Razor: Haward Safety Razor
Blade: Gillette 7 O’Clock SharpEdge Yellows
Brush: Oumo 26mm Cashmere Synthetic
Soap: Stirling Soap Intrepid Man
Aftershave: Stirling Soap Intrepid Man
Other: Mont Blanc Individuel

A dupe of a dupe….. I guess that is true in this case.  It’s funny, in wet shaving there is quite a collection of shaving sets based on fragrances done by professional fragrance houses.  Dupes as you will.  I love them but it can actually be a bit divisive with some finding those items to be less than…. looking down on an artisan that uses a replication of a scent someone else made.  The true irony of this to me is that even professional perfuming houses copy each other.  Take Creed, for example, their big claim to fame is Aventus and that scent has not only been replicated by TONNES of wet shaving companies in soap/aftershave form, it has also been cloned or knocked off by other fragrance houses.  Mont Blanc for example has a version of Aventus (Explorer).  Sketchy you say?  Maybe, but Mont Blanc also created Individuel and Creed made a scent that smells suspiciously similar to it (Original Santal).  *Takes* on fragrances actually seems to be pretty prevalent in the fragrance space, and hence the dupe of a dupe.  Stirling Intrepid man is a dupe of Creed Original Santal which in turn is a version of Mont Blanc Individuel (yes the Mont Blanc came first).  I find a lot of humour in that.

So what does Intrepid/Individuel/Original Santal smell like?  Well, I’d say it pretty much smells like dryer sheets with a touch of fruity raspberry.  It is very clean and fresh.  Scent strength on the soap is about a medium, which is perfect for this scent.  Any more and it would be cloying.  I do think it runs a bit lighter off the puck but jumps to medium upon lathering.  The splash is pretty much the same, medium-strength that will carry a little while but not tremendously long.  Performance on the soap and splash is consistent as always, a great performer and easily the best value product line in wet shaving.

I did want to mention the brush today.  This new addition is from Oumo on Aliexpress.  I had this handle pop up in my Aliexpress feed constantly so I finally pulled the trigger.  Upon receiving it, I noticed a couple of things.  First, the photo makes it look much nicer than in person.  Not that it looks bad but the colour and texture look much nicer in the photo.  Second, and the bigger issue, it isn’t well sealed.  As soon as it hits the water it darkens from the moisture it pulls in.  That is a bigger issue as the handle isn’t going to last nearly as long as it should.  Unfortunately, I didn’t notice until after I set the knot.  So the next time I order knots I’m going to have to get a replacement for this one, swap out the knot and seal it in between.  What a pain.  Just something to note if you are buying hybrid/wood brushes, check this prior to setting your knot.  As such, I’m not going to recommend hybrid handles from Oumo.

Regardless of the negatives of the Oumo brush I still got a great lather and resulting shave with the Stirling product.  Luckily I also have the matching (well, dupe of the matching) fragrance from Mont Blanc so I was able to layer the fragrance.  Same great scent but it lasts for hours.  A great end to a great shave.  All for now – J




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