Razor: Yaqi Excalibur
Blade: Feather Professional SE Blades
Brush: AKA Brushworx 26mm Cashmere Synthetic
Soap: Cold River Soap Works Colonia Mediterania
Aftershave: Cold River Soap Works Colonia Mediterania Aftershave
Other: Azzaro Chrome Aqua

Well, I have been traditional wet shaving for a little over 4 years and today I did something for the first time….. I killed a tub of soap.  I, like many others in the hobby, can get caught up in the things that are new and fancy….. new scent, new label, new base, seasonal release, holiday release, limited release.  One can get trapped into adding to the den and not really loving what they have.  I’m totally guilty of that, but on occasion, I really do try and give all the items in my collection a little love.

In this case, a few months back I started to notice the ring of death… the bottom of the soap tub and so I made an effort to consistently rotate this soap into weekly use to try and kill it.  No complaints, this is a wonderful, slightly green aquatic featuring notes of Citrus, Sandalwood, Rosemary, Lemon Verbena, Lavender, Rose.  In that effort to kill, I got to really understand this soap base and get the most out of it.  I came to the conclusion, this is a fantastic soap base, elite-level good and stands with any soap out there.  The lather is dense and creamy.  It is one of the slickest soaps I’ve used and the post-shave is fantastic.   I don’t see or hear from Cold River Soap Works very much so I don’t know if they are still making.  It is a shame if they aren’t because this soap base is so damn good.  Nothing super fancy in the packaging, just a straightforward, perfectly scented and elite performing soap.  The aftershave is also a winner.  It is in a spray format and I’d describe it as an extremely thin balm.  It absorbs quickly and feels great on the skin.  I have a bit left in that bottle so I will use it with aquatic-style scents during the warm weather when I need a bit more hydration from my post-shave.  I will have to keep my eyes open to see if I can snag another Glide formula soap at some point.  Any other CRSW scents people recommend?

So brush makers, we need to talk.  I love a good natural wood brush handle, either 100% wood or wood/epoxy hybrid.  Something about them just speaks to me.  Unfortunately what I’ve noticed from a few wood brushes I’ve picked up is that they are not finished in a way that is water/soap safe.  Shave brush handles are going to get wet, they are going to sit in some soapy water at times.  Wood is porous, it will absorb that soapy water.  If the handles are not sealed in a way to block out water, they will not last.  I don’t mean to pick on this AKA Brushworx handle specifically because I’ve had this issue with several other handles but this is the worst example of it that I own.  I haven’t used this brush more than a handful of times and it is already starting to fail.  The point of contact between resin and wood is starting to separate.  The wood has started to fade and discolour from the soapy water.  It doesn’t look nearly as nice as the day I bought it.  That is such a disappointment when all it takes is a little care in the finishing to at least make the handle at least water-resistant.  Now I will need to remove (and likely destroy) the knot, try and sand out the discolouration and then reseal it myself.  Something I’m not set up for or am really good at doing.  So please, brushmakers, if you use wood for your handles, seal them for water resistance or make then waterproof.

Anyways, it looks like I get to add another soap and possible brush handle in the near future.  No complaints about that 🙂

Cold River Soap Works Colonia Mediterania…. dead.  NEXT!

All for now – J




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