Shaving Product Review - Queen Charlotte Soaps "Vostok" and
Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements "Meta-Nectar"
NOTE: I picked up my Queen Charlotte Soaps Vostok pair at the end of June 2013 - so it's about two years old now. I fear some of the menthol may have faded... Not sure how (it crystallizes) but my Krampert's Finest Frostbite did also. Perhaps it's the heat/cold in my medicine cabinet (long story). It's not as cold as I remember it, at any rate. Or maybe I'm used to high-menthol now.
With more experience under my belt these days, I knew going in to load the soap like a bastard (specifically choosing the #SOC brush to aid in this) adding water to taste as I whipped up the lather... Which was pretty nice. Bountiful, fluffy. Not really dense stuff, but a good performer at any rate. I also have their Vetiver but it performs horribly and I never use it. Variability, bad batch - who knows?
Now for the chill. Like I said, it's not as cold as I remember it. Maybe it's just me. But this time, in direct comparison with my previous SOTD posts with Barrister and Mann's Arctique (here and here)... Arctique is chillier!? I also find the lather a bit better... But I digress. Vostok when fresh, is among the coldest available soaps. Few beat it. Yeti Snot and Cryogen almost certainly... Quite possibly Arctique now as well.
The balm is the real deal here (sadly, they don't make any aftershaves). It's nice and cold - it bordered on tearing up my eyes a bit. Again, I think it may have faded; the balm definitely separates out if you don't use it often (shake it like a Polaroid!). The face feel is insanely good! This balm has all the right stuff. Normally I'm not a balm guy in the summer unless I need healing - but I wanted the full Vostok experience here. I followed up with #PAA Meta-Nectar for scent.
QCS started off strong but completely lacks innovation. They haven't changed their line up in any way, for two years. It looks exactly the same as I remember it. No improvement of products, no new scents... Nada. A shame, but as such I'm essentially done with them - there are better options today, if you ask me.