NEW Acqua Di Parma, Colonia Pura at Debenhams | Fragrance Review

I've smelt a lot of fragrances recently and getting straight to the point, this new luxury launch from Acqua Di Parma is absolutely unique, fresh and contemporary. Why do we always want to smell incredible and different from the person next to us? For me it's because I want the person I'm with to associate that particular scent with me, in a kind of memory bank of matching people with smells. We all do it, when I pass a girl in the street and she smells great, I always think back to a person or time which reminds me of that scent. There are so many choices out there these days and some new launches can be quite similar to previous collections, but this new Colonia Pura scent is unique to anything ever formulated in perfume labs. A incomparable scent guaranteed to turns heads.

In the head, there are spicy notes of coriander which are combined with the classic citrus notes of cologne. In the heart, sambac jasmine and petit-grain meet the green facets of narcissus absolute, revealing a vibrant sensuality. In the base, hints of musk and patchouli sealed by light woody notes of cedarwood characterise the depth of the composition. For the modern and self-aware man who combines authenticity with effortless elegance.

There is a real sense of personality to this new fragrance, a scent that truly tells a story. Centred around an Italian emotional identity, freshness and citrus come across strongly in Colonia Pura. The bottle is iconic and the new bright packaging embodies the fragrance entirely. 

A contemporary and refined olfactory interpretation of the Italian cologne. Acqua Di Parma, Colonia Pura is available at Debenhams and is an inherent fresh fragrance, delicate yet bold, which embodies the most modern side of any mans lifestyle.

Exquisite, Collectable Fragrances by Kilian | Perfume as an Art

Kilian fragrances are without a doubt the most collectable fragrances around, not only for their incredible, unique scents but for their art. Each fragrance comes in a uniquely designed, reusable high quality box, oh no we are not talking cardboard, we are talking a box that has been designed to last, designed for other purposes in mind such as a jewellery box, watch box or even a box to keep all of you business cards in. The newest edition to the Kilian family doesn't disappoint in both in the smell or in the art, in fact I think it is my favourite box and fragrance yet.

As Kilian Hennessy celebrates ten years of redefining the art of modern perfumery, he invites us into a new Golden Age. The new fragrance Gold Knight (above) contrasts the addictive dark sensuousness of patchouli with the effervescent brightness of bergamot and anise, and warm golden shimmer of vanilla and honey.

Gold Knight is like liquid gold melting over a dark sensual armour.
— Pascal Gaurin (Perfumer)
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Moving on to the two Kilian fragrances that have been in my collection for some time, Noir Aphrodisiaque and Black Phantom, both incredible and unique. If you love indulgence and treating yourself, Noir Aphrodisiaque is for you, with a main powerful note of dark chocolate yet is also sweet and spicy. If you love Noir Aphrodisiaque then you have to try Black Phantom, with similar notes such as the warm spices and sweetness from sugar cane, this fragrance also touches notes such as rum and coffee.

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Top 5 Celebrity Mens Fragrances

Why do celebrities launch fragrances? 
How much do they earn? 
What are my top five male celebrity fragrances? 

Celebrities can earn an obscene amount of money cashing in on their name and status. Reports suggest roughly 1/5 of the fragrance industry can be accredited to celebrity fragrances. Elizabeth Taylor wasn’t the first actress to release a ‘celebrity’ fragrance back in 1991, but she made more money from her fragrance 'White Diamond' (grossing more than $1million dollars and counting) than all of her films combined. Depending on the size of the celebrities’ cache they can earn on average earn 5-10% of sales for licensing their name including an initial bunce of £3 million.

Here are my top five celebrity menswear fragrances.

1. Vetiver & Cedarwood - by Dermot O'Leary

Dermot has released two fragrances this summer, in a collaboration with master scent creators and Marks & Spencer’s. Why has Dermot released a fragrance? It's a lateral move and a bit of a no-brainer as his skincare range with M&S was a huge commercial success. He's been a member of the British Fashion Council for years and regularly features in GQ's listicles for stylish men of the year.

The difference between the two scents? Bergamot & Basil is fresh and aromatic whereas the Vetiver & Cedarwood is a contrasting warm, silky and spicy blend to suit your mood and style. Day/Night.

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.

They are beautifully styled with minimalistic packaging and bottles which will look fantastic on your grooming shelf at home. All for £22, outstanding effort Dermot.

