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

American Crew Launch Fiber Grooming Foam

American Crew have just launched NEW Fiber Grooming Foam, an expansion of the brand's Fiber Line that caters to the popularity of longer length hairstyle for men. 

Formulated with unique Fiber technology (ps - yes it does pain me to spell 'Fiber' the American way, but it's their product, their rules) Fiber Grooming foam takes the diverse product to new lengths. 

Is it any good Carl? 

I've taken the product out here with me and road tested it in the hot climates. Where most hair products fall down is that the application is greasy, the finish is wet-unnatural look as opposed to a nice clean shine and the damn thing doesn't last longer than an hour. 

This American Crew Fiber Grooming foam is designed specifically from medium to longer length hair. Although mine is on the shorter end, I still wanted to test the hold and the finish and I was pleased with both. It's high performing and leaves a natural shine and soft feel. 

"Grooming foam has a strong hold that adds thickness to fine hair with its fibrous properties, without leaving any residue in the hair. When working with thick hair it comes into its own with a malleable Fiber that grips the hair to give support and help lock in their style whilst adding volume." Ian Harrold American Crew - All-Star

The Application

It's water based, its similar to what you see in mousse and aerosol products with a citrus smell. It is unlike any other product due to the Fibers. The hair feels like it has volume and movement, has bounce. Not rigid or crispy. All the good stuff of a mousse. 

Perfect For

Obviously if you have long hair but you want to it to dance to your tune, then give this a try. But if you have hair like mine that's short-medium but coarse and curly, this can also play some neat tricks. I've enjoyed using it. I like the texture it has that by-the-beach feel to it. Also as it adds texture and weight, maybe if you're thinning out this could also be the product for you. 

*This paid post was created in collaboration with American Crew UK.

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. 

Introducing Super Facialist: The Rise of Cactus Water

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Today I'm going to introduce you to a new-to-market men's grooming range called Super Facialist. 

Not only have I been road testing these products this past week, but I've also been humming Super Facialist-califragilisticexpialidocious to myself like Mary Poppins all week. 

They are an Award-winning high street skincare brand Super Facialist that expertly blends Vitamin B3 and Hyaluronic Acid alongside natural extracts of Cactus Water and Volcanic Sand.

Furthermore they don't come in at lofty Gwyneth Paltrow prices. The Performance driven formulations combining science and nature deliver real results at affordable prices on the high street. 

What does the range consist of? 

There are three grooming products in the cleanse and prepare that all contain the crucial ingredient of Vitamin B3 and cactus water; face wash, face scrub, cleanse face mask. 

Once you've prepared and cleansed the skin you will need to moisturise and protect. Super Facialist offers three products to aid this process; the Hyaluronic Acid SPF10 moisturiser, the Hyaluronic Acid anti-ageing moisturiser and the Hyaluronic Acid firming eye cream. 

What are the benefits of the ingredients used in the products? 

 Vitamin B3 is a great rejuvenator for the skin. I wish my skin could live in a permanent translucent mold lined with Vitamin B3 so I could defy age like Keanu Reeves. It helps to reduce the appearance of imperfections and improves skin tone for healthier looking skin. 

Hyalronic Acid on the other hand has the unique ability to lock in the moisture and acts as a chemical hard nut-bodyguard creating a barrier between skin cells. This facilitates hydration for the skin. 

Then there is the cactus water. Cactus water is rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants to help prevent UV damage. I guess that's why you get so many young looking Cacti in the desert right? I'll show myself out. The whole range uses Cactus water for its anti-oxidant and deeply hydrating properties.

Pasha Édition Noire Review | Best Casual Fragrance out there?

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With Pasha Édition noire, Cartier galvanises the original “fougère” accord of its Pasha de Cartier fragrance with a breath of citrus freshness.

And wow, this is one of the best Citrus notes I've smelt in a long time. You'll find many people review this fragrance as 'fresh', which is the generic equivalent of people saying they get vanilla notes from whisky samples. Or lifestyle bloggers referring to a car as having a 'breadth of ability'. 

Yet, to it is an unavoidable cliché to call this fresh. It's also not complex. I've not tried to decipher many layers of different notes. It's fairly straight laced, but not at all perfunctory.  

