First off, I would like to start by saying thank you to all of the information that is available on this site, and to those who put in a lot of time organizing everything and keeping the conversations and threads on track.
Second, I would like to thank the members that provided great deals over in the B/S/T area so that I could get started with minimal cost. They unknowingly made my entry into the DE shaving world affordable.
I have been shaving with my DE every other day for a little while now. I purchased a very lightly used Merkur HD that came with a Vulfix 2234, C.O. Bigelow (Proraso) cream, C.O. Bigelow Black ASB, and some Merkur blades. I supplemented that with a very well priced Lavender soap from eShave, some Wal-Mart Personna blades and VDH Deluxe soap. Then on a trip to Denver, I made the mistake of going to the AOS store in Cherry Creek and picked up a starter kit in the sandalwood scent.
I first started off using the proraso cream, and the Merkur Blades in my DE. I was getting weepers and lots of irritation on my lower neck. After more research, I switched my lathering techniques, experimented with the other soaps/creams and also superlather, and started using the Wal-Mart Personna blades.
I have found that with almost any combination, I was having irritation and weepers. Then I revisited my lathering technique and realized my lather was inferior compared to what was achievable. This paired with some pre-shave oil, and I can get a DFS consistently with no irritation or weepers. I am very happy with my experience, and look forward to getting quicker and more consistent with my shaves.
Currently, I really like the Merkur HD/Wal-Mart Personna combo with Sandalwood AOS Pre-Shave oil, VDH Deluxe/Proraso Cream Superlather, followed by a quick Aqua Velva splash. Once that dries, I like to wash my face with just cold water and then put on the C.O. Bigelow Black ASB. While I know these scents are very mixed, and sound strange, but currently I am looking at the effect/affect of what they do more than the scent, and I really like it. The only scent that stays is the ASB anyway. Maybe someday they will mostly match.
Sorry for the novel, but I cannot parse it any more than it is.