If only our dads were as well groomed as we are. They can but dream! But, we, as their more knowledgeable sons, can also give them a helping hand. I’ve teamed up with L’Occitane - pronounced - locksy-tan - from the sunny fields of Provence in France to bring you the best of their men’s tailored products just in time for Father’s Day.
To stop you feeling overwhelmed, I’ve picked my top 5 favourites from L’Occitane’s extensive range of men’s products and gift sets, all inspired by the natural wonders of Provence and its many traditions, to cover every type of dad and price point.
To make your life even easier, enjoy complimentary gift wrapping in a Provençal-style box. Simply select 'Send my order gift wrapped' at checkout. That’s that sorted then. Happy Father’s Day!
Fresh Dad - Cedrat Collection For Men - £52
Nothing smells as clean and crisp as citrus in men’s grooming. Centred around the cedrat fruit, this is classic, fresh and masculine. Containing 3 products: a fragrance, a shower gel and, L’Occitane’s latest launch, a deodorant, these generous sizes will see your dad through the next few months. Blow the budget.
Hero Dad - Eau des Baux Eau de Toilette - £46
Sensual and mysterious, this fragrance features top notes of red peppercorn and cardamom essential oil on a warm heart of Provencal cypress and incense. Les Baux de Provence is a legendary city-fortress in the south of France and the medieval Knights of Les Baux chose cypress as symbol of strength and courage. Perfect for your hero of a dad.
Clean-Cut Dad - Cade Grooming Duo - £32
Enriched with a purifying and stimulating complex of cade - also known as juniper tar - essential oil, protecting shea butter, moisturising vegetable-based glycerine, soothing bisabolol and firming extract of birch sap, this set contains all the essentials for a perfect shave. The set includes a Cade Shaving Cream and Cade After Shave Balm.
Youthful Dad - Cedrat Energizing Eye Gel - £24
Men always show their age around their eyes, so you’ll dad will thank you for giving his a little TLC with this. Enriched with organic Corsican cedrat extract, with energising properties, the Eye Gel moisturises and revives the eye area, providing triple action. The skin of the eye area is immediately toned and the appearance of dark circles and puffiness is reduced. It helps to revitalise the skin around the eyes and the massaging ball in the roll-on tip gives a feeling of cooling freshness upon application.
Chilled Dad - Sleep Well - Good Night’s Sleep Ritual - £34
What if your dad doesn’t use grooming products and isn’t likely to? Well, breathe in, breathe out and relax… With a 100% natural scent, this Relaxing Shower Gel sends a relaxing olfactory message. To complete his new ritual and create a calming atmosphere, spray the Relaxing Pillow Mist before going to bed and the fragrant molecules create a soothing sensation, conducive to a peaceful, relaxing night's sleep.
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
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!”.
Collaborating with novelist, Chandler Burr, and taking the title from one of his novels, this fragrance has been created for the central character, Anne.
“It should be clear that You Or Someone Like You is not some kind of olfactory landscape painting. Anne is a serious gardener — I wrote a trellis of roses into her garden, I wrote in mint and wild grasses though the individual raw materials are in the end irrelevant. What You is is whatever you find it is. A scent you transplant to yourself. Synthetic and natural beauty. Possibility.” says Chandler Burr.
Burr was formerly the perfume critic of The New York Times and was a fan of the fragrance Etat Libre d’Orange did with the actress, Tilda Swinton 'Like This'. This was the introduction to the collaboration. With a motto of Le parfum est mort, vive le parfum!" - "Perfume is dead, long live perfume!", the house has become known for its left-field fragrances and inspirations.
TheChicGeek says, “This is the first fragrance from Etat Libre d’Orange I’ve reviewed. It translates as Free State of Orange and was founded by Etienne de Swardt in 2006 in Paris. They have 35 scents in total and Etienne ,the self-titled ‘Troublemaker & Parfumeur’, talked us through the idea and concept behind this and a couple of other of his fragrances, and, boy, does every fragrance he make have an idea or narrative. But, it’s modern and thought provoking rather than the usual bollocks that is spouted off by many people taking about a journey or imaginary person, that usually nobody knows, it is for.
Like many fragrance houses he uses between 7 and 8 noses to create the fragrances, this time with the author, Chandler Burr.
I love the title of the perfume. It just makes me want to go all Adele when I say it. The packaging looks great: it’s modern and looks quality without going too far. The reason the label is one the corner is because the shop is on the Rue des Archives in Paris, No.69, no less, and it is on the corner. To me the fragrance smells like sugared mint through an open window. It’s much greener when it is on and there’s a background of something, but you can’t be more distinctive than that. I’m picturing white or peach roses, but I’m not sure. It’s fresh without being too cool”.
Left - Etat Libre d’Orange ‘You Or Someone Like You’ - 50ml - £82
Specifically designed for sensitive skin, this invisible, anti-shine sun protection mist has an SPF of 50 including a high UVA protection. No need to touch or even rub the skin, the patented molecule ‘Airlicium’ leaves oily-prone skin shine free. Previously used by NASA in space science, this anti- sweat, anti-shine and super light molecule - composed of 99% air and 1% Silica - has the unique ability to absorb up to 100x its weight in sebum and proactively controls sources of shine for an all-day clean skin sensation and matte finish.
