‘Tip top grooming for the modern gentleman’
The word ‘barber’ invariably conjures ideas of old world masculinity. Musky scents and oak panelling; tradition and solidity. Murdock London however injects this reassuring atmosphere with a healthy dash of contemporary freshness.
When I entered their Soho branch, tucked into a corner of the basement in Liberty, I felt immediately calmed; the rush hour chaos forgotten. I was visiting for a wash, cut and cleansing facial. Murdock London produces all their own products, made from natural ingredients to prevent chemical build up. The cleansing facial is, in effect, the pre- and post-shaving regime minus the actual shave (which is also on offer as part of this package). First came a cleanse, then a scrub, and then the application of their pre-shave oil. A hot towel was then applied to open up my pores before moisturiser was massaged into my upper-face, and a post shave balm into lower face. Both the pre-shave oil and post-shave balm are scented with Murdock’s signature Avalon fragrance: a fresh citrus scent that is a contemporary twist on an Edwardian recipe, tradition married with modernity.
Next came the wash and cut. It is at this point that I always begin to feel a little uneasy and visions of childhood hack-jobs rear their heads. However any apprehension was defeated by barber Matthew Jessop. Putting myself into his hands he gave me a style that worked with my face shape and the natural direction of my parting, whilst still being simple to maintain. He also gave me tips to get my hair looking barber-fresh every morning. As a finishing touch I was poured a healthy glug of Auchentoshan Three Wood whisky before I was sent on my way feeling cleansed, relaxed and well, rather dapper.
Tester: Sam Fisher, editor at Gibson Square Publishers
Verdict: ‘Self-assured styling in an atmosphere of old world charm’
Price: £90 for cut, wash and luxury wet shave
Available: 4 stores across Central and East London, www.murdocklondon.com
1. Murdock London brush
2. Liberty of London
3. Murdock London fragrance
4. Murdock London exterior
5. Murdock London logo
6. Murdock London wet shave