I am a newbie. My new Merkur 38C Barber Pole just arrived from Leesrazor.com. As I shaved this morning, I will use the 38C tomorrow morning with a Merkur blade, and I will let you know how it goes. I am waiting on a best badger Superior Brush, 20mm, which should be here Friday, but tomorrow I will be using Kiehl's Close Shavers cream mixed with C&E sandalwood soap, Nivea cooling skin balm, and a splash of Pinaud Clubman - ahhhh! This will be my first shave with the 38C, and hoping to get a BBS. I also use Clinique men's face soap to clean and prep my beard in a hot morning shower before shaving. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks!