I knew that Phil is an all round Good Guy™ in addition to being a purveyor in bespoke shave gear, on top of being the man behind of my favourite shave forum. Based on the box I received, I have now reached the conclusion that Phil is in fact downright an Awesome Guy™.
I knew Phil wanted to send me a brush, from an artisan he considered taking into his store but for various reasons it didn't pan out despite the brushes being highly regarded. I knew Phil said he would include some Asylum brand shaving soap, some aftershave and "a few other things to fill the package". Phil's idea of package filler simply blew me away... in a good way.
So what did I get in the box from Phil?
- Two of his own brand Asylum Shave Work's tallow soaps - Frankincense & Myrrh and Old Virginia
- A bottle of Asylum Shave Work aftershave - Frankincense & Myrrh
- A total of eight tucks of blades - two each of Kai Stainless, green Astra, Polsilver Super Iridium, and Perma Sharp Super
- A pen - but not Phil's usual pen with a light on the end, but a TSN LE Tactile Turn Slider
- A DE razor - and what a razor! A blinged out Mergress Adjustable, a popular razor over on the 'Nook
- And a Romera brush with a lovely horn handle - Gustavo Romera has a good reputation as an artisan, less so for his communication
- The brush have a 28mm or so knot of Artisania Romera Manchurian Badger hair, and is the first 'real' prosumer1 level bagder brush I've owned... it feels niiiice, and I havn't even begun breaking it in. I'm tickled pink over the prospect of seeing and feeling it breaking in over the next few weeks. Gustavo might have a slightly ragged reputation on some forums for his inability to communicate, but this brush feels top notch.
- The Mergress is another one of Phil's exclusive offerings; an improved Merkur Progress, fixing any minor issues with the original razor and - allegedly - improving the balance (I've not used an original Progress, but the balance of the Mergress is spot in in my eyes). I'm very much looking forward to putting it through it's paces.
- The soaps and the aftershave come from Phil's own brand and simply smells fantastic. Time will tell how well they work,but the reviews that other shavers have left are overall great. Again I'm looking forward to using them for the rest of my trip.
- Most of the blades are known and liked by me - I have to wonder if Phil reads my SOTD - but the Kai is new to me. Once I gotten to know the Megress with the help of a Green Astra, I'll have to see what the Japanese Kai can do for me.
- The Tactile Turn Slider is a lovely artisan pen, with a wonderful steampunk vibe. My handwriting is usually like a monkey on meth, but I still look forward to using this pen.
1) Per etymology 2; targeted at serious, enthusiastic consumers, incorporating professional features.