May 22, 2019 3 min read
Sometime just before 1790, D.R. Harris opened the doors of their very first apothecary at 29 St. James St. in London. Surgeon Henry Harris and pharmaceutical chemist Daniel Rotley combined their names to give the shop its title, just as they combined their knowledge to provide products for the city of London. For the first 50 years, their reputation was built on their exceptionally popular lavender water and other floral fragrances that they provided to the upper classes of English society, that said, their brand has always been based on a combination of grooming products and pharmaceuticals.
To this day, D.R. Harris crafts their products from the finest ingredients available, providing anything from bath oils to hair products, shaving soaps, fragrances and even prescription drugs. Over the years they have introduced many well-loved fragrances including the 230-year-old Arlington and the much more modern Windsor, released only in the last decade.
In addition to their strict quality standard, D.R. Harris is dedicated to reducing their negative impact on the environment as much as possible. I could write an entire article on their green initiatives alone. They include recycling of all materials used, creating as much refillable packaging as possible, planting trees for every in-store sale, sourcing their products and packaging locally, and much much more.
While new products are released every year and formulas are updated with new ingredients, the core principle of quality is never compromised. D.R. Harris have held several royal warrants as exclusive toiletry makers to the Her Majesty the Queen of England, H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, and the Queen Mother. Their products have always been treasured by the upper crust of London society, and that point of pride dictates how new products are developed under their brand.
While I am a fan of all D.R. Harris products, I have a few favorites that I simply cannot live without.
As much as I love shaving cream, there’s something I’m not crazy about: The plastic tub.
This led me to fall in love with traditional shaving soaps. I love the classic wooden bowl, which can be refilled with another puck once your soap runs out. While soaps don’t get quite as fluffy as creams, they offer an incredibly smooth shave and last twice as long in my experience.
The Marlborough scent always reminded me of dusty cowboys from spaghetti westerns. A little sandalwood, a little tobacco and a whole lot of man.
When I do use a shaving cream, it has to be rose. I love the refreshing quality of D.R. Harris Rose, perfectly balanced between powdery and green floral notes, tinged with a lovely pink colour. (Did you know that up until the 1940s pink was considered a masculine colour?) I find that D.R. Harris creams get one of the richest lathers, and I love their luxurious feel combined with a classic fragrance.
The first scent ever crafted by Harris, Arlington carries 229 years of tradition on its back. Like most masculine scents of the early 1800s, Arlington is primarily citrus and floral with a repertoire that includes neroli, bergamot, lemon and fern. This refreshing scent works for almost any occasion and any time of year.
I love alcohol based aftershaves, but I find them too drying in the cold, dry, winters of Alberta. Many people avoid them entirely, because alcohol irritates their skin or dries it out, so D.R. Harris came up with a solution: An alcohol-less disinfecting aftershave that doesn’t sting or dry your skin out. Skin tonic uses boracic acid which cleanses the skin without drying it, combined with witch hazel for further astringent effects.
Yep, even my deodorant. As you might have guessed, I’m at the point where almost everything in my washroom (besides my contact lens solution) is from D.R. Harris, and for good reason. This deodorant is hands-down the best I’ve ever used. It gives you all day protection and it great on sensitive skin, but it also has an incredible vetiver fragrance. Plus, it’s aluminum-free. I can’t live without it.
It may seem like I’m biased towards D.R. Harris. I am. The quality that they provide cannot be denied, and it truly elevates your grooming routine.