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. 

 

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

Jo Malone London Blossoms: Bloomin’ Marvellous

I might be on the other side of the world right now, but that doesn't stop me waxing lyrical about Jo Malone London and their latest release, Blossoms

As a proud UK Ambassador for Jo Malone London I'm fortunate enough to get exclusive access to their pre-releases and a direct feed to their news desk. In this article I'm going to give you the low down (is that what the kids say?) on what they have coming out this month. 

When I first saw the press release for Jo Malone London Blossoms, my mind immediately turned to impressionism. A romantic era where Art allowed invited people to use their imagination. To be transported to an otherworldly realm steeped in colour and vivid expressionism. 

The new blossoms collection, available for a limited time only, really encompasses the romance of Spring. Embraces the conviviality of what fresh light and hope can bring. 

IMPORTANT TO NOTE

This is not what you call an evergreen article. This is a here and now message, these scents are only available for a limited time from April 2019. 

Carl, tell us about Jo Malone London Blossoms

Dressed in a rainbow of ombré designs, the line-up is comprised of longed-for Star Magnolia and Silk Blossom, long-loved Orange Blossom and the radiant new Frangipani Flower.

You might remember I've written about layering scents before on the blog. In case you need reminding, Jo Malone London fragrances can be worn alone or layered with another to create a unique combination.

When it comes to the Jo Malone London Blossoms collection here are two pairings that are truly mesmerising. 

THE PAIRINGS

Frangipani Flower Cologne with Orange Blossom Hair Mist

A warm oral scent, radiant with frangipani as shimmering orange blossom flows through your hair.

Silk Blossom Cologne with Star Magnolia Hair Mist

An uplifting oral scent with vibrant silk blossoms softened by the gleam of star magnolia in your hair.

The Jo Malone London Blossoms collection includes:

  • Frangipani Flower Cologne 30ml and 100ml – £49 and £98  

  • Silk Blossom Cologne 30ml and 100ml – £49 and £98 

  • Silk Blossom Home Candle 200g – £49 

  • Star Magnolia Cologne 30ml and 100ml – £49  and £98 

  • Star Magnolia Hair Mist 50ml – £44 

  • Orange Blossom Cologne 100ml – £98 

  • Orange Blossom Hair Mist 50ml – £44 

  • Orange Blossom Diffuser 165ml – £65 

Join the Club 

Just as a caveat to this blog, I'm thinking of hosting a fragrance night round mine when I get back from traveling.

I'll set up the camera and people do one minute vids on what they think their favourite fragrance is and why, then I'll upload it to my YouTube channel

I'll get the BBQ going, stick on Goodfellas, get the poker chips out, you know make it less like a scene from Sex and the City. What do you think? DM me on Instagram or in the comment box below if you think this is a decent idea. 

Ready for the Riverbanks: Jo Malone London Wild Flowers & Weeds Limited Edition Collection

Is it that time to talk about Jo Malone London already? You bet it is! My regular monthly Jo Malone London news drop focuses on the new Wild Flowers & Weeds Limited Edition Collection set for launch on 1st March. 

It's getting lighter in the mornings. Walks on the common are becoming more enjoyable again. March brings hope with the advent of warmer afternoons. Although as Red would say in Shawshank Redemption 'hope is a dangerous thing my friend'. We all remember the beast from the east that savaged our London high streets this time last year.

Still, smoke 'em while you got 'em. Meaning, let's make hey while the sun is shining!

As a Jo Malone London ambassador I'm fortunate enough to get samples of the new releases and this month I want to talk to you about the limited edition collection of Jo Malone London Wild Flowers & Weeds

Immediately my mind turns to my childhood, entire afternoons spent plucking weeds from my folks lawn. Manicuring the crevices of the crazy paving on the first dawn of Spring. My Dad giving me 50p at the end and a rewarding sip of his Bacardi. Blew my head off.

Nowadays Wildflowers and Weeds invoke a different sensibility. I think of the charmed walks along the riverbanks of Hackney Marsh. First date: river walks. Second date: river walks plus pub lunch, on the 3rd date the dogs meet. No 4th date, was it something Charlie said? Ah nostalgia. 

