Become a leatherman with Acqua di Parma

2. Colonia Leather 100mlThink of Acqua di Parma and you tend to think of light, fresh Mediterranean fragrances bursting with energy and packed with more citrus fruits than your average bottle of orange squash. And you’d be right of course. But in the last few years the company have also been exploring a much darker and more sensual side. Their new fragrance Colonia Leather is a perfect example of this and is as warm and sexy as the original Colonia fragrance is light and summery.

The leather accord is true and authentic smelling and there’s a touch of smoky oud in there too but not enough to overpower the fragrance and you detect it most three or four hours after applying. Other notes include orange, lemon, raspberry thyme and rose but as you might expect it’s the leather that dominates here.

The acid test of any fragrance, of course, is whether other people rate it when they smell it on you. So as a test I wore Colonia Leather the other night and a friend I was meeting instantly commented: “Wow! What are you wearing? You smell amazing!” Somehow, I think I’ll be wearing this sexy little number again.

REN get down and dirty to promote clean skin

REN have long been one of my favourite skincare companies, thanks to their carefully-sourced ingredients and understated packaging.  Ren itself means ‘clean’ in Swedish and to remind people of the company’s natural approach to skincare they’ve just produced their first short film.

Shot in a fjord in Sweden (makes you jealous just looking at it) and featuring two young lovers getting down and dirty (makes you even more jealous) there are two versions –  the one below and a naughty 18+ version, with lots of Swedish-style nudity, which I can’t show here but which you might want to look up on YouTube!

Josephine’s Rose candle by Jonathan Ward – the ultimate bedroom accessory

Looking for a great Valentine’s gift for the woman in your life? Then how about this fantastic scented candle from Jonathan Ward London? Inspired by the legendary romance between Napoleon and Jospehine and the latter’s passion for roses, Josephine’s Rose features a medley of rose notes (english rose, tuberose and tea rose) but manages to avoid being old fashioned or ‘Nanish’ thanks to a sexy, musky note of amber.

As with the Serge Lutens fragrance Tuberose Criminelle (which I reviewed here) when rose is ‘sexed-up’ by other ingredients, debased a little if you will, it always smells miles better to me.

As always Jonathan is clever with his choice of ingredients – taking something potentially ordinary and giving it his own unique twist so it becomes extraordinary. Ideal for setting the perfect bedroom mood. Just add matches and willing partner.

For more info go to www.jonathanwardlondon.com

Roja Dove adds sex to Scandal Pour Homme

Roja Dove is the undisputed King of Fragrance and is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world when it comes to perfume (check out the interview I did with him here). So it’s no surprise that his first ever fragrance for men, Scandal Pour Homme, is a complex, intriguing but eminently wearable affair.

Taking inspiration from the classic Fougère fragrance family (look out for its signature lavender, tonka bean and moss notes) it also has fresh notes of bergamot, lemon and petigrain, along with floral ones (in the shape of jasmine, violet and lily of the valley) and warm spicy ones thanks to sandalwood, nutmeg and cardamon.

But it’s the deep base notes, the ones that develop after some time on your skin, that make the most impression for me. With ambergris (a prized, waxy ingredient that’s regurgitated by sperm whales) and musk, this is where Scandal becomes seriously sexy. And as if to reinforce this fact, opening the beautifully-designed  box itself it like slowly disrobing. The flash of purple you see when the box is closed is just like a teasing hint of flesh and lifting the lid only reveals more! What happens once you get the bottle in your hands is up to you!

Scandal Pour Homme is available from Harrods, priced £175 for 100ml eau de parfum.

Grooming Guru Essentials: Gucci Guilty Pour Homme Body Massage Oil

Generally speaking the body ranges of fragrances are pretty dull – you know the kind of thing: deodorant, body wash, body scrub if you’re lucky – so here’s one that actually genuinely excited me. In typically sexy fashion, the Gucci Guilty Pour Homme range includes a Body Massage Oil.

This is a cute idea (and it does make a good massage oil) but it’s actually a brilliantly practical product too. In fact, it’s the perfect way to wear the fragrance (a warm, sweet blend of orange blosson, cedre, patchouli and lavender) in a more subtle context.  Slather on a little in the morning after your shower and you’ve got a perfect way to smell great (but not too great) for work. The oil gives it staying power too. Of course, if you can find a willing pair of hands to apply it it’s even more fun. In fact, you may not even make it to work…

To get your hands on some click here.

