Razor: Shield Razors DE Stainless
Blade: Gillette 7 O’Clock SharpEdge Yellows
Brush: AKA Brushworx 26mm G5C Synthetic
Soap: Ariana & Evans Plum & Bliss
Aftershave: Ariana & Evans Plum & Bliss

Back in April, I was lucky enough to attend another Maggards meetup. Once again, I had a blast chatting with a bunch of folks from the shaving community and several artisans I’m happy to call friends. Along with meeting some awesome people, I’m always excited to see what new things the artisans bring for us to check out. One of the standouts for me was stopping by Pete’s booth and smelling Plum & Bliss. It was a head-turner. I didn’t want to take up too much of Pete’s time as he was just setting up his booth, so I figured I’d circle back later to catch up and grab a set. Unfortunately, by the time I made my way back, these sets were sold out. However, I did get a chance to chat with Pete a bunch, both at the Maggards event and at a Toronto meetup later in June. He let me know this would be coming to general release, I just had to bide my time.

Sure enough, this dropped on the Top of the Chain website a little while ago, and I promptly grabbed a set. When I opened the tub, I was greeted with that awesome scent I remembered and had regretted not getting. Plum & Bliss features notes of bergamot, Japanese plum blossom, Thai benzoin, cannabis, Virginian cedar, patchouli, Australian sandalwood, and agarwood. At first, you are instantly greeted by the soft and sweet plum, but as you dig deeper and lather the soap, it opens up to darker, muskier notes of cannabis, agarwood, and patchouli. If you have smelled the A&E hit Asian Plum, you will recognise this as a distant cousin. The fruity plum remains, but it turns less bubble-gummy and more sophisticated in its scent profile. More mature if I say so.  I really enjoyed how this rounded out. The scent strength was on the stronger side of medium, just perfect for this style of scent.

Oh, and I should mention, this is actually classified as Pete’s new shaving cream. It is very soft in texture and made for scooping. I have to say, I’m a big fan of this shaving cream base. The cream was very easy to lather and dial in and gives great performance by all metrics—everything you expect from an A&E release. Another thing I really appreciated was the reasonable price point. This soap and splash cost me less than any other set I’ve bought in the past six months and outperformed most of them. I highly recommend picking up a set in this new base, with Plum & Bliss being a great option.

I also feel the need to mention the hardware for this shave. First, the razor. I recently picked up this Shield DE razor in titanium from Aliexpress and was extremely impressed with how it looks and shaves. So much so that I grabbed a few other Shield razors, including this one in stainless steel and aluminium. The Shield DE, AC, and Gem razors all made their way into the den. I love the audible feedback and the results I get from this. Smooth shaves from a quality razor.  If you haven’t tried a Shield razor yet, I highly recommend picking one up.

And secondly, how about this brush, eh? I’ve always wanted a brush made with black epoxy and purple heart. I was able to convince my friends at AKA to do a custom for me, and I picked it up at the Maggards meetup as well. Man, is this thing a looker and it paired perfectly with the G5C knot. It is almost too nice to use. Almost.

A great shave to start the weekend. I hope everyone had a fun and safe Canada Day / 4th of July.

All for now,



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