09-15-2015, 04:06 PM
#1
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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[If you have been linked to this post from elsewhere, where the word “kumquat” was used, you might be surprised that the content below makes no reference to the small citrus fruit that has an edible (and tasty) skin.  One member of this community finds the term, “bloom water,” to be “goofy,” as — to him — it has connotations of sewage treatment.  As the phrase, “bloom water,” enjoys wide and current use elsewhere, and as it is descriptively apt, the full phrase appears in this post and in the title of the thread; but in deference to my colleague, when I refer to the technique outside of this thread, I follow the lead of the late Prof. Alfred Kahn, as explained in the third paragraph of this article about Israeli nuclear weapons, which are less goofy than water sitting atop a soap puck, and shall refer to bloom water there by the euphemism that  Prof. Kahn chose.]

In a few other threads on this board, yr obdnt srvnt has described verbally my still-evolving “Bloom Water technique” for working a soap into a lather.  Because one description responded to the unfathomable allegation that Mystic Water soaps are difficult to lather, for this thread I have chosen to show a Mystic Water puck in a small photo gallery to illustrate another post where I made a more generalized description of the method.

No special equipment is needed; the general idea of the procedure is to use — rather than to discard — water that has been sitting atop a soap puck to “bloom” the soap; the main obstacle to such use is that the bloom water cools off when sitting on the puck, and nobody wants to lather up with cold soapy water.  So the strategy is to get a mug that has a large thermal mass very hot, then transfer the bloom water to the hot mug, from which the bloom water will absorb heat, making an excellent raw material from which proto-lather, and, with further brushwork in the mug or on the face, enough lather for a fine full shave, can be whipped up.  

Start by closing the drain stopper in the sink, and running very hot water into a ceramic mug, allowing the water to run over the rim and fill the sink on the outside of the mug:
[Image: vGkmU2P.jpg]
For the curious, that is an Aquabrass Streem (not a typo) faucet, dumping hot water into a Kobushiyaki coffee mug that I purchased at the workshop of the potter in Iwamizawa, Hokkaido, in 1966.

Pour a few tablespoonsful of hot water atop the soap puck, and let it sit there while you take your shower (or whatever):
[Image: FRj1kNv.jpg]
A puck of Mystic Water Bergamot, Cedarwood, & Juniper is in a chrome-plated plastic Omega shaving bowl, which happens to nest perfectly into the top of the coffee mug.  With other soaps, I just set the bowl or tub, with the water atop the puck, on the sideboard of the sink.
[Image: 8Vd6a9r.jpg]
Here is a close-up of the puck with the water atop it; diffraction caused by the water in the sink where the mug is sitting distorts the proportions of the mug,

After draining the cooled down water from the sink and the mug (but not draining the water atop the puck in its bowl), refill the sink with hot water and pour the bloom water from atop the soap into the hot mug:
[Image: SDR1F5Q.jpg]
The mug, with a high thermal mass, will quickly warm up the bloom water’s relatively small thermal mass.

Using an until-now-dry synthetic brush, whip up a proto-lather in the mug:
[Image: K2dcGCq.jpg]
This is the result of about 30 seconds of whipping only the bloom water shown in the prior image with a previously dry Mühle 33K252 Silvertip Fibre brush.  No additional water was added, and the brush has not touched the puck of soap at all.  

Further bowl lathering with only the bloom water usually will produce nearly enough lather for a two-pass shave:
[Image: YmmpU6m.jpg]
[Image: 75nB4e9.jpg]
Of course, nothing prevents you, at this stage, from adding more soap directly from the soap puck and incorporating additional water; but the photographs above show what can be done using only the bloom water.  

(The small bar of soap in the fish-shaped soap dish at the left of the photo is the remnant of a once much larger bar of Mystic Water Goat Milk Facial Soap, which is our very favorite face and shower soap, and which my bride gives her friends in Japan as omiyage.)

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 09-15-2015, 04:12 PM
#2
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I have a few comments.

1) I love the faucet. They are super luxurious
2) i love the sink. I feel like its a beach shore in your bathroom
3) that is a really interesting backsplash


and lastly, I would not take a blade to my face just using the bloom water soap, BUT i would definitely use it on my face and then load my brush from the puck and add that in. 

God i just really like that sink. So optimal for shaving

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 09-15-2015, 04:14 PM
#3
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Nice demo, but honestly, like Goose, I was admiring the sink Smile

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 09-15-2015, 04:21 PM
#4
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Lol I guess great minds think alike great sink!

