In the modern Orwellian landscape it often feels like it’s a battle of the overly confident male egos. From Trump to Putin to Kim Jong-un, puffing your chest out and beating it hard has become an everyday occurrence. I thought - hoped - we’d left this in the last century, but it feels like we’re reliving the worst of the 20th century, every day.
There’s nothing wrong with being and feeling confident. It’s what gets you ahead, or so we are told. But, a delusional sense of entitlement and pride often ends with many cases of cutting your nose off to spite your face.
Last night, Zegna launched a new collection of premium fragrances. Titled #ElementsofMan, it contains 5 new fragrances named “Talent”, “Integrity”, “Passion”, “Wisdom” and "Strength".
Left - Wisdom, anybody?
While I can see the overall idea, it doesn’t feel very contemporary. Where’s “Vulnerability” & “Sensitivity”?
It feels like the Donald Trump collection of fragrances, which is ironic because Trump’s first fragrance, "Donald Trump, The Fragrance” was produced in partnership with Estée Lauder, who also produce the fragrances for Zegna. Launched in 2004, he also had others, now discontinued, called “Success” and “Empire”.
He’d probably wear all five of these, layered á la Jo Malone, yet he’ll think it was his original idea. More is more when you’re reeking of “Strength” & “Wisdom”, don't you think? No room for "Arrogance"?
It feels like an idea dreamt up between Lauder HQ in “Never Sleeps” New York and Zegna HQ in “Macho” Milan with little thought for the rest of the world. Successful men do wear Zegna’s clothes, you need a certain depth of pocket to be able to afford it, but let’s leave the 80s arrogance to Gordon Gekko.
Right - The full Zegna #Elementsofman line-up
“Talent”, for example, in isolation just seems a little strange. My British modesty and cynicism couldn’t wear a fragrance called “Integrity” without a little smirk.
Zegna is a premium menswear brand and they manufacture the most beautiful Italian clothes and fabrics worn by some of the world's most successful men. I think men today are more complex than these allow. These, at £180 for 50ml, are a premium fragrance offering, it just feels a shame that they’ve handicapped them with their names before you’ve even opened the bottle.
A multi-tasking moisturiser with coffee beans (caffeine), panax ginseng and barley - keeps skin hydrated and healthy, this is said to instantly give your skin a boost of moisture and energy. Help protect your skin from harmful UV rays, while enjoying the flawless-looking finish of the perfecting sheer tint.
TheChicGeek says, “We all need a bit of colour in our life and while I’m not usually one to tint, I thought, why not during the summer months? This is more like a bb cream or foundation type colour and not a fake tan, so it is fairly subtle. It’s a creamy texture with a nice orange-suncream-type scent and a really good, high SPF of 40.
I wasn’t conscious I was wearing this, which is good, and it doesn’t put you on the orange spectrum of fake tan. But it is quite hard to get under any facial hair or stubble.
The moisturising qualities are negligible and it feels fairly matt and dry, but I think it’s worth using for the SPF protection.”
Left - Origins - Energy-Boosting Tinted Moisturizer Ginzing SPF 40 - £30
While the image of Davidoff Cool Water has always been a sparkling, aqua blue wave somewhere exotic like Hawaii or Malibu, you don’t have to go that far to experience the addictive draw of the sea.
Davidoff kindly took me to Cornwall to experience the latest edition to the Cool Water franchise - Wave. TheChicGeek and water don’t usually mix, but there’s something about Cornwall that when the sun comes out, it’s magical.
Famous for its ‘oceanic’ aquatic scent, Davidoff asked renowned perfumers, Francis Kurkdjian, Antoine Lie, and Jean Jacques to collaborate to create Wave. It begins with a bracing surge of the energising, signature marine splash accord and grapefruit notes that mingle with stimulating Sichuan pepper. The middle features birch leaf and juniper, on a masculine base of patchouli and sandalwood.
TheChicGeek says, “This is an easy wearer and that’s why the original Cool Water has remained so popular. A nice update, segue way, call it what you will, I particularly like the botanicals in it. The original ‘marine splash’ is there and while the rest balances around it, it remains a classic aqua cologne. It has a greenish feeling to it that continues the fresh theme without making it feel immature or unsophisticated. Cool Water Wave brings back the memories of the beach, so I'm diving in!”
Below - Surfer Geek
A new twist on Calvin Klein’s Obsession, the Obsessed For Men fragrance is an oriental woody amber with ‘a compelling heart of black vanilla sophisticatedly structured with dark, dimensional woods, providing the tension between a feminine melodiousness and masculine strength. Ambrox elegantly cuts through all, lending a sleek and contemporaneous edge’.
TheChicGeek says, “The original Obsession was the one major Calvin Klein fragrance that passed me by. Eternity - love, Escape - love, CK One - love. I’m not really sure why I skipped Obsession. I think it felt more feminine, ATM, due to the image of Kate Moss lying on a sofa. The images are a 90s classic and it was the start of Kate Moss’ relationship with the brand.
This new fragrance uses the same shaped bottle of the original while in a super-clean, clear finish.
