Friday, 06 April 2018 14:50

Tried & Tested St Giles Collection

St Giles Collection fragrance review tried testedNew British fragrance brand klaxon. Founded by Michael Donovan and named after the ancient, Central London parish of St Giles - it’s that bit just near Tottenham Court Road station, where the coloured Renzo Piano buildings are - where he was born, this new collection of five fragrances is based on different characters.

Michael has worked in the fragrance business for many years with some of the biggest names and noses. Here, he has teamed up with perfumer, Bertrand Duchaufour, and spent the last three years creating the five scents: The Tycoon, The Writer, The Stylist, The Actress and The Mechanic.

St Giles Collection Tycoon Bertrand Duchaufour fragrance review tried tested

TheChicGeek says, “It’s always great to see new British fragrance brands. Especially from somebody with over 20 year’s experience in the business. Michael sent me the three most masculine fragrances to try - The Tycoon, The Writer and The Mechanic. 

There’s a lot going on, but it works. I actually found it difficult to choose one standout. I liked all three and underlining it all is quality.

The Tycoon is a classic chypre with notes of patchouli, labdanum and oakmoss augmented with a castoreum. 

The Writer opens with fresh ginger, rosemary absolute and the focusing sparkle of aldehydes with castoreum absolute plus sandalwood, cedarwood and driftwood. 

The Mechanic has a base of hot rubber, musk, oakmoss and a balsamic, cracked styrax with an earthy geranium and patchouli opening.

The Mechanic is the most interesting as it doesn’t fit in as easily with the other character names. The market for niche fragrances continues to grow and this is definitely a collection worth seeking out. I just wish the branding and labelling had more personality and fully represented the fragrances’ depth of character.”

St Giles Collection - 100ml - £130

Exclusive to Selfridges

St Giles Collection Writer fragrance review tried tested

Lab Series Day Rescue Defense Lotion SPF 35 review tried tested fragrance

Lab Series’ new Day Rescue Defense Lotion SPF 35 is a lightweight, invisible daily moisturiser with SPF and ‘HYDRA-ENDURE TECHNOLOGY’ ‘which harnesses extracts from plants known to endure extreme weather conditions’. This is helps combat the visible effects of sun, dry climate, and pollution—environmental damage that can lead to dehydrated skin and the look of stress and premature ageing. Non-acnegenic. Suitable for use on bald heads.

TheChicGeek says, “Stop what you’re doing, this should be your new daily moisturiser. This is ticking all the boxes: sun, pollution and a nice consistency. The last time Lab Series did a decent SPF it was in a BB cream. SPF 35 is a good number and this doesn’t feel heavy, at all. I’m always banging on about having an SPF on everyday, so just do it.

Pollution is also becoming a hot topic in grooming and you'll just have to believe this is trying its hardest against this. I also like the way they’ve mentioned bald heads, this is often an area men forget. Always apply protection or wear a hat.

I really like this. Use liberally, but with it only being 50ml you’ll get through it pretty quick, that’s the only drawback.”

Left - Lab Series Day Rescue Defense Lotion SPF 35 - £31

Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Chinotto di Liguria review tried tested fragrance

The latest edition to the Blu Mediterraneo series is centred around the extremely rare chinotto fruit. Called Chinotto di Liguria - Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy. Its capital is Genoa - it is a small orange-type fruit which had been used by the Italians to make fizzy drinks, but had somewhat disappeared.

The top notes of the fragrance are enhanced by the bittersweet notes of the chinotto fruit and the sparkling crispness of mandarin. At its heart, jasmine and geranium bloom with the dynamic and refreshing notes of cardamom and rosemary. It is rounded off with the peace and tranquillity accorded by the base notes of musk and patchouli. A fragrance reminiscent of an early morning stroll along the rocky coastlines of western Liguria. 

Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Chinotto di Liguria review tried tested fragrance

TheChicGeek says, “Nothing makes you want to book a Summer holiday like the launch of a new Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo scent. The blast of sunshine and the hypnotic blue of the bottle makes you want to rush down to Lunn Poly and take a one way flight to Southern Europe. ANYWHERE.

Left & Right - Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo - Chinotto di Liguria 75ml - £66

This tiny orange had somewhat - or should that be kumquat?! - fallen out of use in Italy. It has a thick skin and the fragrance is extracted by fermenting the entire fruits.

This isn’t your standard sparkling citrus fragrance. It’s more interesting than that. It has a warm spiciness - cardamom - which seems to keep the fragrance in the background, but it has a heat and intensity that keeps it resonating. It's like the heat from coastal rocks after a long day in the sun.

This is the kind of fragrance that would keep people guessing regarding the ingredients and is a welcome addition to the citrus category.”

CliniqueFit Workout Face + Body Hydrating Spray review tried tested gym

‘CliniqueFit’ is a ‘carefully curated line of athletic-inspired, high performance skin care that’s long-wearing and designed to fit seamlessly into your on-the-go lifestyle’.

TheChicGeek says, “Gym bunnies are active consumers, so, not only is this timely, but commercially focussed. This is a brand thinking about where their consumers live their lives, today, and how they want to look during and after working out.

The majority of products in the range are make-up so I was only sent the 'Workout Face + Body Hydrating Spray' to try. There are seven products in the full range. I put it in my gym coat pocket and used it after every class.

It is a water-based, non-stick and oil-free formula spray designed to instantly refresh and hydrate parched skin. It’s said to absorb quickly and leave skin feeling soft and comfortable with a healthy glow. 

It’s definitely light and absorbs quickly, but I didn’t notice any after glow and it’s not a refreshing as you want it to be. This is probably one of the rare times I want something fragrant and uplifting, and not fragrance-free from Clinique. I’m thinking something cleansing, spa or Aveda like, which works well in these wet sprays, making you want to use them more while putting a post-workout spring into your step.”

Left - CliniqueFit Workout Face + Body Hydrating Spray - 30ml - £13

Available exclusively to Selfridges, Brown Thomas Dublin and Clinique.co.uk.

Jo Malone Cologne Intense Jasmine Sambac Marigold fragrance review tried tested

“Marigold is a fairly unusual ingredient. Its fruity and aromatic facets contrast harmoniously with the fresh and natural tones of jasmine sambac. Together they capture the vibrancy of an Indian flower market,” says Mathilde Bijaoui, Jo Malone Master Perfumer.

LeftJo Malone Cologne Intense Jasmine Sambac & Marigold - 100ml - £115

TheChicGeek says, “The green, hypnotic fragrance of the Arabian jasmine is the star here. It’s the kind of fragrance you want to inhale as deeply as possible to make it last longer. The top is marigold, which I didn’t think had much a scent(?), and the base is benzoin, a balsamic resin from the bark of the Styrax tree.

Add in ylang, ylang, vanilla and amber and you not only have an Indian flower market, but one of those rare, warm British summer nights when the climbing jasmine is pumping out as much scent as possible into the night. While this is instinctively feminine, the lines are blurring so much in fashion, beauty and gender, that anything goes.”

Launching nationwide April 2018

Like Jo Malone? Read English Fields review - here