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  1. #1

    Default What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    There have been a few threads and postings that mention certain fragrances as having a barbershop character to them.

    While I can relate to that and understand, I am at a loss for a definition.

    What characterizes a barbershop fragrance? What qualities (or common notes) do they possess?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    I second the question. I'd like to know this too.

    At the moment I'm thinking of barbershop as of something light, creamy, slightly fruity, perhaps with some lavender in the mix.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    soapy notes remind me barbershops...

  4. #4

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Clean, with lavender on top. Think Barbasol shaving creme, just like Tom Ford did with his men's Rive Gauche.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 11th April 2008 at 01:30 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Maybe its the star anise? The similarities to shaving cream? Barbasol?
    Scents that I know of that remind me of shaving cream, or my dad when I was young after he shaved, all smell similar to what I would call a 'barbershop' fragrance.
    Rive Gauche pour Homme (I own this one ), Azzaro pour Homme, Brut and even Aramis to an extent have this effect to me (also Lomani pour Homme, but I dont know if you guys get that where you are from)
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  6. #6

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    someone here in BN earlier said it was the bay leaf or may be the barbasol.....for me a barbershop cologne means some like Obsession...its so much like an after shave...

  7. #7

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Tightly knit, resonant chords and resolutions with a large percentage of dominant sevenths...

    oh. Er.

    *backs away*

  8. #8

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    There really isn't note that gives something a barbershop aura (Except maybe for Bay rums). A barber shop scent is that wich evoques memories of these old places and an old-school style shave (before the Mach 3 and Fusions and 6 blade razors ever existed). Go to your drugstore and smell Aqua Velva, Brut and Old Spice. Rive Gauche has the top notes of Barbasol but there are other barbershop scents.
    Last edited by irish; 11th April 2008 at 02:52 PM.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    "Barbershop" is a largely subjective and regional term so there is no point in being factual whatsoever.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Clean, with lavender on top. Think Barbasol shaving creme, just like Tom Ford did with his men's Rive Gauche.
    What he said.

    Obviously, there could be any number of interpretations of the term "barbershop", but I think the consensus is Barbasol-like, or Rive Gauche-like.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  11. #11

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    I have andlike both Obesession and Rive Gauche and neither of them remind me of a babershop.

    "Babershop scent" is all about Royal Muske.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Fresh, clean, soapy, powdery, maybe a little lavender... These are some of the characteristics that come to mind... Mostly though, it's just a subjective "feel" type of thing...

  13. #13

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    I think it refers to classic turn-of-the century ingredients for men's toilet waters, as they have been listed: fresh lavender-citrus tops, soapy clove/herbal heart, powdery drydown. But memory also plays a role, as do references to traditional shaving/grooming products.

    I find CSP Barbier des Iles hyper-barbershoppy, but also on the list: Rive Gauche, Crown Imperial, Dominguez' Vetiver hombre, C&S Frankincense&Myrrh, a boatload of Trumpers (e.g. GFT)
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  14. #14

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    I think some vetiver is neccessary for the feeling.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Quote Originally Posted by samplermike View Post
    "Barbershop" is a largely subjective and regional term so there is no point in being factual whatsoever.
    I agree. So many of the responses are in a "I have hear this" or "I think this" way. There is no almighty answer.

    I think of it as a burnt hair, warm, soapy, alcohol smelling place. That is just me...

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    It's all subjective. Barbershop, to me, would mean a slightly sweet talcy note along with hair and clipper oil. But I haven't been in a barbershop since I was a kid. Then it was a "stylist" which, in a frag for me, would be burnt hair (permanents), coloring, bleach, chemical stink - but not in an awful way, that's a manageable scent for about an hour. Now I just cut my own.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    All subjective, it's true.

    But for me, it's one or more of the following: spice, powder, lavender, musk, menthol.

    Of all the fragrance classes, fougeres seem the most "barbershop" to me, followed closely by a smaller number of orientals. Fougeres are also not conicidentally considered the most classically masculine of all these categories - lavender-fresh up top with a mossy/powdery/musky drydown. Brut, Azzaro PH, Pinaud Clubman, Canoe, Tuscany, Paul Sebastian, the list goes on...

    The orientals that I consider "barbershop" focus primarily on the more masculine notes in the category like clove and sandalwood with a powdery finish. I'd lump Jacomo de Jacomo, Old Spice, and the bay rums in here.
    Loves of Late: Agua Lavanda, Eau Sauvage, Gendarme, Guerlain Vetiver, Guerlain EdC Imperiale, Ivoire de Balmain, Kenzo PH, Mitsouko, Royall Lyme, Tabac Original

  18. #18

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    hmm like others have mentioned, it could be subjectivce. for me obsession brings me memories of shaving cream whicd had similar notes and the after shaves that saloons used...maybe they had some prominent note which is present in Obsession too...hence the remark...

