The new Acqua Di Parma Murano Candle is here!

New Acqua di Parma Murano Candle Benzoino (1)The unveiling of a new Acqua di Parma candle is always a bit of an event. This year, their Murano Collection expands with the addition of a Benzoin candle housed in a green handmade glass made in  – the clue is in the name –  Murano. Warm and comforting (just what you want in winter) the candle features a blend of vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla and benzoin – an ingredient used in incense making and one which gives the candle a delicious resinous warmth that enhances the vanilla. Perfect for lighting up those long winter nights.

Available from Harrods from October, priced £95.

Invest in your future with Lab Series’ new Repair Serum

LAB SERIES RESCUEIn terms of skincare serums are a hard sell to men. Most of the guys I know have absolutely no idea what they’re for, how to use them or why they should add yet another step into their existing grooming routine.

In short, used morning and night, after cleansing but before moisturising, they’re a handy way to turbo-charge your regular skincare regime. Lab Series’ brand new Future Rescue Repair Serum – in its TARDIS blue bottle – is designed to “fortify” the skin’s natural protective barrier as well as improve its overall appearance, making it the perfect way to go time travelling with your skincare and, hopefully, discover a slightly younger-looking you in the process.

It works by delivering a potent antioxidant boost to promote the skin’s natural repair process and support the production of collagen – the stuff that keeps skin looking young and firm. It also contains ingredients to shift dead skin cells and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier thus protecting it from future damage. It’s ultra-light, quickly absorbed and leaves a matt finish and if you can be bothered to add it to your grooming regime (hey, it only takes about three seconds to apply)  it’s well worth a look.

If I could go back in time and tell my younger self to do just one thing (apart from not to drink Snakebite) it would be to do anything – and everything – to look after my skin for the future. Unfortunately, until there’s real time travel, this skin saviour in a bottle will have to do.

Lab Series Future Rescue Repair Serum is available from October from priced  £48 for 50ml. 

Paul Smith Essential puts affordability at its heart

paul smith essentialThe history of Paul Smith fragrances is a bit of a chequered one and I must confess, I have a nasty habit of liking the less succesful ones like Story (a fragrance that was ahead of its time in terms of its bookish, geek chic imagery) and Portrait which, alas, was more of a critical success than a commercial one.

PAUL-01Coming two years after Portrait and a year after Extreme Sport, Essential is an altogether safer fragrance that leaves nothing to chance by covering all the commercial bases: it’s woody, it’s spicy and it’s aromatic, making it familiar, inoffensive and versatile. Slightly reminiscent of Gucci’s Guilty Pour Homme, with which it shares several key notes, it’s probably not going to set the world alight in terms of originality, but with its low price point (under £30 for 50ml) and wearability I suspect it will do pretty well commercially.

Paul Smith Essential is available now from

How to buy fragrance online


FB FRAGRANCEA few weeks ago, whilst I was on holiday in Ireland, I got talking about fragrance to a guy who lived in the middle of the countryside. He loved it and clearly had quite a collection but he was miles from the nearest department so had to had to buy most of his fragrances online without ever smelling them. The conversation we had got me thinking. How do you go about buying a fragrance blind, without ever smelling it? Where do you begin? And is there anything you can do to maximise your chances of ending up with something you’re going to like? Hopefully, these questions, plus a few more, are answered in the guide to buying fragrances without smelling them I’ve written for Fashionbeans. It’s not meant to be a failsafe plan (there isn’t one) but hopefully it’ll help point you in the right direction. To read the piece just click on the picture above.

Creed to expand new Mayfair boutique

new creed storeYou know how I’m always saying how this or that fragrance is in my all-time Top 10? Well, Creed’s Original Vetiver is in my Top 3 and there are plenty of other fragrances from this most esteemed of houses I could recommend. The best way to find the right Creed fragrance for you, of course, is to sample them for yourself and you’ll soon be able to this in the opulent surroundings of a brand new lower ground floor at their stand-alone boutique in the heart of London’s Mayfair. Although often thought of as a French house, Creed actually started in London in 1760 (where it was known for its fine tailoring and one-off fragrances) before hopping over the channel to become one of the most respected boutique fragrances houses in the world, so it’s nice to see them expanding their home here.

The new lower ground floor opens at the Creed Boutique at 99 Mount Street, Mayfair, in October. Make sure you smell the Original Vetiver first!

Acqua di Parma release “Tuxedo” edition of Colonia Essenza

New Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza Tuxedo  Edition 2015 (1)Good news for fans of Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Essenza: October sees the release of a special “Tuxedo” edition of the fragrance. Inspired by black tie (the bottle reflects the contrast between a tux’s matt fabric and its satin lapels) the timeless Acqua di Parma bottle gets a gentlemanly make-over.  I know it’s a bit shallow to judge a fragrance by its bottle but, well, it is lovely. As is the fragrance. Great for collectors and Essenza fans it’ll be available exclusively from Selfridges from October 1st 2015, priced at £140.