Jack Jarvis Shaving Soap - Thailand Shaving Soap
Rumour has it that Jack had his first shave when he eight years old. Jackson Jarvis was born in the Australian outback in 1932 when men were men and sheep were scared. There was a very good reason for that. As a youngster, Jack would sit on an oak tree barrel and watch his grandpa soap up his face and drag a rusty old knife across his chin. Guided by a steady hand and a 3-inch mirror. Times were tough and money was short. "Now that's how ya' shave son." grandpa would yell out in delight. He'd always do a little dance when he'd finished.
Jack was brought up by his grandpa. Times were tough but men were tougher. Jack's grandpa's name was Jack, and Jack's great grandpa's name was Jack. They said the name was easy to remember and easy to spell. Young Jack would watch in amazement every morning as his grandpa would lather up the soap and drag that rusty old knife across his face, always ending with the same exclamation. "Now that's how ya' shave son." Even then as a youngster, Jack knew there had to be a better way.
JACKS JOURNEY BEGAN.
Young Jack moved to Sydney in 1950 in search of fame and fortune. He looked hard but didn't find it. Then in 1952 at 20 years of age, Jack's luck changed. He was offered a job on a cargo ship heading for Europe. The job of a lifetime. Sailing the high seas. Visiting new worlds, new frontiers, exotic adventures to be had. Living the life as they say. On route to London, first port Singapore, second port Bangkok. Three days out of Singapore Jack knew that he had to have a shave. He looked like a beast. Alas, he had a rusty knife, but no shaving soap to be found.
Jack had become friendly with a crew member from Wales. His name was Cadwgawn. They had a lot of things in common. "Cadwgawn Dawfdd" he would say proudly. And his grandpa's name? Also Cadwgawn Dawfdd. He said his grandpa told him if the police are ever looking for him, it's a hard name to remember, and a hard name to spell. It all made good sense. Cadwgawn also liked to shave like his grandpa did. And as luck would have it, Cadwgawn had a shaving soap recipe handed down from his great grandpa's grandpa.
IT WAS TIME TO MAKE SOME SOAP.
Jack and Cadwgawn made their way to the galley. They both needed a shave before they docked in Singapore. For sure there would be ladies to impress. It was time to make up a batch of shaving soap. Cadwgawn always carried the ingredients in his kit bag should times like this arise. Cadwgawn carefully read out the instructions as Jack carefully measured out the ingredients. Exotic oils and oil blends that filled the galley with a beautiful aroma. Exotic, mysterious, delightful ingredients. They poured a batch.
At around 6 pm, three hours before docking in Singapore both Jack and Cadwgawn decided it was time to shave. They lathered up a shaving brush, and the lather was creamy and abundant. Unlike anything Jack had used before. Jack pulled out his grandpas' rusty old knife and proceeded to shave. Cadwgawn was horrified. "Jack. You're supposed to use a safety razor" he cried. With that, Cadwgawn left the room, only to return minutes later with a spare razor he had in his kit. "Here you go" as he passed it to Jack. It was the best shave Jack had ever had.
Jack and Cadwgawn disembarked in Singapore with 8 hours to play up. They found themselves sitting in a bar in downtown Changi Road. True sailors as they were there was rum to be drunk, dancing to be done, and romance to be found. It was the most exotic location Jack had ever seen. It was hot, it was humid and it was exciting. A young lady came up to Jack and looked him squarely in the eye. "Your face look so beautiful" she squealed. "Can I touch it?" She immediately cupped Jack's face in her hands. "Beautiful and so soft. Not like other man" she smiled.
Jack rubbed his face, looked her in the eye, and said "You're right love. It's my new shaving soap. Smooth as a baby's bum isn't it" Later that night, Jack stumbled back to the ship with Cadwgawn nowhere in sight. He went to check Cadwgawn's bunk, and all that he found was the shaving soap recipe and a gleaming safety razor. Jack thought nothing of it. He'd see Cadwgawn in the morning no doubt. Sadly, that night was the last time Jack ever saw Cadwgawn. The ship had set sail and was making it's way to Bangkok.
The captain of the ship saw Jack disembark once they'd unloaded their cargo. As the legend goes, Jack made his way into town and quickly fell in love. In love with the city, the people, the aromas, and the tempo. It was a happy place. Jack too didn't make it back to the ship. Following Cadwgawn's example, he simply disappeared. He'd finally found a home. Some say he made his way up to Chiang Mai and settled there in later years, but not too much is known. The only thing known for certain is Cadwgawn's shaving soap recipe survived the journey.
In 2015, at the foot of a bar stool in Khao San Road, a small brown leather bag was found. The bag was old, and obviously well traveled. No one knows who left it there. No one knows why. But in it were three items. A diary titled "Jack Jarvis - A Proud Man Of Siam." The last entry was made in 1972. It was old and worn. Times and dates were patchy and it was missing some pages. A double-edged safety razor. Well used, obviously a classic vintage razor. And lastly, Cadwgawn's shaving soap recipe. On old paper, antique and fragile simply signed "Jack Jarvis"
THIS IS THE LEGEND OF JACK JARVIS - MAN OF SIAM. BELIEVE IT OR NOT..
A Siam Wet Shave registered Company. Man Of Siam Thailand.