their formula as I find that they nourish and protect the skin without the sticky/tacky feel of some lesser aftershaves that don’t quite get the balance right. During the dry down the complex FU Fougere scent evolved to include an earthy evergreen resin fragrance and what I can best describe as frankincense. There is a lot going on with the FU Fougere scent, and it is unique to any other fougere I have tried. I appreciate the innovation occurring at Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements and always look forward to seeing what they come up with next. I think the water fresh scent of Catie’s Bubbles Ocean Grove was a fantastic pair with the jaunt to the forest scent of Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements FU Fougere. I had a good close, irritation free shave and my skin felt nourished and protected for this cold, windy Spring day.
Closeness – 4
Irritation – 5
Wounds – 4
Overall – 4.33 Gentle & efficient shave!
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