What better way to serenade those new riverbank walks, carve out some new memories, than with the new Jo Malone London Wild Flowers & Weeds Collection.

Five limited edition scents, inspired by the unruly weeds and wildly-wonderful plants and flowers that line its banks.

If you caught my last Jo Malone article on how to layer your scents, you'll appreciate that these Jo Malone London fragrances are designed for experimentation. They smell fantastic on their own, but the real fun comes in the dalliance of combining the colognes.

I won't be able to describe the fragrances any better than the press release so below you have the full information on all the Jo Malone London Wild Flowers & Weeds Collection.

Nettle & Wild Achillea: The tangy sting of nettle, peeking through pavement cracks and entwined with wild, white achillea flower. Sparkling with bright bergamot, the greenness softened by a soft base of white musk.

Willow & Amber: The expressive weeping willow, gently draping across the fresh morning water. Captured in the woody pairing of cashmere wood and smoky vetiver, enhanced by softly sensual amber.

Cade & Cedarwood: The smouldering embers of a wood-burning stove at nightfall. Basking in the warm and comforting glow of cade – its smoky scent mingled with cedarwood and complemented by a mouth-watering hint of sensual vanilla.

Hemlock & Bergamot:  Hemlock’s powdery petals, brightened with bergamot. A deadly, yet unexpectedly delicate flower. Illuminated with golden mimosa and a floral flourish of heliotrope. Crisp and modern with a bite of cucumber.

Lupin & Patchouli: Reminiscent of canal banks, awash with colour. A rainbow of lupin flowers, enriched by luxurious rose and deepened with rebellious patchouli. A surprising contrast with the fresh vibrancy of mandarin.

Launching nationwide 1st March 2019  

RRP – £49 for each decorative 30ml Cologne

Artisan Perfumes: Layer Your Scent With Jo Malone London

Today I want to talk about the new fragrances I've just received from Jo Malone London; English Pear & Freesia with 154 and Lime Basil & Mandarin with Pomegranate Noir.

These products stand alone as some of the best smelling perfumes I've ever tried, but I'm getting a great kick out of combining these beautiful, artisan fragrances. 

Each fragrance is designed to be worn alone or layered with another. It's a very unique experience, to have the opportunity to wear a fragrance that can help you express your identity. 

It can almost transform your mood and because the silage is so good with the Jo Malone London scents, you can carry this feeling of luxury and comfort around with you all day. 

The reason why I've chosen the English Pear & Freesia with 154 and Lime Basil & Mandarin with Pomegranate Noir, is because I wanted to experiment and tailor a scent that would help me remain centred and focused on my goals. 

I know, it sounds incredibly zen and 'new man' but I'm going through some changes. I think we all reach a stage in life when we look to shed a skin and try new things and I'm looking for a scent that will be my signature scent and keep me grounded during this self-evolution. 

I've combined the fragrances and found the complexity really evocative. I get the strong opening of citrus and a woody follow through with the English Pear.

It's also really fun to spend a moment trying to discern the different notes. I get to spend a minute masquerading as a master perfumer, pacing around my bathroom trying to decipher the hidden notes. 

As a brand ambassador for Jo Malone London I'm also privy to some of the newsletters and press releases surrounding the products. Here is some tips and hints from the Jo Malone London press office on how you can combine your fragrances. 

Three Ways To Try Fragrance Combining™

For a juicy, golden fragrance, luscious with fruits and fresh with delicate flowers.

1. Holding the cologne approximately 10cm from your body, spritz English Pear & Freesia Cologne two or three times over your neck, shoulders and arms.

2. Press down with your hand to settle the fragrance.

3. Repeat the above steps with Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne, layering it over the first cologne.

For a fruity fragrance, vibrant with zesty freshness, delicious with juicy depth.

1. Warm a generous amount of Lime Basil & Mandarin Body Crème between the palms of your hands.

2. Massage over your skin using large circular movements until the body crème is absorbed fully.

3. Holding the cologne approximately 10cm from your body, spritz Blackberry & Bay Cologne two or three times over your neck, shoulders and arms, or wherever you have applied the body crème. Press down with your hand to settle the fragrance.

