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Men's Grooming Tips And Advice

Beauty products are not just for girls! Get tips, advice and guides on everything male grooming related. From the latest in skincare products to men's fragrance reviews and hair style tips, you'll find it all in the grooming blog. The modern gent takes care of himself, start now.

Thursday, 9th November, 2017

Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet MAN Fragrance Review

Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet MAN Review

Once again I am taking another look back at one of my older fragrances. Last time round I was looking at Kokorico from Jean Paul Gaultier, and this time it’s another one which I’ve hardly used, it’s Ultraviolet MAN from Paco Rabanne.

This one was another blind buy for me. I’ve had Paco Rabanne scents before this, and other’s since, including the infamous One Million and Invictus which is one of the most popular scents for the past few years. Since it has so much pedigree in fragrances, I thought getting this without smelling it first would be fine, but it’s never been much of a favourite.

The bottle is pretty cool. It’s rectangular with plastic chrome, purple and a glass back. It works by squeezing the purple like a trigger, and the scent then sprays out. I love the bottle for it’s originality, there’s no other bottle like this which I own. But once you get away from the bottle you need to have a good scent to go with it, and it’s not my style.

It’s quite hard to describe this one. It’s really sweet, and it does smell ‘purple’, like the bottle. How can I explain that? It smells quite dry and powdery, and is a sweet style of scent. It’s not very musky, like a traditional masculine scent, nor is it fresh, or citrus-like. It’s not an unpleasant smell, but it doesn’t really stand out. Where I like to wear something which is light, fresh or citrus through the day, this is not that. A great evening scent for me is dark and inviting, and this is not that either.

So it’s not really a stand out scent, and doesn’t really fit into any kind of category for a fragrance, which could be a good thing if it were a brilliant smell, but sadly it just isn’t anything special.

Best season to wear – Autumn/Winter
Scent type – Earthy/Aromatic
Age Recommendation – 18+
Best Worn – Evening, Day Wear, Formal, Casual

Top Notes – Mint, Amber

Middle Notes – Vetiver, Pepper, Spicy Notes

Base Notes – Oakmoss, Vanilla

What do you think of Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet? Let me know, and if you’re looking for another scent, make sure you check out my men’s fragrance reviews, for all the latest and classic scents.


Wednesday, 1st November, 2017

David Beckham Respect Fragrance

David Beckham Respect Fragrance Review

In the Spring there was Made Of Instinct, and now ready for Autumn and Winter there’s a brand new scent from David Beckham, called Respect. I love a scent for this time of year, so I was excited to give this one a try and see what it was all about.

First of all as always I have to talk about the bottle. The first thing which hits you straight away is the colour of the bottle, which is a polished silver mirrored design. Square in shape, the bottle has a waves or rippled effect coming in from the bottle corner, edging out into a smooth silver with the David Beckham Respect branding clean in the corner.

What does it smell like?

It’s a masculine but modern type of scent, which is very slightly woody, but mostly aromatic with a real sense of the green citrus types of notes coming through. It’s very light making it inoffensive, and you can really get a taste of the zesty notes which are present in this. As this is quite a light fragrance, this would be suitable for day wear as well as wearing it in the evening, in both a formal or casual setting. This is definitely a one for the younger guy, the scent has a real youthful feeling to it, but comes with a contemporary edge giving it a refined character.

Respect is a very pleasant fragrance, with no overpowering notes it has a nice overall smell. It comes in at a very reasonable £33.95 for a large 90ml bottle, or £24.95 for a 60ml bottle. Definitely worth a try if you’re looking to add to your fragrance collection or get something new.

Best season to wear – All Rounder

Scent type – Citrus/Fresh/Green

Age Recommendation – 16 – 30

Best Worn – Daytime, Evening, Casual, Formal

Top Notes: Grapefruit, Watermelon, Pink Pepper
Heart Notes: Cardamom, Lavendin, Basil
Base Notes: Vetiver, Patchouli, Moss

If you’ve got this please let me know what you think, and as always you can check out more of my fragrance reviews if you’re looking to add more scents to your collection.


