Bluebeards Revenge beard oils are the biz

beard-oil-combo-glossI’m very fussy about what I put on my beard, especially as so many beard oils eventually end up smelling like something you’d fry chips in. So I’ve grown rather cautious about what I blindly slap on my facial fuzz. Luckily the new beard oils by The Bluebeards Revenge cause no such attack of the nerves. Conditioning without being annoyingly greasy, generously sized (you get 50ml for just £9.99) and lightly scented (my favourite is the Cuban Blend which is a simple combo of vetiver and cedarwood) they’re perfect for ensuring your facial hair always looks fantastic. Simply apply with your fingers or, better still, distribute through your facial hair with a beard or moustache comb. Recommended.

The Bluebeards revenge Beard Oils are available here

Why Ferrari’s Vetiver Essence is definitely worth a spin

FERRARI VETIVERIt’s a curious fact that in the last few years some of my favourite commercial fragrances have come, not from well-known fragrance or fashion houses, but from (of all things) car manufacturers. I’m a big fan, for instance, of the Bentley fragrances – especially Intense and Absolute – and am constantly impressed by how good the Ferrari fragrances are.  Their latest offering, Vetiver Essence, doesn’t launch until October but make a mental note of it now.

I’m a huge fan of vetiver fragrances (Roja Parfums’ Vetiver Extrait and Creed’s Original Vetiver being two of my favourites) but this vetiver is quite different, throwing in tonka bean, cardamon and coffee beans to give things a warm, edible edge and featuring hazelwood – something I’ve not come across before.

Anyway, the result is a fragrance that’s not remotely dominated by its key note like some vetivers and one that’s warm, sensual and devoid of any spiky edges. If I have one criticism it’s that it could do better on the longevity front but otherwise it’s an absolutely perfect fragrance for autumn.

Vetiver Essence is available exclusively from Harrods, from October, priced £79 for 100ml eau de parfum. 

 

Looking for a new fragrance? Then bring on the Artillery!

As much as I love vetiver fragrances I’m very funny about them too. I find the dry down of a lot of them (including Guerlian’s Vetiver) a bit sickly. In fact, the only one I truly love is Creed’s Original Vetiver but that uses the leaves rather than the root of the plant so it comes across as fresher and greener than most vetivers.

And so it was with some trepidation that I removed the lid of Angela Flanders Vetivert from her Artillery range for men and gave it a spray. Slightly leathery but not heady or overly-earthy it’s tempered by lavender and bergamot which give is a light, fresh, barbershop soapiness. Sure, it doesn’t have the punchiness or longevity of the Creed fragrance but I’ve been wearing it all week and have had nothing but compliments, so if you’re looking for a new fragrance for winter give it a go.

Angela Flanders Artillery No 4 Vetivert costs £50 for 50ml eau de toieltte. For more info go to www.angelaflanders-perfumer.com

Roja Dove’s new Vetiver fragrance smells like a winner

I’m very fussy about Vetiver fragrances. I’ve tried so many and been disappointed so often (Creed’s Original Vetiver being the one I wear personally), so when I got to sample this new creation from Roja Dove I was bracing myself for yet another let down. I needn’t have worried.

This Vetiver –  a spicy Chypre fragrance lifted by green and citrus notes – has that familiar earthy, smoky vetiver aroma but the whole thing is made more complex by the addition of celery, nutmeg, caraway and oakmoss and – surprise, surprise – is imbued with that base, elemental and animalistic sexiness (what I call the ‘pornographic note’) that runs through so many of Roja’s fragrances.

All in all it’s rich and sexy and has real staying power. If you’ll forgive the awful pun, I think I smell a winner.

Available from Harrods from April, priced £195 for 50ml eau de parfum.

Jean Paul Gaultier’s new fragrance Kokorico reviewed

It doesn’t launch in the UK until January (an odd choice I know but perfectly timed for the Valentine market I guess) but already Jean Paul Gaultier’s lightest fragrance for men Kokorico is already creating a buzz in the fragrance world. The question on everyone’s lips, of course, is is whether it’s good as Le Male – a fragrance that, thanks to its iconic bottle, beautifully-shot ads and distinctive juice, has become a bona fide modern male classic.

The short answer is no. But then how could it? The bar has been set pretty high. Kokorico (inspired by a cocky rooster’s cry, but that’s Gaultier for you) is quite different from what I expected. A blend of fig leaf, patchouli, cedar, cocoa and vetivier, I was anticipating a distinctly gourmand fragrance but no, the fig leaf cuts right through the cocoa note giving this a surprisingly fresh, green, summery  smell. It will certainly work much better as a daytime fragrance than Le Male does and isn’t nearly as sweet or powerful.

As you might expect the bottle’s a quirky, shaped  like a man’s face in side profile and housed in a flat red tin (see the vid below for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the flacon). Gaultier fans are certainly going to love it but will it have the longevity of Le Male or will Kokorico just be a flight of fancy? Only time will tell.