Success Bottled: England striker Daniel Sturridge talks fame, fragrance and Pharrell.

Daniel Sturridge PR DAY SHOOT_HUGO BOSS2879If 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.

Daniel Sturridge PR DAY SHOOT_HUGO BOSS2986GG: 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.

Daniel Sturridge PR DAY SHOOT_HUGO BOSS3181GG: 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.

Hugo Boss Parfums sign England goalkeeper Joe Hart as face of ‘Success Beyond The Game’ Campaign’

Joe HartHugo Boss are always clever at promoting their fragrances with famous faces and this year they’ve signed up 10 world-class football players to front their ‘Success Beyond The Game’ campaign for summer 2014. As you can see England goalkeeper Joe Hart is one of them –  seen here fronting the new Hugo Boss Boss Unlimited fragrance (one well worth checking out if you’re looking for a new smelly for summer). Nice choice.

Hugo Boss hit the right note with new Hugo Man Limited Edition

HUGO MANFan of Hugo Boss’ Hugo Man? And of music? Then you’re likely to like the brand new Limited Edition version of this classic fragrance. Playing on a music theme, the Hugo Man Music Limited Edition bottle features a graphic equaliser detail and each box comes with a special download code for two unique musical reworkings of classic songs like Edwin Collins’ A Girl Like You, Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes and Toto’s Africa (!) by up-and-coming artists like Nina Kraviz and Kate Boy.

The fragrance itself  –  a crisp, juicy and woody blend of green apples, pine needles, sandalwood and cedarwood  – remains the same, which is just as well given the enduring popularity it’s enjoyed since its launch almost 20 years ago.

Available from February.

Beauty Magazine unveils its Grooming Gongs for 2011

One of my favourite events in the beauty & grooming calendar is the annual Beauty Magazine Awards. As one of the panel of judges it’s my job to whittle down a huge selection of possible nominees to put forward to a public vote (think of me as the Len Goodman of Grooming) and as such I’m lucky enough to attend the swanky annual awards do. This year it was held at Vinopolis and The Saturdays (well, four of them) were in attendance.

There were a stack of awards presented on the night but the ones that interested me, of course, were the grooming gongs. Gillette’s Fusion Proglide razor picked up the Grooming Launch of The Year Award, Lynx Excite walked away with the Best Ad Campaign of The Year and Best Tie-Up for securing Kelly Brook for Excite and Boss Bottled won Best Classic fragrance. Classic Grooming Product of the Year, meanwhile, was won by Philips for their Sensotouch 3D Electric Shaver.

Finally, the Haircare Launch of The Year award was won by Regaine for their innovative Extra Strength Scalp Foam. More importantly, though, I got to dress up and drink wine. Well, judging’s hard work you know…

Hugo Fragrances announce Jared Leto as face of their new fragrance Hugo Just Different

In an increasingly tough marketplace, where a celebrity face can help you earn that all- important extra recognition, fragrances houses are increasingly reliant on famous names to get their product coverage.

The latest celebrity to be co-opted as the face of a fragrance is American actor/singer Jared Leto, who is today unveiled as the new mush behind Hugo Boss’ latest offering Hugo Just Different. He’s also been confirmed as the face of Hugo Man, following in the footsteps of the likes of bad boy Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The press release says he’s ‘renowned as one of the most digitally connected artists in the world.’ So if you’re reading this on your iPad Jared, the Grooming Guru says hi.

Not entirely ugly is he?

Armani’s Acqua di Gio shows its social responsibility. Or does it?

The latest buzz in the beauty and grooming world appears to be about Armani’s new Acqua For Life campaign. Indeed, many of my colleagues can barely contain their excitement for an initiative that aims to provide a minimum of 40 million litres of drinking water to those without.

The campaign is simple. In a nutshell, the company will  donate 100 litres of drinking water to people who otherwise wouldn’t have any clean safe water, for every purchase of Acqua di Gio or Acqua di Gioia – two fragrances ‘inherently in harmony with this theme’. What’s more, you can double your contribution by joining a special Facebook page and entering a code from your purchase.

What could be simpler? Or more rewarding? You get a little luxury, people who consider fresh water a little luxury get something and Armani reinvigorate their brand, shift a few extra units, get lots of pats on the back for ‘social responsibility’ and a Facebook page with tens of thousands of followers spreading the word – the word being ‘Acqua di Gio’.

Before you have a pop at me for being a cynical old misery guts I should point out two things: 1. I think it’s a really good cause and b. I actually love the brand and in particular Acqua di Gio, which is a true classic when it comes to men’s fragrance). It’s just that I’m left thinking the company could have made things even simpler by just announcing they were donating a whole load of water as a thank you to their loyal customers.

