My Sniph Wardrobe | A Different Scent for Every Occasion

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been slowly introducing you to the Swedish fragrance discovery service brand SNIPH, where you can explore the world of scents. You can read all about how the discover service works and my trip to Stockholm to meet the founders, here.

In a nutshell it is a monthly fragrance discovery service. They cater for men’s, women’s and unisex perfumes so this is truly something for everyone.

This time around I want to walk you through what fragrances I suggest wearing for different occasions.

It's one of the most asked questions I get when reviewing fragrances. 'Can I wear this scent to work?' or 'What fragrance should I wear on a date?' You see each scent has its own character.

If I were to use a football analogy you can't switch your best defender and your striker and expect them to do each other’s job as proficiently. (Putting Des Walkers last minute goal for Nottingham Forest versus Luton on January 1st 1992, aside).

For those that are looking to sign up to SNIPH (USE CODE HAWKINS25 FOR 25% OFF) and I can thoroughly recommend the value and the quality of the products.

IN THE MORNING - BERLIN by GALLIVANT

Fresh and zingy top notes of grapefruit, clementine, lemon and schinus molle CO2 extract. A spicy heart containing black pepper and black tea and woody, earthy undertones of Haitian vetiver, cedarwood and patchouli.

It has a real zip to it. I now start the day with one minute under a cold shower, instil some grit and have the body and mind battle ready. Two coffee's, black. Followed by a small spray of Berlin by Gallivant.

IN THE GYM BAG - BSX by OPTICO PROFUMO

It's the locker room scent that I've been dreaming of. It has just the right amount of freshness and mystery that makes me leave the gym on a high.

It's primarily an aqua fragrance so I feel enlivened and invigorated. Not overly complex, not too ambitious. It's sleek and the stripped down bottle design makes it very easy to carry around. Perfect travel accessory. Try this scent via SNIPH.

DATING - MASSAI MARA by BERDOUES 

It's what I like to call the punisher. When you wear the jacket that makes you feel bulletproof. You've hit the barbers a few hours earlier and your breath smells fantastic.

Now it's just the fragrance that is going to help you get that deal over the line. Massai Mara by Berdoues is a very exotic and intriguing scent. With subtle honey notes, blue camomile from Egypt - Labdanum from Spain - Buchu from South Africa.

It's incredibly hypnotic, it makes me feel like I'm bringing my A-game and it's so esoteric, even if the date doesn't get me the result I want, I know I've left a lasting memory.

URBAN NIGHT OUT - NORDIC CEDAR by MAYA NJIE

And how about that voyage into the unknown? For me it could be a press event in unfamiliar settings. It could be a photo shoot for a casual outfit. Or just a night on the tiles in the centre of town,

My go-to for this would be Nordic Cedar by Maya Njie. It's spicy, it's warm. It's reassuringly herbaceous and irrepressibly masculine. Soft Musk and notes of amber sit as a foundation in this warm and piquant fragrance.

Discover a new scent every month, delivered to your door for just £14 a month. No hidden costs. See SNIPH for details and use discount code HAWKINS25 for 25% off.

 

Manual.co | Skin Care Review and Men's Health Tips

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Today I'm going to introduce you to a brand called Manual.Co, a company that actively promotes awareness for Men's Health. They've forwarded on some products for review so we'll take a look at that, some surrounding themes and Men's Health facts. 

Manual.Co have a mandate! They look empower men with solutions and provide education to proactively own their well-being.

When it comes to the face we have to our skin we sometimes forget that the human organ accounts for 15% of our body weight. It's the largest organ on the body and it's nuts to even think that we're encased in an organ right? 

The Manual.Co Skin Kit stars Mr Moisturiser - 100 ml and a Wrinkle Warrior - 50 ml.

A note on the website also. It's very easy to navigate, some compelling articles that will teach you about skin care. There are plenty of articles on Men's Health Online but this is definitely one to book mark.

THE SCIENCE IN THE PRODUCTS

The Wrinkle Warrior is composed from Coenzyme Q10. Never heard of this? Me neither. It's a compound that regenerates the skin’s energy and protects it against premature ageing.

MORE SCIENCE

Mr Moisturiser contains natural biopolymers. For personal care products biopolymers offer many functional benefits. More on those benefits here. How about we talk about the products?

THEY FEEL GOOD ON THE SKIN

The packaging is solid, sleek minimalist, un-fussed. My face does get rejuvenated in the morning and I like the overall style and ethos of the brand. 

Other Mens Health Forums: I want to give a shout out to my friend and comrade Darren Branch who has just released his website and this Vlog on the highs and lows of social media. 

I've also written a lot of content around Men's Health, a big one you should dive into is on the research I did on how to manage stress

Clinique For Men | Maximum Hydrator Eye 96-Hour Hydro-Filler Concentrate Review

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If you're like me then you're constantly asking yourself two questions. How do I reduce under eye bags and wrinkles? Can I legally register my fists as weapons?

Today I'm going to focus on the former and coincide that with a look at the all new Maximum Hydrator eye 96 hour hydro filler concentrate from Clinique For Men.

I loathe my under eye bags and constantly by drinking plenty of water to release the high salt concentration in the area. 

I'm also interrogating brands beauty bloggers on tips on good ways to remove eye bags. 

The Clinique For Men Maximum Hydrator is a light water-gel that helps eye-area skin replenish its own moisture using Auto-Replenishing Lipid-Sphere Technology.

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Sounds good right? 

Well maybe not as cool as putting cool green tea bags under your eyes first thing in the morning. (Yes I have tried that. Apparently it’s the cool temperature that helps reduce eye bags. That's why you have people doing the whole cucumber thing). 

What's the science behind it? 

Auto-Replenishing Lipid-Sphere Technology with pure aloe butter helps rebuild skin’s lipid barrier to minimise moisture loss while encapsulated antioxidants break the cycle of environmental stress that can lead to premature ageing.

Does it work? 

I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and I'm starting to notice some difference. My eyes look a little less dark and my skin under my eyes has more of a glow. 

If you're looking to remove the bags under your eyes entirely then that's going to take surgery. That's a separate blog entirely. 

Do men find under eye bags ugly? 

Whilst most of the advice in this blog I've cobbled together from female researchers. The best one telling me I should just separate egg whites and rub those into my skin. AMAZING! 

