Sun protection for your hair – Phyto style

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Phyto VeilSo much is written about protecting the skin during the summer months that it’s easy to forget that hair needs a little bit of protection too – particularly if you’re on a beach or spend a lot of time outdoors with the sun beating down on your bonce.

Phyto’s PhytoPlage Protective Sun Veil might sound like device to protect a Medieval princess from the elements but it’s a great product to have in your summer grooming armoury along with a sunscreen, a decent summer fragrance and a foot file for your gnarly trotters, especially since sun can damage hair’s cellular structure leaving it brittle and looking like straw.

Non-greasy, only lightly-fragranced and packing a botanical sunscreen it’s been designed to keep hair in tip-top condition throughout the summer and protect it from the drying effects of saltwater, chlorine and baking heat. So handy is it that I actually wish I still had hair to use it on.

Available from SPACE NK priced £15 for 125ml.

Dior update Eau Sauvage. But is the new Cologne version any good?

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DIOR EAU SAUVAGE COLOGNEThere are some things in life – the first Poltergeist movie and Cadbury’s Creme Eggs amongst them – that really shouldn’t be tampered with, if only because the original is about as close to perfection as can be. Dior’s Eau Sauvage – that classic, much-loved fragrance from the Sixties and one of my own all-time favourites  – is one of them.

In a world where it pays big fragrance brands to remind customers of their prized assets, however, it makes sense to throw out a ‘flanker’ – a reworked version on an existing fragrance – every now and again. Not only does it keep the brand fresh and draw in new customers, it reminds everyone just how good the ‘old’ stuff is too. And therein lies the problem because, inevitably, anyone who loves the original will instantly compare it to the newcomer.

dior 2This brand new Cologne version, created by Dior Perfumer François Demachy, still has the characteristic citrusy vibe Eau Sauvage is famous for but some notes have been emphasised while other’s played down. Hedione – a molecule first used in Eau Sauvage and now scientifically proven to trigger a sexual response in women (see my piece here for more on that) – is still very much at the heart of this version and given its newfound reputation why wouldn’t it be? According to Demachy this updated version of hedione has a slightly more floral twist though. Mandarin has been added, as has grapefruit, and there’s a dash of galbanum to give it a ‘green’ edge and there’s a dollop of the now ubiquitous pink pepper in there too.

The result is an Eau Sauvage that’ll be less familiar to fans of the original than you might think and one that’s thoroughly contemporary in feel. It’s fresh, it’s aromatic, it’s spicy and woody but whereas Eau Sauvage is a thoroughly 3D fragrance this Cologne version is thinner and a bit one-dimensional by comparison. Which is not to say it’s bad because it’s not (and you do have to bear in mind that, because of my age, I’m very much the target market for the original fragrance rather than this more youthful incarnation). It’s just…well, different.

The press release points out – correctly – that when Eau Sauvage burst onto the scene in 1966 it shifted everything in its wake. Will this Cologne version do the same? Well no, but if it helps people rediscover the absolute joy of the original then it’s ‘job done’ in my book.

So what’s it like to have a fragrance created just for you?

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floris bespoke fragranceThe other week I was lucky enough to try out Floris’ recently relaunched Fragrance Customisation service. So what’s it like to help create your very own fragrance? Click on the pic above to find out.

Paco Rabanne lighten up with 1 Million Cologne

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PACO RABANNE_ 1 MILLION COLOGNE_ PACKSHOTS_2Love it or loathe it Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million is a fragrance phenomenon. It’s a heady cocktail, though, so if it’s a little bit too ‘in-your-face’ for you maybe you should check out 1 Million Cologne. Sharper and fresher than its best-selling brother it has a slightly bitter, cocktail feel (the result of mandarin orange and a fresh marine accord) which makes it a much better option for summer. It’s spikier and not quite as rounded and creamy as the original 1 Million fragrance but is just as ferociously commercial and has lost non of its tenacity – when I tested it out on my skin I could still smell it 12 hours later.

Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne is available now. 

Bulldog get protective

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bulldogI’ve said on countless occasions that I’m a big fan of mass market brand Bulldog Skincare For Men and funnily enough, after mentioning their Original Moisturiser in a piece for Fashionbeans.com someone complained that they didn’t do a moisturiser that contained a built-in sunscreen. And lo and behold, what lands on my desk this week but their soon to be launched Protective Moisturiser which features a broad spectrum SPF15 sunscreen?

Even low-level sun exposure outside of summertime can lead to premature skin ageing so this lightweight, quickly absorbed and affordable daily moisturiser is a great way to protect your skin from sun damage –  from January to December.

Bulldog’s Protective Moisturiser will be available from nivenandjoshua.com from May. RRP £8.99.

The 2015 Aramis umbrella is here!

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Aramis Great Scott Umbrella Low ResARAMIS UMBRELLAFew companies can say that their GWPs (Gifts With Purchase) are collectors’ items (usually they’re they kind of old tat that makes you seriously question your purchase) but the Aramis umbrella has become something of a  legend freebie-wise. Excellent quality and genuinely useful, it’s available with any purchase of an Aramis fragrance over 60ml in size and this year’s version comes in a delightful tartan and with a handle that makes it,  quite literally, ‘the dogs’.

Grab one during April, while stocks last. For stockists call 0870 034 2566

Lacoste add a little bottled sunshine to their Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 collection

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lacosteWhen it comes to mass market men’s fragrances the ones that form the Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 collection are some of my favourites –  in part because I like the simplicity and honesty of the fragrances. In particular, I’ve always loved the bottles, with their smooth curves, polo shirt fabric-inspired sides and iconic croc logo.

Sunny, cheerful and exuberant, Jaune, is the nearest the Eau de Lacoste L.12.12  collection has come to a bona fide summer fragrance. Fruity and juicy, with the vibe of sharp and tangy cocktail, it’s big on bitter grapefruit and coriander and there’s an apple note in there too.

Like all the fragrances in the collection it’s unashamedly commercial and is unlikely to win any awards for off-the-wall originality but for an accessible fragrance a guy in his 20s is going to wear day-in-day-out it’s certainly as good as anything else in its price range and is great for your summer hols.

Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Jaune is available from April priced £35 for 50ml eau de toilette. 

PS. Fans of Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Vert take note – it’s now been dropped from the range so if you have a bottle use it wisely!

Aveda light the way for Earth Month

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AVEDA Light the Way CandleBeing a cynical and decidedly curmudgeonly old fogey I’m always rather suspicious of brands’ charity initiatives – especially brands who say they’re giving an undisclosed percentage of their profits to a good cause. Aveda, however, are one brand that have always had their heart firmly in the right place when it comes to giving and in an admirable act of transparency (not to mention generosity) they’re donating 100% (yes, all) of the £16 RRP of their new limited edition Light The Way scented candle to the Global Greengrants Fund –  a non-profit organisation that funds groups working to solve pressing environmental problems.

Aveda have been working with the fund since 2007 so you can safely say they’re not bandwagoning either. The initiative comes as part of Aveda’s support of Earth Month this April and the candle –  a mix of warm, sweet Madagascan spice –  smells lovely so check out the Aveda site from April to grab one and to do a whole lot of good in the process.

Big is beautiful. Well, it is when it’s ‘Givenchy big’.

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GIVENCHY OVERSIZEIf you’re a fan of Givenchy Xeryus Rouge, Play Intense or Pi then smash open your piggy bank because April sees the launch of ‘Oversize’ editions of all three classic fragrances. Shown here against the 50ml version of Givenchy’s brand new fragrance Gentlemen Only Casual Chic, you can see just how big these oversized bottles are. Released as 150ml versions, priced £75, they’re the perfect way to ensure you never run out of your favourite fragrance.

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