Sauvage Parfum by Dior | Fragrance Review

Before I crack on with the Sauvage Parfum by Dior review, let me set the table with a quick history of the releases so far. Sauvage EDT (Eau de Toilette) was released in 2015. The EDP (Eau De Parfum) version was released in 2018 and we have the latest Sauvage Parfum.

I wish perfume companies would name their fragrances like Fred the Weather names his hurricanes. There is no doubt in my mind that Dorian is happening right now off the coast to the Bahamas. I haven't confused it with other category five hurricanes like Hurricane Carla, that hit Texas in the 60's. 

Spread the names out a little. 

We'll skip past the fact that the latest advert for Sauvage Parfum has been axed after it was accused to be racially insensitive to Native Americans. Which it's not by the way. 

I always like to start the reviews by giving you an idea of what to look out for, according to the press release. 

From the press release: 

For 2019 Dior presents Sauvage Parfum. Composed by Francois Demachy, Dior Perfumer-Creator, this enriched variation pushes the limits, amplifying the signature freshness and crafting new contours. 

Leading with a zesty whirlwind of bergamot and notes of pulpy mandarin, cardamom and Elemi, the addictive complex of Sauvage Parfum reveals entrancing notes of dry amber core, Virginia cedar and Sri-lankan sandalwood. 

Sauvage Parfum offers extreme freshness coloured with warm oriental-style hues and evocative oriental notes. Adding touches of colour, Sauvage Parfum is highly concentrated with an intoxicating scent, delivering new depths and a palette of contrasts. 

From what I've gathered by following various perfume forums and talking to my people at Dior, the signature bergamot that was used in the original Sauvage is now mixed with a juicier mandarin.

Which might explain why this updated version has a less scabrous dry-down than the EDP. Others have referred to that as the shower-gel tones. I don't think it was quite that bad. Although it does depend on the quality of shower gel you use. 

It's certainly more refined. It does sit closer to the skin and the background is overall very inviting. It wants you to come in and play around with the layers. Price wise it comes in around the same as the Beau de Chanel perfume. So it's towards the high end, which might be too rich for someone that's just after the Parfum as a flanker to the EDT and the EDP. 

But for DIOR nuts, I'd say there's plenty of reason to invest in this. It's a more broodier scent. Darker, smoother, perfect for the upcoming winter months. 

TOM FORD introduces BEAU DE JOUR: the new fragrance for men & women from TOM FORD BEAUTY

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Whilst it's remaining all quiet on the James Bond front, (no mention of whether Tom Ford will be back to do the wardrobe for Bond 25) we at least have a new private blend to look forward to.

The BEAU DE JOUR bottle is in keeping with the other Tom Ford private blends, inspired by classic apothecary containers and crafted with satisfying bold lines and weight.

The opening will be an incontestable fervent entrance of Lavender. Fresh, evocative. The spicy cardamom and saffron initiate the journey at the opening, as floral desert tones reverberate in a constant shift with an enigmatic sweetness of jasmine sambac.

It's been described as maverick by some e-tailors. Which is a near truth. The blend has a very esoteric appeal, an unidentifiable yet palpable undercurrent of danger. Yet there's a classic sensuality to it.

Which kind of silver screen hard man would wear this? Sure James Bond, the maverick. The chancer. But it's less black tie then Bond, it has a tangible thuggery to it. I imagine Edward Woodward's Equaliser would wear this before leaving the house. (Deep pull Carl, I know).

Patchouli and Amber create an earthy foundation of radiant wood and sensual musky warmth, further elevating Beau de Jour’s refreshing notion of masculinity through the finish.

Classed as unisex, which is not unremarkable as it has a very soft, velvet-like dry down. However, I'm more than happy to class this as a masculine scent. The fougere notes, the patchouli and the oakmoss shifts this blend into my wheelhouse. 

Tom Ford continues to create effortless and unique blends that keeps him firmly on top of the heap. Nobody does it better, (touché Carl) nobody daren't.

@TOMFORDBEAUTY  #TFBEAUDEJOUR

RRP:

50ML – £162.00

100ML- £238.00

 

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'. 


 

 

My Top 5 'Killer' Kilian Fragrances

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Everyone is an artist these days. You take a birds eye picture of your dinner, put it through a clever filter, come up with a creative hashtag, it's now art right? Well if you believe that you can get the hell out of my office. 

True artists, create something from nothing. Brands like Kilian aren't content on hodge-podging a bunch of exotic fragrances for our consumption and calling it a life. They carefully curate each liquid with fastidious diligence. All presented in a box that looks like it had just been excavated from a pharaohs temple. 

You may have guessed already that I'm sentimental towards Kilian fragrances. It's been another tough one for me to discern a list of favourites. But I've had a go. 


