Thursday, December 8, 2011
still-sound 23. Moustache
I started growing a moustache in October. Aside from an unfortunate phase in the 90s when I experimented with a goatee, I've never ventured into the world of facial hair. The moustache has been unexpectedly rewarding. I'm used to very long, drawn-out processes like sculpture, where short-term gratification does not exist. Even pottery requires two firings and glazing decisions (ie. weeks) before a finished object appears.
I found myself delighted by the various phases of the moustache in relatively little time. Its appearance changed nearly every day. There was the trim cop-moustache phase for a week. The old Hollywood phase and then lately the handlebar. The handlebar to me was always the destination so now it's a matter of focusing on the variations of the end curls. Throughout the month of November multiple people asked if I grew the moustache for Movember (the campaign to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer). I didn't know about Movember at first, but I was pleased that my moustache development coincided with it.
Classic men's grooming has always fascinated me, not least because of of my interest in smells. My mother always kept a can of Pinaud's talcum on her hairdressing station. When I lived in London I would regularly lurk around Jermyn Street inspecting combs and badger shave brushes while sniffing Bay Rum at Geo F Trumper.
Of course I was excited to experiment with moustache waxes as my upper lip required grooming. I started with Pinaud Clubman wax because it's the easiest to find, is the least expensive and comes with a moustache brush/comb. The results were disappointing. The hold was unreliable (although, admittedly there was not much moustache to hold at the time). The white flakes of dried wax that resembled dandruff led to my decision to hold off on the Clubman. Shame, particularly because the scent is excellent, like Earl Gray Tea.
I started using Ungarische Bartwichse from Marke Golddachs. It's apparently the wax Salvador Dali used to create his impossible hirsute surrealism. The scent is pleasant, a peppery beeswax with a vanilla creaminess, reminding me of a fragrance I wear, Poivre 23 by Le Labo. The substance itself is less stiff than the Clubman allowing easier application and molding.
I recently acquired a tin of the Firehouse Moustache Wax. Its stiffness allows an excellent hold and I found that it's best used on the twirly bits at the end. The scent is a very subtle beeswax. It's, perhaps the perfect moustache wax for my needs.