bathroom

 

In the nineties, I lived next door from a men's beauty parlor. It was the first in the city and I went in to take a look. I understand that there is a difference between the skin of a woman and that of a man but when it comes to moisturizer I feel that both can benefit from applying a bit of lotion now and then. I lack the discipline to apply moisturizer daily but when I do I am always happy I did.

Over a few decades, I have tried quite a few brands. I dare to admit that these choices were often based on superficial parameters like the look of the brand or bottle, the price, or on novelty. Seldom did I undertake a thorough study of these products.

 

When I look back on those experiments there was one brand that kept resurfacing. Yet the brand and the bottle were lacking in virility, the product was not cheap and the brand has been around for a long time. Still, Biotherm Aquapower has never failed to refresh, hydrate and instantly invigorate my skin providing a fresh and soothing sensation. For those reasons, I tend to stick with it.

Over the years I found myself coming back to the power of water

 

Sure you could get a smart toothbrush that does all things your dentist wants you to do. With a Bluetooth connection, these brushes know your teeth inside out and they tell exactly which areas you have brushed for how long and which areas you have sorely overlooked.

 

I get it, I do, but is that what I want? When I brush, it is just my brush, my teeth, and my thoughts for two minutes, twice a day. That's it.

 

This Bruzzoni toothbrush lets me do just that. Every 30 seconds it wakes me from my reverie to tell me I should move on to another quarter of my mouth but that is it. After two minutes I am done without reports being sent to my phone and my cleaning profile being uploaded to the cloud for my future self or let alone my dentist to review.

Still, this brush performs. Its head spins at 8000 rotations per minute for a deep clean and a full charge gives you twenty brushing sessions. It charges via a USB charging cable making it easy to use away from the bathroom.

However, it is in the bathroom that this brush shines and where it belongs. After having done their job, other electronic brushes are immediately stored away in a cabinet, hidden from sight. Bruzzoni toothbrushes you want to keep looking at, and to me, that is a first. Available in white and black with metallic accents in rose gold and silver, these brushes deserve a rightful place on the countertop. Their main body is crafted in a premium matte finish. The bottom half has adopted a faux-leather finish that combines form and function. It looks great and it is the perfect grip for using the brush.

My brush, my teeth,

my thoughts and I

A pity Bruzzoni has not invested in a stand deserving of their brushes. In image searches, these brushes show up on black and white marble stands but these items are DIY and are not provided by Bruzzoni. That gave me the idea to start a project of my own. I am presently creating a stand in natural oak that will hold two brushes and a tube of toothpaste. When finished I will post a picture of my stand worthy of this beautiful toothbrush.

 

Good hair, good hair! My kingdom for good hair! Although I would give much to possess a better crop of hair, there are limits to what I would do to possess a strong full head. I draw the line at using medicine, performing transplants and cover-up acts like wigs and toupees.

What I am trying to do is work with what I have or what I have been gifted by nature. When I came upon the hair products by the Italian brand Davines for the first time I felt this task had just got a whole lot easier.

Hair!

Hair!

My kingdom for good hair products!

Now my wife, whom I have a hard time believing when she compliments me about my hair, says that the quality of my hair is better than it was a few years ago and that the whole process of hair loss might have been reversed, I sense she might be telling the truth.

 

Of course, she is mostly making fun of me, my gullibility and the Davines hair products, but underneath all the irony, I feel that she too thinks this is a hell of a shampoo.

 

Nowadays I try to ignore advertisements as much as I can but there was a time when I enjoyed the occasional ad. When I did it was because they made me laugh, they were pleasing to look at or they were just plain bizarre.

 

One such ad I remember vividly was for a men's deodorant called Old Spice. It featured Isaiah Mustafa half-naked on a horse and was titled The Man your Man Could Smell Like.

In the ad the Old Spice man addressed the viewer in confident, rapid-fire monologues about using Old Spice products. While reciting the monologues, the man is seen in a shower, on an ocean liner, holding an oyster, two tickets to the-thing-you-love and diamonds and finally he is on a horse, all the while maintaining eye-contact with the camera in a nonchalant demeanor.

 

This campaign and many Old Spice campaigns thereafter went viral and led to Old Spice securing the spot of all-time number one most viewed brand channel on YouTube.

 

Why did I decide to give Old Spice a go two decades ago? Was it this campaign, that in its absurdness reminded me of the Monthy Python sketches of my youth, or was it the other one that used the catchphrase 'If your grandfather hadn't worn it, you wouldn't exist'? Or was it the product itself or its aspirational qualities, rather? Did I really want to be the man your man could smell like? Does that even make sense?