Grooming Guru Essentials are the products I genuinely love and have used as part of my own routine.

Exclusive! Tomasz Schafernaker interview

BBC weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker is to meterology what Becks is to ball games. When he appeared on the cover of Attitude’s fitness supplement clad only  in a pair of Aussiebums earlier this month the internet exploded in a frenzy of Tweets, blogs and appreciative Facebook exchanges. Suddenly weather reporting was…sexy.

Not since the revelation that Angela Rippon had a fantastic pair of pins back in the 70s has a TV presenter caused such a stir with the exposure of a little flesh. In fact, such was the interest in ‘The Schaf’ that my own initial blog post about the Attitude cover instantly eclipsed a similar (and you’d have thought bigger) news story I wrote about Ronaldo becoming the new face of Armani.

All of a sudden I  people were specifically tuning in to his weather updates just to catch a glimpse of him! He was in people’s consciousness before, of course, but only in relation to squally showers. Now, he’s a bona fide sex symbol. So, with this in mind, I thought I’d find out how he maintains the looks that have created such a…storm.

GG: So Tomasz, how important is proper grooming to you and how much care and attention do you pay to your appearance?

TS: Clearly it’s important for me to look presentable due to the nature of my job. I need to make sure I put in about as much effort at 4am as I would at any time of the day if I’m due on shift. More men these days are paying attention to grooming so regardless of whether it’s a work day or not I still make at least some effort.

GG: What are your  favourite male fragrances and why?

TS: Boss by Hugo Boss – my dad has always bought me Hugo, probably ever since I was a teenager. I also wear 212 MEN by Carolina Herrera – another gift but now I buy it myself. I’m also a fan of Hollister Deodorants – I think they’re just fresh, funky and different.

GG: As someone who works in TV you’ll be used to wearing make-up when on screen. There are a huge number of male cosmetic products available now and it’s a growing industry. How do you feel about men using things like concealer?

TS: Yes, I’m required to wear make-up for TV. It’s amazing how much you shine and how awful you can look without it on screen. Remember that the lightning is at ‘unnatural levels’ in the studio compared to the real world.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing a little ‘invisible male make-up’. It’s all down to what you’re comfortable with. I personally don’t actually wear make-up outside of work as I’ve always had pretty good skin.

GG: So you’re obviously doing something right! What’s your basic daily routine and what are your favourite skincare products?

I don’t have a regular routine as my day and night shifts are all over the place. I try to wash my face after work as soon as I can. There’s always some blot powder and studio fix left over. It’s a pain sometimes because I often have thick stubble.

I very rarely wet shave, almost never. I tend to have sensitive skin on the neck and using a clipper just happens to be better for me. Any basic moisturiser will do plus an anti-shine product which I can also use at work. A moisturiser with a light-tanning agent is good, I then don’t have put on as much make at work.

GG: A touch of stubble has almost become your trademark. How do you maintain it?

TS: I use clippers on the lowest grade setting, 2 or 3mm. I get the feeling that thick and uniform stubble is easier to maintain than thinner stubble. I have to use the clipper every other day as the stubble grows very quickly. Fortunately I’m quite fair so sometimes I can get away with it if I forget to trim. TV make-up can ‘soften’ the look of stubble as well.

GG: I’m assuming for the Attitude pics you removed any body hair – a procedure more men than ever are having done. Would you recommend it to other guys?

TS: Actually, because I’m fair, and maybe it’s something to do with my east european genes (Tomasz was born in Gdańsk, Poland), I’m not especially hairy. I didn’t remove any hair for the shoot. It was probably just unnoticeable and I’m guessing a little light airbrushing. Whatever takes your fancy on that one!

GG: Best grooming tip?

TS: It’s so much easier to style short hair after you’ve used narrow straightening irons for men. If you’ve tried it once there’s no going back! The style can keep even after a night’s sleep which means I don’t have to worry about bed hair when I’m on TV. It’s great.

GG: And finally…what’s your desert island grooming product?

TS: Hmm, difficult one. I guess I’d have to take UV protection so I don’t toast my nose..or the rest!

Tomasz recently launched his own website. To check it out click here.

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