My Top 5 Kilian Fragrances 

Gold Knight 

By the way each of these names sounds like unused Star Wars titles. In at number 5, is Gold Knight. Kilian Hennessy really delivers a potent Autumn/Winter fragrance. The intrepid dark sensuousness of patchouli fused with the ebullient bergamot and anise, caressed and cosseted with the warm golden shimmer of vanilla and honey will put your partners senses in a headlock around Winter Wonderland this year. 


Dark Lord

Unbelievably this is the exact name I gave my ... wait no, can't say that on here. The best word in the English language is titillation obviously, but the second best is Gunmetal. Here the Dark Lord bottle has an Achilles' Heel embossed onto the flacon with extra Gunmetal details. 

And if you've ever wondered what the nuanced dry-down of jasmine drenched in Rum smells like, then this is the scent for you. 


Noir Aphrodisiaque

Sounds like a German graffiti artist that everybody has magically heard of but you. 

This is the sort of fragrance you put on and feel instantly weaponised. It has strident notes of dark chocolate yet is also sweet and spicy. It sits close to the skin so is perfect for those close encounters. It's found its rightful place on the podium. 


Black Phantom 

Ooof just missed top billing. Black Phantom has a lot in common with Noir Aphrodisiaque in that Samuel Jackson is mooted to play both roles in the upcoming Avengers movie. Of course I jest. 

Black Phantom, is created from the same palette of warm spices and sweetness from sugar cane, this fragrance also touches notes such as rum and coffee.


Straight to Heaven 

Oh baby, in with a bullet, Straight to Heaven. It has more wood than a Ron Jeremy boxset. But it's also got that mystery vibe to it. A complexity that I admire. Delicate tickles of dried fruits, nutmeg and amber. It's my go-to black tie fragrance and I can tell you, it does what it says on the tin. Truly a work of art.


SHOP MY TOP 5 KILIAN FRAGRANCES

 

My Tom Ford Top 5 Fragrances | Including the New Ombré Leather

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I must get a 1000 emails a day asking what my favourite Tom Ford fragrance is. Not really, but it's the reason the terrorists hate us. We get to spend ten minutes every morning deliberating on whether we want to smell of Tuscan or Ombre leather. What a life right? Seriously it's really been the agony of choice putting this list together, but here it is:

5. Tobacco Vanille 

I refer to this scent as the Dalton of the Blu-Ray box set. (Stay with me). It's animalistic yet sophisticated, refined yet rugged. I enjoy when I'm wearing it, however it's never my go-to. But that's only because the others are so damn good. 

4.  Noir de Noir

The spice elements in Noir de Noir make this the perfect Black Tie after shave. I like to put this on my wrists before heading out to award shows, or upmarket press dinners. It stays close to the skin so having it on the wrists is better for projection. What's more the silage is so good that I know I'll still be smelling good right through the after parties. 

 

3. Plum Japonais

Yes Japanese plum and cinnamon. Amazing fragrance that is possibly the best Autumn/Winter fragrance you can own. It's dark, has an element of mystery and exudes masculinity with a woody (oud) dry-down. Imagine yourself cuddling up to the missus in Winter Wonderland, wishing it wasn't £10 for a glass of mulled wine. 

 

2. Tuscan Leather 

You know how you can't have Rocky 4 as your favourite Rocky but secretly it's your favourite. This Tuscan Leather fits right into that slot. A guilty pleasure to be enjoyed socially, amongst the spoils of the unapologetic elite. Yes, I'm talking about Private Members clubs. Trinity Square, Home House, concierges, cigars in front of the fireplace. I'm talking about that private jet you hired just so you can smoke that Romeo & Juliette in 1st class. (Ok I've taken it too far, but you get my point rich white-y). 

 

1. Ombre Leather

1. Yes Top of the list, A number One, top of the heap. The Tom Ford Ombre Leather. We all like new shiny things don't we. But this 2018 release is the best in the range. It has all the woody-fruitiness of its predecessors but a better balance. The scent is very linear, meaning there's zero fuss, unambiguous. Plus it has the coolest name, and I can't help saying it to myself when I pick it up of the shelf. 

SHOP MY TOP 5 TOM FORD FRAGRANCES

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

Abercrombie & Fitch Launch First Instinct Blue

Abercrombie & Fitch have launched a new fragrance (or juice as they are referring to it in the press release) entitled First Instinct Blue. My first impression of First Instinct Blue is how innovative the bottle design is. I use the word innovative knowing full well how hackneyed the expression is. But these are first impressions, not a studied nor deliberated perspective. 

