Penhaligon’s open Canary Wharf store – with a barbers!

Penhaligons canaryPENHALIGONS STOREDespite being founded in 1870 British perfumer Penhaligon’s are a brand that’s always on the move  – literally, as the opening of their New York store proves and creatively, as evidenced by their recent partnership with BA –  but their latest project sees them returning to their roots to certain extent. Not only does their dazzling new store in London’s Canary Wharf look the biz (thanks to architects Al-Jawad Pike) it also features Penhaligon’s first in-house barbers since their very first Jermyn Street store opened all those years ago. Result? A quick lunchtime visit and you’ll look just as good as you smell. Recommended.

Murdock to open in London’s Soho

MURDOCKThe latest salvo in the glass-fronted hipsterisation of London’s once characterful Soho is coming this autumn in the shape of a new flagship sore from grooming brand Murdock. Opening in Brewer Street, the new store will be the largest of the company’s seven emporiums in the city.

Great news for guys looking for a beard trim, haircut or for an opportunity to stock up on some grooming gear this may be but as someone who has lived in London for over a quarter of a century and who’s witnessed the wholesale evisceration of Soho in the last few years I can’t help but feel a little ambivalent about the news.

“Brewer Street has a fantastic place in the history of London,” says Murdock’s CEO  Brendan Murdock of the new opening. “Home once to breweries, gin palaces and even a hunting ground, it has always been a men’s haunt.” Now, I know I work in the grooming industry – and I like the Murdock brand a lot – but I can’t help but think that in referencing Soho’s rich and notorious past he’s drawn attention to all that’s wrong with the area now. Mind you, I suppose we should at least be grateful for the fact that it’s not another flat white coffee shop or Byron Burger…

For more information on the changes taking place in Soho click here.

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!

Aveda aim to be London’s top grooming destination with mix ‘n’ match treatment menu

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Aveda is a brand that’s already exceptionally good for men thanks to a superb male grooming range and top-notch hair care products. But things just got a whole lot better thanks to the launch of the Aveda Men Grooming Destination.

Aveda Men Grooming Destination Picture 02Based at the Aveda Lifestyle Salon & Spa in London’s Covent Garden, it offers 11 male grooming services – from a basic Trim and Tidy to a Detoxifying Scalp Cleanse, Barber’s Cut-Throat Shave and a Beard Perfection treatment (which I’m itching to try). Especially good, though, is the express menu which features a range of treatments that you can easily squeeze into a lunch hour or just before an all-important date. At just £15 a pop their Express Refresh Facial and Express Men’s Manicures are especially good. What’s more, you can mix ‘n’ match treatments to create your own ‘super treatment’, depending on how much time you have to spare and how high maintenance you are.

Those that know me well know I’m generally treatment averse (which is rather annoying given my job) but looking through the menu I’m struck by how many of these treatments I’d actually  have. What impresses me most about them, however, is that they’re fast, fuss-free and affordable. So if you live in London, or are just visiting, make sure you swing by. Trust me, your face, hair and beard will thank you for it.

For more information and to book an appointment call 0207 7597355. Or got to avedainstitute.co.uk

London calling…

Tom-Ford-London-GQ_25Jul13_pr_b_1There’s a real flurry of activity in the Tom Ford Beauty camp this autumn, with so many great things launching in such a short space of time that devotees like myself don’t really know what to mention (or wear) first. As well as the immaculately turned-out Texan’s first dedicated male grooming range and Private Blend Oud Collection (I nearly wet myself when I saw that for the first time) there’s London, a brand new fragrance specifically created to celebrate the launch of the new Tom Ford store in Knightsbridge.

The press release for London is littered with words like “carnality”, aphrodisiac”, “animal” and “feral” and for once with a press release they’re worlds that perfectly capture the spirit of the fragrance they’re describing. Though it has a lovely floral heart, with geranium and jasmine, and a base rich with oud, cedarwood and birch tar oil (one of my favourite notes), it’s the musk that grabs you. It’s this hyper-sexual note – one I tend to associate with Roja Dove’s men’s fragrances – that turns London into one of the most sensual fragrances in the entire Private Blend collection.

I remember talking to a perfumer from across the pond who’d had lovers all over the world and she told me the men from London, despite their coyness and reserve, were by far the kinkiest she’d encountered. This unisex fragrance may well just reinforce that observation.

Tom Ford Private Blend London will be available from the Tom Ford Boutique from September priced £140 for 50ml eau de parfum.

Shay & Blue’s blood is worth bottling. Well, their Blood Oranges fragrance is anyway…

BloodOrange_FinalshayHe’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.

7136pWHLVOLShay & 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.