2. Intimately Beckham Men by - David Beckham

How can we leave out ol’ Golden Balls? Intimately Beckham Men is modern, spicy with some warm notes of cedar, sandalwood and resins. It has a nice mix of florals and the finish is fresh, exotic and dignified. Some good longevity, (or Sillage as they say in the trade) approx. 5-6 hours. The only downside is that it’s a little middle of the road. Got the feeling he played it safe on this one to widen the appeal.

3. Blue Seduction - Antonio Banderas

It’s a nice sporty-fresh fragrance for men and is well suited as an everyday fragrance. You’ll get an instant miasma of melon and mint followed by faint wood notes. It’s not a going out fragrance, more fresh out of the gym or walk around the park fragrance. The best thing is the price £17! Worst thing, does smells a bit like melon bubblegum.

4. Unforgivable - Sean John

It’s fruitier than a bathtub of skittles. Very citrus-y, some may find it a little overloaded on the fruit notes, but I don’t mind that. It's fresh but also a bit dark, it has a bit of mystery to it. Good for casual wear and second opinions tell me it appeals to a younger age range. One negative; doesn’t give you a lot of sillage, expect to top up after 2 hours. 

5. 007 Bond Perfume

Well not really a celebrity but what the heck. Let’s start with the positives, (perhaps the only one) the bottle is fantastic with its cross hatching reminiscent of a Walther PPK. It does have staying power, much like the Bond franchise. If you think that the first Bond Dr No was released 55 years ago. Sadly, it's a bit of a missed opportunity, it's got apple, it's generic, it’s not nearly masculine enough to be worthy of the Bond stamp. Could have done with some leather notes, maybe gunpowder, you get my point.

But Bond never wore aftershave himself if you read your Fleming. 

 

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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.

Penhaligon’s Fragrance Profiling | Finding Your Signature Scent

Scent is linked to memories, fact. I'm not sure exactly why or how it scientifically works but a quick google search will probably explain better than I ever could. But certainly in life, this is true, for example how many times of we thought, said or heard the words "that smell reminds me of you"? I'm not going to name names but this happened to me today as I walked past a woman at Piccadilly Circus, her smell immediately reminded me of someone very special to me. That is why smelling different to the masses is extremely important and you should always be looking out for that next incredible fragrance to wear. This could be in terms of a new release or even a historical fragrance that is worthy of a revival - the key is that the fragrance you choose should be personal to you.

It is for this reason that I went to Penhaligon's to experience their personal fragrance profiling at their Burlington Arcade store in the heart of London. I've been wearing the same few fragrances for a while now and although expensive they have become quite mainstream and I was after something a little more unique, that would turn heads, smell incredible and also stamp a new fragrance into memories, under my name.

Penhaligon's, in their words have been entertaining nostrils since 1870 and that is not a typo, it is a fact 1870. So it is fair to say that they know a thing or two about making incredible fragrance. Fragrance profiling is a service that they offer where you'll sit down with a fragrance expert and you can discuss what notes you tend to go for when choosing a scent. The fragrance expert will then have you smelling a variety of different Penhaligon's bottles that match the certain individual notes that you adore. If you're not sure about particular 'notes' that you like, don't worry as you can simply start by telling them that you like sweet, floral, spice, intense scents and you can just let the experts do their work. I can assure you at the end of the process you'll have a fragrance (or two) that smells incredible on your skin and is personalised to your lifestyle.

For myself, I tend to go for fragrances that have a strong note of spice yet with sweet touches such as vanilla or with alcohol tones such as rum. True to form, I didn't steer too far away from this when picking my perfect scent from Penhaligon's. After 15 minutes I had it down to 5...then 3...then my top 2, Endymion and LP No9. Finally deciding LP No9 For Men which was created in 1999 which proves that relatively old fragrance recipes can still be the one for you - newer isn't always better. 

Penhaligon's LP No9 for Men has the following notes: Mandarin, Bergamot, Rosewood, Jasmine, Orris, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Clove, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Patchouli, Musk, Amber.

However this doesn't mean that this fragrance is right for you. The only way to know that is to head over to a Penhaligon's store and ask for a fragrance profiling. Or they also offer the service online which you can complete here.

