Thursday, 23 August 2018 20:51

Tried & Tested The Modernist

The Modernist perfume tried tested review

“With 'the modernist', I designed a fragrance that has that self-assured simplicity. Bergamot opens the parfum and leads the way to a oral centre. Freesia felt like the perfect choice in this journey from citrus to timber. I love the sweet and sharp sensation of freesia and the way it softens and radiates a cleanliness on the skin. This is cradled in the warm hands of frankincense. I wanted a dominant, distinguished base and its complexity is enriched with labdanum, timber and even fruit, creating an autograph for the wearer. I’m not a big fan of scents that arrive before you do and linger in the room after you’ve left. For sure, be powerful and be bold, but let them remember how you smell, not just the smell.”  says John Evans, Fragrance Designer & Founder of the modernist fragrance. 

Taking a break from corporate life, John worked full-time as a writer and has seven novels published. Following his re-entry into the world of finance, John lived and worked in the US and Australia for a number of years. He and Andrew, his partner, returned to the UK in 2008 where John was the Managing Director of a global business.

Leaving full time work at the end of 2014, and at Andrew's suggestion, John began formalising a lifelong passion for fine fragrance. Soon after, John authored the modernist manifesto and founded the house of modernist fragrance. Formulated in London and made in England, this is his first fragrance.

Left - The Modernist - 50ml - £145

TheChicGeek says, “It’s refreshing when somebody has put everything into a single fragrance. This feels like a labour of love and another welcome addition to the family of small British perfume producers. I’m not sure whether ‘the modernist’ is the name of the company or the fragrance or both. But, I really like it. 

It has a cool, almost menthol, freshness at the top, with an element of turpentine. Then, a peppery layer which moves into spice and the comforting and intoxicating depth of the frankincense. It doesn’t dominate, but has a delicate richness, very much like John’s goal in the creation - see his quote above. The packaging reminds me of Miller Harris.”

Tuesday, 21 August 2018 15:54

Tried & Tested Tom Ford Fougère d'Argent

Tom Ford Men's Fougere D'Argent perfume tried tested review

“The classically fresh DNA of Fougère is reinvented, converging impeccable decorum with the modus operandi of an agent provocateur.” says Tom Ford, rather cryptically.

Left - Tom Ford - Fougère d’Argent - 50ml - £162

A bold burst of top notes features refreshing mandarin and bergamot blend with shimmering ginger. The masculine heart combines French lavenders of two kinds, one softly aromatic and one with a woody dimension. Amplified by geranium’s green and minty facets. The drydown reveals the provocateur teasing behind the fresh, razor sharp sophistication—the warm wood of akigalawood and coumarin extracted from tonka bean.

TheChicGeek says, “One of the lynchpins of men’s fragrance, ‘fougère’ is the lavender family of fragrances and has been the basis for many masculine scents and one we've, unfortunately, taken for granted. When it's good, it's really good, but, at times can smell very generic, especially in the mass fragrance market.

Here it gets Tom Ford’s silver hand over it - hence the name ‘Silver Fern’. 

This is a very solid woody fougère. It feels very constant, rooted to the heart and is much less fragrant, flowery and more woody - a signature of Mr Ford’s.

I’m not getting much of the top, while there is a note of spice, it’s dominated by warm woods. Tonka bean usually adds a metallic touch - that could be the d’argent bit of the labelling - but again, it’s distant.

This isn’t the greatest fougère, that’s reserved for the original, Houbigant’s 'Fougère Royale', created in 1882, but it’s Tom Ford’s woody version.”

Hermetica fragrance perfume Memo Paris tried tested review

HERMETICA, says it is the first of its kind – a digitally focused fragrance brand, with 13 unique fragrances – that will be delivering internationally due to its alcohol-free fragrances. 

From the fragrance stable of Irish/French couple, John and Clara Molloy – founders of MEMO International which has brands such as MEMO Paris and Floraïku. See what TheChicGeek thought about Floraïku - here Hermetica is a collection of molecular fragrances inspired by the ancient practice of alchemy, which sought to transform basic metals into precious materials and to find the ultimate elixir of life

This hybrid formula, using unique patented technology - Innoscent™ - where  synthetic  molecules  are  extracted  from  natural  source, developed by Symrise, is a first-ever in the fragrance industry. The alcohol-free formula reveals immediately the heart of the fragrance.

The result of this modern-day alchemy is four collections of 13 long-lasting and powerful perfumes plus, Source1 – a unique scent that can be found in all of the fragrances.

Left - Hermetica - 100ml - £155

Each Hermetica scent is presented in an emerald green lacquered bottle with a golden metallic cap debossed with the Hermetica logo. The bottle is housed inside a golden perforated cylinder reminiscent of the molecule that carries the perfume to your nose.

TheChicGeek says, “When you’re presented with 13 fragrances it’s difficult to know where to start. There’s a random ‘personality’ questionnaire to go through on the website which asks you questions to help define your fragrance. Mine came out with ‘Source1’, which, funnily enough, was the first fragrance I tried from the box of 13. Lucky?! Maybe.

