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.

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. 

Eye on the ball: Anthony release grooming product for ‘down below’

Anthony No Sweat Body DefenseIt’s not a grooming problem that’s often discussed but getting sweaty down below is no fun for a man, especially if skin starts to chafe and becomes sore and inflamed. In the last few years skincare companies have realised there’s a market for products that can address this issue, however, and the latest product to tackle the issue of, erm, uncomfortable tackle comes from cult US brand Anthony.

A bit like a liquid talc No Sweat Body Defence creates a powder-like barrier on the skin to keep your bits comfortable and dry. It does so with the help of tapioca starch rather than talc and though there’s a fragrance it’s not so heavy that you might come across as someone who’s desperately trying to mask something.

Having road-tested it myself (don’t think too much about that) I can attest to the fact that it’s a great way to keep your boys feeling fresh and dry. It does leave a slight powdery residue if you use a lot (wear white pants if you’re worried) but otherwise this is an excellent piece of grooming kit to have in your gym bag or to have at hand if you’re pounding the streets all day or are heading out clubbing after work. Beats suffering from batwing balls* anyway.

Anthony No Sweat Body Defense is available exclusively online from SPACENK priced £20 for 90ml.

*Google it.

 

 

 

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.

Bluebeards Revenge beard oils are the biz

beard-oil-combo-glossI’m very fussy about what I put on my beard, especially as so many beard oils eventually end up smelling like something you’d fry chips in. So I’ve grown rather cautious about what I blindly slap on my facial fuzz. Luckily the new beard oils by The Bluebeards Revenge cause no such attack of the nerves. Conditioning without being annoyingly greasy, generously sized (you get 50ml for just £9.99) and lightly scented (my favourite is the Cuban Blend which is a simple combo of vetiver and cedarwood) they’re perfect for ensuring your facial hair always looks fantastic. Simply apply with your fingers or, better still, distribute through your facial hair with a beard or moustache comb. Recommended.

The Bluebeards revenge Beard Oils are available here

Sun protection for your hair – Phyto style

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?

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.