Brush Chronicles #15 : The Semogue Owners Club Boar

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by Haggises, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. B&B Brothers and sisters, I am proud to have the honor of starting one of our Brush Chronicles, B&B's in depth examination of shaving brushes that puts them through their paces in all manner of uses. We hope to show what a brush can do and how well it can do it. The format is designed for one to two people to lead the discussion, posting regularly over the course of two weeks and recounting their experiences using the brush in question. The best Chronicles are those where many members join in the discussion and share their experiences. And the more pictures the better!

    So without further ado, I'm pleased to launch Brush Chronicle #15: The Semogue Owners Club Boar


    Launched in 2009 as a special edition, the demand for these brushes quickly led to them be a standard in Semogue's catalog. The combination of densely packed bristles and beautifully shaped and engraved wooden handle (cherry or ash) give this brush more heft than the average boar, yet priced well below similar sized brushes in badger. A 24mm knot with 57mm loft, under $50 shipped, is a lot of brush for the money.


    It is frequently recommended here at B&B as the more luxurious option when considering boars. It handles soaps and creams with ease, yet when broken in, can be as soft as pile of feathers while having enough backbone to keep your wheels off the ground when changing tires (do not try this at home, stunt latherers only).
    Here the SOC sits on the right of beginish's collection, i believe lording it over slightly less worthy contenders.


    The brush can be a little quirky. Rather than splaying like a badger the bristles tend to become wild a crazy guys, spreading in all directions (on right, compared to Omega 11137 on left)


    When wet, the bristles can clump together, in the more extreme cases leading to separated-at-birth theories


    We only have one review in the wiki so far. Maybe this thread can inspire a few more.

    Please join us in putting the renowned SOC Boar through its paces, creams, croaps and soaps, face, bowl and palm.
    Show us what you can do with this brush, and what this brush can do for you.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2017
  2. I'm unofficially joining in on the SOC Boar brush chronicles this week! I'll try to do two soft soaps (Omega and Cella), two hard soaps (Tabac and Pre de Provence), two creams (Art of Shaving and Proraso), and one artisan (Stirling).

    I received my SOC a little over a month ago. After the first use, it had a wide bloom, like most Semogue brushes I've used. My particular brush measures 25mm above the metal ring and 57mm loft. The handle is very comfortable for face and bowl lathering.

    I haven't noticed the tips splitting as much as some other boar brushes. My Omega brushes definitely had more split tips, as does my Barbear Classico Cerda brush. The SOC is closer to my old 620 and 1470 brushes in that regard. But at this loft, there is very little scritch.

    My technique with this brush is to soak for a few minutes, shake off a bit of excess water, then agitate the bristles on the soap to make foamy proto-lather. With this large of a brush, I've found 10 seconds of loading is all that is needed for 4+ passes.

    Today, I used some Omega soft shaving soap. I believe this used to be based off the Proraso green formula, but now is slightly different. There's a very mild menthol effect and a stronger eucalyptus scent, but it lathers up very easily.

    Here's the brush after 10 seconds of loading:


    Working the lather for a minute or so in a Georgetown G12 scuttle:


    After four passes, still a good amount of lather leftover:

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  3. Great write up Jarick!
  4. beginish

    beginish Moderator

    Now that I think about it, a boar brush must have been the model for Sideshow Bob. :lol:

    My venture today was with the La Toja Shave Stick. I purchased mine back in 2009, and it has accompanied me on numerous trips. It has been reformulated since then, but at the time, it was reputed to have the same formula as the legendary La Toja Manantiales soap that came in the cork-stoppered wooden bowl. The soap is very heavily on the mineral salts and has a pleasant, soapy smell. I have used a puck of Manantiales from start to finish, and will continue to use the stick until there is none left. It is, in my experience, the best non-tallow soap I've ever used, and rivals the great tallow soaps for performance and skin care. Anyway, today's shave was with the soap version of the Stubby:


    Like the QED glycerin-based stick from the last Chronicle, I wet the shave stick in hot water before showering, and when I get out, I rub the stick on my beard to apply the soap directly. This is not as comfortable a process as with the glycerin-based stick, since this is harder soap, but it gets the job done, and no, I don't have a weird skin condition. That's just the soap sticking to whiskers:


    That doesn't seem like much soap, does it? I soaked my SOC during the shower, squeezed it until damp, then proceeded to face lather, progressively going back and forth between the basin and my face to add more water to the lather. This took about 2 minutes or so, and since the brush is well broken in, was a very comfortable scrubby, massaging process:


    And the brush, post face lather:


    I will tell you that this lather is as slick as all get out, and I have found that I get the closest shaves with this soap, bar none. I may find its equal someday, but I don't expect to find better. The SOC really makes quick work of face lathering, because it has a lot of boar bristles in there, all split into 2, 3 or 4 tips at the ends, so it just gets it done. As with all face lathering, the progressive addition of water takes the most time, but with the La Toja, it's SO worth it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2017
  5. I have to dig out my SOC from my long delayed bathroom remodel.

