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An Unusual Plisson

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An Unusual Plisson

Postby bernards66 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:08 pm

Well, in truth, I don't really know how 'unusual' it is because I only have two other Plisson whitecap brushes and have handled a few more at Clyde's in Manhattan so it's not like I have this vast experience with this marquee. Still, the #12 EW with the Plexiglass handle that I recently got from Stan did surprise me a bit. Even my wife, when I dragged her into the bathroom to view the new addition, immediately noted that it was not nearly as dense as the other two...and she was right. My Plisson #14 EW ( with ebony wood handle ) is extremely dense. It was sent from the makers in 2004. The somewhat newer #12 HMW from Chris M. is not THAT dense, but still a pretty well packed knot. But not so this Plexiglass number. And the #14 was a tad 'scritchy' when it was newer but this one is soft as can be on the face ( of course I don't know how much Stan used it, but still, it took quite a while for that #14 to become soft and comfy ). The color of the crown is about the same as my older #14 but the black band is not as wide, looking like most better three band brushes but with a lighter crown. But ( and this fooled me on first use ) this brush holds a LOT of water. Considering that it's not that dense I don't know how it does it, but it does. My usual quick shake or two doesn't do it with this brush unless I want to add another helping of cream to the mix. I swear this thing feels more like a Kent BK on my face than it feels like the other two Plissons. I'm not complaining, mind you, as I love my BK4, it's just different...unexpected. The brush is a pleasure to use. Of course I'm still getting used the handle as it's larger and square shaped but generally I can adjust to different handle shapes after a few uses.

And there's something else...and this pertains to all three of the Plissons that I have; the bristle is subtly different. It's difficult to describe in words but when the Plissons are wet, but with no lather, the badger just has a different look to it as compared with all my English brushes. The bristles kind of clump together in bunches so to speak. I don't know what it is, whether they seat the knot a bit differently or what but it is something I've noticed for awhile kind of on the edge of consciousness. Just thought I'd mention it.
Regards,
Gordon
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby rsp1202 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:54 pm

Gordon, I just sold a brush that had a similar knot: crinkly and scratchy when dry, softened up immensely when wet, with tips that felt slippery and clumped together. I'd never experienced that before, though I've heard that certain batches of Rooney Heritage hair have exhibited this characteristic. This knot was maybe a half-step down from High Mountain White, so may have been a kissing cousin to Euro White. I think the tips were treated chemically to whiten them. It was certainly quite different than a typical Simpsons 2-band Super, which I prefer.
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby M6Classic » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:54 am

Gordon -- That sounds like a Plisson to me! The whites set in plexi tend to have a taller loft than what one might have experienced in the past and they seem less dense when dry and splayed. These Plisson brushes - and I have experience with three HMWs set in plexi -- have an unusual knot design. When wet, they tend to form a point at the tip which in my experience helps them whip up a very rich lather. When wet, I would describe the shape of the knot as something like a candle flame. I have always found the mechanics of their peculiar design to be quite marvelous in practice. Again, my experience is with HMWs and large ones at that. However, what you are describing in your #12 sounds very much like what I would expect in one of these Plissons. Regarding how much water they hold, my brushes could be used to douse Forest fires. The enormous volume of water these brushes hold is another Plisson ideosyncracy which further facilitates lathering. Finally, none of the Plissons I have used ever required any break-in, the hair was perfect right out of the box.

I hope this helps, Gordon. Good shaves to you!

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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby daniel051 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:57 am

Gordon, is your brush of contemporary production? I saw a beautiful EW when last I was in Paris, and I almost bought it, too, but for the price which stayed my hand.

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Daniel
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby Squire » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:42 am

I don't know why I read these Plisson threads, I'm not going to buy one, I'm sure I'm not.
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby bernards66 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:40 pm

Daniel, I'm not sure although Stan might know. I'm just assuming that it was made more recently than my #14 EW but maybe not for all I know.

