Viktor & Rolf hope to spice up fragrance market with new fragrance

In the last few years the Holy Grail in terms of men’s fragrance has been to come up with something as successful as Paco Rabanne’s surprise hit 1 Million. I say surprise because, in reality, the fragrance itself is a bit ‘meh’ – its natural home being a Wolverhampton nightclub on a rainy Saturday night. But the bling bling bottle is genius which kind of makes it the ‘all-fur-coat-and-no-knickers’ of the fragrance world. Or ‘all-leather-jeans-and-no-Y-fronts’ if you prefer. But still it sells – by the bucket load.

In a crowded, increasingly competitive, market bottle design really matters (witness Marc Jacobs’ novel Bang flacon) so it’s no surprise that a stand-out bottle was top of mind when creating Viktor & Rolf’s new fragrance for men, Spicebomb.

Designed to resemble a hand grenade (it even has its own pin) it’s certainly eye-catching, though I’d have liked to have seen it a little heavier myself, since a weighty bottle always says quality to me.

And, so, what about the fragrance itself? Well, it’s quite different to the design duo’s first men’s fragrance, Antidote. The brief here was clearly to create something sexy, wearable and very ‘now’ and in this respect it succeeds admirably.

Spicebomb hits you like…well, a bomb really, with one big olfactory wallop. There’s chilli, saffron and pink pepper along with fresh bergamot and grapefruit notes and leather, tobacco and vetiver ones. It’s a more conventional blend than the press bumpf would have you believe and to me it has a headiness akin to fragrances like Mugler’s A*Men and a faint gourmand quality (the cinnamon maybe?).

It doesn’t feel quite as sophisticated, daring or as complex as Antidote, nor as quirky, but because of this it should be able to reach way beyond the former’s narrow customer base. Who knows? It may even go off like a….No, I’ll resist that one.

Viktor & Rolf’s Spicebomb is available exclusively from Harrods now and nationwide from 7th March priced £45 for 50ml eau de toilette.

Grooming Guru Essentials: BaByliss For Men Super Clipper

Those that know me are aware of the fact that all my life I’ve had an irrational fear of hairdressers. As an eight year old I used to scream the place down when my mum took me for my six weekly bowl-cut (a style which admittedly may have been the root of my phobia).

So when male pattern baldness meant that visits to the barbers were an unnecessary indulgence I was frankly rather thrilled to have the opportunity to cut my own hair. I now think of myself as my very own hairdresser, only one without the tattoos (though that’s about to change so watch this space). Over the years I’ve also tried scores of clippers with varying results –  from uber-professional crops to the kind of haircut only a patient from a Victorian mental asylum might sport.

Anyway, this one – the Super Clipper from Babyliss For Men – is one of the best I’ve come across.  Not only does it give an even trim, it’s lightweight but sturdy and has a taper control which allows you to vary the length of the cut by minute degrees giving you total control.

I’m not the only one who thinks it’s a good piece of grooming kit, though, because at the end of last year BaByliss did a huge survey in association with Men’s Health magazine to get some feedback about the product. Having worked for Men’s Health for over a decade in one capacity or another I know how demanding its readers can be – so it’s a testament to the Super Clipper’s that it passed muster with flying colours. If you want to know what some of them said about it I’ve embedded the video below.

Anyway, if you fancy giving the Super Clipper a go you can pick one up from Argos priced £60.

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