I buy my moustache wax from Taylors of Old Bond Street, but even if I did not, I would still go buy something from them, just to shop there. I love the shop.
When I step over the threshold I expect, and get, the most superb service and the best shaving products in the world. I have never left the shop without feeling like their most valued customer. Just knowing Taylors exists is enough to restore my faith in the world.
Taylors of Old Bond Street was founded in 1854, when Queen Victoria was England’s ruler, by Jeremiah Taylor. They are a combined English gentlemen’s cosmetics company (“Toiletries” in the old phrase) and gentleman’s barbers. They were making men’s cosmetics from natural and herbal products before the large cosmetics companies had ever heard the word “organic”.
The same Taylor family run Taylor’s today, the great, great grandson of Jeremiah being in charge. Despite their name, Taylors of Old Bond Street are actually in Jermyn Street, near their peers Trumpers, (and Truefitt and Hill are just the other side of the block).
Taylors sell razors and badger-bristle brushes in the old style (picture below). Their razor and brush kits are very highly esteemed and to my mind, a thoughtful gift if you want to give a gift with English character. Taylors have gift-sets in a manly packaging for those of us who want to do that.
Taylors also sell those wonderful old-fashioned colognes, like Eau de Portugal. For me Eau De Portugal is the definitive scent of the traditional barber. The sharp citrus scent as the barber finishes your haircut and clears the tiny cut hairs with a wipe of Eau de Portugal is the fitting end to the ritual. I emerge cleansed and revitalised.
Taylors also sells the famous Bay Rum cologne, which was once beloved by military men everywhere.
In fact Taylors sell all manner of things a man needs, from shoe-horns to skincare, from travelling kits to toothbrushes (with their logo, of course). If you look on their website you will see all of this and more. Below is a photo of their luxury herbal skin moisturiser which I use extensively. It is easy to work in, has a slight fragrance and is very effective. It s also very competitively priced, at £12.95. A giveaway, as the English market traders like to say.
Also, here is the aforementioned moustache wax, again, highly recommended. It holds form well, is non-greasy and not visible.
But men’s products are only half the magic of this store. If you walk through the store to the back, where the sales point is, there is Taylor’s barbershop, the “Gentlemen’s Court”.
This is like entering Narnia, going from one world to another. From the main floorspace of the shop the barbershop is not visible. But go to the back, take a slight half-turn and you enter a world of calm manliness, where experienced traditional barbers tend to your every need.
It goes without saying that Taylors shop has class, but the barbershop also has that air of masculine ease which permeates a good barbers. Here you can get a haircut, traditional wet shave and services such as facials, all in the comfort of a traditional leather-upholstered barber’s chair. Nothing is too much trouble and skill and manly competence rule. This is dark wood, barbers in white jackets and of course the smell of Eau de Portugal. Go here, you deserve it. But book in advance, it is a busy shop.
A great shop and an icon of the best of British.
If you cannot get to Taylors, they sell their products by mail order and across the Internet. My last picture is of the front page of Taylors catalogue. Most fittingly it emphasises their service.
Taylors of Old Bond Street
74 Jermyn Street,
London, SW1Y 6NP
Tel +44 (0) 20 7930 5544 / 5321
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