In the last blog (about the cocktail party at Nose, a perfume shop for men and women), we left Tom in the hands of master barber Alain for a shave with a straight-edge razor. In the photograph above, Tom listens to his reassuring words such as, “This won’t hurt a bit.” Spoken in French, they sounded much more comforting than they do in English.
Alain then stepped over to the sink where he prepared a blaireau (shaving brush).
He began carefully lathering Tom’s face. As the old saying goes, Une barbe bien savonnée est une barbe à moitié rasée. (A good soapy beard is a beard half shaved.)
Then Alain stepped back to admire his work, holding the straight-edge razor in a fighter’s stance. This pose might have sent chills down the spine of lesser men, but Tom put on a brave face!
Alain began carefully shaving the three-day old beard. In French, the word for straight edge is “coupe-chou”, which means “cabbage cutter.” It’s not very reassuring!
While this drama was playing out in the back room, a man was gaily tap dancing in the front of the store.
Monique was in the front room, too, getting her photograph taken. What were her thoughts about the dangers that her husband might be facing alone in the back room? She doesn’t seem to be showing much concern in this photo.
In the back room, following the shave, Alain passed an alum block over Tom’s face to sooth skin irritation. He then applied a hydrating lotion.
A final massage to the face, and the shave was over. Tom was looking good!