Tom Ford Lavender Extreme Fragrance Review

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

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

OPENING

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's a very controlled scent. 

COMPLIMENTS 

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

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

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

Tom Ford Costa Azzurra Acqua | Fragrance Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Dressed Men at the Oscars in 2019: Was it the Tom Ford show?

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No host at the Oscars this year? Did you notice? Probably not because all eyes were on a man you've never heard of in a Dressedo. (I'll take credit for that one). 

Rifling through all the stories, gossip and red carpet rumours in the morning papers today I wanted to throw out my thoughts on what I've seen.

Firstly we have this hell-mary. The actor is the ostentatious Billy Porter and the dressedo is by Christian Siriano. Billy also rocked up to the Baftas wearing custom couture by Randi Rahm Studio.

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James Bond 

Daniel Craig looked match-ready as he presented the best supporting actor alongside Charlize Theron . Presumably in Tom Ford although no announcement or accreditations on the Tom Ford Twitter account. 

Midnight blue peak lapel tuxedo. Single button, jetted pockets, notice the gauntlet cuff with the black grosgrain trim. Other standouts are the large boutineaair and rather large butterfly bow tie. 

The shirt has black studs and his shoes are noticeably high-shine black leather patina with a deep heel. 

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Also representing Tom Ford 

Joe Alwyn and Bradley Cooper also wore Tom Ford. Bradley rocked the O'Connor suit, styled by celebrity stylist Natalia Bruschi. Joe's lapels were massive (with a tiny bit of puckering suggesting it needed to be worn in a tad). 

Still he looked fabulous, with a ready shaped large bow tie and cummerbund. 

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Michael B. Jordan looked in prime form in his velvet TOM FORD Shelton cocktail jacket, cocktail pants, evening shirt and bow tie. His shirt similar if not identical to Daniel Craig's. 

Lastly look how beautiful Jennifer Lopez looked in a mirror mosaic Tom Ford dress, partnering Alex Rodriguez in his white Tom Ford dinner jacket. 

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Chris Evans 

As you know I have a thing for Velvet currently, my Chester Barrie velvet jacket is often my go-to for award ceremonies. It seems so long ago that I wrote about Chester Barrie overtaking the red carpet at the Oliver Awards

Chris Evans rocked up in a made-to-measure blue velvet collar tuxedo paired with a bow tie and classic patent lace-up shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo. 

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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

 

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

Tom Ford Fougère D'argent | Fragrance Review

Today I'm going to be giving my verdict on Tom Ford Fougère D'argent which I've been road-testing for the past couple of weeks. The ardent Tom Ford fans can get amazingly squabble-some when it comes to which is their favourite fragrance from Tom Ford. I'm personally divided between the Plum Japanois, Tuscan leather and Tobacco Vanille. All are classy fragrances that project amazingly well and reflect my ambitious style.

But now we have the Fougère D'argent Fragrance, the agony of choice! It comes in different sizes, 50ml, 100ml and 250ml. Word on the street is that the 100ml is hard to come by, but as of today I can tell you that all sizes are available from Harvey Nichols for £162, £238 and £395 with free UK delivery.

As ever Tom Ford has flexed his muscles on the pulpit of luxury, despite being chagrined at the price point there is no denying that since leaving Gucci and starting out on his own in 2005, he has established himself as an incredible tour de force as a designer and now a prominent disrupter in the world of perfumery.

 

 

What's Tom Ford Fougère D'argent Fragrance like?

Firstly, the bottle is brick-ish, bold, heroic; it looks like it could pull you out of a house fire it's that heroic. I think it is masculine, both in aesthetics and in smell, despite this being marketed as a unisex fragrance.

It's classy with a gold square lid and has the Tom Ford insignia across it.

You'll only need a couple of pumps because it's strong, immediate. 3-4 max. You'll initially get a citrus vibe as the mandarin orange, ginger and lavender comes out of the traps first.

It will sit, before the middle notes of labdanum and akigalawood middle notes start to take shape.

What are these middle notes?

Labdanum is extracted from boiling leaves and twigs and has enjoyed a renaissance of late because it's seen as a close second to Ambergris which has been banned in most countries.

Akigalawood was actually the name of my reggae band in secondary school. Only joking. Since Oak Moss is no more in perfumery, akigalawood has arrived on the scene. It's a man-made synthetic fragrance similar to that of patchouli, combined with vibrant spicy aspects of pepper.

This is an upscale perfume. Think black tie, think Opera. It's going to last awhile, I got close to 8 hours silage and I got plenty of remarks from my other half on how polished this fragrance is.

