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East Texas
(This post was last modified: 06-19-2016, 05:36 AM by 120inna55.)
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Route 66 "A Perfect Gent"

Ever-Ready 100T | TGN Finest

1976 Gillette Super-Speed

Gillette 7 O'Clock Super Platinum (Black)

Like I needed another soap, I picked up Route 66 based on a recommendation from semperfi 45 .  My  objectivity is going to eventually come into question if I keep saying a soap is "stellar".  Frankly, it's because I listen to the community and thus only use good products.  Route 66 is no exception.  Just as I'm a sucker for fancy packaging and limited releases, I'm equally a fan of sales.  I took advantage of Route 66's Father's Day Sale and headed over to their site. From a design perspective, a vendor walks a line between charm and gimmick.  With a name like Route 66, I was braced for the gimmick, but there was none.  The first thing I noticed was the overall slick appearance of their website.  It was quite easy to navigate and organized.  I love that you can add-on a matching balm with each soap from that soap's page via a dropdown menu.  In turn, you're rewarded with a $1 bundle discount from the balm.  The soap was $15.49 for 5 oz. The balm was $11.49 for 2.2 oz.  Shipping in the US is free.  The only payment method offered is PayPal. I placed the order late Wednesday afternoon; I received a shipping notification Thursday at noon, and I received the package Saturday via USPS.

The soap and balm arrived in secure packaging with the balm double wrapped in bubble-wrap, and the soap came in a small wax paper bag sealed with a customized sticker.  There was no product scent emanating within the box.  The professional water-resistant labels on both the soap and balm were pristine. The scent name is printed on a sticker that is perfectly placed on both the soap and balm. The only ding is that the ingredients list on the balm is not legible.  Magnifying it reveals the printer did not print it well.  There was no evidence of overspill.  The soap tub is the standard all plastic translucent Parkway with a black lid.  It was evenly filled with approximately 2 cm to spare.  The all plastic balm bottle is dark amber with a solid black disc-top cap. The balm had a tamper-evident seal.

The TGN knot soaked in warm water while I showered.  The croap consistency is on the firmer side.  I would say it's close to that of Barrister and Mann's.  I started with a dry puck and slightly damp knot.  The TGN rarely has the capacity to serve 3 head and face passes, so I didn't attempt to load for that, and anticipated a reload after 3 face passes.  Loading was quite easy.  I dribbled a little water into the knot and proceeded to face lather.  The scent was immediately reminiscent of Soap Commander's "Courage" which in turn is a familiar classic masculine scent, the origins of which I can't place.  It's no accident the two smell similar because they share many scent notes: peppercorn, ginger, jasmine, cedar, and frankincense.  I didn't do an A/B comparison, but from memory, I would say Route 66's "A Perfect Gent" is a bit bolder.  It started as a bright and sharp peppercorn and ginger with warm woody notes.  As the shave progressed, it departed a bit from "Courage" in that I detected dark labdanum notes, which I like.  The lather was a bit thirsty, and that's a good thing.  It was dense and paintable and provided a wet sheen.  I have no other term than that.  Some soaps' sheen, when present, is iridescent as if the light is refracted by oils.  Others are just "shiny" as the light is reflected by water.  Route 66 is the latter.  Glide was perfect such that I could comfortably take long frontal to parietal ATG sweeps. The superb residual slickness, while usually ill-advised, facilitated working areas without visible lather.  The post-shave feel was soft, supple, and well-hydrated.  There was zero redness or irritation.  My skin quite simply loves lanolin.

I used the matching balm because my skin also likes shea butter.  Their balm also contains aloe and other skin goodies (complete ingredients list to follow).  The fragrance perfectly matched that of the soap.  I don't detect it at all 3 hours later.

In Route 66, we have yet another artisan/vendor from which to choose.  The overall performance and quality matches the other top vendors.  As I've indicated before, the performance standard seems to have topped out, so artisans have to concentrate on additional factors to set themselves apart.  I believe Route 66 accomplishes this with an attractive professional presentation, a good price point, and a very intuitive website.  As a result of this shave, I've ordered 2 more bundles from them.

Soap ingredients: Stearic acid, palm kernel oil, vegetable glycerin, lanolin, avocado oil, coconut milk, silk amino acids, fragrance and/or essential oils.

Balm ingredients include (as per their website): Soy, aloe vera, shea butter, vitamin E, vegetable glycerin, calendula, chamomile, linden blossom, cornflower, St. John's Wort, fragrance and/or essential oils.

Blade4vor, Matsilainen, preidy and 7 others like this post
(This post was last modified: 06-19-2016, 10:45 AM by Brett Wall.)
Another great write up, what 2 scents did you go with this time?

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Metro Detroit
Great review!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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East Texas
(06-19-2016, 06:25 AM)Brett Wall Wrote: Another great write up, what 2 scents did you go with this time?

"Sweeney Todd" and "Cavendish"

Brett Wall and kwsher like this post
Another great review of soaper who doesn't get a lot of attention around here. I like Route 66 soaps - pretty good quality matched to some nice scents.

Keep thes reviews coming, Sir!