The man your man could smell like? Really?

What did make sense to me then and now is the scent of this product. Like the eponymous Old Spice Man says in the ad: 'Stop using lady scented body deodorant.' Old Spice was the first deodorant I had come across that was spicy, not floral or fruity.

 

I have stuck with it ever since. I am on a horse!

 

I have just recently become a soap guy. Before soaping I used to squeeze but ecological motives have propelled me towards the old fashioned bar of soap.

 

The Brussels soap manufacturer Savonneries Bruxelloises does exactly that. They make soap in Brussels. Their bars fit great in the palm of my hand and they last a very long time. They come in refined fragrances like Black roses, Porto red wine, and Champagne. That beats the artificial smells of coconut, orchids, and vanilla any day.

 

Looking at the beautiful oak soap dish (When Objects Work) with a bar of soap by Savonneries de Bruxelles on it, makes you want to get filthy…

This soap made me into a soap guy

 

The quest for a minimalist looking tube of toothpaste has proven to be a difficult one. Finally, I found this Swiss brand, Selahatin. Switzerland and toothpaste, why does this reassure me?

 

The toothpaste comes in a variety of three subtle tastes: Amorist (green mint, peppermint, menthol), Hypnotist (Anise, honey, peppermint) and Escapist (cinnamon, orange, peppermint).

 

The packaging is immaculate. The company has chosen to use aluminum, a more natural material that can be recycled up to nine times, rather than plastic. While using, the tube develops a patina, giving it character and beauty.

 

Thus the all-natural toothpaste is great for your teeth, for the environment and looks stunning in your bathroom where it forms a great pair with a Bruzzoni toothbrush.

 

An architect's darling

In 1968 Arne Jacobsen designed the taps for the National Bank of Denmark building. Produced by Vola, Jacobsen's designs have stayed in production ever since and over the years Jacobsen and his successors added a whole range of matching products for bathrooms and kitchens, sticking to the same design values.

 

Their honest use of materials, sustainability, craftsmanship and focus on hand-made processing make these products the ultimate in understated and timeless luxury.

 

Since 1974 Vola products have been part of the MOMA design collection. It comes as no surprise that these bath and shower mixers have been many architects' darlings for nearly fifty years. Including ours.

 

I have had a difficult relationship with my hair, I guess, for the better part of my whole life. It is thin and getting thinner, although I have fooled myself in believing that this process has stopped, and it generally does not do what I want it to do. That is why when going for a haircut I always give the hairdresser total artistic freedom, hoping that in return for this sign of unconditional trust he will go the extra mile to save what can be saved. It rarely amounts to anything.

 

That is why when, around the end of my teenage years, it looked as if I was able to grow a beard, I was enormously proud of this achievement. I felt that nature had given me a second chance and maybe this time I would be able to keep it and keep up with the others. Hair was hair, right? Fussing over its location, I reckoned, was splitting hairs.

 

With the beard came the grooming and so over the years I bought my fair share of shavers. I owned shavers by all major brands. For a while I tried shaving manually, then I started sculpting and in the nineties, it pains me to say, I even went through a goatee phase. Finally, a few years ago, I settled upon the short trimmed beard style also called the three-day stubble. That this stubble takes me roughly three weeks to grow is not the point. The point is that I am finally in touch with my facial hair and now I have to tend to it.

Finally I am in touch with my facial hair and now I have to tend to it.

A barber in the district of Homerton, in the London East End, introduced me to Wahl clippers. He used them on my hair, which predictably led to a below-average result, but he also used them to trim my beard and that was a revelation! The motor on his Wahl was more powerful than any clipper, trimmer or shaver I had used or seen before. The design of the thing was a mixture of ergonomic choices, an industrial heritage and an awareness of the contemporary vintage aesthetic. I was sold on the spot.

 

This soap dish is created by the Belgian manufacturer When Objects Work and is designed by the Swedish Kristine Five Melvaer.

 

The soap dish comes in a variety of materials. Mine is in oak. The dish has large, diagonal cuts which lead water off the dish, and the shape of the cuts makes the dish easy to clean.

 

The clean lines and geometric shadows of the object resonate well with the architecture of the bathroom in which it is used.

a dish that works...

for me

info@first-world-products.com

 

© Passionately created in Brussels, Belgium 2020

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