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Flask's newbie adventure

Karve I find to be a looker too. I have a soft spot for brass, but it stays on the wanted list for now. And the fact that it’s modular is great too.

Karve=Top Notch Quality, baseplates from the mild AA solid bar, to G open comb take no prisoners, affordable, great looking.
I have two CB brass caps, and OCC, SBD, OCD, and SBG baseplates. At the time the OCG wasn't offered, but the SBG is the real deal for sure.

This post has theme music! You should play this as you read for the full experience

It's been three months now since I've joined B&B and I was reflecting on my journey since then. Funny to say this about something like shaving, but it's been a rocket ship of a experience so far.

In some ways, I feel like my journey is best expressed with the state of my medicine cabinet. Before joining B&B, I don't think I'd opened that mirrored door in, oh, 15 years? I just wasn't that kind of guy. A hairbrush and toothbrush on the counter, two month old bic disposable in the shower and a deodorant stick somewhere I could never find. Didn't use shaving cream, foam or soap at all, just had at the stubble while in the shower. With no shower mirror. Good god, I was a savage.

My medicine cabinet was dirty and filled with dusty weird stuff I didn't remember. A shoe brush, a water bottle, a science fiction book, and a wadded up towel. Oh, and 1000's of ancient band-aid's that were stiff and had zero adhesive left. Where did those come from? Were they breeding in there?

Then I joined B&B. Not long after, the metamorphosis began.

Today, it looks like this.


I remember at one point thinking, ok, two brushes, two razors and a soap. I'll be good. Right. Now I'm having trouble deciding what four razors are going to get "top billing" in that razor holder and looking for a small container to decant that witch hazel bottle into. ok, that escalated quickly!

What makes me laugh the most is the top shelf. I'm really, really not OCD organizer type, but I found myself shopping for vintage metal band aid and first aid boxes for storage, little container for pills - Oh my god, somewhere in there I turned into my sister.

Of course there's an overflow shelf now too, with blades, AS's and "non-rotation" soaps, maybe five at this point.

The best part was this wasn't some typical Flask orgy of enthusiastic uninformed purchasing. All the hardware and software is either a B&B recommendation, purchased off the BST, or a gift from a B&B member. It's just - there was A LOT of that in a really short period of time.

It won't be long before I reach a point I'll need to start rotating gear back to the membership, which I'm really looking forward to. I feel I need to pay this community back in a big way.

I could write a book on how much I'm learning from DecemBOAR - that'll have to be next post! Time for breakfast and a Sunday walk in the park before it starts to pour again.
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Great journey by a great guy! I like your fun stories Flask.

And looking at your cabinet - you are seriously low on blades it seems!

View attachment 1570758



Oh! Well - full disclosure, there's been more shaving real estate creep than that. This is the 110 year old drawer below the mirror. Wow, I need to re-paint this thing!


And the built in shelf next to the mirror


Happy Holidays!

Again! This big gap between journal entries leaves so much to write about that a single entry catching up will be a novella. I'm just going to have to pick, like throwing little shaving babies off the raft, and hope to come back and rescue them up by writing a little more frequently.

I'll stick to two subjects, hopefully, starting with the most recent. I had a spontaneous purchasing spasm last week and got two razors off the BST. One was a reasoned, reasonable purchase and one was...less so.

One was another P-4 birth quarter razor, the Super Adjustable 104 in fantastic condition from the generous @Jorvaljr.


I mean like new fantastic condition, that picture doesn't do it justice. You pick it up and out of nowhere you're transported to 1970 and Superbad starts playing, that's how new it looks!

Now, let's be honest. The 104 probably isn't in the top 4 razors for most wet shavers. lol. This trivial expense was more about taking one step closer to completing the core pieces of my birth quarter razor collection! Considering I found B&B and this all started in September of this year, that's both cool and embarrassing at the same time.


I'm just missing the P code/ P-4 Tech to feel like I'm finished with my first little shaving obsession project. Funny, you'd think these would be common but as of yet I don't see a ton of 70's tech's in the usual places. At all. But one thing I've learned so far is that the shaving Great Material Continuum provides.

Maybe once I get all four I'll put them in some sort of display. Which would also be both cool and embarrassing. With Android Assistant controllable LED lighting in it, set to match the bathroom bulb colors/hues/intensities! Oh, I'm liking this idea. But it begs a question that leads us smoothly to the following subject. But before we jump there quite yet let's look at the other razor that came in this delivery as it's germane to the vague discussion to follow.

A practically mint fatboy!


Do I need a 4th adjustable razor? No, no, not really. But I read so much about Fatboys it felt like a razor I sorta had to have in the collection. Or at least get some experience with and pass on. And it was a good price for the amazing condition AND it has it's case!! That's my first razor with a matching vintage case, lol. With a little love it'll clean up really nicely and look awesome.

So. Exciting stuff. But I've got a pile of razors developing here and that's not really, honestly, what I'm going for long term. I need a process to sort of "pick winners" here, especially as more razors inevitably cycle though. I realized this will likely be an evolving selection - but let's kick it off and throw some mud against the wall. And how do I pick the four razors that live in the cool holder and which live in a drawer for the occasional theme shave?

