Profumo Affair

3614270581670_Code-Profumo-3,7_01Of the raft of new men’s fragrances that have landed on my desk of late (most of which copy each other in what amounts to olfactory cannibalism) one – Armani Code Profumo – has leapt out at me. As well as being housed in one of the most ridiculously sensual bottles you’ll ever come across it happens to pretty decent fragrance too. It takes its cues, of course, from the other Armani Code bottles but feels more premium thanks to heavier, thicker glass and there’s a grained collar at the top of the bottle that’s supposed to resemble a cummerbund. And the fragrance itself? Well, it’s a woody-ambery number that’s intensely balsamic and vanillary, with creamy tonka bean (the signature note of the Code fragrances) supported by hints of leather, tobacco and styrax (included to bolster the tonka since it also has a vanillary vibe). The result is an exceptionally sensual fragrance that’s gourmandy without being sickly or cakey and one that’s perfect for warm summer evenings. Recommended.

Available now priced £62 for 6oml eau de parfum

Shields up! Protect your skin this summer with FIT’s new Sun Protect Serum

unspecifiedFor men, the quest to find the perfect sunscreen isn’t always as straightforward as one might think. With our skin both oilier and hairier than women’s, the texture and stickiness of products if often a deciding ‘factor’ (if you’ll forgive the pun) in our choices; the ideal product being something that offers high SPF, broad-spectrum protection but which is lightweight, non-greasy and transparent on the skin. And

in terms of what men need from their suncare FIT Skincare‘s new Sun Protect Serum is a product that ticks every box.

FIT SUN PROTECT 2 (1)The first sunscreen serum created for men, it offers a broad spectrum, five star UVA rated, SPF 50 sunscreen to protect you from both the sun’s burning UVB rays and the UVA ones that age your skin; it leaves absolutely no greasy or unsightly white residue (if anything it leaves skin with a matte finish) and has a barely there fragrance that vanishes altogether after a couple of minutes. This last bit is a big bonus in my book since I’ve worn sun products in the past that smelt of everything from Digestive biscuits to – nightmarishly – curry powder. The scent of one I road-tested a couple of years ago mysteriously attracted so many flies I looked like Pig Pen from Peanuts!

FIT SUN PROTECT 2 (2)On top of these pluses FIT’s Sun Protect Serum uses cutting-edge ‘micro encapsulation technology’ that helps provide more evenly spread protection and also  contains antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and FIT’s unique OXY-FIT-10 oxygen delivery system – a few bonus features that help defend against the dehydrating and DNA-damaging effects of the sun. In terms of summer skincare it way well be your ultimate defence shield.

FIT Sun Protect Serum SPF50 is available now from fitskincare.co.uk

A Grooming Guru/FIT Skincare For Men Sponsored Post 

New Neroli from Tom Ford

TOM FORD PORTOFINO ACQUAPizza you can have too much off. Vodka you can have too much of. But Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino? Well, that you can never have too much of. Which is just as well, since this spring sees two new variants of the cult fragrance hit shelves nationwide. Neroli Portofino Acqua, as the name and frosted glass bottle suggest, is even fresher than the original with a beautiful, light wateriness and echoes of crisp trad colognes rather than the bitterness of some crudely constructed ‘Acqua’ fragrances. The characteristic citrus notes seem to sparkle even more in this version making it the perfect fragrance for long, hot summer days and its unobtrusive, ephemeral  nature makes it ideal for work too.

Neroli Portofino Forte, on the other hand, is warmer, more sensual and less spiky than the original fragrance with the perky citrus edges rounded out thanks to a combo of musks, woods and a hint of leather, adding a bold sensuality that has hitherto been lacking from the original. Which of these you go for largely depends on your budget (Forte, an eau de parfum, is more than twice the price of Acqua) and I personally prefer the latter, but whichever you choose, trust me, you’re onto a real winner.

Tom Ford Portofino Forte will be available from Feb 14th from Harrods Salon de Parfum and nationwide six weeks later priced £195 for 50ml EDP. Neroli Portofino Acqua is available from John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser from 6th March, priced £95 for 50ml EDT.

Sun protection for your hair – Phyto style

Phyto VeilSo much is written about protecting the skin during the summer months that it’s easy to forget that hair needs a little bit of protection too – particularly if you’re on a beach or spend a lot of time outdoors with the sun beating down on your bonce.

Phyto’s PhytoPlage Protective Sun Veil might sound like device to protect a Medieval princess from the elements but it’s a great product to have in your summer grooming armoury along with a sunscreen, a decent summer fragrance and a foot file for your gnarly trotters, especially since sun can damage hair’s cellular structure leaving it brittle and looking like straw.

Non-greasy, only lightly-fragranced and packing a botanical sunscreen it’s been designed to keep hair in tip-top condition throughout the summer and protect it from the drying effects of saltwater, chlorine and baking heat. So handy is it that I actually wish I still had hair to use it on.

Available from SPACE NK priced £15 for 125ml.

Lacoste add a little bottled sunshine to their Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 collection

lacosteWhen it comes to mass market men’s fragrances the ones that form the Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 collection are some of my favourites –  in part because I like the simplicity and honesty of the fragrances. In particular, I’ve always loved the bottles, with their smooth curves, polo shirt fabric-inspired sides and iconic croc logo.

Sunny, cheerful and exuberant, Jaune, is the nearest the Eau de Lacoste L.12.12  collection has come to a bona fide summer fragrance. Fruity and juicy, with the vibe of sharp and tangy cocktail, it’s big on bitter grapefruit and coriander and there’s an apple note in there too.

Like all the fragrances in the collection it’s unashamedly commercial and is unlikely to win any awards for off-the-wall originality but for an accessible fragrance a guy in his 20s is going to wear day-in-day-out it’s certainly as good as anything else in its price range and is great for your summer hols.

Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Jaune is available from April priced £35 for 50ml eau de toilette. 

PS. Fans of Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Vert take note – it’s now been dropped from the range so if you have a bottle use it wisely!

Don’t be a disaster when it comes to sun protection – be a triumph instead!

NO DICEThe other day I wrote a piece about how rubbish men are at protecting their skin from the sun (you can read it here) but what I forgot to mention is that, sometimes, what puts men off sun protection products is the way those products actually smell and feel.

Things have improved massively since the days of claggy creams that stank to high heaven and got matted in your body hair, of course, but many brands still have a few, er, “issues” with their products (there’s a Nivea spray I used to use religiously until I realised it had a faint whiff of chicken jalfrezi, for example).

Anyway, New Zealand brand Triumph & Disaster sent me their No Dice SPF 50 Sunscreen For The Face to try the other day and I must say I’m rather impressed. Light as a feather, it’s totally non-greasy, doesn’t leave any visible residue on the skin and is virtually odourless too. Offering factor 50 protection (and with rather cool packaging to boot) it’s now become one of my favourite summer skincare essentials.

 

Available from nivenandjoshua.com

Have Clinique, will travel.

cliniqueIf you want proof that great things really do come in small packages make sure you check out Clinique’s dinky new Travel Pros. A six-piece, reduced-sized travel kit it, features everything you need to look good on-the-go and even includes a teeny bottle of Clinique Happy For Men so you’ll always smell good too. My favourite product in the pack though has to be the positively Lilliputian Post Shave Soother which, at a mere 7cm tall, is possibly the cutest-looking grooming product you’ll ever see.

Available exclusively from Clinique Travel Retail Outlets worldwide.