I’ve just completed my Sunday morning ritual. Shaving. I enjoy shaving and probably shave every day of the week. Most guys don’t seem to be as attentive to their whiskers as I seem to be. More about that later. Kathy thinks I should have been a woman. Not because of the shaving but because of the fragrances I have. Why do I like cologne and the other grooming products? It started in 7th or 8th grade.

In the 1960’s we had Brut, English Leather, Jade East, Old Spice, Jovan Musk, Hi Karate, and others. I tried each of them at one time or another. My friends wore them too. One of the guys was into English Leather and another Jade East. Brut was my favorite. The shower powder thing started when I was in the Navy. One of the ship’s cooks used it after showering so I tried it one day. We also sprinkled it in our bunk to make the sheets smell clean, especially when we couldn’t do laundry for a while. It gets sort of “gamey” inside a submarine after 80 days. During my Navy days, Patchouli came into vogue. I have some in my cabinet even today. I also discovered Paco Rabanne and Drakkar.

I traveled during the late 1990’s into the mid-2000’s and that brought a new line of “gentlemen’s products.” I was in Piccadilly Circus, in London, and discovered Jermyn Street. It’s the mecca of “gentlemen’s barbers and perfumers”. Geo. F. Trumper, Taylor Of Bond Street, J. Floris, and around the corner, Truefitt and Hill, supposedly the oldest barber shop in the world. I wandered through the Burlington Arcade and found Penhaligon’s. This was heaven. I don’t even want to think about how much money I’ve spent in these places. But Winston Churchill wore Blenheim Bouquet, from Penhaligon’s, and Prince Charles has given a royal warrant to J. Floris. If it’s good enough for them…

Back to the Sunday morning ritual. The shave proceeds as follows:

Soak the Simpson 58 Best Badger shaving brush in a mug of hot water. The mug was handmade by my granddaughter, Grace, and has the word “Cubs” on the side. Heat the shaving scuttle by filling it with hot water, and then jump into the shower. Make sure the face has been soaped and soaked well before getting out. Then, using the Simpson 58 Best Badger shaving brush, mix the shaving cream (I have probably ten different products I can choose from) in the top of the scuttle so the lather heats up. Soak the face in hot water and apply pre-shave oil. I am using one from Art of the Shave but I’ve also used products from The Righteous Beard. Make sure the Edwin Jagger double edge razor has a new Astra blade in it and lather the face with the shaving brush. I shave in three different directions. Down, up, and across, soaking and lathering my face between each. Pay special attention to the corners of the mouth and the area just under the nose. These are the hardest to shave close.

Still with me? Oh, I forgot that on rare occasions I use a Dreadnought straight razor. I’m not too good with it so I don’t use it often. I usually stick to the DE razor. OK, after shaving across the grain, I rinse the face with warm water, and wet the alum block, rubbing it over my face. Rinse the shaving brush and scuttle, then splash the face with cold water. Ice cold water. I put Trumper’s skin food or Thayers Witch Hazel Rose with Aloe Vera on my face, and shower powder on the aging body. Then I use after shave and/or cologne. Once the face is completely dry, Trumper’s shaving talc goes on. A quick look in the mirror and…. Well, no additional comments required. 

Many of you cannot begin to relate to this. I understand. Maybe Kathy is right.

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