 

TAKE THE PENHALIGON'S FRAGRANCE PROFILING ONLINE NOW

What Aftershaves & Fragrances I Wear for Different Occasions

My Day Fragrances

My Day Fragrances

How you smell (if you don't stink like a dustbin) is one of the first, if not the first thing people comment on when they meet you - "Oh wow you smell great, what are you wearing" is a comment that many of us have received before. Since I've upped my game in the fragrance stakes, it is happening more and more often, so I wanted to share my aftershave fragrance picks with you - what I wear on different occasions.

First are my Day fragrances. Davidoff Horizon is one I have been wearing a lot recently, I find it quite light and not too over powering. Whereas if I want something that will pack a punch and last a little longer throughout the day, I tend to go for Roberto Cavalli Uomo.

My Gym Fragrance

My Gym Fragrance

I always like to have a bottle of aftershave on my gym bag and for this fragrance I like something punchy and sporty and feel Abercrombie First Instinct is perfect. With tones of gin 'n' tonic, kiwano melon, violet leaves and sechuan pepper it keeps you feeling fresh throughout the day.

My Bathroom Fragrances

My Bathroom Fragrances

Yes I have a couple of fragrances in my bathroom a bit like a freshen up man 'you got to freshen up, oh you got to freshen up' - you have to sing it by the way. I tend to put my more floral scents in the bathroom as I love how the scent fills the room when sprayed. 

I've often said that if my house could smell of one scent forever, it would be Basil & Neroli by Jo Malone...so if the fragrance is not for you - buy the candles, they will be.

My Unisex Fragrances

My Unisex Fragrances

I would consider these two as the perfect fragrance to bridge genders, so if you wanted to buy your girlfriend a selfish gift that you can use as well, these could be a shout!

L'envol by Cartier is my the newest addition to my collection and I'm looking forward to wearing this one a lot more in the future. This fragrance is completely unique with a sweet, honey musk smell to it, whilst being long lasting. The bottle in a bottle is easily refillable making the cost a touch better for you if you have brought the bottle already and are just purchasing refills. 

My Day to Night Fragrances

My Day to Night Fragrances

My day to night fragrances are for when I'm out all day then have evening plans and need a fragrance that is going to last throughout the day and still be just as potent after 8 hours of wearing. For me, I find these two aftershaves work best for that situation. Tom Ford Noir Extreme is an absolute classic and always turns heads. As another option, I also use Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo fragrance.

My Going out-out Fragrances

My Going out-out Fragrances

Finally and probably the most important of all aftershaves, is which ones to wear on a night out-out? Currently I'm wearing these 3 scents and often mix two of them. I find the spice elements of each for my 3 choices works perfectly well together. So I'll wear Creed Aventus around my neck, with Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille or Noir de Noir on my wrists.

 

SHOP THE FRAGRANCES

Thanks for reading. Carl x

First Instinct: Abercrombie & Fitch - A New Exciting Fragrance For Men

Yes I do have a clock tattoo with no clock-hands; of course, ever so obvious and uncreative the time is reserved for my first kids birth (which couldn't seem further away right now!). Move further south from my bad tattoos and you'll find First Instinct, the brand new men's fragrance from Abercrombie & Fitch. I mean you could question why I'm carrying it around whilst wandering the streets of Brixton, but lets brush that aside and focus on the product itself!

First Instinct has been inspired by that first moment of attraction, when two people's worlds collide and a spark is ignited. For those of you in the social media generation may find that concept a little out dated and cringe, so let me translate for you...it basically is inspired by that moment when you get Superliked on Tinder and to your surprise you have just matched with the girl or guy of your dreams.

First Instinct is the interpretation of that exciting first glance and the initial connection felt. That very moment can't be defined in words, nor can it be anticipated. It was launched on the 23rd May 2016, so you can get your hands on it right now. Try it out, does First Instinct live up to its name? Do what I did and explore the streets, giving yourself a fresh spray every time you see someone you like and see if you get that eye catching moment. 

All jokes aside, this fragrance is amazing fresh yet masculine I think that comes from the sweet top notes and musk base. 

TOP: Gin & Tonic combined with Kiwano Melon.
MID: Szechuan Pepper with Violet leaves with a citrus twist
BASE: Cashmere Woods, Sleek Amber, Sueded Musk

 

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Photography by Ella H

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.