However, to finish I want to tell you ladies, that men don't really give two hoots about your wrinkles or bags under your eyes. 

Think about it

Ladies when you're sizing up guys coming toward you on the street, you check out their height first, their general appearance (not got muddy shoes or carrying an axe) then it's looks and swagger. 

Same with guys. Check out this scene in the movie Shame where the guy at the bar is explaining to a girl at the bar that he has an amazing eye for detail. She then closes her eyes and proceeds to ask what colour they are. He fails. 

Why? 

It's not on the top of our list. We're more consumed with how we're coming across in the conversation. Figuring out what we can say next so we don't look like dumbasses. And talking of asses, we're probably looking at yours in a reflection somewhere. We're guys. We're not complex, we're easily distracted. 

Create a New Grooming Ritual with Jo Malone London

Jo Malone London is renowned for creating exquisitely simple, elegant and unexpected scents. Today I'm going to walk you through a bathroom ritual recommended by Jo Malone London that I am heartily onboard with. 

As a brand ambassador I'm sent on all the products for all the latest campaigns and anyone that uses Jo Malone London, doesn't really me need me to attest to the quality of the products.

You need a game plan when it comes to morning rituals. Especially what you're doing in regards to grooming.

Refresh the senses with an uplifting shower accompanied by a signature Body & Hand Wash. The formula is enriched with meadowfoam seed which helps to gently cleanse and deliciously scent the skin.

TIP: I'm currently going through a wonderful cold shower phase. Build it up incrementally, ten seconds for a week. Twenty seconds the next week etc. It does wonders for the skin and when you leave the shower you'll feel like you can take on a Kodiak Bear.

Used together, Shampoo and Conditioner in zesty classic Lime Basil & Mandarin help to improve suppleness and shine. After styling, a lightweight Hair Mist is a new way to wear a favourite fragrance: add a spritz for a light scent, or pair with a Jo Malone London Cologne.

Hands up if you have time for a bath these days? Admittedly I'm few and far between these days with baths. However, when I'm not feeling top of the pops I will treat myself and I know I should do it more often because I feel so much better after.

Having a rich Bath Oil is the fragrant finishing touch to a relaxing soak. Pour a few drops, lie back and relax. Enhance the mood with flickering candlelight with the addition of a Home or a Travel Candle.

By the way if you're in hospitality, it's never a great marker that I need to bring scented travel candles to your hotel or AirBNB. If you're really looking to impress future guests, have it listed on your website that your room comes fully equipped with amenities such as Jo Malone London. Maybe put a little note next to it saying you'd appreciate guests resisting the temptation to not take the candle when vacating.

Skincare is no afterthought with Jo Malone London. It's something entrenched in their philosophy that you should only settle for the best when it comes to skincare and personal grooming. A Body and Hand Lotion infused with coconut oil - leaves skin hydrated and subtly scented. A generous helping of luxurious Body Creme has a rich, nourishing texture that is best left to soak in overnight for the ultimate scented slumber.

All products are readily available through the Jo Malone London website. You can find all the articles I've written pertaining to Jo Malone London on my blog here

Creed Fragrances | They're More Than Just Aventus

How much do you know about Creed Fragrances? Did you know you can add personalised engraving? Did you know they have 25 different colognes for men available on their website? 

I know, it's like hearing that Toploader released more than one song right? (Timely reference Carl). Creed is so synonymous with their popular Creed Aventus, that it's become their 'Dancing in the Moonlight'. Little do people realise that Creed are much more than a one-hit wonder.

I went into their Mayfair branch for a fragrance profiling where I got to sit down with their expert and choose a signature scent.

Aventus aside, my top 3 Creed fragrances were below:

Tabarome Millesime

A very alpha male scent, as described eloquently on their website 'an ideal choice for the leaders of the pack'. Inspired by the aroma of tobacco, tea and spices, Tabarome Millesime is equally seductive and assertive.

It has a push of warm ginger, an opening of mandarin and sandalwood and an undercurrent of dark leather. The result is alluring, confident and unashamedly masculine. This is one for the gentleman's club. Tabarome Millesime is available on their website for £230.

Royal Oud

The Royal Oud really spoke to me. It has the imperturbable X factor. A delicate mystery that transported me. You will find wispy citrus notes (lemon) pink pepper, tonkin musk and of course oud. A very woody and oriental offering that can be worn by him or her. Elegant, exotic and spiritual. Royal Oud is available on their website for £265.

Viking

One of the very latest from the House of Creed. Woody base notes of Indian Sandalwood and Haitian vetiver. Possibly the most muscular of all the fragrances. A quick mention on the Creed bottles also. They have a very sleek look about them. With strong shoulders and an assured thick glass structure. I love the silhouette of a Creed bottle fragrance and it really does announce itself on the shelf. Viking is available on their website for £280.

Lastly, as many of you will be fans of the Creed Aventus fragrance, it now has a flanker; Aventus Cologne. It's a fresh, fruitier take and perfectly complements its acclaimed forerunner, Aventus. With notes of ginger, mandarin and pink peppercorn, patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver. Aventus Cologne is available on their website for £215.

Creed have numerous concessions in and around London Harrods, Selfridges, John Lewis etc. You can check out the link here to find the one closest to you. However, I do recommend heading down to their boutique on Mayfair, 99 Mount Street and speaking to someone from the team who will help guide you to the fragrance right for your style.

 

The Jo Malone London Gent | Introducing John Boyega

Jo Malone London has extended the family to proudly welcome and announce the appointment of London born movie star, John Boyega, as an ambassador for the brand. 

You might know John Boyega from the Alexa adverts, more than likely from the Star Wars franchise. However, I first clocked eyes on him when he starred in Attack the Block which was set on a Brixton estate in South London. 

It was quite a divisive film that I so happened to love. As an aside you should listen to film critic Mark Kermode get dismantled by the movies director Joe Cornish when he delivers an indifferent verdict. That doesn't happen every day of the week.

What I love about John Boyega is how down-to-earth he comes across. Growing up in Peckham, to Nigerian British parents his story celebrates the diversity and vibrant culture of this city, he still proudly calls home.

In a recent Q&A with Jo Malone London John refers to fame as something of a non-event. Almost an anti-climax.

JML: What is something you didn't expect about being famous? 

