Intro: Another one of my FS orders (aliexpress) turned up on Friday and I have used it three times. This is the brush I ordered is what our community refers to as “Fanchurian”. Basically, a Manchurian hair knot in a flat top, fan shape. https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/FS-24mm-FAN-SHAPE-MANCHURIAN-Finest-badger-Shaving-Brush-Black-White-Handle-FREE-STAND-FREE/2662148_32947812137.html I also ordered a set from FS with their 20mm badger brush and wooden handle DE razor. I will write a review for that once I’ve had a chance to use it a few times. Shedding and Smell: There was a very faint smell, which dissipated after just a couple of test lathers with De Vergulde Hand (I don’t use this soap for shaving due to it being very drying for my skin, so I use it for deodorising new brushes). The brush hasn’t shed even one hair as yet, even after three uses. It’s a very high quality construction. One of the first things I noticed is just how dark the middle waist of the hair is. It’s darker than any of my other two bands. It looks gorgeous with the combination of the dark waist and the light Manchurian tips. Pre-bloom softness: Surprisingly soft for a two band! I was surprised by this. Break-in: After the couple of test lathers, it was soft and ready to go. Being a two band, it will soften up as it breaks in over the next 7-10 uses but it is already very comfortable to use. Softness: Two bands are a thicker hair so they do have an innate scrub to them. When they are new, they have a very light scritch but with this particular brush, the scritch was gone after two test lathers and one use for a shave. After that, it already felt soft and comfortable whilst retaining that beautiful scrub that only a two band can give! (Silvertip and Pure/Best badgers give opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to scritch but a two band finest lies perfectly in-between where there is no scrtichy feeling on the face but it does give the feeling of scrubbiness). Splay: The splay is excellent. It’s effortless in that since it is a flat-top fan shape knot, it really doesn’t require me to splay it out much as it already has more coverage and therefore, lesser need to be splayed out. That said, when I wish to splay it out more, it does respond easily but it doesn’t splay flat as it’s definitely not a floppy brush, nor does it resist a splay…although most badgers are not resistant to splay unless they are overly packed (which is an aspect I have never liked as I don’t like to fight my badger brushes and over-dense knots also hog lather). Backbone/Density: The knot is 24mm/50mm. This combination is just perfect for this flat top knot! It’s dense, scrubby and just so much fun to use! It doesn’t hog my lather and the release is also very easy. The backbone is slightly more than my other two bands due to the 50mm loft but it still splays out beautifully. Drying time: The brush takes roughly 10 hours to dry out completely (in my current cold, dry climate). This is consistent with all the other two band brushes I’ve used. I’d stick with synthetics for travel but at home, it really doesn’t bother me if my brushes are drying out quickly or not. Handle: The black with white waist handle is a classic! It really goes well with the opposing contrast to the black and white two band knot. The colours/bands flow nicely. The shape of the handle is ergonomic. The resin is substantial but not overly heavy, I really like this aspect as I have some handles that get tiring to use by the third pass (carpel tunnel). Overall: I already find two band knots to be my favourite type of badger knot/hair but this brush has become my favourite two band and therefore, my favourite badger brush (out of my total of 14 badger brushes). It really is a treat to use!!