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

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.

Grooming Guru Essentials: the August edit.

GROOMING GURU ESSENTIALS-1Since it’s nearly the end of the month I thought I’d round-up some of the best products to have landed on my desk in the past few weeks. After all, when it comes to stocking your bathroom cabinet it’s all about the edit. So here are my picks from August…

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream For Men, £55 from

Elemis’ award-winning Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is a legendary beauty product and it always puzzled me why there hadn’t been a version in their men’s range. Well, now there is. Resisting the urge to simply repackage the original formula this men’s version includes an extra ingredient called Abyssine which is a soothing oil that helps calm the skin and reduces the irritation caused by shaving. The cream itself is intensely hydrating and silky but, crucially for me, doesn’t leave a shiny residue on the skin.

Oliver Sweeney Argento Eau De Parfum, £95 from

Regular readers will know how disappointed I am with a lot of new men’s fragrances but here’s one I love (I know, hang out the bunting!). The first fragrance from luxury shoe and accessories designer Oliver Sweeney, Argento is a delightfully woody, slightly leathery fragrance that smells reassuringly traditional without being boring. What’s more, unlike most of today’s new men’s launches it doesn’t smell like a cake shop and for this reason alone it’s currently my favourite new fragrance.

Philips Bodygroom Series 1000, £20 from

Remarkably, it’s been 10 years now since the launch of the first Philips Bodygroom – a tool that changed how men manscaped and one which pretty much created a brand new category in male grooming. This latest version is slimmer, sleeker and has a new ‘skin protector’ not found on previous models, allowing a nick-free trim, particularly if you’re using it ‘down below’. It doesn’t go as close as the other models (it’s a trimmer rather than a down-to-skin-level shaver) but is much easier – and safer –  to use. The price point is excellent too.

Rose of No Man’s Land, £88 from Liberty, from 10th September

I’m a big fan of rose fragrances and whilst they do scare a lot of men they don’t all leave you smelling like  a hanky-brandishing dowager aunt. This one, from Swedish fragrance house Byredo, is a perfect example of a rose fragrance a man can rock since the overly floral aspects are tempered by a lovely warm woodiness and a slight spiciness. Be brave and give it a try.

Root Vanish By Kazumi, £30 from Boots.

Though essentially a hair product some enterprising PR realised this temporary tinting brush by Japanese company Kazumi actually works wonders on facial hair too. Available in different shades (I’ve been using the light brown) it’s brilliant at disguising any little grey bits  you have and is useful where you have patches too. It stays on throughout the day but washes of when you shower, too, giving you total control over the effect. I don’t leave the house without touching up now!

What will make the edit next month? Watch this space to find out.