 

Summary of Tom Ford Fougère D'argent Fragrance

A very powerful scent, not incredibly versatile as people are making out. It's not an everyday scent. It's high end, both in performance and in price. I love it, perhaps not as much as the Oud Wood and Tuscan leather, but it has a fresh delivery, it's opulent, it will sit well in the Tom Ford canon for sure.

 

What to Wear on a Summer Holiday in the Evening | Men's Style Edit

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Here is my second instalment of what to wear on a summer holiday in the evening. For the second night on my recent trip to Zanzibar, we had an incredibly romantic meal booked at the chef's table. The weather was very warm and humid at about 6pm yet got a lot cooler by 8pm and plus the restaurant had air conditioning. Therefore I decided to go back to what I know best from living in the UK....layering.

The meal and company were sensational and hopefully I looked the part, personally I think I did! Wearing all white abroad looks great in the sun and is totally acceptable, although it doesn't transition well when back in London, walking down Oxford Street on a rainy day whilst holding an umbrella just doesn't cut it.

The whites in this outfit are all different shades which gives the look *some character. Sorry, let me rewind...I mean I hate writing that as what does it really mean? An outfit has character...actually shame on me, that's just some wishy-washy crap that you'll read on other style blogs, not mine, I'm better than that! But it is good to mix up slightly different shades of white when you are wearing all white otherwise you'll risk looking like bed linen.

I'm wearing skinny white jeans from ASOS, a white linen shirt from REISS, an off-white blazer from REISS, brown suede loafers from REISS and sunglasses from TOM FORD.

SHOP THE EDIT

Tom Ford Grooming Experience in Covent Garden

When I was cordially invited to review the Tom Ford Grooming experience down Covent Garden last week, it was like being gifted the Willy Wonka ticket but without the grisly deaths and underlying threats to childhood obesity. 

It's hardly hot off the press, (the store has been open since November last year) however my visit couldn't have been timed much better as it coincided with the launch of Tom Ford's latest men’s grooming product, the Tom Ford for Men Definer Gel. 

Firstly, let's not bury the lead. The store itself is a marvel of modern science. Composed of six specialised rooms. The private blend fragrance room has a divine symmetry. The colour palette is soothingly coagulated with hues of grey, black and lilac trim. 

Reflective glass side panels compound one of those, 'where does the sea end and the sky begin' adages. All the design features from the half-circle cock pit and co-pilot chairs, to the Corinthian columns that greet you as you walk in, have an imperious quality whilst maintaining that intimate appeal. 

The only design fault is how damn hard it is to get a decent shot of any room without having your own reflection sully the photo. 

Guests can experience a range of exclusive grooming services by an the expert barber Chris Zoumides, including a beard trim, express facials, classic hot towel and close-cut cut wet shave, all bookable online. 

 

 

So what is definer like? 

I've always been reticent to have anyone tamper with my eyebrows. Although, I've always said if I was to have them plucked, I'd want one eyebrow to be in the shape of arch so I can give the impression I'm interested in people. 

This definer has made its way into my grooming regime with a bullet. I do have a tiny patch of sparseness around the eyebrows that could do with a little thickness. As I've mentioned a 1000 ties before, the eyes are the windows to your soul, so why not give them a little window dressing. 

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How do I use it? 

Use a tapered brush to define shape in the direction of brow growth. Build in areas where more coverage is desired. Comb through to blend and smooth.

RRP: £36.00

How I Get Ready For a Date | Men's Grooming & Fashion Advice

You're getting ready for the biggest date of your life, or week, depending how much of a woodsman you are.

I've just uploaded a new tutorial to my YouTube channel, giving you run down on how I get myself in the groove. In this article I'll give you the highlights reel on the MUST DO's to get you ready for that big first date

I've also teamed up with Base London to give my readers a chance to win a Base London £100 Gift Card and a Carl Thompson first date grooming kit.

I've included all the details at the bottom of the article but first, guys let's get you prepped. 

Get in the mood with ..  

I want to get in the mood, put a little Marvin Gaye on Let’s Get it On. Only joking. Normally I go for a bit of Jacko, I want to Rock with you or something equally as cheesy, don't ask me to sing it. Or how about a bit of Bobby Womack, Across 110th Street? Yessss now we're talking.

Make sure you're bopping around to a song that empowers you and gets you relaxed.  

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What's in my grooming kit? 

OK give the cash register a nice facial scrub. I currently using one from Lab Series, they're riding the crest of a wave at the moment these guys and I can see why. Makes my face feel really fresh, wakes me up! 

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Not all the girls like a man with a beard, so I make sure mine doesn't look to scabrous. I tame the beast with a bit of American Crew Beard serum

Moving onto the skin, I use the Clinique Maximum Hydrator moisturiser.

