A new ‘old’ fragrance house, Parfums de Marly, is named after the Marly Castle, which was the party place of the French kings - like Versailles wasn’t party-central enough!
Located in the suburbs of Paris, it was the famous leisure residence of the Sun King Louis XIV and became the centre for his horses and hunting. King Louis XV, succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. He was offered 8 Arabian horses - Godolphin & Darly - by the King of Tunisia. He bred these with his European horses to create superior racehorses; which he used to compete in exclusive Royal events. The King himself owned over 600 horses.
Parfums de Marly’s fragrances are all named after famous horses to reflect the places equestrian heritage.
The new fragrance, Carlisle, has been christened after the majestic English horse of the same name from the year 1695. Hailing from the fruity spicy family of fragrances, the fragrance boasts top notes of bergamot, mandarin, apple and French lavender. It then moves on to middle notes of violet, jasmine and geranium Egypt. Base notes include Paraguay gaiac wood, Indonesian patchouli, sandalwood, Guatemalan cardamom, vanilla and Madagascar pepper.
Parfums de Marly - Carlisle - 125ml - £215.00 Exclusive to Harrods
TheChicGeek says, “There is no denying the quality here. These are unisex fragrances and it’s nice to get a bit of a French history lesson in the process too. This is fruity, it has an almost olfactory of top-layer-of-strawberry-jam that is warmed by the vanilla and spicy pepper. It's a gourmand delight that makes you want to taste. It's very consistent as you would expect at this price and lasts. I did suggest that their next one should be called ‘Desert Orchid’, but then again it does sound a bit Tom Ford!”
Inspired by the sweat of a horse after its gallop, Liquides Imaginaires’ ‘Peau De Bête’ contains heads notes of chamomile blue, cumin seed, Madagascar black pepper and parsley seed.
Left - Liquides Imaginaires - Peau De Bête - 100ml - £230
The base features cade wood, guaiac wood, Atlas cedarwood, Texas cedarwood, Indonesian patchouli, patchouli absolute, Indian cypriol, Dominican Republic amyris, ambrarome absolute, castoreum base, civet base and skatole.
TheChicGeek says, “I like a curve ball, when it comes to fragrance, as much as the next person, but, a curve ball through a shitty stable and around the sweaty backside of a horse, may just be pushing it. Translated as animal hide, Peau De Bête, isn’t for the faint hearted.
The base ingredients include skatole, which appears naturally in faeces and civet base which is the natural byproduct of the anal glands of exotic civet cats.
The initial spray certainly hits you, it has something you can’t quite put your finger on! Scarily, on a second visit, it starts to normalise and smells like a really deep and smoky leather. It has that dirty, hairy, animalic musk and warmth that you would get from a horse’s neck. And the more you visualise it the more it smells like it.
You’ll be pleased to know it does dry down to something more incense-like with the potent animalic hit disappearing to a background of strong yet attractive leather”.
Part of Jo Malone’s Cologne Intense range, Orris & Sandalwood, centres around orris, the name for the dried root of the iris. One of the most expensive ingredients in perfumery it is grown in Tuscany and takes many years to dry out.
Here it is combined her with top notes of violet, and a base of sandalwood.
TheChicGeek says, “This is the dirty side of orris. The initial burst of fragrant violet doesn’t stop this from quickly drying down to an earthy, woody and almost animalic base. This would appeal to those fans of oud or incense type fragrances. It has a strong beginning which does lighten with time”.
Left - Jo Malone - Cologne Intense - 100ml - £105
Taking its inspiration from the simple elegance of fine tailoring – and with an eye firmly on the details – this woody and aromatic fragrance is the very embodiment of Paul Smith: effortless, contemporary, surprising and eminently wearable.
Left - Two icons of British style - TheChicGeek & Paul Smith
“Essential is for the man who demands the same things from his fragrance as he does from his clothing,” says Paul Smith. “He’s gentlemanly but contemporary at the same time. He knows who he is and is confident with his sense of style, which is classic with a hint of surprise and a sometimes sense of humour.”
Right - Paul Smith - Essential - EDT - 100ml - £38
A contemporary take on a traditional woody aromatic fragrance Paul Smith Essential opens with a crisp, clean ozonic accord and an invigorating burst of yuzu fruit before a trio of intensely aromatic notes (rosemary, clary sage and lavender) emerge to give Essential its distinct and deliciously herbal character. These, in turn, give way to a warm, masculine and woody base while musk gives Essential an irresistible, sensual edge.
TheChicGeek says, “This is a commercial men's fragrance and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Paul Smith wouldn’t have the size of business he has without making wearable clothes that appeal to a large sector of men and the same goes for his fragrances.
