Shaving Product Review - Chatillon Lux/Wholly Kaw "Yuzu/Rose/Patchouli"
Value (Cost, Packaging and Performance)
Lather (Density, Glide and Feel)
Post-shave (Healing, Moisture and Feel)
Scent (Quality, Strength and Longevity)
First, the introduction from Chatillon Lux:
There is a lot to be said for the beauty of simplicity. Especially in shaving. Many of the so-called advancements over time tried to improve something that did not need improving. We see the beauty in slow shaving: taking more time to not only do it better, but do it by the dint of your own, personal skill.
The same can sometimes be said for scent, or any type of art. It can be impressive to blend a bunch of different and interesting elements. But often the most interesting works take sparse, solitary elements and work fastidiously to blend them to perfection.
Henry Shaw is responsible for Tower Grove Park and the Missouri Botanical Garden in Saint Louis. In that garden, flowers and plants from the Far East coexist to species native to the Saint Louis are. In this scent, reflective of Shaw's oasis in South City, the uniquely distinct smell of yuzu citrus, blended with the unmistakably recognizable smell of rose and the dry, sharp scent of patchouli come together so all three work together in unison to create something greater than the sum of their parts.
...and then from Wholly Kaw:
Recently a group of shaving soap matchmakers planted the seed for a new collaboration. Because the highly coveted donkey milk and hops extracts used in the Wholly Kaw soap base require a labor-intensive and painstaking process to create, their highly limited nature create the perfect platform for a limited-edition collaboration. With that, Chatillon and Lux and Wholly Kaw determined the high-end soap base would be the perfect vessel for a Yuzu/Rose/Patchouli collaboration.
While discussing the collaboration, special considerations were given to type of rose that would be used. Wholly Kaw had developed a rose accord that would be blended with the rest of the scent components in YRP and with that a collaborative take on Yuzu/Rose/Patchouli was developed, with a spicier rose meant to complement the unique complexities of the donkey milk soap base.
I've reviewed several of the "donkey milk releases" from Wholly Kaw in the past few months, starting with a review of Fougére Bouqet back in May with the most recent being yesterday's review of King of Oud. If you click this #WhollyKaw hashtag you can see several more. So I won't get into performance too much; suffice to say that it's truly excellent, and firmly within the top tier of today's artisanal shaving market. Let's focus on the scent.
This scent isn't new; Chatillon Lux has had it for some time now, and it's their scent. In fact, they collaborated with Tallow + Steel previously on a run of soap. This time, it was Wholly Kaw's turn. As luck would have it, both soap bases are excellent. The scent strength on the Tallow + Steel version is a bit stronger, while the Wholly Kaw version is a bit lighter, with more rose to the accord. Officially, as you might have guessed, the scent offers notes of yuzu, rose and patchouli. You know what rose and patchouli smell like, but how about yuzu (not to be confused with kudzu)? It's an essential oil from the citrus junos tree, which originated in Japan. Yuzu has a tart, citrus smell that is a cross between mandarin and grapefruit; so a bit tangy.
The blend is simple and deceptive. Simple because of the three notes... They are however, masterfully blended. On the top you get the tangy yuzu, which fades gently into the rosy middle and then onto an earthier, slightly sweet patchouli base. Deceptive, like the patchouli it's founded on... You think you don't really smell it, but then it catches you off guard, like "whoa." Yuzu/Rose/Patchouli is kind of like that. It's tenacious. The soap is a lighter medium in scent strength, but blossoms a bit when lathered. The aftershave holds nothing back and it's got a strong scent strength. Sillage is middling if not strong and longevity excellent at an easy six hours. In fact, I still smell it clearly on the skin at eight hours.
Hardware was the usual #TimelessRazor "mild edition" featuring a titanium #Stork handle and a #PolSilver blade on shave five. The #WildWestBrushworks custom brush with a 26mm Maggard Razors Black knot (a.k.a. APShaveCo Tuxedo) worked magic in the #GTP scuttle.
Both #ChatillonLux and #WhollyKaw did these simple notes justice with a masterfully blended scent and outstanding bases of both the soap and aftershave. Truly, this is good stuff - it smells absolutely delightful. Should you have an aversion to patchouli and/or hippies that stereotypically wear it... Fear not. This is an an upscale accord that many might enjoy.