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Wet Shaving Talk For 12 February 2024

Sharpologist Wet Shaving Podcast Network
Sharpologist Wet Shaving Podcast Network
Wet Shaving Talk For 12 February 2024

You’re listening to Wet Shaving Talk powered by where we’re dedicated to preserving the art and skill of classic shaving. I’m your host Joe Borrelli and today is Feb 12th 2024.


Today on the Show:

Going Down the Rabbit Hole in Terms of Collecting

Pearl Flexi Razor  

Interesting Post on B&B regarding Leap Year Restraints

AOS Brick and Mortar Stores Officially Gone: Where do We Go Now? 


Going Down the Rabbit Hole In Terms of Collecting

Yes, this is a thing. Do/Did you find yourself going down this hole purchasing more than you can use in a lifetime?  What advice would you give newbies today? 

______________________________________________________________________________Pear Flexi Adjustable Razor   

A razor similar to the Rex Ambassador, Made in India holds a price tag of $80.IS this a cheaper alternative to REX? 

______________________________________________________________________________2024 Leap Year Restraints? Interesting Post 

Apparently this is a thing over on the popular Forum. Basically restricts you to 1 razor, 1 brush, soap and aftershave for 4 -10 years. (you can replace if you break or run out)  Could you do this?  I’m going to try for one month

_____________________________________________________________________________AOS Brick and Mortar Stores are now Gone.  Where Do We Go Now? 

Pasteurs in NYC

Razor Emporium in Arizona

Colonial Drug in Massachusetts

Mertz in Illinois 

Truefitt & Hill Illinois  


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Special Thanks to:

Mark aka Mantic 59

Most of All……….YOU!!!!

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Next Show: 2/26/24

Until then… Shave Straight and Shave Safe!! 

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Transcription (Machine-Generated)

You’re listening to Wet Shaving Talk, powered by Sharpologist dot com, where we’re dedicated to preserving the art and skill of classic shaving. I’m your host, Joe Borrelli. And today is February 12th, 2024.

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the podcast. Apologies for the missed show. Two weeks ago I had yet another cold, so, um, I was really wasn’t really that sick. I didn’t have any real issues with that. No fever, but I just was very congested and it just doesn’t sound good on the podcast. So I decided to skip the show. So I apologize to you guys all in advance if, um, you know, if they cause any inconvenience. I hate skipping shows. You know, I really do love doing them. But when when I’m a little bit when I’m not feeling well or if I don’t sound well, that’s really the main thing. I like to make sure my voice is 100%. So you guys get to listen to it without having to cringe or anything like that, if you know what I mean.

So hopefully everybody had a great, uh, start of February here. Groundhog’s day was two weeks ago, uh, just finished the Super Bowl, uh, last night. So, uh, congratulations to all of you out there that were watching it, celebrating it, betting on it, those who want it, everything. So it was a great, great game. I got to watch it and, uh, really enjoyed it, especially the commercials. You gotta love the commercials. That Dunkin Donuts commercial was great. I thought the tracksuits were really, uh, funny. And now I didn’t realize you can actually buy them directly from, uh, the website as well. So I thought that was pretty cool. I thought that was probably the best commercial. And, you know, honestly, I think with the Super Bowl, I think year after year it’s more competitive watching the playoffs and get in the regular season than it is actually watching the Super Bowl. I think maybe it’s not as just maybe all the anticipation. It’s just not as good as I used to think it was. So I really look forward to the commercials and of course the game and just spending some time with family and friends.

So with in terms of wet shaving, uh, lots of stuff going on in the wet shaving world, uh, with, um, a lot of talk on forums and just like, kind of like a reset. Now, when it comes to new releases and stuff, it’s been a little bit slow. Usually, I’d say January, February for most businesses, uh, retail businesses is usually around the slower time of the year. I know where I work, January is the second slowest month next to August, so usually we are not doing too many. You know, you never get that many sales. You never really get that many, um, you know, a lot of stuff going on because we everybody knows that the consumers are already tapped out from Christmas and holidays and just going through that.

So a lot of the, the this time for retailers and for uh, probably producers as well is just regrouping, rebuilding, uh, actually, you know, kind of slowing down a little bit, looking to make back some of the profit they probably lost during the holidays and or the margin that they lost. And now just coming up with some new ideas for next year. Right. That’s really what January usually is. So it’s a little slow in terms of releases, but we have a few things to discuss today. Uh, in terms of what shaving that a little bit maybe a little different than, than I usually, uh, bring to the podcast, but I thought were pretty interesting.

