24 March 2010

Roaring 20's Toilet Goods

Selling toilet goods in the 1920's was no easy task. Women, they were mostly women, who manned the department store counters, they were mostly department stores, were the readers of the magnificent, Toilet Goods. I'm not talking the 'How To" articles but the illustrations and advertisements are other worldly. More so when you take into account this ephemera is 86 years old. Virtually zero fading with loads of rich color everywhere.

I've thrown in the rest of my UK toilet goods for this Anglo scented week. D. R. Harris (please don't call it Doctor Harris) makes, hands down, the best shampoo I've ever used. $30 will get you a fat tub of the most intense lemon scented shampoo. Pebble like and thick; it's very concentrated. A little bit goes a long way and that tub will last a couple of months. More if you alternate your shampoos which you should.

The D.R. Harris after shave is a bargain. Only $30 and this stuff is pretty heavy. By that I mean it will not wear off by lunch and it's strong contrary to the bottle's promise of subtle. If you ask me, it comes off more like a cologne than an aftershave. The lemon conditioner is no big shakes as is the lip balm but the London store is a marvel. Loads of bizarre and cheap things to buy. Perfect gifts for people at the office you don't like very much. Scented tooth picks, disposable tooth brushes, crap like that but the packaging screams England and good taste.

Curzon Imperial Leather is not what you'd call a high end fragrance. But I swear, it's in almost every London office lavatory I've been in and the smell always gives me flashbacks. That little metal tag never comes off and it works well as a sink hand soap. Like I said, the scent is more connective for me than anything else.

Truefitt and Hill Spanish Leather is one of the Golf Foxtrot's favorites. It seems almost every cologne maker in the UK offers a Spanish Leather but Truefitt is my favorite. At $75 a bottle this stuff ain't cheap but it goes on heavy. It's one of those you can spray in the air and walk into it and that'll be enough.

Their barber shop in Chicago is unbeatable. I had my hair cut there for 14 years by Tomas. Check it out if you're ever on North Michigan Avenue. It's a great experience and I think it's a damned site better than their shop in London which reminded me of getting a haircut in a Turkish sauna. I think the Brits do a lot of things right but personal services isn't one of them.


Alice Olive said...

Are hidden demonstrators unfair? How to handle difficult customers. The eyes have it. Ah, I love that so much of this is timeless.

Anonymous said...

The only thing resembling lime I've ever tried is Clubman Lime Sec -- You've shamed me into trying some of these products. Thanks for your wonderful posts -- I look forward to them daily.

tintin said...

Alice- The 'Sales Talk on Soap' is a real page turner. The more things change the more they stay the same. I'd have written that in French but it's too early to google.

Anon- Thanks for reading. Scent is very personal so what I like may not be your cup of tea but...if you like Clubman lime - I think you'll enjoy Caswell's lime. I like Truefitt's Lime too but it's a little too rich for a commoner like myself.

If limes go on sale soon I'm gonna try sqeezing a bunch into some alcohol and see what happens.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Imperial Leather soap--used to used it at school.

Anonymous said...

British colonial rule here ended in 1960, but some 50 years later, here in Northern (Turkish) Cyprus, even the smallest grocery stores still stock Imperial Leather soap...a reminder of better days.

ADG said...

Tintin...you spend too much time in the bafroom.

Family Man said...


I think you'll get better results if you extract the oil from the skin than if you squeeze the juice.

Just a guess.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

I just dab my fingers onto my jugular after squeezing the lime into my drink. Come to think of it, I do that with Vermouth too after capping the neck of the bottle with my thumb to pour out a drop. Lime is more "summer" though.

T&F 1805 for me. Although Mrs. E. prefers me in "Safari" above all else. Scent memory of a more youthful and unbound me I suppose.