Shaving Product Review - Talbot Shaving "Edison Lake"
Value (Cost, Packaging and Performance)
Lather (Density, Glide and Feel)
Post-shave (Healing, Moisture and Feel)
Scent (Quality, Strength and Longevity)
Nestled in the Vermillion Valley at 7,700 ft. elevation high in the Sierra National Forest lies Edison Lake. A respite for hikers of the Pacific Crest and John Muir Trails, this lake is the end of the road, surrounded by tall Ponderosa pines and 13,000 ft. peaks. This scent recreates the crisp woody aquatic air of the lake on a cool July afternoon with notes of oakmoss, juniper berry, cedarwood, and clary sage. Each scent used naturally occurs around at Edison Lake, and this soap is a taste of the peacefulness of that experience.
Edison Lake is the third "official" offering by #TalbotShaving. The first was actually Ilex but more of a test batch - the first true release was Iliahi Ridge followed by Holland Glen. If you haven't heard of them before, it's a fellow wet shaver named Chad Irish. He's dabbling in soapmaking for fun and as a creative outlet on the side and as such, the batches are extremely small (think Bufflehead small) and on the order of 36 tubs, as was the case for Iliahi Ridge. Needless to say, these batches sell out within minutes, if that. I'm lucky enough to also have a tub of Holland Glen. The only downside is that only soap is available; no aftershave. Value is excellent at $12 for three ounces. It was released on August 3, 2017 with just over 30 tubs made.
Officially, Edison Lake has notes of oakmoss, juniper berry, cedarwood, and clary sage. While it's hinted at somewhat aquatic, at least in inspiration, I wasn't quite convinced. The oakmoss darkened the accord a bit, and overall lacked the bright highlights of a true aquatic or the citrusy vibe from more typical Italian scents (e.g. Acqua di Gio). I did get a woodsy vibe though, with the juniper berry and clary sage serving to give it a slightly fresh - but more so balsamic and herbal spin. A nice scent, but not quite here nor there. I'll have to shave with it more to get a better sense of it. Scent strength is about medium. The Barrister's Reserve Cool by #BarristerMann worked quite nicely (if mismatched) as a (mostly) all-day scent.
The soap is a firmer consistency, not unlike Barrister and Mann white label/glissant and the like. This makes loading with a wider variety of brushes and techniques a breeze. The ingredients of the soap are nice indeed, with several skin foods and slippery oils:
Potassium stearate, sodium tallowate, aqua, coconut milk, shea butter, potassium hydroxide, castor oil, fragrance, glycerin, sodium hydroxide, lanolin, palm kernel oil, babassu oil and meadowfoam oil.
Performance was very respectable. The lather produced was creamy, with very good density, primary and secondary lubricity and resultant face feel. Load this soap a bit longer than usual and add water to slowly to taste, as it has a bit of a narrow sweet spot. The cushion was very good and the slickness during the shave as well. Only the residual slickness dipped slightly.
Packaging is basic, but very nicely executed. These are the same tubs that Catie's Bubbles and Dapper Dragon use. The label quality is on par with the former (and better than the latter). While the neck of the tub is narrower than the overall diameter, it does serve to keep proto-lather contained and there's plenty of room for loading. Branding is clear and consistent (among the two releases so far and the teased upcoming releases). Artwork is simple and in an illustrative style (essentially a stylized compass) in line with the company motto of "Explore."
Hardware for today consisted of the #TimelessRazor in a custom "mild edition" with a #Stork handle and rocking a #PolSilver blade on shave two, with the #WildWestBrushworks brush whipping up the fine lather in the #GTP scuttle.
I liked the scent, but it didn't quite stand out for me... While it was good, it didn't quite seem to have a hook. Performance of the soap (like the other offerings from #TalbotShaving) is very good indeed. Aside from a slight dip in residual slickness, it's above average to be certain.