I wrote about the two brand new Bleu de Chanel shaving products the other week and tomorrow (25th February) and again on 3rd March, from 4 – 9pm, Chanel will be hosting a special pop-up shaving evening with expert barber Dan Gregory at John Lewis in Oxford Street. If you’re in town on either of those days and fancy a professional shave and a chance to sample the new products yourselves then you can book a 30 minute slot by calling 0203 073 0648. Appointments cost £30 but that’s redeemable against any purchase from the range on the day, so if you like Bleu de Chanel and fancy a bespoke shave get booking!
February 5th sees the launch of two brand new, limited edition shave products from BLEU DE CHANEL: a low-foaming, transparent Shaving Cream (above) and a soothing and moisturising Hydrating After Shave Gel. Both lightly scented with the wildly successful Bleu de Chanel fragrance, they’re the perfect way to bolster the effect of the fragrance itself and the transparent nature of the gel means it’s great for guys with facial hair to navigate too. If you’re a Bleu boy then these new products are definitely worth adding to your fragrance armoury.
Available nationwide priced £38 each.
He’s the ex Senior Vice President of Chanel and former Global General Manager of Jo Malone Ltd and she’s a talented, up-and-coming perfumer so what could go wrong? Well, nothing as it happens, because Dom De Vetta and Julie Massé know exactly what they’re doing with boutique fragrance brand Shay & Blue.
The styling (with it meticulous attention to detail, is very Jo Malone (beautiful boxes, beautifully ribboned, only this time in blue) but the fragrances are much better, more rounded and muti-faceted. Blood Oranges, for example, is utterly delicious: it oozes dark, citrus juiciness to begin with but develops into a gorgeously leathery fragrance with musky overtones and a sensual woody, ambery base that’s both mysterious and a wee bit naughty. It’s about as far removed from what most people think of as citrus pefumery as you can get, is delightfully styled from start to finish and is made in England too. I absolutely love it and I think you will too.
Shay & Blue’s Blood Oranges costs £55 for 100ml natural spray. For more information see shayandblue.com. Shay & Blue’s new London Boutique can be found at 80 York Street, Old Marylebone, London.
Last night I was lucky enough to attend the biggest event in the UK fragrance world’s dairy – the Fragrance Foundation’s FiFi Awards. Kind of like the Oscars for Eau de Toilettes, receiving a FiFi is just about the highest accolade a fragrance can get. More than that, though, since they’re voted for by an army of industry experts (myself included) and members of the public too, they’re an excellent barometer of what’s hot.
Last night’s awards took place at the beautiful Banqueting House in Whitehall, was hosted by TV presenter George Lamb (a man everyone, male and female, seemed to want to kiss, hug or – in some cases – grope) and had the likes of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Beverley Knight and Eurovision hopefuls Blue providing the glamour.
The awards themselves are a crucial barometer to what’s hot in the fragrance industry, from the ads we like best to the fragrances we all buy. Winners this year included Chanel’s Bleu de Chanel (voted Best New Prestige Fragrance for Men, best commercial and picking up a Perfume Shop People’s Award for Best Male Fragrance) and Tom Ford Private Blend Azure Lime which won for Best New Men’s Fragrance in Limited Distribution. Voyage d’Hermes by Hermes deservedly won Best New Male Fragrance Packaging and Boss Bottled Night walked away with the coveted (and always fiercely fought) Men’s Health Readers Award for Best Fragrance. So if you’re a guy looking for a new fragrance these esteemed winners are the very best place to start.
Roja Dove, the world’s sole Professeur de Parfums, is without doubt the foremost authority on all things fragrant. Charismatic, witty and charming, what he doesn’t know about accords, absolutes and aromatics isn’t worth knowing. So I’m thrilled that he’s taken time out of his busy schedule to provide some insightful answers for this week’s insider interview…
GG: Biggest mistake men make when using or choosing a fragrance?
RD: Believing that they’ll end up looking like the man in the add or that it alone will make them irresistible!
GG: Best fragrance tip for men?
RD: Choose a fragrance that you feel suits you – don’t just go for the latest thing. No-one likes a man who looks like he’s worked at it too hard or is contrived. If you really feel good with a fragrance then it will most likely work for you. The best way to do that is to spray the fragrances on blotter cards, write the name of the fragrance on the blotter, turn them upside down so that you are not swayed by the brand. Smell two at a time asking yourself which you prefer, discard the one you like least without looking at its name – the one you are left with you now is the one you really like for the smell alone.
GG:Top three male fragrances of all time?
RD: Dior’s Eau Sauvage, Chanel’s Antaeus as a second choice to Egoiste (not platinum or sport) which you can only get from the boutiques today and finally Al Qurashi’s Musk Malook (www.alqurashi.co.uk).
GG: Desert island grooming product?
RD: Jeanne Piaubert’s Suprem d’Avance anti-aging serum – after toothpaste of course.
GG: Biggest change in male fragrance in the last ten years?
RD: It has started to be more ‘masculine’ again. It went through a phase where everything was a masculine variant of a feminine success – Allure pour Homme, Dune pour Homme etc. We are now starting to see overtly masculine imagery again and overtly masculine fragrance compositions.
GG: Next big trend in male fragrance?
RD: Aoud (from a fragrant resin harvested
from the heart of the knotted Aquilaria tree). Tom Ford started it, Kilian comes soon, and many others are hot on their heels – even very traditional brands like Penhaligon’s are dabbling with it – the finest however are the ones from Al Qurashi on Brompton Road as its owner is considered the world’s leading authority on it.
Roja’s definitive book on fragrance, The Essence of Perfume (Black Dog Publishing), is available now from Amazon. Not only is it a beautiful coffee table tome, it’s fascinating reading too and a must have for anyone fascinated by fragrance.