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Damn Comfortable Shave

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Friday my shave was good, but there was a small, late weeper.


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The brush is brand new. It is a Semogue 2020 TSN Silvertip Limited Edition.

A new offering and a limited edition very likely to become totally unavailable, the brush already has a cult following and a B&B thread devoted to it (which has lots of information and a bunch of photos).

Having used it only once, I'm impressed. Generally I much prefer two band silvertips and Manchurians to three band silvertips but this one is special if my one use of it tells me anything. It has nice backbone and very good scrub. It seems pretty dense (not overly dense) and has great flow-though. It's not at all a lather hog. It's not too small (although I'd prefer 26 mm or 28 mm).

Obviously it may break in (change) some. Plus, one shave is nowhere near enough to do a real review. The handle is great of course (as are all SOC handles, not that this is an SOC, but the handle is exactly the same). None of the photos I've see do complete justice to the tortoise color of the handle; it's really quite lovely in a very much refined and understated manner.

I enjoyed my shave today and thought I'd dodged the Wunderbar blood bullet. I was busy congratulating myself when I looked in the mirror to find a late blooming small weeper right between my nose and my mouth.


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I like this coconut bay rum!

The combination of hyaluronic acid and Brickell Face Moisturizer works wonders for my skin. I can't tell you how impressed I am with these two products.​


Happy shaves,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Saturday I mostly shifted gears.


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The blade was the same as yesterday. A flipped Wizamet SI. Nothing new.

My razor today is my trusty and trusted FOCS in gold. How does it compare to the Wunderbar?
  1. The FOCS is much easier to use.
  2. It, the FOCS, is every bit as efficient for all practical purposes in my opinion.
  3. The FOCS delivers a shave which is reliably more comfortable.
  4. Unlike the Wunderbar the FOCS is not prone to biting or leaving me with unexpected weepers.
  5. I'd say the Wunderbar is perhaps a bit better in its construction and finish, but, overall, the FOCS is still a better looking razor.
  6. I use the Wunderbar on an R41 handle which reduces the weight a bit and improves the balance (in my opinion), but I have used the WB on a RR barberpole handle (one of the handles it's sold with). In my view the FOCS is more nimble as well as lighter in weight. The WB's extra weight adds nothing I think worth adding. In the same vein having covered tabs gives the WB no advantage over the FOCS.
  7. The Wunderbar is far more expensive than the FOCS

None of that is to say the Wunderbar is not an excellent razor. In fact, I like the WB a lot, but it is no FOCS.

What else?

Ah, yes, the soap.

This is one of the Italian soaps by the famous Chinese sounding soap manufacturer in Italy. Cal @Cal really likes these soaps and convinced me to give one a spin. I picked this particular version because I was ordering from Connaught and came across it and thought the scent profile might be to my liking. Plus the artwork is nice.


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Whatever that means.


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If you say so.

I like the scent okay but don't love it. I have no idea what it smells like. The container is a bit small in diameter which is a criticism. Why not be wider and easier to load? Well, the answer is obvious. The amount of soap in the container is 100 ml so they used a smaller container. Personally I think that a mistake. Use wide enough soap containers!

Aside from those criticism, which should be seen as minor, the soap performed well.

I'll see if I like it over time. It's possible I won't like the scent over time, but the performance was certainly very good. It loads easily enough. It lathers nicely and not slowly (in that regard it may be superior to Vitos Red Cocco, but it's too soon to be sure). It easily takes on all the water I would like to have it hold without breaking down (which is important to me). It was not too drying (first impressions can be wrong here). Ghost lather and glide and slickness were plenty good.

I'm not all that sure there's much difference between most of the soaps I've tried with a few exceptions. Some smell terrible, Tabac being the worst by light years. One or two are great except too drying for my skin (sorry MdC and MWF). A few failed to lather (small artisan brands you never heard of). A few stop up my drains too much. Most are much like all the others, and good.

Occasionally I become distracted by a shiny new soap that someone swears is the best ever made. I'm sure some are better than others in terms of ingredients. Some include costly ingredients and/or costly natural fragrances. Some have scents I love but don't find easy to live with on a daily basis. Is there one best base?