Cartier expresses the radiance of the fragrance’s powerfully seductive scent through the limited- edition black bottle, gadroons, and three bands. The golden gleam of the three bands which encircle the cap.

Cartier are known innovators anyone that caught their exhibition Cartier in Motion last year at the Design Museum in London will attest. 

It's perfect for a Spring/Summer scent. It's very first date material. In fact this is a perfect first date smell because you want it to last the entirety of the date. It projects well but is not over powering. It's also not too stiff. It doesn't demand your attention. 

I like this because a lot of 'fresh' fragrances out there, even the Cartier Sport and the recently reviewed Spicebomb Night Vision by Viktor & Rolf can feel a little too young. 

It's a versatile scent. I'd say it's an alluring scent. A sexy blend that has gotten me quite a few compliments so far. It's more everyday than black tie. However, with the fantastic silage, (i got 6-7 hours) then you could easily carry this off from late afternoon 'til evening if it's a casual event. 

Pasha Edition noire Limited edition 100 ml spray

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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

New Viktor & Rolf Fragrance: Spicebomb Night Vision

Viktor & Rolf have released a flanker to their Spicebomb fragrance entitled: Spicebomb Night Vision, a new Eau de Toilette for Men. 

The concept behind this fragrance is centred around the provocative voyeur. The marketing campaign is very targeted towards evoking a mysterious sensibility. Are we being watched? Do we enjoy being watched? The powers of seduction under the city-green lights. 

Sounds awesome to me. But ultimately it's something of a misfire. Imagine going to see the movie Sliver at the cinema, only it's Sharon Stone watching one of the Baldwins getting naked. (Forget which one, not Alec). 

Let's put the video to one side and focus first on the bottle. 

The grenade bottle is back, slightly larger and with a green glass-tint to accentuate the Night Vision theme. It's iconic, it stands out, I'm onboard. 

The Spicebomb scent

I've read some sniffy and excoriating reviews on this scent, but it's really not as bad as they say. It's true that this scent isn't a very natural scent. It does give off a synthetic musk, but I've got to like it. I've been walking around for the past week, got a dozen or so compliments. 

People are struggling to place it, because it's unlike anything out there. It has a hybrid, cross-breed smell like an Alien or Azzaro, but it's not playing in anyone else's sandbox. And that's not gay slang! 

You will get some green notes, it is fresh, spicy. I got cardamom straight away and that does settle down. I couldn't locate the tonka bean nor the roasted almonds, but I did get register the black pepper on the dry-down which was pleasant. 

Overall opinion on Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb 

It's a hit for me, but it feels like a deflected goal. That it looks great in real-time but when you play it back in slow-motion, you'll release it's a complete fluke. Make sense? Ok let me explain.

So I didn't like the commercial. The concept is cool, like the Nigh Vision idea. But not a fan of the seedy undertones and the lack of any kind of subtlety. That could be an age thing. I gather this is for a younger market. 

The fragrance has gotten me a lot of compliments, although it's not a powerhouse scent. Not a trailblazer like a Tom Ford or a Dior Savage. I'm getting curious compliments, one girl even asked what shower gel I'm using. 

I'm personally a fan of the scent. The silage was around 5 hours and I've been wearing this to the gym, to the coffee meetings and I'll probably take it on holiday next month. 

I don't think it's going to pull out any trees. But it will raise an eyebrow or two. 

Available at Debenhams RRP 50ml - £55 90ml - £72

 

 

Fighting Back Against Poor Oral Health

How guilty are we all when it comes to neglecting our oral hygiene? It's something I've been putting off for a while so was delighted when dentist Dr Saul Konviser at Dawood & Tanner General Dental Practice reached out to me and invited me in for a check-up and a chat.

The practice is located in the most central of locations and just down the road from the KOBOX on Baker Street. The location in the Montagu Mansions has a very 'homely feel'. 

After having a sit down talk with dentist Dr Saul Konviser, a young and enterprising gentleman, I started to feel pangs of guilt that I hadn't come to the realisation earlier. Poor oral health has larger ramifications than just poor teeth.

