Rafael Nadal announced as face of Tommy Hilfiger fragrance

NadalWith 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?

rafael nadal

TH Bold* will be available exclusively from The Fragrance Shop from 15th September.

*Rafa not included with purchase!

Dior’s Sauvage: an opportunity missed?

Sauvage-Dior-Fragrance-Art-e1440003132406-800x805Given 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.

Johnny-Depp-Sauvage-Dior-Fragrance-Campaign-800x519Given 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. 

Dior release teaser for new Sauvage fragrance

September 2nd sees the debut of one of Dior’s biggest fragrance launches. Sauvage, a new fragrance with Johnny Depp as its face, might sound like an Eau Sauvage flanker but it’s not. Instead it’s a brand new woody aromatic fragrance, built around Calabrian bergamot, that uses the Sauvage name to remind customers of Dior’s unrivalled heritage when it comes to classic fragrances – two of which (Fahrenheit and Eau Sauvage) are in my all-time top 10. A teaser trailer which aims to sum up the mood of the new fragrance was launched today and here it is…

Czech & Speake’s Oxford & Cambridge Shower Wash & Body Lotion Duo: ridiculously cute

czech & speake lavenderAt £25 for two 65ml bottles Czech & Speake’s Oxford & Cambridge Shower Wash & Body Lotion Duo isn’t cheap but if you’re a lover of luxury and superb fragrance this delightfully dinky travel set is the ultimate addition to your weekend washbag. The cologne spray itself – a finely balanced blend of French lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary and Bergamot essential oils –  is probably my favourite lavender fragrance (it’s one of the few that doesn’t leave you smelling like your nan’s knicker drawer) and I take a travel-sized bottle with me almost everywhere. If you’re already a fan or, once you’ve tried it, about to become one, these additions to the range will be your new grooming essentials. But probably not your nan’s. Which is a relief.

Czech & Speake’s Oxford & Cambridge Shower Wash & Body Lotion Duo is available here.

New Aramis fragrance keeps brand firmly in the black

ARAMIS BLACK FRAGRANCEIt’ll come as no surprise to anyone who loves and understands the Aramis brand that the latest fragrance in the portfolio, Aramis Black shares many of Aramis Classic‘s ‘core values’ as a fragrance. But although it might be a thoroughly grown up, multi-dimensional and autumnal fragrance Black is a little edgier, darker and spicier than its older brother: think Dynasty‘s Ben Carrington to Blake Carrington or – for the younger folk – Prince Harry living it up in Vegas rather than Prince William politely honouring foreign dignitaries at a state dinner.

Initially oudy and smoky, Black’s core is based around a lively and very noticeable peppery facet, softened and rounded out by smooth and vanillary tonka bean. The Aramis DNA is still very much present, though, in the shape of a lovely underlying leatheriness and a touch of boozy gentleman’s club but Black is altogether more in-your-face and contemporary. The inky juice is a nice touch, too, giving the whole thing a touch of mystery and menace.

I must say, I was a wee bit disappointed by the last Aramis fragrance, Aramis Adventurer, which was a hyperactive and rather brash fragrance in comparison, but Aramis Black puts things firmly back into, well, the black.

Available now from Boots and nationwide from August.

Acqua di Parma launch Colonia Club

acquaI think I must have rather annoyed the lovely Acqua Di Parma people at the launch of the company’s latest fragrance Colonia Club the other day by constantly referring to it as a sport fragrance – something they fervently denied each time I mentioned it. I’m not sure why, though, because that’s basically what it is. Oh sure, the inspiration might be that most elegant and refined of activities – dressage – but in character it’s definitely a sport fragrance in character, featuring, as it does, citrus notes like lemon and mandarin alongside the sport scent favourite, mint. Conceptually, the whole thing – including the superb green bottle – fits into the existing Acqua Di Parma portfolio beautifully, filling a gap with something muscular and energetic and, thanks to the addition of galbanum – a note variously described as smelling like cut grass, pea pods or pine needles – something ‘green’ smelling too.

colonia_club_01Of all the Acqua Di Parma fragrances this is the most youthfully commercial too. And by that I mean it does smell a lot like a dozen other men’s fragrances on the market. Now, that can be taken one of two ways: as a bad thing or a good thing. It’s certainly a positive if the objective is to attract a slightly younger customer whose main frame of reference, fragrance-wise, are big-selling fragrances from famous fashion brands like Dolce & Gabbana. In truth, it’s not my favourite Acqua Di Parma offering (there are so many good ones it does have rather stiff competition!) but if you’re looking for something that’s punchy and has a bit of energy to it and which isn’t too polarising a fragrance you might want to give it, you know…a sporting chance.

Available now from John Lewis