For a dewy floral fragrance, fresh and luminous with romance.

1. To help your scent last longer, begin with a fragrant shower. Massage a generous amount of Red Roses Body & Hand Wash over your skin. Towel dry.

2. Warm a small amount of Wild Bluebell Body & Hand Lotion between the palms of your hands.

3. Smooth over your skin using large circular movements.

 

 

 

Jo Malone London Release the Bronze Wood & Leather Cologne Intense

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DRUM ROLL! Time for some Jo Malone London news. (One unfurls large reading scroll and positions himself on a balcony 20ft above the hordes of baying Jo Malone London fans). As a proud global ambassador of Jo Malone London I'm extremely blessed with the opportunity to trial at their news trials and fragrances. 

This month we have two new releases to get stuck into. Jo Malone London have not only launched a brand new intriguing fragrance to their Cologne Intense family, entitled Bronze Wood & Leather Cologne Intense, they will also be extending their highly sought after Myrrh & Tonka Collection to include a Home Candle and Body Crème.

It arrives carefully presented  sleek black packaging. As a former student of the Jo Malone gift wrapping class of 2018, I can tell you it's an under-sung, lost art that goes on behind the scenes. 

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Bronze Wood & Leather Cologne Intense fragrance

If you're like me and love leather as a note in your fragrances, then you'll LOVE this new blend, rich with precious ingredients. Perfect for the winter months; smoky and warm, enlivened with vibrant juniper and fresh grapefruit and finished with a mysterious twist of vetiver.

It's opulent, it's luxury, it's empowering. The perfect tonic for an evening date. I'm awash with a lot of casual and semi-casual fragrances currently so I'm relieved to have a scent that slots perfectly into evening wear. 

100ml Cologne RRP £120 50ml £75. 

Jo Malone London is available in 61 countries worldwide and will also be extending their Myrrh & Tonka offering to include the decadent new Home Candle (£56) and luxurious Body Crème (£62).

A top tip from Jo Malone London

You can layer your scents much like you can layer your winter wardrobe. Jo Malone London recommends that you moisturise with the new Myrrh & Tonka Body Crème. For the cherry on top add a spritz of Bronze Wood & Leather Cologne Intense for an oriental, woody scent, enriched with deep, resinous myrrh and warmed with cashmere wood.

What's your favourite Jo Malone London scent? I'd love to know which scent resonates with you and how you layer yours. Feel free to drop me a comment or a DM on my Instagram if you have any questions regarding the Jo Malone London scents. 

 

Just in Time for Christmas | The Jo Malone London Orange Bitters Collection

I'm always excited to announce the latest from the Jo Malone London news desk and this week, (for the first time ever) they have extended their Orange Bitters Collection to include a Home Candle as well as the Cologne for Christmas. 

The warmest of winter cocktails. Take a dash of sweet orange and a burst of ripe mandarin. Finish with a splash of bitter orange to reveal rich prune and a base of sensual sandalwood and amber. All dressed up for Christmas.

The Orange Bitters cologne is available in 100ml and 30ml at £96 and £48 respectively, whilst the Orange Bitters Home Candle can be found at a scoop for £47.

The cologne bottle is a slightly skewed-square, trapezoid shape. Clear, with a long rounded chamber in the middle that houses the orange liquid. It's capped with a beautiful ornate gold screw dome shaped lid. 

What makes Jo Malone London such a cool gift for Christmas? 

I'm going all out this year, making everything as personal as possible. I've personalised gifts with video messages, handwritten cards and now I can utilise the Jo Malone London engraving and monogramming service to customise my Jo Malone London scent.

It's the little details that shows someone you care and that's what I love about this brand. They truly know the art of gifting. You can choose from two elegant fonts, then engrave your Cologne, Candle or Bath Oil with a personal message, a special date or monogram it with initials. 

As an official Jo Malone London ambassador I've always got the inside track, but of course you can always find more information through the Jo Malone London official website

Available in all boutiques nationwide and jomalone.co.uk 

For stockist information, please visit jomalone.co.uk or telephone +44 (0) 800 054 2411

Jo Malone London | My Top 5 Fragrances

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I struggle to find a better phrase that encapsulates the spirit of Jo Malone scents than the description on their website "Think of Jo Malone London as the Savile Row of scent: finding a precise ‘fit’, a scented statement perfectly suited and tailored to your taste." 

