As someone who writes about male grooming for a living nothing shocks me more than when display a lack of good grooming. Well, actually, that’s not true. What shocks me more is when men groom inappropriately. For an insight into what I mean read the piece I wrote for Telegraph Men this week by clicking the pic below. You filthy swines you.
I was lucky enough to attend a special Fragrance Symposium at The Barbican centre recently in which perfumer Francis Kurkdjian – the man behind Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male - and the famous fashion designer himself discussed all things fragrance. An interesting discussion it revealed that the enfant terrible has lost none of this cheeky charm and give a fascinating insight into the creation of his fragrances. Below is a video of the event, so if you get a spare few minutes have a watch. Oh, and make sure you check out the wonderful exhibition, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, of which the symposium was a part.
Taking an olfactory tour of Acqua di Parma’s Blu Mediterraneo fragrances recently re-inforced for me the notion that fragrance is often the ultimate travel agent – whisking you off to far flung places with the merest hint of sage or whiff of tangerine. The Blu Mediterraneo range now takes in everywhere from Calabria and Capri to Amalfi and Sicily and the latest addition to the range, Ginepro di Sardegna aims, as the name suggests, to capture the essence of the beautiful island of Sardinia.
With that in mind, it puts at its core a sparkling gin-like juniper note (the juniper bush flourishes on the island), then adds sage, pepper, pimento, bergamot and cedarwood. The result is a fragrance that’s spicier, warmer and altogether more ‘eveningwear’ than some of the other fragrances in the range and also one that’s a touch more mainstream and commercial. Well worth a sniff, particularly with summer on the horizon.
Available now from Harrods.
Whilst it’s fashionable these days to spash out a fortune of a famous face to promote your fragrance (see my previous post) there’s something, you know, faintly shallow and lazy about it. So it’s refreshing to see legendary British Designer Sir Paul Smith bringing his new fragrance Extreme Sport to life in a slightly more novel way.
Enlisting the help of photographer and film-maker Sébastien Montaz-Rosset, mountain biker Clément Iribanes and alpinist Fabien Meyer he’s managed to contextualise the fragrance in both a sports setting and capture its fresh and energetic nature at the same time. You can check out the pictures here but my favourite one is above. The colours are amazing, no?
Of course, if they were savvy they’d now run a competition asking fragrance fans to take a sporting selfie with their bottle of Extreme Sport!
Paul Smith Extreme Sport is available from today. For my review click here.
Jimmy Choo have announced that Game of Thrones totty Kit Harington is to be the face of the brand for their Autumn/Winter campaign. He’ll also be the face of the company’s much anticipated foray into the world of male fragrance with Jimmy Choo Man. Suddenly, my interest in it has increased by about 5000%.
I’ve written several articles about fragrance for fashionbeans.com of late so I thought I’d bring together the links to them in one place so you can have a read. So if you’re a fragrance fanatic or just a guy looking for your first fail-safe scent why not take a look at the articles below?
Not sure which fragrance to buy next? Why not go for one of these 10 classics?
Want to know how to get the most out of your fragrance? Read this.
Looking for something a little bit special? Click here to read about 10 Boutique fragrances worth having.
Discover how to create your own fragrance wardrobe here.
Subject to an embargo stricter than anything the Russian military might impose to conceal work on a new super weapon, the press were finally given permission to talk about the new Lagerfeld fragrance, Karl Lagerfeld Pour Homme, this week.
Given all the hoo-hah, you might think that the Francis Rossi of fashion had come up with something truly earth-shattering. Alas, I find Pour Homme frustratingly pedestrian, smelling no different from about 75% of the fragrances that land on my desk each year. There’s lavender in there, there’s apple, there’s mandarin, there’s amber and there’s a faint whiff of a focus group. It’s fresh, it’s powdery it’s woody, but ultimately it’s all a little bit…’so what’ Karl?
This, to me, is a terrible shame because few designers on the planet have the power and authority Lagerfeld has. He’s one of the few people with the muscle to shake up the fragrance market with something edgy, dynamic and forward-thiking. But no. Not this time at least.