JB: One thing I didn't expect about being famous is the fact that some things don't change. Sometimes you have to wait in the queue like everyone else and that's fine. I mean, I guess I got told so many things about being famous I thought that everything was going to change from me. But I still go shopping late at night in my PJ's. Nothing's really changed. 

His latest role see’s Boyega navigate new territory, celebrating Britishness, storytelling and fragrance as he takes on a new kind of spotlight as the first Jo Malone London Gent. 

I know what you're all thinking, hey Carl, weren't you crowned the first Jo Malone London Gent? You're absolutely right, I'm sure it's just a typo in the press release, no need to get the lawyers involved.

About the collaboration John says: “I love the creativity and storytelling element of Jo Malone London. It’s something I resonate with,  it’s how I work best. With discussion, collaboration and down to earth honesty.”

This is very exciting news, John Boyega has my pure unadulterated benediction (not that he needed it) and I can't wait to see him put his personal stamp on the brand. 

I guess this also heightens my chances of being an extra in the next Star Wars movie. Even if it's just by 00.1%, as they say, never give up the daydream. 

 You can shop the Men's Fragrance at one of many of the Jo Malone London stores, or through their website

I've written extensively about Jo Malone London and their products in other posts, as a brand ambassador I'm always first to the press releases and monthly updates. Make sure you follow me on the social pages where I deliver all the latest updates as I get them. 

 

Simple Solution for Dandruff & Flaky Scalp | T/Gel by NEUTROGENA®

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Today I'm going to talk about T/Gel by NEUTROGENA®, Simple Solution for Dandruff & Flaky Scalp. 

As an ambassador for NEUTROGENA® I'm very keen to bring some of their grooming products to the forefront and explain the benefits. 

I'm lucky enough to never have suffered dandruff, but I've suffered a dry scalp from time to time.

T/Gel by NEUTROGENA® combats the dryness and relieves itchiness. 

I've done some research this morning and have learnt several new things. People can feel massively insecure about having dandruff. It plagues people’s confidence and even if treated, they're constantly living with the worry of it returning. 

One reviewer spoke of her trouble with psoriasis and dermatitis. Not only did she apply the T/Gel by NEUTROGENA to her scalp like an ordinary shampoo, but to other areas of her skin that were dry and flaky. 

To do this you shake the bottle and rub a small amount into the areas affected This sinks into your skin like a lotion. 

For hard to reach places, sensitive areas, apply some to a cue tip or ear bud and lather in. Leave overnight if possible and continue the treatment for a month for optimum results. 

My personal review on T/Gel by NEUTROGENA®

The shampoo lathers up really well in your hair. Always a plus for me. They say to use twice a week if you're having problems with a dry scalp. 

I personally only need to really hydrate my scalp say once a week. The smell is quite medicinal and people have mentioned that it's too potent. I found it lingers for a few hours in the morning but I quite like the smell. Tea-tree oil mainly. 

Remember it's a therapeutic shampoo, which includes anti-fungal properties that can help manage dandruff. If it has a medicinal smell then there is a greater chance that it's doing its job. 

Rinse away after shampooing and give your scalp a chance to breath before applying any other products. 

At the time of writing the T/Gel by NEUTROGENA® has over 60 reviews on Amazon at a rating of 4.2/5. 

SHOP THE RANGE OF T/GEL PRODUCTS

Gillette Subscription Service: One to consider?

Today I'm going to be highlighting the Gillette Subscription Service. The idea of subscription packages is designed to be mutually beneficial for both consumer and customer. 

I run my own shirt subscription service for shirt enthusiasts whom enjoy a rotation of quality shirts. So you could say I'm well drilled. 

Of many of the subscription services out there, this to me is the one that makes the most sense. Men who have an established ritualistic grooming regime will always require quality razors. 

Step 1

With Gillette you have the options of 3 quality blades. Whether it’s the Mach3, our five-bladed Fusion5 or Proglide with Flexball technology, they have the right razor for you. 

Step 2

After you select your blade, choose how often you want to receive your refill blades.

I have a short beard but do like to wet shave certain areas like I've mentioned on previous posts. So as I have regular, yet modest use for a razor, my refill subscription would be lower than most.

Gillette base the frequency of blade refill deliveries on how often you shave in a week. Every refill pack we send has 4 blades from your chosen razor that you can attach to your razor handle so you never run out of blades. 

After you sign up

After you place your order, you will receive a starter kit including the razor of your choosing, a shave prep, travel case and one replacement blade. 

After 15 days Gillette dispatch your first blade refill pack and they will keep sending them out at your chosen frequency.

Can I cancel anytime? 

This is actually the best bit. So many times we get roped into yearlong subscriptions. Phone contracts, Gym, SKY TV etc. I think some of these companies act immorally. 

Why do I need to be tied to a Gym for a year? Imagine starting every relationship like that. Your first Tinder date. The girl seems nice but then after five minutes she whips out a contract that means you'll be buying her drinks for the next year.' 

I digress. 

The Gillette Subscription is one to consider. There are others out there of course but I approve of the concept and the products. 

*This paid sponsored post was created in collaboration with Gillette UK and The Hut Group. All views are of my own.

 

My Morning Regime with American Crew

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Today I'm going to walk you through my morning regime with American Crew. I will be posting a YouTube video to this article that will also help. I've been using American Crew products for over two years now. Many things have come and gone in my grooming rituals, but American Crew has been one of the few mainstays. 

Before jumping into the shower I apply the Clay Exfoliator. Get a coffee whilst it dries and read some news, social posts etc.

I then hit the showers, switch the dial to cold and put my body into shock for 30 seconds. It's like having ten cans of red bull. 

After I switch the dial back to a more realistic temperature I apply the following:

  • Daily Moisturising Shampoo

  • Daily Conditioner

  • Rinse off the clay exfoliating Cleanser

The Daily Moisturising Shampoo is suitable for all hair types, it offers volume and has a nice subtle fragrance. The conditioner stimulates the scalp and gives it a healthy look. 

NOTE - I won't lie, if I'm pressed for time I'll just use the clay exfoliator as a facial wash and scrub evenly under the hot water for a few minutes. 

Beard:

You're probably thinking, 'Jeez-Louise Carl, doesn't this eat into your day?' You'd be right. But I don't actually mind the maintenance. I take pride in my appearance and I enjoy the process of looking good.