Buzz, Well, my other two Plisson whites hold a lot of water also but I would expect them to as they are dense brushes. This one is not but it still holds an amazing amount of water. The company claims that the knot diameter of the #12 and #14 are the same but that the #14s have a greater loft. This Plexi #12 has as much loft as my ebony handled #14 and more than the HMW #12. This one is more 'pointy' ( sorry ) than the #12 HMW but a little less so than the #14. Given my experience with this one, and what you posted above, I wonder if it's possible that they set the knots somewhat differently when they make the Plexiglass handled models as opposed to using other materials/designs? Just a thought. I'm enjoying the brush a good deal ( used it again this morning ) and it's certainly a bit different than any other brush I've tried, including my other two Plissons. I can certainly see ( even with this puny specimen...ahem ) why you like them so.
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Gordon
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby bernards66 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:41 pm

Squire, Maybe you're sure...but I'm not ( chuckle ).
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby M6Classic » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:33 am

You raise some good ponts Gordon which, sadly, we may never have answered given Plisson's attitude towards their customers. I haven't actually used any Plissons other than HMWs in plexiglass, but I can see how the plexis and the other brushes (horn, acetate, et alii), might be differently built. For one thing, it is possible that the knots are set in their collars before being attached to the carved plexiglass handles. As with anything hand made...and these brushes are certainly all hand made...there is a target size for knots and loft, but in my experience no absolute standards. My two #20s had slightly different dimensions and my #24's knot can vary in calibre from 31mm to 34mm depending on the weather. I really believe that the lofts on the plexiglass brushes are longer than those cited for other brushes of the same stated size.

At the end of the day, I firmly believe that the plexiglass handled HMWs and EWs are very different from other brushes made by Plisson or, indeed, by any other manufacturer. I especially think that the shape of the wet knot on a plexiglass Plisson is uniquely capable of whipping up more lather more quickly than any other brush, vintage or new. I also believe that the quality of the EW and HMW hair yield an unparalleld facial experience which defies description or explanation, but you'll know it when you've tried it. It is a sorry, sorry day if Plisson no longer makes these magnificent brushes, but given their breathtaking cost, I can see how the market may be too small to justify their production.

Welcome to the cult, Gordon!

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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby bernards66 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:54 pm

Buzz, 'Welcome'?...sigh...yes, I suppose so. Interesting that you too suspect that the Plexiglass handled Plissons are, in some way, made differently from even their own HMWs and EWs with other handle designs. Given my very limited experience with the brand it would certainly seem so. It's very intriguing. Also interesting is that; of all the brushes I've ever used the Kent BK4 is closest in overall feel and in the way that it makes lather to this Plexiglass handled #12 even though the bristle gauge in the Plisson is clearly heavier than with the Kent. In any event I'm glad that I decided to spring for this one ( and grateful that my wife kicked in half because I don't know whether I would have gone for it otherwise ).
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Gordon
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby Pc4406 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:08 am

I just got a size 12 EW and have joined the Plexi cult as well. I avoided them for far too long as ugly and impractical. How wrong I was. I agree that the knots are far different from my other Plissons. There just is something about these brushes that is so appealing. I wished that I had not avoided them for so long.
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby bernards66 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:40 pm

Patrick, Wow!...you think so too?...that the Plexiglass models seem different even compared with other Plissons of the same bristle grade? It's strange, I never suspected either. Enjoy!
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby M6Classic » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:35 am

Pc4406 wrote:I just got a size 12 EW and have joined the Plexi cult as well. I avoided them for far too long as ugly and impractical. How wrong I was. I agree that the knots are far different from my other Plissons. There just is something about these brushes that is so appealing. I wished that I had not avoided them for so long.

Welcome to the cult, Patrick. The plexiglass handles do look ungainly...perhaps ugly, even...but in use I find them absolutely marvelous. They are at once both comfortable and secure to hold, I have never sent a plexiglass Plisson flying across the bathroom when I shake it after rinsing. Yes, Gordon, the hair is very different, longer than found in other handles and capable of holding much more water, extra thick shafts and exceptionally soft tips... One could go on, but I will just write it all off as the Plisson plexiglass mystique; can't be explained yet utterly captivating when experienced.

