Some stories defy time, oceans, countries, and words. This meeting between Luca Farina, and an older proud barber in Italy is one of these. Take this journey; feel the pride, and love this unites us for all time. – Aaron
Sometimes, if you leave the main street, you can discover a fairy-tale spot…..
I was walking through the streets of Domodossola when, looking down a little side street, an old barber-shop’s sign caught my eyes. It piqued my curiosity and I moved closer. I found myself in front of an old barber shop, where time seemed to have stopped at the 50s. Inside a white-haired barber said: “Please take a seat, if you have patience, I’ll serve you, Mister!”
Tommi welcomes me with his friendliness and his 87 years of age. After preparing the necessary items, he starts brushing, very slowly, the shaven soap on my face with an Omega 48, while explaining me, step by step, what are the right moves to do a good shaving. Then he tells me about his life. He started working at 10 years of age as barber’s apprentice. At 22 he opened his own shop. He says: “I even had 3 very good employees. At that time there was so much work, we shaved more than 100 beards a week”.
Then he explains me how he cuts and smoothes hair with the tip of the scissors; that he has travelled a little the world; that he has been an actor of dialect theatre, that he writes books and poems. “When I’m writing a book I feel alive” and he let me read a piece of the book he is going to finish. He tells me about his famous and important clients and I perceive his great love for his job.
At the beginning of this year he had an artificial hip implanted. Its shop remained closed for 3 months and he thought he would not open anymore, but back from the hospital, he told himself: “What can I do at home?”. And he opened his historical shop again, where you can find him working with his scissors and razor.
You can spend a lot of time listening to Tommi’s tales and you go away happy, well shaved and with one of his books (autographed) under your arm.
-Farinik. by, Luca Farina
I was introduced to SJOL a while back e.g. 3-4 years ago. St.James of London is made by Creightons the same as Trufitt & Hill, Geo F. Trumpers, and the last of the three “T’s”. I was instantly blown away that such an affordable product was so darn good ! Back then it was Cedarwood & Clary Sage; today I used an scent that would deceive.
Today I used a tube I stead of my larger jars of SJOL Black Pepper & Lime 🍋 it reminds me of a warmer place like the Caribbean, but also that spicy black pepper warms and invites those around you a bit closer, then they realize that initial Citrus also has a musk to it that is seductive and alluring. This unlikely scent is a winner for the winter ❄️! For the spring and the summer. This jewel of a scent will evoke a different response and memory each season.
What can I say about the rest ? It’s a Semogue 830 which is so well broken in could pass for pure Badger. If you do not have this brush; it is a staple for every traditional Shaver. The PAA Double Open Comb has done right by me. The DOC is affordable and attractive at that price point, just remember this is a buffing razor so buff away folks for that BBS shave. The Boulder from American Stonecraft I used as my lather bowl is worth this many of these $$$ and is a luxury; all these products work equally as well face lathered for free. That’s all I have to say, but if you contact Brittney McDermott or, Todd Fisher I am sure they would love to talk about St. James of London and match you up with the perfect cream and other products that fit your style perfectly.
Soap: St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime”
Brush: Semogue 830
Razor: PAA Double Open Comb
Blade: Gillette 7 O’clock SharpEdge
After Shave: Royall Muske
Post Shave: St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime” gel
Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet 💐 — with Roberto Monanni and 6 others.
What an excellent way to end the work week ! I’ve been neglecting my ritual of using a Fougere scented soap on Friday’s, but today I used easily one of the best made. Fougere Imperiale a rich, and robust Fougere that without apology loudly proclaims its earthy “Fern” like attributes with that dank oakmoss earthy base and livened up with floral top notes, this is a sublime representation of the style, and I would say not for the weekend Fougere lover, but the head first expierenced veteran who loves a “darker” earthy representation.
As far as the remainder of the hardware it’s near impossible to beat the quality and feel of a Thater brush when it comes to quality brushes. Today I used the 4292/4 a 24mm 2-band knot set in Cocobolo wood with silver accents. This brush while 2-band is set to be soft on the face, stronger backbone than Silvertip, but with a slightly scritchier feel. The Dovo Bismark without question is one of the best razors ever made, iconic actually. The Bismark at 6/8, shoulder less with thumb notch and very ornate gold wash and a pearl effect to the scales make this razor a pleasure to use, as always YMMV on all I said here; to me this was a top shelf shave.
Finished off simply with Barrister & Manns Fougere Tonique, and a simple Fougere balm I made myself, the shave was complete ! But overall I was not finished until I used what I feel is a very appropriate EDT, Azzaro by Azzaro Fougere which while a bit more floral than the soap mellows into a wonderfully close aroma as B&M Fougere Imperiale. Completely top notch to end the week ! Shave on everyone. – Aaron
- Pre: hot shower with Dermalogica daily microfoliant
- Soap: Barrister & Mann “Fougere Imperiale”
- Brush: Thater 4292/4 2-Band
- Lather type: American Stonecraft bowl
- Moustache: Handlebar
- Wax & Pomade: Lockhart’s & G2B Phe
- After Shave: Barrister & Mann “Fougere Tonique”
- Fragrance: Azzaro Azzaro