Review 
Goldfield Banks Pacific Rock Moss men's fragrance best rated tried testedInspired by the southern coastline of New South Wales, Goldfield & Banks’ Pacific Rock Moss is a fresh, sea spray scent on a base of cedarwood. The perfurmer is Francois Merle-Baudoin, who has used moss, Italian lemon, sage, geranium and Virginia cedar to express the home Australian coast of the brand.

TheChicGeek says, “Marine fragrances are hard to instil much depth into. The fresh, aqua top is always synthetic and, often, smells as such. The most interesting bit of this is the dry-down. It’s a light, soft and warm wood which fades into the background turning from aquatic blue to a soft sunset terracotta.” 

Goldfield & Banks - Pacific Rock Moss - 100ml - £135

Published in Grooming
Thursday, 25 July 2019 14:11

Tried & Tested Floris Vert Fougère

Review 
Floris Vert Fougère men's fragrance best rated tried testedPart of Floris’ ‘Private Collection’, Vert Fougère, a lighter reimagination of a traditional woody fougère fragrance has green top notes of galbanum, grapefruit and bergamot, blended with a heart of lavender, neroli and ginger, on a base of smoke accord, amber and cashmere.

Master Perfumer, Nicola Pozzani, says, “Revolutionary in its composition, fougère to me is a marriage made of opposites: crisp, smart freshness versus sensuous, indulgent warmth. It’s sparkle and mystery, light and shade, it’s citrus herbal notes mingling with the woody oriental. Our new fougère had to be simple yet vigorous. 

“I envisioned a garden at twilight, so I took lavender, but wanted it to be moody with the dew of the evening, so added patchouli and dark green with galbunum - green notes were my first love in perfumery. A slight citrus tone shines in the background reminiscent of our roots. Fougère stands for endurance so I boosted the scent with cedarwood, a nearly immortal red wood. Finally I created a sense of cosiness with cashmere woods and touch of vanilla and smoke.” 

TheChicGeek says, “There’s almost something medicinal about this at first. The green element is coming from the galbanum, which is from an aromatic gum resin derived from the plant genus Ferula, chiefly Ferula gummosa and Ferula rubricaulis. It’s part of the carrot family and looks a bit like cow parsley or fennel. 

This fragrance has a cooling, almost menthol quality, but it’s not cold and then goes slightly powdery. This isn’t a spring green type vert, but rather a damp, fernery undergrowth type green on that perennial favourite fougère but there’s also a sweetness that makes this very easy to wear and far from dark.” 

Left - Floris - Vert Fougère - 100ml - £120

Disclosure - A sample to test was provided by Floris

Published in Grooming

Review 
Gillette Heated Razor Labs tried testedGillette has released the first-to-market heated razor by their new ‘GilletteLabs’ stable. This wet shave razor delivers a sustained heat sensation via an innovative warming bar and provides the pleasure of a hot towel with every stroke. The stainless steel warming bar has adjustable temperature levels and a wireless magnetic charging dock. The rechargeable lithium ion battery lasts up to six shaves, depending on usage.

Left & Right - GilletteLabs - Heated Razor - £199

TheChicGeek says, “New slogan - The hottest a man can get (™)?! It looks great to start with. I was wondering how much of this was a gimmick, but the clean design of the razor and the simple magnetic charging dock already had me won over before even trying it.

There are two temperature settings to choose from, 43 degrees and 50 degrees. Apparently, Asian men are more sensitive to heat and these two temperatures were chosen because they were found to be the most comfortable to the majority of men’s faces. On your hand it doesn’t feel that hot. You can easily switch between the two temperatures with the handle changing from amber to green.

Review 
Gillette Heated Razor Labs tried tested

On the face, it was much warmer. It’s that comforting sensation, which at first you want to pull away from, thinking you’re about to get burnt, but once over that, it’s an enjoyable sensation. Definitely a good start for those cold mornings or when you can't really get the water in the sink hot enough.

Gillette wants us to shave more. The more we shave, the more razors we buy and this uses a 5 blade cartridge which are exclusive to this gadget because the heat bar has to come through the cartridge head. 

