Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

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brothers
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Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by brothers »

What do we know? Too stiff or floppy? Break in experience - fast or slow, easy or not? Any problems to report or good reports? Overall performance?
,
Gary

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Re: Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by CMur12 »

Gary, on the Portuguese forum "Barbiar Clássico," this brush is very popular. I have never read any comment about it being floppy or too stiff.

Our friend Teiste posted on that forum that the brush has a dense knot and that it requires 20 - 30 shaves to be adequately broken in. Shortcuts to breaking in can help. He said that it withholds lather until it is broken in, and that accumulated soap deposits in the brush from hard water can also make it withhold lather. The solution for accumulated soap deposits is to clean the brush with 50% vinegar and 50% hot water.

Beyond that, I have no experience with the brush, myself, as I have always been so happy with the 1305 that I have seen no reason to seek anything larger.

- Murray
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Re: Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by Rufus »

I have limited experience with boar brushes, but of the few I’ve used the SOC is among the best. Mine probably is not completely broken in, but I found it performed well right from the beginning: it’s neither floppy nor overly stiff and flow through is satisfactory. It makes a good lather and has a pleasant face feel. I lather on my face only and use shaving cream 90% of the time and the SOC suits me quite well in this regard. My preferred brush is a shavemac 3-band silver tip, but although the SOC boar is quite different, I find it quite enjoyable to use. I think that once I’ve broken it in completely I’ll find it even more enjoyable, but I doubt that it will supplant my shavemac 3-band and its ilk. Bottom line, the SOC is a worthwhile addition to my accumulation of shaving brushes and makes an enjoyable change of pace to my badgers and is much more preferable to any synthetic I’ve used.
Bryan
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Re: Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by brothers »

Murray and Bryan, thanks for your thoughtful responses.

It's a pretty brush, and seems to have a good reputation, based on a great many reviews I have seen. I'm not sure why my sudden interest, other than the fact I've been using my favorite boar brush - the Semogue 2000 - for several days now, after I got over the unfortunate shedding fiasco that occurred a while ago. This is the largest boar brush Semogue makes. 30mm x 60mm. The splay is enormous, and sometimes I admit to feeling a bit bored by the size of it. There was a time not too long ago when I had lost the ability to build a lather with any of my small handful of boar brushes, after I sold off almost all of my brushes. Now, thankfully for the 2000 and the others, I seem to have mysteriously rediscovered the muscle memory I once had for raising a decent shaving lather with a boar brush.

Over the past couple of years there have been 4 or 5 SOC (Semogue Owners Club) brushes offered for sale on the various popular shaving forums. Most of them listed at around $25 or $30. It seems there are some that have a wooden handle and a few that are resin. Some of the reviews seem to be somewhat critical of the wooden handles which is completely unfounded in my book. The original selling price for new ones with resin handles is around $45 or more. The wooden handle brand new versions seem to be priced at about $29 to $35 or so, on average. The SOC knot is some sort of premium boar that are smaller than the 2000 at 24mm x 55mm. While I've been reading reviews and checking the Semogue brushes out on the internet I've also been mildly interested in whether or not Omega offers something similar. Because I have no problem with the wooden handle on the 2000, I also have no objection to any and all wooden handles. On the whole, I never have enjoyed the massive hollow plastic handles found on almost all of the Omega brushes, with a few exceptions of course.

As the process has evolved, I've been lead (sp? Past tense - is it lead or is it led? :roll: ) to one brush in particular, offered by Omega, and in a style and size that I haven't considered before now. This brush measures 25mm x 53mm with a wooden handle similar in size and shape, but not identical of course, to the handle of the 2000. The price - new - is around about $15. The model number of this newfound Omega boar is interchangeably (why I cannot determine) either 10005 or 80005, depending on the date (?) and the identity of the listed party where the listing originated. I decided that I might buy one of these if I found the lowest price available. Someone on Amazon (one of the California shaving outlets) has it at about $11 give or take. Amazon also offers financial incentives based on whether the buyer is using the Amazon store card to cover purchases at the buyers' discretion. It seems my wife and I have a small credit to be applied to purchases on ours, so I went through the Amazon checkout process (Prime with free one day shipping) and after tax my cost would have been about $13. When asked if I wanted to apply the outstanding credit, it resulted in a new Omega brush for a grand total of - $0.00! Not one single penny. It's going to be delivered on Monday the 30th.

I'll happily undertake the breaking-in process and am enthusiastic about the possibility that I might find something new and in keeping with the nature of the whole wet-shaving enterprise in which we are all engaged. Just something new and different tossing around in my own little shaving boxes to keep me occupied.

