The passion behind The Gentlemens Refinery product line is Perry Gastis a fourth generation barber. Big deal? The fact remains, he’s probalby shaved more faces than we could possibly imagine. His father’s father’s father shaved men’s faces for a living. I imagine when Perry was born, his excited mother received shave cream and a straight razor for his baby shower. Thank the stars there’s another barber in the lineage!
My point is Perry Gastis knows more about men’s faces than all of us here at Beard Trimmer Review put together. An all-star, a future hall of famer, a life-time acheivement award winner; all awaits Mr. Gastis if and when he decides to hang up his strop and call it a career. Until that happens, and we hope it never does, he’s turned that passion, that lifetime of shave knowledge into the creation a stellar line of shave products for us mere shave neophytes.
Mr. Gastis was trained and has trained many barbers in the fine art of shaving. For the record, we at ShaveReview believe barbers, straight razors and straight razor shaves are NOT old school. They’re “slow down and relax school,” or perhaps “be patient and let the world unfold school.” How about, “be good to your face” school. My noble barber Chris is a third generation barber who began the craft of straight razor shaves in his teens. He’s now pushing 30.
How could he or what he does possibly be construed as Old School? Don’t get me wrong I like the convenience of my “new school Fusion,” but only because I don’t always have time for the “slow down and enjoy your shave” straight razor shave school.
Crack the lid on jar of the The Gentlemens Refinery Black Shave Ice and you’ll instantly smell anise, the primary ingredient in black liquorice. It’s not overpowering, but its noticeable.
Anise was also the primary ingredient in Pernod’s famous Absinthe sipped by the likes of Manet and Degas for its psychedelic effect. Take a look at there paintings and you’ll start drinking the stuff too! However we do not recommend you drink Absinthe before you begin your shave ritual.
Editor’s Update: (11/12/07)
Absinthe liquor is now legal in the US! Last spring a French brand, Lucid, made its debut here, using 19th-century distilling methods and replicating chemical analyses of pre-ban absinthe. A Swiss absinthe, K�bler. appeared on the American market a few weeks ago, using a 1863 family formula.
Beyond anise Black Shave Ice is also loaded with glycerin for glide, and certified organic coconut, bergamot, and basil oils for their soothing, moisturizing and antiseptic qualities.
To truly enjoy the lux-like lather of Black Shave Ice, I used a brush to apply to my face. I placed a quarter’s worth of Ice into the center of my brush and ran hot water over it with the bristles straight up into the water stream. then I shook out the excess water and lathered up on my wet face. Call me machocistic, but the hotter the water, the hotter the foam, the better I feel my shave is. Now before you shave, wait a minute or two and let the Ice magic soak into your skin.
I never realized how important this minute or two wait was to my shave regiment until I started shaving with/for ShaveReview.
If nothing else, enjoy the smell of anise for an extra moment. I have a tough beard, so I’m able to shave with and against my stubble’s grain without any irritation or burn. Don’t rinse your brush just yet you may want to re-lather with Ice where needed.
If your skin is sensitive, stick with what you know and play it save. Shave with the grain. You’ll still get that close shave, and be less apt to receive any razor burn or worse yet, ingrown hairs.
Great Shave. I was left with a tight, close to the skin, shave without irritation or left-over oily skin. I now use Ice on a daily basis.