Vétiver Oriental by Serge Lutens | Fragrance Review

With a name like Vétiver Oriental before even smelling the fragrance you're expecting it's going to deliver an incredible bold, yet smooth scent. It's a name that stands out from the shelf and makes you want to learn more about the scent formulation and in turn the result - luckily for Serge Lutens, this fragrance doesn't disappoint on any level. It is one very special fragrance. Vétiver Oriental is a bouquet based on the luminous freshness of vetiver offering you a rare interpretation of this essence, both gentle and profound.

Today, Vétiver Oriental is coming back to the fold of Parfums Serge Lutens, for the space of a limited edition. Delighted with this new opportunity to seduce, it has adopted the rectangular bottle, adorned a black label and slipped into the famous beige case. An invitation to a poetic walk in the depths of a luminous undergrowth.

Vetiver is one of my favourite ingredients in fragrances, vetiver is a tropical grass that is native to India. The oil used in fragrances and many other things is derived from the root of the plant. It has a woody, earthy note, very unique, masculine and used in many male fragrances around the world.

The fragrance blend has a delicate yet matured hint of sandalwood combined with chocolate and musk.



Dermot O’Leary launches two new fragrances exclusively for M&S

Dermot O’Leary Fragrances

This week started off attending a breakfast event with M&S and Dermot O'Leary to celebrate the launch of his two new fragrances, available from the 7th September. The breakfast was at The Ned hosting some of the countries leading journalists and influencers in the UK. Whenever a fragrance is launched by a celebrity it is normally met with some apprehension from industry insiders and customers alike however after talking to Dermot about the fragrances he was clear that these fragrances were a true collaboration between the master scent creators, M&S and himself - so except something a little special.

M&S has been part of the fabric of mine and
lots of people’s upbringing, it’s a brand you trust
which was very important to me when choosing
to work together. We started the process over
two years ago and during this time I have learnt
an awful lot. It has been such a fulfilling
experience, with some really lovely people. I
have worked with the experts and enjoyed every
second of it.
— Dermot O'Leary
Dermot O'Leary

Dermot is well known in the entertainment industry but also in the fashion industry, being part of the British Fashion Council for years and regularly featuring in GQ's most stylish men in the UK. It is fair to say that a very humble Dermot easily has the credentials to help create what turned out to be two amazing fragrances. The two fragrances are very different and for my nose a clear day and night scent, the Bergamot & Basil is fresh and aromatic whereas the Vetiver & Cedarwood is a contrasting warm, silky and spicy blend to suit your mood and style. 

Following the success of Dermot O’Leary’s skincare range exclusively for M&S, the retailer is proud to announce the launch of two men’s fragrances Bergamot & Basil and Vetiver & Cedarwood. 

Dermot O’Leary Bergamot & Basil

The Bergamot & Basil fragrance, you've heard it here first is Dermot's favourite out of the two. It opens with fresh and uplifting notes of bergamot and lemon, core accords of spicy pink pepper, juniper and patchouli offer depth, complimented by base notes of vanilla, musk and amber. 

Dermot O’Leary Vetiver & Cedarwood

My personal favourite out of the two is Vetiver & Cedarwood as it really packs a punch, it's sophisticated and masculine. This fragrance leads with invigorating top notes of pink grapefruit and mandarin combined with deep accords of black pepper, clove and geranium on a warm and woody base of cedarwood, amber and vetiver. 

I like to tailor fragrances based on my mood, the atmosphere, my surroundings and the weather. Winter and Summer fragrances are very different for me. Day – zesty, lovely sea salt smells. Night - something with a little more body.
— Dermot O'Leary
Dermot O’Leary Aftershave

I've found that both fragrances are insanely good, they serve different purposes, are long lasting, sophisticated, and modern. They are beautifully styled with minimalistic packaging and bottles which will look fantastic on your grooming shelf at home....all for £22, astounding effort.

Bergamot & Basil and Vetiver & Cedarwood by Dermot O’Leary launch on the 7th of September online at www.marksandspencer.com and in M&S stores for £22 each.