Edit: As of yesterday afternoon after I had posted the above, I am now the proud owner of an SOC Cherry wood brush. Thanks for selling me your brush Sergio! I am looking forward to many great shaves with it.

:shock: Read at your own risk - Just for fun and in closing, I have discovered two somewhat ethereal things that seem to somehow set Semogue and Omega together. (Omega - Italy; Semogue - Portugal) The m in the cursive SOC logo on the handle is upside down, and if one takes the letters use out of Semogue, set them aside, add an a, and arrange them differently, it spells use Omega.
Gary

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brothers
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Re: A couple of new boar brushes

Post by brothers »

The new Omega has been performing very well as an every day brush for the past week or so. Haven't used the Semogue (SOC) yet. It's day will come pretty soon. I have some pretty high expectations for it.
Gary

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brothers
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Re: Here are my new pair of boar brushes

Post by brothers »

After seeing this beautiful pair, one will easily understand why I am so fond of them. Both are well broken in. I did the work on the Omega, and the SOC was already broken in when I received it last week. Lots of split bristles and curled tips on both.
Omega and Semogue brushes.jpg
Omega and Semogue brushes.jpg (1.07 MiB) Viewed 2519 times
Gary

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Re: Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by drmoss_ca »

Gary, I bought an Omega boar like the one on the right of your photo some years ago. Then I bought a box of a dozen of them from emsplace.com as I thought I should never be without one. I have a couple left, having given away most of them. I used the brush exclusively for years, ignoring all the badger brushes. I liked the feel, and presumably I liked it enough to do what I did. I still use the two remainers, and one lives in my travel bag. They seem to work well, feel good, and dry out quickly.

But, I must say this: not all soaps respond well to boar brushes. Let me mention the example of French soaps, of which the Joris/Plisson soap was the only one I found usable. Martin de Candre, Pré de Provence, Provence Santé, Institut Karité were all complete losers to me. And now I go back to luxuriating in the high end badgers that no longer need to be conserved (well, maybe they do, but my use of them may not), these soaps have started to sing out loud of excellent lather and good shaves.

Received wisdom at one time was that boar brushes were good for hard soaps. Stiff bristles would dig up and drag soap off the puck etc. My experience tells me that fine and soft bristles will work, and make really dense and protective lather, IF you spend a little extra time swirling the brush on the puck of soap.

As I have often written here, I'm still learning (or maybe just unlearning the received wisdom!) To see if I'm right, I went down to the underworld and dug out a brush that I was sent as a freebie along with some order of something or other from somewhere or other - I don't recall what or where (but thank you to whoever sent it). It has a white handle and very thin, fine badger hair. Like an expensive camel hair brush for oil paints. It says "Autruche" with a tiny graphic of an ostrich. I looked at it when it arrived and thought I knew enough to put it away. Maybe tomorrow I'll try it on the despised Provence Santé soap (which does smell like toilet cleaner, to be honest) and see if I have learnt anything! I do have some soft and fine synthetic brushes, but they still don't seem to be good for anything beyond dusting LPs and keyboards. I don't know why that is when fine, soft badger brushes can work so well on hard soaps.
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TRBeck
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Re: Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by TRBeck »

Well, I went ahead and bought an ash-handled SOC boar. After all, my other Semogues have been rousing success stories.

I must say that the first shave was disappointing, even for a boar brush, in terms of disappearing lather and the like. I sort of expected a long break-in given my experience with the forerunner to the SOC boar, an LE released back in 2009. I am now three shaves in, and today was really, really lovely. The brush is breaking in quite quickly, it seems, and today made and held three really good passes worth of lather from Harris Almond soap with a fairly standard load time. It has a ways to go, I think, before it's totally broken-in, but man, the feel of the brush is good, a beefier version of the 22/55 knot on the Semogue 1250 with a slightly nicer grade of bristle, too. I imagine this will serve me well when fully tamed, but even now, it's quite usable, much moreso than many other boars after three shaves.

I've now got the SOC in 2-band badger, mixed boar/badger, and boar. All are superb.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau
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Re: Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by Rufus »

TRBeck wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:39 pm Well, I went ahead and bought an ash-handled SOC boar. After all, my other Semogues have been rousing success stories.