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 09-15-2015, 04:45 PM
#5
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Pretty cool to get that much foam from the bloom water. 
And yes, great sink!

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 09-15-2015, 05:24 PM
#6
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(09-15-2015, 04:12 PM)DamnitGoose Wrote: I have a few comments.

1) I love the faucet. They are super luxurious
2) i love the sink. I feel like its a beach shore in your bathroom
3) that is a really interesting backsplash


and lastly, I would not take a blade to my face just using the bloom water soap, BUT i would definitely use it on my face and then load my brush from the puck and add that in. 

God i just really like that sink. So optimal for shaving

10Q.

Yr obdnt srvnt  .tiled that backsplash as DIY project.  The tile is an Italian line called iVettri, and we purchased it from S'Tile here in Portland (Very Near to the Center of the Known Universe).

That sink is a Cantrio Koncepts PS-004 Ceramic Vessel Sink, which we purchased from Bellacor.com.  We installed it ourselves.  

The bloom water lather is (perhaps) the very best way to prime a dry brush for lathering.  If you take a dry brush and dip it in water, capillary action takes that water up to where the knot meets the handle.  When you use that brush, all of the the soap is on the tips, with not enough water to make it work, and it has a load of water behind it, with not enough soap to make it work -- that is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you prime the brush from the start, the distribution of soap solids and water is evenly distributed within the brush.

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 09-15-2015, 05:27 PM
#7
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(09-15-2015, 05:24 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(09-15-2015, 04:12 PM)DamnitGoose Wrote: I have a few comments.

1) I love the faucet. They are super luxurious
2) i love the sink. I feel like its a beach shore in your bathroom
3) that is a really interesting backsplash


and lastly, I would not take a blade to my face just using the bloom water soap, BUT i would definitely use it on my face and then load my brush from the puck and add that in. 

God i just really like that sink. So optimal for shaving

10Q.

Yr obdnt srvnt tiled that backsplash as DIY project.  The tile is an Italian line called iVettri, and we purchased it from S'Tile here in Portland (Very Near to the Center of the Known Universe).

That sink is a Cantrio Koncepts PS-004 Ceramic Vessel Sink, which we purchased from Bellacor.com.  We installed it ourselves.  

The bloom water lather is (perhaps) the very best way to prime a dry brush for lathering.  If you take a dry brush and dip it in water, capillary action takes that water up to where the knot meest the handle.  When you use that brush, all of the the soap is on the tips, with not enough water to make it work, and it has a load of water behind it, with not enough soap to make it work -- that is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you prime the brush from the start, the distribution of soap solids and water is evenly distributed within the brush.

Wow thats actually a really nice price for that sink. I will keep this in my back pocket when i do a renovation. Also nice thoughts on the priming a brush with the "protolather" or bloomwater lather. Didnt even cross my mind.

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 09-15-2015, 05:51 PM
#8
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
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I use bloom water as a pre-shave personally. LOVE the sink basin.

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 09-16-2015, 11:12 AM
#9
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The very place to shave!  The whole process is sweet to the eye and mind. It fits Michelle´s soaps very well.. Smile

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 09-21-2015, 09:15 AM
#10
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Mel, you have the best thought out methods I've encountered. That extra touch about the bloom water and the brush's capillary action -- the minutiae of shaving are what keep things interesting for me. I love trying a new soap or a new blade, but just fine-tuning the pre-shave is every bit as engaging, and probably much more significant.

Many soaps (even some triple milled ones) don't require blooming, but it always enhances the lather IMO. I've just developed the habit of sprinkling a drop or two of hot water on the puck no matter which soap I'm using. Even soaps that are famous for easy lathering, like Tabac, perform even better with a little time to bloom!

my 2¢

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 06-15-2017, 09:13 AM
#11
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Not sure who is the "one member of this community [who] very strongly objects to the term, “bloom water-- but the objection strikes a chord!

I don't object to it, though, so much as finding it goofy.
I get the idea of a brush blooming, but not soap.
I've heard it suggested that there's a parallel with yeast blooming, but that's a stretch.

That aside, soapy water is quite useful in developing lather.

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 06-15-2017, 10:52 AM
#12
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-15-2017, 09:13 AM)Rory1262 Wrote: Not sure who is the "one member of this community [who] very strongly objects to the term, “bloom water-- but the objection strikes a chord!

I don't object to it, though, so much as finding it goofy.

Post #1 in this thread has been amended.

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 06-15-2017, 10:58 AM
#13
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Much appreciated. Now I get it! Algal blooms...but of course. Smile

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