No that's not a typo! Base.....not bass! In the 6 years I've been running my business, I have seen various trends in the wet shaving world. The trends vary from scents to label design, to overall product design and concepts. Maybe one would call these gimmicks- or maybe not. Like many things, these trends tend to come and go and they each get their 15 minutes of fame.
Regardless of what trend we may be experiencing, avid wet shavers still love to see the latest offerings from artisans and vendors. Perhaps the one trend that hasn't changed is the desire to have or use a superior base. Often artisans chase the elusive "superior" or "elite" base (if such a thing even exists). Now a word about that. As you know, wet shaving is very subjective and often what works for one person doesn't work for another and bases are no different. For example, generally speaking, wet shavers prefer a tallow base over a vegan base. With that being said, one of the BEST bases out there is vegan, by Highland Springs. (Not all of their bases are vegan). In the last couple of years, I have noticed a trend in wet shavers to favour a softer base over harder soaps. I should add that some of the best "hard" soaps make amazing lather, but generally speaking, people love scooping out a shave soap into a bowl and whipping up a nice lather. So when we look at a base, besides its physical state, the three common attributes that wet shavers look for are points in a base are ease of making lather, cushion and slickness. All three- are subjective.
Six years ago, I worked with a local artisan and we created a shave cream called North of Fifty. I'll admit there were things I wish I had done differently. For example, while the base was tested over several months, the main issue was that it was not tested by enough people and not introduced to the wet shaving community. I'll admit at the time, I didn't know such a community existed. Oddly enough, while the wet shaving community didn't "warm" to it, the shave cream received very good reviews outside of the community. While some within the community couldn't get a proper lather, those outside the community had no complaints. This really peaked my interest and to this day, I don't have a real answer as to why that was. If I were to speculate, maybe the wet shaving community already had an expectation, and the base didn't meet their needs. With so many good artisans out there...I can see why that would be. I learned that I needed to up my game and the base needed to evolve to where it would have an excellent performance. Fast forward and I realized I wanted to create a different base and tune the scent. North of Fifty is currently in its 4th base or version. Does that mean versions 1 through 3 were failures? No- not at all. It means that we learned from each one and listened to the feedback....the good the bad and the ugly. I think artisans and vendors need to constantly evolve and learn and develop their products and offerings. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that I've decided to make another change and ultimately all of our in house shave soaps (except "Sippin by the Fire") will have this new base. I'm particularly excited to move 36/C and eventually Lucky 54 to the new base because so much of the feedback I have received suggests a softer base is more desirable. The new base is a unique offering from Linda at Purely Skinful. This shave soap is soft and almost like a shave cream but with a tallow base. It's a really neat base and closely compares to her "Sandalo" creamy shave soap. "It's uniquely formulated with beef tallow & enriched with fair trade shea butter. Using a small amount of the cream soap & an adequate amount of water -- it whips into the most luxurious, glossy lather with lots of cushion & slickness. The post shave effects with your skin are truly amazing & need to be experienced first-hand to truly appreciate its artisanal quality." Our first offering in the new base will be Eddie's which is a seasonal scent we have had in our online store before. I hope to have this available during the first week in June. I'm excited for it and I hope you are as well.
May all your shaves be smooth.