As I sit down to write this, it’s 65 and sunny out, and the Holidays couldn’t be further from my mind. However, the truth of the matter is that Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and the gift-giving season will be here before you know it. So, it’s time to start shopping for your father, husband, brother, boyfriend, friend with benefits, Netflix and chill buddy, or just about anyone else you can think of. Traditional wet shaving is here to stay, and that means it’s time to get the men in your life involved.
Wait. What’s that? You already shave with a safety razor? Well, in that case, it’s time to start shopping for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with getting yourself a little holiday treat. Or maybe you want to pass this list onto your children, wife, sister, girlfriend, boyfriend, friend with benefits, Netflix and chill buddy, or anyone else who owes you. Your shave den is never full enough.
Here’s the trick to buying grooming products as gifts. They should be easily appreciated; meaning they should be simple, classic, and/or have broad appeal. I would recommend staying away from products that are too eccentric, and leave the experimental purchases to the individual. The trouble here is that most people want their gifts to be unique, remembered, and personal. With this in mind, I’ve put together a highly successful collection of holiday gifts that fits the bill.
Whether you are buying a razor for a first time wet shaver or one with years of experience, there are really only two razors with which you can’t go wrong: the Merkur 34C and the Edwin Jagger DE89. These are moderate razors in term of both price and aggressiveness, making them ideal for just about anyone.
I think one of the most endearing qualities of wet shaving is the nostalgic trip on which a classic “barbershop” scent can send me. Saturday mornings with my father, getting haircuts. Men sharing the same newspaper, leaving it for the next guy. Conversations about the designated hitter, college versus pro football, or a litany of other “guy talk”. A timeless scent like Taylor of Old Bond Street’s “Sandalwood”, Dr. Jon’s “Classic”, or Wet Shaving Products’ “Barbershop” is all I need for an immediate transport.
Aftershave typically serves three main purposes: preventing infection, soothing irritated skin, and healing the freshly exposed new top layers. Scent isn’t necessarily an afterthought, but since the fragrances of most aftershaves fade within the first thirty minutes, it’s purely an aesthetic feature. Aftershave balms, like the fantastic ones from Soap Commander, are wonderful for post-shave healing and moisturizing. Fine makes some of the best alcohol-based aftershave splashes available, and are even better when paired with their inspirational colognes.
Boar or Badger? That’s the real question. Sure there are synthetics, but i think most guys still want a little tradition in the den. That tradition doesn’t need to break the bank either. The Semogue 1305 is one of my favorites, and I use with a fair amount of frequency in my daily shaves. If you’re looking to buy a brush that shatters the price to value barrier, Wet Shaving Products’ “Prince” Silvertip is one of the best brushes you can buy.
Maybe you’re thinking that all of these are a little too personal or you’re just not sure where to start. Well, don’t fret. Edwin Jagger has a terrific line of accessories too. Every shave den could always use a little more organization.
Oh, and in case you were thinking of picking up a bottle of cologne for someone else, don’t. Don’t buy cologne for someone else. Ever. Cologne buying is a very personal and intimate shopping experience. Unless you’re refilling someone else’s signature scent, stay away from the Creed counter.