As mentioned in my Introduction to DE Shaving, I began my DE shaving adventure with a Merkur 34C, a big box of Derby blades, and a hard stick soap whose brand name was Viabra. I then sought out and spoke with an extremely knowledgeable guy in London who told me to try Proraso CREAM; I’ve been using it ever since, in place of the hard stick soap…
What it comes down to is this- a hard soap, in its natural state, is hard and dry. A cream is, well, moist and creamy! Like the luscious vanilla frosting on a home baked cake. What would you rather smear all over your face, some hard dry thing? Or something luscious, sweet and creamy? I like the icing. All kidding aside, I truly believe that the creams are less drying than the soaps. I find that after using a hard soap, my skin feels somewhat dryer, and a little tight. With the Proraso cream, I don’t get that dry, tight feeling. Maybe it’s just me, or the way I was creating lather from the hard soaps- I don’t know. Anyway, what I use now is the Proraso cream. Italian.
And the Merkur 34C DE razor- well obviously that’s German, German all the way; it’s like a heavy metal Mercedes-Benz automobile, solid, and high quality.
OK, Italian shaving cream. German DE razor.
Now lets get to the blades. The blades I used to use when I was a rank amateur were the Derby blades. They come from Turkey. When I was five years old my insane father took me to see “Midnight Express,” which traumatized me for about two decades, but eventually I got over it. The thing that really allowed me to recover from the Turkey trauma was my extended visit to Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia and Kas. Surprise surprise, Turkey is a beautiful country, with wonderfully friendly people- not at all like the people in “Midnight Express”- and it’s a nation that’s actually going somewhere, unlike Greece for instance. Those Derby blades from Turkey are just great, and they’re priced to move, that’s for sure.
However- I then spoke with a friend of mine named Oliver, who asked me if I’d ever used Feather brand blades. I write more on this topic of Feather blades in a different blog post, the Merkur 37C Slant Bar Razor and Feather Blades blog post. But suffice it to say that after trying the Feathers, I’ll never go back to Derby. I love Turkey but Feathers are just way, way out, unimaginably sharp, and they keep that edge. Where do Feathers come from? Japan. They’re Japanese.
Germany, the Merkur 34C DE razor. Italy, the Proraso cream. Japan, the Feather blades. Germany, Italy and Japan. I consider these nations to constitute the new Axis Powers of DE Shaving, and I am absolutely convinced they are unbeatable. I invite you to tell me exactly who is going to go up against this unbelievably powerful Tripartite.