Established in London’s trendy Shoreditch in 2006 Murdock has become a prime destination for guys seeking good grooming and barbering in a classic, stylish but unstuffy environment. The ultimate example of an instant heritage brand (i.e. sounds as though it’s been around for decades but hasn’t) it’s been such a success that there are now sores at Liberty, in Mayfair and in Covent Garden.
Building on the success of the barbershops they’ve even branched out into their own skincare products, accessories, candles and fine fragrances – the Patchouli one being one of my own favourites (and I’m very fussy about my patchouli fragrances).
Here I find out what makes founder Brendan Murdock tick and manage to get some invaluable grooming tips from him in the process.
GG: What’s the biggest mistake men make when it comes to shaving?
BM: The biggest mistake is undoubtedly lack of preparation. The best shaving results will be achieved when the skin and facial hair is prepared, a combination of a hot flannel or water, pre-shave oil, and perhaps a badger brush to apply the cream. The pre-shave oil softens the whiskers and prepares the skin for the razor’s edge.
The fine tips of the hairs on the brush create a smooth and creamy lather, while the remarkable softness of badger hair cleanses the face gently, ensuring a comfortable and close shave. The action of a razor is quite harsh and surface skin cells are removed. If the skin and facial hair is not prepared you may suffer from an itchy, sore face post-shave.
GG: What trends in male grooming have you noticed of late?
BM:Men have gained more confidence when it comes to shaving, and are becoming increasingly inquisitive as to how to perfect the art. When we first opened in 2006, gentleman would simply purchase a shave cream to shave. Most customers were not even using post shave balms after shaving, despite complaining of sore, red faces after shaving!
Today, men are more informed and educated about best grooming practice. Coupled with more visible brand and places to visit for grooming, more educated choices are made.
GG: What are your favourite men’s fragrances and why?
BM: Green Irish Tweed by House of CREED. I’ve been loyal to the scent for many years; it now represents familiarity and comfort.
I also like the scents by Carthusia they are light and summery and remind me of wonderful holidays in Italy.
I really enjoy wearing our Murdock Patchouli Cologne too. It’s a subltle, sensuous and mysterious scent, suitable for all seasons; great all year round.
GG: What’s your best shaving tip?
BM: Always use a post shave balm after each shave. Shaving strips the skin of essential oils and you must ensure that the skin is moisturised and soothed post-shave.
GG: What’s your best skincare tip?
BM: Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise.
GG: Desert island grooming product?
BM: Naturally sunblock is an essential. However, I would not be complete without a bottle of Murdock Patchouli Cologne; capturing my more bohemian and free-thinking style for the desert island.
GG: Body hair. To trim or not trim?
BM: If, for example, you are an athlete and your decision to wax or trim is to enhance your performance in your chosen field, then I am in favour. Conversely, if your decision to wax or trim is purely based on vanity, then I am not as convinced. For me, masculinity is reflected in natural body hair; to wax or trim detracts from this. Ultimately, the decision lies with the individual; each to their own.
GG: Fantasy grooming product?
BM: A miracle cream that prevents hair loss and baldness, without any side effects!
To check out what Murdock has to offer go to www.murdocklondon.com