Long known for its exemplary soaps and shaving supplies, Portugal's grooming culture is being given new life in Antiga Barbearia de Bairro, a heritage shaving line from creative group 100ml. Marked by spot-on design and vibrant colors, the packaging alone might be a tenable selling point. Beyond the branding, the line puts local craftsmanship to good use, producing each product locally out of fine materials.
The first range released by the company borrowed from Lisbon's Principe Real neighborhood. The second collection is in turn inspired by the Ribeira neighborhood in Porto, where the soap wrapping features a filigree that has been appropriated from the iron work of Ribeira's Dom Luís bridge.
Notes of cedar, sandalwood and patchouli are woken up by bergamot in the Ribeira collection for a combination that is both masculine and light. In order to further channel an old-timey experience, both the after shave and cologne are bottled without atomizers, and must be applied by hand. The process involved is meant at each stage to recall a portuguese barbershop and all related associations.
The experience of shaving with Antiga Barearia goes a good way to fulfilling their main pitch, which centers around transporting one to the narrow lanes and joie de vivre of old Portugal. The jarred shave soap created a robust lather, and we enjoyed the invigorating effects of a splash from the aftershave. The highlight piece of the collection is without a doubt the maroon and gold dipped shave brush—manufactured by Semogue—which comes in a wood casing for added effect.
Product shots by James Thorne; Images of the production courtesy of Antiga Barbearia de Bairro