Men's style expert, The Chic Geek, talks about the latest health drink - tree (birch, maple & bamboo) water and the latest men's designer fragrances from Azzaro, Roberto Cavalli, Givenchy & Salvatore Ferragamo
“Mr. Burberry is our most significant men’s fragrance to date. Inspired by the iconic Burberry trench coat and by London, a city of great contrasts and contradictions. It is traditional yet irreverent, elegant without being pristine. It perfectly encapsulates a mood and an attitude that today’s Burberry man will recognise as his own.” says Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer, Burberry.
Left - Josh's Bottle! Burberry - Mr. Burberry Eau De Toilette - 100ml - £64
Inspired by Burberry’s iconic black trench coat and by London, the Mr. Burberry fragrance was created by Christopher Bailey, working in collaboration with renowned perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. A sensual herbal woody eau de toilette, the fragrance opens with notes of crisp zesty grapefruit, cut with a seductive base of earthy vetiver and smokey guaiac wood.
Right - The full Mr Burberry range includes a beard oil
The Mr. Burberry campaign was shot in London by Oscar and Turner Prize-winning British director Steve McQueen in his first commercial film, and features British actor and musician Josh Whitehouse and British model and actress Amber Anderson. The soundtrack was created by British singer-songwriter Benjamin Clementine.
TheChicGeek says, “This is a big deal for Burberry. After buying back their fragrance license they are now in full control of this side of the business and see this as one of their growth areas. They need this to be a hit.
They’re one of the few mega-brands in fashion with a creative director overseeing every little detail of the business and you can feel the consistency here.
As for the fragrance, it’s nice, but not distinctive. The refreshing grapefruit of the top soon gives way to a soft and warm wood. The main negative is that it doesn’t last. You’d be better off using this as a type of cologne and applying lots and often to keep it with you. There’s also a full range of products to go with this, including a beard oil, which, while not revolutionary, at least shows they’ve thought about the men’s market and offered some difference.
I like the touch of gabardine, the original trench-coat fabric invented by Thomas Burberry, made in Burberry’s own factory in Yorkshire and tied around the neck of the bottle. This is as close as the majority of people will get to owning one of their expensive trench-coats. You can also have each bottle personalised with up to three initials.
The campaign feels a bit more risqué than the average perfume commercial, think quite a bit of nudity, but you do wonder how much will be cut to please different markets and advertisers.”
Below - Face of the fragrance, British actor & musician - Josh Whitehouse
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
Light and fresh, this invigorating fragrance based on Italian Bergamot contains notes of Calabrian bergamot, from Zegna's own special farm, along with rosemary, vetiver, and neroli, all said to 'emulate the cooling breeze, lush green fields and blue coastline' of Southern Italy.
TheChicGeek says “Nothing is more Italian or Italian summery, should we say, than the bergamot. This large citrus fruit has long been the main ingredient for that freshness in men’s fragrance, particularly some of the original Eau de Colognes which date back many hundreds of years.
This pretty much does what it says on the tin, but with a more contemporary spin. The other elements - the rosemary and vetiver give it a slight ‘marine’ hit of woody freshness to the citrus.”
Left & Below - Ermengildo Zegna - Acqua Di Bergamotto - 100ml - £76
Choosing the equestrian discipline of dressage as its focal sport, Acqua di Parma’s new Colonia Club has the signature Acqua di Parma top notes of citrus - bergamot, lemon, petitgrain and mandarin, immediately followed by an unexpected olfactory note.
The freshness of mint – combined with neroli oil – is blended with aromatic geranium and lavender notes with equally elegant freshness of galbanum.
The dry and woody accents of Haiti vetiver, combined with precious musk notes and a rich grey amber accord, make up the perfect base, stressing the masculine, dynamic, sophisticated tones of the fragrance.
There is an Eau de Cologne spray, Hair and Shower Gel, Deodorant Stick and Spray, Shampoo and Shower Gel within the Colonia Club range.
Left - Acqua di Parma Colonia Club - 100ml - £81
TheChicGeek says, “Billed as Acqua di Parma’s ‘Sports’ fragrance, Colonia Club is a classic men’s fougeré (lavender) unpinned with fresh mint. This a classic type of men’s fragrance, thus being very wearable, in a very popular men’s family of fragrances. The mint remains warm thanks to the amber.
The only negatives are - it has that initial stickiness that you get with a lot of men’s fragrances, you could put that down to the amount of green notes in the fragrance and it also doesn’t last very long. BUT, it is an Eau De Cologne which in their nature are light and should be sprayed liberally and often.
The rich racing green colour suits the classic deco flacon and visualises this green and fresh fragrance. This is the sort of fragrance that works well across a range of products, especially the types of gym products, like shower gel, in this range."
Dolce&Gabbana's new men's fragrance, Intenso, is a woody aromatic scent that opens with luminous aquatic notes and green accents of basil and lavender.
Left - Dolce&Gabbana - Intenso - 75ml - £52
The fragrance is defined by a brand new discovery in the olfactory world: the Moepel accord, used for the very first time in perfumery. The moepel is a milkwood tree found in South Africa. It’s odour is totally unique, extremely sensual and incredibly rich.
The face of Intenso is Irish actor Colin Farrell
TheChicGeek says, “This has something of an alpine freshness to start and then dries down to smell of that parched, dried leafy undergrowth you find under trees and bushes in a warm climate.
I’ve never smelt moepel before, so it’s difficult to put my finger on it. This would appeal to the guy who wants something subtly different yet still masculine and approachable.”