They want us to feel like we've had a hot towel type shave at home and this does offer a passable stab at that.

Did this make me want to shave more? Yes. Will people buy this? I really don’t know. It’s a nice piece of kit, but is it too disposable for £200? There is novelty here, but I enjoyed using it and the heated bar did actually bring something new to the shave."

You can pre-order at here  

Disclosure - A sample to test was provided by Gillette

Published in Grooming
Sunday, 16 June 2019 20:48

Tried & Tested Creed Aventus Cologne

Review 
Creed men's fragrance Aventus Cologne tried testedFollowing on from the hit Aventus fragrance, Aventus Cologne is said to be a fruity yet aromatic burst of ginger, mandarin and pink peppercorn, complemented by a heart of patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver. A leathery balsamic base of styrax, birch, musk and tonka bean.

TheChicGeek says, “Creed has become something of a cult, and looking at the prices, £155 for 50ml, they are certainly premium, even though they’ve managed to ingratiate themselves into the mainstream - John Lewis window anybody?

Colognes are usually lighter and easier to wear, and benefit from frequent reapplications. This is safe. No note really sticks its head above its tasteful parapet. Even the top, which usually dominates a cologne, doesn’t have much distinction and quickly disappears into a that soft and dry twiggy dry-down of vetiver. There’s nothing wrong with this, but if you’re investing, like here, I’d advise to demand more.”

Left - Creed - Aventus Cologne - 100ml - £215

Disclosure - A sample was provided by Creed

Published in Grooming

Review 
Guerlain men's fragrance cool L'Homme Idéal tried testedThe latest instalment of Guerlain’s L'Homme Idéal series, this ‘Cool’ release has ‘re-orchestrated’ the almond olfactory centre with coolness around three accords; the effervescence of top notes of bergamot and orange mingled with the freshness of mint. Patchouli and vetiver are the base notes.

TheChicGeek says, “This is the first of Guerlain’s L'Homme Idéal fragrances I’ve tried. (There are 4 in total). I’m not getting much of the almond centre, there's a slight warmed frangipane note when on the skin, but there’s plenty of the aquatic mint. 

From the majority of mass fragrance brands this would be just another generic cool and fresh fragrance, but, Guerlain has a pedigree which takes it up a notch. While the name isn’t memorable - Ideal Home, anybody?! - and the fragrance isn’t very distinctive, it still has a decent quality for a reasonable price.

I really like the matt grey sides of the bottle and engineered top. It looks classy while in a pretty standard and classic shape. If you want something minty, fresh and easy for summer, then this could be it.”

Left - Guerlain - L’Home Idéal Cool - 50ml - £56

Disclosure - A sample was provided by Guerlain

Published in Grooming
Friday, 17 May 2019 15:27

Tried & Tested Sundara K Face Serum

Review 
Sundara K face Serum CBD tried testedSundara K is a completely natural, plant based, Moroccan argan and cannabidiol (CBD) oil.  It is a hemp based, anti-aging, skin care product developed with the best bioavailable ingredients. Crafted by using exclusively sourced, organic Moroccan argan and cco certified full Sspectrum CBD oils to help protect skin from damage and free radicals through maximum absorption of antioxidants. When using the serum directly on your skin, the cannabinoids are absorbed into the epidermis where your endocannabinoid system stimulates their anti-aging effects. 

Left - Sundara K - Face Serum - £70

TheChicGeek says, “You know you’re in West London when all the women are wearing headbands, and there’s even an opportunity to buy one…and so it was to Worlds End for the launch of Sundara’s Face Serum. The whole room was a chatter, extolling the virtues of CBD and the serum. But, when I jokingly asked 'Where are the cookies?!' they all looked at me rather blankly, which made me question whether they knew the derivation of CBD.

CBD is being fashionably spoken about with regards to health and beauty and is the buzz - no pun intended - ingredient atm. From the hemp or cannabis plant, it is spoken about like a wonder cure.

