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Every morning we wake up and take care of the big three – shit, shower, and shave. Though some days the three S's could be stink, stubble, and scalp itch. Luckily, Ritual has stepped up and provided us with a new line of products to handle our morning needs.
By Jesse Stern
Every day we go through it. The Ritual. We poop, we stand under a spray of hot water and scrub ourselves with chemicals, and we scrape a blade across our hairy faces. Okay, I have the luxury of not having to shave every day, but the other two are pretty much obligatory. So, I decided to check out Ritual, and their new line of products for the daily, well, ritual.
The first thing to notice about Ritual are the graphics. Black matte plastic with a simple, iconic green-and-white design. Something about this says “Man”, like a new generation of Old Spice. An outline of a guy with slick hair and a handlebar mustache, a couple of stars, and a pair of crossed disposable razors.
Shit: “Nature Calls” Toilet Deodorizer Drops
In the bottle, this stuff smells a bit like kitty litter. Which makes sense when you think about it for a minute. Go ahead, think about it for a minute.
Anyway … put two drops in the bowl, right before dropping your enchilada bomb. According to the label, the “plant-extract-derived solution neutralizes odor before it disperses.”
Okay, let’s face it. Nobody’s going to be fooled into thinking that you just planted a garden of roses. But these toilet deodorizer drops really do seem to work. They make the stink less stinky, more rosy-fresh, and, most importantly, they reduce the stink-to-neutral time significantly.
I have never used any other brand of toilet drops. I’m more of a light-a-match-and-open-the-window kind of guy. But, this stuff works at least as well as the match-and-window technique. And, you get a somewhat more pleasant smell than sulfur.
Shower: “Trifecta” Body, Hair and Face Gel
I just tried this stuff for the second time, and I really like it. It is surprisingly mild. Not too soapy, not too perfumey, and yet it does the job. (Uh, the job is washing off the stink.) I also like the idea that just one product can be mild enough for the face and hair, yet cleansing enough for the body. One bottle of goo, pour and scrub clean. Hot spots, hair spots, you name it. The thing I like best about Trifecta is the mildness. It doesn’t dry out my skin like soap does, and it doesn’t make me smell like the Macy’s fragrance counter.
Shave: “The Whip” Shaving Cream, “The Balm” Post-shave Gel, and “Razor Rinse” Shaving Blade Antiseptic
Let’s start with The Whip. This is a cool name, and it evokes a time when guys in hats said things like “put up your dukes” and “scram” and “see you around, kid.” If you’re used to the shaving cream that foams up in your hand, you will be disappointed. This stuff doesn’t lather up much at all, but it does the job. When I got it, I had about a week’s worth of stubble. I shaved my face and my head, and came away with zero razor burn, zero bumps, zero nicks. What more can I ask for?
After The Whip, it was time for The Balm. Again, the mildness is very impressive. Rather than burning with alcohol like many after-shaves, the Balm actually soothes with a cool feeling and simple smell.
Finally, we come to the last in the trio of shaving gear: Razor Rinse. Okay, I get it. It’s a gel antiseptic for the razor. You squirt it on the blade, and it disinfects while you go about your day, just like in a barber shop. I’m not sure how important this is to me. I don’t have roommates, and I don’t share razors. But, it is nice to have clean tools, and Razor Rinse is thick enough that it stays on the razor without making a mess.
Ritual: Last Impressions
The stuff inside the Ritual bottles ranged from pretty cool (“Razor Rinse” and “Nature Calls”) to sublime (“Trifecta” and “The Whip”). My complaint about these products is what’s on the outside. I believe the graphics and packaging are deceptively less classy than the product. The black label and tongue-in-cheek graphic seem incomplete, like a rough draft.
I could be wrong here — it wouldn’t be the first time, and David Arquette would certainly disagree — but I get the impression that the guys at Ritual spent a lot of time developing the products, then were in a hurry designing the package.
I mean, the idea is cool. I get the appeal to someone looking for an alternative, and something “outside the box.” In that, the graphic design is successful. I also get the simple, iconic design. In that, the graphic is also successful. The names and descriptions are cool too. What’s not successful is that it seems visually rough around the edges.
The packaging needs to grab the attention of us average guys and make us feel that the “Trifecta” one stop shop for cleaning your mug is worth the $16 sticker price, many of whom may not be used to spending that much for grooming products.
All that said, I will definitely keep using Ritual, especially the shaving cream and the shower gel. I hope other guys will look beyond the — to me — kinda weird packaging, and try out the great stuff inside.
That’s it for me. What’s that? Where am I going? To take care of my Ritual, of course!