The Perfume Society launches second ‘Scent of a Gent’ discovery box

the-perfume-societyWhen I was an impoverished student, back before the dawn of time, one of the few ways to get hold of fragrance without blowing a fortnight’s food budget was to coax free samples from (sometimes) generous department store sales assistants. It was a harder task than one might think and my storytelling skills probably originated from the yarns I used to conjure up to get them to part with their goods. I was always ‘looking for gift ideas for my (non-existent) brother’ whose birthday was only ever a week away and I always required a few different samples to compare against each other because he was ‘really fussy when it came to fragrance’. Once I even made out I had a house-bound relative who was looking for a new fragrance and couldn’t get to the shops (I know. God forgive me).  Then, when I got home, I’d study my haul of fragrance phials as if they were diamonds I’d found in the street.

I’ve no idea how difficult it is to get samples today (still tricky I suspect) but thankfully The Perfume Society has made things a whole lot easier with their men’s fragrance boxes – the second of which has just been released. Their ‘Scent of a Gent’ discovery box is the perfect way for the fragrance lover to sample some of the best new releases without having to resort to desperate ruses like mine.

Featuring a mix of big-name commercial fragrances like Davidoff Horizon and Azzaro Wanted and more boutique offerings from the likes of Miller Harris and Shay & Blue, it’s a great way to road-test what’s out there in your own time and without enduring the hard sell. The big plus of this particular discovery box, though, is that you also get a few other enticing little extras, such as a sample of Molton Brown’s Bushukan Body Wash and a Refinery Hydrating Refreshing Eye Gel, which by itself would set you back £31. Result? A better-smelling you and, potentially, a better-looking one too – and no begging required.

The Perfume Society’s ‘Scent of a Gent’ discovery box is available while stocks last from perfumesociety.org priced £19 + P&P (£15 + P&P to Perfume Society VIP subscribers).

Selfridges have male grooming all wrapped up

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Grooming Boxes are tricky things to get right. When GlossyBox attempted one I, like many people, was left rather underwhelmed, partly because the size of the samples seemed particularly stingy for the money.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept the Grooming Box, it’s a way of collecting together a range of different grooming products, from a different array of brands, so that you get to sample their wares and they get to win you over. Quite often they feature smaller or travel-sized versions of well-known products (and on occasions really small samples).

selfridegs 1So, how does the first Grooming Box from Selfridges rate? Well, actually, it’s one of the best I’ve seen – if not the best. Featuring nine separate products from seven different brands – including personal favouries like Triumph & Disaster, Clarins, Molton Brown, Kiehl’s and Commes des Garcons – it’s generous in terms of products and scope and would be just as good a gift for someone as it is a great way to sample some fine brands for yourself. Sure, it might have been nice for them to have featured one or two more brands rather than featuring a trio of products from Scaramouche & Fandango but other than that small criticism I really can’t fault it, so well done Selfridges and I hope there’s another one in the pipeline for later in the year!

The Selfridges Grooming Box costs £20 and is available exclusively from selfridges.com whilst stocks last!

Molton Brown launch new men’s collection

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Probably emboldened by the success of their Sport range last year (despite the mysterious and rather hasty withdrawal of the Body-Warming Sportbalm) Molton Brown have just launched a raft of male grooming products anchored in the shaving routine. Their new Men’s Grooming Collection features seven products and includes everything from a Balancing Face Wash and a Deep-Clean Face Scrub to a Post-Shave Recovery Balm. The packaging is classy, the products nicely but not overly-scented and there’s pretty much everything you need to create a basic grooming routine. Recommended.

For more info to moltonbrown.co.uk

Groomed to perfection: the Super 8 Skin Saviour Balm

groomed_super8 (1) Without doubt this year’s big grooming trend (apart from facial hair) is the rise of the multi-functional product. As belts tighten and spare time becomes increasingly scarce products that cover several bases are becoming increasingly popular and more relevant.

Already this year we’ve had Lab Series’ excellent PRO-LS All-In-One Face Treatment and next month sees the launch of Molton Brown’s 4-in-1 Sportwash. And here’s another worth checking out.  Groomed’s Super 8 Skin Saviour Balm is a product designed to soothe razor burn, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, energise dull skin, moisturise, provide anti-oxidant protection, refine pores, combat blemishes and mattify skin.

