It’s all about the Oud at Maison Francis Kurkdjian

In recent times the big trend in fragrance has been all about Oud – a precious resin extracted from trees in south-east Asia (the finest comes from Laos and is the source of the Oud for this creation). It’s a trend I love, with Tom Ford’s Oud Wood and YSL’s reworked M7 Oud Absolu being two of my favourite fragrances.

This one, by the man who created the excellent For Him for Narciso Rodriguez, still has the unusually animalistic vibe of the oud but is much sweeter, headier and intoxicating than many I’ve worn in the past and positively revels in its sheer Arabian-ness. Possibly a little too sweet for my own taste but well worth checking out if you’re an oud aficionado.

Available later this month from Liberty, priced £175 for 2.4 fl.oz. For more info go to www.franciskurkdjian.com

Important date? Here are five products to help you attain grooming perfection!

Whether you’re planning something special for Valentine’s Day or hoping for a hot date at any other time, the little grooming details matter. Here are five products I rate that’ll have you ship-shape for dating success in no time. Alas, whilst  I can provide grooming advice, finding a willing partner is your part I’m afraid.

1. Wahl Tripple Head Trimmer.  Nothing lets a man down like ear and nose hair or errant eyebrows so deal with all three with this nifty battery-operated trimmer which has heads for all three (including an eyebrow comb guide that spares you painful plucking).

2. Yves Saint Laurent M7 Oud Absolu. My new favourite fragrance this slightly reworked-version of M7 is dense, woody and supremely sexy and though some fans of the original version complain it’s not as good, I think it’s better.  When I wear it I’m irresistible (in my mind anyway).

3. Philips Azur powertool iron. Let me be clear about this: I hate ironing. So much so that I’d rather sit and flick through a bumper issue of Hello! magazine dedicated to Kate Middleton (yes, that much). In fact, I’m famous for only ironing the bits of shirts that show. Mark my words, though, prospective partners notice details like badly ironed cuffs and collars. Marketed as the ‘man iron’ – presumably because it’s sleek and black and tough as nails –  this is the first first iron I’ve used that actually makes ironing a (sort of) pleasure. Looks the biz too doesn’t it?

4. Biotherm Homme high Recharge Eye Shot. If you’re on a date with someone chances are your eyes are going to be the focus of their attention. So the last thing you want is for the skin around them to look tired and puffy. This powerful anti-fatigue eye treatment, with its three rollerball delivery system, is the perfect antidote.

5. Baxter of California Hydro Salve. If you want to get kissed you at need lips that are kissable right? This balm, packed with skin-conditioning vitamins is the perfect way to keep your smackers soft and ensure some tonsil tennis.

Have fun y’all!