There are detrimental effects to your heart that can lead to respiratory disease. Not to mention that neglecting oral health can directly impact sporting performance, which was an instant red flag for me. 

I have been around fighters who had told me their diet is suffering terribly due to cracked teeth. Imagine training for a fight and having to eat through a straw because it's too painful to chew your food! 

Dawood & Tanner have come up with an innovative way of emphasising the importance of this issue; personalised mouth guards. It's such a novel idea and the prototypes that Dr Konviser showed me were fantastic. Incredibly unique. The gum shield is such a crucial part of the fighter's armoury, protecting not only the teeth but the jaw. 

Although I don't do any sparring at KOBOX, it's a place where fighters do come and train. Most are savvy enough not to get the entry level self-moulded guards. As well not offering offer inadequate support and protection, they can be super uncomfortable. 

I've invested in a mouth guard, not for fighting, (Hey I don't want to mess up the cash register at my age) but as I grind my teeth at night. A mouth guard for evening wear will be thinner than a gum shield, although created from the same mould. 

If you're interested in a mouthguard Dawood & Tanner offer a 1 week turnaround to reduce away time from training and competition. Let Saul know I sent you. You can find further articles on Dawood & Tanner online. If you're interested in teeth whitening my friend Peter Brooker has written a decent article on his blog. It stresses the importance of why you should leave teeth whitening to the professionals.

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.

 

 

 

The Perfume Shop | Deals of the Week Fragrances for Valentines Day

Valentine's Day is looming boys and girls. In this article I'm going to recommend 5 his and her fragrances from The Perfume Shop that will make the perfect lovers gift. I wanted to highlight both genders as I know a lot of female readers come to my blog for gift ideas. 

The Perfume Shop (winner of the coveted Retailer of the Year Award at the Fragrance Foundation Awards for the past two years) have some great deals on this week so you need to jump on this quick.

You can purchase the perfume in any of their 256 stores across the UK & Ireland or through their website. Choose from a multitude of delivery options; click & collect or next day all available.

Valentine Gift Ideas for Him

NEW RELEASES

Emporio Armani Stronger With You Intensely EDP 50ml

(Launching at The Perfume Shop 30th January 2019) RRP - £56.00

You may have seen the 'Together Stronger' web series on YouTube. A brilliant marketing campaign that has clocked up more than eight million YouTube. The same couple will be featuring in a new campaign for 2019 set in the Mediterranean entitled “Together we are shooting stars”. 

This fragrance has more of an oriental push. Floral notes at the heart with Sage and Lavender, underscored with Tonka Bean and Cinnamon. Perfect for your fireside companion. 

Hugo Boss, Boss Bottled Oud Aromatic EDP 100ml

Launched January 2019 RRP - £88.00

The ultimate Black Tie fragrance. ‘BOSS BOTTLED OUD Aromatic opens with a refreshing orange flower note on top and a seductive myrrh on the dry down. Very masculine. Your partner will effuse a woody leather trail with this fragrance. 

Perfect for those one on one black tie events that are slightly unusual. I was recently invited to a cigar and whisky tasting event down at Churchill's. Although I couldn't make the event, I would certainly look to wear something immediately distinguishable, to an event with an unusual theme. 

Alien man Fusion EDT 50ml

(Launching at The Perfume Shop 4th February 2019) RRP - £47.00   

Of all the new fragrance releases from the Perfume Shop, this Alien Man Fusion has a slightly more accessible price point. The bottle is ostentatious, it's different and the green coffee and smoked beach base notes give it a real kick. 

I would invest in this one if you're really looking to take your partner by surprise. 

Deals of the Week for Him

Eau De Lacoste Blanc EDT 100ml

ONLY £24.99 (offer valid 31st January – 6th February 2019)

You need to jump on these quick because they're amazing marquee name fragrances at a great price. This Eau De Lacoste Blanc EDT 100ml is one of the best every day scents on the market. For your sporty partner who enjoys a healthy and fitness focused lifestyle. 

It has a very citrus opening, plenty of grapefruit, rosemary and my favourite spice to put on salmon currently; Cardamom. (Honestly, get some Cardamom on your fish it's the best). 

