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Brush Chronicles #15 : The Semogue Owners Club Boar

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Moderator Emeritus
From classic cream yesterday to one of the current "It Girl" artisan soapmakers for today's shave. I will freely admit to being a traditionalist when it comes to the software part of shaving, relying on the great standards like Musgo Real, DR Harris, Institut Karite and the like for my shaves. I have tried many artisan products over the years and been left underwhelmed by most, the few exceptions including St. Charles Shave, QED and LA Shaving Soaps. In my last purchase from Vintage Blades, I threw in a tin of Mike's Lime shave soap, just to see if the performance lived up to the hype. I did a couple of test lathers previously, and found that in my hands, this soap needed a good loading, so I took my damp SOC this morning and loaded from my tin of Mike's Lime for about a minute, giving me this:




This is a good, promising protolather, and after taking it to the bowl, swirling and adding what seemed like a gallon of water (not really, but you get the idea), I was rewarded with this:




The lather was rich and slick, and delivered a very nice comfortable shave. The scent was fantastic. It's a pretty simple lime scent, but was easily on par with what I get from Castle Forbes in terms of intense, pure lime. Color me impressed. At some point (perhaps even this year), I'll put Mike's Lime through its 3017 paces, and I have a feeling that I will be handsomely rewarded. As for the SOC, I continue to be impressed with how easily it handles everything I throw at it. With the bloom, it's a big brush, but the backbone of the knot and soft tips ensure good loading and an equally enjoyable lathering.
 
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Uh oh, them new fangled ar-tee-zans got their spell on Bob.
Intervention may be needed.

That's a fine looking lather!
 
Revisited the XXX just because it's fantastic and because someone on the board was having troubles.
The damp 30 second loading.
$uploadfromtaptalk1403003360916.jpg

The lather worked on the face (quite a lot of water) and
The lather left to cover more than 2 more passes, attached below.


Note I'm not in the Santa Claus lather camp, I just need enough to glide, protect and in some soaps, moisturize.
 

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Perfect storm.
1. My SOC needs a cleaning as it sometimes tends to eat lather in the brush
2. I've historically had problems with Mystic Waters and the SOC.
3. It seems like the last remnants of the to-be-repurchases Maestrale will not die.

The Solution, as is most often the case is...Use More Product.

Ended up with gloriously thick, slick and creamy lather with enough left over to shave someone else.

Love the Mystic Waters. Great lather, great scents and still the undisputed champion of post-shave face feel.
And now I know I can SOC it too.

$uploadfromtaptalk1403094020302.jpg

And after 3 passes
$uploadfromtaptalk1403094020302.jpg
 

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beginish

Moderator Emeritus
Use more product is the answer to virtually all lathering ills!

Today's shave was a replay of the bowl lathering of Old Spice Cream. Here's your starting dollop:



Damp brush, drip drip drip, swirl swirl swirl, et voilà!



The scent of that cream is a treat every time I use it.
 
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Picked up some Nivea cream last night. It has that same glimmer that Proraso has out of the tube. Lightly scented of something liked a very tamed down can of modern goop. Quite pleasant and not overly chemical.
Applied a Brazil nut sized glob just because of UMP, started damp and gradually added water.
Rewarded with a thick, creamy lather with the right amount of glide for a Feather Artist shave.

This will be a repeat buy.

$uploadfromtaptalk1403177879613.jpg
 

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beginish

Moderator Emeritus
How about another? SOC meet MdC, a positively Mediterranean match made in heaven. We once again start with a damp brush and a jar of MdC Scented that has had a little water sitting on the soap for the duration of my shower. Pour the water off, load for 30 seconds and have a very nice protolather going:


After a very nice face lathering, we get this:

 
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beginish

Moderator Emeritus
My last lather for this Chronicle is a Portuguese marriage between the SOC and Musgo Real cream, the finest cream available today, IMO. It lathers easily and provides a shave that is protective and slick. It has provided me with the single finest DE shave I have ever had. I'm a big fan of the classic scent, as it's Old School and Old World in the best way. Nevertheless, Claus Porto, its manufacturer, released new scents a couple of years ago, and I've since used Oakmoss (not a fan of the scent) and Lavender (hubba hubba). Today's lather is with the Classic scent. The dollop in the bowl is reassuringly green:



With very little effort, and a fair amount of water (Musgo has great water capacity), I earned this for my trouble:



The stuff is just too good. I enjoyed this shave immensely.
 
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Nice work, Bob. Yet another cream to add to the wish list!

the last shave was a return to the RR XXX just because it's so darn good. SOC again made short work of lathering it into creamy goodness that smells like a little bit of heaven.
Alas the out of focus paparazzi were not there to capture the excellence so youse just have to take my word for it.

Thanks Bob for resurrecting the Chronicles. Two week apiece for these great boars have been very eye opening. I'm glad to have my SOC back into the fold, though it's off for a well earned rest.
 
Thanks for the chronicles. Sadly, my experience so far with my SOC has been less than stellar.

I received my brush about a month or so ago, and have been using it regularly, both to shave and hand lather to expedite its break-in. The brush is soft on my face, and the tips appear to be slowly splitting.

My usual routine is to let my brush soak while I shower, then load a prodigious amount of soap (usually Proraso) on a well shaken-out brush. I face lather, and my initial lather is usually very creamy and abundant, with what appears to be more than adequate product for 3 or more additional passes. So far, so good. However, while I finish my first pass, the brush appears to mysteriously eat my lather as if magic. When I go to re-lather for my second pass, I barely have enough lather to coat my face and neck. By the time for my third and final pass, my brush is empty and I must re-load.

I've never had this problem with any other of my many brushes (badger, boar, horse and synthetic), including a Semogue 830. I also have very soft water. I've tried varying the amount of loaded soap, not soaking the brush, adding more or less initial water, etc., but despite an initial creamy charge and what appears to sufficient lather for my shave, it still disappears.

Any advice would be appreciate. My only hope thus far is that my problems abate as the brush continues to break-in.
 
I got a Georgetown scuttle a couple months ago and have barely face lathered since. I was just thinking this morning that the quality and quantity of my lathers has improved considerably since moving (back) to this method.

Most of the lathers I did with the SOC were soaked, excess water lightly shaken out (not squeezed or shaken well), then 10-15 seconds working on the puck. I want a proto-lather that is runny yet doesn't have too big of bubbles. I transfer all that to the bowl and whip until it looks good enough to shave. Then I paint and whip the lather on the face until it thickens.

The SOC for me works MUCH better as a bowl than face lathering brush. It just holds so much water/lather that you can't mix it well on the face. And then it splays out too wide. In the bowl, stirring the lather and then moving to the face the brush is more compact.

I wouldn't say I've mastered the art of lathering enough to cure all ails, but to me a "disappearing" lather is one that hasn't been mixed up enough, and often has too little lather to begin with. I had this problem with face lathering at times. I would load a drier brush and add water until I was satisfied with my lather, but then there was no lather for the second pass. I could load for minutes and still have the issue.

Again, starting with a bit more water in the brush, almost looking like too much, then load the soap until the lather looks good (wet and heavy), then work it quite a bit.
 
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