Having met Ugo Monye – the face/body/buttocks of the new Molton Brown Sport Collection - I can assure you he’s utterly charming, clever, funny and very dapper as well.
For a whole generation living in the scent shadow of Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million – a fragrance which, whether you love it or loathe it, has set the kind of commercial benchmark most contemporary fragrances can only dream of equalling – it’s easy to forget that there was another Paco fragrance that grabbed the male fragrance market and made it its own.
That fragrance, of course, was Paco Rabanne Pour Homme which, remarkably, is celebrating its 40th birthday this year. Again, whatever you think of it, it’s undisputedly iconic. I came across it as a teenager in the mid eighties. Although over a decade old by then, this big, bombastic scent – aromatic, green and smoky, with a slightly soapy edge – still chimed with the times.
Given that it launched in the 70s when men’s fragrances were all about hyper-masculinity it’s big (and I mean big) on tobacco and oakmoss but the whole thing is tempered by a delightful floral heart of lavender and geranium and there’s a hint of honey in there too which works beautifully with the smokiness of the tobacco. And whilst it might open big, the dry down is lovely.
Smelling it now I’m taken back to a different time and place – not to mention a different me. So is it worth a go? Well, personally, I think it’s a little like rediscovering vinyl after years of clean, crisp, slightly soulless CDs – if you remember it back in the day you can’t help but love it – nor resist the temptation to give it another whirl.
I read with interest a report in the Telegraph this morning suggesting that Champagne may be able to improve memory (though presumably not if you have two bottles at once). Personally, being delicate-of-stomach, I try to avoid it – quite a challenge given that in the beauty world virtually every press launch is lubricated by the stuff.
But anyway, whilst the Telegraph article is very informative about the possible memory-boosting properties of the bubbly beverage it fails to mention the big downside – the infamous champagne breath. Standing next to someone who’s had a few glasses always reminds me of that moment in Alien where the monster first bares its silvery teeth to a terrified Ripley. Trust me, judging by Sigourney’s face that Alien mother was a big champagne drinker.
The solution (apart from chewing on cardamon pods which my dentist Uchenna Okoye always recommends) is to rinse with a mouthwash when you get back home and this one, from Marvis, is my current favourite. Free of mouth-drying alcohol and flavoured with peppermint and aromatic herbs it’s not as harsh as many cheaper mouthwashes you buy in supermarkets and tastes better too.
That’s something I’ll raise a glass to anytime, though not a glass of bubbly obviously.
Although I’m famously sceptical about awards I’m with actor Peter Ustinov when it comes to accepting them. “To refuse awards is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal,” he once said. So with that in mind, I’ll simply say how nice it is to be part of the amazing team that helped Niven & Joshua win the Best Grooming Website Award at the P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards 2013 yesterday. There, acceptance speech done. And not a tear in sight. They didn’t even play the music over me.
When I first started writing about male grooming, over 13 years ago, the discovery of dermalogica changed how I viewed skincare (it offers a truly bespoke approach to taking care of your skin) and products like their Skin Soothing Cream, Total Eye Care and Daily Microfoliant have since entered my all-time favourites list.
The latest addition to the range, a Multivitamin Power Serum, is designed to give skin the maximum chances to repair itself after environmental damage and to bolster it against the ageing process. It contains a raft of ingredients, including microencapsulated antioxidants, to repair skin damage, boost skin’s natural elasticity and, well, generally make if look and feel better. Non greasy and super-concentrated you simply apply it to a freshly cleansed face before moisturising.
If you’re a guy who’s never used a serum before, the tiniest amount is all you need (I’ve met some men who have gone through tubes that are meant to last months in a week!) and it’s worthing giving skin a double hit by applying morning and night. Super-concentrated, they’re a great way to turbo-charge your existing grooming routine and the great thing about this one is its texture: it’s super light, easily absorbed and wonderfully matt.
dermalogica’s Multivitamin Power Serum will be available from the beginning of June. For more info go to www.dermalogica.co.uk
Like Kate Bush albums and really good soufflés Tom Ford fragrances are almost always worth the wait. His latest fragrance, Sahara Noir, is absolutely no exception and I fell in love with it the moment I got a preview of it earlier today. It may have a raft of supporting notes like bitter orange, Egyptian jasmine, labdnam, beeswax, agarwood and cedar but this fragrance is all about one of my favourite ingredients – frankincense. So much so, in fact, that I should really write FRANKINCENSE when I tell you this. And add a couple of exclamations marks just to make the point. But anyway, you get the picture.
Though aimed at women (see the advertising to the right) it’s also a fragrance perfect for men who like big, ballsy statement scents with warmth, depth and tenacious longevity. Not everyone will love it – it’s not a “focus group fragrance” after all – but if you’re into luxury, opulence and, well, the rich, evocative smell of frankincense, I strongly suggest you give it a try.
