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In The Mail: Breaking in your badger brush

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“I recently bought a badger brush but my excitement has faded as I can’t get it build a great lather. What am I doing wrong?”

Nathan – Detroit, Michigan

As a kid, I remember my dad would walk around the house in his new shoes. I found it odd that he would be pacing back and forth keeping a lot of noise. When I asked him what he was doing, he simply replied, “I’m breaking in my new shoes.” If you’ve ever worn brand new shoes, for the first time, for the entire day, I’m sure you can relate. The first few wears can be painful but the more you break them in, the better they feel. With a badger brush, the same is true – you’ve got it break it in before it becomes your best friend.

If you troll the Internet, you’ll find a myriad of opinions on breaking in a badger brush. To me, the simplest and shortest answer is to just use it. With the bristles being so new, they’re stiff and don’t hold water or your shaving cream, which ends up producing a lack luster forth. With time and regular use, they will soften, the brush’s hair will bloom and you’ll notice its performance changes producing the desired lather.

Patience is key to breaking in your badger brush Nathan. Fight through the frustration and know a lifetime of great lathering is just around the corner. Hang in there, you won’t be sorry. I promise.

If you have fragrance or grooming questions, feel free to shoot me a message at fm@fragantmoments.net.

Happy shaving Nathan.

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Shaving Essentials

Old Spice Body Spray Contest Winner Announcement

Old Spice Infographic

In my last post, I reviewed Old Spice’s New Body Spray Collection and mentioned their effort to stop overspraying. I told you how good I thought it was and held a contest so one lucky winner could experience their new technology, which slowly dispenses the scent over the course of the day. That lucky winner is Robert. Congratulations. I’ll be contacting you via email.

Above is an interesting but very telling infographic by Old Spice. Some interesting things to note are why overspraying happens and how to scent responsibly. Enjoy it and calm down. Worry less about if he or she will like how your smell and worry about not being “that guy.”

Old Spice Body Spray

Old Spice Re-fresh Swagger Body Spray FM

When I first learned about body sprays, I only saw them in the women’s section of stores. The scents were extremely girly and not very sophisticated. In retrospect, perhaps I was frowning on them too much. They are an affordable deodorizing option meant for a younger audience. Then it got crazy with the overspraying as options for men were introduced. I remember watching an episode of the Jersey Shore and I swear I started coughing the longer one of the guys sprayed himself.

I was recently contacted about Old Spice’s new body spray and their scent responsibly campaign. Given the backlash body sprays have taken, the fact that I’ve been a fan of their commercials and a few of their scents I’ve really liked, I was intrigued and had to learn more. As their press release explains it, they’re using “proprietary Re-fresh Technology that features a patented cyclic molecule with an empty core that absorbs some fragrance as the Body Spray dries on the skin. As a guy sweats, fragrance is pushed out of the core releasing bursts of scent when a guy needs it the most.” Whether you believe that or not, I moved forward with my testing but I had to make sure I didn’t overspray myself so I employed the 1 Mississippi rule.

When I was younger, we played football in the street. When cars wanted to pass, we stopped the game and resumed when they went by. The playing field was between the manhole covers and parked cars were out of bounds. We couldn’t rush the quarterback before 10 Mississippi and the pass rusher counted out loud, 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi and so on. As I thought about testing this collection of body sprays, it dawned on me that if this technology was all it was cracked up to be, a 1 Mississippi spray of the scent is all I would need and I was right.

These scents rush out of the can with a powerful burst. I actually thought maybe I sprayed longer than I was supposed to so I repeated the test another day saying 1 Mississippi out loud and the result was the same. The scent lasted a very long time and I’ll be honest, I was pleasantly shocked. From that short of a spray, my scent lasted easily 6-7 hours.

I applaud Old Spice for their scent responsibly campaign. I hope those of you that read this employ the 1 Mississippi rule. If that doesn’t work for you, Old Spice has a great video with their own set of rules that maybe more up your alley. Whatever you do gents, stop overspraying. No one wants to be “that guy.”

We’ve all oversprayed at one point in our life and I’d like to hear about your not so fragrant moment. Ladies, if he doesn’t tell us, you are welcome to tell us for him. Share one story in the comment section and one lucky winner will win a collection of the Old Spice Body Sprays along with a few other goodies. This contest will end at 11:59pm March 5th.

This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed, however, are completely my own based on my experience.

Vaseline Men Spray Lotion

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial of the young lady in a hurry to head out that when she gets out of the shower, she sprays something on her skin, jumps in her cloths and she’s gone. Wake up super late one morning and you can relate. The commercial is for Vaseline’s Spray Lotion and what’s good for women (in this case) is good for us men, too.