So, uh, today on the show, discuss going down that rabbit hole in terms of collecting. Have you gone down the rabbit hole? Do you know anybody that has? And if you did and you came out of it, what advice would you have for newbies or your your past self? Uh, talking about the Pearl Flexy razor. This is a razor. It’s been getting a little bit of, um, press lately. It’s, uh, it’s like a clone of the Rex ambassador. Uh, it’s an adjustable razor, so that’s been getting it. So it’s about priced very, very low. So, uh, interesting to see everybody’s reviews and take on that.

We’ll talk a little bit about that one interesting post I saw on Badger and Blade regarding leap year restraints. This is something new I didn’t even know existed, but it does. Apparently there’s a few, quite a few people doing it, and I’m going to try it myself for at least 30 days, and I’ll let you know where I come from with that.

And AOS. Uh, so art of shaving brick and mortar stores are officially gone. They’re no longer any stores. But where do we go now? Where do wet shavers go now in order to find what? Shaving stuff in the flesh. Right. To see it on a store in a brick and mortar store on a shelf. There aren’t that many places left. I’ve got a list of a few of the most popular ones all over the country, but I have a feeling there are quite a few more. Uh, with some more research. I probably find, uh, that we have hopefully that we have a lot more stores out there offering us our favorite stuff. So, guys, without further ado, let’s get on with the show.

So is going down a rabbit hole in terms of collecting and wet shaving. Is this a thing? Yes, indeed it is. Did or do you find yourself going down this hole, purchasing more than you can use in a lifetime? That’s what I consider going down the rabbit hole. Have you purchased more razors, more soap, more aftershave, and more blades than you can use in your life? If you if you shave every single day. If you have been through this, what advice would you give your newbies or your or your past self? So I’ll do a little better defining this. Going down the rabbit hole. It means you just went all in. You’re just whatever you see, you buy. You start doing a lot of purchasing from people from from retailers, from artisans, all, all alike. And you just really get into it. I think a lot of us have been through that with this hobby to where you’ve had over 50 or 60 soaps.

Now, remember a soap, one soap puck, a big one could last you up to 3 to 6 months, if not even longer, depending on how often you shave. Right? So one soap. So if you have 100 soaps, you’re looking at possibly 30 to 40 years, right? And that’s on the higher take. Of actual product that you can use. If you use it every single day. Not now. Is that it’s excessive? Yeah, it’s a little bit excessive, but it’s a fun hobby. Like to collect it. But, uh, the thing is, when you find yourself to wear your point, you’re like, hey, I’m down the rabbit hole. I can’t get out, right? So advice I would give newbies because I’ve been down the rabbit hole and I’m kind of out of it now. It’s one is, uh, just really get to enjoy what you have and use. Try to use something up completely. Right.

So if you have a soap and you, you have 40 or 50 soaps, try to use one soap up completely and then and then actually take that container and be proud to have it empty and let it go right to um, my, my other thing of advice is, hey, just do it right. If you’ve got the funding, if you’ve got the if it doesn’t going to cause a financial burden on you, you have, um, you know, approval from everybody else in your family to do it. And it’s something that you find fun. Try it. Just buy it. Try everything you can be, enjoy it, have a collection. It’s a lot cheaper than buying watches, sports cars, pens, even. I mean, what shaving is a is a relatively cheap hobby that you can get really into for, you know, not a lot of money, but if you want to get into like collecting watches, you’re in six figures, right?

With what shaving you can get with $1,000, you can get a lot of stuff. I mean, you’re talking pretty much you can get enough for a lifetime worth of shaving with about that, right. You can get several razors. You can get, you know, several, several dozen soaps if you want. I mean, really, if you think about it, after shave, you can get a nice setup. You can build everything up for relatively little bit amount of money. Yes. It’s gone up a lot in the last ten years or so, but there’s more of a selection now you can get more. So what I would give advice is one just do what makes you happy. I mean, honestly, this life is too short. It’s not a big deal if you buy an extra soap, if you, you know, have, you know, the the means to do so and you it’s not going to cause a financial burden. Remember, everything you buy, you can pretty much offload it for close to what you paid for, right? If you bought a soap you didn’t like, you could probably offload it for about 75% of your of what you paid, right? Uh, razors.