Much like you need to enjoy the process of cooking to appreciate the meal. Wait did someone say Deliveroo? Only messin'. 

For my beard I wash my face with warm water, then apply the ultra-gliding shave oil. It's important to get the oil into the beard. You don't need to apply more than a drop or two. But get it right in there. Oils of eucalyptus and clove are antibacterial and counter nicks, razor bumps and ingrown hairs for a clean shave.

Then after I do any trimming or maintenance, I apply the serum which softens the beard.

Skin Care:

As Scaramanga would say 'this is the part I really like'. My face is like a puppy waiting for the return of his master. It can't wait to be hydrated and recharged. 

Don't forget to apply the hydrating cream over your face AND neckline. Your neck needs some loving too. 

Lastly the eyes, the windows to your soul, why not give those windows a little gloss. The eye hydrating gel It diminishes the puffiness and I feel like I can look myself in the mirror and brave the world and all its beauty. 

Hair Styling:

And for the headline act, (pun intended) we have the forming cream for the hair. I have medium yet, quite curly hair so this forming cream is perfect. It provides hold, excellent pliability, and a natural shine. 

Check out my YouTube video for a full demonstration and make sure you hit subscribe. 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own. As I alluded to earlier I've been a long-time user of American Crew and am proud to be an ambassador for them in the UK. 

 

Tom Ford Lavender Extreme Fragrance Review

Today I'm going to lend you my thoughts on the Tom Ford Lavender Extreme which was released in May 2019. 

This private blend is in the higher tiered pricing bracket, £220 for a 50ml. A little on the steep side but is it worth it? The bottle is presented in silver throughout and oozes luxury.

OPENING

The opening notes are fresh, of course it's undeniably Lavender, but it's a fragrance that lets other things in. I found some bergamot creeping in, but not the bitter or medicinal kind. 

Before the tonka bean and the creamy texture hit me on the dry-down, I was preoccupied with some similarities between this and Taste of Heaven By Kilian. The Tom Ford Lavender Extreme is more of a subtle Lavender. Although I would say the two could saddle nicely together. 

The Lavender Extreme has a better smoothness than say the Fucking Fabulous scent, but lacks the creaminess of a Lost Cherry. 

I should say that although the Lavender lets the other notes have their time in the sun, nothing over powers it. Nothing dare usurp the headline act. 

It's a scent that really follows you for the first couple of hours. The silage I'd say is around 3 feet and I'd be wearing this on business casual occasions.

It doesn't quite have that event smell. I wouldn't want to wear this during Goodwood or any Black Tie (unless layered with another Tom Ford Private Blend fragrance, Tuscan Leather or Tobacco Vanille might work nicely). But I picture this as a signature scent, upmarket meetings, grey suit and possible first date scent. 

It's a very controlled scent. 

COMPLIMENTS 

I've been wearing this for a week now. My trip to Ascot got me some interesting compliments from the guys, although some remarked that it didn't project as much as you'd hope a fragrance from Tom Ford would. 

Which is why I'd have this as business casual. Layer it for events. I'd like to make a statement and have some allure for the bigger dates in my calendar. 

The women (or I should say, woman) absolutely adored this. Not overpowering, not over glowing. Just very luxurious and seasonal. This is a summer fragrance that’s fresh, confident and classy. 

Introducing Sniph: Explore the Scents

Today I'm going to introduce you to a new fragrance company out of Sweden called SNIPH. I flew out to their Headquarters in Stockholm for a couple of days and was introduced officially to the brand.

SO WHAT IS SNIPH? 

In a nutshell it is a monthly fragrance discovery service. They cater for men’s, women’s and unisex perfumes so this is truly something for everyone.

The idea is quite simple. The expert perfumers at SNIPH have already sampled hundreds of artisanal scents from the best boutique perfume studios around the world and keep searching globally to find new niche and exclusive fragrances for you. They then select the ones they think you’ll like best and sort them out in their 6 distinctive collections.

Gradually your selection gets more refined as SNIPH comes accustomed to the scents that you prefer.

Finding a new perfume can be tedious. Sniph is a discovery service for perfume that enables you to try new perfumes. Every month they deliver carefully selected perfumes from exclusive brands in a smart and chic 8ml bottle. With 6 distinctive collections to choose from, you’ll receive a new fragrance that is perfectly tailored to you every month, directly to your door. With no commitments and always free shipping. Basically, they are here to make it simple and fun for you to explore new scents, for you to fall in love with and for any mood or occasion. Perfect for finding your new signature scent, or building a scent wardrobe.

They don't do high-street brands, instead they celebrate uniqueness and are welcoming you into the hidden world of scents to let you enjoy carefully selected perfumes from exclusive brands. Sniph partners with amazing perfume houses worldwide. This means the scents in your subscription may be available in the UK or exclusively available through Sniph.

BUT I LIKE MY OWN FRAGRANCE, WHY WOULD SNIPH WORK FOR ME? 

Firstly, it's always good to mix and match your fragrances. I'm a loyal lover and brand ambassador for Jo Malone London for example, but my shelf is not exclusive to their scents.

By experimenting with different fragrances from SNIPH this enables you to 'explore the world of scents' (to coin their campaign slogan).

You also might like to have some of the heavy lifting taken away from you when it comes to shopping for fragrances. Let someone else with experience select a fragrance for you.

Another thing, that I learned during these days with Sniph in Sweden, is the power of scent. Scent has the power to stir emotions, awaken memories, set moods and captivate the imagination.

Think about it, would you want to smell the same at an important meeting and at a date?

 With this being said a scent wardrobe, where you choose your scent after mood and occasion, is the new way of looking at scent. And to be honest there is a full world out there of amazing scents that would be a shame to miss out on. 

ANY OTHER BENEFITS FOR USING SNIPH? 

Sure, they come in very handy travel vials together with a neat and smart case. Less than 100ml which is also convenient for the bathroom. I know it sounds like woe is me sometimes, but I don't always have the space for all the fragrances on my nightstand or bathroom shelf. (Remember this is London, no walk-in wardrobes here).

They are also really hear to share their love for scent with the world and invite people in to their world. To educate people about the world of scents is one of their missions which means that you will never just receive a random scent with learning about it as well. 