Introducing Paco Rabanne Pure XS Fragrance for Men

With so many fragrances coming out this side of Christmas it wouldn't be possible to write about every single one. So I only review exceptional fragrances that I truly believe are great enough to become classics; ones that men would choose to wear year-on-year as their signature scent. Scent memory triggers an area of the brain that compares a particular scent with a certain memory. That could be the scent that your girlfriend wore on your first date, it's memorable, it's something that will live with you forever. So when choosing a fragrance, it has to turn-heads, it has to be memorable, it has to be bold, sexy and give you confidence. PureXS from Paco Rabanne is one of those fragrances.

Paco Rabanne XS was originally launched back in 1993 and then in 2005 they launched Black XS. Each of these fragrances were designed for the man who loves excess in every form of their lives. Today in 2017 Pure XS has taken this energy to another level for a man who oozes sex appeal, charisma and confidence. The fragrance is fresh and smouldering, an explosion of freshness with an overdose of almost icy ginger. Then you'll get your second excess of a spicy sin with cinnamon followed by a surge of power with deep, noble vanilla infused with leather-liquor-musk inflections. Finally, sink into the pulsing warmth of myrhh dusted with sweet sugar. A sensation to spark those scent memories from today and long into the future.

Every exceptional fragrance has to have a bottle design which is a work of art and compliments the fragrance perfectly. This weighty bottle with a zippo style opener is reflective of a luxury whiskey glass; it's pure excessive indulgence of exceptional design.

You can find the fragrance sold nationwide at The Purfume Shop at £64.50 for 100ml.

Paco Rabanne Pure XS Key Notes:






This week I was invited along with some other exceptional bloggers, celebrities and fragrance experts to celebrate the launch of Paco Rabanne Pure XS, which started off at The Ned which has never smelt so good. If you haven't been to The Ned, you need to, located at 27 Poultry, close to Bank underground station. It's a historic building reborn in the heart of London City. Set in the former Midland Bank building, The Ned hosts 252 bedrooms, 6 event spaces, 9 restaurants, a men's grooming space and other membership benefits such as a gym, rooftop pool, Hamman and late night lounge bar which is situated in the banks original vault! 

The day was #PureXS dining at The Ned for lunch before having a grooming refresh and down-time using the relaxing facilities. In the evening we headed off for dinner and whiskey tasting with all the most stylish men in the UK in attendance who were all shooting the next day at The Worx Studio with epic photographer Joseph Sinclair

Carl Thompson x Paco Rabanne 1.jpg



Studio Photography by Joseph Sinclair

#EXCESSIVEME #PUREXS @pacorabanne @pacorabanneparfums

National Grooming Day Essentials | Men's Edit

National Grooming Day

To all the gentlemen out there, it's 2017 so there is no excuse for an unkept unruly beard these days - the stigma around men's grooming has well and truly dissipated. With National Grooming Day actually 'a thing' it aims to raise awareness and ultimately educate men on how to look after themselves better. Skincare and haircare are the main two areas of which small changes to your daily men's grooming regime will make major improvements. Here are my top male grooming products which have all be tried and tested by myself.

Jo Malone - Lime Basil & Mandarin Shower Oil

£32.00 for 250ml - A soft shower oil which leaves your skin feeling soft and aromatic.

Heath - Hair & Body Wash

£8.00 for 250ml - Made in England this affordable option is enriched with ginseng and caffeine to provide an immediate power boost. 

Kiehl's - Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner

£19.50 for 250ml - The masculine scented product removes hair product buildup whilst hydrating the scalp.

Jo Malone - Geranium & Walnut Body Scrub

£42.00 for 200ml - A unisex product that for a body scrub is gentle on your skin and therefore usable for frequent use. The scent is incredible.

Clinique for Men - Charcoal Face Wash & Face Scrub

Face wash £18.00 for 200ml / Face scrub £21.00 for 100ml - Best used together, firstly with the face scrub followed by the face wash. Revitalises and smoothes your skin.