The same thing, close to 75% to 100 depending on the razor. You can sell it, you can trade it, you can get it going. So remember, if you buy something, don’t be too scared that you lost all that money forever. You can probably make it back now. I actually have a friend that does this. He loves wet shaving. He’s very much into it and his collection is tiny, tiny, tiny. But he is tried everything. He literally doesn’t hold on to anything longer than 2 to 3 weeks, if not a couple of months unless he really loves it. So with his razors, he’s got maybe four razors that he rotates. And I think he’s only had he has one of them. Is this, like his favorite that he’s kept since day one. And the rest of them, he just trades when he’s done with it and try and buys a new one.

So he buys a new razor, who trades a new razor, sells a new one of his razors. Yeah, he loses a little bit of money, but it’s not really the end of the world. And he was able to still try everything, have fun with it, and not have a whole closet full of stuff. And, you know, it’s relatively cheap, right? Because he has a fun he has a budget. He says, I can stay in this budget. Once I get out of this budget, then, you know, I decide whether I’m going to put a little bit more in or whatever. So he’ll have like a few hundred dollars, he’ll go back and forth and then, you know, he’ll add a little bit here and there. It’s really no burden to him. He has no inventory, no stuff, and he gets to enjoy what he gets to enjoy more variety.

So that’s one of the one of the examples of how you can get out of the rabbit hole and still be in the hole, right, and still be able to understand, or you really get to use everything you can find. So highly recommend doing that. It’s a great way to do it. His shaved and so small. I mean, it’s like a cabinet, a shelf and a cabinet. But the guy knows a lot about soap and a lot about razors. He’s tried just about every new one out there and enjoys it and keeps, you know, he keeps about 4 or 5 soaps, four razors to him at all, and about 3 or 4 brushes all the time. And that’s what his collection consists of. A lot of us have much more now. A lot of us don’t like letting things go.

I used to be like that. I used to buy something. It would take me a while to get it, and I love holding on to it. And I’ve learned recently learned to let about probably about 60% of my soap collection going. I still have enough soap to go around. So just a little bit of words of advice, if you’ve been through that, if you’re going through that, or if you know somebody going through that, just remember that you can that enjoy the hobby, enjoy the the selection and the ability to choose so and just have fun and don’t worry so much about going down a whole rabbit hole or anything like that and just, you know, get to your point where you know, hey, this is where I’m comfortable.

Now, the Perl Flexi razor is something that I’ve seen a little bit of press on. It’s located. I mean, a lot of retailers have it right now and it’s very similar. It’s basically like a knockoff of the Rex ambassador. This is something which the Rex Ambassador is a tribute to another Razr from back in the day. And it’s what? But it’s not really I wouldn’t say the Rex ambassador would be a knockoff. I’d say it’s more of a tribute to the Gibbs razor because it’s different. You can put different blades in it. It’s got it’s made of stainless steel. It’s you can break it. I mean, it’s pretty much like you got the same components, but it’s way better. And it’s also better quality and just better packaging everything like that. And it is a nice shaver. This razor is definitely like a knockoff of the ambassador.

It’s made in India, it’s made of brass and it’s 80 bucks, which is about. One third of the price of the Rex ambassador from Arizona. Right now, the differences you get from that is you probably get stricter tolerances with the one made here in the United States. It’s made by a reputable sale, you know, raise your. Maker, right? I mean, you got the guys over at at, uh, Razor Emporium have been repairing Gillette razors for over, what, ten, 15 years now? They know a lot about it. And they chose and Matt chose this design because he loved the design and he wanted to make it his own right. He wanted to make a better razor.

And, you know, looking at the knockoff, I mean, I have nothing wrong with buying that. I’d say it’s probably pretty cool, but I think if you put them side by side, there’s a big difference in comparison and quality and probably shave. A lot of people have been talking about how good these things are, and I believe it. I think they probably are. But, um, yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know too much about it. I mean, if it’s in your budget, great. If not, maybe save up a few few more bucks and buy the real one and get that, you know, that pure stainless steel from maybe, you know, in Arizona, maybe in the United States, where you can actually message the guy who invented it right now, or the guy who created the whole razor, and he’ll tell you all about anything you want to know about it within an hour or two when you when you message him.

So that’s my take on the on the, on the pearl or whatever this thing is called, the flexi Pearl flexi adjustable. Cool way to get into an adjustable for under 100 bucks. Uh, and and also remember Razor Emporium has sales and stuff, so you can probably get it. You can get the, the, um, the Rex ambassador for under $200 if you get a nice if you get on a good sale, which will I mean, it’s only another $120 over that, double the price. But it really depends on what your budget is and what you’re looking for. I’m sure a lot of people get great shaves. This also brings up like that controversial thing, oh, why spend this much on that? Why spend this much on this? It’s like, guys, there’s reasons why there’s. There’s cars that cost $25,000 in cars that cost $1 million. Right? It gets you to the point A to point B does the same exact thing just differently. Same thing with razors, same thing with everything in life. I think sneakers, uh, watches. Everything too. You know, they all do the same thing. But just one way to get you there. A little bit different.