  19. #19

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    The Proraso after shave cream I use is the closest thing I find to a barbershop scent in my mind.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    To me it's rather strong and harsh smell, mostly citrus with green notes, but can be anything, not fresh, not sweet, things like Lagerfeld Classic, or Givenchy Genteman or Grey Flannel.

    I agree that it's subjective, and it's not a particular note, but rather the general impression.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Seeing how hard it's to define this feeling, what if we'd try to enlist the scents/classes with (virtually, almost always) NO barbershop feeling.
    I can't recall any gourmand scent with that feeling.

  22. #22

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    As one of the older members, my memories are much different. Pine, mint, lavender, and bay rum are the essences that the true barber shop after shaves were made from. Davidoff Relax smells exactly like a barber shop.

  23. #23

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Habit Rouge smells not only as golden dust but also like barbershop
    Last edited by DreamerII; 11th April 2008 at 10:03 PM.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Definition: having a strong Clubman Pinaud topnote, or Proraso midnote.

  25. #25

    Smile Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    I live and was raised in a small midwestern town that had several old time barber shops. This was loooong before it became acceptable or even fashionable for men to go to a stylist. I believe that those posters that said "barbershop like" smells are quite right when they say the scent is subjective. For me it is the hair tonics and toilet waters and powders that I remember from my youngest years. For others it may be other scents that were used in the barbershops they patronized in thier youth. Ave Luxe midnight violets smells exactly like the powder the barber used to slap on my neck with a towel after he had finished shaving it.

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  26. #26

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    To me, the classic middle-American, mid-century barbershop smell is perfectly captured in Blenheim Bouquet. Something about the citrus and lavender on the top - followed by pine and musk at the bottom - give it the character I'm looking for...

    Teddius

  27. #27

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    I've never had a shave in a barbershop, but the smell of talcum powder is what I associate with the smell. For no other reason than it's the last thing I smell as I'm leaving, since they lightly sweep my neck with it after a hair cut.

    Pinaud Clubman and Caswell-Massey Jockey Club always come to mind for me when I hear barbershop.

    It's very subjective indeed.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Whatever the common thread is between these...

    Penhaligons Racquets Formula
    Dunhill
    Gendarme
    Truefitt and Hill Grafton
    (A light application of...) Creed Ambre Cannelle

    That's "barbershop" to me
    Last edited by Scentronic; 14th April 2008 at 02:20 AM.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrac View Post
    I've never had a shave in a barbershop, but the smell of talcum powder is what I associate with the smell. For no other reason than it's the last thing I smell as I'm leaving, since they lightly sweep my neck with it after a hair cut.

    Pinaud Clubman and Caswell-Massey Jockey Club always come to mind for me when I hear barbershop.

    It's very subjective indeed.
    I was going to mention talcum powder also.

    I agree it is subjective. The reason I started the thread is I wanted to get various ideas on the table, as the term has been used in a few threads without explanation.

  30. #30

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    I believe Pinaud Clubman, a ripoff of Canoe, came out after Pinaud Lilac Vegetal.

  31. #31

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Perfumeintelligence indicates that Clubman was introduced in 1933 - two years before Canoe. Lilac Vegetal was introduced in 1880.

    I never thought about the barbershop environment being so regionalized, but it makes sense.

    I thought these pleasant childhood smells of mine were universally appreciated. I didn't know that they vary substantially from one area to the next and that, therefore, the definition of a 'babershop' scent would vary considerably as well.

    I would never have thought of Rive Gauche as a barbershop scent and previous references to that in basenotes made me question whether my Rive Gauche was genuine or fake!

    The barbershops I frequented must have all used Clubman and talcum powder.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  32. #32

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Quote Originally Posted by scottdurand View Post
    The Proraso after shave cream I use is the closest thing I find to a barbershop scent in my mind.
    I second that. Nice to see someone else likes Proraso. I get it in the big cups....
    --------------------------------------
    To me barber scents are Bay Rum, Lime, Lilac Vegtal, Clubman, and Pinaud Talcum powder. No Aqua Velva was used in the barbershops of my yesteryear, but there was an abundance of Pinaud Fragrances.
    Last edited by greendragon; 14th April 2008 at 04:08 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  33. #33

    Smile Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    I just thought of another product they used in the barbershop I frequented as a young boy. It was called " Wild root". I can't remember if there was a scent or if it was a hair tonic or what.
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  34. #34

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Any fragrance focused on patchouli will beam me into a barbershop (even though I have never been in one), I can't help it. I guess it's the fact that all of the shaving creams I have ever used had patchouli in them.

  35. #35

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    Soapy, powdery, lavender I think is what I remember from the barbershop days of my youth in the 50's and 60's.

  36. #36

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance 'barbershop'?

    one general quality would be very diluted watery scent along with powder

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