Two great new fragrances for summer ’17

In the last ten years the release of summer-appropriate fragrances has become as much a part of the holiday season as sandals, strawberries and horrifying sartorial slip ups (why are British men so bad at dressing for summer?). In fact, without a clutch of light, crisp and zingy scents summer just wouldn’t be summer. I’ve written about some of those on offer this year for my summer fragrance round up over on fashionbeans.com but new ones seems to pop up every day – like these two new numbers from Tom Ford and Azzaro.

Ford’s offering (and I can barely keep up with the amount of new launches appearing from his Private Blend Collection these days)  Mandarino Di Amalfi Acqua (£139.50 for 100ml EDP from John Lewis) is a reworking of Mandarino Di Amalfi featuring a hint of mint to give it a cool watery freshness. It’s delightfully  fresh, citrusy and herbaceous and as with the aqua version of Neroli Portofino, the frosted blue bottle is about as evocative of summer as it gets. I know several people who actually prefer the aqua versions of Ford’s fragrances to the originals so if you’re mad for Mandarino you certainly might want to give it a try.

As for Azzaro Chrome Pure, well, if you read this blog regularly you’ll be aware of my views about Azzaro’s (somewhat controversial)  last fragrance Azzaro Wanted. If not you can read them here). Thankfully, Chrome Pure (£43 for 50ml EDT from Debenhams) sees the brand on safer – and slightly more sophisticated – ground. The bottle is simple, yet elegant, and the fragrance itself is a ferociously commercial blend of bergamot, mandarin,  akigala wood (a note created by fragrance company Givaudan which has its origins in patchouli) and tonka bean. Okay, it’s not a blend that’s likely to win any awards for originality but it is guaranteed to win some fans for its sheer wearability. Almost as refreshing as the fragrance, though, is the ad campaign. As with the ads for the original Chrome fragrance, it eschews the barely-clothed male/female clichés that have been a staple of fragrance advertising for so long, for a gentle, in-the-moment father/son thing instead. In character, it couldn’t be further away from Azzaro Wanted and for that alone it’s worthy of praise.

 

 

Monsieur Balmain – my favourite summer fragrance this year

I’ve written several pieces about summer fragrances this year but if you had to pin me down to just one it’d have to be Balmain’s Monsieur Balmain. Although it was launched back in 1964 and underwent a slight reformulation during the 90s I only recently re-discovered it and a bottle has been sitting on my desk, ready for a spontaneous re-application ever since.

One of the most citrusy fragrances you’ll ever come across is smells like sparkling candied lemon peel but avoids being one-dimensional with the addition of some deliciously spicy and aromatic notes, which give it longevity too.

As I write this, London is basking in sun after one of the wettest summers ever. Balmain Monsieur is perfect for days like this but, given that it’s essentially sunshine in scent form, it’s ideal for the wet ones too.

Top notes

Mint, Lemon, Bitter orange, Verbena, Bergamot, Petitgrain

Middle notes

Rose, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Thyme, Moss, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Sage

Base notes

Cedar, Amber notes

Monsieur Balmain is available from selected department storers priced £59 for 100ml eau de toilette.

Freshen up for £7 with The Body Shop’s Satsuma Body Mist

If there’s one thing this blog isn’t it’s snobby. As a grooming writer I’m happy to review a £150 fragrance or a £4 face cream. So if you’re looking for a summer fragrance I thought I’d throw this new body mist at you as an inexpensive option. It will, quite literally, make you smell like a bag of satsumas but that’s okay – it’s an aroma that’s fantastically fresh and invigorating. Since the smell of citrus fruits is known to keep you alert it’s also great to spray into the air around your desk to beat that afternoon slump!

Available from June priced just £7 for a 100ml spray

ck One “on-the-go” – the little wonder

I know that only yesterday I was singing the praises of the supersize fragrance bottle but just so you don’t think I’m totally obsessed by size I thought I’d redress the balance by bringing to your attention something quite the opposite: this dinky 20ml “On-The-Go” version of ck One.

Launched last month it’s possibly one of the most practical fragrance products I’ve ever come across. Not much bigger in size than a credit card (though thicker obviously) it’s pocket-sized and the juice is encased in a robust hard plastic bottle, making it absolutely perfect for gym bags, office drawers, suit pockets and for your summer holds. Genius.

ck one on-the-go costs £12 for 20ml.

David Beckham’s a good sport

Oh I know what you’re thinking – anther day, another Beckham post. Look, can I help it the man’s as ubiquitous as chlamydia? This time, it’s not his pants or quiff I’m discussing, though, but his latest fragrance, Instinct Sport.

It’s fair to say I’ve not been much of a fan of the Beckham fragrances in the past so it’s with some surprise that I find myself actually quite liking this one. Launching in time for the lucrative summer fragrance market (and just in time for the Olympic 2012 sporting frenzy) it’s clearly designed as something to throw into your gym bag, spritz yourself with after a five-a-side or take on your hols.

It opens with a fantastically jolly, juicy and fruity set of notes, including mandarin, ginger ale and apple and though these soon give way to a more pedestrian, slightly unsophisticated dry down, featuring patchouli and sandalwood, the scent as a whole is wearable, inoffensive and perfectly pitched as an affordable introduction to men’s fragrance. Ad’s all a bit ‘tan ‘n’ tatts’ though isn’t it?

Available now from Selfridges.
 

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Take a peek at Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male summer 2012 edition

Fan of Jean Paul Gaultier’s iconic Le Male fragrance? Collect the bottles? Then here’s a glimpse of this year’s summer variant, with its jungle theme torso. As usual the fragrance itself has been tweaked for summer by making it a little lighter, fresher and generally more sparkly. Cute innit?

Le Male Stimulating Summer Fragrance will be available from 2nd April priced £38.50 for 100 eau de toilette.

Costume National restores my faith in fragrance

I’m an absolute bugger when it comes to new fragrances. I’ve been moaning on for years about the state of the male fragrance market. Most of the stuff churned out by the big fashion houses is absolute pants. And worse than that, it’s boring, unoriginal pants. But every now and then something comes along that restores my faith in modern perfumery. CosTUME NATIONAL HOMME is one such fragrance. A superbly fresh and spicy blend of bergamot, cinnamon and patchouli it’s fantastically masculine and, with its sparkling zestiness, perfect for summer too.  My favourite fragrance launch so far this year.

Available from Selfridges from March 12th priced £58 for 50ml eau de toilette.

PS. Note to the nice boys in Abercrombie & Fitch. Stop spraying the clothes with that godawful A&F aftershave – it honks and ruins the clothes.

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