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Looking back on my 2021 shaving adventures

2020 was rough. For the reasons we all know, but I also had a layer of personal stuff going on on top of all that that created a convergence of suck beyond anything I had ever known before in my life.

So when 2021 came around, I knew I needed some serious changes. I remember thinking at the time: I need a new routine, rituals, something to force some kind of structure in my daily life.

And so my wet shaving journey began. Little did I know how deep and dark that particular rabbit hole would turn out to be.

Above all, it led me here. And it will sound corny as hell but this community was a huge part of making 2021 not as bad as the year before. I truly appreciate you guys.

Arko August was super fun, that and geeking out on Aventus and its clones during that same month was really interesting and informative. And this little gem still fills me with pure joy every time I catch up on it.

A special shoutout to all my fraghead buddies over at the Scent of the Day thread. @GlazedBoker @Lefonque @HUMBERTO @Owen Bawn @Whilliam @Doug57 @ackvil @Eutychus @Marco @AlphaFrank75 @nosey74 @Defqon 1 @ksblazer @CJB3 @Valerius @Zig the Pirate @SharpieB @Koken @Drseid and all the others I'm forgetting right now. That thread is my own little Fragrantica ;)

Anyway, I really hope you guys had a merry Christmas/are having the best holiday season, enjoying time with family, good food, taking a break from all the craziness, recharging the batteries, etc. Thanks for all the laughs and the advice and the inspiration. Here's to an awesome 2022!

And to conclude, here's a bunch of top 3s of the hardware and software I use and enjoy the most, after trying waaaaaayyyyy too much stuff:

Razors:
- Edwin Jagger DE89 (the second razor I ever bought turned out to be one of my favorite ones)
- Merkur Progress
- Blackland Dart

Blades:
- Gillette Nacet
- Gillette 7 O'Clock Super Stainless
- Shark Super Stainless

Brushes:
- PAA Starcraft
- Yaqi Aqua Tuxedo synthetic 24mm
- Yaqi Moka Express badger 26mm

Creams:
- TOBS Sandalwood
- TOBS Royal Forest
- TOBS Jermyn Street

Soaps:
- Talbot Shaving Champlain
- Saponificio Varesino Cubebe
- Arko

Aftershave splashes:
- Proraso Green
- Ogalala Bay Rum Limes and Peppercorns
- Saponificio Varesino Cubebe

Aftershave balms:
- Nivea sensitive skin
- Trumper Eucris skin food
- Proraso Blue

Classic barbershop themed frags:
- Guerlain Heritage
- Lapidus pour Homme
- Zino Davidoff

What are your top 3 favorite products of 2021?
 
I like you went and ventured into what I would call old school scents and "drug store" items.

-Arko Soap puck
-Proraso Green Splash
-Williams Mug Soap
-Old Spice "current version" & "buoy bottle"

I recently just purchased a new bottle pf Pinaud Clubman and I can't wait, I'm 37 years old and there's something so satisfying about buying these old school products and using them and bringing these scents back. I had a girl tell me the other day that I smelt like her Grandpa and she claims "that's an amazing thing" I've really started a push to bring old school stuff into my rotation.

Here's 2022.
 
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2021 has flown by. Baby Jack joined the family in August and I continued my lockdown project of learning to use a straight razor.

Razors
1. Henkels Friodur 72
2. Iwasaki 30M
3. Filarmonica Doble Temple 13

Hones
1. Norton Trans Black Ark 6x2”
2. Blue Green Thüringian 5x2.5”
3. 0.1 micron Diamond Pasted Balsa

Brushes
1. Simpson Duke 3 SiLVERTiP
2. Semogue Owners Club Cherry Boar
3. Shavemac 24mm Silvertip Bulb

Strops
1. Westholme Shell Cardovan
2. Heirloom No. 2. Horse Butt
3. Joey Kangaroo Travel Strop

Soaps
1. Aqua di Parma v3
2. Baume BE
3. Martin de Candre

Balms
1. Aqua di Parma
2. Baume BE
3. Pre de Provence
 
Great read. It's been a wacky year, but starting to get used to it since 2020. A lot of changes to my personal life and professional life in a short period of time certainly fueled extra interest in this hobby for me since I joined up here.

Soaps- Been on a Stirling kick, and don't plan on stopping. Also used up a stick of Arko, and have another stick on deck when Spring hits.

Brushes- Added some more Simpsons to my budding brush collection, and enjoy my Beagle from the past group buy here.

Razors- Had many great shaves with my Thiers Issard, and learned the art of straight razor shaving. Also had a ton of shaves with my Gillette Old types and ended the year using my Rolls Razor with success. The Rolls may end up being my favorite razor ever.

Aftershaves- Cheap department stores splashes are king in my house. VIBR in the cold, Lilac Vegetal in the warmer months. Nom.

Good times
 
Wow, hard to believe another year has come and gone. For 2021 I found some new products that have really been great. I stumbled onto PAA soaps and aftershaves, synthetic brushes that don't actually suck, and a couple of awesome new razors. I experimented with lots of new blades and found a few to add to my stash. Overall not a bad year for shaving and for me and my family in general. Next year I'm on the 2022 Purchase Sabbatical so no shaving goodies for me. I do need to start using up some inventory.

Happy New Year everyone. May it be a healthy and prosperous year.
 
Happy new year everyone!

Like gdawg55, one of my 2022 resolutions is “NO acquisitions whatsoever”. Yeah yeah, I know…
Let’s see how long I can make it. Will report back in 6 months.

It’s been cool to read all your replies, keep em coming!
 