They say the eyes are the windows to your soul right? So got to have a little window dressing. Eye contact on dates, so important. I have been using Perricone MD for as long as I can remember. 

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What about my hair? 

You need something that is going to do your hair a solid service for the date, especially if you're going straight from work to the date. 

I use David Beckham's House 99 Pomade; it can give a decent enough hold for 8-9 hours before it starts to lose its lustre. 

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And the best Aftershave for a First Date? 

Keep that aftershave light and fresh, you don't want to overpower the poor girl or else she'll want to dine on one of those tables from that Bruce Wayne used to entertain Vicky Vale.

(That is a timely reference from 1989 and if you get that gag, then let’s go out for a beer). 

The best first date aftershave out there right now is Tom Ford Noir de Noir. It's pushy, but not assertive. 

Why I dress casual on a first date

Suits are too stiff for a first date, that's why I dress light

What’s the most important rule for light dressing? Go easy on the white wine vinegar but plenty of turmeric. Oh you mean clothes? Gotcha, (I have better jokes, haha) light dressing.

You should wear something that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Dates can be quite nerve racking; you don't want to feel rigid in an outfit you hardly wear.

I have my go-to outfit. 

Before you leave the house remember? 

If you've met her online give her profile one last eyeball before heading out. Look for some veiled clues, like if she's been traveling we can talk about places she's been that I might have been also.

Some people call that semi-stalkery, I call it good old fashioned research.

 

COMPETITION TIME FOLKS

As I promised you, here is your chance to win a Base London £100 Gift Card and a Carl Thompson first date grooming kit. Competition closes 31st May, UK Entrants Only. Enter by clicking this link https://mailchi.mp/683daaf6009a/07k68...

T&Cs blurb for competition:

Gift card can only be used at www.baselondon.com and cannot be exchanged for a cash alternative. Competition only open to UK entrants. Prize will be for one £100 Gift Card and a selection of men’s skin care and grooming products which will be delivered to the winner’s UK address. 

This competition is in no way sponsored, administered or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Lab Series, American Crew, Clinique for Men, Perricone MD, or David Beckham’s House 99. By entering, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age, release Instagram, Facebook & Youtube of responsibility and agree to Instagram’s, Facebook’s and Youtube's terms of use. .....phew! 😓 Good Luck!

 

Best Scents 2018 | The Vanille Fatale Fragrance from Tom Ford Beauty

Step aside 'new year new me', that's not for me, however 'new year new scent' is something I can get on board with, in fact I've been finding a new signature scent every year since my teens. The last few years signature scents have been Creed Aventus (2015), Tom Ford Tuscan Leather (2016), Gold Knight by Kilian (2017) and could Vanille Fatale from Tom Ford be my 2018 scent? Well, yes of course as it has all the sweet, spicy, woody notes that I love in fragrances, it's bold, beautiful and most importantly totally unique. 

To say that I've been a massive fan of Tom Ford private blend fragrances for a few years is an understatement, I'm in love with them. Each and everyone has a story that you are immediately transported to in your scent memory. Tom Ford Tuscan Leather takes me to a cigar and whisky Gentlemen's club with a roaring open fire with big comfortable leather chairs, I can picture it now. I'm going to touch back to Tuscan Leather again and my other current Tom Ford favourite Tobacco Vanille which both have some similarities to the new Vanille Fatale franrgance. So if you love any of the aforementioned scents, Vanille Fatale is most certainly worth checking out.

New for 2018, TOM FORD introduces VANILLE FATALE, the defiant new scent from Tom Ford Beauty. Refined yet raw, polished yet primal, Private Blend Vanille Fatale grips the senses with stirring spices, grounded florals and robust woods. The wearer is transfixed from the start, as if under the spell of a tempest, a force of nature with an unrelenting hold.

Spicy saffron and coriander mingle with the incense of earthy myrrh and olibanum, intoxicating the senses at the opening. The heart reverberates with a tobacco-like pull of roasted barley and roasted coffee absolute, lending a pleasant bitterness, while rich narcissus and creamy frangipani seduce with grounded floralcy. Thick and distinct, Madagascan Vanilla blends beautifully with wood-forward mahogany, its dark, rich, smoky glamour made all the more exotic with primal, musk-nuanced suede at the finish.

TOM FORD VANILLE FATALE is contained in the classic Private Blend bottle. The 50Ml and 100mL flacon has the sleek, architectural look of a chess piece. 