Wednesday, 25th October, 2017

The Best Autumn Fragrances For Men

The Best Men's Fragrances For Autumn

Autumn is such a good season for fashion and fragrances. It’s not too hot where you can’t wear a jacket, and it’s not too cold where you have to completely layer up. Picking a scent is within the same mould as fashion. It’s a great crossover where you can still wear a scent which is fresh or with a hint of citrus, but you can also warm up the evenings with a bit of musky or woody fragrances. What exactly do I look for when I choose a fragrance for the season of Autumn?

Tips for picking a fragrance for Autumn

From Summer comes Autumn, and with that darker nights and colder weather is setting in. I really like certain notes when it comes to an autumn scent, but it also depends on the setting, and time. This can be split up into casual or formal, and day wear or evening wear. So with that said, there’s four possible scenarios for picking a scent, but some scents will work well in more than one, and some will work in all situations. In the Autumn we have more night than day, and it’s generally colder than warm, so I pick out scents based on that. I love notes which are woody, musky, floral, spicy, oriental and mildly fresh, and stay away from strong citrus types of scents which are more suited to a crisp spring morning or summers day. The scents should give off a sensual, warm and inviting feeling, masculine but not be too overpowering.

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Wednesday, 18th October, 2017

Kokorico By Jean Paul Gaultier Fragrance Review

Kokorico by Jean Paul Gaultier Review

So the last fragrance review I wrote about was the underwhelming BANG! from Marc Jacobs, and this time round I am talking about a scent which I do like and have owned since 2012, it’s Kokorico from Jean Paul Gaultier.

Jean Paul Gaultier is well known for one scent, Le Male. It’s the one in the green-blue bottle which is body shaped, and is well known for most guys. Le Male is one of those scents which is so well known, loved and used by so many guys, including myself. I love that scent, and for those who aren’t big fragrance fans, they’ll just associate Jean Paul Gaultier as that one scent, but of course there’s a few more from the brand. In 2011 Kokorico came around, and I decided to grab myself a bottle.

Speaking of the bottle, it’s once again a distinctive shape, and comes well packaged. The bottle comes in a circular tin, painted red with the branding on too. I really like good packaging, I think it’s something which can set a brand apart from a regular old standard brand, to one which really cares about their products. As for the bottle, it can be upstanding, and is the shape of a face in a profile form, with the Kokorico branding to the front.

As for the scent, it’s very nice and pleasant. On a night out a girl said, “I can smell man” which is a good summary of what this fragrance is. It’s a masucline scent, but not in the old fashioned, traditional sense. It’s from a more refined school, with just the right hints of woody notes, it’s subtle, but you know it’s there. It is a good one for an evening, for a night out, and I think works well in any season, but will shine in the colder months of Autumn and Winter.

This is a scent which I really liked for a time, but it didn’t have that special something. It’s a perfectly good fragrance, but I don’t think it will ever be one of my all time favourites, although I can recommend it if you’re looking for an evening scent which not too many people will be wearing.

Best season to wear – Autumn/Winter
Scent type – Woody/Spicy/Warm
Age Recommendation – 18+
Best Worn – Evening, Casual, Formal

Top Notes – Fig Leaf

Middle Notes – Patchouli, Cacao

Base Notes – Virginia Cedar, Vetiver

What do you think of Kokorico from Jean Paul Gaultier? Let me know if you love or hate this. As always you can get more advice and reviews in the fragrance blog, where I have a huge collection of scents featured.


Monday, 25th September, 2017

Daily Products – Grooming Essentials: September 2017

Monthly Favourite Grooming Products

I hope you’re well!

So I thought I would share my grooming essentials, the products I’ve been using daily (or more or less daily) this month. I am quite loyal when it comes to some products, I know what I like and usually stick to those. However I do like to change it up sometimes, and try out other products, especially new ones. Here’s what I’ve been using in September as part of my daily routine.

