The international kit swapping scene

As I have pointed out many times a huge part of the joy of real shaving is the immense diversity of goods available from all over the world. This morning I used a British brush to make a lather with a French soap then shaved with an Egyptian razor containing an Indian blade and finished off with a Spanish shaving balm. All this is perfectly normal as shavers pick and choose what they want to use totally regardless of its nation of origin.

Of course it is impossible to physically go shopping in all these countries which is why the invention of the interwebs has been so good. Now specialist vendors in Britain can offer an amazing variety of goods from all over the world. Just look at the shaving creams and blades on offer at Connaught Shaving, for instance. Then there are the online vendors in other countries who will mail stuff here, then there is eBay and so on. The world really is our oyster and it is a massive adventure exploring the shaving products it has to offer.

But even with all of this there are still things that are difficult to get hold of and this is where the international fraternity of traditional shavers shows its value. There are things available in Britain, like Palmolive shaving sticks, that are excellent and highly desirable yet which are unavailable in many countries. So the scene is set for an international swap. And with many of these things the postage costs more than the goods being sent. So it is the camaraderie and mutual help that matters far more than the value of the transaction.

So here are some of the goods I have been sent from abroad by way of swaps:

  • Williams mug shaving soap. Van Der Hagen deluxe shave soap. Low cost American standards. It is difficult to relate to the American shavers in the online community if you don’t know about these products.
  • Ace fogless shower mirror. This clever and simple device transforms shaving because you can see your face in the shower. But it seems to be only sold in America.
  • European shaving soap sticks. Speick, Irisch Moos and Tabac, plus a bowl of Monsavon soap. A parcel full of classics.
  • Shea Moisture ultimate shave brush. This has been causing a bit of a sensation in America that such a good brush can be sold so cheaply. Unfortunately it is only available at Target stores or by mail order within America from Shea Moisture.

I hope the recipients of the goods I swapped are as happy with the transactions as I have been, certainly it is an interesting and social manner to expand the variety of what can be enjoyed.


  1. Since writing this article I have also acquired a nice Gillette Milord razor. This is a gold plated version of the 1940’s Gillette Super Speed which is a fine shaving razor.

  2. So, explain what the picture of the Russian spy chick represents. Just because?

  3. She was part of an international swap!!

  4. Ah!! Right you are. Wonder who got the better of that deal? Maybe everyone is happy with their haul just as you mention in your swap. Cheers Bruce! Keep up the good work.

  5. Thanks for the tip on the Shea Moisture shave brush. I nipped out to Target and got one. It’s part of a product line that seems to be aimed at African-Americans and the shave problems common to men with curly hair (African-Americans, to be sure, but also Irish, Mediterranean, and others: any guy with curly hair is likely to encounter some problems (in-growns and razor bumps) until he learns how to shave to accommodate those.

    I like the look of the brush. Once home, I’ll photograph it and report on its performance.

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