HOW WAS THE TRIP CARL? 

Thanks for asking guys, it was short and sweet but a very interesting and relaxing affair. You may have seen from my stories I enjoyed some yoga sessions at the Djursholm Country Club.

It was a perfect induction into sensory awakening. How often do we close our eyes and listen to what it is we're smelling. 

So much focus is on the visual. Instagram is a proven benefactor of that. Imagine an APP that delivered a scent to your phone. (Jesus that's a great idea, Zuckerberg lets schedule a meeting).

After that we made a flower crown and had some drinks. You know, standard Swedish customs. 

In Sweden they have a Midsummer tradition where you place 7 different flowers under your pillow. You then dream of your one true love.

SNIPH had a neat twist on this tradition and left 7 different fragrances for us to spray on our pillow. I dreamt of ice cream!

I'd like to thank SNIPH for inviting me to Sweden and introducing me to their brand. I had a real sense of community and kinship with the founders and staff. I'll be writing more about SNIPH and the fragrances I receive in later posts.

SNIPH offer subscriptions for 14 GBP a month with free delivery. I am very pleased to be a SNIPH ambassador and all thoughts here are my own. 

DISCOUNT CODE: Use my personalised discount code below which will give you 25% OFF.

HAWKINS25

Your Fail-Safe Father’s Day Gifting Guide

Father's Day is upon us people. This year I've collaborated with Boots to provide you with a Fail-Safe Father’s Day Gifting guide for the ultimate Father’s Day gifts. All the products that you see featured I've selected as the gems I'd personally buy for my Father.

I'm also running a competition that you can enter by leaving a comment on this post. The competition winner will receive a free gift from the Boots Father’s Day page. All you have to do is leave a comment at the bottom of the Blog, Mention one thing you're going to be doing or gifting your Father this Father's Day. 

We'll pick the names from random and will announce the winner by email. 

What are the best Father's Day presents? 

It can be a nightmare to know what to get your Father for Father's Day. Ok you might have the box of Hazelnut Whirls already in the bag, but once the sugar spike is over what else surely your Dad is worth more than a fleeting spike in his blood sugar levels? 

I'll get to the Boots gifting guide momentarily, but first here are some suggestions for places and activities that you can enjoy together with your Father. 

RULES RESTAURANT 

It's the oldest restaurant in London and right in the heart of Covent Garden. It has plenty of game dishes (which all Dad's love). Proper British cuisine like Pie and Mash, Steak & Ale pie, Pheasant etc. It's typically very busy and you'll have to book. 

BOND IN MOTION 

And what Dad doesn't like a James Bond movie. Just over the road from Rules Restaurant is the London Film Museum. In the London film museum you can see all the cars featured in the James Bond movies. There's also costumes worn by Roger Moore and Daniel Craig, as well as a fantastic gift shop.

LONDON WALK

If the weather is good you should treat your Dad to a London Walk this Father's Day. There are many walks to choose from to match his predilections. The Beatles Walk, The Jack The Ripper Walk, The Hidden London Walk etc. It's relatively inexpensive (10 GBP per person last time I checked). Each walk brings a fascinating insight into London's beautiful history. 

A COCKTAIL AT THE CONNAUGHT 

Yes you can take your Father anywhere, so why The Connaught? Well the interiors are just extra special. They have their own Martini Tray and bespoke bitters so you can have a very personalised tailor-made Martini experience. All the mixologists are consummate professionals with an encyclopaedic brain for remembering cocktails. However, ask for Walter, I've found him to be the most flamboyant. 

There are some activities you can contemplate. Now for the Father's Day gifting guide. Neigh, The FAIL-SAFE gifting guide. You can't go wrong with these items. 

THE FAIL SAFE FATHERS DAY GIFT GUIDE

L'Oreal Men Expert The Daily Expert Gift Set

Your Dad will thank you for levelling up his grooming routine with this Daily Expert Gift Set from L'Oreal. It has the essentials, the Deodorant, the moisturiser and the all-important eye-roll on to help combat fatigue. It's a giveaway price, currently at 9.99 GBP. 

L'Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Anti-Fatigue Face Wash 100ml

Sticking with the grooming line, this L'Oreal anti-fatigue face wash is just what your Dad will need to get him through the day. After all he has to put up with us right? Not to mention he needs to look his Sunday best when you take him out for that surprise London activity. 

L'Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Deep Exfoliating Face Scrub 100ml

If your Dad is anything like my Dad he's not one for spending much time in front of the mirror. But that's all going to change and my Dad is now dependent on me when it comes to providing him grooming advice. The Hydra Energetic Deep Exfoliating face scrub deeply purifies and cleanses the skin, removes impurities and excess shine, and helps to unblock pores.

BOSS Bottled Eau de Toilette 50ml

This is the true embodiment of Fail-Safe. A fragrance which remains as contemporary and relevant today as it was at launch 20 years ago.

A very woody, - citrusy fragrance that has great silage. More notably it's not overtly sweet. A very saccharin sweet fragrance doesn't sit well on the seasoned gentleman. BOSS Bottled Eau de Toilette has all the character synonymous with tradition and masculinity.

Gucci Guilty Cologne Pour Homme Eau de Toilette 90ml

If you want to go slightly up market then how about the Gucci Guilty Cologne Pour Homme Eau de Toilette. This has a medium intensity that is a bit more exotic than the Boss one. If your Father is a fan of the Mediterranean then this Gucci fragrance carries all the hallmarks with the intense heart of Spanish Cypress Essence, its heady resinous tones uplifted with elegant floral notes including Heliotropine and Violet. 

The Father’s Day Essentials

Treat your Father with the all-in-one gift set designed to start off your day the right way. The gift set comprises of 3 male grooming entry level essentials, moisturiser, eye-roll on and deodorant.

Does your Dad have a short beard or stubble? Then why not treat him to a ‘The Beard Club’ essentials gift set by L’Oreal. Wash, moisturise and style that beard with this grooming set which is enriched with cedarwood essential oils.

So your Father may not be a fan of facial hair, which means he likes to be clean shaven. Treat him to Harry’s shaving products direct from Boots. I personally would recommend a trio of Harry’s Shave Gel, Harry’s Post Shave Balm and Harry’s Face Lotion.

