A while back I was gifted with a new soap and a new shave brush and would like to share my review of these items. (To learn all about traditional wet shaving, read this post).
The soap and brush are both products from Stirling Soap Company; an artisan brand that’s become a reliable favorite for many shavers. Stirling shave soaps are known for their easy-to-load, rich lathers that provide plenty of cushion and supreme slickness. Though it’s easy to expound upon the excellent “shavability” of Stirling soaps, this review will focus on the soap scent.
Sunflower Fields is a newer scent that Stirling released with women shavers in mind. Here is an excerpt from the soap description from stirlingsoap.com:
This beautifully complex women’s scent is a bright and uplifting fragrance that’s perfect for spring and summer. It boasts top notes of lemon, rosewood, orange blossom, sweet mandarin, bergamot, melon, and sweet peach. Middle notes are comprised of cyclamen, rose, jasmine, osmanthus and iris root. The base notes are musk, cedar, amber, moss and sandalwood.
Sunflower Fields is an appropriate name for this feminine compilation of fruits and florals. I could try and pick apart the notes and specific fragrances used, but I think Stirling’s description does a fine job of that. What I will do is try and explain what flashed through my mind the very first time this scent entered my sniffer.
Ok. I brought the soap puck up to my nose and was overwhelmed by a powerful, flowery yet complicated scent that immediately unpacked a childhood memory of standing in my teenage babysitter’s bathroom.
Let me explain.
I pictured the scene of a scrunchie-littered, curling iron still plugged in, nail polish dotted counter-top in the bathroom that constantly smelled of fresh smelling shampoos, hairspray, and aromatic mousse. This girl was kind, smart, beautiful, and confident, and her bathroom – rather, the scent that filled her bathroom – emanated these fine, womanly qualities (in my mind).
So that was the very first thing that splashed across my mind when I smelled Sunflower Fields. It brought me back to my earliest depictions of what it was to be womanly according to my 90s girlhood.
That was my personal, initial impression. Then I actually took a few moments to ponder the scent. Sunflower Fields is fresh and beautiful, and it is definitely for the ladies. What Tabac is for guys, this scent is for gals: a complex, powerful aroma that encompasses all that is female. After smelling it for a few moments I nearly started to paint my nails and felt the urge to go find my black stilettos. The scent is sophisticated enough to adorn a lady for a night on the town but lovely enough to accompany a woman to the coffee shop or the library. Basically, it’s the “you-can’t-go-wrong” women’s scent. I know I’ll be reaching for this one again and again. Way to go, Stirling.
On to the brush!
This review will be much more factual and to-the-point.
This newly released brush is a 24mm knot boar hair brush. The loft is 57mm. The boar hair provides ample backbone but is limber enough to allow for a gentle splay. It loaded soap fairly quickly and was enjoyable to lather. The soap brushed on easily and the lather continued to build as I painted my skin. The handle is fantastic! The shape of it lets the user obtain a strong yet comfortable grasp around the stylish looking resin.
As I have never used a Semogue or other well-known brush, I cannot compare this one with other models. However, I can tell you that it worked very well and it was only 8 bucks! That’s cheap, folks. But just because the price is low doesn’t mean this brush is poor quality. I would recommend this boar brush to any shaver.