    Tonight will be trying to finally finish off my MW Maestrale.
    Later this week, I hope the Razorocks will be in town...
  6. Here's my first contribution to a chronicle! Here's about 30 seconds loading Razorock Caprician Lemon with about 40 seconds work in the trusty Dirty Bird Bill Bowl.

    Attached Files:

  7. Looks great!

    My Maestrale went well, but unphotographed. And I still didn't finish the puck....

    I've often had lather provlems with the SOC and MW soaps. This time I loaded like I hated it and was rewarded with gobs of lather.
  8. Hmmm. There just might be a SOC boar in my future.
  9. Today I used Art of Shaving Sandalwood cream. Great scent and good performance.





    Good three pass shave today. Of course the dog had to go outside mid first pass, which is why scuttles are nice.

    The SOC is versatile, handles creams as well as soaps. No scritch at all. Not a lather hog either.
  10. Grate start gentleman, looking forward to following along as you chronicle this brush.
  11. Just tried mine for the first time last night but only now discovered this thread and didn't take any photos. So far, this is the best boar I've used.
  12. beginish

    beginish Moderator

    Today's lather was with Harris Rose Cream.


    A snurdle here, a soaked, damp brush there, some elbow grease and a bunch of water and voila!


    I really like the scent of this cream, but after a lot of use, I'm finding the Harris Rose to be great with the cushion, but not so much on the slickness. I get a fine shave, but I'm not going to replace the tube when it's done. The SOC is really quite excellent. Since it was bowl lathered, I just painted the lather on after a few swirls on my face. There is a lot to be said for a long loft when it comes to painting.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2017
  13. jkh


    Great start to this Chronicle!

    I have a 2009 Semogue Limited Edition, which was the precursor to the SOC. Can I play along?
  14. Just because it's you, Jeremy.
  15. Tabac today.

    10 second load with damp brush.


    Lather in the scuttle after first pass.


    Lather quality for fourth pass.


    Brush after four passes.


    Yep, the SOC can handle Tabac! I even added a bit of water and worked the lather on my neck for a fifth touch up pass and there was zero scritch.
  16. beginish

    beginish Moderator

    I broke out a very old, vintage soap today, Wrisley Spruce. You can see some details and pics of what the soap looks like here. It has long been proposed that Wrisley soaps were made by Yardley, the legendary, tallow-based English soapmaker, and that they had virtually the same performance as Yardley. I've used Yardley in the past and can attest to its greatness, with easy lathering and high quality lather. My first try with Wrisley Spruce was not successful, as it produced a thin, bubbly lather (if you can even call it that). In the thread I linked to, I mentioned this, and it was suggested that since it was so old and dried out, that a good soak in hot water may be in order to kick start it again. I did that and reported success, so today I decided to use it again with the SOC to see what happened.

    Once again, I soaked the SOC during my shower, and also submerged the Wrisley Spruce in hot water to help get things loosened up. After pouring off the water, I loaded from the puck with the squeezed, damp SOC for a minute, dipping the tips slightly in water once it started to feel too dry when loading. As a result, I got this:


    What a fine protolather! I took the brush to my shaving bowl and then very deliberately began building the lather. I really wanted to avoid creating a bubbly mess, so this involved several trips back to the basin for additional water. After a couple of minutes, I was rewarded with a lot of really excellent lather:


    Though old, my puck was very clearly unused, and it still retains a mossy scent. It's not mildewy or musty, as many vintage soaps smell. It's kind of the way I imagine Spruce to actually smell. All in all, this was an excellent shave. I think using the SOC (or another boar with backbone) was an asset to getting soap off of this really old puck. At some point, I will 3017 it, and look forward to several months of daily shaves with this soap.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2017
  17. Great updates Bob and Jarick!

    Last night I really surprised myself. Since the end of the Essential Boar Chronicle I went to a circle beard and have enough surface area now to adequately face lather.
    Didn't want to start a fresh Arko and was leery of the Boots stick that appeared to give me hives earlier.

    I found a half stick of UK Palmolive. I'm not a fan, and gave away all but this stick of the ones I picked up in Blighty last time. But needs must and I was hankering to stick face lather for the first time in 6 months.
    The SOC quickly made short of making up a nice shave worthy lather, enough for 2 1/2 passes. I had to reload for final pass, but that's on me, not the brush.
    I was so sufficiently impressed I might even use the stick again :)
  18. beginish

    beginish Moderator

    After exercising this morning, I decided to go for a product that would give me a nice cooling feel, and pulled the Palmolive Refreshing (Rinfrescante) cream out of the drawer. In the last Chronicle, I had used it for the first time and really liked it....better actually than Proraso. Having used it a few times since, I stand by that assessment. It's a really good cream that delivers a nice cooling effect without the overt medicinal scent of Proraso. Anyway, on to this morning's festivities.

    Small dollop in the bowl:


    Soaked, damp brush + a good bit of swirling and dripping of water, et voilá!


    Hmmmm. Somehow the photo got inverted. No matter, it was a great lather and shave regardless of what dimension I was in.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2017
  19. Looks like someone lathered past Warp factor 9 again
  20. Einstein would be pleased.

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