Just wanted to say thank you all for creating such a great community and a wealth of resources. I've lurked here for awhile, but finally registered when I saw the Scotto sample deal I couldn't pass up.
A little about me:
I'm 27, married with one kid. Read an article about 6 weeks ago about the benefits of using a brush/DE combo and how it could reduce irritation from shaving. I have a pretty heavy case of dermatitis in my mustache/goatee area that gets exacerbated when shaving.
So I went out and bought a $2 puck of williams and a $6 CVS boar brush to get me started. Immediately I saw the benefits even while still using my Fusion cartridge razor. I began the hunt for a DE. I felt kind of silly ordering one online (mainly because of the wife's reaction to the act of ordering a razor), so I kept looking and looking. Finally I called my grandmother and she sent me my grandfather's Gilette adjustable and his Ever Ready brush from circa 1950.
I learned several important lessons about a DE that first night that I should've checked here for guidance first.
1 - my $6 CVS brush was $6 for a reason. Mid-application, the middle third of the brush just came off. Some on my face, mostly in the sink. Had to rinse my face off and start over.
2 - Using the same scalding hot water that you use for the soap/brush as a rinse for an all metal razor then directly applying said razor to your face is a bad idea. It burns like a mofo. Warm water is just fine for rinsing.
3 - If you have any bumps on your face whatsoever, a DE will find them and eradicate them without prejudice. Those bumps will bleed.
4 - Definitely should've used some shave balm without alcohol though. Shooee that stung.
5 - The adjustable part of the adjustable DE does not work like hair or beard clippers. The higher the number, the LESS room for error one has. Tore myself up a little bit that first night, but checked here and learned my lesson.
Got the samples from Scotto today.
Just shaved with the Nancy Boy. Based on my prior experience of can foam, can gel, williams mug soap and proraso - if proraso is a steal @ $5.99/tube I'd gladly pay $40 for a jar of NB. Absolutely incredible. Silky smooth, easy lather, good coverage, light on the fragrance. Can't wait to compare it to the other cream samples.
As far as decants go, Blenheim bouquet may damn well be the best thing I've ever smelled. Seriously, you owe it to yourself to get ahold of at least a sample if you haven't tried it.
Thanks again to all who make this community what it is.