Imagine you and your Dad spending some rest and relaxation time watching something on the Discovery channel whilst wearing the L'Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Hydra Energy Face Masks. A great talking point and a bit of fun, plus your skin will be feeling refreshed for good measure.

Now on to three fragrances that will be a guaranteed Father’s Day present success story. All three are popular and mainstream for a reason; affordable and luxurious, your Dad will love them. Paco Rabanne 1 Million EDT is a fresh, spicy, leathery fragrance. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male EDT is sweet and spicy. Whereas Gentlemen Givenchy EDT would be described as masculine and woody.


ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

*This post is an advertised collaboration with Boots but all thoughts are my own.

WAHL – The Innovators of Beard Trimming Technology

Today I'm going to wax lyrical about Wahl, the pioneers and trailblazers of hair clippers and beard trimmers. This year they celebrate 100 years of successfully innovating beard trimming technology, so I'm taking a moment to doth my proverbial hat to Leo Wahl, who in 1919, created the first electric hair clipper, revolutionising the way we sculpt our beards and facial hair today. 

Leo Wahl was to beard trimmers, what Dr Emmet Brown was to time travel. I think that analogy works better in my head. I digress. 

As many of you know I'm a patron of Ruffians barbers, (free plug) and like to maintain the upkeep of my beard and hair by visiting them on a fortnightly basis. It has not gone unnoticed by this Lifestyle Blogger that the barbers in Ruffians whom I consider to be connoisseurs, swear by the Wahl products

There is no greater endorsement in my mind for a hair clipper or beard trimmer than when you find your respected barber eulogising about its merits. 

How often should I go to the barber? 

The reason why I go to the barber so frequently, is because it's important for me to feel good about myself. My face is my business card. It needs to impress. I also feel really awesome after a good visit to the barbers. 

Do you ever get that? You feel like a million bucks when you get a trim, you want to take 1000 pictures, you want to send them all to your ex-girlfriend and say, 'look at me now woman!' 

It was not a surprise to me when I read Wahl’s recent study that shows 81% of men feel most confident in the two-week period after a haircut and/or beard trim, but 70% still leave it for over a month between trims.

This means that up to half of some men’s life is spent feeling less positive than he could do, all while a simple solution is close to hand. Drop me a comment in the box below if you'd like to read the rest of that study, I'll forward it on. 

Simon Shaw, Global Artistic Director at Wahl, said: “From the survey results, it is clear to see the affect that maintained personal grooming can have on positive life situations and a man’s overall wellbeing. At Wahl, we have been at the centre of men’s grooming for the past 100 years and have seen the impact that our products have had on people’s happiness after a new haircut, beard trim or in between cuts. We look forward to more of these moments over the next 100 years.”

I'm also a flagbearer for Wahl, using their products in my own home. I still have and use the first one I ever had - it works exactly the same today as it did back as new. I also use one that is waterproof in the shower and a cool vacuum one that collects the hair as you shave! 

So you get the idea, I love Wahl. They're awesome, that's why they've been around for 100 years and still continue to be on the vanguard of beard trimming technology and innovation. Do yourself a favour and get one for yourself, get one for your Dad while you're at it. (Father's Day plug, nudge nudge). 

I've done some Vlogs over on my YouTube channel about male grooming, but when it comes to hair and beard trimming, you should go straight to the top and head to www.wahl.co.uk for the latest grooming tips straight from the barbershop.

To celebrate its 100 Year Anniversary, Wahl is giving you and a friend the chance to win a trip to Chicago – where the brand began. You can find details on how the enter here

*This paid sponsored post was created in collaboration with Wahl UK & Ruffians.

Bleu de Chanel: The Shaving Essentials

Today I'm going to be reviewing Bleu De Chanel, the latest shaving essentials from Chanel which was launched on the 31st May, 2019. 

The range is easily refined into the shaving cream and 2-1 moisturiser for face and beard.  

It's great to see Chanel extending their Bleu De Chanel range. I was onboard from day one after seeing the Scorsese-directed promotional video. Christ that was 8 years ago now. 

If anything it proves that Chanel are very focused on getting their products and fragrances just right. They don't need to rush anything out in a wormed bid to earn a quick buck.

As many of you know, I tango between electric razors and wet shave. To get the details and style I like around the neckline and high cheek areas, I will resort to wet shaving. 

The Bleu De Chanel shaving cream, (already sold out on Harvey Nichols btw) has a transparent texture to it which is kinda neat and catches you off guard at first. But it's super-practical because you can see exactly where you need to position the blade to get the style you want. 

I like this because I'm very fastidious around my neckline, and one false step can really make my beard off-keel. This enables a great amount of control and the cooling after is a nice sensation on the skin. 

If you haven't done so already you can get the aftershave lotion and balm from the Bleu De Chanel range and that really gives your grooming routine a lot of depth. 

BLEU DE CHANEL 2-IN-1 MOISTURIZER FOR FACE AND BEARD

This is a very light moisturiser, intended to fragrance your beard and skin. I was expecting more of a rich, heavier moisturiser to penetrate my skin through the beard. And the trouble you get with those are the residuals left over on your stubble. It can often do one but not the other. 

The scent is definitely aromatic. It has a mixture of cedar and sandalwood and citrus. Although I didn't pick up on the citrus as much. But it still smelt great and I felt my skin has survived the day without needing to replenish moisture at all. 

BLEU DE CHANEL 2-IN-1 MOISTURISER 50ml - £39.00

BLEU DE CHANEL SHAVING CREAM 100ml - £43.00

American Crew Matte Clay Review | Hair Products for Men

American Crew, the official supplier to men, introduces new matte clay the latest addition to the brands clay family. This was a product that felt like it was ergonomically designed for my hair length. Sometimes I can get a bit overwhelmed with the amount of hair products on the market, so knowing this one designed for shorter to medium length hair, with workable hold, got me really excited.

About American Crew

The American Crew family of grooming products delivers everything needed to create and care for men’s styles including products in the hair body shave style and fragrance categories. 

The American Crew Matte Clay is presented in a cylindrical vase, with the signature American Crew burnt orange label and branding logos. 

How to use Matte Clay

Let's dial it back a notch and first ensure we're applying the clay correctly. 

Dip your finger and grab a healthy pea-size amount, work with slightly damp hands before you apply it to your hair so the clay can distribute evenly. 

