Dior’s Sauvage: an opportunity missed?

Sauvage-Dior-Fragrance-Art-e1440003132406-800x805Given the size of this launch (it has A-lister Johnny Depp attached to the ad campaign) and the amount of secrecy that surrounded it (it was subject to an exceptionally strict embargo) I was expecting great things from Sauvage – Dior’s latest fragrance and their biggest launch in a decade. I mean, Dior’s portfolio contains fragrances  –  like Eau Sauvage, Fahrenheit and Dior Homme – which pretty much set the standard when it comes to ‘classics’. And I’m sure the hope was that Sauvage would join this illustrious list. But (you sensed there was a ‘but’ coming right?) in truth, it’s not a patch on its predecessors.

Johnny-Depp-Sauvage-Dior-Fragrance-Campaign-800x519Given Dior’s past boldness (Fahrenheit shouldn’t have worked but is amazing and Eau Sauvage was genuinely groundbreaking when it launched in 1966) I very much hoped they’d pull something original, maybe even something left-field, out of the bag for this major launch but alas, Sauvage is just another generic modern men’s fragrance – all citrus, lavender, wood and amber and blah-blah-blah. I’m not saying it’s bad – it’s not – just that it’s safer, more pedestrian and certainly more ‘familiar’ than I would have imagined. Like so many contemporary fragrances it tries terribly hard not to offend or polarise which is a great way to shift units (it worked for Chanel Bleu after all) but not necessarily a great way to create a classic in the same league as, say, Eau Sauvage.

For those of you wondering whether it’s a variant of that particular fragrance, it’s not; it merely trades on the name, presumably hoping for a bit of that classic fragrance’s gold dust to rub off on it. Look, the last thing I wanted to do was savage Sauvage but, hey, it’s just my opinion and there’s still the possibility that Dior’s next big launch will be an absolute stonker.

Dior Sauvage is available nationwide from 2nd September, priced £50 for 60ml eau de toilette. 

Dior’s reworked Homme Sport fails to qualify for me

You know the pain you feel when a really good friend lets you down or does something so out of character it shocks you to the core? Well, this is how I felt when I first got a whiff of the new edition of Dior Homme Sport.

Two of my all time favourite fragrances (Eau Sauvage and Fahrenheit) come from the house of Dior) and whilst I’ve never worn Dior Homme Sport I can appreciate its appeal.  This “modulated” version introduces Tuscan Iris as a new note and to my nose the whole thing is quite horrible. It’s acrid, powdery and definitely not a fragrance for confined spaces, which may explain why the ad features Jude Law careering around the south of France in an open-top car (any passengers would surely have passed out if it wasn’t a convertible).

In this Olympic year there are so many sport variants out there and many of them, like Givenchy’s Play Sport, are real winners. I’m afraid that, for me at least, this one doesn’t even make the qualifiers.

Dior Homme Sport is available from 28th May, priced £44 for 50ml eau de toilette.

Insider Interview: Celebrity hair Stylist Oliver Woods

As well as being Garnier Fructis’ Style’s Celebrity Stylist, Oliver Woods has dressed the tresses of some of the world’s leading stars including Robbie Williams, Jude Law and Daniel Craig. He’s also a thoroughly lovely chap. Here he answers a few questions for my regular ‘insider interview’ spot.

GG: What’s the biggest mistake men make when it comes to looking after their hair?
OW: They don’t use conditioner very often, plus they over-do it on the product. Golden rule: a little bit is better than a lot!
GG: What’s your best tip for great-looking hair?

OW: Don’t over-wash your hair. People tend to wash there hair every day but it’s not necessary as you’re just washing out  the natural oils. Every other day is much kinder to the scalp as well.

GG: Which male celeb do you reckon has the best hair style at the moment?

OW: Robbie Williams, for his timeless look.
GG: What’s your best tip for men whose hair is thinning?

OW: Cut it short if possible, it will thicken it up.

GG: Favourite styling product at the moment? I love using a clay at the moment, it’s all about the matte effect.

OW: I like using the Garnier Fructis Style Work it! Twisted Clay.

GG: What are your favorite men’s fragrances?

OW: I love Terre d’Hermes because it has a great freshness, I spray Chanel L’Egoiste just after I’ve been to the gym and I feel like a new man and Dior’s Eau Sauvage is The Daddy –  it keeps me cool calm, and collected.

GG: Next big thing in male haircare?

OW: I love the 50’s rockabilly style at the moment and it’s everywhere in the East End/Soho. It’s even translating into women’s hair styles at the moment.

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insider interview – roja dove

Roja Preferred Image Email 2008

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?
brandingRD: 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.

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noble Sauvage

Eau Sauvage Group ShotAs much as I try to remain bright and optimistic about male grooming, it’s true to say that I’m left cold by a lot of the stuff that lands on my desk of a morning. But today is different because right now I’m savouring the newly revamped and reformulated Eau Sauvage bath and shaving line from Christian Dior.

One of my all-time favourite fragrances, Eau Sauvage is a true (and deserving) classic when it comes to male scents. It’s popular too, so much so that over 80 million bottles of the stuff have been sold worldwide since its launch back in 1966. It’s not difficult to see why though – a fantastically crisp, fresh and masculine blend of citrus and woody notes, it’s brilliantly wearable day or night and is so spot on for a male fragrance that I’d be happy to bet good money on it being around in another forty years time.

Soap - SavonAvailable from 2nd June, the range includes a clever multi-function before-and-after shave balm, shaving cream, shower gel and – my absolute favourite – a chunky, fragranced soap. A good quality bar of soap is harder to find than an MP without a two-grand TV and a moat  thesedays, so I am thrilled one is included in this range. Go buy!

For stockists call 0207 216 0216 or go to www.dior.com

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