Now, I saw this really interesting post on Badger and Blade. Now I like to go through Badger and Blade. I’ve been a member of them for well over 13 years now. I think when it was, it was big. When I started to, there were still a lot of people there. There was just not a lot of producers and vendors and artisans and stuff at the time. Now they’re much more. But this is the first time I’ve seen this post, even though it is several years old. It’s called leap year restraints. And what these guys are doing are they are limiting themselves to one razor, one brush, one set of blades and one lathering products, either soap or um. Or whatever cream for four years, and then they have a ten year challenge. So they have one.

That’s for the 2020s, completely for the 2020s that started on January 1st, 2020 and ends on December 31st, 2029, where these guys are using one razor, one blade, one brush and one soap or after and one soap, right, for that amount of time. Now, apparently this is a group that have done this and they’re now we’re coming up to a new leap year and they started in 2019. We’re up to 2024. And they’re their time is coming up and they’re starting to post. It’s starting to get a little lively in this post again.

So can you do this? Is it really worth it? Is it fun. And well, here’s my my take on it I think that. Oh, and by the way, I forgot to tell you the rules. The rules are you can replace it if you break it or if you run out like so. If you run with one soap, you run out of that soap, you can buy another one exactly of that soap. Right. So say you’re using Williams. There’s a guy actually using Williams for four years. So power to him for doing that. I’m sure back in the day lots of guys use Williams for years. Right. But this guy is using it for for four years. And in modern times when there’s a lot better soaps out there. So give him give him a round of applause so you can buy a new soap. If you run out, you could buy.

If the razor breaks, you can buy it. If the brush falls apart, you can get another brush or substituted. But they’re basically the whole thing is use one set for four years, and a lot of them are having a lot of good shaves with it. They’re enjoying it, whatever, and restricts you to this. I’m so I’m going to try this for a month. I’m already on week two and I’ve been using one one razor, my my straight razor, which I’ve had for many years. My I’ve been using my Simpson brush and I’ve been using, um, one soap, which is, um. Uh, it’s the the soap is by Phoenix, Arizona encroachments. It’s called, um, Miami Libre. So this is one of the soaps from one of the first meetups I ever went to. I still have it. And you said, you know what? I’m going to use this for a month. I’m on week two.

To be honest, guys, I don’t really I’m having fun with it. I think the lack of a choice makes the shave a little bit better, makes it so, I guess. So I focus a little bit better on more things, and I kind of keep it all together in one spot. It’s not not that bad. It’s really not that bad to have one setup, one scent for for a month. I mean, these guys are doing it for four years and ten years. I’m doing it for a month and it’s not the end of the world. Like, I think you start getting used to it and also your your blade and everything like that. Your your process, your technique. I notice my technique get a little bit better. I’m gonna honest be honest with you. I technique got a little better because I’m using the same stuff every day, right? I know what to expect. I know the expectation of the lather. I know the expectation of the blade. And I know what, um, my brush is going to do, so it’s pretty cool.

I would recommend trying it for at least a week, you know, give it a shot. See one you soap, one brush, one blade for a week and see if you like it. And you know, let me know what you think. Send me an email. If you go through the same thing, it’s not too bad. It’s actually kind of fun. I’m going to try it again after the end of February. I think I’m going to try it again maybe in a couple of months and try something different, see how it goes. Maybe, uh, maybe it’ll be for me too. Maybe I’ll try a sabbatical for four years. I don’t think so. But it’s fun to think. It’s fun to dream, right? So try it out.

So Art of shaving closed our last two stores of brick and mortar stores, um, back in the beginning of the of January. So the one in Disney Springs and the one in New York are gone now. So there’s no brick and mortar stores for for art of shaving. And that used to be national and actually international was everywhere. So now they’re gone. Where do we go now? This has been a little bit of a downer for me, because I used to love going just to at least walk in there and and see some stuff and smell some stuff, you know. Yeah, I was I’m not I didn’t really I have quite a few artists shaving products. Yes I do use it. I do like using it. I love their creams. And I think their, you know, their soaps are actually really good too.