The clay is a creamy texture, like putty. For my money you should always go for a matte finish. Be sure to prep the hair before application.

I simply gave my hair a quick wash, towel dried and then shot the hair drier around the roots for about 30 seconds. 

When using the American Crew Matte Clay be sure to warm the product up by rubbing around your palms for a short spell. 20 seconds should do it. This heats the clay ensuring there are no lumps or bumps. The clay can then be distributed evenly through your hair. 

Depending on your hair style, you can now blow-dry your hair again on a cold heat to create your perfect finish or alternatively use your fingers to complete the style.

The Result Carl?

I was really impressed. Firstly, I felt the clay could really work with my coarse hair. It has a workability, it can fix to a decent finish with the required matte finish. 

Whilst other products in this field that I've tried make the hold effort-FULL, this felt like it delivered a shape that was effort-LESS. (Thanks, that's why I get the big bucks).

Ideal if.. 

So simply look at my pictures. If you have medium-short, coarse hair like mine that needs a bit of engineering, then this is certainly worth a try. If you're typically used to a more hardened wax and get a bit tired of the constant maintenance. This American Crew Matte Clay could be a more manageable everyday alternative. 

The Matte Clay is available at selected retailers nationwide at £15.20

Key Features: 

Matte finish. High Style. Build-able mouldable texture. Increased volume with a workable medium hold. Ideal for short to medium length. 

 

 

Memoize Imperia x Rowan Row Fragrance Review

Well, this is where the bar is at with Influencers. Collaborating with a perfumery is definitely top of my wish list.  I don't think I'd ever stop bragging about it if Jo Malone London asked me to create a fragrance (hint hint PR team). 

Still, couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. And have you checked out the man's physique of late? If his shoulders could talk to each other they'd just say, 'we'll meet at the balls'.  Rowan Row has partnered with luxury niche fragrance house, Memoize London to collaborate on an exciting scent project.

So what can an influencer bring to the table for a fragrance house? 

Good question. As well as tapping into an audience of 917k followers, having someone easy on the eye for all their lifestyle imagery, Rowan can draw inspiration from his travels, personal development and experiences, together with a little soul searching along the way and born of this was the scent; Imperia.

This is not a scent that's been magically spawn overnight. It's been a passion project of Rowan's that has kept him busy behind the scenes for the past 12 months. It's noteworthy that this fragrance is his first truly interactive collaboration and the first product to bear his name. Imperia, by Rowan Row.

IMPERIA; noun, plural im·pe·ri·a [im-peer-ee-uh] Command; supreme power, strength.

(Damn why didn't I get given that as a middle name at least. I hate my parents). 

On to the recipe, from the Press Release. 

Top Notes: Citrus, Lemon, Green
Middles Notes: Aromatic, Fougere, Lavender, Clary Sage, Mint
Base Notes: Amber, Leather, Woods, Musk, Moss

Is it any good? 

I'm happy to say yes. You'll definitely get that citrus opening, an instant hit of lemon and bergamot mingle with a rich aromatic fougere accord in the heart built around clary sage, lavender and cool mint.

Later the base notes push through, some black amber but moreover, the diffusive leather and spiced woods. I didn't detect the earthy moss, but maybe that was intended to be subtle. 

Overall I don't know if it's worth the price tag (127 GBP is ambitious for an introductory scent) but it's in keeping with the luxury range and the price tags Luxuria and Castitas both retail at 177 GBP. 

Still I've enjoyed my time with this scent. It's got mystery, it's evocative, complex but not overly artisanal. The silage I got about 4-5 hours which is just under what I'd expect for a perfume in this price point. However, I've had some great comments on this scent, the feedback has probably been one of the best I've had in a long time. 

Memoize London prides itself on supporting small, independent British suppliers wherever possible. From hand finished, wooden oak caps crafted in Yorkshire, hand-made boxes made in Leicestershire, to a small filling house in the Lincolnshire Wolds. All components took great time and consideration to create, to ensure we provide the customer with the ultimate luxury experience.

Exclusive to Selfridges, the Memoize Imperia by Rowan Row fragrance launched 16th May and is £127.

NEW Bergamot & Basil Post Shave Balm by Dermot O'Leary for M&S REVIEW

Today I'm going to wax lyrical about the NEW Bergamot & Basil Post Shave Balm by Dermot O'Leary for M&S

As regular readers of the blog will know I'm a fan of the Dermot O'Leary X M&S's collaborations. I've reviewed the Earl Grey & Sandalwood fragrances previously on my blog and I'm continually buying and replenishing the range. 

Dermot has once again teamed up with the in-house team over at M&S to create a soothing balm to reduce the effects of shaving. In his own words Dermot echoes my thoughts on the frustration that can come with shaving. 

"It's been collaborating with the team at M&S to further expand the collection and bring another fantastic new product to launch. I'm really proud of the family of grooming products we've developed together, and I'm looking forward to adding the Post Shave Balm to my daily routine - shaving can be a nuisance, but your skin shouldn't suffer for it!"

Shaving can be a joyless experience because of the irritation it causes. I've come accustomed to using an assortment of beard trimmers overtime, however still use the razor for the bib of the neckline and cheek bones. 

This past week I've road-tested the NEW Bergamot & Basil Post Shave Balm by Dermot O'Leary for M&S in some sensitive areas around my collarbone, high cheek and general neck area. 

For those unfamiliar with the bergamot bitter it yields a citrus-like fragrance, with a distinctive spicy-floral quality. It's this spicy and sweet opening that will grab you first. Like most post shave balms it will hydrate your skin, and this one is rich enough that you can feel your skin accept the balm. 

Others I've tried can have a tendency to gloss over the skin, leaving an oily finish which isn't very satisfying. This post shave balm is specially formulated to soothe and calm, the balm features the uplifting notes of the best-selling Bergamot & Basil fragrance; a gentle scent of citrus, layered with undertones of precious amber. 

M&S x Dermot O’Leary Bergamot & Basil Post Shave Balm 75ml ONLY £15 Available HERE.

*This paid sponsored post was created in collaboration with Marks & Spencer.

Tom Ford Costa Azzurra Acqua | Fragrance Review

Tom Ford invites you to escape to sunlit beaches with the introduction of Costa Azzurra Acqua. This was forwarded onto me for review by the Tom Ford beauty department and I want to share with you today my thoughts and impression of the Tom Ford Costa Azzurra Acqua. 