The packaging is a new imagining of the original design from Fabrice Legros, this quote from the press release "based on a rectangular structure [...] and inspired by that magical moment when you get butterflies in your stomach."

Its silhouette has the square, bold aesthetic and is underlined by an ethereal rippling surface as you look through the bottle. I like it. It speaks to me. It tells me this is for a man that exudes confidence, masculinity, yet there's a more complex, mysterious underbelly once you scrape beneath the surface. 

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What about the name? 

The name does little for me. Every Instinct, is a first instinct is it not? Isn't it somewhat tautological to call something First Instinct? I guess Basic Instinct was taken. 

 

What about the "juice"? 

Don't look at me pal, I'm only going with the language from the press release. First Instinct Blue carries notes of cardamom, rosemary, frozen apple, lavender, pepper and tonic beans. 

 

What is Cardamom? 

Cardamom is derived from the ginger family, used in the culinary world to enhance savoury and sweet dishes. The Swedes are huge proponents of Cardamom, apparently it's the spice best suited for Autumnal and Winter dishes so perfect timing. 

 

What do I think? 

It's got a great energy to it. I was enlivened and I got in engaged with the scent very early on. It had that aromatic mystery, a charm and it projected well. The dry down was enjoyable, offering a more herbal, sensual delivery with the peppers and the frozen apple. 

For my money it was spicier and herbal, than woody and earthy. More forest floor than forest oak, so I'm not sure it echoed cries of masculinity for me. Perhaps it could have done with bringing the sandalwood to the front of the mix. 

However, I enjoyed wearing this. The price point is fine; the bottle looks great. It's got an everyday appeal to it and actually works perfect as an autumnal scent. 

 

Robert Graham Fragrance Review | Valour Courage Fortitude

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For the uninitiated Robert Graham is a luxury men’s fashion brand, famed for its contrasting cuffs and collars and exotic bold prints and fabrics. The shirts come at a premium price but certainly worth checking out, they say it's as close as you can get to wearing art. I'm going to be talking about the three fragrances, Valour, Courage and Fortitude, designed to reflect the essence of the brand.

 

The inspiration behind the fragrances

Robert Stock. Founder of Robert Graham, was inspired by the rare craftsmanship of blended spirits for his baptism of fire into the world of men's fragrance.

"Like a great liqueur single malt Scotch or small-batch Bourbon, I saw these fragrances blended from a little bit of this, and of little bit of that," said Robert Stock. "We started with a feeling, where each blended essence had to have its own personality."

 

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The Robert Graham Bottle

It reminds me of something you' expect to house an exotic bottle of Peach Schnapps. Perhaps only served at The Beaufort Bar at the Savoy or The Connaught.  It's angular, housed in a faceted decanter and finished with a foulard print. In the 250ml range they become more ornate in the cap decorations. 

 

What are the fragrances? 

Let's start with Courage. First off all the names sound like names that were on the whiteboard when it came to naming the next fleet of Autobots. And I don't mind. I mind First Instinct, that's not a good name. 

Courage by Robert Graham opens with a citrus-y vibe. It has the bergamot going on but that's at the back somewhere. You hit the spicy vodka, but it's not direct. It's tangled in a delectable web of aromatic woods and herbs. It's the lighter of the 3, though not casual enough for every day. I'd wear this if I wanted to make a good impression at a smart/casual event. If I was into Ballet this would be my night at the ballet scent. 

Valour - This is my favourite of the 3 as it has a better projection. I noticed the silage was an hour or two longer. Maybe 6-7 hours I carried it round. Moving into the colder months this warm-wooded Oriental fragrance will be better suited for the Autumnal months. 

It opens with a nice spicy hit. There's sage, there's amber. It has a very smooth-creamy feel to it; makes me want to buy a box set of The Man from Uncle and watch them back to back in a Velvet nightgown. This is one that I'd wear to the Gentleman's Club. 

Fortitude - Lastly Fortitude, another Oriental fragrance that is peppered with tobacco sweet balsamic vinegar and Patchouli

 

What is Patchouli? 

Ok so I like to do a little teaching on here. I don't know the qualities of every herb and spice, I'm assuming no one does so here's a quick fact: it's a species of herb from the mint family and performs slightly different to other oils in that it matures better with age. 

The ancient Egyptians couldn't get enough of the stuff and treasured as highly as gold back in the day. 

 

My thoughts on Robert Graham Fragrances? 

I thought the show pony was Valour. It really spoke of luxury in a non-complex way. Courage and Fortitude would be good squad additions to your cologne bench, however, I wouldn't justify having all three for the price point. 

Valour and Fortitude both have that Oriental vibe so for variety, I'd pick Courage and Valour. Autobots Transform! To Cybertron! Sorry, couldn't resist.