 

SHOP TOM FORD VANILLE FATALE BELOW

Top 7 Skincare Products as Recommended by Menswear Bloggers

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We can't be too hard on God. It's what happens when you try and take something as wondrous and complex as the human body from concept to market in a single day. You might forget that we'll need identical thumb prints so we can unlock our iPhones with both hands. That Appendix thing? Yeah no need for that cheers. Oh and why haven't we got a built in moisturiser for our face? Oh we have? Sorry, yes of course, as you were God.

That's right, our body is clever enough to produce its own moisturiser in the form of this fat produced by the Sebaceous gland, a small oil-producing gland present in the skin of mammals. (Check out the brains on ..... Wikipedia).

However, we strip our natural oils when we use detergent cleansers on our face, or when our glands are under performing or when we just like to compete with the missus for time-territory in the bathroom.

So I've done the honourable thing and got my mates to research the best moisturiser on the market right now. Or moreover, what works for them. Here are the Top 6 men’s moisturiser as recommend by menswear bloggers.


My Recommendation - Carl Thompson

Personally the most important step of my skincare regime is eye care and I think the majority of men would agree. Reducing puffiness and dark circles under the eyes is something that I would spend good money on a product that can help with this issue for many men. I’ve used many eye creams and this Phormula 3-9 eye repair from Erno Laszlo is my top pick due to the luxurious, rich, silky texture and it’s smooth finish.


Craig Landale - MenswearStyle

I got married last year and went to South Korea as part of my honeymoon. I was amazed with the skincare game in Seoul, with a facial bar on every corner. They certainly seem to be ahead of the curve over there when it comes to skincare. As a true tourist I picked up a few souvenirs from one of the most prominent skincare stores 'innisfree'. This serum is so good for my skin that I recently asked one of my friends who was working in Seoul to bring back a bulk amount of the stuff. Craig Landale - MenswearStyle


Adam TanousThe Dapper Chapper

REN V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream is the product I’ve used consistently on my face for a while now. It’s designed to recharge and intensively hydrate the skin overnight and is suitable for all skin types. An indulgent way to finish the day. Adam TanousThe Dapper Chapper


Charlie Irons - Man About Town

In the colder months there is less moisture in the atmosphere and your skin can become dehydrated, dry and flaky.  To add insult to injury, the heating in your office and at home can further create problems and ultimately dry things out even more.  All this means your skin is constantly fighting a battle against the elements and it's important you 'equip' it with some firepower to fight back. Charlie Irons - Man About Town


John Robertson - The Everyday Man

At the moment, I’m using Gentleman's Tonic I went for a facial a couple of months back and the therapist told me I was using the wrong things on my skin. I was exfoliating too much and using a very thick moisturiser. On her recommendation, I switched to this and have already seen a positive improvement. My skin feels firmer and looks a lot healthier. John Robertson - The Everyday Man


Peter Brooker - Human Research

I once got sent a load of Aesop stuff for a review article. I wish I hadn't now because this stuff is like Moisturiser Heroin. I've blitzed through the samples now and will shortly have to be forking out real money to keep this much needed ritual going. It has lime extract which just makes my grill smell like a citrus farm. I've leant it to a couple of mates on various events and stag dos and they're hooked now. Does that me a peddler? I guess so. Peter Brooker - Human Research


Ben Heath - Twenty First Century Gent

This is by no means my complete guide to grooming, but the final product that I use religiously in my five-minute daily routine is the Tom Ford Anti-Fatigue Eye Treatment. Physiologically, it helps to reduce puffiness around the eyes, and psychologically it leaves me feeling alert and mentally ready when I leave the house. Ben Heath - Twenty First Century Gent

Top 5 Beard Oils for Men

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Does your beard look shiny and groomed or dusty, flaky and unkempt?
Many gentlemen use beard oil to remedy this.
What is beard oil and what do we need it for?
When is the best time to apply beard oil?

WHY DO WE NEED BEARD OIL?

It might come as news for some but what does Beard Oil actually do? Why do we need it? Firstly; a little bit of science. Each beard follicle has a pair of glands called the sebaceous glands. These glands enable your beard to stay nourished by secreting called sebum oil. As your beard follicle gets longer it demands more sebum oil to coat the follicle. This is why we apply beard oil, to act as a sebum oil and nourish and moisturise the hair follicle. 

What I look for in a Beard Oil is one that softens my beard, gives it a nice shine and above all, keeps the itchiness levels down to zero. I have an interchangeable beard oil collection, below are my top 5 beard oils for men. 

