Fragrance has always made a great Father’s Day gift but if you want to add a little icing to the cake this year how about personalising the bottle? Burberry offer a complimentary monogramming service for their Mr. Burberry fragrance that accommodates up to three initials (you could even have ‘DAD’ if you like) at selected stores and via burberry.com. I had my own bottle personalised a while back as you can see. In a world where little touches matter and bespoke is where it’s at it’s well worth making the extra effort. You only have one dad after all.
Grooming Boxes (collections of skin care and hair care products compiled as kits) are, at best, a bit hit and miss. Many I have encountered are skimpy, over-priced and badly curated. These are criticisms it’s impossible to level at Mr Porter‘s grooming boxes, however, because they’re by far the most artfully edited boxes out there. Their brand new Summer Grooming Kit, for example, features well-known brands like Clinique For Men, Tom Ford and Lab Series alongside cult ones like Bumble & Bumble, Czech & Speake and Baxter Of California and lesser known luxury brands like Patricks, which you may not have heard about but should definitely become acquainted with. All in all the kit features 13 full and travel-sized products (there’s a Perricone MD Cold Plasma sample which isn’t in the pic because I used it straight away) and costs £75. If that seems like a hefty initial outlay, consider this: the Clinique, Lab Series and REN products alone are worth £97. If you fancy getting your hands on one, though, don’t spend too long thinking about it – they tend to sell out faster than tickets to see Adele.
Mr Porter’s Summer Grooming Kit is available now from mrporter.com
If ever a campaign slogan was made for Hugo Boss’ Boss Bottled it’s the one that’s been chosen for the iconic fragrance’s latest campaign – ‘success isn’t born, it’s made’. Since its launch nearly 20 years ago it’s gone on to become one of the best-selling men’s fragrances in the world and a true modern classic. And who better to exemplify the ‘success isn’t born, it’s made’ ethos than the brand’s new global ambassador: 26-year-old Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge?
Born in Birmingham, he started playing football at six, was spotted by Aston Villa’s Youth Academy just a later and his dedication and hard work saw him play for Coventry City, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool and, of course, England. Describing himself as ‘confident’, ‘courageous’, and passionate about his craft he’s living proof that success really is something that’s ‘made’.
I caught up with him recently to talk about fragrance, Pharrell and the ever-changing face of male grooming...
GG: Thirty years ago, Daniel, it would probably have been considered ‘unmanly’ for footballers to be into their appearance quite as much as they are today but now it’s almost par for the course if you’re a footie star. What do you think has caused that change?
DS: Well, obviously there have been individuals who have broadened the horizons of footballers’ style – most notably David Beckham, who is probably the one person who people would say has focused the most on style and grooming. But also, as time has gone on, things like Instagram have had an impact too because footballers are paying more attention to stuff outside of the game so are starting to pay more attention to how they dress, how they groom themselves, their hair, their skin all those types of things.
Personally, though, I think it’s important to just be comfortable and confident in who you are as a person and not too much worry about what the public thinks because if you do, and you’re in the public eye, then it can become a big problem, especially if you end up taking criticism of your appearance personally.
GG: Well, I guess if you’re in the public eye and taking selfies all the time you have to be well-groomed. Are you a selfie person?
DS: I’m not huge on selfies to be honest. I feel like selfies are a little bit – I wouldn’t like to say ‘vain’ because I don’t think they’re vain necessarily – but I’d say that they’re a little bit ‘personal’ for me. I think that a normal photo isn’t quite so personal because someone else is taking it whereas when you’re taking a selfie it’s you who really wants to take the photo and you want to show people how you look. I have taken them in the past but I’m not huge on them.
GG: In many ways you’re the perfect choice as an ambassador for Boss Bottled’s ‘success isn’t born, it’s made’ campaign…
DS: Well, I’m somebody that’s shaped their own success I suppose. I’m the person who has to go out on the football pitch with my teammates and perform at the best of my abilities. I’m confident, courageous and passionate about what I do and I’m dedicated. I’m someone who’s always evolving and am forever trying to perfect my craft.
GG: We’re you a fan of Boss Bottled before the ambassadorial role came up?
DS: I was! In fact Boss Bottled was my very first fragrance. I first discovered it when I was a kid – when I was about 10 or 11 years old! My dad had it and I took small sample of it from his bedroom because he had a few little samples as well as a full-sized bottle of it. I just hope he doesn’t find out now! (GG: I suspect he will!).
GG: Do you think it’s important to have a signature fragrance – one that says who you are?
DS: Yes, because your choice of fragrance says a lot about your personality. It’s a reflection of how you like to put yourself across to people isn’t it? As I said, I’m a confident person and I’m dedicated to my craft, so Boss Bottled is perfect for me in terms of my personality. Some people’s fragrances can be overpowering sometimes but I prefer something that people have to get up close and personal to smell.
GG: Well, I guess in a way that the success of any fragrance is if somebody wants to get a bit closer to you!
DS: Exactly! It’s like leaving a trail they have to follow. With some people you just can’t get enough of how they smell and no matter what you do you’re drawn to them because they smell so good.
GG: Turning to skincare, I wanted to ask you about the challenges of having Afro-Caribbean skin because it has some very specific grooming needs doesn’t it? Do you have any grooming tips for looking after it?
DS: Well, a lot of Afro-Caribbean guys don’t go for wet shaves when they visit the barbers – they have their stubble trimmed using the shears that the barber uses for your hairline or for the back of your neck so it’s important to make sure that your barber’s appliances are clean. Afro-Caribbean people tend to have oilier skin, too, so you have to make sure the products you use aren’t overly oily. I like to use cold water to wash and I’ll probably exfoliate twice a week but other than that I don’t like to use too many face products.