120inna55 likes this post
Unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes...

Barner 4 Life
Good review. I have Sweeney Todd and Retro Spice. I find Route 66 to be a top notch soap.

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East Texas
Where did grim 's post go?  I'd really like to respond to it.  I hope it wasn't deleted because someone felt it was antagonistic or inappropriate.  I would like to respond, regardless:

I should have stated, "the overall performance and quality matches the other top vendors that I've tried."  I have not used any of the soaps that you mentioned (I wish your post was still available so I could have them for reference).  Nonetheless, I hope my lack of experience with those soaps doesn't render my opinion invalid, and I will note you never suggested that.  Hyperbole on my part wasn't intended, but in retrospect, I should have qualified my statement.  For a frame of reference, I have in my den Acqua Di Parma, Santa Maria Novella, and Martin de Candre.  Back when I was paying ridiculous amounts of money for soaps in the interest of achieving the unicorn of wet shaves, I considered these benchmarks. In recent years, a domestic artisan/vendor has achieved results, in my experience, that at least match the performance of the aforementioned.  I therefore consider this vendor to be my personal benchmark with regard to performance.  One could argue that the margin widens when scent is considered a part of performance.  While certainly an aspect of value, packaging, customer service, and price should not be considered when evaluating performance.  In the past couple years, the artisan scene seems to have expanded such that I can't possibly use everyone's product.  Just looking over my collection, I can pick out 8 soaps that consistently provide me with a perfect shave, performance-wise, and thus, my benchmark is lost among them.  Scent then dictates which soap I choose for the day.  In addition to those 8 there are probably 5 more that can achieve that pinnacle if I account and adjust for their individual quirks.  In the interest of trying to keep this thread as objective as possible, I don't think listing these artisans is prudent.  However, your comment is valid, and I stipulate I should have qualified my statement.

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(This post was last modified: 06-19-2016, 08:54 PM by grim.)
(06-19-2016, 07:40 PM)120inna55 Wrote: Where did grim 's post go?  I'd really like to respond to it.  I hope it wasn't deleted because someone felt it was antagonistic or inappropriate.  I would like to respond, regardless:

I should have stated, "the overall performance and quality matches the other top vendors that I've tried."  I have not used any of the soaps that you mentioned (I wish your post was still available so I could have them for reference).  

I deleted it. I decided I didn't want to interfere with your review, which took work and effort so I respect that. I understand that we are all different and value different attributes - well differently. I started to take issue with the statement "The overall performance and quality matches the other top vendors ... the performance standard seems to have topped out" And it never occurred to me, my bad, that you had not tried other products because "the overall performance and quality matches the other top vendors" Leads me to believe you had.

I tried Route 66 about the week or so after it came out. Its obscure and I wrote about the scents here http://damnfineshave.com/thread-route-66...ated-retro. Their effort in sending out samples is very good in that its cheap, compared to other vendors.   I found the Perfect Gent to smell like any generic men's cologne you could find in any major dept store, which wasn't for me. However, I liked Sweeny Todd and Lumberjack so much I bought a bunch of extra samples.

But in the end, I did not think its overall performance matched the best of the best.  It's certainly as good as the 95% of the rest of the pack $3.50 - $4/oz range -  Very good, yes, no slouch at all, but for example I found it no where near the cushion of Klar, which seems to allow me to get a "closer" shave, nor as slick as ABC soap, and nothing touches the aftershave feel of Nuavia, Mystic, and C&S (in that order). If anything, IMO, Nuavia has pushed the bar on aftershave feel as high as Mystic had on the rest of the feel ... way up there.

So I didn't want to interfere and it didn't occur to me that maybe you hadn't tried others and its OK to disagree. Route 66 is very good. I got some lumberjack lined up and ready to use, but IMO, its just not as good as some others.  

Note, I don't take cost or packaging into consideration. My preliminary calculation on the cost of Route 66 comes out to be about 8 cents/shave compared to 10 cents for Mystic. But cost/shave is dependent upon a host of variables from brush size, density, to how much lather is wasted (i.e., flushed down the sink). And the cost of packaging means nothing because I toss it in the trash and only use the consumable product. The only thing that really matter to me, in the end, is cost/shave.

Sorry to have interfered.

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East Texas
(This post was last modified: 06-19-2016, 09:30 PM by 120inna55.)
(06-19-2016, 08:51 PM)grim Wrote: ...Sorry to have interfered.
That's just it. You didn't interfere. You respectfully asked a question that was completely germane to the original post. Additionally, you've brought to the table more insight, and that can never be a bad thing in an open forum. As a result, I intend to purchase a couple of the one's you mentioned. For no other reason than curiosity, because frankly, I can't see how my current shaves could be improved upon. MdC, AdP, and SMN were spoken highly of back when I purchased them. I'm curious how the soaps you mentioned compare to those. I have no problem reestablishing my benchmark.

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Shaven in the Past
(This post was last modified: 06-20-2016, 06:45 PM by preidy.)
I would concur with you review. I too have tried R66 to incl; Barbershop, Twisted Tweet and Sweeny Todd. R66 is right up there with my numerious Stirling soaps.

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