This Savile Row connection is a poignant one fresh on the back of their collaboration with Huntsman, tailor to the Kingsman movie franchise. 

I flirted with each in the previous post. However, now I've had time to ponder, ruminate; pace around the flat externalising obnoxiously in a grandiloquent manner to absolutely no one, (my new favourite past time) I've adjusted my conclusions which I will share for you here. 


Amber & Patchouli

For lavish evenings, entombed with the presence of amber. A scintillating pairing, blended measurably with deep, characterful patchouli. The darkest of all the Jo Malone London offerings. What Jo Malone does better than Tom Ford, and Killian, is manage to be linear, whilst taking you on a labyrinthine journey of mysterious spices. It achieves that by introducing elements of Oriental exoticism. It's velvety, it's profound, it lasts a day longer on the fabric but sadly the silage lets it down for me. The only reason why it's in at number 5. 

Where can I wear it? 

I'm going to save this one for the 3rd date scent. Just when she thinks she’s got you all figured out. 


Orange Bitters

A hearty scent perfect for Winter. It hasn't quite the hubris of the English Oak which I'll come to later, but certainly comes packed with an insouciant bravado. That's achieved by the 'off the leash' citrus opening that develops seamlessly into a woody (Sandalwood) dry down. It's got the linger of dried plums, it's evocative, it's elegant, maybe a little understated but conversely, unvanquishable in its delivery.  

Where can I wear it? 

I'm going to save this for the afternoon press days. There will be a whole bunch of these coming up to Christmas and it's a playful scent, hopefully will make me very approachable. 

 

Myrrh & Tonka

This Jo Malone London Myrrh & Tonka someone once described to me as 'Christmas in a bottle'. It has everything you associate with Christmas, even the name! It's the best projecting of all the Jo Malone scents. You'll be instantly put at ease with the opening of lavender. Then the rush of Myrrh brings some chop to the waters before the whole balance is evened out with the Almond and Tonka bean base notes. 

It's disarming with the lavender, because you expect it to be something it's not. Have you ever watched a film at the cinema, but found the trailer has mis-sold the film entirely? This Jo Malone London Myrrh & Tonka scent is the facsimile to a film that reveals itself in a much better light than the trailer would have you expect. 

Where would I wear it? 

Yes it's cliche, but the works Christmas party is a must. It encapsulates the elegance of Jo Malone and will be the last scent standing at the party thanks to it's marathon-esque silage. 

 

English Oak & Hazelnut

I mentioned the hubris of the Jo Malone English Oak & Hazelnut before and that's because it's unapologetically imperialistic. Another friend once cited this as arriving like a Tyson left hook. I corrected him instantly by saying that Tyson is a natural left hander, but he by and large a self confessed-righty. If you see all pictures of Mike Tyson he holds microphones with his right hand and signs autographs with his left hand. It just so happens he knocked out most opponents with his left hand because he threw that first.  

I digress, but the point I'm getting to is that the Jo Malone English Oak & Hazelnut is neither a Tyson right or left hand, but a Tyson uppercut. It's woody essence is so earthy, it projects like something has sprouted underneath you. A delicious sucker-punch devoid of all things saccharin, undeniably masculine. 

Where would I wear it? 

First date. Always come with the goods on a first date. Nowadays we're not allowed the luxury of delayed gratification in the dating sphere. Bring out the big guns and go in blazing. 


Wood Sage & Sea Salt

In at number one with a bullet. Yes the Wood Sage & Sea Salt is the tour de force oeuvre of perfumer Christine Nagel, who modestly quotes this as 'a little different'. It has that remarkable skill of evoking both the ethereal elements of a free spirit and the grounded elements of nature. It has the most star wattage of all the scents because of it's complexity. It's lustre. 

You can imagine this being modelled by Chris Hemsworth sanding down his boat on the lip of an molested stretch of beach. The wind gorging his hair, the sand weaving its way through his stubble. 

