I was a little too young and perhaps a little too, er, stylish to ever get too into barbershops. Now I know that I got my hair cut somewhere when I was a kid. I do remember going to one place that I suppose could have been classified as one way back in the day.
Story time (get a snack, I’ll wait):
So some of you know my dad was a sea captain. Of large freighters. This meant that his job would take him away for months at a time as he would fly to Florida or wherever the boat was being loaded, captain it on it’s voyage to it’s destination, unload, load up and captain it back. This meant that he had the odd schedule of a few months on and a few months off- something that guidance counselors at the time made much of, blaming everything from my snarky attitude to my tendency to acidic retorts to my aversion to sports on an absent male authority figure. Now, I did at the time and do still take issue with this, since my father when he was there, was THERE, planning trips, spending quality time with us, helping with homework, etc. Not coming home tired after a long day at the office and expecting a Martini, a meal, and the rugrats in bed.
In any case at one point he came back and found that mom had just not bothered to take yours truly to get a haircut since all the other kids were growing theirs out. So he sent me to a little bastion of heterosexuality in a new strip mall down the hill from our house.
I say heterosexuality because as I remember it, it consciously eschewed anything that might have said “Salon” to anyone passing by. It was all black and white without being industrial, which might have come across as chic. The men who worked there looked as if they were as likely to lube your car as cut your hair, but I was there for a cut, not a do, so I let him have at it. Almost upon finishing he said to me:
Barber: “kid, anyone every tell you you have Audubon hair?”
Barber: “Well you have Audubon hair. Know what that is?”
Me: (even less interested) “No”
Barber: “Audu-been on a donkey’s ass!” (great heterosexual guffaws ensue)
Barber: (guffaws, finishing)
Me: (Handing him his fee, sans tip) “It’s really crazy that you’re cutting peoples dirty hair in a strip mall in Florence, Massachusetts when you really should be opening for Carson”
He complained to my parents. They told him where to stick his scissors. I went to salons after that.
There was up until ten or so years ago an actual barbershop in Beverly Hills. Not one of the hipster places that are all over West Hollywood these days, where men in ironic hats offer rosemary beard conditioners but the real deal, where guys named Swifty went for their weekly trims (if they no longer had the barber come to them.) I never went because A) it was expensive and 2) I thought I needed more styling and less mowing. But I did pass by almost daily as I worked as well as lived in the ‘hood and it was right between the hardware store and the grocery place I frequented. And it did smell like this aftershave. The interwebs list orange, lemon, and bergamot at the top, geranium, lavender, and jasmine in the middle, and musk at the base and I daresay if you put on a pith helmet and go spelunking you might be able to discern these notes. I get them all under a layer of wooly alcohol and spices like cloves. It’s certainly a throwback if you’re old enough to remember old-style barber shops and who knows, may be in heavy use at the hip places that offer $150 fades.
Will I use it? Well it certainly isn’t going to throw Jicky off my rotation list but sure, it’s a nice retro-smelling thing and after a walk on a hot day a few pats of this on the back of my neck would be very refreshing. It is certainly fleeting enough that you won’t be smelling it forever and a day. It’s also under $9 at Amazon for a 6 ounce bottle and there are larger sizes available should you wish as well as other flavors. I don’t think I need to investigate them further, but if you have please chime in in the comments. Or share your barbershop stories, good and bad..
Images: Pexels, my iPhone, Wikimedia Commons