I’m being pernickety, but i think they should have called it ‘Obsess’ rather than ‘Obsessed’. Obsessed is too pop culture a word, today, like ‘everything’ and ‘love’. It’s chuck away and immature.
They say this is Raf Simons’ first fragrance under his direction and it feels more a tinkering than a fully formed idea. The pictures of Kate are timeless in the truest sense of the word. Sent on holiday in 1993 with her then boyfriend, photographer, Mario Sorrenti, there was no make-up, hair or stylist. A simple setup, where the relationship made for exceptional results and a campaign that still resonates today.
As for the juice, it’s fruity, fresh and feminine. The fresh grapefruit gives it a sticky top while the deep vanilla gives a gourmand finish. It sits in that modern fragrance formation where there is as much top as bottom and it leaves you just wanting something a little bit deeper and more sophisticated."
Above - Calvin Klein - Obsessed For Men - 125ml - £57
Below - The original archive of unused Obsession images has been reworked for the new fragrance
The new electric toothbrush from Bruzzoni’s ‘Wall Street’ collection combines minimalist Italian design with cutting edge Swedish technology. The Bruzzoni electric toothbrush has a luxurious soft leather-like feel and is comfortable to use, with a high speed oscillating brush head that keeps your teeth smooth and clean, and your mouth super fresh.
It comes in two stylish colour options – deep matt black trimmed with rose gold metal, or sleek white trimmed with silver metal. You also get a neat, matching metallic induction charger base.
The induction charger gives you 40 minutes’ cleaning time when the toothbrush is fully charged, which you can do from any USB port or your bathroom shaver socket. Plus, it has an easy to read battery indicator that gives you plenty of warning so you know exactly when you need to recharge..
TheChicGeek says, “When I was invited to try a Bruzzoni toothbrush I thought anything that challenges the duopoly of Braun Oral B and Philips Sonicare can only be a good thing. I was sent the black option with the rose cold touches.
Feeling all Gordon Gekko, it looks better in the pictures than in real and the ‘leather’ finish feels a bit ‘retro speaker finish’. I had been using a Philips Sonicare before this and you really notice the difference in head size. This is much bigger and doesn’t get to the back of the mouth as easy as the Philips. The round head action is soft and not ‘digger truck’ like the Oral B and sticks to the traditional 2 mins, 4 quadrant type clean.
I’m a fan of good looking products, but I feel this is a couple of designs away from where is needs to be in both practicality and finish. It just feels a bit basic, but it’s definitely in the right area.”
Left & Below - Bruzzoni - Wall Street Electronic Toothbrush - £120
Coach introduces a new fragrance for men. It is said to have a New York attitude and an American authenticity. Coach For Men starts with an energetic top note of crisp and effervescent green Nashi pear. A spicy burst of cardamom adds warmth, complexity and a subtle touch of sweetness. The scent ends with a textured base of vetiver—earthy, woody and green—layered with hints of suede and ambergris.
Left - One of the best bottles I've seen this year Coach For Men
TheChicGeek says, “In the battle for mainstream luxury - which is where all the money is BTW - Coach have a real energy right now. They feel like they are leading, rather than following, and have, finally, made Coach a recognised and desired brand in the UK and Europe.
This is their first men’s fragrance under their new license deal - they were previously with Esteé Lauder.
I really like the packaging: the ombré flacon and embossed logo with the name on the a leather tag is strong yet subtle branding. Even the textured calf-skin-like finish on the box is a nice touch.
The juice is commercial, but, that’s expected. The best bit is the dry down which soft and warm and without anything jarring or dominating.
The face is James Franco. I thought they would have chosen somebody a bit younger. Coach has been pushing a more collegiate, youthful feel and James Franco, pushing 40, is a bit done and has been used by other brands before. I personally think of Chloe Moretz and Brooklyn Beckham as Coach’s target image now: young and cool. But, this fragrance certainly works on its own."
Right - Too old for the new Coach? The Coach For Men face James Franco.
Coach For Men - Out 12th September 2017 40ml - 100ml - £29 - £62
The new Creme De La Mer Moisturizing Matte Lotion is said to defy the laws of moisture with nourishing hydration from the sea combined with unique mattifying technology to help soften away the appearance of age, shine and pores.
Their smallest moisture sphere ever is suspended in a buoyant gel layer to deliver nourishing hydration rapidly—with a fresh finish. A sea-sourced, micro-fine powder surrounds each gel capsule, creating a Mattifying Mesh Network that works intuitively to minimise shine for a beautifully balanced, refined looking complexion in even the hottest, most humid climates.
TheChicGeek says, “Creme De La Mer or La Mer, I’m not sure what it’s called anymore, has always been the pricey mainstream option. I’ve always found the original product, containing the famous ‘Miracle Broth’, a little rich for me, so was pleased to hear about this ‘Moisturizing Matte Lotion’.
I wanted this to be rich and nourishing while leaving a matt and non-shine finish, especially as the majority of men’s skins are thicker and oilier.
Unfortunately, while matt, I didn’t get the glow I was wanting or expecting. It just seemed to disappear and not have any lasting effect.”
Left - Creme De La Mer Moisturizing Matte Lotion - 50ml - £180