Daily Wash & deodorant

For the general daily wash I have been using No.7 MEN energising hair and body wash. It’s pretty decent, I can’t complain and have a nice scent. For a face wash I have been using L’Oreal Men Expert which I think is pretty good. For deodorant I use an antiperspirant spray, and have been using Dove MenCare for a long time. The Clean Comfort is one of my favourites, not much of a scent other than a “clean” smell. This is perfect for my as I use aftershave as a daily scent.

Moisturiser

I don’t use my moisturiser as much as I should, and I have so many. The one I’ve been using lately is the Hydra energetic anti-fatigue moisturiser from L’Oreal MEN Expert.

Teeth

I use an electric toothbrush, Listerine mouthwash and for toothpaste I always use Blanx. I’ve been using this for years, I occasionally try others, but for the most part I always use Blanx. I really like it, although it’s pretty expensive.

Haircare

For washing my hair I use Head & Shoulders. Again, I am fairly loyal to this, I really like it, I think it works well, and leaves your hair fairly free of flakes you can get from using hair products. Speaking of hair products, my favourite is 3D texture clay from Schwartzkopf, which I use when I go out or really want to make sure my hair is right. I have so many hair products which I use in some kind of rotation, but my texture clay is the go to product, it’s so reliable.

Shaving

King of Shaves gel really is the king. I don’t like foam, or other gels which foam up. The gel works really well, I’ve lost count of how many years I’ve used this for. Not only a good product, but at a good price too. My aftershave balms have been getting a good run out, I’ve been using lots of different ones. Since I ran out of my usual balms I’ve been using some I’ve got from various aftershave sets, The latest I’m using is my Acqua di GIO from Armani. It good and has that nice scent too.

Autumn Fragrance

I wear a lot of different scents as you know if you read my fragrance reviews. I could have put so many here, but for my Autumn fragrances I’ve gone for Tom Ford Noir. This is one of my favourites, I really like it, and it works well for Autumn, and pretty much any other season too. It’s dark and sensual, so best for evenings. Others which I could have easily featured are Molton Brown Absolute Tobacco, Viktor & Rolf Spice Bomb, MR Burberry, and so many more.

That’s the products I’ve been using this month. I may change up some products for next time round.

What are your favourite products? Do you have any recommendations? 


Wednesday, 20th September, 2017

Marc Jacobs BANG! Fragrance For Men Review

Marc Jacobs BANG! Fragrance Review

Today I am looking back at one of my older fragrances, and it’s BANG! from Marc Jacobs. I got this scent back in 2011, and it was a blind buy, so I didn’t really know what to expect from it. I can honestly say that after all this time I have hardly worn it, and it’s never been one of my favourites, in fact it’s a one which is probably one of my worst purchases, I’ve never really liked this scent at all. But now, years later, how do I feel?

First of all let’s talk about the bottle. It’s a really distinctive and nice shape, and it was used in the next scent, Marc Jacobs BANG BANG which is a blue bottle and nicer than this one. It’s a jagged edgy bottle shape, covered in chrome plastic, and has the Marc Jacobs BANG logo to the middle.

The scent itself is an incredibly masculine fragrance. I really like this style of scent, I usually call it a night fragrance because they’re usually too musky to wear through the day, and this is certainly that. But I think it goes too far, and it’s really peppery. I have Gucci by Gucci which is quite a spicy and pepper style of scent, it’s also one I really like, however that seems more refined and toned down to this. BANG! has always seemed too sharp to me, just that bit too much musky.

But now years later and letting it breathe, I have slightly, only slightly, changed my mind. Yes, it’s still very strong, but if you leave it for a while and let it calm down, don’t use too much and it’s not so bad. I think think it’s too much for my personal style, and so I won’t be using it much, if ever again.

I have to say, if you’re looking for something which is sharp, spicy and punches of pepper, this is worth a look. In the colder weather it will work on an evening, if you can handle all the woody notes.

