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  • Writer's pictureThe Dandy Cat

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

The subject of smell is a sensitive one.

Despite being one of our most powerful and evocative senses it is often seen as taboo to speak about smelliness. It is also completely subjective as to what smells good. Some people love the smell of sweetness for example, whilst others turn up their noses in horror at the very thought of such an odour.

A true dandy should smell divine, so what do we mean by smelling nice then?

Human beings love to smell things, but they don’t like to smell themselves. This is most obviously apparent by the number of adverts for various smells and deodorants you can see each day on television. These are often backed by visuals of young people having their heads turned by a stranger who passes them by whilst wearing one of these magical products. Naturally we flock to buy them, but if we stop and sniff for a moment, do they really smell that good? Ask yourself, when was the last time you bought someone flowers on “impulse”?

Here at The Dandy Cat we want to show you that things can be done differently. We like deodorant, but we don’t like artificial smells. We also like colognes but don’t want them sullied by a cheap under arm scent, so what do we recommend?

Predictably the answer lies from within the perfume industry itself. If your job is to use your nose as a professional tool and sniff out the different, individual ingredients that make each scent so delicious, then it is a good idea not to ruin this precision tool with an overwhelming smell of either deodorant or nasty body odour. With nasal reputations at stake those clever perfumiers arrived at a simple solution; find an odourless deodorant. They settled on an ingenious beauty-hack product and the best kept secret the big brands don’t want you to discover: natural alum stone. We stock two varieties of this wonder product, Feret Bloc Hyalin and Osma Bloc D'Alum, either of which will work a treat.

Natural deodorant and generally nice thing to have

Naturally occurring potassium salt mineral has strong antibacterial properties, so it can be used as a deodorant, or to prevent irritation after shaving and as a bonus it also works on spots too. As a deodorant it’s totally odourless, and leaves your clothes unmarked which is more than can be said of most branded sprays, creams or roll ons.

Our pedestal of scents to try in store

Now the natural body odour is under control, you can feel free to choose whichever scent you like best, happy in the knowledge that your hard-made choice won't be ruined by a lesser grade underarm odour. We can offer you a choice of scents from the wonderful Mr. Masey’s, all of which use therapeutic grade essential oils, are plant-based, cruelty-free and vegan. There are four key scents available from Mr Masey’s in store so pop in, have a sniff and see if any lift your spirit.

Whichever you choose we are certain that each day you wear it even if no-one chases you down the street or offers you flowers, you will think at least once to yourself; “you smell nice”.

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  • Writer's pictureThe Dandy Cat

Why do we say The Dandy Cat is not just a barber?

We are asked quite a lot to explain why the name of our shop doesn’t easily identify the nature of the business. Our brand seems to upset some people who would rather see a clear indicator of the type of shop you are from a logo. We chose a name that befits the mood of the business, hopefully it piques an interest, just like our services and stock should too; we have a barber but we also stock hats, this doesn’t mean we are one thing over another, nor does it mean that you will need that hat on the way out, far from it in fact.

We love hats, but this is not a reflection on our barber

Our barbering service is a key part of our business and we believe you will not find a better service locally. Karina, our barber, is one of the best we have met, not only does she have a devilishly good eye for detail, but she also has the training and background to support that aesthetic eye.

Karina has worked across the film, theatre and entertainment industry meeting all kinds of people and discovering how to manage the demands of those with a public profile. Most recently Karina became the inaugural barber to The Championships, Wimbledon, cutting the hair of some of the most photographed and watched athletes in the world. Rest assured then that if chat is your main reason for picking a barber, there is a fair chance Karina will have what you need covered.

Styling a line judge at Wimbledon - copyright AELTC

Karina is what they call a master barber. Being a master barber not only means undertaking further training in order to widen your skillset, but it means you need to prove your worth against some of the highest rated barbers in the world. Karina has been trained by and worked alongside some of the most respected barbers in the business, so she knows what it takes to offer a service of the highest quality. Every barber can offer a quick cut and a shave, but do you trust them to do a good job? We understand your style is important and is a considered thing, not something to be brushed aside because the barber cannot meet your desires. Our barber gives you the time you need to relax, explain your style and how you want to finesse it. Essentially, she provides a fresher take on traditional barbering.

