October 23, 2018

Shaving Product Review - Wholly Kaw "King of Oud"



Value (Cost, Packaging and Performance)

Lather (Density, Glide and Feel)

Post-shave (Healing, Moisture and Feel)

Scent (Quality, Strength and Longevity)

Each bar has three metrics, each representing 33% of the total (11% = below-avg, 22% = avg, 33% = above-avg, except cost)


It's autumn - break out the oud! By way of Wholly Kaw King of Oud #soap and #aftershave and finishing up with Guerlain Oud Essentiel #EdP.

Oud wood is a rare and precious raw material carefully enclosed in the heart of Eden-like forests. An ancient treasure hidden from view, its fortuitous formation in a handful of trees is nothing short of mystical. This sacred gift imparts all its rich bounty to the new Guerlain fragrance.

Today's shave is essentially identical to my last review of King of Oud (with Guerlain Oud Essentiel). Before that, I did an in-depth review of King of Oud itself... So I won't get into either too much today. It's all fantastic stuff, and well - OUD! The following two paragraphs will get you up to speed:

As far as scent, King of Oud may just be one of the boldest, most complex accord by #WhollyKaw. Officially, it has top notes of bergamot, lemon, clary sage, rose, aldehydes and pink pepper, middle notes of angelica, rosewood and galbanum and base notes of agarwood (oud), sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli and amber. Just sniffing the dry tub reveals a robust scent that's rich and complex (and gets better from there). There's a tangy interplay of citrus and woods with a floral thread woven throughout. On the base, it's woodsy with more earthy and green undertones. Very nice. It offers the vibe of a good commercial cologne. While the oud in this case is synthetic, it pulls it off quite admirably (and at a reasonable cost, I might add).

Of course I had to follow that up with Guerlain Oud Essentiel (not pictured). It has top notes of saffron and pelargonium; heart notes of agarwood (oud), rose and Atlas cedarwood and base notes of leather, incense and gaïac wood. It shares several notes with King of Oud but really goes in a different direction. In a nutshell, think of it as oud, leather and rose. The leather is the main differentiator between the two accords, and of course the quality coming from Guerlain is no comparison. We are talking about products an order of magnitude different in price, after all; not to mention real vs. synthetic oud and saffron (two very expensive ingredients). In fact, it carries an MSRP of $200 for 125ml of Eau de Parfum strength juice. This stuff has beast mode sillage and longevity (as they should). The sillage fades very slowly over its course and the longevity is an easy 8-10+ hours. On fabrics, you'll smell it 24 hours later without batting an eye.

Hardware today consisted of the #TimelessRazor #TRBR38 in bronze with an #Astra blade on shave three. The Beer brush from #ThatDarnRob seemed like a nice choice, especially since I hadn't used it in a dog's age. The knot is a 22mm silvertip badger (which fits the hole for a 24mm knot perfectly). Super soft, but not terribly dense. With the soap hardening since release, this made for a weak loading combo and not paying attention, even with a standard loading time of 30s I only had enough lather for two passes... Just. Oh well, no worries. Naturally, the #GTP scuttle did its thing.

So by happenstance, I ended up with a nice, easy breezy shave today. Even without the ATG (Against The Grain) pass, it was still a DFS (Damn Fine Shave) - so no BBS (Baby Butt Smooth) - but that's AOK (duh). I digress. Oud is great in the cooler months like the fall. Spicy, woodsy. Yaaaass.

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