Saturday, June 20, 2015

Adventures with Personna Blue, Gillette Travel Tech, and the Palmolive Stick

It's been an active shaving week despite my dearth of posts. I shaved this week with the U.S.A.-made Personna lab-blue blade and, as usual, it has been a consistently-good performer.

I bought a 1965 Gillette Travel Tech razor this week. It's in near mint condition, and I will be doing a more in-depth post on this in the future. For now, the most salient aspect of the purchase was that it was so much fun, so rewarding, it has caused my razor-acquisition disorder (RAD) to bloom into full flower. Therefore I spent too much time in the last few days looking on line for more razors to buy. I have doused the flames of my RAD to where they are just smoldering embers at the moment. I pulled back from the brink of ordering more redundant razors and focused on enjoying the variety of the accessories that I already have. That began with shaving soap this morning.

For most of the week I used my own shave soap formula, my Grandad's shave soap, which really works well for me. However, this morning, I wanted more of a barber-shop sensation, so I pulled out my stick of Palmolive shave soap, which has a fragrance that I really enjoy. That's the good news. The bad news is that I really think that the functional quality of Palmolive shave stick as a lubricant and skin protectant is mediocre. And there's more bad news: after a few seconds of aroma enjoyment, my nose adapts to the smell and I no longer sense it to any significant degree. (This, by the way, is characteristic of most human senses except the perception of pain. The technical term for the diminished perception of stimuli with increasing exposure is adaptation.)

Today's shave was more evidence to support my previous conclusions about Palmolive shave stick. Great aroma (for a moment), but much irritation and too many weepers. I took the same shave as yesterday, with the only difference being the shave soap: yesterday was Grandad's, today was Palmolive. The razor head was my new '65 Tech. The handle was the rotund and heavy Maggard MR3B. The blade was Personna. The passes were three. Today I got a close shave, but my skin is riled. This will diminish in a little while, but yesterday was a better shave, all things considered.

So in the coming week, here's what's on tap:

  • The Russian-made made-in-Turkey Bluebird blade, which I have really liked in the past
  • An article on cleaning, sanitizing, and prepping used razors
  • An article on how I've been rethinking my mild-razor preferences and leaning toward more moderate aggression in my razor choices
  • More variety in razor choice:
    • '65 Gillette Tech, both with the Maggard handle and the Travel Tech's original stubby handle
    • Rimei RM2003 imitation Tech
    • Merkur 37C slant bar 
    • '63 Gillette Slim Adjustable
  • More variety in number of passes as I experiment with the preceding razors in quicker work-day shaves
  • Will likely face lather with Arko shave stick in addition to my customary bowl-lathered Grandad's

Happy shaving!


  1. I used to love the Bluebird blade but I can't find them anymore, I have only a few tucks left and will use those up at some point.


  2. Hmmm, and this week's blade may be my last Bluebird. :-(

  3. Would you mind posting a pic sometime of the Tech? Just curious to see which variation it is. Here where I live (South Africa) we seem to only get the Made in England Gillette except for the Slim and Fatboy.

    I suppose you will cover it in your post about cleaning, sanitizing, and prepping used razors, but checking the blade gap is important. I acquired a Slim Adjustable and only after a few shaves I checked the blade gap only to see that one side was skew. Did you ever check yours seeing that it was inherited? I'm actually in the process of cleaning up another recently acquired Slim which will go to a friend. Someone left a rusty blade in it and getting that off the razor is proving to be a bit difficult. The rest is cleaning up well though - it's always nice to see how well some of the old ones clean up.

    Happy shaving!

  4. Just because you asked, I'll be posting a couple of photos in their own article in a few minutes, so take a look.

    Actually, many months ago I wrote and then later re-posted an article on inspecting razors for safety (and comfort) prior to first use. To find those articles, use my blog's search box and search on "inspecting safety" (without quotation marks). So, yes, I always inspect a new razor prior to use. Usually I go through the basic steps I've outlined in those prior articles, but rather quickly; I focus on eyeballing the blade span, looking down the blade edges for waviness or curvature, checking the blade reveal for uniformity, and comparing the blade-bar gaps of one edge to another. If things look suspicious, then I'll do the other more-detailed steps that I suggested in my article.