Acqua di Parma’s Collezione Barbiere gets a new lease of life

8. Collezione Barbiere GroupageI still remember the tingle of excitement when I first saw Acqua di Parma’s Collezione Barbiere range a few years back. Lightly scented with their legendary Colonia fragrance it was just so luxurious, elegant and desirable. The only problem with it was that if you didn’t like the scent you were kind of stuffed. What if, for example, you liked the range but wore Acqua di Parma’s Blue Mediterraneo or the wonderful Colonia Intensa Oud fragrance?

acqua di parma scrubClearly the company must have been aware of this slight drawback because they’ve wisely reformulated the range with a barely-there scent that makes perfect sense commercially, allowing it to be used as a stand-alone grooming range regardless of the fragrance you wear.

Stars of the line up include the luxuriously thick and creamy Shaving Cream, the new Shaving Oil – which is fantastically light and non-greasy –  and the the Scrub Purificante Viso (I just love typing that – it sounds so good in Italian) which is especially worth having as it’s not too abrasive. What’s more, a brand new Eye Treatment and Face Cream have been added to round out the range and to elevate it from ancillary shaving range to a full-blown collection of skincare essentials. Definitely one of the new season’s must-buys.

Collezione Barbiere is available from Selfridges and your usual Acqua di Parma stockists from 1st October. 

Big Green Tree launch Virtus – their first ever men’s range

If you’re a fan of skincare that eschews chemical nasties in favour of traditional, natural ingredients and which is British (and in these tough economic times we should be supporting home-grown businesses) then make sure you check out Big Green Tree.

Based in Derbyshire the company specialise in hand made bath and body products, fragranced with top-quality essential oils and enriched with shea and cocoa butter and jojoba and almond oils.

And now they’ve launched their own dedicate men’s range Virtus (the word is latin for a virtue capturing courage and excellence). Launching with an Aftershave Balm, Body Wash and Shave Soap it features some of my favourite essential oils, including lavender, juniper and (my all time favourite) patchouli and is perfect for men who prefer natural ingredients over nanotechnology.

For more information and to buy Big Green Tree products go to www.biggreentreetrading.com

Crème de la Mer launches crème de la crème for men

How’s that for a blogpost title mouthful? But, hey, it’s the truth because after years of men swiping their wives’ and girlfriends’ luxury skin products, Crème de la Mer have finally put together a dinky little skincare set for men, housed in a cool carry case and featuring the best of their product range.

The Men’s Skin Essentials kit contains five signature products – The Moisturising Gel Cream, The Eye Balm Intense, The Lip Balm, The Cleansing Gel and The Tonic, providing you with pretty much everything you need for a good skincare regime.

Crème de la Mer itself is legendary, of course. Expensive, yes, but for those who swear by it, the best skincare range out there (I had once had a friend with bad acne scars who used nothing else and who swore it had greatly improved his skin). For others it’s just a feel-good indulgence and if it makes you feel good that’s money well spent.

I myself have always been a fan of the Lip Balm, while the Moisturizing Gel Cream, which is much lighter than the original Moisturizing Cream and is included in this kit, is a great option for men because it’s quickly absorbed and doesn’t leave a shine. Certainly, if you’re new to Crème de la Mer this kit is a great way to discover for yourself what all the hype is about and if you’re already a fan it’s definitely one for your Christmas wish list.

The Crème de la Mer Men’s Skin Essential kit costs £175 and will be available from November. For stockists call 0870 034 2566 or go to www.cremedelamer.co.uk