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.