Wednesday, 13 September 2017 11:49

Tried & Tested Gentleman Givenchy

Review Givenchy Gentleman Fragrance

The classic touch of lavender is altered by noble iris, that master perfumers Nathalie Lorson and Olivier Cresp placed at the heart of the fragrance. Combined with smooth, sweet pear and in a subtle nod to the original 1975 release, a patchouli-leather accord structures this new woody floral fougère fragrance. 

Left - Gentleman Givenchy - 100ml - £66

Review Givenchy Gentleman Fragrance Aaron Taylor-Johnson

TheChicGeek says, “Off we went to Paris for the launch of this and even after two days it still wasn’t sinking in exactly which way around gentleman and Givenchy were arranged. The new fragrance is called Gentleman Givenchy and not Givenchy Gentleman - do you see what they did there? - which is the original 1975 fragrance and, to many, a classic.

Right - Face - Aaron Taylor-Johnson representing the "Gentle Man"

The new version is getting a lot things right: the face Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a good choice. He looks great in the ad. and the commercial, shot by his artist wife, it sees him dancing and looking hot. The bottle is the classic Givenchy shape and the idea of a “Gentle Man” is modern and reflects the change in masculinity over the 40 years since the original.

Review Givenchy Gentleman Fragrance

The main problem I have is, the fragrance smells like everything else. I’m not getting the original here and it’s certainly not memorable. Again, another fragrance not to dislike, but nothing to get excited about either.

With Givenchy’s pedigree they should have reintroduced the original with all its seventies-ness to a new generation and re-owned one of the great male fragrances. Givenchy is a storied brand and they have a respected history, they just don’t use it enough.

They have a new designer, Clare Weight Keller, and it will be interesting if she has any input into the beauty side of the business which has been neglected under the former Creative Director, Riccardo Tisci.”

Left - TheChicGeek giving good "Gentleman" on the red carpet in Paris

Below - TheChicGeek getting his Gentleman Givenchy on in the Eurostar lounge on the way home from Paris

Chic Geek Eurostar Lounge Givenchy Gentleman Paris

Published in Grooming
Thursday, 07 September 2017 22:20

Tried & Tested Beaufort London Iron Duke

Review Beaufort London Iron Duke Fragrance Perfume

The first fragrance in Beaufort London’s new ‘Revenants’ fragrance series is Iron Duke. A tribute to Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke Of Wellington (1769 – 1852), perfumer Julie Dunkley has created a strikingly powerful fragrance with animalic depths  – an apparition of the celebrated horseman, warrior politician and sartorial pioneer. 

TheChicGeek says, “I’ve become a fan of Beaufort London fragrances - read more here - and this is the start of a new collection based on the ghosts of great British figures. This is inspired by Wellington and his horse - Copenhagen - and the Duke’s penchant for brandy and drinking.

Beaufort London haven’t revealed the individual notes, which actually makes it more fun. I got a top of boozy cough mixture then the warm, leathery, animalic body of the horse. There’s some spice in there, yet it’s warm, sexy and leathery. It’s dirty, but has a modern naturalness to it, like a honey or something.

It’s keenly priced at £95, especially being a high concentration eau de perfume (30%), and the image on the bottle is by Leo’s - Beaufort Founder - friend, tattooist Robert Gisbourne-Ashby.

This is wearably animalic. If you want something even dirtier and grubbier then try Peau De Bête.” 

Left - Beaufort London - Iron Duke - 50ml - £95

Published in Grooming

Review Beverly Hills Formula Black Pearl Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

Beverly Hills Formula’s Professional White range offers a brand new advanced formula for superior whitening results using clinically proven ingredients to help remove surface and deep stains without harming the enamel.

Oral hygiene experts, Beverly Hills Formula, have been working on the ground-breaking new whitening formulation for over two years and it’s currently only available in the UK.

Black Pearl works by using activated charcoal combined with professional whitening ingredient Phthalimido-Peroxy-Caproic Acid (PAP) to help remove surface and deep stains without harming the enamel and is safe for daily use.  

Chris Dodd, CEO of Beverly Hills Formula which has been established for over 20 years, said: “We are very excited about our new Professional White range which has taken over two years in development, but it’s been well worth it because we believe we’ve created the best teeth whitening products which aren’t harmful to enamel and are aimed at consumers who expect superior results from a whitening toothpaste.”

