With the Queen’s Diamond jubilee fast approaching (and along with it our extra 2 days offs work) it, quite rightly, will be all about her Royal Highness on the big day – so it’s easy to forget that behind our long standing ruler is his her long standing prince. With this in mind, I decided it was time my wash bag got the Royal Seal of approval. With my comfortable shopping shoes on, I went off to explore London in the hope of finding grooming products fit for a King.
A mere stone’s throw from St James Palace sits D.R Harris & Co. Established in 1790 and currently the Chemist to the Prince of Wales, its credentials seemed fit for purpose. Walking into the shop is like leaving the modern day grooming world behind and having a delightful reminiscence to a bygone era that I thought only existed in period drama’s and elderly gent’s memories of the good old days. Surprisingly, the products they sell are still relevant today; this is far from a nostalgic collection of useless products gathering dust.
In this emporium of shaving excellence I would recommend stocking up on shaving essentials that will not only do a better job than the ‘flashy’ brands which currently dominate the market, but will also add a touch of vintage style to your bathroom shelf. Take the 4 piece brush and razor stand (£189.95), equipped with a badger brush and traditional wet razor; the badger brush has silver tips allowing a denser bristle distribution – meaning less water retention and a better lather – helping to create a smoother shave.
What I love about the razor, aside from its traditional handle, is that it takes Mach 3 blades, so you can replace its blade without a trip to D.R Harris (we do not all live in the Mayfair area, unfortunately).
Not only do they stock grooming tools, D.R Harris & Co. also do a stellar set of aftershaves at a reasonable price. My favourite was the Marlborough, which has notes of both Cedar and Sandalwood, in a fine blend that costs £21.95 for 100ml. My pick from their comprehensive but hardworking skincare range was the ‘Almond Oil Skinfood’ (£23.50 for 100ml). As expected, it comes packaged in a kitsch looking pot – but again, it is not a case of style over substance. The thick night cream is a superb all-rounder to be used on face (although it would be too thick for a day cream), but also works particularly great for soothing dry patches anywhere on the body.
As great as D.R Harris are at making grooming products, sometimes special attention is required. And in grooming stakes, nothing is more special than a cut throat shave. For this all you need to do is make the short walk to Taylors of Old Bond Street (actually located on 74 Jermyn Street).
Taylors has a shaving store front of house and houses a hairdresser plus barbers in the back. Indulge yourself with a shave by an expert groomer or have split ends tended to in a traditional setting but with modern cutting techniques. I would much rather have my haircut here then an overpriced pretentious branch of a chain hairdresser that I shall not name. What’s great about this place is that it has a real charm and channels a mood of masculinity that is so desirable today.
So with a grooming kit full of golden oldies and new smooth face I had well and truly upgraded my grooming regime from pauper to prince just in time for the big royal knees up!
Shop the collection online on the D.R. Harris & Co. LTD website.
Visit www.tayloroldbondstreet.co.uk or call 020 7930 5544 to book an appointment.