Lacoste rarely make a misstep both in fashion and in their fragrances. It's a safe bet and a very versatile scent. 

Boss Bottled Night EDT 100ml

Price TBC (launching 7th February – 14th February 2019)

If I were to do an 'editor's pick' this would be it. Such an amazing spicy, intense fragrance for under £30. BOSS Bottled Night has an undeniable, palpable, masculine aura to it. 

It's compelling, sits close to the skin, has great silage and plenty of character. Trust me this more of a present for you than it is for him. You'll love it!  

WHY SHOP AT THE PERFUME SHOP 

Before we get into the women’s selection, a brief note on why you should shop through The Perfume Shop. Firstly they're the proud sponsors of this feature and by supporting them you're also supporting this blog, keeping the good CT ship afloat. 

Secondly,  their staff are trained and developed so that they are the most knowledgeable sales advisors within the perfume industry, with over 400 industry recognised experts.

You can visit any store (there are ten in London) and the experienced staff there are equipped and able to assist you select your perfect fragrance for you or for your Valentine.

Lastly, you can also personally engrave the fragrances starting from £5.99, both online and in selected stores.

 

Valentine Gift Ideas for Her

Emporio Armani In Love With You EDP 50ml

(Launching at The Perfume Shop 30th January 2019) RRP - £68.00

The flip-side to the Stronger With You Intensely for him is this very delicate In Love With You for her. It evokes and encapsulates all those unquantifiable emotions of love and obsession. 

Featuring the iconic double ring. Mr. Armani wears two single rings, one belongs to him, the other belonged to his life time partner, Sergio Galeotti. This double ring design was Mr. Armani’s inspiration for the caps of the bottles.

CACHAREL Yes I Am EDP 50ml - £60.00

New to the fold this year is the affirmative fragrance Yes I am by Cacharel. If your partner is into her makeup, has an infinity with lipstick then this iconic-shaped bottle will be just the ticket. 

It's bold, daring and reflects all the positive qualities in your partner. You'll be entranced by the scent, composed of Mandarin, Jasmine and Sandalwood. A very Oriental flavour and texture that will keep you on your toes. 

Daisy Love Sunshine EDT 50ml

(Launching at The Perfume Shop 30th January 2019) RRP - £57.00

This Daisy Love Sunshine is just brimming with optimism. A beautifully encased fragrance that effuses Summer vibes and the promise of good times. From the mind of Marc Jacobs, this perfectly balanced Sunshine Limited Edition will transport your partner to a happy place where optimism overflows and the carefree spirit of daisy is celebrated.

She'll love it if yellow is her thing and she has a penchant for fruity floral fragrances. 

Deals of the Week for Her

Lacoste Touch of Pink EDT 90ml

RRP - £55.00 down to £27.99 SAVING of £27.00 (offer valid 31st January – 6th February 2019)

A very playful scent and an absolute bargain with the reduction price! It's a very youthful scent. The pink bottle is hardly a subtle feminine touch but works perfectly. There is a citrus, there is floral notes and with it the promise of Spring. 

It has an everyday feel, a versatile scent that can worn to any event during the day. Even casual dinners or meetings. 

Gucci Bamboo EDT 50ml

Price TBC (launching 7th February – 14th February 2019)

Lastly on the ladies deal range is Gucci Bamboo. The bottle and the scent combined are remarkably elegant. It's notes of ambery and orange blossom just give it a velvet intensity. 

It's a complex fragrance that communicates perfectly for the essence of today’s multifaceted woman. The modern Gucci woman shares Bamboo’s characteristics of confidence and poise. 

There is so much positive allure I would have to make this Gucci Bamboo my editor's pick for fragrances for her. 

 

 

 

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 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. 

 

Davidoff Cool Water Fragrance Review

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Have I told you how Davidoff are missing a marketing trick? They should simply sponsor a catwalk showdown between David Beckham and David Gandy! It will be coined the 'Almighty Davidoff'. You see that's why I get the big bucks people.

It leads me swiftly on to this classic scent from Davidoff, neatly entitled: Davidoff Cool Water.

The Gamechanger

It really was. Released in 1988 the Davidoff Cool Water fragrance came about and enlivened the aquatic range. 

