Like some Apple acolyte waiting for the latest iPad, there I was, at the Shopper’s Drug Mart at 10 AM on a Sunday morning, scanning the shave gear aisle for signs of the new Gillette Fusion Proglide, scheduled for its official launch today. There were none to be seen on the shelves, and I said to myself, “As usual…G.D. Americans treat us like hick cousins…letting us have our toys only after they’ve played with them” (usual Canadian paranoia). But then I glanced down the aisle and my heart skipped a beat…there it was…a full display box loaded with Proglide razors and mysterious new salves.

I bought the regular Proglide razor as I’m opposed to the Power version. I hate batteries and the ecological burden they encourage. I decided to give the new razor the same shake as I did the Hydro 5 a couple of days ago: A straight shave using the three classical passes, with Bliss Thermal Shave Cream as the substrate. The only difference is that instead of my trusty MR. GLO, I used Gillette’s new Thermal Face Scrub to prepare the skin.

The Thermal Face Scrub is very nice; I love these new exothermic creams that give off lots of heat when they come in contact with air (I just don’t know if they’re really safe or if I’ll grow a second head in the near future). Nevertheless, it did a great job of cutting the grease on my 2-day old beard. My only complaint is that like most commercial products for men, it is heavily scented; I wish Gillette and others would tone down the smells, but I’m afraid they’re catering to a much younger demographic that really likes the heavy aromatics.

The Proglide cartridge is much better than the original Fusion blade. There is noticeably less drag and the final result was way ahead of anything I’ve ever had from a cartridge (with the exception of the Hydro 5, which was pretty much on par). In fact, the end result was superb, extremely close and smooth with hardly any sign of irritation from the alum block test (although very slightly more than with the Hydro 5).

Next shave, I’ll try the Proglide without any shave cream, just as I did the Hydro 5.