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Review: Custom Riviere Razor 8/8

(Note I have zero affiliations here, just happy to report on a maker that I don't think many people know about!)

A lot lesser known than Drew Dick and Yurii's ART Razors, there's Boris de Riviere who operates from south west france, not far from the spanish border. As part of my collection building, I wanted a French made razor. Of course I could have bought a Thiers razor, but I really wanted something from a Maker.

Boris has quite a few other makers influencing him, and one of the main one is Drew Dick, of which I have now several (!) -- and absolutely love -- so having found him on facebook, I started to look at what he was producing. I saw quite a few very nice projects, lovely finishes, all elegant, with slightly thinner blades than what you usually see for a typical 8/8 razor. His 'style' is rather different from Drew Dick -- the previous blades I saw were more of the Fili sort of style, but with a more 'modern' touch.

So I approached him a few months ago about making me a razor, we went back and forth a bit about it -- I wanted a razor with a smile; and Boris was a bit reluctant at first, as it's slightly different from his 'style' however I managed to convince him in the end. For me it is really a requirement, for the way I shave...
Also, given the origin, I wanted a french nose obviously -- the rest was not terribly important!

Boris went to work pretty much as soon as we agreed on the design. He also had a whole bunch of material for scales which I had to pick from -- I picked stabilized burl on G10 liners... He also sent me pictures of the project in progress, which is actually quite exciting as you can see it taking shape almost on a daily basis.

In pretty short order the razor was finished, and it took about 5 days for it to arrive in the UK, all safe and sound.

Razor itself is absolutely perfect. The bevel is visible (grind is "1/3" as Boris told me...) and absolutely perfectly even, the scales are finished to perfection, the etching on the spine is lovely, the overall razor looks super elegant -- even his logo is elegant. The point is just *exactly* what I was looking for in a french style point. The heel with its round cutout looks very nice -- and again, elegant, and there's jimping on both sides.

This morning was it's first outing, I was really looking forward to it as the razor had spent 2 days being admired on my desk! I picked up the best lathering soap I have (Tabac is just a reference really), put on some Charlie Parker and got to grip with this thing!
Handling is pretty much perfect, Boris uses a (M2?) bolt instead of a brass rivet for the pivot pin, and that somehow feels 'smoother' to control than a brass pin, quite a nice discovery, that.
I immediately noticed that the blade being thinner, I'd need to change my usual 'angle of attack' -- I'm comparatively new at straight shaving, and all my other 'big blades' share a 'big spine' -- this one is noticeably lighter and thinner.
I did one pass, and at that point *disaster* stuck -- I nipped myself. Nothing major, but it turns out I'm so used to Drew Dick "killing" the points on his blades that I hadn't realized the Riviere ... didn't! It's point was mega sharp, *right* to the tip, and was waving it around with abandon! Oops. Now *that* needed fixing, I'm not used to that at all, I have a lot of respect for people who might know how to operate that sort of point, but I'm a wuss, so I went to my study and just touched the corner to one of my stone to 'kill' the offending bit.
That did the trick! Having regained confidence (by that time the little nip had disappeared anyway) I went on to do 4 passes with the razor. I'm pretty sure I haven't really 'exploited' it to its full potential, as mentioned, the angle appears different, and I will have to shave with it a bit more to dial it in -- however I still managed a very very nice shave, including reverse pass under the nose etc -- and the Alum block didn't report any irritation, so overall most excellent experience, with some extra because I know I'll get better at using this particular geometry.

Feel free to contact Boris on facebook -- He's young, keen and his price are competitive too -- I'm delighted to this addition to my collection!



Girls call me Makaluod
Lovely looking razor and I'm happy that you enjoy shaving with it. Boris de Riviere has done a wonderful job in making it for you.

I am sorry to here that you had to mute the tip of the toe. I am one of those who enjoys the added concentration needed when shaving with a sharp pointy toe.
Another go with this beauty today -- it seems the edge has 'broken in' and it felt equally as good but 'easier' if it can be described as such. I started with a 3 day growth, which normally I wouldn't trust anything but the big Drew Dick 1/4 grind; but the River one went thru it without any problem, in fact, the edge felt 'softer' while equally sharp.

Very happy, it's right up there with the best shave I've had!

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