My evil lair-quality plan is to spend most of 2023 in Shave of the Week and Fixed Four events. I think these will help me answer a few questions:
  • Are any of the birth razors in the top 4? Or are they destined for a garish display I'm ridiculed for?
  • The 1970 superspeed is currently my "default" daily driver. Is that replaced with a Tech? An English Flat Bottom perhaps?
  • Who wins the adjustable wars? Do I fall into the fatboy or slim camp? Or maybe the Black Beauty's (doubtful)?
  • Gamechanger sumo wrestling! The 68p and 84OC plates are on hand, but what about the 84-P that gets a lot of love?
Participating in those events will dovetail nicely with another poorly hatched plan inspired by DecemBOAR. I'd like to pick two winners from my four boar brush participants and focus on those semi-exclusively for 2023. Both to break them in as to establish a baseline for my boar brush preferences - and get a few brushes moved to the drawer.

There's a theme here of picking winners. Razors, brushes, soaps (oh man, that's like three other posts). I realize that's a quixotic fool's errand to a large degree, but I am still inspired by the posts I read about the guy with a razor and a brush he's used for 20 years, and the GRUME and 3017 threads.

Lastly, obviously if you read any of my journal posts you know I've been struck dumb at the brotherhood on display here at B&B. Perhaps the best thing that happened to me in 2022 was finding this community. Well, I got a great promotion...it's right there with the best things that happened to me in 2022! lolol.

To all my friends, have a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
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This is a repost from the "what did you unpack" thread but I figured I had to document it here - it's a major moment in my shaving journey. Serious leveling up going on here!

I was the lucky winner of an amazing holiday giveaway by @Captain Pre-Capsize a few weeks ago. The third of three winners, we all got BIG boxes from Captain's Choice. First - Thank you so much, I was so excited to win.

The packages go out, and the other two winners report in with their booty. I'm the furthest, out on the west coast, so no worries. But a week goes by with no tracking update. Hmm. Finally, I send in a "lost mail" form to USPS. A few days go by and there's finally an update - - The Captain's package was in Guam! Woha!


I expected it to look like a shipping trunk back from a 19th century sea journey, covered in weird stickers and seriously thrashed. Captain's Choice, right? A nautical Master And Commander journey seemed appropriate, considering.

I imagine it just spent 12-15 days on airplanes, getting a holiday sightseeing tour of the Pacific! But still, it was kind of a (pleasant) surprise to see it just appear on the porch this morning looking like nothing untoward happened at all.




Although I was aware of what I'd won from the other winners in the thread, I was still blown away by the quality and quantity of gear AND the holiday generosity of @Captain Pre-Capsize.


I mean, wow. I am SO excited to use everything there - as a new wet shaver I am beyond psyched to have a real shaving bowl let alone the coolest scuttle on the market. The bowl is smaller than I expected, it's cute! But the Captain knows his business, it fits in my hand like it was custom made for it.

And the Sage color is really nice, SUPER chill and gives off a vintage vibe. I don't think there's any question I'll have to order the matching soap locker, come on. Just having them in there triggered a spontaneous bathroom cleaning session, they really dress the den up!

Thank you again @Captain Pre-Capsize, I hope you and your family have a fantastic holiday!
While I'm excited to be doing a weekly kit with the SWS for a few months, one thing this will impact is my soap sample adventures. I've already checked out at least 30 different soaps at this point and have amassed an embarrassingly large collection of samples - I've got at least a dozen to try still.

That's been great experience though, going through a dozen different types of bases of (mostly) soaps and (some) cremes has given me both a sense of what's out there and what these different scent names really smell like. It's also helped me figure out my preferences. Although let me ask this, is it weird that I like maybe 20% of them and would purchase perhaps 5% so far? Seems like a surprisingly low hit percentage.

One thing the sample adventure has taught me is to try and avoid impulsively buying soaps based on the cool labels and descriptions because the odds are good I won't like it :). I've done that four times now and it was 50/50.

I have a story that's an example of this phenomenon.

I ordered a Saponificio Varesino aftershave sampler a while back and finally worked though them all. SV soaps seem very popular here but are not inexpensive. And I've learned that you don't need an expensive soap to shave, a lesson being driven home by this January of Arko training with Master Pai Mei.

quentin tarantino whatever GIF

Earlier in my journey, I wanted to get an SV soap pretty badly but knew (just) enough not to start blind ordering based off the the scent profiles. Now a days (a big four months later) I think it's a little early to be getting the high end stuff. I'm going to work through some classics first. But now I know what my first SV soap will be, when I breathlessly hit that purchase button, whenever that is. During a good sale, hopefully!

On the whole, the SV line seems very cologne-ish. Which is not good or bad in my opinion - it's a flavor in the giant salad of soap scents available to us these days. I will say there's a "classic" vibe to many of SV scents. Mature, let's say. 80's-ish in some cases, and older in others I'd go so far to say.

Going into this, reading the abundant SV threads, it seemed like there was going to be no bad scents in the bunch. I even got the sense that there's somebody who might die if any one of these were discontinued, each and every one has fans. I saw a thread that counted up SV "Favorite" mentions and it was a surprisingly wide spread across all of them.