TheChicGeek says, “If I got a smile like one of those “Housewives” I’d probably blind everybody when I opened my mouth. My goal isn’t ice white, it’s more a subtle British ivory, if you get my drift!

I’m always a bit sceptical about “whitening” toothpastes and I’m firmly in the camp of “this won’t do anything, but it can’t hurt”.

This is the first jet black toothpaste I’ve used. It isn’t difficult to rinse and there are no traces of it left after using, ie grey gums. I really enjoyed using this. I’m not sure if my teeth look whiter, but I definitely feel like my gums are better and my teeth feel really clean. This feels like a quality product.”

Above - Beverly Hills Formula Black Pearl Professional White Toothpaste - £10.99

 

Published in Grooming
Wednesday, 23 August 2017 22:14

ChicGeek Comment New H&M Brand Arket

Arket H&M Regent Street

When Banana Republic decided to chuck in the towel, leave the UK and move out of the H&M-owned, old Dickins & Jones flagship building on Regent Street, it made sense, to H&M anyway, to fill it with their own house brands, especially at a time when you could struggle to fill such a large, flagship space.

Left - Upstairs at Arket, Womenswear

The space has been split between Weekday, which already has stores across Europe, and Arket, which is brand new and this is the first one in the world.

The big question is: does the world need anymore H&M brands? It makes sense for the companies. Put your eggs in lots of baskets, aimed at lots of different sectors and consumers, and not only do you have all bases covered, you can weather the ups and downs of fickle consumers better: as one brand is going down, another one can be coming up.

What with COS, & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, Monki, as well at the main H&M brand, they are pushing out, much like the Spanish Zara owner Inditex, with many consumers unaware or past caring about who owns what. It’s the fashion equivalent of a one operator food court.

Arket H&M Regent Street Cafe

Anyway, let’s talk about Arket. They’ve gone London grey - Scandinavian pink perhaps?! -  with the shop fit. It looks a bit like a stage fit of a shop in “1984”. The top half is empty and looks like a cheap wardrobe carcass waiting for the doors. The floor is Valentino-type grey terrazzo and it is lacking, somewhat, in personality. This looked like the template for every future store and you wouldn't know where you were. Are brands still in that mind set of rolling out the same shopfit the world over? I thought we were done with all that.

Right - Café with a shop attached

The product is good. The knitwear feels substantial and of good quality. So good, in fact, I think you’ll have to buy it two sizes bigger just to get into it. The ground floor is split between men’s at the front and back, homeware in the middle and a café to the side at the back. Upstairs is womenswear and childrenswear. 

Arket H&M Regent Street

Branding is minimal and it’s all very plain and Scandi - can we ever get enough?! - The women’s has more colour and it does flow.

Arket likes a serial number on things. I think the target customer is the trendy mum, she wants clothes for her, her children, a café to sit down in and some little treats in homeware, plus she’ll be buying the menswear too, which is why there are Breton stripes - every woman loves a man in Breton stripes, don't they? 

Left - Using brands such as R.M. Williams & Tricker's to elevate the branding & clothes

When this rolls out to the big shopping centres all over the country, depending on how successful it is in London I guess, then she’ll in there with her stroller, smugly mocking the Cath Kidston nappy bags. (If she’s buying the clothes, she’s probably washing them too. I’d like to see how those knits fare).

As for the hubby, there’s nothing he won’t be happy with, there’s nothing not to like. 

Like Weekday, there is a sprinkling of other brands: they are using quality shoes like Tricker’s and R.M. Williams to elevate the clothes. The price points are £80 for a jumper and £45 for a pair of good quality long-johns, which to me feels more like a Swedish customer used to paying for quality and not a London or U.K. customer hooked and satisfied on cheap clothing.

There was a very nice Black Watch tartan mac, which won’t hang about for long, and, like all stores, you cherry pick the best pieces and ignore those that are over-priced or not special enough.

What Arket lacks in personality it makes up for in quality. This feels like a store for Millennial milfs and dilfs, which was perfectly illustrated by two dads proudly feeding their babies on the opening night, probably while their wives were busy shopping.