The Notes

In the top note, a marine splash awakes the senses with a distinct floral opening. You'll get an immediate introduction to the main theme of Lavender, followed by a subtle push of Rosemary and Orange Blossom. 

I know these all sound like girls that will be linked to Jeff Bezos as he looks to seek solace from divvying up over $50Bn in divorce settlements. But trust me, the signature blend and vibrancy of this blend has stayed the test of time. 

On the dry down you'll get that relaxing flourish of sandalwood, cedar with an undercurrent of musk. A very reassuring masculine vibe. 

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What do I think?

Pierre Bourdin created and broke the mould when he introduced Davidoff Cool Water. Other flankers have saddled nicely, the Deep Dive and more recently Cool Wave have been notable inclusions to the Davidoff Cannon. But for my money nothing has usurped the original. 

When and where can I wear it?

It's a very casual fragrance, perfect for the office or out on a lunch date. It's not sophisticated enough for black tie or dinner events. I'll be wearing this to meetings with clients, coffee runs, even on my upcoming trip to Bali.

It's very Spring/Summer, it's fresh, youthful. I'd wear this with shorts, polo, tee shirt. My one reservation is that I'm loving the scent, but definitely feel like I'm at the high end of the demographic for its target audience. Because of the citrus/sweet notes, I'd say it would be too playful for anyone 45 and older.

Would I buy it again?

Absolutely, I've been buying it for years. I can't wait to roll this is out in the hotter months, that's if it lasts the course in Bali. It wakes me up, enlivens my senses. Makes me want to put on Pet Sounds and ride my little Deuce Coupe all the way to Lowestoft.

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

5 x Best Christmas Box Subscription Gift for Him

Today I'm going to highlight some of the best Subscription Services I've earmarked for Christmas gifts. A subscription service is truly the gift that keeps on giving and every month someone gets reminded what a good egg you truly are. 

DiscoverBrew

You might have seen me Vlog about DiscoverBrew where I talk about the benefits of being a BrewBox subscriber. Each month 6 of the best beers arrive on my doorstep, complete with personalised vids that will describe each beer and what food you can pair it with.

The merits of the brands rest on its fantastic selection of beers. Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about craft beer you get presented with a new one and you fall in love all over again. 

Each beer in the box is hand-picked from hundreds that are tasted by the DiscoverBrew team, and only great beers make it into each box. 

Coffee 

My favourite scene from Pulp Fiction is when Quentin Tarantino gives a thrift monologue schooling Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta and indeed the entire audience on why quality coffee is so important. (Unfortunately the dialogue is far too colourful to transcribe here, but I'm sure you get my point). 

If you have someone in your life that is serious about Coffee then introduce them to Pact Coffee.

Their coffee is bought directly from the best farmers across the world then roasted in small batches at Pact HQ in Bermondsey, to ensure the very optimum quality.

Grooming

A lot of us feel begrudged leaving the house at all these days. Especially in this inclement weather and for something so perfunctory as razor blades. 

Why not save someone else the hassle as well by treating them to a razor blade subscription service by the Bearded Colonel. Made in Germany, the high water mark for quality razors.

Delivered direct to your door and small enough to fit through the letterbox so you needed hang around waiting on the postman. 

Music

A promise I've made to myself in the new year is that I'm going to rekindle my passion for vinyl. Really Carl? You're such the go-getter trend setter. 

I know, it's about 20 years too late, but I'm a sucker for nostalgia and I've already got the beard so I feel like I'm halfway there. 

If you know someone that is an avid music goer or has seen High Fidelity and   on a regular basis why not sign them up to Flying Vinyl.

They're a company that sends its members a monthly box filled with the best new alternative music printed onto beautiful 7” vinyl records. 

Shirts 

Ok well you know I'm no shrinking violet when it comes to self promotion. I like to think I tread that fine line of eagerness and persistence. My Hawkins & Shepherd shirt subscription service is the ultimate gift for that man in your life that is career driven, professional and scrupulous about his personal style. 