So it was surprising to discover there were some that I really disliked. Some popular ones! I've learned this lesson a few times since, but YMMV is SUCH a real thing when it comes to scents - - and shaving in general. I know, everyone keeps saying that, but dang, especially with scents it's such a weird associative thing.

Flask's Ranked list of SV Scents (best to lest best)


70th Anniversary - Easily my favorite scent! It conjures a ski holiday in the Alps, or being in an 80's Warren Miller ski movie. It's both outdoorsy and sophisticated at the same time, I really dig it. There's the trees and the snow (vetiver and calone), the zest and sharpnes of the slopes (bergamot and tangerine), and the feeling of youth and hotness (Amber and Lavender maybe?). I looked up the profile - what the heck is Moroccan Cyst? Is that like Eye of Newt? woha.

Manna di Sicilia - This is my second favorite SV scent and the only other one I will probably purchase, along with 70th. It's as evocative as 70th, but different. Rather than winter on the European slopes, with Manna you are a youthful James Bond in a beautiful European city on the way to a fancy nightclub with a beautiful woman. It's darker than 70th and has more floral notes but still comes off as night time sophisticated, in a "I'm probably going to owe someone a lot of money by the end of the night" kind of way.

Felce Aromatica - This is the most 80's smelling of all the SV scents I tried. It's got that same Amber Patchouli nightlife thing that Manna has, but it's got a fruity fern thing happening too. This is nice! An almost buy.

Optuna - Another sophisticated scent from SV. The SV Opuntia is a musky bergamot balanced with vetiver and there are floral notes in there too. Smooth but not subtle, warm and inviting but commanding at the same time. It's sort of hard to ID anything specifically it's really complex. It's strikes me as a vintage scent, perhaps classic is the right word. I think of Ad Men or Executives in the 60's. I like the SV 70th more but this is nice.

Mirto di Sardegna - Smells like fall, walking in an Italian olive grove in October. This smells classic, much older than the "modern classic" cologne-like sents of the others. It starts fresh and citrus then becomes more leafy and woody, darkening.

Desert Vetiver - I only have a few soap samples that are vetiver-centric and this is nicer than all of them. Very woody, some pine and other woody sents in there. It's not the dry hay of some other vetiver scents I've tried. It drys into a very rich mossy clove dark flower thing.

Cubebe - Hits me as a very "traditional" italian soap smell, it's sharp at first, heavily bergamot and clive? (No, nutmeg it turns out) but dries vetiver and orange (no, lemon and labdanum I see from the profile). Well, I called this one totally wrong.

Dolomiti - Another milder soap, it's floral and nutty. It starts off pretty floral but reduces to nutty. Wait, I'm looking at the scent profile and there's nothing nut-like in there. Hmm, well, to me there's a cashew thing happening. Maybe I can't read my notes :).

Stella Alpina - Very mild scent in comparison to the others. Floral at it's heart, there's a little spice and...spicy wood? Something like that. It's all slightly chemically smelling, honestly. Smells like flower garden in the snowy woods, with a paint can tipped over on the other side of the yard.

Tundra Artica - Minty and woody, there's a undertone of something. Resin almost. Ok, I looked this up and I think that's supposed to be a leather note. It's not awesome.

Cosmo - I hate to say this because I see this soap a ton on the threads. Cosmo made me immediately think of strong mosquito repellent. Granted, probably the nicest smelling mosquito repellent you can find but not something I'd choose to actually smell like. On purpose. What is Citrus of Sicily? I wonder if that's what I'm reacting to. I bet they have no problems with bugs in the spring in Sicily.

The SV scents are all really sophisticated scents, more like colognes than single notes or basic combinations. 70th and Manna both really speak to me, I can see using 70th in the fall and winter and Manna in the spring and summer forever and being happy with those choices. This is all based on the aftershave samples though, I suspect the soaps will be mild versions of the AS's for the most part.

While I don't feel compelled to rush out and buy a set of 70th or Manna tomorrow, I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for good sales event or a BST opportunity. It was fun and educational to try all these and try to write my impressions of them, as hard as that seems to be - I'm not great at describing smells, obviously.

Meanwhile - back to Arko January!
Excellent write up and review! I have eyes SV products for a number of times but as you said I first need to go through my current stuff before buying that higher end. But good to know there are samples. I hadn’t seen those yet.


Excellent write up and review! I have eyes SV products for a number of times but as you said I first need to go through my current stuff before buying that higher end. But good to know there are samples. I hadn’t seen those yet.



Thank you! Getting a chance to sample the scents was great. I'm sure the soap is fantastic - but that's sort of an assumption based on feedback here. People seem to put it on par with MdC which I have sampled and was really, really impressed with. Both of those are going to be an investment I'll make at some point. During a fantastic sale hopefully.

Thanks to you all of you here, I was able to see the closet of soaps trap early in my journey, so I haven't thrown down on too many full jars of anything. Ha, "too many"...I have at least 18 months worth kicking around right now and I'd like to put a dent in that before ordering anything more.
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