It's optimistic, it's sophisticated, it's not the most distinguished (Orange Bitters holds that mantle) but it's the most endearing. 

Where would I wear it? 

As Apollo Creed said repeatedly to Rocky Balboa, 'hey man, anywhere any time'. 


 

 

Back to School with Jo Malone London

One of the most frequent questions I get asked as a blogger is 'what is the best event you've been to?' Alongside with 'how do I make money blogging?' and 'Carl can I have your hand-me-downs? You're not going to wear that £700 Karl Lagerfeld Jacket are you?' 

The recent Jo Malone London School is right up there with the best event I've been to this year. As for the rest of the questions, 

  1. Will tell all in my new book called 'Don't set your emails to Out of Office, it's God Damn annoying'. 

  2. I will be wearing this jacket into the ground so get lost. 


Let me tell you about Jo Malone London School 

It was an incredible 2 day event that I cordially invited to and was honoured to be their only London Male Ambassador. The spirit of the campaign was themed around the education of Jo Malone the brand and their products in what was described in the press release as 'A Thoroughly British School Trip'. 

A private car escorted me to the Rosewood Hotel where we enjoyed a welcome breakfast in the Scarfe's Bar. A resplendent bar adorned of course with Jo Malone scented candles. The roof aligned with two spherical-caged chandeliers, a library at one end punctuating an elongated Ruffle’s-esque bar. 

I can't remember school being this much fun. The only thing my school could rhapsodise about was an extortionately priced vending machine, this event had the Zoltar Machine from the movie Big, a teddy picker with Jo Malone gifts and an Air Hockey table. 

The evening was capped with a Scented Supper at Kettner’s Townhouse. (Any excuse to whip out the Chester Barrie grey velvet jacket). 

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Between all the tom-foolery which featured traditional British Pub Quiz & Dinner at The Albion, we were sequestered to attend the Jo Malone London Townhouse. 

There we truly learnt how he fudge was packed. How to finish a candle, tie a bow to a box (much needed for my Christmas gifts) how to combine a fragrance. All very antiquated with old school settings such as the swivel-chalkboard. Singular flip-lid study desks. All those modern day communal work desks are for the birds. Give me these Dickensian props any day of the week.

At the end of class I was a cigarette paper distance away from standing on the desk and harking 'Oh captain my captain'. Alas, I showed restraint in fear my Dead Poets Society reference would be lost on my younger classmates.

I can't imagine how much work went into staging this event. The presentation and execution was some of the best I'd seen. I'm deeply honoured to be part of this Jo Malone experience and share tales of their journey with you. Stay tuned for future articles from me as I can tell you Jo Malone will be moving further into male orientated genres in the new year. 

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Jo Malone and Huntsman Collab | Makes Scents I Suppose

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This week I attended a dinner with some handsome souls to witness the release of the new fragrance collaboration between Jo Malone and Huntsman Savile Row. I'm a huge fan of each of these quintessentially British brands and it's great seeing these two juggernauts within their respected industries join forces. 

I've mentioned it countless times before, but I love it when the right people come together and make things happen. One of the biggest crimes of the last century is that Grace Jones and Dolph Lundgren never had any kids. Those two were specimens, in their peak the best athletes on the face of the earth had they borne a child, it would be flying around right now catching planes falling out the sky. 

I digress. 

The bottles are beautifully appointed, dressed for success in a distinctive bottle, decorated with Huntsman's gold typography and a matte burgundy cap.

The four refined fragrances are as follows. 

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AMBER & PATCHOULI COLOGNE

For lavish evenings, entombed with the presence of amber. A scintillating pairing, blended measurably with deep, characterful patchouli.

ASSAM & GRAPEFRUIT COLOGNE

The luring smokiness of guaiacwood. Like Mariella Frostrup's voice, late 90's. (I've not heard it for the past 20 years as she's not been on the telly as much. I can only imagine it's got smokier but I can't attest to that). It's lively, full bodied and seductive. (The scent, not Mariella Frostrup. Although I bet Mariella is also those things, but having never met the lady, I can't attest to that either). 