1# Gentlemen's Chuckaboo - The Gigglemug Beard Oil - £19.99

Whilst this list is in no discernible order, I'd have to rate this number one on the name alone. It has a mixture of mint, zest and spice. I like the fact it contains Sandalwood Oil, which has been widely used for its anti-aging properties. When shopping for beard oil try and find one with Vitamin E (which The Gigglemug Beard Oil has) as it stimulates the hair follicle.

2# Tom Ford Conditioning Beard Oil - £36.50

Bringing in the big guns now. The Tom Ford beard oil has a very soft appliance without being greasy. It's probably the punchiest and longest-lasting fragranced beard oil I’ve tried and possibly the most potent. You'll definitely get a whiff of almond, maybe a little grape seed, but the Oud oil will deliver the most impact. Quite pricey but you get what you pay for. 

3# Jonny's Chop Shop Beard Oil - £6

I'm not sure if this is a best kept secret or not but it's definitely my top bargain pick. It has some interesting core oils (sweet almond, olive, wheat germ and apricot kernel), I like bottle - very voguish-retro. There is a mild scent, although it says it's un-fragranced. The best thing is the price, can't go wrong for £6. 

4# American Crew Beard Serum - £12.95

Another inexpensive bottle from a trusted brand that's been going over 20 years. Not as thin and spreadable as some of the others, but it still does the job and leaves my beard feeling soft. I have this as my emergency go-to serum if the others are running low or misplaced. 

5# Susanne Kaufmann Beard Oil Line M - £32

Who wouldn't trust someone with a name like Kaufmann? I use this one when my beard feels a little itchier than usual. Its active ingredients strengthens the elasticity of my skin and it also delivers a nice shine.

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.

THE MASTER OF GROOMING - TOM FORD

Tom Ford - Salon De Parfums

Tom Ford - Salon De Parfums

I've been on a bit of a hunt for a new signature fragrance of late, something unique, something that not every one is wearing, something you cant buy in Boots! So I headed over to the hidden gem that is the Salon De Parfums in Harrods - tucked away on the 6th floor accessed only via the escalators near door 3. At the Tom Ford display, I was greeted by a lovely lady who knew every single ingredient in every single of Tom's created fragrances. Not only that but also the travel story that Tom Ford was on which influenced the creation of many scents.

The sheer number of fragrances available was a little overwhelming, so choosing your favourite can take time. Luckily, at Tom Ford's Salon De Parfums, they offer an experinece and not just a shopping trip. Sit down, read, or take some champagne. All good things have to come to an end and after smelling so many of the fragrances and about half an hour later, I finally chose my two favourites which were Noir De Noir and Soleil Blanc

Fine grooming is the mark of a modern gentleman. It is the way a man presents the best version
of himself to the world.
— Tom Ford

On the way home from a stag do in Liverpool last weekend, some poor 21 year old girl reserved her seat in the middle of a stinky team of 14 guys, who have been drinking for 3 days straight. So what do a bunch of 30 something year old guys with limited chat get her to do....guess our ages of course. Lucky for me, she shaved 7 years off me suggesting I was 28, maybe the sunlight hid my ever expanding patches of grey hair! We are all going to get old at some point but we can look after ourselves better so that we keep that youthful look for longer. I do have quite a strict grooming regime but I've now tweaked and improved it with these new Tom Ford products. Knowing how Tom Ford uses only the highest quality ingredients in his fragrances, his skincare and grooming range was always going to top notch and luckily for me, I managed to get my hands on a few new mens grooming products which will be on sale from 1st June 2016, a day before my birthday (hint hint!).

Tom Ford developed the Tom Ford for Men Skincare and Grooming collection based on the products and grooming regimen he uses himself – a regimen that is simple, straightforward and intuitive. New innovations include Tom Ford for Men Brow Gelcomb, exclusively designed for men’s brows, Shave Oil and Exfoliator, launching June 2016.

TOM FORD FOR MEN BROW GELCOMB - The key to refinement is in the brows. Tom Ford for Men Brow Gelcomb is exclusively designed to groom and refine while giving balance and symmetry to a man’s most masculine facial features. RRP: £32.00

TOM FORD FOR MEN SHAVE OIL - Simple yet multifunctional, Tom Ford for Men Shave Oil conditions and moisturises the skin while creating a smooth surface for a polished, clean shave. Natural oils complement the skin’s need for ultra-hydration and leave a smooth, clean surface for the ultimate polished look. RRP: £45.00

TOM FORD FOR MEN EXFOLIATOR - To maintain healthy and well-groomed skin, a man needs a strong exfoliant to slough off dead skin cells and create a clean base for a smooth shave. Tom Ford for Men Exfoliator gives the skin a fresh, clean feeling leaving the skin feeling bright with revitalised energy. RRP: £35.00

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.