Burning Barbershop


A fire broke out in the Curling Bros. barbershop in Westlake, N.Y. in 1891. All the shaving tonics with their spearmint, lime, vanilla and lavender burned. A charred bottle was found half-full. It smelled like this.

Top Notes

  • spearmint
  • lime
  • hemlock spruce

Heart Notes

  • lavender
  • absolute
  • turkish rose

Base Notes

  • burnt oil
  • vanilla
  • hay

The other original mainstay of DSD along with Cowboy Grass. A truly old fashioned dandified visit to ye old barbershop through classic aromatic association—lavender, pine, mint, roses, vanilla‚with a unique modern twist: devastating smoke.

Burning Barbershop is a fougere—a classic genre of usually men’s fragrances that use hay and vanillic notes with herbal lavender and the bitter green base of oakmoss. It is instantly recognizable on grandpas everywhere.

This is the scent of a fougere that’s been through fire.

I imagine the bottle was full, cooking in the extreme heat of the blaze until the glass was black and cracked. After the embers had cooled, it was dug out underneath the rubble. Inside, stuck to the glass was the cooked resin of all that was fresh and inviting from the cologne.

So you have the brightness of limes, cleanliness of lavender, joy of roses, zing of mint, and the sweetness of vanilla all cooked down into a rectified solid mass.-D.S.



Alcohol denat, parfum (fragrance), aqua (water), coumarin, geraniol, eugenol, citral, evernia prunastri extract, farnesol, citronellol, isoeugenol, benzyl benzoate


Listen to Burning Barbershop

Smoky stuff from the era of dandy barbershops


  • When our fume master David creates our fragrances, he sees them in color. The throw of a particular aroma can be described in the colors it implies in the mind of one with synethesia. Vetyer can smell straw like yellow, patchouli, deep red, and so on. David is very enthusiastic about translating an idea from one discipline to another—so music, words, and ultimately color become aromas to wear on skin and in sanctuary.

  • Ubiquitous clean flowery herb famous in soaps and perfumes. There are many varieties—some floral, others green and bitter like rosemary. Solvent extraction brings out a deep grassy hay and vegetal absolute.

  • Lime oil provides zest and freshness with the added bonus of giving us a green top note. Limes get along with flowers, chypres, and earthy fragrances. Lime flowers smell of green orange blossom and are a nice accord in colognes.

  • Penetrating, powerful, old world elegance with a touch of smoke. Global warming, demand and weather have destroyed many of the crops of this particularly labor-intensive plant product, making it extremely expensive. Synthetic vanilla molecules (like vanillin) are just as important to perfume as the real stuff.