BIRCH & BLACK PEPPER COLOGNE

The initial notes will project a citrus burst of grapefruit. As it settles, the  black tea note of Assam simmer through seamlessly, unfolding like the last ten minutes of an Agatha Christie Murder Mystery. 

It has a herbal, forest-floor vibe and would is on the crest of being intrusive, yet shows restraint just at the last. 

WHISKY & CEDARWOOD COLOGNE

Anything with Cedarwood gets my spider-senses tingling. Wait, no wrong way round. Anything with Whisky in I should say. (But spray responsibly).  Fused with the cool spiciness of black pepper and cardamom, juxtaposed with smoky birch and an accord of magnetic ink. 

 

The new collection is available at jomalone.co.uk, select Jo Malone London Boutiques and Huntsman, Savile Row from October 2018.

Photo Credit @archiebrooksbank

Creating the Perfect Working From Home Environment

Working From Home is great. Firstly you get to avoid the horrible commute into work everyday and for anyone living on the Northern Line between Clapham South and Clapham North will be as grateful as I am to be WFH. As much as I miss waiting for 6 trains to pass by every morning at 08:15 until there is finally space for me to board - only to be squished up against the tube door or even worse, some girls soaking wet hair slapping me in the face as the tube rumbles along it's tracks (true story, not pleasant). Secondly, you don't even have to shower, get changed or presentable if you really don't want to...whose there to judge, no-one! And don't get be started on all the procrastination and life admin that you can get done in-between work of course.

Saying that, there are some very major drawbacks for a freelancer working from home. The first would have to be the loneliness. I used to work in an 9-6 office environment which was very fast paced and social so working from home is a major difference to this. In an office environment you have everything you need such as stationary, stocked up magically for you to use for work (*and personal) reasons. Not only that, the coffee machine is free (if it isn't it should be) and the amount you save on this is ridiculous. It can also be quite annoying when the postmen knows that you are always home, so you end up being the receiver to all of your neighbours parcels. Finally when working in an office and you have no toilet roll at home - come on who's going to admit to sneaking a roll or two into their bag?!

It is so important to stay motivated, strict and busy when working from your home because it is very easy to slip into doing household chores or even a lunchtime nap. I've found the best way to do this is to create the perfect working environment, which has to be functional, comfortable and have easy access to the coffee machine.

I've recently purchased a new desk, which is much bigger than my last one making it much easier to work as the small desk was so crammed I was forever getting stressed because it was so untidy. It is also very important to have good lighting. The photos above were taken last night which is why there is no natural light. However it is important to situate your working from home desk in a well, naturally lit room as well as having enough light via lamps in the evening when working long hours. Personally I have my desk setup in the front room, dining and kitchen open planned area, as my spare room is too small and doesn't get the best light during the day, plus it would just feel very dull and uninspiring to work in a bedroom. Of course you need a comfortable chair. I have a pair of chairs one for myself and one if Im having a meeting at home. Mine are more dining room table chairs as I wanted them to be easily tucked in tight to the desk to save space. For comfort I've got a couple of cushions that I use. 

Making your home office aesthetically pleasing is a major part of being more productive, I actually wrote a piece a while back about how plants can transform your wellbeing at home and bring your home to life. So decorate your home office with plants, posters, pictures of family - basically whatever makes you feel relaxed and inspired. I've opted for some inspirational posters which reminds me of holidays and therefore pushes me to work hard to be able to go on my next one. Of course it wouldn't be an office without a coffee machine and I have the ultimate, self cleaning, bean-to-cup automatic machine from KRUPS (reviewed here). 

Working from home or flexible working is a major trend in the UK and growing. Companies are realising that if managed correctly, they can actually get a better output, results and a longer-term relationship from their employees by offering flexible hours, working from home or both. Personally when working from home, my productivity is much higher and the hours of work are longer too and that is mainly down to creating the perfect working environment in the home.

 

SHOP MY WORKING FROM HOME INTERIOR

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.