Save him the hassle of going out and finding new shirts every other month and keep his wardrobe enlivened with new design led, sophisticated hand crafted shirts every month 

Delicacy

Finally, avoid the hustle and bustle of the farmers markets by signing up to the Neals Yard Dairy cheese subscription service. 

Treat your palette to a wonderful myriad of different British farmhouse cheeses. If anyone is looking to get me a gift for Christmas I'll be pleased as punch to receive this. 

Ideal for people who enjoy entertaining or those who like having a few hearty pieces of cheese to hand for both cheeseboards and cooking.

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with DiscoverBrew

Just For Men | Tips, Q&A and a New Product Release at the Gentleman's Grooming & Lifestyle Show

Just For Men were the proud sponsors for The Gentleman's Grooming & Lifestyle Show that was hosted at the Old Truman Brewery last weekend. It was a truly a memorable event, galvanising so many grooming experts and likeminded individuals. 

It almost felt serendipitous that it happened on the weekend when there were no premier league games. For one rare lunar eclipse in the football calendar men had to find other modes of conversation and Just For Men offered a tremendous landscape for us to converse, share tips, beard-enlightenment I'd like to call it. 

Just For Men were just one of 50 Exhibitors that varied from fashion, male beauty and surgical cosmetics. 

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We were given a live demonstration by Just For Men ambassador Carlie Firth of RUGER barbers. A man that had an uncanny resemblance to a bearded Jake Gyllenhaal sat patiently as Carlie weaved a Just For Men Moustache & Beard application brush evenly through his beard. 

At first I was slightly bemused as to why he needed any treatment at all. The gentleman's beard was not grey. But as Carlie proceeded to highlight, it's not just grey hair that some guys could do with addressing.

Someone with a light or pale beard will also benefit in having their beard enlivened with a richer colour. As you'll see in the before and after pictures, the beard looks richer, thicker and healthier.

 

Bonus tip

If unsure on your shade, go for the lighter option first - you can always go darker later on.

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New Products

As well as the traditional Just For Men Moustache & Beard and the Control GX grey reducing shampoo and conditioner that I was kindly gifted at the event, I also got my hands on the brand new Just For Men Best Ever Beard Oil. 

It smells fantastic and feels like it was engineered specifically for me because it delivers a high performance solution for managing and manipulating course facial hair. Made from natural oils, with Jojoba oil, Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Vitamin E. Keep an eye out for this one, a great gift for someone looking to promote their grooming game.


Any tips? 

After the demonstration the VIP's (yep, I made it passed the velvet rope) I attended the Q&A to get some useful tips from Carli. 

Q> How much beard oil should I use? We all have varying lengths of facial hair and I'm always mindful of not putting enough in, or too much? For a medium length hair like mine how much should I apply? 

So after you've applied the Just For Men Best Face and Beard Wash Ever and Best Beard Conditioner Ever, you should apply the beard oil by hand. It's always down to personal choice on how much you apply. Some people like having the oil enable a glistening beard, but bear in mind the oil is designed to be absorbed by the follicles. 

I normally recommend 3-4 drops of the Just For Men Beard Oil as a starting base, for dark beards like yours (mine) I would say start at 4 to give it a shine and lift. If it has too much glow then reduce as required but always spread evenly and apply last in your grooming regime. 

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Huge thanks to all the team at Just For Men for inviting me down to the event. I certainly hope the Truman Brewery will play host again next year and I recommend every man come down, there's something for everyone. 

 *This sponsored post was created in collaboration with Just For Men.

UOMO Salvadore Ferragamo Signature | Fragrance Review

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Today I want to talk about UOMO Salvadore Ferragamo Signature Fragrance, the third instalment in their fragrance collection. I've been road-testing this fragrance for the past week, but before I give you mine and my friends feedback, we should speak about the original. 

In 2016 the UOMO Salvadore Ferragamo was introduced to market, with its flanker the UOMO Casual Life in 2017. The latter being more summer targeted, more youthful and as it says on the bottle, 'casual'. 

The UOMO Salvadore Ferragamo Signature Fragrance is more of a return to the original, with a darkened sensibility. Famously referred to as the Tiramisu fragrance for that piercing, unapologetic wave of sweet coffee. 

