Patient(s): “Devil’s Cut” & “Angel’s Share” & Shave soap – matching aftershave splash is available.
I had the pleasure of meeting the creators of these products at a recent razor meetup in Richmond, KY. Maria and JD are knowledgeable and talented makers of soap/shaving products. Great people indeed!
Doctor’s note: At this time, I do not carry these products nor am I being compensated in any way. Dr. Mike’s Shaving Emporium strives to maintain unbiased reviews of any and all products.
This review will focus on the Through the Fire Fine Crafts “Angel’s Share” shave soap and aftershave splash. The difference between being sandalwood vs. vanilla fragrance.
From site: http://www.ttffcraft.com/boshso.html
Through the Fire Fine Crafts : Premium Shaving Soap recipe featuring Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey in the soap. Mango butter, Cherry kernel oil, and silk are added to our already outstanding coconut oil and tallow base.
“The Devil’s cut is the distilling term for the bourbon absorbed by the barrel when aging whiskey. The inside of the barrel charred and smoky wood tone is imparted in the bourbon. Our Devil’s cut takes that and adds the smooth scent of sandalwood to create a lush, warm, and spicy blend.
The Angel’s Share is the bourbon which evaporates. Our version is vanilla sweet, but in a dark complex way. Light citrus hints cut the sweetness, and a warm caramel coffee base keeps this scent manly.”
Soap is a rich beige/tan soft cream but with definite body – There is a level of density and richness to this soap.
Fragrance: Earthy vanilla. Not a candy like vanilla, but the scent when cutting open a vanilla bean and scraping out the seeds to create a black paste of vanilla bean. Caramel supports the vanilla, but again not in a sugary sweet scent. There is a note of bourbon – as if you added a splash of bourbon to your favorite flavored coffee.
Lather: Hot water (120°F) with Super silver tip badger brush. Loading followed typical protocol of 0.05oz of soap on flat porcelain dish. Thirty seconds resulted in brush solidly loaded – with early lather formation on dish. Noted the lather had an interesting consistency – the addition of silk created a mechanically “stretchy” loading. Proceeded to apply soap to face – soap went of sticky and thick. Application of additional hot water created a very rich, fluffy, cushioning lather. Soap can handle a good amount of water without failure. The soap scent matured through the lathering process. Brighter notes lead to more earthiness.
Shave was smooth utilizing a 5/8’s Robeson straight razor for two passes, then a Merkur 23c for last pass – to test double edge performance characteristics. Lather maintained very slick, yet cushioned feel for both blades. Carry over (taking a small leftover lather on your face and using to assist in re-lathering) was quite productive. Lather built quickly and stayed hydrated throughout multiple passes. Skin was left feeling very nourished and smooth – but not greasy/overly slick.
Alcohol free aftershave splash – witch hazel and aloe. Fragrance matches the “Angel’s Share” closely. The scent will stay with you without appearing and then evaporating. Skin is given moisture, protection, and left smooth with no heaviness or greasy feeling. Solid performance.
I am very particular regarding vanilla scents. Vanilla has to be “real” or I do not approve. For this series of products, the vanilla is real – the fragrance is of real vanilla, and not a cheap imitation. The bourbon adds a depth and complexity to the fragrance.
As for product performance, both the “Devil’s Cut” and “Angel’s Share” are luxurious and represent a high quality shave cream/soap. I have been especially impressed with the post shave skin feeling the aftershave splash has provided. My skin always feels better after application.
Dr. Mike is a Steampunking international panelist teaching his “Noble Razor” shaving class at several conventions in the Southeast U.S. and aboard two Steampunk Cruises where he discussed the history of shaving, its purpose and benefits, and imparted his wisdom of key techniques in an informative and entertaining look into the world of wet shaving.
[As a quick aside, Mike was so kind as to arrange for a sample of the “Devils Cut” and “Angel’s Share” soap and aftershave for me to try. After using them over the course of the week I would heartily recommend them. It’s a very slick soap and gave me an outstanding shave everyday. The scent is spot on with the bourbon scent profile as well. Good stuff! –Matt]