You can't go too much farther back into grooming history than London-based Penhaligon's, which first opened as a barbershop on Jermyn Street in 1870. Utilizing one of the company's signature scents that dates back to 1910, English Fern is big and green, with notes of geranium, lavender, clove, patchouli, sandalwood, and oakmoss. The lather is as thick and rich as most creams while simultaneously providing better lubrication that leaves your face feeling moisturized. By all standards, it's a luxury soap with a price to match, but, for those who like to smell as if they've just finished making love to a wood nymph behind a Cotswolds barn, there's no substitute. [$65 for 100g and wooden bowl; penhaligons.com]
Photograph by Michael Pirrocco
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