I'm thinking of trying one that's current highly touted. Why? I have no idea. It's not like I don't like my usual Vito Red Cocco. It's not like I don't have boxes and boxes of soaps I never use, many of them being quite good soaps. Why?


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Speaking of which.


This is my new from the BST Rudy Vey Manchurian. I like it.

It is considerably better looking than the color in the photos in my view. Deeper and darker.​
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I'd say the Rudy Vey Manchurian is a very nice feeling, quite scrubby knot. I can feel the individual hairs more with it than with most similar brushes. Not sure if that is good or bad or if it means anything.

Before too long I want to compare my Manchurians with each other. One problem there is the Shavemac Manchurians. I know from Rudy @Rudy Vey and from everything I've read Shavemac doesn't make or sell Manchurians. However, I can't see how the Shavemac non-DO1 two band isn't a Manchurian.

The obvious problem here is there's no standard definition of Manchurian. It may be a marketing fiction. Also, it's apparent knots are inconsistent even within brands and more so going from one manufacturer to another.

I now have a few Manchurians.
  • 2 rather dissimilar Zenith Manchurians.
  • 2 somewhat dissimilar Rudy Vey Manchurians.
  • 2 rather dissimilar Shavemac non-D01 two bands (which I'm saying are Manchurians because they remind me so much of one of my Zenith Manchurians).
  • A Simpson CH3 Manchurian.
I would not say my RV Shavemac D01 2 band is a Manchurian. That knot is in its own league.

Good shave it was.

Happy shaves to you,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
My Easter Sunday shave was very nice indeed.



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My Gillette Executive set on #5 is a great shaving razor for me. I'm so glad someone gave me this fine bit of kit, and that I finally gave it a spin.

This Rudy Vey Shavemac D01 2 band is a great brush. According to me, it's a "Manchurian," and, yes, I know Shavemac doesn't make a Manchurian knot. Maybe, more properly, this is a Manchurian on Steroids.

The Shavemac non-D01 2 bands are Manchurians, too, for sure, in the same sense.

Of course, I'm open to information to convince me otherwise.


4-4-21.EasterKit.Exec.D01.Vitos.640JPG.JPG
#1​
Two.Zenith.Manchurians.1-5-19.640.JPG #2 & #3​
3-15-21.RudyVey.Manchurian.640.JPG #4​
Ever-Ready.RudyVey.Manchurian2-17-21.640.JPG #5​
RudyVey.Zebra.Shavemac2band.496.png #6​
CH3 Manchurian (seller's photo).png
#7​
Shavemac.30 mm.TwoBandSilvertip.640.JPG #8​


Other than shape and size, which of these knots is unlike the others?

Which are "officially" called "Manchurian?"
  • #2
  • #3
  • #4
  • #5
  • #7
What does "Manchurian" mean anyway?

I've not used brush #6 yet but it's supposed to be the same knot as brush #8 albeit a different vintage and density (#8 is an older version of the Shavemac non-D01 2 band and was specially ordered with extra density).

I'm certainly not saying all these knots feel just the same. The two Zenith Manchurians don't feel just the same, but Zenith Manchurian #2 feels very very similar to some knots pictured here but called 2 band silvertip.


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Happy shaves to you,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Monday's shave started the week off right.


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This is one big Shavemac knot. The nominal size is 30 mm. It's a specially densely packed non-DO1 two band (or, in my view, a Manchurian). I'm comparing it with the CH3 Manchurian from Simpson.​


The Executive on its #5 setting works great for me.


I'm going to the beach soon, so why not?​
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My skin feels just a tad dry. Probably it's our unseasonably cool weather. Nippy it is for this time of year.


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On the way to the office today I drove right past the gates. Practice rounds have begun at the Augusta National. Traffic was surprisingly nonexistent which probably means my timing was very favorable.

Happy shaves to you,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Tuesday's shave was very good indeed.


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My second use of this brush was better than the first, at least subjectively. It has plenty of presence (some might call it scritch, but I'm not sure I would, and, if I did, I'd call it good scritch).

Wizamet SI, flipped.


Yummy!12-20.ClasicoBayRum.HyaluronicAcid.Brickell.640JPG.JPG


Today's kit - particularly the FOCS & the blade - would be hard to beat.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Wednesday. Another very good shave.


