First review is a triple threat…


Hey everyone. Thanks for stopping by. I figured a good way to start this blog off would be with a mega review of three awesome new products I just received yesterday.‘s super beefy MR4 safety razor, Vanetiver Synergy Shaving Soap from, and Pinaud’s Virgin Island bay rum.

I ordered a big pile of stuff (all to be reviewed soon!) from on Sunday afternoon and I had email confirmation within minutes. My goodies arrived Wednesday packed well, with a bonus sample of their lime preshave oil thrown in gratis. I cannot recommend using them enough. They really kick ass at the whole customer service thing.

I unpacked my box and unwrapped my MR4 and was immediately impressed by the heft. It’s weight is easily twice that of my Slim. The head is reminiscent of the EJ/Muhle head, and the handle is solid plated brass with nice crisp lines for grip. I’ll refrain from being overly critical of the plating as I bought mine as a scratch and dent, but I will say that the issues on mine were very minor, which tells me that a first quality razor from these folks will be quite nice indeed. As for using this beast, I had no trouble at all getting a great shave. It’s definitely more aggressive than my merkur 180, but not in a bad way. Loaded with a brand new feather, it seemed effortless to go about my shave. This guy is 2 or 3 times louder than my other razors too, which made tuning my angle a breeze. My regular three pass shave went by faster than normal. This razor is definitely more efficient than I am used to. Zero alum feedback at the end tells me this was a fabulous shave, and with such little effort! I would heartily recommend this product to anyone interested in wetshaving. The price (16 bucks or so) feels like theft, and it shaves as well as anything else I have used, maybe even better. Get one. Hell, get a couple! I’m going to get at least one more just for the different options they offer for handles.

On to the Vanetiver Synergy shaving soap from howtogrowamoustache. I ordered this from their Etsy shop late Saturday and it showed up Wednesday. The first thing you’ll notice when you open the package is the sheer size of the puck. It’s probably double the diameter of a hockey puck. The thing is huge. The packaging looks great, and is something you’ll want to leave out where you can see it. I bought the Vanetiver scent which is vanilla and vetiver (duh). To my nose, it’s much more vanilla than vetiver. It literally smells like you could eat it. Not a bad thing, it is what it is. I lathered it up with my new silvertip brush (which has a shorter loft for face lathering) and I was immediately struck by how quickly the lather explodes on the puck. I don’t know if it’s their unique form factor or the soap itself that causes this, but holy crap! I’ve never had a soap lather so easily, not even my beloved Arko. I had more than enough suds for a full 3 pass shave and there was still plenty left in the brush at the end. The scary part is that I only loaded the brush for maybe 20 seconds. I’m thoroughly impressed. The shave itself as I mentioned above was extraordinarily comfortable. The soap provides great cushion and was super slick throughout. This is another product I’ll be recommending to anyone who will listen. I can’t wait to try their other fragrances.

Finally we have Pinaud’s virgin island bay rum. This came from as well. I don’t have a great frame of reference as this is my first bay rum, but one whiff of this and I was instantly hooked. It’s spicy and manly and everything else I look for in a splash. I could definitely smell alcohol, but the cinnamony goodness and bay spiciness are the star of the show. After the killer shave I mentioned above I did my normal routine of alum, rinse cold, witch hazel, then splash. The bay rum immediately gave me a nice warm flush – not unpleasant but you definitely know you splashed alcohol on your face. Definitely more burn than clubman. The smell once it hit my face made me think of Atomic Fireball candy. (maybe because my face was briefly ablaze). I dig it. This will definitely be part of my regular rotation, especially in warmer weather. It’s dirt cheap too, so there’s no excuse not to try it. Makes you feel like a pirate, which ain’t a bad thing.

Anyway thanks for reading! I’ll do a totally unscientific Tl;dr review here at the bottom for quick reference/ the lazy.

Maggard MR4 safety razor:

Quality: 3.5/5
Value : 5/5
Aggressiveness/efficiency : somewhere between a merkur 180 and a slim on 5
Quality/comfort of shave: 4.5/5
Overall: buy one you cheap bastard

Synergy shaving soap from

Value :5/5 at less than 2 bucks an ounce this stuff is dirt cheap.
Scent: 3.5/5 could’ve used more vetiver, but still great.
Ease of lather :5/5 lathers as easily as proraso cream, which is insane for a soap.
Quality of lather :5/5 simply amazing.
Overall : Buy some now. I think it’s on sale. Edit: I have been informed that it is most definitely on sale! Now you really don’t have an excuse. Use coupon code synergy15 to get 15 percent off in the Etsy shop only. Expires 9/28/13.

Pinaud’s virgin island bay rum :

Value: 5/5 You couldn’t make it yourself for less.
Feel:3.5/5 After the heat subsides your face will feel awesome
Overall: Worth a shot for anyone considering the price. A must try for bay rum fans. Available for like 6 bucks from

Come back in a few days for a review of my spankin new Merkur 37c slant bar! I’m pretty pumped for that one.


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