Grooming Dept "Ambra"
Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements "Amber"
Value (Cost, Packaging and Performance)
Lather (Density, Glide and Feel)
Post-shave (Healing, Moisture and Feel)
Scent (Quality, Strength and Longevity)
The smell of sweet fresh sawdust!
First, an explanation is in order, as the artisan's offerings are confusing and constantly in flux. The soap reviewed today from Grooming Dept is a vegan formula, which saw some reformulation over the summer. It is one of three "regular" bases offered; the other two being tallow and duck fat. Occasionally, fats may be swapped out - for example, lamb tallow (most recently in Angel) for a limited run. While I applaud the artisan's need to experiment and tinker, I might suggest they stick with the three lines as they are now and stabilize. Having things constantly changing makes you feel like a beta tester. Personally, I won't be a customer until such time. I've done an in-depth review of Basique in this vegan formula previously, so check that out for all the details.
Ambra officially has notes of Sicilian mandarin, amber, passion fruit and incense. To my nose, you get the sharp scent of mandarin oranges and some passion fruit sweetening things up just a little. The amber lends an overall warmth to the scent, which is bolstered by the incense. The latter adds a bit of its own sharpness. While the accord isn't quite what I was expecting, it's still pretty nice. I'm a sucker for pretty much all of the notes; citrus, passion fruit, incense - but especially amber. So to see them all listed in one soap - I just had to grab it. The soap made for a thick, slick and protective lather with excellent resulting face feel. Long and short of it is neither the scent nor the performance are lacking. Scent strength is a high medium or even strong; typical of #groomingdept soaps and something I particularly like.
Now what could I pair with this that would keep the amber theme going? One of my favorites (for better or for worse) is #paa Amber which I've had for a good three or four years now (the last time I picked up any PAA products). While I'm generally not a fan of PAA (for multiple reasons) some of the scents are worthwhile... Even if the performance isn't. If you can find a scent you like, the strength is usually a healthy medium if not a bit stronger, and does have decent longevity... So there's that. And that's why I'm keeping this one around.
Hardware today consisted of my customized #TimelessRazor #TRBR78 which features a heavy patina and verdigris (more details and pictures) with an #Astra blade on shave two. The brush is an apropos piece from #TurnNShave called Fiery and features a super dense and soft Motherlode knot in 24mm. The #GTP scuttle did its thing, as usual.
A nice Monday morning shave that was effortlessly BBS, thanks to the ruthless efficiency of the Timeless Razor bronze. The soap helped make it a smooth experience and the aftershave is providing the scent for the day.