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2022 will be a very different year for me when it comes to purchasing shaving gear. I went nuts in 2020/2021 and will be purchasing very little in 2022. I just don’t need anything. I am always on the lookout for great deals and also vintage razors at flea markets and antique stores, ut my days of buying tons of soap and brushes is over for now.

In 2021, I made a few great finds….

Razors - Wolfman. Yes, they are insanely expensive but they are impeccably made and sell for retail or more if you don’t like them. I won’t be selling mine as my two are excellent razors.

Soap - Southern Witchcrafts. I am no Vegan and don’t really care that SW soaps are all vegan. They are great soaps tallow or not. Unique scents and amazing performance. I am a huge fan and own 6-7 different SW soaps/splashes.

Brushes - Zenith and Semogue brushes are incredible values. A Zenith Manchurian Badger with a 27mm knot for just over $50USD? That’s crazy! And super high quality. Same with Semogue’s SOC Mistura and boar brushes. Excellent brushes and won’t break the bank. Jury is still out on a couple of Zenith boars I received today but all indications lean towards them being in the Semogue SOC quality range as well. And they are about $25USD.

Wishiny all of you all the best in 2022!
 
Soap - Southern Witchcrafts. I am no Vegan and don’t really care that SW soaps are all vegan. They are great soaps tallow or not. Unique scents and amazing performance. I am a huge fan and own 6-7 different SW soaps/splashes.

Yeah Southern Witchcrafts have one of the best bases in the game, vegan or not. They didn’t make my top 3 just because their scents are a bit particular, you have to be in the mood for them haha
 
Definitely. Pomona is about the only “normal” scent of theirs I own. And Maybe Gravefruit II. Many of their scents are definitely out there!
I got Valley of Ashes and Arcane Abyss, but mainly because of the packaging art (as evidenced by my avatar). It took me a while to “get” VoA but one day it clicked and now I really appreciate it for what it is. The aftershave is a beast and lasts pretty much all day too.
 
I got Valley of Ashes and Arcane Abyss, but mainly because of the packaging art (as evidenced by my avatar). It took me a while to “get” VoA but one day it clicked and now I really appreciate it for what it is. The aftershave is a beast and lasts pretty much all day too.
Autumn Ash is the same for me. Af first it smelled just like a campfire. After a few uses I am starting to like it.

Jury is still out on Carpathia for me though!
 
Top 3 of each category

Brush:
Morris & Forndran “Pug” 28mm Finest w/ Sand Ebonite Handle
Morris & Forndran “Gus” 28mm Finest w/ Christmas Ebonite Handle
Simpson’s Chubby 2, 2 Band Silvertip

Blade:
Personna Israeli Red from Germany 🇩🇪 or Israel 🇮🇱
Polsilver Stainless
Polsilver SI

Soap:
Ethos Vanilla Safi by a huge margin
MDC any
Ethos any

Razor:
Wolfman WR2 SS SB 1.25mm matte finish w/ Timeless Ti Crown 👑 Handle

After Shave:
4711
Ethos Unscented Skin Food
PdP No. 63 EDT

Let’s have a great 2022 my fellow B&B’ers
 
My top 3 products of 2021:

The Tatara Masamune, effortless smooth shaving. It has supplanted the Blackland Vector as my go-to daily shaver.

Tallow Tabac, RIP. I purchased a large stash to never be without.

Lucky Tiger AS lotion, sting-free skin food. It can turn a bad shave into the best shave.
 
I tried a few new items;including a lot of vintage Gillette razors, some premium Badger brushes, and some synthetic brushes.

Razors:
1) GEM MMOC still reigns in my house
2) Wolfman WR2 1.35SB
3) Gillette Fatboy

I discovered I love Paladin brushes, much to my wife’s chagrin.

Synthetic brushes:

1) Simpsons Chubby 3 LE Sovereign Fibre
2) PAA Solar Flare

And after much reflection, I’ve found that I absolutely adore ARKO.

It’s so ridiculously great and inexpensive, the lather explodes off the brush, it’s slick, and before the “crazy talk” begins…lemontastic scent!

A challenging year with many impacts, but my daily shave was a brief respite from the chaos. It kept me grounded and “great looking”*.

*In the dark, with the viewer blindfolded.
 
2021 was the year I discovered this place... Up until then, I had blythely used the same razor, brush, soap, and blades for the better part of two decades, none the wiser that there were other options, or that I might need them.

After a flurry of modest acquisitons late in the year (a brush, some blades, and a birth quarter Slim), I'm thinking that 2022 will be more of a settle in and get accustomed to the new stuff-type year. Unless that Razorock adjustable slant turns out to be a home run...
 
Last year I was able to make some pretty definite favorites and gave away a lot of stuff. I'm very happy with the stuff I have now, but I still enjoy variety and experimenting.

Favorite razors:

I'm challenging myself to learn single pass ATG shaving this year, so that may change the order of my favorite razors...

1) Blackland Dart machined
2) Henson TI +++
3) Blackland Dart polished

I'd like to try an Old Type and FOCS or Grande.

Favorite soaps:

I'm currently experimenting with other soaps ATM, but so far nothing has come close to beating SW for performance and I love the "doom and gloom" scents. I prefer wet paint consistency lather so SW checks all my boxes.

1) Southern Witchcrafts

Favorite blades:

1) Nacet
2) London Bridge

Favorite brushes:

I don't really care about brushes. I own 6, and rotate through all of them pretty regularly. If I had to pick the two I enjoy the most, I would pick these, because they have the grippiest handles...

1) RazoRock 400
2) Sawdust Creation Studios Chocolate Goodness 26mm Silverfox

I have a bunch of aftershaves and fragrance samplers to try. This year will be fun...
 
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