This morning, I decided to use a pre-shave cream, something which, until very recently, was a regular part of my routine. Those who are new to DE shaving can skip this also, I think, though those who are more expert than I am will probably tell the newcomer that using a pre-shave cream is essential. Even so, I find that the smell of the Proraso "White" pre-shave cream is really nice: I take just a little bit and rub it in to my wet beard.
I'm not sure that this is an essential step, but it does add to the ritual. A small tub can be obtained from a drug store like Shoppers Drug Mart for around $10.
I used a hard soap today, also from the "White" line of Proraso, made especially for those with sensitive skin. It smells nice and works well.
Here is a Gillette Rocket Aristocrat Jr. (also called a #49?), perhaps from 1949 (certain from some time between 1948 and into the 1960’s). I found this razor at an antique store for around $15; it is not an aggressive razor, but it works well. It was my first twist-to-open, or TTO, razor. It's made in England, though I'm not sure of the exact date of manufacture. It can be as old as 1949, but its exact date is difficult to nail down. It's a great razor, though.
This may look like any old Old Spice container, but it isn't. Firstly, it is made of glass (the domestic, "cooler" stuff is housed in plastic containers). No, my dear reader, this bottle is from India and uses the old recipe. That's right, there is a new recipe which smells differently from the old, but the Indians still make the old one in glass bottles. I was able to procure my bottle for less than $10 on ebay. It burns when applied, though. From what I've read, that's not unusual nor harmful. Like any alcohol-based aftershave, it does what it does. I'm not sure that I would have this as a go-to post-shave balm, but I don't want to be wasteful. Plus, it's fun to tell the story.
More next time!