Best season to wear – Autumn/Winter
Scent type – Spicy/Woody/Aromatic
Age Recommendation – 25+
Best Worn – Evening, Date Night, Out With Friends, Casual

Top Notes – Pink Pepper, Pepper

Middle Notes – Woody Notes

Base Notes – Elemi Resin, Benzoin, Vetiver, Patchouli, Oak Moss

Do you have Bang! What do you think of this? As always you can find more of my fragrance reviews and check out some scents which I prefer to this one.


Friday, 4th August, 2017

Calvin Klein Encounter Eau De Toilette For Men

Calvin Klein Encounter Fragrance Review

Here’s another one of my old scents which I have been going through recently, and it’s a really nice one, Calvin Klein Encounter.

I think that Calvin Klein Encounter is a very underrated scent, and probably shown the least love out of all the fragrances from CK. It was released in the Autumn of 2012 and I think I got this back in the Winter of 2012, and I really liked it. I’ve never seen too many people talk about it, it doesn’t seem to get much love from scent lovers or the general public, and I don’t really understand why. Maybe because the marketing wasn’t good? I don’t recall there being much buzz about this one.

First of all as always I will talk about the bottle. It’s a dark blue translucent cuboid shape with the front slightly debossed out, almost like a smashed window, and has the branding small and neat to the front. It’s finished off with silver trimming to the top of the bottle, and a silver atomiser which has a wide spray. The bottle is not a vintage classic style nor is it a huge innovation, however it’s nice and presentable enough, it won’t look out of place on a countertop or shelf.

OK so the scent itself…I would call this a smooth masculine scent which is perfect for an evening, and is a great Autumn fragrance. It’s warm and spicy, and has boozy notes which is an ode to any night out. It is inviting and has the style of the old school musky types of smell, but in a more refined, modern manner.

The good thing about this one is that since it’s not hugely popular you can get it for a very reasonable price, a 50ml or even 100ml bottle for under £20 which is a fantastic price, even if it’s a blind buy. Another reason to get it is that since this one has passed most people by, you’ll not have to worry too much about smelling like everyone else. As always, you can check out my aftershave tips for men and see all the other fragrances I’ve reviewed.

Best season to wear – Autumn/Winter
Scent type – Warm, Spicy, Woody,
Age Recommendation – 18+
Best Worn – Evening, Casual

Top Notes – Mandarin, Cardamom, Rum

Middle Notes – Jasmine, Cognac, Pepper

Base Notes – Oud, Musk, Cedar


Wednesday, 26th July, 2017

Fragrances Revisited: Bvlgari Aqva Pour Homme

Bvlgari Aqva Pour Homme Review

Do you call it Bvlgari Aqva, or Bulgari Aqua? Actually if you know Bvlgari, it’s stylised in the old roman lettering, but of course it’s pronounced “Bulgari Aqua”. My first scent from the high end fashion house was Bvlgari MAN which I love…I mean it’s one of my favourite fragrances ever. After I got that, I was intrigued by the brand, so I bought a few more of their scents, this being one of them.

First off the bottle…It’s annoying! It’s one of those round disc types of bottles, which means you can’t stand it up, which explains this poor photo I have taken of it. Other than bad photography, it makes it harder to store too, you can’t stand it up as you would with most bottles. It comes in a dark aqua colour to go with the name, and a plastic silver-chrome top and sprayer.

For Fragrances Revisited this time round I have to talk about Bvlgari Aqva which is a great Summer fragrance. If you ever blind buy a scent a lot of the time you’ll not really know what the style of the scent is, sometimes you can take a bit of a guess, one ways to do that is by the colour of the scent, colour of the bottle or name. This one is a complete giveaway of the style of scent, which is a green, marine aquatic type of scent, and that’s exactly what it is.

