Yankee Candle’s new barbershop collection – the perfect gift for the well-groomed man

YANKEE CANDLE BARBERSHOPFew names in the scented candle business are as recognisable as Yankee Candle.  I personally can’t pass a stockist without spending at least ten minutes having a sniff at what’s new to their burgeoning range. Some scents I’m enthralled by; others totally repel me. A couple have had me running for the door. Which, in a way, is the secret to Yankee Candle’s success because when a brand polarises people (take Marmite for example) it is at least avoiding indifference.

Anyway, Yankee now have a whole range based around male grooming and five familiar smells associated with it: Barbershop (above), Aftershave, Hot Towel, Chrome and Hair Tonic. Squarely aimed at men – and as gifts for men – the candles come in sleek black tumbler jars with brushed metal lids. Barbershop, burning away in my living room as I write this, is a delightfully clean-smelling blend of eucalyptus, lavender and amber and smells fresh and powdery without being overpowering.

Yankee Candles have been almost as long as I have (no mean feat for both) and are famous for the excellent diffusion of their scents so if you’re looking for a sure-fire way to fragrance your pad this particular range might be right up your street.

Yankee Candle’s Barbershop glass tumbler candle costs £12.99

How to be well “Gruhmed”

GRUHMEAs a consumer it’s often all too easy to go for the most obvious choice when it comes to fragrance, especially when the big fashion houses and cosmetic companies throw so much money at celebrity endorsement and in-your-face advertising. However, sometimes it’s worth looking a bit further afield for an interesting eau de toilette. This one, by British brand Gruhume being a good example.

Delightfully fresh, crisp and spicy –  with lemon, bergamot, lavender, juniper berry, black peppercorns, patchouli and petitgrain – it’s as good as any of the fragrances you’ll find in your local department store and considerably better than many of them. Plus, in buying a bottle you’re supporting British entrepreneurialism at its very best. Worth investigating.

Gruhme For Him No 14 is a available from gruhme.co.uk priced £45 for 100ml eau de toilette.

Tom Ford to launch ultimate Oud Wood set

TOM FORD OUD WOOD MACCASSAR SETIf, like me, you’re a huge fan of Tom Ford’s ridiculously sexy Oud Wood fragrance you’ll probably salivating just looking at the pic of their forthcoming Oud Wood collection. And I wouldn’t blame you. Bringing together all the products in the range, except the scented beard oil (which kind of belongs to his grooming range anyway), it’s presented in a beautiful Makassar box. Looking at it, I really can’t think of a more luxurious addition to a gentleman’s bedroom dresser. You may need to give that piggy bank of yours a bit of a shake though…

The Tom Ford Oud Wood Collection Set will be available from Harrods Salon de Parfum from 5th October priced £850

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 boots.com

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!