And their products are, you know, of course I always says they’re overpriced, whatever, but they’re still there to touch and see in a regular shopping mall. You know, there are several malls by my area where I live that had those stores. Now they’re gone and now they’re gone for good. So where do we go now? So I have a list of a few stores that are have what? Shaving products that will definitely be fun to visit. Uh, but I don’t have many, so I’m going to I’m gonna have to put in some time into this and take a look for more. But we have past stores in New York City that’s two stores there.

That is the wet shaving Mecca of brick and mortar. They are the best in the world. They have literally hundreds of different vendors and, and support and, um, artisans products located there and their own line as well. You have Razor Emporium in Arizona. They make razors there. They fix things there. They have a lot of stuff going on. They have a little storefront you can go visit. Uh, colonial Drug in Massachusetts is pretty good. I’ve been there. They have a lot of great. Uh, what, shaving products there? A lot of a lot of selection. Mostly traditional brands. No artisan brands, but very cool. You have merch, which is also in Chicago and, uh, excuse me, which is in Chicago. And then you have true, true fit and Hill, which a lot of people don’t know, there is a United States location in Chicago.

So you can go there. It’s just like the one that’s that’s, uh, that’s in the UK, like the stores there. And it’s a barber shop. They have their product and stuff, and we don’t really talk too much about Trufant Hill. Been around for over, well over almost 150 years now, about maybe 130 years, I think. And they they have really good stuff, right? They have great, great products. It is very expensive. But the barber shop experience is what I heard is like the greatest. Like a lot of celebrities go there. A lot of a lot of people buy this stuff. And there is a brick and mortar store in the United States. So just a list of just a few of them that I was able to find. But really, um, there’s much more, I’m sure of it out there.

If you guys know of some good stores, please, please send them to me. I’ll be doing some research this week on finding out where they are, and compile them all into like one special edition or one article or something like that. So guys, that concludes the show for this week. Really. Uh, glad to be back and be bringing this to you all.

Remember, our show is powered by Sharpologist dot com, which your father didn’t teach you about shaving. Uh, don’t forget to check out my blog site, shave straight and save com. And also, if you get a chance, check out my book if you haven’t seen my. It’s, uh, my Straight. My Modern Guide. Straight Razor Shaving Book is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle. So our next show will be on the 26th of February. Until then, shave straight and shave safe. Bye bye now.

Joe Borrelli

Joe Borrelli

Joe Borrelli is a long-time wet shaving enthusiast and collector. He hosts the Wet Shaving News/Talk Podcast , runs his own self-funded website and operates a YouTube channel to help inform the community of new information involving the wet shaving world. Joe holds a BBA from Florida Atlantic University, and currently works for the nation’s largest wine/spirits/beer retailer. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Linda & son Anthony, reading, writing, outdoor activities and collecting wet shaving apparel. Joe has also written several dozen articles for online publications such as Sharpologist and How to Grow a Mustache. Find out more about Joe here.View Author posts

4 thoughts on “Wet Shaving Talk For 12 February 2024”

  1. Hey, I forgot one right here in my backpack…

    Portland Razor Company, Portland, Oregon. These guys make beautiful straight razors in house and sell a bunch of stuff too!

  2. Great podcast! I’ve been listening and reading Mark’s stuff for years, even got to meet him and many other wet shaving luminaries, Douglas Smythe from PAA, Matt Pasarchik from Razor Emporium, at The Big Shave West at Stats in Pasadena a few years back.. great time!

    Anyway, here’s a couple more brick and mortar store to add to your list. And though neither are wet shaving specific stores, or cary much bybway of artisinal products, both are great.

    Carmel Drug Store in Carmel-by-the-Sea in California. A very old school drug store where I once picked up some Tabac products.

    Aiden Gill in the New Orleans Garden District… just an amazing store and barber shop full of cool men’s… shaving, scents, neck ties, books on gentleman behavior… Awesome place.

    And I know there’s another place in Pasadena where I purchased some Truefitt & Hill products once but I don’t remember the name…

    As a bonus, a trip down Jermyn Sreeet in London you’ll find shops for all the big three English companies… plus a lot other great sartorial shops.

    Cheers and happy shaving.

  3. Mini Moustachery here in Utah, Salt Lake City area. It’s a retail chain in a handful of the malls. Not the worst, not the best. But they do carry a lot of common products, such and sterling, Taylor of old bond street, and other artisan soaps. They sell exclusively Parker products when it comes to brushes and razors. Some other good finds have been scuttles, bowls, and Japanese style razors. Overall, I mostly use the store to go in and smell new scents that intrigue me before buying.

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