Another year has come and gone and it's time to remember Dad again. Eric has curated a list of scents for the hard-working man in your life. Whether he slaved at the office, got his hands dirty on the farm, clocked in at the factory, or logged miles on the road, he deserves something better than a cheap tie, just sayin'.
Wholly Kaw Shaving Soap, Cuero Oscuro:
Perhaps you remember the time your father would shuffle out to the kitchen at the crack of dawn, worn leather oxfords waiting for donning as he poured himself a strong cup of black coffee. No need for cream and sugar; as long as the bitter nectar awakened his senses for the long work day ahead, it was good enough for him. Cuero Oscuro is a perfect homage to hard working leather (the time-tested wear of dutiful, sturdy cowhide gloves or a pair of supple, much-loved leather boots) with notes of leather, vetiver, cedarwood, tobacco, patchouli, oakmoss and coffee. If your ol’ man is a little rough around the edges, well, that’s precisely what the soap was made to represent. Sri’s donkey milk-based soap yields a lather that is rivaled by few (if any, depending on who you ask), with sufficient density accompanied with top tier slickness and skin moisturization.
Stirling Soap Co. Shaving Soap, Baker St.:
To me, Stirling’s “Baker St.” embodies a worn tweed jacket; a functional piece that kept your father warm and protected from the elements. But this is no new jacket. No. This is tweed with an attitude, a jacket restitched and patched to fill the tears because, so help her God, his lady would have his head if he ruined his coat of integrity beyond repair. As the name implies, “Baker St.” takes themes from the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes; notes of bergamot, patchouli, juniper and jasmine creating an air of a washed, laundered garment carrying memories of dust, soil and a natural, subtle musk. As we shaving enthusiasts may know, Stirling is in the game of the best bang-for-your-buck soaps and aftershaves, with a performance comparable to other well known artisans, yet at a fraction of the price.
Imaginary Authors The Soft Lawn Eau de Parfum:
Imaginary Authors creates perhaps some of the most vivid, encompassing imaginary within just a few simple fragrance notes. The Soft Lawn is no different, with notes of laurel, ivy, linden blossoms, vetiver, and oakmoss. This creates a silvery floral that quickly gives way to a soft, grassy and vetiver-forward drydown reminding one of a summer eve’s garden party or braving the dry heat as your dad’s personal caddy, trudging through the rough carrying his impressive range of clubs.
Old Spice After Shave Lotion, Original (150 mL):
Around the time of many of our fathers, facial hair simply was not an option. One showed up to the workplace with a freshly ironed shirt and a clean shaven face, with very little exception. After a quick go with his Gillette Tech or Super Speed, he’d finish off the only way he knew how; with the skin-bracing sting of the ever-popular Original Old Spice. Notes of citrus, complex florals and spices give way to a musky amber base, proudly wearing the title of unashamed masculinity for generations to come.
Pinaud Clubman, Lilac Vegetal Aftershave:
Now here’s where we delve into the serious classics. Lilac Vegetal was perfumer Edouard Pinaud’s very first aftershave lotion, commissioned by Napoleon for the Hungarian Cavalry back in the 1800s. This is the simple fragrance of lilac and musk, and the after shave used by not only our fathers, by their father’s fathers. For a true classic and a nod to the past, this is the absolute go-to.
Imaginary Authors, A City on Fire Eau de Parfum:
Perhaps your dad was the old fashioned type. You know, the one to sit on the back patio after a nice, home-cooked meal, with Meerschaum pipe in one hand, matchbook in the other. Or perhaps - like my own father - he collected unique matchbooks from his places of travel. Imaginary Authors’ A City on Fire perfectly captures the memorable and unforgettable tinge of smoky sulfur dioxide as one strikes a match upon the strike strip. Cade oil and spikenard are the devilish pair that create this ashy accord, while cardamom, clearwood, dark berries and labdanum create an air of an unknown forest just after twilight on the drydown.
Royall Muske Cologne:
It seems as if the mid 20th-century just couldn’t get enough of the note of musk. Traditionally obtained from the deer’s musk gland, a class of compounds in musk itself gives off a strongly animalic olfaction. As hair grew longer and beards were left to flourish throughout mid century, men’s fragrances came in droves after this sultry note of fragrance. On its own, its somewhat gamy and musty character seems to greatly complement the natural human odor, rather than trying to mask it. Royall’s Muske is a darker, more sophisticated take on this fragrance. While most musk is now synthetically-derived, this features genuine musk taken from the rare Asian musk deer and, in combination with solemn aromatics, yields a very dominant, powerful air with a nod to centuries past.
Acca Kappa Military Style Hair Brush, White:
Military style hair brushes have been in use for well over 300 years. Their compact, handle-free design made them easy for tossing in a rucksack on the go. As time went on, we civilians saw their introduction into our everyday lives. These brushes are handmade and tightly packed with boar bristle. The effect is a product that excels above all others in detangling, massaging the scalp, and sufficiently spreading natural oils into the hair. It was used in the slickback days of iconic stars like Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart. Their durability and bespoke appearance are sure to win over the father who needs a tool that’s made with care, gets the job done better than others, and lasts.
Antica Barbieria Colla Aftershave Milk, Green Tobacco:
Antica is a name synonymous with high class and luxurious. The brand was born in the early 20th century with a vision to supply men with only the best of grooming products; we’re happy to report this has not changed. “ABC” has very little - if any - competition in men’s grooming, offering high quality products in sophisticated scents. Their aftershave milks, while not the cheapest of the lot, require only a very small amount to nourish your skin throughout the day. Green Tobacco is a very classic, timeless gentleman’s scent, with a green, floral and bright tobacco surrounding your freshly shorn countenance.
Yardley English Lavender Brilliantine:
Another classic of centuries past, Yardley of London features a wide range of English lavender-scented grooming products. Their brilliantine is one which brings a smile to the faces of those who walk into our shop and see this perched upon the counter. This revered hair dressing was the high quality staple to style the classic, shiny slickback. Just a small scoop of this will give you just enough hold to keep your style in place, all while yielding a high shine perfect for a uniform, classy ‘do. Oh, and catching subtle whiffs of the sultry, smooth English Lavender is nothing to wag your finger at either!