LAB Series - Multi-Action Face Wash

£19.00 for 100ml - Being 100ml and multi-action makes this product perfect for travelling. The cream is foamy and leaves the face extremely conditioned.

Harry's - Shave Gel & Razor

£24 for the set - The shave gel is easy on the skin and allows the razor to glide along effortlessly. German blades, precision shaving.

Remington - Barba Beard Trimmer

£29.99 - The godfather of all beard trimmers, this little beauty is robust, affordable and does exactly what you need it to do, no gimmicks no fuss.

LA MER - All skincare products

The LA MER product range is unbelievable, you pay for what you get. The LA MER moisturising matte lotion is £180 but you'll be able to tell the difference immediately between this and a cheaper entry level moisturiser so if you love to indulge in the best, these products are it.

Tom Ford - Conditioning Beard Oil & American Crew Beard Serum

In my opinion these are two of the best beard oils on the market. The Tom Ford, is infused with their private blend scent and slightly lighter than the American Crew version which is better for shorter stubble.

Guerlain - Super Aqua Crème Day Gel

£83.00 for 50ml - This luxury face creme protects your face during the day whilst wrinkles and fine lines are smoothed out.

Dr Sebagh & Estée Lauder - Eye Serum

These beauties are great for making the eye area look smoother, younger and more vibrant whilst reducing dehydrated dark circles. Use Dr Sebagh during the day and the Estée Lauder serum during the night.

Clinique for Men - Maximum Hydrator

£34.00 for 100ml - Lightweight is weight but a heavyweight in stature this is a new product from Clinique for Men. This water-gel formula intensely hydrates the skins moisture over a 24 hour period, perfect to take away on holiday when your skin is over exposed to the sun and other elements.

TONI&GUY - Hair Products

I only use the best hair products and these are the TONI&GUY for Men range. Developed specifically for men their range is extensive and can cater for all type of hair and all styles.

Jo Malone - Oud & Bergamot Cologne Intense

£112.00 for 100ml - Beautifully intense with notes of precious Middle-Eastern oud combined with the sweet citrus bergamot and cedarwood.

Tom Ford - Private Blend Fragrances

The godfather of fragrance, only the finest ingredients are used and you can smell evert single, perfectly put together notes. Two of my all time favourite fragrances are Tuscan Leather and Tobacco Vanille, whilst Oud Minérale is new to the party.

Bulgari Presents it's First High Perfumery Collection for Men

Initially when you think of Bulgari, you are probably thinking of incredible high-end jewellery that most of us could never afford and you would be right to because this brand is all about the highest quality and luxury. So when they announced a new range of perfumes designed specifically for men, you know it is going to excel. Bulgari have been in the fragrance industry for long enough to know what works and what doesn't and this new collection is an evolution in class to their Bvlgari previous Man Extreme and Bvlgari Man in Black mid-range fragrances that retail at around £74. This new 'high' perfume collection is currently retailing at £215 in Harrods.

Bulgari presents the new Le Gemme collection dedicated to men which is a revolutionary chapter in the story of this Roman jeweller. When creating a new collection away from your core business it is wise to align the two, keeping the same brand ethos to create a story and Bulgari have done just that. This new collection revisits an entire aspect of ancient history following the precious stone and perfume roads that the great conquerors and luxury nomads of Antiquity discovered during their travels and their conquests. 

The new Bvlgari Le Gemme collection for men is masculine, contemporary, powerful and elegant, giving this fragrance a 21st century edge. Bulgari entrusted Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier with the task of transcribing the six gemstones of the collection in a radical palette. The one I've trialled is Bvlgari Le Gemme Men Garanat which comes in a majestic 100ml, beautifully crafted and weighty bottle, finished in black, gold with clean edges and finished with a red garnet gemstone inspired detail on the lid - making the bottle itself a collectors item.

The red garnet is an intense red gemstone that appears as if it is lit from the inside when the suns rays hit it and suddenly it seems to catch fire which originates from Bosphorus. This spell binding fragrance will turn heads, it's intense, it's masculine with the key notes being Damascena rose, rose absolute and incense.