The bottle is black, built like a futuristic hip flask. Muscular and sits in your palm without compromise. 

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Initial thoughts 

On first spray you'll have that inevitable, creamy-coffee opening. The Tonka bean will come through and that odd, reassuring air of nostalgia to the original hugs you like a long distant friend. 

It simmers down with some grapefruit, the patchouli arrives in time to take you on a wistful journey. It has an oriental flavour to this fragrance, but not overly complex. It lacks a certain mystery, but that's fine. 

Further Thoughts 

As I sat with the fragrance, walked around the flat, I had this odd sense that I was under dressed. I've never felt that way with a fragrance before. That is somehow demanded a better wardrobe than the jeans and hoody I was sporting. 

It did morph into something else, maybe the Tonka bean and the leather started to really push through. 

What others thought  

I didn't get many wow reaction to this on first wear. I wore it to a couple of events, the Gentleman’s Grooming Show, a recent trip to France for Laurent-Perrier. However, I started to get more reaction from women, in fact to put it bluntly, this was tailor made for women. 

Guys just don't want to get onboard with the sweetness, but women were more in favour. Plus it had that undertone of leather to offer just the verisimilitude of rugged masculinity. 

Smells like? 

I've heard some people refer to this as the new POLO Red Extreme, probably because of the Tonka bean reference. I've got that fragrance in my locker and it's not as rich as Extreme. Possibly because it's a little more synthesised. (I'm guessing, don't quote). 

Others talk about it being the new CH for Men, (Carolina Herrera) I'd agree to some extent. It lacks the woodiness of CH, and isn't as pretentious. But it does have that even-keel balance of keeping it light, latte-sweet whilst ensuring a black-tie-esque sophistication. 

Final thoughts

It's more polished than the Casual Life, it has decent silage (4-5 hours) and I love coffee so this UOMO Salvadore Ferragamo Signature Fragrance really speaks to me. 

It's a bit like the Rocky films. The original is better than the other two, but the 3rd is much better than the sequel. Come on, Mr T. That said the 4th with Ivan Drago was the most fun so I'm looking forward to next year. Stay tuned. 

 

Jo Malone London | Men's Christmas Gift Sets

For the first time in the history of Jo Malone London, they are presenting 2 dedicated Men’s Collections for Christmas. Jo Malone London are incontestable pioneers in the art of giving and thankfully for us gentlemen, after much lobbying from yours truly, they have subverted the rules. 

I got an awesome response from my last Jo Malone London Back to School post where I learnt to finish a candle, tie a bow to a box (much needed for my Christmas gifts) and how to combine a fragrance.

I've already chalked up a Top 5 Jo Malone London scents listicle and I was honoured to be the first UK Menswear blogger to report the Huntsman X Jo Malone London Fragrance release last month. (I tried to incept the 'makes perfect scents' into the zeitgeist, but alas...). 

I'm super-excited about these new men's collections that I was sent in the post. They are sleek, in black sets congruent with many of my go-to colour palettes for clothes, interiors etc. 

First New Men’s Set: ‘English Oak & Hazelnut 30ml Cologne and Basil & Neroli Body & Hand Wash’ (£62)

Second New Men’s Set: ‘Wood Sage & Sea Salt 100ml Cologne and Black Cedarwood & Juniper Duo’ (£109)

Both of these Jo Malone London Men’s Collections are now available to purchase.  Find the closest one to you, available in 55 countries worldwide, by searching visiting their online store.

Jo Malone London are the synthesis between aspirational grooming and fantasy gift-giving. These colognes emit masculinity, project strongly and have incredible silage. Perfect for any Christmas black tie parties. 

Ladies I'd say this is a perfect gift for that sophisticated man in your life. The Jo Malone London Men's Collections could offer a much needed departure from his lacklustre grooming routine. 

When The Stars Align | The Male Grooming Constellation Gift Set

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I know you'll all be inundated with Christmas Wishlist's and gift guides this year. However, I only want to deliver the gifting ideas that will save you time and save you money. Today I want to introduce you to The Grooming Constellation by Estee Lauder Companies.