This is a flanker the original Italian classic Fougère fragrance Costa Azzurra that was launched in 2014. There have been other aqua versions released already from that blue bottle collection, so this was highly anticipated, by myself included.

The Costa Azzurra was my favourite from that collection, it had that mystery and more depth for my liking. This Costa Azzurra Acqua captures those magical crosswinds of the coast, where trees and greenery mingle with the salty aroma of the sand and the sea, and the warmth of the sun on the body.

It's a sportier, it centres on spice-wood like the pine-needles. The original had driftwood as the most prevalent note. For those don't know what driftwood smells like it, it has a very low, musky aura that really sits well with amber and delivers a powerful rich oceanic vibe. 

The Costa Azzurra Acqua opens lighter, a wild tangle of cypress, juniper and myrtle replaces that driftwood and the sweetness. 

Some of the reactions I've already received whilst wearing the new aqua version have been very promising. Although the longevity hasn't really delivered as much as I'd hoped for. I do believe this will perform better in the hotter climates. I wish I had this with me on my recent trip around Australasia, I think the humidity and the high temperatures in Indonesia and Singapore, would have been the perfect sandbox for this to play. 

Whilst the differences are oddly imperceptible, my current lifestyle is very much pointed the way of the aqua version right now. I'm working out a lot more, it's had some good reactions down the gym. It's also a very nostalgic scent for me. I spent the last two months with my senses attuned to the sea breeze and aquatic scents. I love this. Tom Ford you can do no wrong. 

The bottle is a frosted version of Costa Azzurra’s deep blue bottle. It features a glossy cool-blue label stamped with gold-toned lettering and Tom Ford logo on the cap. The bottle is packaged in a white cross-hatched carton.

Jo Malone London: Fragrance Combining Palette

A new month and it's time to bring you the latest from the Jo Malone London news desk. As a proud Jo Malone London ambassador I'm fortunate to be privy to all the latest news and releases from Jo Malone London, which I’m delighted to reveal to you today. 

As many of you know I'm on the final leg of my Asia/Australia tour. At some point soon I expect to have that George Clooney moment from Up in the Air when the flight crew come out with a cake to celebrate my 10 million frequent flyer miles. 

However, it's been the perfect opportune time to road-test the new on-the-go perfumes from Jo Malone London. The sleek, travel-ready palette is designed to effortlessly encase two solid perfumes for scent on-the-go. Presented in a protective pouch and perfectly sized to slip into a pocket or small bag with room to spare. 

The beneficiaries of this are not just the end-user, but every other passenger on the flight whose senses can often be perturbed by aerosol perfumes. The new condensed balm application offered by Jo Malone London is certainly more discrete, practical for travel and socially acceptable. 

You can pick two of your favourite scents and apply them separately or layered. The small square case is great, it is like a zippo lighter.

Although I don't condone smoking and have never smoked, I appreciate the accoutrements of smoking and the trappings. For example, if you've ever held a Dunhill Rollagas Zippo in your hand you'll appreciate how some struggle to quit, aside from the additive chemicals of course. 

I digress. 

What I'm trying to get at, are these Jo Malone London casings are reminiscent of those same feelings of refined luxury. High quality, with a decent weight. I love it. I showed them to someone who came to visit me in the Philippines. She mooted that they would find a good home in her handbag. 

I told her like a true commercial, that these solid perfume refills can be purchased online at jomalone.co.uk or at Jo Malone London boutiques nationwide.

Customers can fill their palette with their choice of two Jo Malone London scents from a selection of ten of the brand’s most-loved, to create their own irresistible pair:

Lime Basil & Mandarin Basil & Neroli Pomegranate Noir English Pear & Freesia Blackberry & Bay Nectarine Blossom & Honey Peony & Blush Suede Mimosa & Cardamom Wood Sage & Sea Salt Oud & Bergamot

The new solid perfume formula has a light, smooth texture containing pure beeswax, and ensures a rich scent when applied to the skin.

How to use:

Swirl the smooth formula onto wrists, neck, décolletage, even the ends of hair.

Wear solo, or layer together to create a compelling combination. Jo Malone London recommends applying the richer scent of the two first. Mix, match and play.

When it’s time to try a new combination, simply use the enclosed pin to pop the two scents out of the palette.

Fragrance Combining TM Palette RRP £24 / €27 Solid Perfume - Cologne RRP £14 / €16 Solid Perfume - Cologne Intense RRP £16 / €18

American Crew Launch Fiber Grooming Foam

American Crew have just launched NEW Fiber Grooming Foam, an expansion of the brand's Fiber Line that caters to the popularity of longer length hairstyle for men. 

Formulated with unique Fiber technology (ps - yes it does pain me to spell 'Fiber' the American way, but it's their product, their rules) Fiber Grooming foam takes the diverse product to new lengths. 

Is it any good Carl? 

I've taken the product out here with me and road tested it in the hot climates. Where most hair products fall down is that the application is greasy, the finish is wet-unnatural look as opposed to a nice clean shine and the damn thing doesn't last longer than an hour. 

This American Crew Fiber Grooming foam is designed specifically from medium to longer length hair. Although mine is on the shorter end, I still wanted to test the hold and the finish and I was pleased with both. It's high performing and leaves a natural shine and soft feel. 

"Grooming foam has a strong hold that adds thickness to fine hair with its fibrous properties, without leaving any residue in the hair. When working with thick hair it comes into its own with a malleable Fiber that grips the hair to give support and help lock in their style whilst adding volume." Ian Harrold American Crew - All-Star

The Application

It's water based, its similar to what you see in mousse and aerosol products with a citrus smell. It is unlike any other product due to the Fibers. The hair feels like it has volume and movement, has bounce. Not rigid or crispy. All the good stuff of a mousse. 

Perfect For

Obviously if you have long hair but you want to it to dance to your tune, then give this a try. But if you have hair like mine that's short-medium but coarse and curly, this can also play some neat tricks. I've enjoyed using it. I like the texture it has that by-the-beach feel to it. Also as it adds texture and weight, maybe if you're thinning out this could also be the product for you. 

*This paid post was created in collaboration with American Crew UK.