Vintage magazines at Artifaktori
Over at Artifaktori, you'll find old issues of Hot Rod ($8) and the occasional Playboy ($12). For more mind-in-the-gutter reading material, BUCKAROO'S MERCANTILE (5 Brookline Street, Cambridge, 617.492.4792, buckmerc.com) has an amazing collection of vintage men's mags. Just last week, we scored a dog-eared June 1960 issue of All-Man ($8) — strictly for the articles, of course. No, really. Some gems listed on the table of contents: "The Whip Killers of Paris," "Sex Bait: The Teen-Age Threat to the World's Oldest Profession!", and "The Scent of Living Flesh" (which involves snakes, sweaty girls, and puppies). And speaking of smut . . .
If your holiday-shopping list includes any high-rolling workaholics who live life "like they're on shore leave" (or their sexually repressed spouses), this town has plenty of gift-wrappable sin to offer.
We've got booze and barware covered in "What Would Joan Do?"; but for anyone with a taste for what the Puritans dubbed the "evil weed," Harvard Square's 126-year-old tobacco shop, LEAVITT & PEIRCE (1316 Mass Ave, Cambridge, 617.547.0576), comes correct with a staggering array of smokeables. Here, cigars range from Nubs ($5.45) to Avos ($14) and beyond (at $21.20, their Davidoff cigarillos are "expensive little creatures," says a L&P staffer), and the shop's signature Ehrlich pipes (starting at $40) are flanked by tempting selection of loose tobacco (only the toasted kind, of course).
Should your giftee prefer to walk on the more prurient side: Cambridge suffers a distinct lack of vibrators disguised as electric weight-loss underwear, but those in the market for non-oblique sex toys should head to HUBBA HUBBA (534 Mass Ave, Cambridge, 617.492.9082, hubbahubba.com). Central Square's venerable erotic boutique carries pretty much everything one might need for a seamy romp, whether plans include canoodling a prospective boss into cardiac arrest (à la Roger Sterling and his casting-couch paramour) or joining a posh, pre-hippie sex commune in Palm Springs.
In the world of Mad Men, the only excuses for having unruly hair are: a) you've just finished cheating on your spouse; b) you've just had a heart attack; or c) you are a Depression-era hobo who resides in Don Draper's tortured flashbacks. If you know a fellow in need of hair as slick as a wet seal pelt, make tracks to Leavitt & Peirce, and peruse their wide selection of classically masculine grooming tonics. It's probably one of the few places left on Earth where you can find a bottle of Sandahl's Trainee styling goop ($4.95), as well as umpteen varieties of mustache wax and aftershaves, including the peculiar Pinaud Lilac Vegetal ($13.95).
Colognes at Colonial Drug
For a more feminine touch, call upon COLONIAL DRUG (49 Brattle Street, Cambridge, 617.864.2222, colonialdrug.com), which bills itself as "the hard-to-find fragrance specialiste." Here, colognes and posh shaving supplies — badger brushes, soapstone lather dishes, and leather strops — mingle with ladies' perfume, scented soaps, and even jasmine-infused toothpaste ($12.50). Just a dab of Castle Forbes eau de parfum ($120) for men or Woods of Windsor eau de toilette ($35) for women might go a long way toward covering up an evening of boozy indiscretion or a lifetime of crippling insecurity — and it doesn't get much more Mad Men than that.
Shaving supplies at Colonial Drug