Left - La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Invisible Fresh Mist SPF50 - 75ml - £14
TheChicGeek says, “Summer hasn’t even started and this could be in the running for best suncare product of the year already.
Firstly, I’ve said 'summer', but you should use an SPF all year around. One of the many reasons guys don’t use enough sun protection on their face is 1) It isn’t included in their moisturiser - which it should be - and 2) To apply another or separate SPF product on top when you look outside and it looks a bit grey, you can't be bothered. I’ve been there and I’m ginger! Laziness is killing us! Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but it’s probably making us look older. Protect your skin from the sun and you’ll stay younger looking for longer. That’s the superficial side. The other side is, we love the sun, but long term damage can have serious consequences.
This new product from La Roche-Posay is so easy to use you finding yourself asking, ‘is that it?’.
You spray 15cm away from the face, eyes and mouth closed, and you’re covered with a very high sun protection. The added advantage is you cover your eyelids, which are often overlooked, get burnt easily and the skin is very thin.
The matt, anti-shine finish is good and there’s no sensation of having applied anything onto your skin. It's so light. It’s 75ml, so can go into hand language, and I would always buying a better/more targeted sun product for your face.
The only negative is the branding. The name is complicated and the box and can just blends into the rest of the suncare and beauty market. This deserves better and more distinctive branding.
I think this is, by far, the easiest and fastest suncare product I've ever used, and with an SPF 50 it's a huge thumbs up from me”.
In the modern world, where the male body is constantly objectified, you’d be right for thinking there isn’t much we haven’t seen. Naked men are an everyday occurrence on TV, advertising and social media. But, there is one part we haven’t seen or appreciated before, until now.
Left - Nackt, 2, 2014, Wolfgang Tillmanns from the recent Tate Modern exhibition
Is it time to appreciate the male undercarriage? Are men’s bollocks having a hirsute moment?
These aren’t the manicured porn-star-type bollocks from the nougties, but masculine, hairy and au naturel. Artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans and Celia Hempton are focusing on the sack and crack, giving them some love, in the visual sense.
Right - Celia Hempton (2013)
The male ball sack is going mainstream. Definitely not social media friendly - damn your American uptightness - but it’s the new the erongeous zone and is a signifier of the growing appreciation, and acceptance, of the male derriere.
Stephen Fry once said his favourite statue was 'David' by Francis Derwent Wood, on the Hyde Park Corner roundabout, because of his arse. Niche gay publications like Butt and the celebration of gay art at Tate Britain in the 50th year of the part legalisation of homosexuality in 'Queer Art' all make 2017 the year of the masculine arse crack.
So, put that groomer and razor away, the male undercarriage is going mainstream, just don't mind the hairy bollocks!
Below - ‘Ben’ (2017) by Celia Hempton from Counter Editions
I hadn’t tried anything from Daimon Barber before. They invited me to try their new men’s facial which has just gone on the treatment menu at Harvey Nichols in London.
Daimon Barber was conceived in 2011 when two London based brothers, Leo Neelands and his brother Daimon, with backgrounds in design and classic barbering had a shared vision to create men’s grooming products.
Daimon disappeared off to New Zealand and the business is now run by Leo and his business partner Steve Crosby. The extensive men’s grooming range is expanding into fragrance, this year, and they are looking to double their turnover while keeping the brand in selected locations.
One of the products that was used during my treatment was the “Softening Beard & Stubble Serum’ and I was given a sample to try at home.
This easily absorbed conditioner softens tough stubble and leaves beards feeling soft and silky with hydrolyzed silk protein. It contains nutrient rich avocado oil and aloe vera to keep facial hair healthy and the skin beneath feeling moisturised. Kahai oil contains a high level of the antioxidant vitamin E, which helps to protect, repair and replenish moisture levels in the hair. This serum is also infused with our exotic and sophisticated No.5 fragrance of Ouhd and Egyptian mallow. This product is free from parabens and all the ingredients are sourced from the UK.
Left - Daimon Barber - Softening Beard & Stubble Serum 100ml - £24
TheChicGeek says, “I have a love and hate relationship with the beard. I like the look of it when it’s that perfect length and, then, it gets thick and uneven and becomes high maintenance to get it to back to that optimum point.
Anyway, first world problems and all that. The big issue for me is beard dandruff. You look down at you top and you feel like you’re a human snow globe. My skin get really dry under the beard and I’ve tried numerous oils and products over the years to try and remedy this embarrassing problem, but to no avail. It’s one of the main reasons I’ve shaved it off recently. I thought I’d grow it out to review a shaver and then I was invited to try the Daimon Barber facial. This serum was part of the treatment and it had the noticeable effect of limiting this problem afterwards.
I continued to use it at home. It has a light texture and is easy to get under the beard. You need a few pumps of the product, and I would be generous, 100ml is a decent size, so it should last a while. This really did the job to eliminate the beard dandruff. It has a nice scent, I’m not sure what it is - maybe the Egyptian mallow? but it’s not overpowering or something you’re conscious of like many beard products, particularly the scented oils.
This clearly does put a lot of moisturise underneath the beard and eliminated the dreaded beard dandruff. Now, where's that black jumper?!”