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I'm comparing this brush with others in my "Manchurian Camp."

It certainly has considerable presence, and very generous but not overwhelming scrub. It has a good bit of backbone. I do not detect even a hint of bad scritch. I'd say the tips are pretty soft, but there is not that cloud of softness that some brushes have (and I don't much care for). In other words, the feel of the knot appeals to me.

I particularly like the handle which kinda surprises me. It has very very good ergonomics.

The knot's nominal size is 30 mm. It is definitely a very very large brush. I like big brushes and large knots.


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Really nice shave today.

Happy shaves to you,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Thursday. Another good shave.


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Really like this huge knot (and huge handle). Very nice combination of presence, scrub, "good scritch," and softness. OMG, it's big.

The rest of the kit? Compatible, and, frankly, hard to beat.


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Happy shaves,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Friday's shave was very good indeed.


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Today I did an extra lathered pass, S-N (mostly), as a final step. I did not go S-N below my Adam's apple (that area is N-S only).

I'm comparing this knot and brush with the Simpson CH3 Manchurian. Both are great, but, so far, I'd give the edge to the Simpson. That's not a criticism of the very excellent and wonderful Shavemac.


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Yummy scent to top off a yummy and close shave.

Happy shaves to you,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Saturday's shave was very good.



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The photo is not current, but it's the kit I used today.

Every time I use the Evo I realize once again what a good brush it is (and I don't mean a good brush for a synthetic). I can see why Rave @Raven Koenes is so impressed with it. To me, it has none of the downsides of other synthetics I've tried, and feels like a good three band silvertip. Good backbone. Good scrub. Soft but not too soft. Has at least a little "presence." Builds a lather I like. I will admit its lather is a bit different from the lather I build with most two bands and Manchurians, but that's not a criticism of the lather. I think it would be correct to say the bubbles are very very small.


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Spent a bit of time on the beach this afternoon, and had a great lunch in a seafood restaurant, and visited with family. It's been a pleasant day. We're on a long weekend. Visited yesterday with an elderly friend who lives in an assisted living facility, and is a delight if you "get her" which my wife and I certainly do. I had no idea she was 86 years old until after we'd left.

My sister-in-law commented on how great my hair looked, and was astonished to find out I've been cutting it myself since the pandemic lockdown began. That was pretty cool feedback on my DIY efforts, I think. I think, too, that I am still improving my haircutting skills.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Last edited:

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Sunday my shave was with the same kit, and much like Saturday's. No photo was taken.

Happy shaves,

Jim
Monday was an instant repeat of Saturday and Sunday.


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This is an old and not current photograph, but it does show the kit I've used on my trip.

Well, I used a Wizamet SI blade, too.​


Once again, traveling, I noticed how much difference different water makes to the shave. We stayed in a very ordinary and not very great hotel next to I-95 on Friday night, and were lucky to get a room anywhere. It wasn't inexpensive according to how I think of ordinary travel lodging, and it had great water for shaving. It's kinda amazing how little you get for your money these days, but I understand it was Spring Break with a lot of competition for lodging.

We almost got nothing, so I should be grateful they took my money.

The next couple of nights were only marginally more spendy but the accommodations were quite impressive.


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My sister-in-law and her husband asked us to meet them at Elizabeth's Pointe, a B&B at Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Really nice place. Really nice staff. Nice beach, too. The weather could have been better, but I have no complaints about anything, and would be very happy to go back.

Besides that, the beach water was perfect for shaving. The kit performed well. Shout out to the Omega Evo, a great synthetic and excellent brush by any standard.


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I will enjoy today's scent on other occasions. It absolutely reminds me of places like Amelia Island. For the record, I wouldn't mind living in Fernandina Beach. It's a lovely town which just happens to be right on the Atlantic in northernmost Florida.

We're back home now. In my opinion, a five hour drive is a bit too far for a weekend getaway, but it was still quite lovely. It was great to see my wife's sister and her husband. He's a transplant from England so I usually have no idea what he's talking about, but his wife will usually translate for me.

I like both of 'em a great deal, and always enjoy their company.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
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