Review: Long Rifle Soap Co. Voyageur Shave Soap ($18)
Back in the nineties I regrettably sported a goatee, but read on for the reason. There was a legitimate reason, rest assured. Actually there were a couple of reasons, all of which were shaving related. But when someone sees a photo of me with chin fuzz there is rarely enough time for me to start with, “Let me explain…”
In the nineties shaving with a cartridge razor was believed the only way to scrape facial hair away. It started with three blades, progressed to four, and who knows how many blades make up a razor today. Using cartridge razors created untold side effects, but again, we were led to believe that’s just how it was.
For starters I was led to believe that shaving started at the sideburns and went straight down from there until I reached my shirt collar. I would move over one inch and repeat until I had skipped across my face. It was a regular chore after shaving to dab the bloody spots. The razor burn was so bad it actually felt relieving to walk in the winter air.
My school had a rule that stated a facial hair ban. I was told regularly to shave my goatee. Looking back I’m sure my teachers pegged me as a rebellious teen, but what I was really doing was trying to maintain comfort. An ice hockey goalie mask touches the face in few areas: the top of the head, the back of the head, the forehead, and the chin. Just about every place is cushioned by hair except the chin. I grew a goatee – not just because NHL goalies of the nineties had – but also because it hurt otherwise. Shaving my chin with a cartridge razor would cause significant discomfort when the mask was pulled down. It’s why hockey goalies are so twitchy.
Shaving was not an enjoyable experience in high school and beyond until I took an interest in wet shaving. Before I began the process I went to a professional to be shaved and I took note how his approach differed from mine. It was the same face, but there I was observing the barber moving this way and that. His blade went in different directions. He also did several passes. Today shaving has become a relaxing – and even looked forward to – exercise on the weekend and throughout the week.
To execute such an experience, one needs to research and accrue reliable equipment. Long Rifle Soap Co., a company we excitedly purchase from, is the dependable link for the shave soap and aftershave. Just recently Long Rifle Soap Co. posted a social media update stating they were rebranding their packaging. We eagerly jumped on their shave soap for a scent that originally came as a sample: Voyageur shaving soap.
A native of upstate New York (where our story started) Amanda of Long Rile Soap Co., has created a brand around Natty Bumppo, the antihero in James Fenimore Cooper’s novels, The Leatherstocking Tales. Her efforts have created wonderful scents as well as incredible packaging. She also offers shave soap scents such as Hawkeye, Hunting Lodge, Brown Bess, and Leatherstocking, among others. Read Cooper’s novels and it is easy to recognize Long Rifle Soap’s inspiration behind their branding.
Voyageur shave soap came into the office of creakybottombracket.com in the form of a sample tin. One whiff and we had to have it. Despite the fact that the shave tubs have piled quite high, Voyageur evoked memories of late summer meadows in the northern parts of the country. Daydreams of glowing horizons replete with floating bugs and sounds of crickets are produced when inhaling the scent of Voyageur. This is a relaxing scent perfect for the long post- weekend ride or after a stressful day at work. This is why we wet shave.
Absolutely nothing from our shave kit two decades ago takes up space in our bathroom, and that’s a good thing. We have replaced cartridges with straight razors, canned shave cream with shave soap and brush, and we wince through rough applications of aftershave. Our shave kit has multiple tubs of Long Rifle Soap tubs and several apothecary bottles of aftershave. When we sent out the vintage razor to be honed, we beamed back proudly to the Postal worker, yes, I do use the straight razor on myself.
Currently Long Rifle Soap Co. is having a sale on old branded soaps. Get it while you can. If you miss out, that’s ok. The new branding will take its place and you’ll get second crack at it. We enjoy our built-up scent selection to revisit memories of upstate New York. We won’t blame you if the theme song to The Last of the Mohicans buzzes in your head as you shave. Decades ago I thought spraying some foam equated to shaving; now I know soap produces a better shave. The truth of the matter is it doesn’t cost any more than the store-bought stuff. I no longer sport a goatee and that’s a good thing. Despite not playing hockey anymore I get to scrape more stubble off with a straight razor. That’s the best part. With quality items now I want to shave, and more often.