TOP SUMMER FRAGRANCES FOR MEN

Everyone wants a signature scent that reminds someone of you every time they smell it, ideally as a positive connection rather than a negative one. To avoid, loved ones, friends & your girlfriend associating you with the smell of damp clothing mixed with an under tone of cheap cologne. Speaking of cheap cologne, it reminds me of Christmas time when one year my dear nan brought me bottles of 'Cold Water' and 'Juup'...bless. I'm pretty sure she brought them from Catford market or maybe Deptford...in any case, these aftershaves have been doing the rounds at Christmas and have somewhat become a bit of a joke present, I'm not even sure who has them currently but one year they are guaranteed to do a full circle and come back to me! Anyway, there was a point to that, basically, smell good and avoid smelling of Juup!

These days there are hundreds of fragrances to choose from and it's only going to get ever more saturated with more uni-sex scents entering the market. That actually brings me on to another story! I have a friend, who shall remain nameless...nah sod it, it's 'Reevie'. So Reevie used to be (sorry buddy) a little bit sartorially challenged (that means you used to dress like shit!) - I'm risking a backlash here because I know he has an old picture of me wearing a not so uber cool denim waistcoat, but it's worth it for the story. Even though I'm 'much' younger than him, he has always looked to me for advice. This one time, when we were heading out-out he brought his first double french cuff shirt to wear. So in comes Reevie to mine for some pre-drinks, hasn't a clue how to wear double-cuffs, didn't even own a pair of cuff-links. So of course I extended the cuffs (rather than fold them) so they hung about 3 inches longer than his finger tips, cuff-linked the cuffs together and out we went. Next time we went out he asked to borrow some aftershave, so obviously I gave him my girlfriend at the time's perfume (I'm pretty sure it was D&G Light Blue). So I guess you could say, Reevie was the pioneer of uni-sex fragrances? Or you could just say he's a bit of a div, either way - I love ya bro!!!

On to my favourite fragrances this Summer, of which I have tried to mix different scents and also ones that work well for day and some for night...so its a mixed bag but all have uniqueness and most importantly will make you smell great. So starting left to right from the image above:

 

JO MALONE - BLACK CEDARWOOD & JUNIPER

*available June 2016

Midnight rain. Seductive with the carnal touch of cumin and chilli leaves. Dark with cedarwood. Humid with moss. Modern and urban.

Fragrance Notes
Top Note: Cumin.
Heart Note: Juniper.
Base Note: Black Cedarwood.

 

CREED - AVENTUS

*available now

Launched with immediate acclaim in 2010 to celebrate Creed’s 250th anniversary, AVENTUS is the perfect fragrance for the man of action: bold, spirited and confident.

Fragrance Notes
Top Note: Apple, Blackcurrent, Pineapple & Bergamot.
Heart Note: Juniper Berries, Birch, Patchouli & Jasmine.
Base Note: Vanilla, Musk, Oakmoss & Ambergris. 

 

DAVIDOFF - HORIZON

*available now

Inspired by the strength of nature, DAVIDOFF Horizon captures the tension between earth and sky. A woody aromatic scent revealing a never ending refreshing blow, grounded in a powerful masculinity.

Fragrance Notes
Top Note: Ginger & Rosemary Essence. 
Heart Note: Virginia Cedarwood.
Base Note: Vetiver & Black Cocao Absolute.

 

MARC JACOBS - RAIN

*available May 2016

Back by popular demand, the Marc Jacobs Rain captures the scent of a cool, refreshing summer shower. This watery floral fragrance is lush and pure with notes of wet cut grass, tropical rain accord and musk. 

Fragrance Notes
Top Note: Wet Cut Grass, Sparkling Wild Strawberry, Clementine Zest & Dewy Cypress. 
Heart Note: Tropical Rain Accord, Passion Flower, Sunshine Flower & White Orchid.
Base Note: Beech Amber, Tree Moss, Musk & Teakwood.

 

TOM FORD - NOIR EXTREME

*available now

An amber-drenched, Woody Oriental fragrance, TOM FORD NOIR EXTREME opens with a rich blend of heat and glowing citrus. Charismatic brushstrokes of Mandarin oil and Neroli Oil North Africa ORPUR® provide sharp contrast to the vibrant, synergistic blend of saffron, cardamom and nutmeg. This fragrance is the perfect complement to the man who is accustomed to making an extraordinary impression.