Review 
Ostens Patchouli No.1 perfume tried testedEach Ostens ‘Impression’ is a fragrance created as an ode to a single inspirational ingredient. Here is patchouli. Melting wax. The resinous dust from a violin’s bow. Crushed biscuits, cooked molasses. Old bricks, decorative tiles, worn stone floors are just some of the references said to be conjured up by this scent by Domitille Michalon-Bertier. Other notes include rosemary, lavandin, lavender absolute, immortelle absolute LMR and ciste labdanum absolute.

TheChicGeek says, “Ostens is a new fragrance company - see more here - and they’re starting with one quality ingredient and asking perfumers to create fragrances around it. Here, everything rides on a classic patchouli heart without its earthiness.

This is addictively good. I’m getting a lot of incense and wooden church pews, but without that screaming and clawing depth you get from some niche fragrances. This is a gorgeous patchouli and very easy to wear. It's one of my favourite fragrances of the year so far and it's the kind of fragrance you want to say to everybody 'smell me'."

Left - Ostens Impression Patchouli Heart IFF-LMR No. 1 - 50ml - £85

Disclosure - A sample was gifted by Ostens

Published in Grooming

Men's Fragrance Review Lalique L'Insoumis Ma Force

Lalique has announced the launch of its new men's scent, L'Insoumis Ma Force. It opens with fruity lemon notes mixed with spicy cardamom and green apple. The heart features lavender balanced with violet leaf, rosemary and green camphor, rounded off with a sensual wood and amber base. The perfumer is Fabrice Pellegrin.

TheChicGeek says, “Translated as ‘rebellious’ and ‘my strength’, this is a classic fougère with the 90s note of choice - green apple. While not its main focus, Lalique fragrances are pretty good and I usually like the packaging. Often inspired by the frosted/art-deco style of his most famous glassware, the Lalique bottles are affordable nods to the super-expensive originals. This is a bit of a let down as a bottle and is not very memorable.

The fragrance enters a busy space for the lavender-based with a woody base with a lemon/green top, but, of its type, it ain’t bad. While there are a lot of these around, this certainly has the freshness, scents of this type have, without that annoying synthetic after-note - read cheap - you find with less expensive variants.”

Left - Lalique - L’Insoumis Ma Force - 100ml - £72

Published in Grooming

Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Chinotto di Liguria review tried tested fragrance

The latest edition to the Blu Mediterraneo series is centred around the extremely rare chinotto fruit. Called Chinotto di Liguria - Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy. Its capital is Genoa - it is a small orange-type fruit which had been used by the Italians to make fizzy drinks, but had somewhat disappeared.

The top notes of the fragrance are enhanced by the bittersweet notes of the chinotto fruit and the sparkling crispness of mandarin. At its heart, jasmine and geranium bloom with the dynamic and refreshing notes of cardamom and rosemary. It is rounded off with the peace and tranquillity accorded by the base notes of musk and patchouli. A fragrance reminiscent of an early morning stroll along the rocky coastlines of western Liguria. 

Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Chinotto di Liguria review tried tested fragrance

TheChicGeek says, “Nothing makes you want to book a Summer holiday like the launch of a new Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo scent. The blast of sunshine and the hypnotic blue of the bottle makes you want to rush down to Lunn Poly and take a one way flight to Southern Europe. ANYWHERE.

Left & Right - Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo - Chinotto di Liguria 75ml - £66

This tiny orange had somewhat - or should that be kumquat?! - fallen out of use in Italy. It has a thick skin and the fragrance is extracted by fermenting the entire fruits.

This isn’t your standard sparkling citrus fragrance. It’s more interesting than that. It has a warm spiciness - cardamom - which seems to keep the fragrance in the background, but it has a heat and intensity that keeps it resonating. It's like the heat from coastal rocks after a long day in the sun.

This is the kind of fragrance that would keep people guessing regarding the ingredients and is a welcome addition to the citrus category.”

Published in The Grooming Archives

Review Bulldog Skincare Age Defence anti-aging The Chic Geek men's grooming expert

Bulldog Skincare’s new 'Age Defence' range comprises a Moisturiser,  a “potent” Serum and Eye Roll-on. Each product is said to have a powerful blend of antioxidants from rosemary and echinacea to help fight free radical damage as well as vitamin E.

The Age Defence Moisturiser is said to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after 4 weeks. *Consumer trial - 146 male participants, June 2017.

Left - Bulldog Skincare - Age Defence Moisturiser 100ml - £8, Age Defence Serum 50ml - £12, Age Defence Eye Roll-On 15ml - £10

It’ll also brighten the complexion and leave your skin feeling moisturised and nourished. The tube is part made from sugarcane plastic - plastic which is produced from ethanol derived from sugar cane production - to help reduce consumption of fossil fuels.

With more than double the concentration of antioxidants as the Age Defence Moisturiser, the serum has been formulated to leave the skin feeling firm, smooth and nourished. Should be used underneath the moisturiser for an extra boost of hydration and the Age Defence Eye Roll-On has been formulated to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, dark circles and puffiness. 

TheChicGeek says, “If I was going to be picky I would say just use Bulldog’s “Protective Moisturiser” with an SPF if you want ‘anti-aging’, as the majority of our skin’s aging is from the effects of UV rays from the sun. 

Many men have grown up with Bulldog, and trust it, so it’s about time they did a range of “Age Defence” products for their loyal and maturing fan club.

They did have an “Anti-Ageing Moisturiser” before, but not a full range. The new Age Defence Moisturiser will be replacing this, as they say they’ve done more tests to prove the efficacy on this one. It has more of a potent blend of antioxidants and different actives.

These products are targeted specifically at those who would like to prevent the effects of free radical damage - which is the main cause of skin ageing. Free radical production increases under certain conditions such as UV radiation and environmental pollution; known as oxidative stress. 

I never really buy into this idea of "anti-aging", but if you look after your skin, from a reasonably early age, it will reward you. FYI - Lots of sleep, water and SPF help too.

The moisturiser has a “brightening” element which helps to lighten and even out skin tone. If you lighten the darker blemishes, the skin looks younger and more flawless. Brands are often afraid to mention skin lightening, but it works to deceptively even out creases and wrinkles.

The serum has the consistency of a moisturiser and the roll-on has a cooling steel ball to gently rub around the eyes. I like using Bulldog’s products and I enjoyed using these. The prices are great value and everything feels simple and straightforward. The serum is billed as double the potency as the moisturiser, so if you were only going to get one product from this range, I would get this and add an SPF moisturiser on top.”

Published in The Grooming Archives

Ermengildo Zegna review Acqua Di BergamottoLight 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

Ermengildo Zegna Acqua Di Bergamotto

Published in The Grooming Archives