Tom Ford Sahara Noir is available nationwide from May priced £100 for 50ml EDP.
2013, anti-aging, anti-oxidants, Asda, dry skin, dull skin, greasy skin, Groomed, Lab Series, male grooming trends, mattifier, moisturiser, molton brown, oily skin, pro LS all in one treatment, razor burn, Sportwash, Super 8 Skin Saviour Balm
Without doubt this year’s big grooming trend (apart from facial hair) is the rise of the multi-functional product. As belts tighten and spare time becomes increasingly scarce products that cover several bases are becoming increasingly popular and more relevant.
Already this year we’ve had Lab Series’ excellent PRO-LS All-In-One Face Treatment and next month sees the launch of Molton Brown’s 4-in-1 Sportwash. And here’s another worth checking out. Groomed’s Super 8 Skin Saviour Balm is a product designed to soothe razor burn, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, energise dull skin, moisturise, provide anti-oxidant protection, refine pores, combat blemishes and mattify skin.
In fairness, a couple of these features are built in to some products without them even flagging up the fact and any good moistuiser will help minimise wrinkles but it’s still a pretty good product and at £4 for 50ml, reasonably priced too. The texture’s great, it’s not overly-fragranced and its instant cooling effect also makes it a great morning-after-the-night-before refresher – something I discovered when I tried it for the first time this morning. Just a shame it can’t get rid of the hangover too…
Available from Asda.
Quite often when I review scented candles or diffusers the reaction I get is “sounds nice but they’re so expensive!” Given that good candles can set you back £35 or more it’s a fair comment, especially in these difficult economic times. With this in mind Jonathan Ward – a man who’s a true wiz with wax – is to launch a diffusion line of candles offering customers the chance of accessing his luxury brand at slightly lower price point.
The range still has the features Jonathan Ward is famous for (the double wicks, clean burning wax and complex, multi-dimensional fragrances) but the candles cost a mere £16 and the diffusers £20 making them roughly half the price as the mainline collection.
Thoroughly English, the collection of six candles is inspired by all things native (hence names like Dorset Shore, Mightnight Sherwood and Vintage Tweed). Woodstock, above, is a blend of aromatic English woods like oak and birch along with patchouli and forest flowers like bluebell. Inexpensive maybe but certainly not unsophisticated.
The “J” range by Jonathan Ward will be available from www.jonathanwardlondon.com from April 15th.
anti-perspirant, body wash, exercise, grooming, gym bag essentials, Men's Health, men's health + grooming awards, molton brown, new grooming products for men, skincare, sport, sports bag, sports products, work out
So iconic is Molton Brown‘s Re-Charge Black Pepper Body Wash that everything the company releases has to be judged against it. A firm favourite with men (and the recipient of a clutch of Men’s Health Grooming Awards) it’s a truly fabulous product and one that’s just as good after a late night or long flight as it is after a work out. So their latest Sport Collection - aimed specifically at active types – has a lot to live up to.
A trio of high-performance products the range features a 4-in-1 Sportwash, muscle-warming Sportbalm and obligatory Anti-Perspirant Stick, each featuring the refreshing scent of cassia bark, nutmeg and lime. Of the three products the 4-in-1 Sportwash is by far the most interesting. In keeping with the current trend for multi-fuctional grooming products it not only acts as a shower gel, shampoo and facial cleanser but as a transparent shaving gel too.
As a range it’s great and is certainly a welcome addition to any gym or sports bag but does it live up to the aforementioned Black Pepper Body Wash? Well, let’s just say they set the bar mighty high with that product…
The Molton Brown Sport Collection is available from Niven & Joshua.
Disclosure Notice: I received a free sample of this product for review purposes
Keen readers will know the I’ve written about Givenchy’s brand new fragrance Gentlemen Only a couple of times on here already. An elegant and modern fragrance which takes some of it olfacory and design cues from one of my favourite fragrance of all time, Givenchy Gentleman, it’s an aromatic, woody and spicy blend of green mandarin orange, pink peppercorns (this year’s must have fragrance note), nutmeg, birch leaves, cedar, patchouli and vetiver.
Featuring Australian heartthrob Simon Baker the ad campaign (below) focuses on the forgotten art of being a gentleman, revealing that even though times may change good manners never go out of fashion.
To celebrate the launch of the fragrance Givenchy have a trip to New York (along with €2000 to spend in Bergdorf Goodman), as well as 80 “instant win” bottles of the fragrance up for grabs via a great little Facebook App. To enter simply click here. It would be ungentlemanly not to!
A Grooming Guru/Givenchy Promotion