GG: Ingrown hair and razor bumps can be a big problem for black guys so the exfoliation, which helps minimise the risk of hairs growing back upon themselves and into the skin, is crucial right?
DS: Yes. Ingrown hairs are probably the biggest problem for us. They’re an absolute nightmare and are something that you can’t get away from which is why the exfoliation is important.
GG: Thinking about style, do you have any personal heroes?
DS: Pharrell would certainly be one of them. He was a guru when he first came out with Billionaire Boys Club and a pioneer in terms of style: everyone wanted to dress like him – even the hat became the go-to hat to wear. For a while, it was the coolest thing that anyone had ever seen. I admire him because he’s innovative and tries different things.
GG: And how would you describe your own personal style?
DS: Diverse. I like to change my style quite a bit. I do like to dress up (GG: he looks pretty dapper in his Hugo Boss menswear for these pics) but I’m also relaxed as well because I don’t like to be over the top. I have to be comfortable in what I’m wearing. Because I’m comfortable with myself I can go from wearing track suits to wearing denim to wearing a suit it is dependent on the day and where you’re going and not worry about what people think. When it comes to style I think it’s important to just be who you are as a person.
GG: And in very specific style terms do you think there’s one item that every man should have in his wardrobe?
DS: Rather than a specific item of clothing I’d actually say it’s fragrance because if I don’t smell good I don’t feel good. It’s the ultimate finishing touch, in a way, because when you wear a fragrance it gives you confidence. When you put some on you feel like you can go out and present yourself with integrity. That’s how I feel when I put Boss Bottled Unlimited on. In fact, I’m someone who often puts a little bit of fragrance on my shirt before I go and play. The guys are like ‘what’s he doing?’ but it’s for me – not for anyone else. I’m not putting it one for one simple reason – it makes me feel good.
About Boss Bottled Unlimited
Originally released as a limited edition, Hugo Boss’ Boss Bottled Unlimited has proved to be so popular it has now become a permanent fixture in the Boss Bottled fragrance portfolio. A modern reinvention of a classic masculine fougère, the fragrance features invigorating aromatic green notes, zingy grapefruit, juicy pineapple and warm sensual notes of sandalwood and musk to evoke the BOSS man’s uncompromising drive that motivates him to achieve success in all aspects of his life.
BOSS BOTTLED UNLIMITED is available nationwide and online from The Perfume Shop.
A Grooming Guru/ Boss Bottled Unlimited Sponsored Post.
Of the raft of new men’s fragrances that have landed on my desk of late (most of which copy each other in what amounts to olfactory cannibalism) one – Armani Code Profumo – has leapt out at me. As well as being housed in one of the most ridiculously sensual bottles you’ll ever come across it happens to pretty decent fragrance too. It takes its cues, of course, from the other Armani Code bottles but feels more premium thanks to heavier, thicker glass and there’s a grained collar at the top of the bottle that’s supposed to resemble a cummerbund. And the fragrance itself? Well, it’s a woody-ambery number that’s intensely balsamic and vanillary, with creamy tonka bean (the signature note of the Code fragrances) supported by hints of leather, tobacco and styrax (included to bolster the tonka since it also has a vanillary vibe). The result is an exceptionally sensual fragrance that’s gourmandy without being sickly or cakey and one that’s perfect for warm summer evenings. Recommended.
Available now priced £62 for 6oml eau de parfum
For men, the quest to find the perfect sunscreen isn’t always as straightforward as one might think. With our skin both oilier and hairier than women’s, the texture and stickiness of products if often a deciding ‘factor’ (if you’ll forgive the pun) in our choices; the ideal product being something that offers high SPF, broad-spectrum protection but which is lightweight, non-greasy and transparent on the skin. And
in terms of what men need from their suncare FIT Skincare‘s new Sun Protect Serum is a product that ticks every box.
The first sunscreen serum created for men, it offers a broad spectrum, five star UVA rated, SPF 50 sunscreen to protect you from both the sun’s burning UVB rays and the UVA ones that age your skin; it leaves absolutely no greasy or unsightly white residue (if anything it leaves skin with a matte finish) and has a barely there fragrance that vanishes altogether after a couple of minutes. This last bit is a big bonus in my book since I’ve worn sun products in the past that smelt of everything from Digestive biscuits to – nightmarishly – curry powder. The scent of one I road-tested a couple of years ago mysteriously attracted so many flies I looked like Pig Pen from Peanuts!
On top of these pluses FIT’s Sun Protect Serum uses cutting-edge ‘micro encapsulation technology’ that helps provide more evenly spread protection and also contains antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and FIT’s unique OXY-FIT-10 oxygen delivery system – a few bonus features that help defend against the dehydrating and DNA-damaging effects of the sun. In terms of summer skincare it way well be your ultimate defence shield.
FIT Sun Protect Serum SPF50 is available now from fitskincare.co.uk
A Grooming Guru/FIT Skincare For Men Sponsored Post
Like the acting Oscars the annual fragrance Oscars – the FiFi awards – tend to create their own share of controversy when it comes to winners, not to mention the odd WTF?! moment. Occasionally there’s a whiff of the Rita Oras about the bigger winners (i.e they’re absolutely everywhere so they’ve got to be good, right? Which we all know isn’t always true) but I was genuinely thrilled to see that dunhill ICON picked up an award for Best New Male Design & Packaging at last night’s ceremony. Almost every review of this fragrance (my own included) commented on how superb the bottle was. Featuring an engine-turned cylindrical case, with a design first used on dunhill accessories back in 1924, it’s both beautiful to hold and to look at. So huge congrats to dunhill – and to Mark Eisen who designed it – on a thoroughly deserved win.
P.S. The fragrance happens to be pretty good too.
A full list of The Fragrance Foundation Awards winners can be seen here.