A few days ago I read this article on shaving (it’s all about wet shaving, so mostly of academic interest to women). Fascinating stuff, actually, and I sent it to Andrew.
He seemed to think so, too, since he immediately started researching shaving equipment options, and within 48 hours (an unheard of spontaneity for him) had purchased a wet shaving kit.
After it arrived and he’d had a chance to use it (farewell, beard!), he mentioned that the badger hair shaving brush, when wet, smelled like… wet badger. I asked what a wet badger smelled like, so he told me to go smell it. (While I grew up with many kinds of wildlife around, there were no badgers, wet or dry.) So, a bit later, I did. And… woah. Suddenly I had an answer to a decades old mystery I hadn’t even been aware of.
Y’see, when I was little, the bathroom at my grandparents’ house (my Mom’s parents) always had this slightly strange smell. Floral, but slightly… gamey. And when I took a sniff of Andrew’s shaving brush, with its lingering scent of English lavender shaving soap over wet badger — that was it. The exact smell of my grandparents’ bathroom.
My Grandpa shaved old skool — pot of shaving soap, badger hair brush, and, I believe, a straight razor. (None of that safety razor nonsense for him.)
Funny how, nowadays, I find more traditional methods of shaving and their accoutrements kinda sexy (and I’m sure I’m not the only one). Did our grandmothers think the same back when it was just “shaving”, rather than a fancy, lovely-smelling hobby that’s attractive to shiny- and detail-loving geek types? 🙂