Published in Fashion

Review Calvin Klein Obsessed fragrance men's Kate Moss The Chic 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

Review Calvin Klein Obsessed fragrance men's Kate Moss The Chic Geek

Published in Grooming
Friday, 21 July 2017 09:46

Tried & Tested Bruzzoni Toothbrush

Review bruzzoni toothbrush The Chic Geek teeth

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

Review bruzzoni toothbrush The Chic Geek teeth

Published in Grooming
Thursday, 20 July 2017 15:15

Tried & Tested Coach For Men

Review Coach For Men Fragrance

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.

Review Coach For Men Fragrance James Franco

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

Published in Grooming

Review Creme De la Mer Moisturizing Matte Lotion

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

Published in Grooming
Friday, 02 June 2017 11:49

Tried & Tested Azzaro Pure Chrome

A citrus-oriental-woody fragrance, Chrome Pure revisits Azzaro’s original Chrome fragrance’s emblematic freshness, creating a more textured and vibrant feel, with the addition of two new ingredients: the spicy-woody accents akigala wood and tonka bean join the white musks and mate leaves of the original version. 

TheChicGeek says, “Released in 1996, I’m not familiar with the original Chrome fragrance. As a brand, Azzaro, has little or no awareness here in the UK and even Googling images only brings up fragrance and no vintage or historical fashion images. 

This fragrance follows the typical tonka bean formula that have been popular over the last few years, but it does has a sophistication lacking in many.  Created by Jacques Huclier - he was the nose behind the epic Thierry Mugler A*Men - it’s fresh, but wait for the dry down as it's the best bit, where it gets soft, musky and almost gourmandy.

The bottle follows the form of the 1996 original and looks a bit dated, now, particularly the font, but if you’re a fan of this type of fragrance you could do much worse at this decent price”.

Left - Azzaro Pure Chrome - 100ml - £59

Published in Grooming

The scalp often gets overlooked, and, much like a plant, healthy roots equals a strong and vigorous plant. 

“Your scalp is simply an extension of your facial skin. And just like your face, your scalp needs cleansing, balancing, and protection. Once you think of it that way, it shouldn’t be hard to understand why you might need to be giving it a little extra care,” says, Justina Mejia-Montane, Vice President, Global Product Development at Aveda.

The Pramāsana collection is formulated with an exclusive blend of ingredients including: seaweed extract, helps control and balance sebum levels on the scalp. Lactobacillus, patented ferment helps preserve the scalp’s natural protective barrier and Tamanu Oil, a known anti-oxidant that helps to protect the scalp from pollution and other free radicals. The fragrance is a clean, fresh ‘Pure-Fume’ aroma featuring grapefruit, neroli, and cypress.

Left - Aveda - Pramasana Purifying Scalp Cleanser - £23.50, Pramasana Protective Scalp Concentrate - £35 

TheChicGeek says, “A product will come along and you’ll think why haven’t I thought about my hair like this before. Now, put your hands together, bend forward and say “Pramāsana”, it’s a combination of the Sanskrit words, ‘Prama’ (foundation) and ‘Asana’ (position in yoga). Now, uncross your legs!

You always feel like you’re in good hands with Aveda hair products. There’s an optional brush, which I didn't try, but having short hair. I don’t think I really needed it.

The first of the two products is the cleanser. You massage into the scalp, before shampooing and on wet hair, to instantly balance sebum levels creating a clean scalp foundation. 

This has that satisfying, two-handed massaging texture that really makes you feel like you’re really cleaning your hair. You then shampoo and rinse as usual.

Then, while the hair is still damp, it’s time for the 'Scalp Concentrate'. I found it was best to pipette it into your hand then rub it into the scalp. Aveda say to think about this like the serum step in skincare. It’s suppose to help protect from pollution and other free radicals which should go to some way in combating the excesses Oxford Street!

 I like both of these products and I think it’ll be particularly good for those with thick hair and those who use a lot of product. My mum actually said my hair looked nice, which she hasn't said for a while and didn't know I had used anything new.

My only negative, there needs to be more information on how often to use it. I wasn't sure if it was a weekly or daily thing, but I’ve been told “it’s as often as you wash your hair, so, yes, daily is good!”.

Published in Grooming
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