Vaseline’s collection of men’s grooming products carries a 6.5 oz aluminum can of spray lotion. I gave it a test run one day after getting out of the shower, and was impressed at how well it worked. Utilizing compressed air, lotion is released with ease. Once applied to my skin, I rubbed it in like I would with lotion and it absorb very quickly. Juggling a few things before I myself had to leave the house, my attention drifted for a few minutes. Before I knew it, however, this super light, masculine scented lotion had my skin feeling moisturized without the greasy after feeling that some lotions leave behind.

Another plus for this one is the can’s design is very well thought out. It feels good in the hand and the nozzle is a twist-lock, which prevents spills. For those of you that deliberate what grooming products to take with you to the gym, you’ll appreciate these little details.

Vaseline Men Spray Lotion – 6.5 oz – $7.99 at mass retailers nationwide.

The Best of 2013

Now that Christmas is behind us, our sights are squarely set on ringing in the New Year. Bye bye 2013. Hello 2014. But, before I completely put this year behind me, it’s inevitable that I reflect on all that occurred.

I found that I tapped into my grooming side a bit more this year and you may have noticed that in the number of stories I published. I discovered some great products and just had to share them. Here are a few of my favorites:

Best of 2013 Grooming

Without question, the one item that overhauled my morning shave was the Fog Free Shower Mirror by ShaveWell. After searching for one and stumbling across this one, it was the best purchase I made in 2013. The return on investment continues to yield benefits.

Since I’m spending more time in hot showers, I’m paying extra attention to my skin and making sure I don’t allow my eczema to flair up. Rod’s Royal is a new men’s grooming line that’s been nothing short of impressive. Their body lotion is excellent. While it’s thick, which some guys run from, it quickly works it’s way into your skin leaving it feeling hydrated without feeling greasy.

One of the arguments often used to sway men to jump over to using safety razors is the dramatic price difference to using cartridges. Well you can now add to that Razor Shield by Hyd for Men. This solution, which is applied to your razor after every use, extends its life by protecting it against oxidation.  I extended the life of my razor or 25 days. Not bad for a product that costs $17.99.

Hailing from Toronto, Canada and made for vagabonds, gentlemen, and ruffians is Crown Shaving Company – an absolute gem of a brand. From the first time I applied their shaving cream to my face with my badger brush, I knew I was using something special. The way it hugged my face, the way my blade glided across my face with ease, it’s masculine scent and luxurious feel all had me hooked from day one. Hands down the best I’ve tried all year.

The surprise of the year came from Lucky Tiger’s Liquid Shave Cream. I was asked to review it for customshaving.com and I was skeptical from the beginning.  As I said in my review, “this liquid savior produced a thin sheet of slickness that rivals any of your trusted shave creams.”

In another year that saw a lot of fragrance releases, I fell in love with few. The ones that did catch my attention, however, I wore repeatedly.

Best of 2013 Fragrance

I’ve never been a fan of the signature scent thing but Royal Vintage is one scent that could make me change that. With its traditional masculine appeal, it’s a throwback sans the heavy bravado. What I particularly love is that it can be worn for any occasion. Once you try; you won’t want to leave home without.

Cumin can be a troubling note for many but it’s one of my favorites. Fate Man by Amouage serves a nice punch of cumin in it’s opening but the unexpected twists subsequent layers reveal made this a standout for me. The way saffron, mandarin, ginger, and animalic notes are balanced is impressive.

A citrus scent that’s clean, possesses depth and lasts all damn day is what you get from Thirdman’s collection of scents. Eau de Nomade was my scent this summer. I wore it daily and for good reason. As I said in my review, “…it’s Sicilian lemon, blood orange and cardamom (notes) are beautifully balanced and what you get is a zesty, slightly sweet and tantalizingly warm, scent that’s far from your average summer cologne.”

Sometimes you smell a scent and the first thing that comes to mind is this is interesting or this is boring. The first time I smelled Enigma by Roja Dove, I thought to myself, this deserves a well-fitted suit and freshly polished brogues. It possesses a refined masculinity. Its boozy slightly peppery opening is reminiscent of a firm handshake. But as it quiets down and the tobacco and ambergris comes to the forefront, it exudes a quiet confidence. I love how masculine this scent is. It’s familiar but its cadence is in a league of it’s own.

One of the scent subplots of 2013 was booze and it played a supporting role in Atelier Cologne’s Gold Leather. As oppose to cognac, they chose rum, which added to the sweet warmth of Gold Leather’s opening. What did it for me with this scent was the use of eucalyptus as it offered an unexpected freshness to the weighted notes of saffron, agarwood, leather, cedar and guaiac wood. The result – a unique take on leather scents defies the usual suspects. Personally I think it was one of the slept on scents of 2013.

There you have it – my best of 2013. To see what made the cut of my fragrant colleagues, please visit Eyeliner On A CatCandy Perfume BoyOlfactoria’s Travels and Persolaise.

Happy New Year!

Wordless…

Nelson Mandela