In fairness, Hugo Boss did exactly the same kind of campaign last year with limited edition fragrances (co-incidentally of old classics that needed a bit of a ‘push’) that enabled you to plant trees and I was fairly ambivalent about that too. I mean, what next? Will Thierry Mugler be offering free prayers for the needy with limited edition ‘winged’ bottles of Angel?  Yes, I’m offering a counter-view. Yes, I’m being cynical and yes, I know initiatives like this are  better than doing nothing but sometimes I like to say it as I see it rather than how I’m expected to see it. Know what I mean?

The limited edition Acqua for Life fragrance is available exclusively in Harrods from May but if you want to contribute without buying you can I believe (see below for instructions).

Here is how you can collect water without purchase:
If you have a Facebook account, go to You will land on the welcome page of the application. You then have the choice to log in with a code or without a code.
If you do not have the fragrance, you can chose to join someone else’s community. Just search by country of origin (on the tab on the left-hand side called “all statistics” and then chose you country from the drop down menu at the top.
When you join a community, it adds 10 litres of water to this community (and then to the general amount collected!). Then, every time you share a video or an image, or like a post, it collects more litres of water.

Anyone interested in providing fresh drinking water and sanitation for developing countries can also donate via organisations like Wateraid and The Water Project.

Hugo Boss launches tree planting scheme for fragrance buyers

Those of you who still read those things called magazines may have noticed an advertising blitz of late for the new limited edition versions of Hugo Man and Hugo Element fragrances. As part of a new sustainability campaign, and under the banner of ‘One Fragrance One Tree’, the company behind Hugo Boss will planting a tree  in the Amazon rainforest for every bottle sold.

Buy a bottle and on the back of each pack you’ll find a little scratch-away panel which reveals a personal ‘tree code’ that you then enter online at to reveal  the exact location of where your tree will be planted.

Caring, sharing eco initiative or cynical marketing ploy to sell a few more bottles of fragrance, broaden out your customer base and direct customers to your heavily-branded website? You decide.

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Exclusive! Tomasz Schafernaker interview

BBC weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker is to meterology what Becks is to ball games. When he appeared on the cover of Attitude’s fitness supplement clad only  in a pair of Aussiebums earlier this month the internet exploded in a frenzy of Tweets, blogs and appreciative Facebook exchanges. Suddenly weather reporting was…sexy.

Not since the revelation that Angela Rippon had a fantastic pair of pins back in the 70s has a TV presenter caused such a stir with the exposure of a little flesh. In fact, such was the interest in ‘The Schaf’ that my own initial blog post about the Attitude cover instantly eclipsed a similar (and you’d have thought bigger) news story I wrote about Ronaldo becoming the new face of Armani.

All of a sudden I  people were specifically tuning in to his weather updates just to catch a glimpse of him! He was in people’s consciousness before, of course, but only in relation to squally showers. Now, he’s a bona fide sex symbol. So, with this in mind, I thought I’d find out how he maintains the looks that have created such a…storm.

GG: So Tomasz, how important is proper grooming to you and how much care and attention do you pay to your appearance?

TS: Clearly it’s important for me to look presentable due to the nature of my job. I need to make sure I put in about as much effort at 4am as I would at any time of the day if I’m due on shift. More men these days are paying attention to grooming so regardless of whether it’s a work day or not I still make at least some effort.

GG: What are your  favourite male fragrances and why?

TS: Boss by Hugo Boss – my dad has always bought me Hugo, probably ever since I was a teenager. I also wear 212 MEN by Carolina Herrera – another gift but now I buy it myself. I’m also a fan of Hollister Deodorants – I think they’re just fresh, funky and different.

GG: As someone who works in TV you’ll be used to wearing make-up when on screen. There are a huge number of male cosmetic products available now and it’s a growing industry. How do you feel about men using things like concealer?

TS: Yes, I’m required to wear make-up for TV. It’s amazing how much you shine and how awful you can look without it on screen. Remember that the lightning is at ‘unnatural levels’ in the studio compared to the real world.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing a little ‘invisible male make-up’. It’s all down to what you’re comfortable with. I personally don’t actually wear make-up outside of work as I’ve always had pretty good skin.

GG: So you’re obviously doing something right! What’s your basic daily routine and what are your favourite skincare products?

I don’t have a regular routine as my day and night shifts are all over the place. I try to wash my face after work as soon as I can. There’s always some blot powder and studio fix left over. It’s a pain sometimes because I often have thick stubble.

I very rarely wet shave, almost never. I tend to have sensitive skin on the neck and using a clipper just happens to be better for me. Any basic moisturiser will do plus an anti-shine product which I can also use at work. A moisturiser with a light-tanning agent is good, I then don’t have put on as much make at work.

GG: A touch of stubble has almost become your trademark. How do you maintain it?

TS: I use clippers on the lowest grade setting, 2 or 3mm. I get the feeling that thick and uniform stubble is easier to maintain than thinner stubble. I have to use the clipper every other day as the stubble grows very quickly. Fortunately I’m quite fair so sometimes I can get away with it if I forget to trim. TV make-up can ‘soften’ the look of stubble as well.