This is like other non-greasy oils, you apply a few drops to your fingertips on wet skin or you can add it to your moisturiser. It is very light and is worth using just for the orange blossom smell of the neroli oil. Inhale....and relax. I applied mine directly after the shower and put on SPF moisturiser over the top. You will be tempted to apply more that 4 drops but stick to the recommended dosage. It is also supposed to be good for redness, dry skin, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis."

Disclosure - A sample was gifted by Sundara K for review

See other ChicGeek reviewed products containing Cannabis - here

Published in Grooming

Review 
Berries best supplement perfume tried testedBerries Best is a nutritious, doctor-formulated food supplement composed of organic fruit and vegetables. As per its name, the key ingredients in “Berries Best" are specially-selected berry fruits such as blackberry, blueberry, bilberry and lycium berry. 

Suitable for vegans and boasting a high ORAC - Oxygen radical absorbance capacity is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities - value.

TheChicGeek says, “You can never have enough berries in your life and this is a good way of introducing more into your diet. The directions of the dry powder is one scoop with 250-350ml of water. You’ll need to really shake this to mix it. I just use a metal flask and give it a really hard shake. It is recommended on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.

It doesn’t taste bad, but it’s more the texture and the wet/dry mix that takes a while to get your tastebuds around. It contains stevia leaf extract, but isn’t too sweet, and, once you start drinking it, it’s soon gone.

I’m not sure you’d want to have more than one a day. It’s got that taste of raspberries, but without the sweetness. In addition to the full range of berry fruits, the blend contains organic fruits such as papaya, pomegranate and cherry and organic vegetables like beetroot and spinach leaf.

This isn’t cheap, it works out to be roughly £1 a serving and a tub will last you around a month. It could be worth mixing it into a smoothie."

Left - Greens Best Berries Best - 30 Servings - £29.75

Disclosure - A sample was gifted by Water For Health for review

Published in Grooming
Thursday, 02 May 2019 15:25

Tried & Tested Mont Blanc EXPLORER

Review 
Mont Blanc Explorer perfume tried testedTo create Montblanc EXPLORER, three noses from Givaudan have combined their expertise: Jordi Fernandez, Antoine Maisondieu and Olivier Pescheux. Each of them brought their own knowledge of a specific ingredient and their emotional experience; bergamot from Italy, vetiver from Haiti and oatchouli from Indonesia.

The top note bursts with effusive Bergamot from Italy. Called OrPur®, this particular bergamot explodes with floral, green, and intensely fresh notes.

Left - Montblanc Explorer - EDP 100ml - £70

“I find this ingredient particularly luminous, like a young Mediterranean boy bursting with laughter: pure and eminently elegant,” says Antoine Maisondieu, who is a great fan of this citrus fruit. “Bergamot is also an icon of Calabria and symbolises the light of this region. We wanted to infuse Montblanc EXPLORER with this unique atmosphere, synonymous with joy, light and refinement.” This bergamot is paired with the masculine notes of French OrPur® clary sage and spicy orPur® pink pepper. 

The heart note of this journey takes us to the most remote part of Haiti: in the extreme south-west of the island, in the region of Les Cayes, where the most refined vetiver is organically and ethically produced. Celebrated by perfumers all over the world, Haiti's vetiver oil is comparable to no other, thanks to its smoky hues and its slight overtone evoking hazelnut.

“I love the fact that it takes time to truly understand all the richness of vetiver,” explains Olivier Pescheux. “It's not a common or easy-to-access smell. It's authentic, raw and earthy. Vetiver is a root with strong masculine accents: the combination of complexity and roughness gives it real virility.” 

A final stopover takes us to Indonesia, east of Borneo, in the heart of the rainforest, more specifically on the island of Sulawesi to discover a new type of patchouli of unparalleled quality. This patchouli has been developed exclusively for Montblanc fragrances.

“Patchouli is often at the centre of my creations, as it brings a rich and complex character to the perfume, it is the beating heart of the fragrance,” explains Jordi Fernandez. “This incredible custom-made patchouli gives a unique olfactory dimension to our palette. I used it in Montblanc EXPLORER to bring its iconic signature to it. It enhances the leather and cocoa notes of the composition, without showing its earthy facet.” 

