Razor: Haward Safety Razor
Blade: Wilkinson Sword
Brush: Yaqi synthetic
Soap: Karve / Tallow + Steel Morning Coffee in the Canadian Wilderness
Aftershave: Karve / Tallow + Steel Morning Coffee in the Canadian Wilderness
Other: Thirsty Badger lather bowl

I have to admit, it has been a while since I’ve used or even had a Tallow + Steel shaving soap in my den.  I’ve found the scents to be a little out there and have been pretty hit or miss for me.  I was also one of the unfortunate ones that had a pretty bad reaction to their Merchandise 7X set.  It had made me hesitant to grab another one from them.  I was kind of torn when this set was announced, as I really like the good folks at Karve and this scent description really speaks to me.  Growing up in Northern Saskatchewan, coffee in the Canadian wilderness is a scent that I know well and honestly something I look forward to often.  Given that this is a collaboration with two Canadian artisans, I decided to give it a shot.

One thing I really love about Tallow + Steel is their attention to detail.  Their packaging is one of the best in the business with fantastic label work and extremely nice tubs and bottles.  I also really like that not only do T+S list the scent notes, they actually give the percentages giving you a bit of an idea what might be the more forward notes.  I do wish they included it on the label like some of their other releases, but having is posted on the Karve website was good enough for me.  Notes on this one include Coffee 44% | Cedarwood 40%| Douglas Fir 9% | Birch 3% | Castoreum 2% | Vanilla 2%.

Off the puck you are met with a roasted coffee and almost chocolatey vibe.  Not what I was expecting at all.  Once lathered, the scent really opens up exposing a slightly sharp and sweet coniferous blend.  There is a subtle smokiness that comes along to the party as well.  It is an incredibly well blended scent.  I’d say scent strength is mid-strong which is perfect for this one, any stronger and it would be offensive to the senses.  Does this description evoke Coffee in the Northern Saskatchewan forest for me?  Honestly no.  In my head I had more of a coffee by a cracking fire in the evergreens scent.  While this has some of those elements, it doesn’t really evoke that thought in my head.  Am I disappointed with the scent?  Absolutely not.  This scent is a huge win for me.  I just love how it plays out from coffee to chocolate to the sweet coniferous fir.  Of all the scents I’ve tried from T+S, this is my favourite.

Performance of T+S is fantastic.  It loads very easily and can take plenty of water.  You can dial this in to a slightly lower volume but very dense and glossy lather.  Cushion, Slickness (lathered and residual) and post-shave all score very high marks.  No irritation from this scent so I was able to get an absolutely fantastic shave today.  They aftershave is also absolutely spot on scent wise.  Performance is excellent as the skin is left feeling very hydrated.  My only knock here is that the scent doesn’t really carry off the aftershave very long, at least for my anyways.  20 minutes later and I can’t really pick up any of the scent.  YMMV on that one.

Awesome shave today and very happy to pick up this set from two of my fellow Canadian artisans.  Congrats on this wonderful release.

All for now – J



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