Long before there were cosmetic brands for men like Myego and Menaji (1973 to be precise) there was this wonderful “unisex mascara” from the legendary Alice Cooper. Can’t, for the life of me, imagine why it never took off. Not entirely sure about the BacoFoil boob tube either to be honest.
I’m not normally one to name drop. In my career as a journalist I’ve met lots of famous types and non-famous types and the latter are generally by far the most interesting. But when it’s fragrance-related, I can’t resist sharing. And I hope she doesn’t mind the indiscretion (and I can live with the naffness of divulging).
Last night some pals and I got talking to actress Anna Friel in a restaurant and at the end of the evening she briefly came over to our table to share with us her current favourite fragrance, one she’d recently purchased from Liberty.
One of my favourite fragrances, this unisex delight is instantly recognisable and possibly one of the longest-lasting fragrances I’ve ever come across (as my pal observed for himself this morning).
If you’re sitting there thinking that being a Grooming Editor is only marginally harder a job than pushing trollies around an Asda car park you’d be pretty much right. But think of all the hardships I have to endure – especially being polite about fragrances that, frankly, often smell more of kitchen bins than tonka beans.
Curmudgeon that I am, I always seem to be moaning about the state of the men’s fragrance market and how terminally dull it is these days and I’m sad to report that a sneak preview of the new Paul Smith fragrance Optimistic did nothing to change this view (verdict: nice box, shame about the juice, which is so generic it might even make masters of bland ambition Hugo Boss jealous).
But all is not lost! For, just when I was about to give up all hope of finding a fragrance vaguely interesting, Jo Malone comes along with five limited edition tea-based colognes. As an avid tea drinker I was fascinated to see what they’d some up with.
Thankfully, master perfumer Christine Nagel has triumphed in creating fragrances that are wearable whatever your sex and whatever your preference in tea (well, except syrupy ‘builders’ tea, obviously).
My absolute favourite is the Earl Grey and Cucumber Cologne which, like the tea on which it is based, is wonderfully uplifting and has an unmistakable citrus twist, though it’s even better combined with the Fresh Mint Leaf Cologne. Don’t worry, fragrance combining is an acceptable tradition with Jo Malone fragrances just as taking tea with a slice of lemon is. So thank you Jo Malone for restoring my faith in the world of fine fragrances. I raise my cup, with pinkie fully outstretched, in your honour.
Jo Malone’s Tea Fragrance Blends are available from March, priced £34 for the 30ml cologne. For more info go to www.jomalone.com