Shaving Product Review - Wholly Kaw "Chypre Rose Concerto"
Value (Cost, Packaging and Performance)
Lather (Density, Glide and Feel)
Post-shave (Healing, Moisture and Feel)
Scent (Quality, Strength and Longevity)
I actually extensively reviewed the Fougére Bouquet special edition soap and standard balm from #WhollyKaw before. I've since added the matching aftershave and last week got this latest special edition in the Chypre Rose Concerto scent (also with balm and aftershave; they're that good). There are a few new things to mention... The soap now also contains hops extract with omega 6 and omega 3 linolenic acids. They provide relief for skin inflammation and alleviate skin redness. There's also a new ingredient in the splash, toner and balm - dragon's blood (croton lechleri) resin powder. This enhances the anti-inflammatory and wound healing effects even further. Finally, the balm comes in new packaging; a so-called "airless container" (gone are the little round tubs). Much, much nicer. There's no awkward settling of the balm to deal with and cleaner in application; one tiny squirt is more than enough!
I've reviewed Wholly Kaw a fair amount on this site, and the reviews have kind of followed along their transformation - from an underrated artisan to one I would place in the top tier today. Check out my review of Washington's Blend (which was then their new tallow formula) followed by a review of Fern Concerto - also a really nice soap and scent. They've come a long way from their earlier vegan formula, of which I had a mixed review about Almond Medley. The latest changes at #WhollyKaw include all-new, professionally designed and printed, waterproof labels that look fabulous and the addition of donkey milk (affectionately called "ass milk") in select offerings... Including this special edition Fougére Bouquet soap.
The accord of Chypre Rose Concerto is composed of citrus top notes with lime, bergamot, rose, lavender, rosemary, geranium, lilac, middle centered on labdanum on top of patchouli, oakmoss and cedarwood base. It opens with a moody rose and other florals and then mellows into a woodsy, amber scent (labdanum resin is blended with myrrh and benzoin for the amber character). Overall, it smells absolutely delightful - from start to finish. You might be tempted to compare it to Rose Santal which just came out by Chatillon Lux and L&L Grooming (a collaboration project, and one I'll be reviewing tomorrow) or something the likes of Frosen by K Shave Worx (which I've already reviewed) but this scent is unique and stands very well on its own and worth having.
For the soap, aftershave and balm, the scent strength is a healthy medium and longevity on the order of 2-4 hours or so (especially if you layer the aftershave on top of, or in addition to the balm like a cologne). I sure hope there are some EdTs in store for the future, as a lot of the scents from Wholly Kaw would do quite well in same.
The soap, aftershave and balm bases are also absolutely killer. So even if you've already got a stash of rose scents... You'll want this regardless. Or at the very least, one of the other donkey milk special editions (e.g. Fougére Bouquet, Monaco Royale, Man from Mayfair). But as I mentioned earlier, this is an even more advanced combo, with the extra ingredients. And I have to say, performance for an already outstanding product is now just a bit better. The lather was sublime, offering copious amounts of creamy, protective lather with excellent cushion, glide and residual slickness. I used the balm last week (but didn't post a SOTD/review, pending today's shave) and used the aftershave today. Both the balm and aftershave are also top notch with ample healing, moisturization and ultimate face feel.
Hardware for today included the custom #TimelessRazor in the "aggressive edition" with a #PolSilver blade on shave two. The #BSB Shaving Brush lathered up the hard(er) soap with aplomb and made quick work of generating the yummy lather in the #GTP scuttle. Shaving with this combo is ridiculous. The shave is so comfortable, smooth and close... Literally 12 hours after shaving I still couldn't detect stubble except along the jaw line. I could probably skip a day in between these shaves, as this combo prefers a little stubble to work with (the more, the better). I seriously think I've found the razor of all razors (well, two) in these from Timeless Razors.
The new software is just awesome. What was already outstanding bases - got even better. Perhaps subtly, but nonetheless. This chypre-rose accord is upscale, lovely and ultimately masculine. Well done and kudos to Sri at Wholly Kaw. I'm looking forward to potentially rounding out my collection of donkey milk editions and/or adding future releases. If you haven't tried any of this stuff yet... What are you waiting for?!