GG: I’m assuming for the Attitude pics you removed any body hair – a procedure more men than ever are having done. Would you recommend it to other guys?

TS: Actually, because I’m fair, and maybe it’s something to do with my east european genes (Tomasz was born in Gdańsk, Poland), I’m not especially hairy. I didn’t remove any hair for the shoot. It was probably just unnoticeable and I’m guessing a little light airbrushing. Whatever takes your fancy on that one!

GG: Best grooming tip?

TS: It’s so much easier to style short hair after you’ve used narrow straightening irons for men. If you’ve tried it once there’s no going back! The style can keep even after a night’s sleep which means I don’t have to worry about bed hair when I’m on TV. It’s great.

GG: And finally…what’s your desert island grooming product?

TS: Hmm, difficult one. I guess I’d have to take UV protection so I don’t toast my nose..or the rest!

Tomasz recently launched his own website. To check it out click here.

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New Hugo bottle is worth bottling!

Bottle shot 2If you need proof that the bottle is almost as important as the ‘juice’ when it comes to fragrances, you only have to look at the continuing success of Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male, the popularity of Diesel’s quirky ‘fist’ flacon and  last Christmas’ surprise seller, Paco Robanne’s  1 Million (a true example of style over content if ever there was one).

And like anyone else I get excited over nice bottles too. Most desirable one at the moment has to be the newie for Hugo Man, artfully designed by Karin Rashid – creator of the Garbo Waste Can and a man with almost as many awards as tattoos.

To make things even more exciting there are only 1,000 of these limited edition lovelies in existence (with only 70 individually numbered bottles in the UK!) so the only question you have is wether to use it or lock it in a safe at your bank.

HUGO Man Exclusive Limited Edition bottles will be available in Selfridges from 4th November priced £95 for 150ml.

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Scents of despair!

As we gear up for another Christmas my thoughts have enevitably turned to the annual fragrance onslaught that begins right about…now. In an effort to prise our hard-earned pennies from us, fragrance houses around the world unleash their new scents in time for the gift bonanza that is the festive season. And what have we in store for us this year? Well, let me be frank here folks – not much.

It’s a constant source of disappointment to me that fragrance houses find it almost impossible to come up with anything decent, distinctive or vaguely original these days. Instead, consumed by greed, seduced by celebrity endorsement and appealing to the lowest common denominator, they rush collectively for generic, inoffensive fragrances that reek of nothing more than the average provincial nightclub.

Inverse For Men: a big hit in Austria one suspects.
Inverse For Men: a big hit in Austria one suspects.

It’s a strategy I call ‘Bland Ambition’ – one which is all about shifting as many units as possible in order to fund the next lacklustre launch and to keep the brand bandwagon rolling. In my more cynical moments I convince myself that there’s a giant vat marked ‘generic men’s fragrance’  located somewhere in the depths of Eastern Europe where all the fragrance houses go to get their juices. I can see a giant factory where huge workforces spend days combining notes of  black pepper, cedarwood and bergamot and doing unspeakable things with (excuse me while I yawn)  tonka beans.

So where’s the evidence for this bland ambition? Well, of the most recent contenders we have Calvin Klein’s new fragrance CK Free (about as memorable as that bloke in the suit who won 2007’s X-Factor), Banana Republic’s Republic Of Men (which sure as hell ain’t gonna start any revolutions of its own) and Kylie’s Inverse For Men, a men’s fragrance (and I use the term loosely) which could only have been created with one man in mind and his name’s Bruno.

What amazes me is how so many different notes, in so many fragrances, can be combined only to emerge smelling exactly the same. It’s a bit like playing with Plasticine. You start off with some truly lovely colours but however you mix them the result is always… boring brown.

There are exceptions of course. Roger & Gallet’s L’Homme is delightfully masculine, Davidoff’s Hot Water is a first-class (and sexy) new evening fragrance, Paul Smith Man is (like the designer’s  clothing) fantastically wearable  if not entirely envelope-pushing, and Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver is about as good as masculine fragrance gets. You pay a little more for the latter but trust me, it’s head and shoulders above anything else around at the moment.

The Aramis Collection: oldies but goodies
The Aramis Collection: oldies but goodies

Thank God, too, for  Aramis’ Gentleman’s Collection – the relaunch of six classic fragrances where every one’s a winner. Oldies, yes, but goodies one-and-all and still capable of giving most new launches a run for their money. If ever you wanted evidence that they don’t make ’em like they used to the Aramis Collection is it.

If you think I’m being snobbish here  (Mr Ford’s fragrance is up to three times the price as your average bottle of Hugo Boss) I assure you I’m not. And just to prove it, I can tell you that in all honestly, one of the most interesting fragrances I’ve smelt all year is Flame – the fragrance launched by ‘The House of Burger King’ and fronted not by a shirtless Josh Holloway but by the man we all love to hate, Piers Morgan. Whether this is a reflection on its surprising excellence or on the quality of the competition is for you to decide.

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