May 31, 2020

Stubble Cigar

Ursa Major 1

I, like Frank, consider the smell of unsmoked tobacco a momentary indulgence. I don’t purchase nor carry tobacco for the purpose of smelling it. But having smelled it before and revelled in its particular olfactory essence, I do appreciate the nostalgia it evokes of nonexistent times filled with deep thinking and even deeper gashes in firewood piled aside some cabin.

The razor held so delicately above both overtly looks and feels like a cigar. It was, at some point in the dearest past, crafted by Ursa Major.

This post is kinda sponsored. I didn’t get paid for it but received the razor handle aeons ago for promotion on my now-defunct television show. The product didn’t make it on air back in the day and it’s been plaguing my conscience ever since. If I were to ever be spiritually abducted into the realm of purgatoire de l’auteur, this should serve as karmic remittance.

I checked Ursa Major’s site and couldn’t find the razor. This is damn embarrassing. Alas, without knowing price nor description, I’ll tell you a bit about this fine piece of face-shearing wood. Perhaps you’ll find yourself perusing their skincare products and I’ll feel a smidgen better about putting off this review.

I despise ads and wouldn’t dare clog my beautiful blog with them. I put links to Ursa Major above in case you’re genuinely interested in em. They have an affiliate program but I am not part of it and these are not affiliate links.

The review

Ursa Major 5

It’s quite odd to show me shaving because the Ursa Major razor ain’t a razor at all—it’s a razor handle. That’s it. A lil’ piece of wood. It almost doesn’t make sense as a product, which is maybe why they ditched it in their lineup. Until it does make sense.

That wood feels good. It’s minimal, earthy, and decently designed. I’m all for buying sustainable, practical tools that match my vibe (or aesthetic or whatever). Ursa Major didn’t touch the functional part because they know others do it better. You can pop on and off disposable Gillette tops as you see fit. And that’s all there is to it.

Though the handle’s a bit of a collector’s item now, its simplicity says something about the company. Ursa Major cares about biodegradable goods that feel good to use and look good to have. Sustainable design. Do their personal care products cost a premium? Absolutely. Is that inaccessible price tier indicative of the quality of the potions inside the modern-outdoorsy designed canisters? That’s for you to decide. I lean on the side of niche-audience marketing in a subversive neo-capitalistic hellscape. Nah, the potions are cute.

Hey, I like our environment. I’ll back a conscious company any day. The Ursa Major razor handle reminds me of a quality leather wallet—an investment in lasting kit that’ll age right along with you. But my wallet’s not the size of the tree that was felled to make that handle. As a careful consumer I’d opt for a similar, more cost-effective brand like Tom’s of Maine. Come to think of it, Ursa Major is a Vermont brand. It could be Vermont’s answer to Tom’s of Maine. Could be I’m unaware of some turf war between New England personal care brands. In that case, before I become a plaid-donning political prisoner, know that I stand by Ursa Major’s site design over Tom’s. It’s much cleaner and the bear logo is substantially more huggable than my own name in stamp form.

Here’s one more photograph of me and the stubble cigar. My brother took all of these—thanks Kevin.

Ursa Major 4


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