Essential is a classic men’s fougére - meaning lavender based - scent which is fresh, clean and wearable. Paul says he always puts patchouli into his scents as it reminds him of unpacking textiles from India because they add patchouli leaves as a type of repellent. Hopefully it won’t have the same effect with this!
Within an increasingly crowded men's fragrance market the majority of men would be happy to accept a gift with Paul Smith’s name on it, just don’t expect this to be that memorable."
Introducing ‘Oxford & Cambridge Body Wash’ the latest luxurious addition to the Czech & Speake bathing range for gentlemen. This gently foaming and richly fragranced formulation is suitable for both showering and bathing and includes including aloe vera to soothe and refresh and Dead Sea salts to regenerate and tone the skin.
The scent contains French citrus and healing English lavender, topped with herbaceous peppermint, rosemary and bergamot, all perfectly balanced on a base of warm oak moss.
TheChicGeek says, “Let’s be honest, men don’t use expensive body washes religiously throughout the year. The volumes they get through, combined with the high cost, makes it more a treat than an everyday occurrence. Hence, why Christmas is the perfect time to spoil yourself.
Now, this is a treat. A very English treat. When in the shower, this smells strongly of dried lavender, it doesn’t smell like the overall scent which develops, and lasts, into a classic and soft fragrance that you almost wish they could do a version for the washing machine, so all your washing could smell this good.
This is perfect for somebody who wants a soft and lasting, but not overpowering body scent."
Left - Czech & Speake - Oxford & Cambridge Body Wash - 300ml - £38
Diamond Whites Black Edition is a 100% natural tooth polish made from 100% activated coconut shell charcoal. The Charcoal is produced by heating pulverised carbonaceous coconut shells to very high temperatures (600-900°C) followed by “activation” using steam or hot air to erode the internal surfaces of the product and thereby increase its absorptive surface area.
It is this ‘absorptive surface’ that pulls and clears toxins and helps to remove stains from your teeth. It says it will not only change the way you whiten your teeth, but also strengths gums, removes toxins from the mouth and absorbs bacteria. You simply dip your wet toothbrush in the powder, gently brush your teeth in circular motions and spit.
TheChicGeek says, “It’s strange how something so black can claim to whiten your teeth. When this pot of black powder appeared it did feel a little primitive in our world of science and long labelling, but then, hey, it’s usually the old ways that are always the best. We all know about charcoal’s properties of riding the skin of impurities, so it’s logical it would work in your mouth.
It’s really simple to use, if a little messy. I was worried the charcoal would stain my guns grey, but it rinsed out really easily. It doesn’t say how often you should use it, but I would suggest once a week.
It’s always hard to judge colour change unless you go Towie brilliant white, but it certainly passed that satisfied tongue across the teeth swipe afterwards.
I think this is the oral hygiene equivalent of cleaning your windows with vinegar and newspaper”.
Above - Diamond Whites - Black Edition - £14.99
Erborian’s CC HOMME product is a complete, multi-purpose skincare product that draws on the expertise of Korean technology. The next big step in male cosmetics and skin care, these makeup maestros even your skin tone, disguise a wide range of mild imperfections including dullness, fatigue, irritation and redness and ultimately brighten your face giving an instant ‘healthy glow’ effect.
Left - Erborian - CC Homme - 30ml - £29
Containing multiple ‘cc pigments’, a new generation of genuine colour controllers, this cream goes on white and naturally adjusts to your skin tone to enhance your skin’s true radiance. What’s more, it also contains built-in SPF25 coverage to protect the skin.
Providing a sheer and subtle coverage, this cream matifies the skin, leaving it looking smoother and the complexion more even.
TheChicGeek says, “Korean men have become the pioneers of men’s grooming. One of the highest spending of male consumers in the world, it was inevitable that one of the first men’s CC creams would come from this part of the world.
Let’s start by explaining first what a CC cream is. A "CC cream" is used to mean Colour Control cream, or Colour Correcting cream, which reduces the appearance of skin redness or sallowness or to improve uneven skin tone.
Many women use a CC cream as a base under their make-up as it corrects the skin’s colour using light-diffusing particles. Men can put their moisturiser on, then apply this on top.
Firstly, it has the colour (grey/white) of and looks like a standard face scrub yet is smooth. I applied sparingly and then blended it into the skin being careful around my beard/stubble.
It definitely evens out your skin tone and gives you a more uniform appearance. When it’s says ‘brighten’ this often means lighten, but this gives you a hint of colour.
I did ask a few people if it looked like I was wearing make-up and they said “no”. It definitely doesn’t feel like you are.
Men have had BB creams for a while and I thought CC would have been quick to follow. This is the first one I’ve tried and it is definitely something I’d be happy to use again. Guys with uneven skin tone and blemishes would probably find this the most beneficial”.