In fairness, a couple of these features are built in to some products without them even flagging up the fact and any good moistuiser will help minimise wrinkles but it’s still a pretty good product and at £4 for 50ml, reasonably priced too. The texture’s great, it’s not overly-fragranced and its instant cooling effect also makes it a great morning-after-the-night-before refresher – something I discovered when I tried it for the first time this morning. Just a shame it can’t get rid of the hangover too…

Available from Asda.

 

Coming soon…The Molton Brown Sport Collection

MOLTON BROWN SPORT COLLECTONSo iconic is Molton Brown‘s Re-Charge Black Pepper Body Wash that everything the company releases has to be judged against it. A firm favourite with men (and the recipient of a clutch of Men’s Health Grooming Awards) it’s a truly fabulous product and one that’s just as good after a late night or long flight as it is after a work out. So their latest Sport Collection – aimed specifically at active types – has a lot to live up to.

A trio of high-performance products the range features a 4-in-1 Sportwash, muscle-warming  Sportbalm and obligatory Anti-Perspirant Stick, each featuring the refreshing scent of cassia bark, nutmeg and lime. Of the three products the 4-in-1 Sportwash is by far the most interesting. In keeping with the current trend for multi-fuctional grooming products it not only acts as a shower gel, shampoo and facial cleanser but as a transparent shaving gel too.

As a range it’s great and is certainly a welcome addition to any gym or sports bag but does it live up to the aforementioned Black Pepper Body Wash? Well, let’s just say they set the bar mighty high with that product…

The Molton Brown Sport Collection is available from Niven & Joshua.

Disclosure Notice: I received a free sample of this product for review purposes

The Grooming Guru’s Christmas Gift Guide For Her

Stuck for a present idea for the woman in your life? How about these glorious gifts?

03102012042806There are scented candles and then there are Fornasetti scented candles, which don’t just smell great but turn the humble room fragrance into a mini work of art. This one, the Flora di Fornasetti candle, fills the room with gloriously intoxicating notes of lily of the valley, jasmine and tuberose and comes in the most exquisite ceramic vessel and gift box. £99 from Selfridges.com
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Face facts, how a bottle of fragrance looks is just as important as how it smells when it comes to gift giving. And who could not be won over by this orb-topped fragrance from Vivienne Westwood? Deliciously feminine, with notes of bergamot, red english rose and heliotrope, Boudoir is a no-brainer when it comes to gifting so go buy! £34 for 30ml eau de parfum from escentual.com

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I always think that Molton Brown products look like colourful little jewels. And if that’s the case then this Orion Gift Set, featuring six colourful bath and shower gels is a veritible treasure trove for beauty magpies. Looks fab and best of all, is easy to wrap! £36 from nivenandjoshua.com

ren-gift-set-05I love REN as a brand and suspect she’ll love you if you gave her this Neroil Duo Gift Set featuring a Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash and Body Cream. They smell  fantastic and the great thing is that, once they’re on the side of the bath, you can can proceed to steal them for yourself. £28 from renskincare.com

Tidy_All_PurpleLizThough the contents of a woman’s handbag largely remain a mystery to me I’ve seen enough friends rummaging around in them to know that they’re clearly a bit like the Tardis inside (i.e big and very messy). This dinky little Aspinal Handbag Tidy solves part of that problem by safely housing a few essentials like lipstick, lipgloss and contact lenses. £65 from aspinaloflondon.com

black orchidYou probably know by now how much I love Tom Ford fragrances. Well, Black Orchid is one of his best selling signature fragrances for women and this gift set, featuring a 50ml bottle of the rich, sensual fragrance along with a 75ml body lotion, is guaranteed to make a big impression on Christmas morning. £75 from selfridges.com

whole lotta colourI must confess I don’t know much about make up (the last time I wore any myself was back in the Eighties when it was de rigueur for men to slap up) but what I do know from reading the posts and tweets of my fellow beauty press and beauty bloggers is that Clinique’s Chubby Sticks* have been a bit of a sensation this year. So much so that this Whole Lotta Colour gift set has sold out on their own website and it’s pot luck whether you’ll be able to find a store near you that has a set. But since it’s clearly one of this year’s must have gifts you’ll get extra points if you do find one. So what are you doing reading this? You’d better get shopping! £30 from a store near you (hopefully).

*they’re lip colour balms in case you were wondering