Valentino returns with new men’s fragrance for 2014

valentinoAlthough the scent’s the thing when it comes to fragrance you’d be crazy not to acknowledge the importance of a really good looking bottle when it comes to creating an impact, both in the press and on consumers’ bathroom shelves. And Valentino’s forthcoming men’s fragrance Valentino Uomo is surely about as good looking as they come.

Taking its cues from a luxurious crystal decanter it has an amazing ‘studded’ texture, is as beautiful to look at as it is to hold, and is one of my favourite flacons in a long time. The fragrance itself – a sweet, warm and creamy number with a hint of coffee – isn’t bad either. It launches in February so make a note in your diary.

A five minute review of five new fragrances

men's fragrances2So many new fragrances have launched lately that rather than review them all individually as I usually do I thought I’d feature a clutch of them with (unusually for me) slightly more economical, incisive reviews. So here are my thoughts on these five -thoughts you should be able to digest in as many minutes…

Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Noir

Another gourmand-style fragrance (when will this trend be over?) the latest addition to the Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 fragrance collection is warm, creamy and edible (look out for a hint of dark chocolate). A complimentary fragrance to the Blanc version it’s great for nighttime but I’m not sure the special time-release technology it touts as a special feature really lives up to expectations. It disappeared on my skin as quickly as dusk turns into night.

Diesel Fuel For Life Spirit

Diesel’s latest fragrance looks for all the world like a bottle of brandy which was the intention I think. Delightfully warming, it’s blended with grapefruit, cinnamon, iris and amber-wood and is the most striking of the bunch though to me there’s something faintly medicinal about it. In fact, I get a distinct whiff of Germolene, which is fine because I happen to like Germolene but if you’ve bad memories of being treated for a nasty cut as a child you may not be quite so enamoured.

Loewe Solo Platinum

“Life is full of small details” says the blurb on the box and the latest fragrance from the Spanish luxury goods company certainly delivers on that – with the bottle at least, which is full of little surprises – from the quirky, hollowed-out lid to the wrap-around metal name plate. The fragrance itself is leathery with a hint of black tea and improves the longer it’s on the skin. It’s not going to change the world but is perfectly wearable.

Ermenegildo Zegna Uomo

Elegant, sleek, slim and multi-textued the bottle for the latest Zegna fragrance is a lovely thing to hold. The fragrance inside mixes staples like bergamot, vetiver and cedarwood and throws in one of my favourite notes – violet – to create something that’s fresh and arresting but but the overall effect is disappointingly generic, a bit like when you mix lots of vibrant interesting colours with Plasticine and end up with…brown.

John Varvatos Artisan

Beautifully light, fresh and summery, this new fragrance by John Varvatos has a real sense of joy about it.  A delightfully uplifting mix of Mexican tangerine, mediterranean herbs, orange blossom and three kinds of ginger it has an irresistible, playful bounciness  I love.  What’s more, its bottle – clothed as it is in hand-woven rattan – is a real attempt to do something a bit different and if I had to recommend one of these five new fragrances it would be this.