I must say that the first shave was disappointing, even for a boar brush, in terms of disappearing lather and the like. I sort of expected a long break-in given my experience with the forerunner to the SOC boar, an LE released back in 2009. I am now three shaves in, and today was really, really lovely. The brush is breaking in quite quickly, it seems, and today made and held three really good passes worth of lather from Harris Almond soap with a fairly standard load time. It has a ways to go, I think, before it's totally broken-in, but man, the feel of the brush is good, a beefier version of the 22/55 knot on the Semogue 1250 with a slightly nicer grade of bristle, too. I imagine this will serve me well when fully tamed, but even now, it's quite usable, much moreso than many other boars after three shaves.

I've now got the SOC in 2-band badger, mixed boar/badger, and boar. All are superb.
You should add the SOC 3-band badger to your collection. I have the three SOC you have and the 3-band.
Bryan
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Re: Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by TRBeck »

Rufus wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:23 am
TRBeck wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:39 pm Well, I went ahead and bought an ash-handled SOC boar. After all, my other Semogues have been rousing success stories.

I must say that the first shave was disappointing, even for a boar brush, in terms of disappearing lather and the like. I sort of expected a long break-in given my experience with the forerunner to the SOC boar, an LE released back in 2009. I am now three shaves in, and today was really, really lovely. The brush is breaking in quite quickly, it seems, and today made and held three really good passes worth of lather from Harris Almond soap with a fairly standard load time. It has a ways to go, I think, before it's totally broken-in, but man, the feel of the brush is good, a beefier version of the 22/55 knot on the Semogue 1250 with a slightly nicer grade of bristle, too. I imagine this will serve me well when fully tamed, but even now, it's quite usable, much moreso than many other boars after three shaves.

I've now got the SOC in 2-band badger, mixed boar/badger, and boar. All are superb.
You should add the SOC 3-band badger to your collection. I have the three SOC you have and the 3-band.
I do have a 3-band silvertip badger in an LE SOC handle (faux tortoise) that I bought last year. A stunning brush in both appearance and use. It's the most perfect badger I own and perhaps the best badger I've used. I ought to take a family picture tonight.

Semogue doesn't miss often.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau
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Re: Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by Rufus »

TRBeck wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:01 am
Rufus wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:23 am
TRBeck wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:39 pm Well, I went ahead and bought an ash-handled SOC boar. After all, my other Semogues have been rousing success stories.

I must say that the first shave was disappointing, even for a boar brush, in terms of disappearing lather and the like. I sort of expected a long break-in given my experience with the forerunner to the SOC boar, an LE released back in 2009. I am now three shaves in, and today was really, really lovely. The brush is breaking in quite quickly, it seems, and today made and held three really good passes worth of lather from Harris Almond soap with a fairly standard load time. It has a ways to go, I think, before it's totally broken-in, but man, the feel of the brush is good, a beefier version of the 22/55 knot on the Semogue 1250 with a slightly nicer grade of bristle, too. I imagine this will serve me well when fully tamed, but even now, it's quite usable, much moreso than many other boars after three shaves.

I've now got the SOC in 2-band badger, mixed boar/badger, and boar. All are superb.
You should add the SOC 3-band badger to your collection. I have the three SOC you have and the 3-band.
I do have a 3-band silvertip badger in an LE SOC handle (faux tortoise) that I bought last year. A stunning brush in both appearance and use. It's the most perfect badger I own and perhaps the best badger I've used. I ought to take a family picture tonight.

Semogue doesn't miss often.
I couldn’t have put it better. All four of my SOC are terrific brushes and as far as I’m concerned can’t be beat in terms of quality, performance and price. =D>
Bryan
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Re: Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by CMur12 »

This is all great to hear, since I have been very much a Semogue fan since 2008, when I bought my first Semogue brush. So, time for a little trivia.

I don't recall if this has been posted on this forum, so I can remove it if you have all heard it. It is the origin of the Semogue brand name.

The current owners of the Semogue factory are Manuel Gomes and family. The original factory was started by another Portuguese citizen, who transferred it to the the father of Manuel Gomes and another male relative when he emigrated to South America. They invented the brand name "Semogue."

I read that Semogue is "Eu Gomes" ("I Gomes") backwards.

- Murray
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Re: Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by fallingwickets »

what a great story Murray.. 27 thumbs up for sharing

clive
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Re: Feedback wanted Semogue SOC boar - not badger

Post by TRBeck »

Murray, thanks for sharing that. I hadn't heard the story.

I know you are a Semogue fan, and you were one of the first members here who posted positively about them. It took me some years to really try Semogue brushes properly, although I loved the 1250 boar for a long time before the others made their way into my den.

I took the 3-band silvertip for a spin this morning. Glorious.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau
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