Good news for fans of Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Essenza: October sees the release of a special “Tuxedo” edition of the fragrance. Inspired by black tie (the bottle reflects the contrast between a tux’s matt fabric and its satin lapels) the timeless Acqua di Parma bottle gets a gentlemanly make-over. I know it’s a bit shallow to judge a fragrance by its bottle but, well, it is lovely. As is the fragrance. Great for collectors and Essenza fans it’ll be available exclusively from Selfridges from October 1st 2015, priced at £140.
Since it’s nearly the end of the month I thought I’d round-up some of the best products to have landed on my desk in the past few weeks. After all, when it comes to stocking your bathroom cabinet it’s all about the edit. So here are my picks from August…
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream For Men, £55 from elemis.com
Elemis’ award-winning Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is a legendary beauty product and it always puzzled me why there hadn’t been a version in their men’s range. Well, now there is. Resisting the urge to simply repackage the original formula this men’s version includes an extra ingredient called Abyssine which is a soothing oil that helps calm the skin and reduces the irritation caused by shaving. The cream itself is intensely hydrating and silky but, crucially for me, doesn’t leave a shiny residue on the skin.
Oliver Sweeney Argento Eau De Parfum, £95 from oliversweeney.com
Regular readers will know how disappointed I am with a lot of new men’s fragrances but here’s one I love (I know, hang out the bunting!). The first fragrance from luxury shoe and accessories designer Oliver Sweeney, Argento is a delightfully woody, slightly leathery fragrance that smells reassuringly traditional without being boring. What’s more, unlike most of today’s new men’s launches it doesn’t smell like a cake shop and for this reason alone it’s currently my favourite new fragrance.
Philips Bodygroom Series 1000, £20 from amazon.co.uk
Remarkably, it’s been 10 years now since the launch of the first Philips Bodygroom – a tool that changed how men manscaped and one which pretty much created a brand new category in male grooming. This latest version is slimmer, sleeker and has a new ‘skin protector’ not found on previous models, allowing a nick-free trim, particularly if you’re using it ‘down below’. It doesn’t go as close as the other models (it’s a trimmer rather than a down-to-skin-level shaver) but is much easier – and safer – to use. The price point is excellent too.
Rose of No Man’s Land, £88 from Liberty, from 10th September
I’m a big fan of rose fragrances and whilst they do scare a lot of men they don’t all leave you smelling like a hanky-brandishing dowager aunt. This one, from Swedish fragrance house Byredo, is a perfect example of a rose fragrance a man can rock since the overly floral aspects are tempered by a lovely warm woodiness and a slight spiciness. Be brave and give it a try.
Root Vanish By Kazumi, £30 from Boots.
Though essentially a hair product some enterprising PR realised this temporary tinting brush by Japanese company Kazumi actually works wonders on facial hair too. Available in different shades (I’ve been using the light brown) it’s brilliant at disguising any little grey bits you have and is useful where you have patches too. It stays on throughout the day but washes of when you shower, too, giving you total control over the effect. I don’t leave the house without touching up now!
What will make the edit next month? Watch this space to find out.
With so many fragrances being launched every year it’s increasingly important for brands to secure celebrities or sporting heroes who can make their products stand out from the crowd – and Tommy Hilfiger has certainly served up an ace in the shape of tennis champ Rafael Nadal. As part of his role as Global Ambassador for the brand (you’ll probably have seen the underwear shots by now) he’s also fronting the campaign for Hilfiger’s brand new fragrance TH Bold. Good choice huh?
TH Bold* will be available exclusively from The Fragrance Shop from 15th September.
*Rafa not included with purchase!
If you’re one of those people who likes to do their Christmas shopping early or are simply looking for a great birthday/anniversary/thanks-for-cutting-the-hedge gift for someone you might want to have a look at one Green People’s limited edition skincare sets in aid of one my favourite charities, The Woodland Trust. There are four individual collections: Facial Care, Body Care, Hand Care and this handsome-looking Men’s Collection which features two 100ml body washes: a Peppermint & Eucalyptus one that’s perfect for gym bags and an Orange Peel and Clove wash that’s delightfully festive. They’re free of chemical nasties, made with certified organic ingredients and the packaging, featuring a noble stag, is absolutely lovely. What’s more, 30p from each sale of a men’s collection goes to The Woodland Trust to help with its preservation of our beautiful forests. As an animal lover and a nature lover I can’t think of a nicer gift.
The set costs £19.95 and is available from September from www.greenpeople.co.uk and via Ocado.
Given the size of this launch (it has A-lister Johnny Depp attached to the ad campaign) and the amount of secrecy that surrounded it (it was subject to an exceptionally strict embargo) I was expecting great things from Sauvage – Dior’s latest fragrance and their biggest launch in a decade. I mean, Dior’s portfolio contains fragrances – like Eau Sauvage, Fahrenheit and Dior Homme – which pretty much set the standard when it comes to ‘classics’. And I’m sure the hope was that Sauvage would join this illustrious list. But (you sensed there was a ‘but’ coming right?) in truth, it’s not a patch on its predecessors.
Given Dior’s past boldness (Fahrenheit shouldn’t have worked but is amazing and Eau Sauvage was genuinely groundbreaking when it launched in 1966) I very much hoped they’d pull something original, maybe even something left-field, out of the bag for this major launch but alas, Sauvage is just another generic modern men’s fragrance – all citrus, lavender, wood and amber and blah-blah-blah. I’m not saying it’s bad – it’s not – just that it’s safer, more pedestrian and certainly more ‘familiar’ than I would have imagined. Like so many contemporary fragrances it tries terribly hard not to offend or polarise which is a great way to shift units (it worked for Chanel Bleu after all) but not necessarily a great way to create a classic in the same league as, say, Eau Sauvage.
For those of you wondering whether it’s a variant of that particular fragrance, it’s not; it merely trades on the name, presumably hoping for a bit of that classic fragrance’s gold dust to rub off on it. Look, the last thing I wanted to do was savage Sauvage but, hey, it’s just my opinion and there’s still the possibility that Dior’s next big launch will be an absolute stonker.
Dior Sauvage is available nationwide from 2nd September, priced £50 for 60ml eau de toilette.
It’s not a grooming problem that’s often discussed but getting sweaty down below is no fun for a man, especially if skin starts to chafe and becomes sore and inflamed. In the last few years skincare companies have realised there’s a market for products that can address this issue, however, and the latest product to tackle the issue of, erm, uncomfortable tackle comes from cult US brand Anthony.
A bit like a liquid talc No Sweat Body Defence creates a powder-like barrier on the skin to keep your bits comfortable and dry. It does so with the help of tapioca starch rather than talc and though there’s a fragrance it’s not so heavy that you might come across as someone who’s desperately trying to mask something.
Having road-tested it myself (don’t think too much about that) I can attest to the fact that it’s a great way to keep your boys feeling fresh and dry. It does leave a slight powdery residue if you use a lot (wear white pants if you’re worried) but otherwise this is an excellent piece of grooming kit to have in your gym bag or to have at hand if you’re pounding the streets all day or are heading out clubbing after work. Beats suffering from batwing balls* anyway.
Anthony No Sweat Body Defense is available exclusively online from SPACENK priced £20 for 90ml.