The Grooming Guru picks up Best Blogger award at the P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards 2014

P&G AWARDI was very excited the other day to discover that I’d won the Best Blogger Award at the 2014 P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards (now in its tenth year) for this blog and that I was shortlisted for the Best Words Award for a piece called ‘Well-Groomed or Over-Preened? When Good Grooming Goes Bad’ that appeared on The Telegraph website.

Blogging is very much a labour of love so any recognition is always much appreciated. Anyway, congrats to all the other nominees and winners (see below) and now I’m off to celebrate with my drinkable trophy!

The other winners this year were:

The Design: Sophie Beresiner at ELLE Beauty for ‘Get the Best Hair of Your Life’

The Image: Samantha Flowers at Stylist magazine for ‘Welcome to the Dollhouse’

The Word: Kelly Gilbert at British Vogue for ‘Fine Lines’

The Vlogger: Sali Hughes for salihughesbeauty.com

The Website: Get The Gloss getthegloss.com

The Grooming Guru Awards 2012: Dud of The Year: James Bond 007 (the fragrance)

james-bond-007-a-movie-of-action-style-and-no-L-LE2TUcggawrd12lIn the beauty industry – where, by and large everything is fabulous, wonderful and beautiful  – criticising a product is not an act without consequences. So I thought long and hard (for a full 12 seconds) about whether to give out an award for the product that least lived up to expectations this year.

But, hey, I’m a straight-talking northerner and didn’t start this blog to be afraid of giving my opinion. And that’s all it is – my own personal opinion. So…when it comes to picking out a real stinker of a fragrance his year, for me it has to be the James Bond 007 one.

It’s not that this eagerly-anticipated fragrance from Procter & Gamble is particularly pernicious (it’s terminally bland rather than offensive, suffering the fate of most fragrances that probably came into the world with the assistance of that most cack-handed of midwives – the focus group). No, it’s that it should be so much better. This is the James Bond brand we’re talking about here after all. In its 50th year and smashing box office records with Skyfall – a film regarded by many as the best Bond film ever.

The bottom line  – and I’m not the first to say this – is that James Bond himself would never wear this sharp, rather acrid concoction with its signature apple note (who knew 007 was so fond of a Cox’s Pippin?). He might spray it to repel enemies perhaps but certainly not to bed the girl. As someone on one of my favourite fragrance sites basenotes.com said, though, its main crime is of being a wasted opportunity. Another  simply wrote “it’s the cheaper smell of Burberry For Men” but even I wouldn’t be that scathing.

2978749Having said all this I suspect it’ll initially do ok sales-wise. Not least because, with the 50th anniversary celebrations and release of Skyfall,  it’s riding on the crest of a 007 publicity frenzy. It’s also had the advantage of some very shrewd marketing. There’s a rather fetching limited edition gold flacon version (though that to me is a bit like opening the bonnet of your Aston Martin only to find the engine of a 2CV inside) and GQ heavily promoted it as “the most dangerously sophisticated fragrance in the world” earlier this year – an endorsement which one reviewer called “quite a claim” and which I call “quite bonkers”.