The ‘Source1’ is found in each fragrance, ranging in concentration from 20 to 60%, and contains bergamot essence, amber and a fresh wood. 

They say because of the complexity of an alcohol free fragrance, this took more than  two  years  to  create,  due  to  its  new  and  innovative  formula  that  enables the top and mid notes to appear instantly, revealing the heart of the perfume after the first spritz, making it unique to  every individual.

They offer a ‘discovery  kit’,  containing  all  13  perfumes,  and can be purchased through the website, allowing consumers to smell each scent,  before buying; the cost is then offset against the price of a full priced fragrance.

I was drawn to ‘Greenlion’ with its patchouli, juniper berry oil and amber wood, but there's so much good stuff here. This has the pedigree and is another welcome addition from the MEMO founders. I love the names and I’m still enjoying discovering them all.

As the for the digital bit, they’re launching in Harvey Nichols later on this month and extending the MEMO counter to be 50% HERMETICA, so they’re not purely online, but they want to position themselves as digital native as they’re sold internationally due to its alcohol free formula and can be therefore be shipped globally. Personally, I would just buy the sample set and enjoying playing until those run out.”

Sample Set - £25 Redeemable against the price of a full sized bottle

www.hermetica.com

Tuesday, 07 August 2018 15:30

Tried & Tested Azzaro Wanted By Night

Azzaro men's fragrance Wanted By Night tried tested review

Azzaro’s Wanted By Night is a woody-oriental-spicy eau de parfum created by Quentin Bisch and Michel Girard and is a new twist on the original 'Wanted' released a couple of years ago. 

A woody base note is brought on by white cedar. The juiciness of a sparkling mandarin, zested with a hint of its nectar, is mixed with warm, spicy cinnamon notes and the woody tonalities of cedarwood. 

Left - Wanted's controversial bottle. Maybe it's a big seller in the US?! Azzaro Wanted By Night - 50ml - EDP - £46

Azzaro men's fragrance Wanted By Night tried tested reviewRed cedarwood’s explosive charisma and the flamboyance of cumin, creates a heart crafted in precious woods with a warm, nectary tobacco blend is reinforced with Atlas cedarwood.

TheChicGeek says, “When you get to my age it should be more Wanted By Teatime! This has a sticky, synthetic smell, which I like. Nothing smells natural about this which I find more interesting.

The cinnamon gives it a youthful and warming edge. There aren’t any layers here. It is, what it is, then disappears relatively quickly, especially for an eau de parfum.

The bottle, which is the shape of a fully-loaded gun chamber, got quite a lot of flack when it first appeared two years ago, but it does look slightly better here with darker juice. The advert, on the other hand, looks like a 16 year old’s version of sophisticated. Don’t get me started about that eyebrow…”

Right - Who signs this stuff off? *raises eyebrow*

Lab Series 8 Hour Oil Control System tried tested review

Lab Series’ three-step 8-Hour Oil Control System contains high-performance formulations meaning real improvement for oily, blemish-prone skin, both instantly and over time. The cleanser + toner + moisturizer system helps diminish oil that can lead to breakouts, blemishes, and generally shiny skin, delivering reliable efficacy. It provides instant mattification and 8-hour shine control. It gets oily skin under control by helping to regulate sebum production. And over time, it fades discolorations and improves skin tone. 

Left - Lab Series - Oil Control Clay Cleanser + Mask - £23, Oil Control Clearing Solution - £19.50, Oil Control Daily Moisturizer - £29.50

The advanced formulas feature Amazonian White Clay, heralded for its ability to deep clean and detoxify skin, helping to absorb and remove excess oil that can lead to breakouts. Additionally, a aalicylic/lactic acid blend includes alpha-hydroxy acids & beta-hydroxy acids, plus willow bark extract, to help gently slough away dead skin cells and purify the skin. 

TheChicGeek says, “This arrived at just the right time. I’ve currently been suffering from breakouts on my forehead, not helped by SPF clogging my pores, I’m sure, and needed something to dry out my skin.

This is a classic 3-step skin care programme. I like the idea of the cleanser/mask combo. It means you can mix it up and the light white clay is a soft every day face wash and you can definitely feel it drying out the skin without it feeling overly stripped.

The oil control clearing solution is simply applied onto a cotton pad, twice a day, and you use it to clean the skin. This is most satisfying before bed, when you’re taking the grime of the day off and especially sun cream this time of year. This feels like the part that is really keeping the skin clean and removing any excess oil and sebum.

The final stage is the daily moisturiser. This isn’t a classic white cream, but an almost granulated, honey-type consistency. Containing more of the Amazonian white clay, it absorbs surface oil, while the salicylic and lactic acids help diminish the look of pores.

The only problem I have, and it goes for all of Lab Series’ recent products, is that the moisturisers are coming in at 50ml, which makes them feel small and much more expensive. 50ml feels like a travel size, which, in one respect is good, but if using daily you’ll quickly get through it.”