Linetti Brilliantine


Dearest chum Bertie of Melbourne convinced me to cover Linetti, the classic brilliantine range from Italy. His barber absolutely swears by it for the Alain Delon coif he has perfected.

Alain sported many different hair styles in his film career, but you generally see the Perry Boy meets Bryan Ferry side-parted tousle. Here he goes full-brilliantine:

Linetti Brilliantina was originally produced by Linetti Profumi of Venice in the 1950s, and is now produced by Perlier Kelemata of Turin who acquired the brand in 1981. The packaging has changed a little over time. The solid pomade-style brilliantine, lightly scented with lavender, used to be sold in a tin. I find the current but old-school packaging rather agreeable.

A little slide of the finger over the solida will help keep the hair shiny and provide a little hold. A couple of drops of the liquid brilliantine can be be vigorously rubbed into the hair to give it some vim. Being a blonde, I need to be careful if I don't want to look too greasy; but sometimes I actually do want to look fairly greasy.

In the futurist very early days of Spandau Ballet, Tony Hadley certainly wasn't afraid of a tub of brilliantine. Tony's wearing the classic serge jacket from the British battledress of the Second World War in the first photo. There used to be a lot of those jackets in circulation. In the second picture, he's wearing a solid-looking leather overcoat, with map pocket, in the style of Fritz Lang's M.

A dab of brilliantine helps maintain the condition of the hair, protecting against the drying effects of the cold in winter and sun in summer.

How much brilliantine you use — if at all — and however way you use it, the important thing is that you don't leave your hair in an uncombed mess. People may think you have no self-respect. And if there's little to hold the locks in place, you might be tempted to carry on your person the 20T from Kent Brushes, a folding sawcut comb with pocket clip. (Yes, I am collecting their entire range of combs and brushes.)


  1. Super stuff Tweedy. My 73 year-old barber, who has strong views on what I'm allowed to do my hair, insists that I use the tiniest amount of this every day. Regrettably, he retired at the start of this year and his younger, hipper replacement sneered when I requested a "just a dab of Linetti". As a result, I'm now on the lookout for a new barber - hopefully one who graduated from the Worshipful Company of Barber Surgeons & knows how good this stuff is.

    1. Thanks Bertie. Hope you manage to find a chap that's up to the job. Best wishes, Tweedy

  2. Not a brilliantine user, but I do love my 20T!

    1. Thanks Tony. Perfect on field ops. Best wishes, Tweedy


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