Karl Lagerfeld launches new men’s fragrance. But don’t tell anyone!

Karl_Fragrance_Emoticons_SprayGiven that we live in a digital age, where information can traverse the globe in seconds and one in a world where hyperbole is very much the midwife of success, it’s rather quaint that embargoes still exist in the fragrance world. The French especially seem to love them. I’m not sure why and doubt that even they do but much to the annoyance of the press they do exist and such is the power of big brands (not to mention the threat of the dreaded blacklist) that it’s a brave journalist indeed who intentionally ignores them. And, as much as I love to stick two fingers up to authority, I respect the work PRs do way too much to wilfully trample over their hard work.

So what can I tell you about Karl Lagerfeld‘s new fragrance launch, coming this spring? Well, for one thing, it’s a fragrance launch from Karl Lagerfeld that’s coming this spring. I’ve seen it, I’ve worn it and it’s not at all what I expected. Pushing the boundaries of the of the embargo I can also tell you it’s light and fresh. But that’s all I’m telling you because everything else is under wraps until 12th March – except, curiously, the fragrance itself which is available exclusively from Harrods from, er, the 9th March.

Does size matter? It certainly does when it comes to the new DKNY Men Summer fragrance.

Never let it be said size doesn’t matter – even in the fluffy world of fragrance. I mean, what about this whopper from DKNY? Yes, folks, the bottle for DKNY for Men Summer is an impressive 9″ tall, with a girth of nealry 2″ across its widest point. In fairness, this does raise a few stability issues but it’s still a pretty striking addition to your bathroom shelf or bedroom dressing table.

The fragrance itself is a fresh, citrusy but slightly spicy blend of grapefruit, Yuzu (an oriental citrus fruit), white pepper, geranium and cedar but who cares when there’s such skyscraping subtlety to admire?

DKNY MEN Summer will be available from  4th March, exclusively to The Perfume Shop, priced £34 for 100ml eau de toilette.

Avant Garde – Lanvin’s new fragrance for men

The other day I had the pleasure of meeting Givaudan’s Shyamala Maisondieu, the nose behind the brand new Lanvin men’s fragrance. What struck me whilst talking to her was her obvious passion for her creation and how clear an image of the ‘Lanvin Man’ she had in her mind (she painted such an evocative picture of a busy, sophisticated, well-travelled man kicking back in front of a roaring fire I nearly asked if I should pop out and get some more logs!).

In an age of fragrance-by-focus-group it was great to see something created with genuine art and passion (she very kindly helped me unravel the secrets of my own fragrance collection, too, but more about that another time).

Avant Garde itself is an oriental woody fragrance, bursting with exotic spices (as a child Shyamala loved the smell of cardamon so it’s included here), along with woody and tobacco notes and a hint of beeswax, which gives it a sweet, edible honey inflection.

So is it any good? Well, it’s much gentler and warmer than I expected and sweet in an Mugler A*Men kinda way (but not nearly as pungent obviously). With evidence to suggest women are especially attracted to sensual woody oriental fragrances and to sweet notes it’s very much a fragrance they’ll love to smell on men. Which is no bad thing right?

P.S. The bottle is amazing and feels like a smooth and sensual black pebble!

Lanvin Avant Garde is available from Harvey Nichols, priced £49 for 100ml eau de toilette.

The Grooming Guru scoops prize in Lacoste’s Unconventional Chic competition

 

By nature I’m a fairly low-key, modest kind of person but indulge me for a moment if I blow my own trumpet briefly to tell you I was thrilled to win 1st prize in a competition at the Lacoste ‘Eau de Lacoste L.12.12’ fragrance launch last Friday.

Part of the swanky launch event for the new Lacoste men’s fragrances, the competition asked people to come up with their interpretation of  ‘Unconventional Chic’ using a classic Lacoste L.12. 12 Polo Shirt. You can see my ‘unconventional’ approach to the competition here.

Anyway, a huge thank you to everyone who cast their votes for my entry on the night – it was an excellent evening (obviously!) and I can’t wait to raid the Lacoste shop with the vouchers I won as my prize.

The evening was also a great opportunity for everyone to sample the three fragrances – Blanc, Bleu and Vert. Blanc is the signature fragrance but of the three Vert – with its fresh, woody greenness and outdoorsy freshness – is my own favourite, though there’s something there to suit every man’s tastes – whether he’s unconventional or not.

PS. The cake you see was part of the goodie bag. And welcome it was too – especially for soaking up all the fancy cocktails I sank on the night!