I constantly talk about how you can't go wrong with skin care, grooming and hair care products for Christmas gifts. I personally only wish people buy me these products as I can guarantee they'll get used. (The same can't always be said for that random snow globe that gets swiftly moved onto the charity shops). 

The Grooming Constellation is the perfect gift for the man in your life. Wait wait wait, that's press release talk. That sentence makes me sound like I'm writing for Beefcake Magazine. Please allow me to start over. 

If you're looking to get some Christmas gifts for him this year, The Grooming Constellation has just launched an exclusively designed limited edition box featuring iconic products from some of the world’s leading men’s brands such as Clinique for men lab, Lab Series, Aveda & More…

How it arrives? 

This is the best thing. You don't have to burn any extra calories wrapping up these gifts individually. Be a little greener this year people. This Grooming Constellation gift set comes in a neat square cubed box, adorned with an intriguing constellation motif. 

Who should I get this for? 

Ladies, your other half will thank you kindly for this. Us guys aren't one for cosmetic shopping, although we love the products, we like the baby without the birth if you get the expression. 

This screams great buddy gift. Dispense with those useless drinking hats or 'Best Dad' mugs this year and get him something he can truly utilise. 

The perfect gift with an amazing saving!

Launching Tuesday 6th November for only £39, worth over £114. 

FRAGRANCE DIRECT | My Christmas Fragrance Picks

I consider fragrances to be the skeleton key of Christmas gifts. No one can turn their nose up (pardon the pun) to a decent fragrance when it comes in the guise of a Christmas gift. It works on so many levels; you get to be the stylish arbiter of someone’s scent, they get to inject a room with nice aromas courtesy of your generosity. 


But how do I know what fragrance someone likes? 

I associate that sentiment with, well which kind of woman do you normally go for Carl? Let me tell you something for free. Hot is hot. I'm not prejudice towards any make or mould.

"Hot" as the Americans say, or "Fit" as we Brits like to say, transcends all genres. 

Now apply that logic to fragrance. 

If the bottle looks well presented, the fragrance projects well, sits close to the skin, has decent silage and smells luxurious, then I'm going to like. And so is the person you're gifting it too. 


Fragrance shopping made easy 

That's what I love most about shopping with Fragrance Direct. They house all the best marquee names under one roof, indexed this season into 3 easy categories; for her, for him and new launches, as part of their ‘Festive Fragrance Wonderland’ Christmas theme. 

There a select number of brands to feature which include Gucci, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Joop and Lacoste.


Which ones did you choose Carl? 

Thanks for asking. I'll be honest, it was a coin toss to see if I was just going to gift myself some nice scents this year. (Happens to us all right?) I still might, the prices are the best I've seen on the web. 


NEW FOR 2018

I have a friend who is a Hugo Boss nut so this will be perfect for him. I especially like the bottle, I'm a huge proponent of Black Tea in anything, be it after shave, cheesecake, you name it. HUGO URBAN JOURNEY is a fragrance for the modern urban explorer and embodies the intense aromatic heart of Black Tea, which is reinforced by the masculine Guaiacwood to fuel you with a daring new energy. 


FOR HER

I can't say who this is for because she reads the blog, but this Gucci Guilty Gift Set is an absolute banker for a Christmas gift. This Gift Set includes 90ml Eau de Parfum Spray, 50ml Body Lotion and 7.4ml Roller Ball. Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme is a non-traditional women’s fragrance created for a contemporary woman. 

Yes I'll be looking forward to smelling this on her as well. 


FOR HIM

Yes another Boss number. I'm a huge fan of The Scent myself, the bottle is designed as such to look like a cage, a fragrance so powerful it needs to be behind bars. (It's true, I have credible sources). 

This Gift Set includes 100ml Eau de Toilette Spray, 75ml Deodorant Stick and a 50ml Shower Gel.
BOSS Parfums is expertly crafted to reflect the strong personality of the BOSS Man and Woman.

 

Summary

Just to recap on why I'm plugging Fragrance Direct.

  • Easy to use

  • A bevy of options for both men and women 

  • Great prices, not seen cheaper anywhere else online

  • Free delivery over £20 

  • Perfect Christmas gifts for those difficult people that you never know what to get

 

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with Fragrance Direct.