This was released in 2005, and I picked it up a few years later, making it over 10 years old. To be honest, it’s never really been a favourite, but maybe that’s not because it’s bad, because it’s not, but more because I have not really embraced this style of smell. I have not really been into lighter aquatic scents, although I do like this scent, I prefer the darker, woody scents which are more seductive and powerful.

Having said that, Bulgari Aqua does have a punch to it. It’s not a light citrus type of aquatic, more of a spicy and darker type of this type. I can recommend it as a pleasant enough scent, but it’s not one of my favourites.

Do you own this? Let me know what you think. If it’s not to your liking, check out more of my fragrance tips and advice for another men’s scent.

Best season to wear – Spring/Summer
Scent type – Aquatic, Marine
Age Recommendation – 18+
Best Worn – Day, Evening, Casual, Formal

Top notes: Petitgrain, Mandarin, Orange
Middle notes: Seaweed, Lavender, Cotton Flower
Base notes: Patchouli, Cedar, Amber, Sage, Woody Notes


Wednesday, 19th July, 2017

Favourite Men’s Fragrances For Summer [UPDATED 2017]

The Best Summer Fragrances For Men

There’s no secret that Summer is my favourite season, I love it for so many reasons; There’s so much fashion out there for the Summer which I love, you can be as bright and colourful as you like with your clothing and style options, there’s the weather, which is sometimes sunny and at least a bit warmer 😉 and of course Summer football with the Euros or World Cup at least every other year. Getting your scent right for the summer is possibly more important that other seasons, as everyone is out and there’s probably more socialising going on in the Summer than other seasons, as everyone wants to come out and play. There’s everything from the Summer BBQ to nights out and holidays abroad, so picking out the right fragrance is crucial.

I always separate my scents into seasons and times; Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter, as well as night or day. Autumn and Winter scents are all about the dark, musky, warming scents, ouds and woods play a big part. When it comes to Spring, and more importantly for this guide, Summer, it comes down to citrus, floral and fresh styles of scents, which can be pungent but subtle and not overpowering. Here are my favourite fragrances for the Summer.

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Thursday, 6th July, 2017

John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider Fragrance [Review]

John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider Fragrance Review

You may remember that one of the fragrances I got for my last birthday was John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider, so this week I’ve tried it out to add to my fragrance reviews, and this is what I think of this one.

It was first released in 2016, so it is a fairly new fragrance. When you check out the box, bottle and even the name, you’ll know what type of scent you’re in for. Dark Rebel Rider is how it sounds, and the image on the box is that of a leather biker jacket, so it’s not a surprise that it’s a dark leathery fragrance.

But as always I will start with the bottle. It’s wrapped in a faux leather pouch type of cover, which comes with two chunky zips to the side. You can keep the bottle in it’s pouch while using it, or take it out, as the bottle top and sprayer is exposed so you’re able to use it. The spray is nice and wide, so you don’t need to have too many sprays of this to get good coverage.

As for the fragrance itself, it’s a dark, musky and leather type of smell as mentioned above. It is quite smokey and woody, it reminds me of Hugo Boss Bottled Oud, which also has a dry woody kind of smell to it, however this smells more like incense as it’s more smokey.

I would think that this scent is more for an Autumn evening, when the dark nights are closing in, it makes me think of a night by the fire in the countryside with a glass of whisky in your hand wearing a heavy jumper for the chilly nights. It’s a masculine gentleman style of fragrance.

The longevity is quite good, and it has a good range too, you don’t need to use a lot of this for it to be noticed. If you’re looking for a smokey woody type of scent, you should give this one a look.

Best season to wear – Autumn/Winter
Scent type – Woody and smokey
Age Recommendation – 25+
Best Worn – Evening, Casual, Formal

Top notes: Lemon, Bitter orange, Aldehydes, Saffron, Marjoram, Hyssop
Middle notes: Iris, Osmanthus, Black violet, Labdanum, Somalian incense, Benzoin, Tolu balsam
Base notes: Russian leather, Cocoa, Vanilla, Atlas cedarwood, Patchouli