If you want to smell a truly great Karl Lagerfeld fragrance, however, skip this bland concoction and root out Lagerfeld Classic instead. Launched back in 1978 and one of my favourite fragrances of all time, it’s a startlingly sweet, sensual, long-lasting fragrance that fuses amber, woods and vanilla – with a hint of tobacco – to create a fragrance so intoxicating that a female friend of mine says she can’t smell it without it making her nipples hard. Which is not something you can say of Pour Homme. Even if you chilled it.
Men might have come a long way in terms of looking after their faces but in many respects their bodies are the Amazon forest of male grooming: a largely unexplored territory and one in desperate need of preservation. So it’s a real joy to see one of my favourite British skincare brands, Bulldog, launch their Original Body Lotion for men.
Formulated with skin-saving aloe vera, cocoa butter and avocado oil and lightly fragranced with a blend of eight essential oils it hydrates skin a treat, smells great (but not in a way that will clash with any fragrance you’re wearing) and is quickly absorbed so it does’t stick your clothes. Importantly for men, it’s also lightweight enough not to get stuck in any body hair you may have. With an affordable pricepoint of £4.49 you don’t need to be skimpy with it either.
I’m a huge fan of Bulldog, not just because it flies the flag for British skincare, but because of its ethics (all its products are loaded with natural ingredients, free of chemical nasties like sodium laureth sulphate and none are tested on animals.) More than that, though, they’re fantastic value for money and actually work. I absolutely love this new addition to the range and reckon you will too.
Available from Sainsbury’s from May. For more information go to meetthebulldog.com
After the bravery of Paul Smith’s last fragrance launch Portrait For Men - a quirky fragrance built around a fresh green tea note – the iconic British designer’s latest fragrance, Extreme Sport, plays it safe (and keeps things a little more commercial) with a juice built around a raft of notes familiar to contemporary men’s fragrances.
As is the case with many sport fragrances that don’t go down the super-fresh route it aims – a bit like Issey Miyake’s L’eau D’issey Pour Homme Sport – to pack a mighty old punch instead. Citrusy, woody and spicy it’s a big, ballsy number that’s vibrant and energetic enough for daytime but warm and spicy enough to be worn for a night out too. If you’re a fan of Paul Smith Extreme – his most successful men’s fragrance – you’ll certainly like this version as it takes most of its cues (visual and olfactory) from that fragrance.
What it has over many other sport fragrances (Miyake’s included) is a genuine reason for being. Whereas you’d struggle long and hard to find an authentic connection between Miyake and sport, Paul Smith’s is genuine and well known. Not only did he start out wanting to be a champion cyclist (until an accident made him change dreams) he’s still very much involved in sport, especially cycling, designing jerseys for the Giro d’Italia and lending his signature style to a range of sportswear, sporting equipment and sports watches (one of which is featured on the box and bottle). For sure, that little touch of authenticity isn’t mentioned on the list of notes but it’s definitely tucked away at the heart of the fragrance – just spray and you’ll find it.
Top: Orange Essence, Bergamot, Moroccan Nana Mint
Middle: Egyptian Geranium, Lavender, Madagascan Black Pepper
Base: Incense, Cedarwood, Tonka bean.
Paul Smith Extreme Sport launches exclusively in Boots on 2nd April and will be available elsewhere a month later.
Clinique have always prided themselves on the simplicity of their men’s skincare range – whether that be the minimalist packaging or the easy-to-follow way the products dovetail together to form a basic routine. So it’s a bit of a surprise that they’ve felt the need to simplify things for their customer even further. But simplify they have, by ditching the tongue-twisting Skin Supplies For Men tag, renaming classic products like their M Lotion (it’s now simply ‘Moisturizing Lotion’) while updating some of the formulations and altering the packaging of products like the Aloe Shave Gel (revamped and renamed from M Shave Aloe Gel).
There are a few niggles (the Anti-Age Moisturiser could have included a sunscreen and I would have liked to have seen a Night Cream in the line up) but it still remains one of the best premium ranges to stock up on. In truth, this revamp is more of a tinkering around the edges rather than a radical overhaul of the range or an exercise in innovation (though we’re advised to watch this space on that front) but as with a gentleman’s wardrobe, a little refresh now and them never hurt anyone. And if you’re into your skincare I can think of few better starting points than Clinique.
The new range, featuring 22 products, is available now. For more info go to cliniqueformen.co.uk