Green People’s new Men’s Collection: good for you, good for our woodland.

GREEN PEOPLE MEN'S COLLECTIONIf 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.

Why Dolce & Gabbana’s Velvet Collection candles light my fire

DGFF_Velvet Candle_WOOD_high resWith Christmas just around the corner a lot of men I know (and a fair few women) are already in a slight panic about what to buy their loved ones, so here’s a tip from me: how about a candle from the Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Collection? Scented candles are always a good bet for women (my mum loves them) but an increasing number of men are appreciating what they can bring to the home too. Luxury-with-a-wick, this particular collection features a range of scented candles based around the high-end Dolce & Gabbana  Velvet Collection fragrances. Hence, there’s Velvet Wood, which is warm and resinous, and Velvet Desire – a heady floral number my mum would adore. What impresses most about these particular candles, though, is their attention to detail. Not only is the outer packaging excellent, the jars look fantastic (each also one comes in a silk drawstring bag) and – best of all – there’s a snuffer lid too. Definitely worth putting on your Christmas list.

Available exclusively from Harrods, priced £60

Looking for the perfect pressie? How about Mr Porter’s new paperback?

MR PORTER PAPERBACKCurrently accompanying me to bed at night is this little number from online retail behemoth Mr Porter. The second paperback compendium of style and grooming tips, essential man skills, insider advice about where to eat, hang out and  – in typical Mr Porter style – how to pick the perfect desk lamp, it makes perfect bedtime reading.

What’s more everything is presented in an easily digestible format (the Bryan Ferry interview is just four dinky pages long but more insightful than some entire books on him I’ve read). Look out, too, for the article entitled Art-Deco Drives which is the nearest thing to car porn you’ll ever find.

The Mr Porter Paperback Volume Two is published by Thames & Hudson and is available from mrporter.com, priced £20.

Looking for the perfect fragrance gift for Christmas?

I’m often asked at this time of year if I can recommend a few new fragrances that would make great Christmas gifts for men. Given that fragrance is a very subjective thing it’s always tricky and since I was asked recently to list a few for my Telegraph Men column I thought I may as well just point you in that direction rather than list them again here. A few of the new fragrances mentioned are ones that really impressed me this year whilst others are there because I think they’d make an impact on Christmas morning with certain types of guys. So, anyway, if you want to see my selection simply click on the image below. And feel free to call me out if you don’t agree with what I went for!

fragrances

Kurkdjian’s Christmas candle magic

MFK-Ligne Noël Bougies PArfumées-LDWhen it comes to Christmas few gifts are as nice as scented candles and few scented candles are as nice as this trio of bougies from perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. Presented as a boxed set containing three mini candles (with a burn time of 20 hours each), they look fantastic and smell of gingerbread and iris so have a festive twist but not one so Christmassy they can’t be used beyond December.

Available from Selfridges, Liberty, Harvey Nichols, John Lewis and Les Senteurs.

Lab Series’ ‘Try It’ Kit is perfect for Christmas

LAB try it kitOne of the things I love most about Lab Series is their no-bull approach to skincare. Never over-complicated for the sake of it, their products always do what they say on the tin and rarely over-promise but often over-deliver. So it’s rather appropriate that their kit for Christmas has a very upfront ‘go on, try us’ message.

The Try It Kit (£16.50 from Boots and labseries.co.uk) features three hero products from the range – the Multi Action Face Wash (one of my all-time favourite grooming products), a 3-in-1 Post Shave and a Daily Moisture Defense Lotion. It’s a perfect introduction to the brand, is a good price and makes a fab Christmas gift. Great for travel too.

G’day! It’s Australia Day! So here’s some grooming gear from Down Under

products_5_shaving-essentials-kit_0Since it’s Australia Day today I  thought I’d do a little post today about a couple of my favourite Aussie grooming brands. Eyre BioBotantics is a premium brand I’ve loved for years (I interviewed its founder Stephen Damiani shortly after it was founded in the mid noughties) and it has been something of a pioneer in terms of organic grooming. Having achieved Australian Certified Organic certification the ingredients certainly come to you as nature intended.

I especially like their twin-chamber delivery system products which contain two separate products in one one tube. If you want a good introduction to this fantastic brand try their Shaving Essentials Kit above, available from nivenandjoshua.com.

VITAMAN-DISCOVERY-PACK-2Also worth checking out is Vitaman, which launched back in 1999 and prides itself on using ingredients like eucalyptus which are native to Australia, and in not using synthetic ingredients or artificial fragrances, which are native to nowhere!

The Body Discovery Pack (above), available from vitamangrooming.co.uk, serves as a good taster and inlcudes one of my favourite Vitaman products – their exfoliating bar, which is minimally scented but great for keeping your bod free of dead skin cells. I especially love the full-sized version which is fantastically chunky.

Anyway, both ranges are well worth investigating and are proof that Kylie, koalas and Kath & Kim aren’t the only great things Australia has given the world.