This morning’s shave features a relatively new wetshaving artisan, Sweet Comb Chicago. From what I read at the Sweet Comb Chicago website, their products are a labor of love for a backyard beekeeper that is doing his part to improve honey bee health and combat colony collapse disorder. I’m excited to give Sweet Comb Chicago shaving soap a try along with a classic pairing top tier shave accoutrements. My face is feeling nourished and healthy but with a couple of nearly healed wounds from a previous sour shave. Let’s give Sweet Comb Chicago a go.
Preparation: Hot shower
Razor: Merkur 37c HD Slant Bar Safety Razor
Blade: Feather Hi Stainless Double Edge Razor Blade
Brush: Plisson La Maison du Barbier Synthetic Fiber Shaving Brush
Finish: Sweet Comb Chicago Beard Conditioner (Aftershave Balm)*
Now that was an enriching shave. Loading the legendary Plisson brush from the dry, hard Sweet Comb Chicago shaving soap puck required simple but deliberate technique. Previous shaves with the hard Sweet Comb Chicago soap had taught me that it pays off to take your time in the brush loading step to ensure you acquire enough product for subsequent lathering. After about twenty-five seconds of loading, a good dense paste developed between the brush fibers. I applied a fair amount of puck foam to my freshly showered and damp face, then gave a few paintbrush-style strokes of the Plisson for coverage. After about ten seconds of swirling and a few dips of the brush tips into the hot water reserve, a dense, rich Sweet Comb Chicago lather developed with ease. I noted that the lather could hold a fair amount of water which aided in shaving slickness.
I completed a standard two pass shave, one pass straight down my face, then one pass straight up from neck to cheek. I finished the shave with a freestyle touch-up pass to tend to oddball hair growth patterns and stubborn stubble. The mythical Merkur 37c slant razor performed with precise efficiency paired with the exceedingly sharp Feather Hi Stainless blade. No whisker was spared in the shaving process. The Sweet Comb Chicago shaving soap performed well offering a protectively slick lather for the Merkur 37c to glide atop. I did note that it was best to not use buffing strokes or attempt to re-pass over portions of my face without reapplying lather. While the Sweet Comb Chicago lather was quite slick when coated, it left little residual slickness once removed. Consequently, the Sweet Comb Chicago shaving soap rinsed clean after my touch-up pass leaving no suds or soap residue behind. That said, the post-shave feel felt quite nourishing as my skin was soft and supple after the final rinse likely due to the wide assortment of various plant-based oils/fats/butters included in the formula.
The scent of Sweet Comb Chicago off the puck was bright but mild. I picked up a light citrus fragrance, but not much else. Upon lathering and throughout the shave, the Sweet Comb Chicago scent grew somewhat to include a soft floral/vegetal scent that I can’t quite put my finger/nose on. I think I was likely hitting on the natural scents of the oil blend. While billed as a refreshingly spicy aroma, I personally noticed zero spice. In sum, the scent is clean, natural, and mild. I enjoyed the Sweet Comb Chicago fragrance and would likely return to it on a hot day or when I want my aftershave to win the day without any competition from a soap.
I finished this shave off with a coat of Sweet Comb Chicago Bread Conditioner. While labeled a “Beard Conditioner” the product performs exceptionally as a post-shave balm. The “conditioner” is fairly hard in the container. So, I swirled my finger tips a few times around to warm the product and it coated my digits with ease. I then rubbed my hands lightly together and applied the product to my freshly shorn face. A little goes a long way here and covered not only my beard area, but also the rest of my face and neck. The Sweet Comb Chicago Beard Conditioner felt light but protective on my face without any oily or waxy residue. I think this balm will perform well especially on cold windy days when my face is exposed to harsh winter weather. The scent is similar to the Sweet Comb Chicago Classic Shaving Soap but with a heavier dose of lavender which I quite enjoyed. In all, the Sweet Comb Chicago products provided for a great shave and left my face feeling nourished and protected, ready for the day.
Closeness – 4
Irritation – 5
Wounds – 4
Overall – 4.33 A protective & nourishing shave.
*Disclaimer – Sweet Comb Chicago contacted Anthronicle.com to offer their products for review. After agreeing to the Anthronicle.com Product Acceptance Policy, Sweet Comb Chicago provided a sampling of their products to Anthronicle.com including the Classic Shaving Soap and Beard Conditioner featured in this Shave Experience article.
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