In our mission to bring you the very best in artisan shaving, we have gone undercover with British shaving soap makers Phoenix and Beau to find out a little more about them and what is to come this year.....
Phoenix and Beau
The Burrows family live in Hitchin, North Hertfordshire. They are Kerry (Dad), Sarah (Mum), Isla (6yrs) and Sanna (3yrs). They are avid lovers of the outdoors; when they are not working for Phoenix and Beau you will find them walking, running, riding the trails of the Chiltern Hills. Kerry is ex-British Army and Sarah used to work in London as an architectural illustrator. What do they have for breakfast? Well it is never skipped! Porridge, toast, weetabix and fruit (and lots of coffee!) are the usual staples for this part of their day.
Kerry began traditional shaving circa 2014 and really it was an exercise in curiosity and seeking a better alternative to cartridge razors and the ubiquitous shaving foam. From that point he discovered the sheer variety and depth of options and was captured by the quality, durability and presentation of wet shaving accessories.
The shaving soap journey
Soap making began the following year (2015) and was again the result of inquisitiveness. Kerry wanted to understand what he was putting on to and in to his skin and so began a study in to ingredients and soap formulas. He loved science and chemistry at school and that married well with his love of cooking (akin to making soap) and art.
Kerry and Sarah wanted an abstract name for the brand so have used the two middle names of their daughters; Sanna (Phoenix) and Isla (Beau)
Ultimately all of their efforts and energy that they spend on the company is about leaving a legacy for their children. It is fitting that their names stand front and centre in everything that they do.
Favourite shaving soap scent
We all want to know, what would be Kerrys favourite Phoenix and Beau shaving soap scent? It was a tough question for him as he loves them all! The Kickstarter soap, Britannia, has a special place. It's a deeply rich fougere profile that has been a long time in the making and it's pivotal to the growth of Phoenix and Beau. He also has an idea for a soap they would call 'Luna'. It sounds exciting, as you may have guessed, inspired by the moon and would have a scent profile built around what he would imagine the moon to smell like, e.g. near hard vacuum, moon dust, water, ice and meteor strikes.
The perfect Phoenix and Beau lather
Pour a small amount of warm water to the top of any Phoenix and Beau shaving soap that you are using. This is called blooming, Kerry usually lets his soap bloom whilst having a shower. Then decant that (bloom) water in to your palm and rub that in to your face; it's after that point that you would use a well soaked brush to build a storm of a lather. Phoenix and Beau shaving soap likes water, don't be shy, get it in there and watch it explode!
What is coming in 2018?
2018 is another big year for Phoenix and Beau *draws breath*, the following shaving soaps being released:
- Volupta - Limited Edition. Neroli, black pepper, benzoin & lime. Coming late February
- Britannia - only available directly from P&B as part of the Kickstarter project
- V60 - Core range. Coffee, cocoa and vanilla. April
- Trafalgar - Core range. Green birch, north sea & samphire. June
- Coda - Limited Edition. Profile to be confirmed. July
- SE16 - Limited Edition. Summer Profile. Septemeber
- Baskerville - Limited Edition. Laddanum, vetiver and cedarwood. November
- Star Noir - Christmas Limited Edition. Jasmine, sandalwood and ylang ylang. December
For the avid wet shavers amongst us you will recognise some firm favourites returning! On top of all of that they hope to be able to release a line of long awaited botanical inspired aftershaves and a beard oil. Phoenix and Beau wish to thank all of their customers and stockists who have helped them get this far - we at Agent Shave are proud to be supporting a truly British brand!
Thank you to Kerry and Sarah for allowing us to come undercover into the world of Phoenix and Beau.