TheChicGeek says, “Mont Blanc has become a reliable go-to for mastige men’s fragrances and this is their best since Legend. Three strong noses work here and they’ve kept it simply layered with their three main and quality ingredients.

The bergamot gives the fragrance a wetness which suits the dry and earthy vetiver; you can imagine lush tropical forests and the smell from the damp undergrowth. While nothing raises its head above the scent’s parapet, it all works and resonates with a pleasing quality. The bottle has something of the Frédéric Malles about it.”

Disclosure - A sample was gifted by Mont Blanc for review

Published in Grooming

Review 
Jo Malone solid perfume palettes tried testedJo Malone has launched solid perfume travel-ready palettes featuring some of their most popular fragrances. A light, smooth texture, containing pure beeswax, ensures a rich scent when applied to the skin. Customers can fill their palettes with their choice of two Jo Malone London scents from Lime Basil & Mandarin, Basil & Neroli, Pomegranate Noir, English Pear & Freesia, Blackberry & Bay, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Peony & Blush Suede, Mimosa & Cardamom, Wood Sage & Sea Salt and Oud & Bergamot. When it’s time to try a new combination, simply use the enclosed pin to pop the two scents out of the palette.

Left - Fragrance Combining Palette - £24, Solid Perfume - Cologne - £14, Solid Perfume - Cologne Intense - £16

TheChicGeek says, “Something new from Jo Malone. Affordable and fun, these solid perfume palettes are perfect for travel - you no longer have to worry about fragrance eating into your toiletries liquid allowance for hand luggage and also means you can have two fragrances at the same time, which works with Jo Malone’s famous ‘Fragrance Combining’ (Trademark!).

The formula is soft and creamy and allows for a different, more intimate way of applying fragrance. This feels like more about fragrance for you, than for others. The palettes aren’t huge, and I don’t think they’ll last very long if you’re using them all the time, but, I think constant refresh is part of the point.

They’ve missed a trick not designing the palette so the pin, to remove the fragrance, can clip onto it. But you could just use any pin if you lose it. This is a really fun idea and makes a new entry product for Jo Malone. It feels younger and I think they could have had more fun with the packaging and maybe they could offer palettes in brighter colours or designs. I guess, if this is a success, this will become their equivalent of a jewellery charm bar. It could also become the Nespresso of fragrance!”

Palette and Refills available at Jomalone.co.uk and Selfridges.com

Disclosure - The products were gifted by Jo Malone to review

Published in Grooming
Friday, 08 March 2019 13:11

Tried & Tested Armani Code Absolu

Review 
Armani Code Absolu for men Ryan Reynolds tried testedThis is the sixth edition in the Armani Code line-up which was launched in 2004. Armani Code Absolu for men is an oriental fragrance, in which the classic Code base fragrance has been amplified and warmed. Perfumer Antoine Maisondieu from Givaudan has constructed a fragrance which opens with sparkling notes of green mandarin and apple, which guide us towards the heart. Here, orange blossom, nutmeg and carrot seeds unite with Armani Code signature ingredient tonka bean, unveiling a liquorish accord of rum. The dry down reveals a touch of suede, the tonka bean intensity and sweetness of tinted vanilla. 

Armani Code Absolu - 30ml - £51, 60ml - £69, 110ml - £84 - Available nationwide from 24th April 2019

TheChicGeek says, “This is definitely an evening fragrance. Gourmand. with a warm vanilla dominating, it has a slight orange blossom wetness on the top. Tonka bean has become a stalwart of men’s mainstream fragrance, but here it’s less metallic and much warmer and lip-lickingly fragrant.

Armani has opted for Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, as the new face of Code, which could be confusing when he was the face of Boss Bottled and is dressed roughly the same in both commercials. I’m not sure if this is deliberate or not.

I’ve never given Armani’s fragrances much time before because, like the rest of the label, they seemed all quite safe and it doesn’t fire me up like other brands. With this, I’m pleasantly surprised. The bottle is very tactile, very Armani, and even has a grained cummerbund wrapped around the top. You don’t get more 'evening' than that!”

Disclosure - The product was gifted by Armani to review

Published in Grooming