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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby bernards66 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:48 pm

Buzz, Well remember ( and you've made this very clear numerous times ) that we do not have the same level of bristle in our Plexiglass models as there is in yours because our brushes are much newer ( and smaller of course ). So, the difference may not be as great as what you experience, but still, it IS there. The loft on my Plexi #12 is the same as the loft on my 'regular' Plisson #14 so it would seem that generally the Plexi-handled models do have longer shafts than the same size models with the more standard handles. Both my other Plisson whites are quite densely packed whilst the Plexi model is not. And yet, if anything, it holds even more water. Now that IS strange to me. I don't know how/why it is able to do that, but it does. And I agree, the brush is uncommonly comfy on the face, much like a Kent BK. All in all, there does seem to be something 'special' some how about the Plexiglass handled models that's difficult to fully and clearly explain. As far as the handle is concerned, it's appearance is not really my thing, it being more 'modern' looking but once I got used to it, it is quite comfortable to use. In my experience these particular brushes do seem to be unique. I'm glad I sprang for it, and I appreciate being able to get one from Stan at a doable price.
Regards,
Gordon
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby rsp1202 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:10 am

I don't know how close in comparison a Plisson plexi would be to the somewhat similar version that Thater offers (http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/ind ... ts_id=1200), but rather than spend a small fortune on a Plisson these days, you could pick a 22mm, 23- or 26mm, high lofted, extremely soft 3-banded hair model that might be competitive. Of course it's not the same thing, but maybe a reasonable alternative for those wanting a plexi proxy? Or else just bite the bullet like Patrick and Gordon have done and hope for the best.
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby Pc4406 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:03 am

I have admired those Thater brushes as well and would like to add/try one some day. They are not easy to find (that particular one is Out of Stock at SRD). That being said, having been bitten by the Plexi lust, biting the bullet to get one seems more necessity then luxury.
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby rsp1202 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:53 pm

I've never held a plexi handle like those mentioned, but visually they (especially the larger models) look very blocky and uncomfortable. Buzz has corrected my impression more than once, and now you and Gordon have -- so I think it's sunk in that comfort is not an issue. Now I just have to get over my high-loft phobia. I bring this up only because I'm testing the waters on whether I really want one of these things. I most certainly do when I read threads like this.
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby M6Classic » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:07 pm

rsp1202 wrote:I've never held a plexi handle like those mentioned, but visually they (especially the larger models) look very blocky and uncomfortable. Buzz has corrected my impression more than once, and now you and Gordon have -- so I think it's sunk in that comfort is not an issue. Now I just have to get over my high-loft phobia. I bring this up only because I'm testing the waters on whether I really want one of these things. I most certainly do when I read threads like this.

I strongly believe...but cannot prove...that it is not the height of the loft, but the shape of the knot when wet that makes such a difference in how these brushes perform. The loft is just one aspect of the over-all knot behavior...buy the package, not the characteristics of the package. That said, I would be interested to learn that there is a selection of Plisson plexiglass HMWs and EWs on the market; their acquisition may require a certain dose of good fortune now that they seem to be out of production. As far as I know, the EWs and HMWs perform precisely the same and differ only in the color of the tips.

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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby Pc4406 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:13 pm

There was one size 16 EW and 1 size 20, 1 size 14, and 1 size 12 European Grey available from a vendor in Poland. I'm not sure if anyone else has them available. I agree, it would be nice to find.
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby bernards66 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:27 pm

Ron, If one's main attraction was the handle itself then, yes, perhaps one of Thaters ( or the Kents if they're still available ). But my main point with this thread is the seeming uniqueness of this model Plisson, the 'whole package' as Buzz puts it. I bought this thing in spite of the handle really, although upon use the handle shape proved to be not an issue. But the way the brush performs is what was surprising, given that I already had two whitecap Plissons and given that it isn't as dense as either of my other ones. Even if they were still being offered by the company I would not, realistically, been willing to spend what this brush would have cost new ( if cost was not an issue...well, then it wouldn't be an issue and I probably would have checked one out long ago ), but getting it second hand from a SMF member who offered it at a more doable price is what made it possible. But no one should spend the money on another maker's plexiglass handled model and think they are getting the equivalent...they won't be. Not that the other brush wouldn't be good, it just would not be the same.
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Gordon
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Re: An Unusual Plisson

Postby stanmog » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:34 pm

I was pleased to see that Gordon enjoyed the plexi EW 12. I sold it because for me, it was just too soft and flexible (floppy?) I replaced it with this plexi EW size 10. Pre and post bloom pics:

Image

Image


The knot measures 20 x 52 mm. The handle is rectangular, rather than square, about 29 x 37 mm, and 48 mm tall.

This knot is firmer than the size 12. It is not densely packed, similar to the 12. The coloring shows a wider and darker black band. Tips are soft but there is a little scratchiness, which may abate with time.

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