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I find that 99% of artisan soaps perform at pretty much the same level. I wonder if the whole performance talk is to just make this hobby seem more interesting :-) So I would have to say I appreciate the scent more.
I have one solid cologne and I find the scents are less 'complex' than a traditional edt. The top notes are more or less not there and the scent doesn't change much over the wear. I do find that it lasts longer on me though, probably due to the wax consistency. A hack to get liquid colognes...
I had a Colonel X2L for a couple months but had to return it because it was shedding 20+ hairs a shave. I've heard others having this issue with Simpson brushes as well. Not to discourage you, just keep that in the back of your mind.
For me plate 3 with a Polsilver Iridium or Nacet is the best. There is something about plate 4 on my 6s that always seems to give me bad shaves. If I want a more aggressive shave I jump right to plate 5 which seems to be smoother that 4.
I'd forgo the crazy price of original creed and instead pick up one of the great clones. Armaf sells an Aventus (Club du Nuit Intense Man) and a GIT (Tres Nuit) clone. I have CDNIM and think I prefer it to the Aventus decant I have. Lasts much longer and smelss almost identical on the dry...
I have the exact same issue with my plate 4. Lots of blood. Plate 5 is actually a lot smoother. Have you tried plate 3. For me it's the perfect level of aggressiveness and comfort. I always get BBS with it using 3 passes and cleanup.
I find Sterling Mountain Man to be very light and fresh. I don't worry wearing it to work. It's a Creed Silver Mountain Water dupe which to my nose is a light smelling and inoffensive scent to begin with. I use the AS balm though. Not sure if the splash is a lot stronger. Face feel with...