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Grooming Dept. Pura Kairos

Firstly, I feel the need to clarify that I'm not sponsored and I bought all this stuff with my own money.

gave the Grooming Dept. Pura (Kairos base) a go...


razor: parker semi-slant graphite
blade: Derby Platinum (1)
brush: omega boar
bowl: Timeless
water hardness: 85 mg/l (ppm)

shower with face scrub with wash cloth and some French bar soap.

trickled about a tablespoon of warm water on puck, let sit, then dumped into bowl

soaked brush, lightly squeezed excess water out and then loaded on puck for about 8 seconds with enough pressure to slightly splay the knot to ensure I was getting a goodly amount of soap onto the hairs. I was intentionally excessively loading to give myself some margin. swirled in the bowl and within 30 seconds had a thick, predominantly nano-bubble lather. I added a few more dribbles of tap water and swirled some more to further hydrate the soap.


I dropped some lather into my filled sink and there was some slow dispersing at the edges of the islands. I decided to load some more soap onto the brush since it seemed I had maybe thinned it or whipped it too much. I squeezed the brush into my bowl, and then loaded for two seconds or so. That seemed to help.

Then I started painting my face with a little bit of scrubby, splayed swirling, but not a ton.

I waited a bit to let the soap sit on my face and then brought in the blade.

First pass went well. I had forgotten just how audible the blade is in the Parker. I had bought one back in March and used it on and off before returning it within the Amazon window since I wasn't sure if I was going to keep it against the SuperSlant and Fatip Storto OC. As it turns out, I like the Parker more - it gets under my nose easier than the pronounced profile shape and a fraction of the cost of the SuperSlant and has a more robust construction compared to the Fatip. I circled back and ordered a replacement a few days ago.

It was fine, but it reminded me that I need to reset my technique for shave angle. First pass knocked out the mainstay of 4-day growth. Cushion and slickness was good during the shave, but either my face massively absorbed the soap or the blade stripped it off, but my skin didn't feel as slick.

Nonetheless, I worked on the lather again for the second pass to see how far I could push it to amp up the wetness without compromising the consistency. I added a bit more water and got it to where the islands were holding shape tightly in the sink. Again, painted it on, let it sit and then did an ATG pass.

It went very well, and was able to perform some spot clean-ups. I lathered on some of the extra soap for some more moisturizing before rinsing and a witch hazel+water splash, then final cool water rinse. I had some weepers from some trouble spots that I hit with styptic. I did get some irritation flare up in a spot on my neck that is seemingly problematic, but it's gone away as of this morning.

I do think the soap probably saved me from further irritation given the blade type and my less than ideal shave angle. I've not been too thrilled with Derby blades. I know they changed after 2016, but wasn't won over by the Derby Platinum Stainless.

After I was done, I played with the remaining soap in my bowl by adding more and more water to see how much I could pump it before the lather broke apart. It took on a pretty fair amount before it lost a cushy density. For next time I'll try a 5 second load and see how that goes. I'm sure my synthetic could load less, but it might just be impractical for a 2-3 second load. I mean some excess is probably better than not enough, it's soap not gold leaf, right?!

The soap has an extremely faint smell of sweet honey if you put your nose into it despite it being marked as "unscented". I found it enjoyable and perfect for me. I'm glad I have two pucks of it :)

As of this morning out of bed, my face felt just slightly less buttery-moist compared to my Mumtaz Kairos SE 2023 experience, but still satisfactory.

I'm pleased with the soap's performance and my evolving lather development technique very much thanks to @RayClem's coaching and the B&B Wiki. I'm anxious to use this soap again and try my Schick Type L with Chinese blades since that's the format I am hoping can become my primary razor, followed by my GEMs. I'd be perfectly fine to let go of the DE world and the constant whirl of money sucking razors and blades. Optimally, I'd like the Schick to be my daily, the GEMs to be a fun alternative, my Feather AC SS kamisori to move on or be a periodic novelty and the Parker Semi-Slant to either go back to Amazon or to be my bottom of the drawer back-up with a small stack of blades.

Given my new experience with modern soaps, I'm contemplating trading/selling off my new 50g MdC Original! My last shave with the MdC was probably the best lather quality I've achieved with it, but it's become painfully clear that overall performance-wise it falls short of the GD and A&E products I've tried. This is especially evident in the post-shave skin moisturization. By using the GD or A&E soaps, I do not need anything more than water, witch hazel or an alum block for post-shave care. I'm not looking for the after shave burn or scent nor do I need a balm since I do use a dedicated mainstream moisturizer and sun screen.

All said, as long as Grooming Dept. offers a soap with a faint, desaturated aroma or no scent, I'll have at least one on hand for the foreseeable future. The performance is exceptional and as a bonus, he's really lovely to chat with :)

And I'm sorry to anyone who wants to buy the Pura direct from Grooming Dept, since as of last night they're sold out. You'll have to check his retailors for stock.


I shaved a fortune
I'm a fan of both the Grooming Department's unscented pre-shave and his unscented Pura. I used the Pura for the first time yesterday and I agree with Dan/ @steelwindmachine : it's a lovely soap.

My mainstay seems to be Canada Shaving Soap. It lasts a long time... I can't say "forever" but I've used a tub of it for probably 80% of my shaves this past year and it isn't half empty yet. The Pura provides a very similar feel. I doubt I could tell the difference in a double blind test since my sense of smell is non-existent. That's a pretty hearty endorsement, coming from me.

I have a few other unscented soaps around. All of them have been excellent, because they've been recommended here. I can't imagine buying a soap that hasn't been tested and approved by several members here. When I first got started, I didn't know about B&B and followed Amazon reviews to select a few soaps. None of them are around now. Thankfully, none of them were expensive.


I shaved a fortune
In another online forum, GD/Mo shared a preview of an unscented soap weighing 200g. This new soap, named Safi, is anticipated to be launched as part of the fresh brand Aion Skincare.
I'll keep an eye out for it. Mo makes some pretty amazing products. I think the GD pre-shave might be the best I have and I have Baume.be and PAA Cube/Tube 2.0 pre-shaves.... both great products as well.

Thanks for the tip.
following up... used up the MdC, stuffed my spare Pura puck into the MdC 200g glass jar and am carrying on...

I'll use up my 2 Pura pucks and then see what Mo's offering at that time.

I sold my Mumtaz Kairos SE 2023 to a co-worker who is enjoying it. I off-gassed it for 3 months and it was still pretty potent.

I do wish the scent profiles he lists were a bit more simplified. I mean, I don't know who can actually detect all of those scent notes; maybe a sommelier?

The Mumtaz scent experience did tip me off to what scents I will now avoid if listed, especially patchouli.
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