Not just a barber - we also have scarves...

The Dandy Cat is the place to go for the traditional classic cut, facial hair care and hot towel wet shaves, and our barber is an expert in modern re-works on retro and traditional styles. Long or short hair, facial hair or clean shaven, our barber can listen to and advise you on the best way to enhance your look. Our barber offers you the chance to really be the person you have always aspired to be. Care is taken to ensure you get the right look, finished with the highest quality products and that you leave feeling better than when you arrived. We can even wash out those irritating little cut hairs before the final finish if you want.

Naturally we provide a drink. Tea, coffee, water; it’s all there. Better still we are fully licenced so you can choose a beer or accept a cocktail made from one of our delightful local spirits. The music is your choice too. We have a wide selection of vinyl to peruse and once selected we will gladly play it for you whilst you sit back and get re-styled.

Another happy customer leaves the shop

The Dandy Cat is not just a barber then, we think it is better than that.

Book online or pop in house and ask for an appointment, we don’t judge, but we also won’t make you sit in the corner like a schoolboy and wait your turn. We want your visit to be the easiest and best quality experience you have had in a barbers chair.

We may not put all the above on the signage, but sometimes actions speak louder than words.

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  • Writer's pictureThe Dandy Cat

When first dipping into the world of the Double Edged (DE) Safety Razors, it is not obviously apparent the blades inserted in them will differ in feel or quality. We have all become so used to the big brands of shaving pushing the ‘x factor’ of their names that when faced with a selection of unknown-to-us brands of razor blades, we can be forgiven for feeling a little uneasy at the new choices now needing to be made.

Timor DE razor and blades

The Dandy Cat wants to simplify these choices for you.

We only like to use the best blades in our razors and have spent years researching the finest blades for you, so that all you need to do in our store is to pick the brand logo you like best and be safe in the knowledge that you have made a good choice.

We currently offer the discerning shaver three choices of blade. Each is sharp, each offers a smooth shave, and each is the same price. So why do we bother selling you three different brands then? Quite simply, a favourite brand of razor blade, like art or music, is subjective. Hair is different, skin is different, and humans are all different; contrary to what some would have you believe, one size does not fit all.

The brands we currently recommend are Astra, Timor and Feather.

Astra make a lovely sharp blade. It has a good honed edge that feels smooth against the skin and will not drag or cut the skin easily. In many ways the Astra blade is the perfect first step into DE razor shaving. An Astra blade is sharp but gentle; it will shave you clean, but not as close on a single pass as other blades, which in turn means you can be a little less precise with this blade and still walk away cut free. In our experience these blades will be good for 4-6 shaves.

Timor blades are classy looking things. Timor have really upped the design stakes for razor blade packaging with their elegant branding. If merit were on packaging design alone, these would be all we stocked, but thankfully we are not so shallow.

Timor Blades

A Timor blade is sharp but slightly thinner than either and Astra or a Feather blade, which appear to make them a little more forgiving than other blades. These blades feel smoother than others, but will give you a very sharp shave, with a cleaner result after one pass. In my experience these are less likely to draw blood from any imperfections on the skin or awkward areas such as the throat. These blades will be good for 4-8 shaves.

Feather Blades

Feather are widely considered to be the best blades available for a DE razor but are not for the newly converted #proper razor user. Experience has taught us that a Feather blade will outlast the others on the market and will give you a cleaner shave in a single pass but take your eye off the job in hand for one split second and you will quickly find yourself reaching for the alum bloc. These blades will be good for 6-10 shaves.

All the above are excellent razor blades and whichever brand you choose you will soon be shaving better than ever and when paired with one of our razor blade disposal tins you will be recycling every time you change a blade instead of adding more plastic to the oceans.

As we know the choice is bewildering, we will supply a single blade from each of our in stock razor blade brands to all those who purchase one of our razors, this way you can make your own decision on which one is best for you in the comfort of your bathroom at home.

Pop into our shop if you would like to know more or message us. We are always happy to help.

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