Review 
Merchant of venice fragrance Imperial Emerald best rated tried testedCreated by perfumer Jordi Fernandez, ‘Imperial Emerald’ layers iris, Egyptian jasmine and lily of the valley over a subtle base of white musk.

The perfume was inspired by the beauty and majesty of the peacock. Native to India and Sri Lanka, for centuries the peacock has been interpreted by different cultures as a symbol of immortality and regality.

TheChicGeek says, “This looks beautiful with its real feather detail, and you know how much I love Venice. The fragrance is very white florals. There’s a lot going on here with top notes of bergamot, mandarin, pink peppercorn, carnation and iris. Heart notes of orange flowers, ylang ylang, peony, egyptian jasmine, lily of the valley and a base composed of white amber, benzoin and white musk, so it’s definitely not for the wallflowers of fragrance.

It smells old-fashioned, but not in a bad way. It’s probably too blousy for me, but would suit some of those other strutting male peacocks I know..."

Left - Merchant Of Venice - Imperial Emerald Eau de Parfum Concentrée - 100ml - £250 Available exclusively from Harrods

Published in Grooming
Friday, 30 August 2019 17:42

Tried & Tested Hawkins & Brimble Grooming

Review 
Hawkins Brimble grooming face wash moisturiser eye cream best rated tried testedThe idea for Hawkins & Brimble was born in 2016 when the founder, Stephen Shortt, noticed a lack of natural premium quality men’s grooming and skincare products on the shelves of British supermarkets. In addition, most of the products seem to smell of mint or lemons, he thought.

For what seemed like an eternity, Stephen went about creating products that he could use (and his wife when she steals them!), without harming his skin, and he did this with the help of a British Master Barber.

Left - Hawkins & Brimble - Daily Energising Moisturiser - £14.95, Face Wash - £8.95 & Energising Eye Cream - £16.95

TheChicGeek says, “I was sent 3 products from the Hawkins & Brimble’s range; Daily Energising Moisturiser, Face Wash & Energising Eye Cream. The latter 2 seem pretty standard fare with aloe barbadensis leaf juice in the Face Wash and aloe vera, ginseng, kernel oil, oatmeal, rhodiola rosea root, vitamin E and African fire tulip in the Eye Cream.

But, focus turns to the Daily Energising Moisturiser. It has a rich and nourishing sensation, thanks, I’m guessing, to the avena sativa kernel oil, but dries matt and doesn’t feel greasy. It smells lovely, as it’s got that addictive fragrant and woody ginseng scent. I would say this would be a good moisturiser for somebody with dry to normal skin. Oily skin could be too much for it.

I like the packaging and branding, - I’m not sure where the name is from? -it looks familiar, but it’s not trying to be too ‘Peaky-Blinders-hipster-tattoo-parlour/barber-shop’, which can look a little generic and dated. (Though it’s right at that line!). The prices feel pretty honest and it’s trying to push ‘Natural Ingredients’ which always feels like a positive thing.”

Disclosure - The products were gifted by Hawkins & Brimble to review

Published in Grooming
Friday, 23 August 2019 16:29

Tried & Tested Jean Paul Gaultier Le Beau

Review 
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Beau men's fragrance best rated tried tested"When Jean Paul Gaultier opened Beau's case and, closing his eyes, the smell of coconut wood inspired a profound desire to relax, while the bergamot and the tonka bean whispered to him that lounging was the most refreshing of sins."

The perfumers were Quentin Bisch and Sonia Constant who teleported themselves to “Gaultier's garden”.

TheChicGeek says, “What a beauty! Jean Paul sticks to his winning formula here; tin can packaging, torso bottle and well priced. This is JPG’s Adam, with the giant fig-leaf to match - ooo-er.

The fragrance is an unapologetic gourmand with lots of yummy notes, making this a fun fragrance, but not sickly. It’s wearable and will definitely appeal to the devoted Le Male fan club. While containing the masstige tonka bean, it doesn’t smell generic or boring and has the same tongue-in-cheek sense of humour we adore from Mr Gaultier.”

Left - Jean Paul Gaultier Le Beau - 75ml - £44.62

Disclosure - The product was gifted by Jean Paul Gaultier to review

Published in Grooming
Thursday, 01 August 2019 12:23

Tried & Tested Beaufort London Rake & Ruin

Review 
Beaufort London rake ruin gin Hogarth men's fragrance best rated tried testedInspired by the debauched scenes of Georgian London imagined by the social satirist and cartoonist William Hogarth (1697-1764), ‘Rake & Ruin’ is the second edition in the ‘Revenants’ Collection from BeauFort London - Read more about the first one here

‘Rake and Ruin’ imagines moments from ‘A Rake’s Progress’ – one of Hogarth’s most infamous works – where protagonist Tom Rakewell is bought to ruin by high living, prostitutes and gambling. The fragrance captures a debauched evening in a tavern, where gin flows, good times are had, and the slide begins... 

The fragrance is paired by a new offering, Beaufort London’s sister company: ‘BeauFort Spirit’. Beaufort Spirit has produced a fine sippng gin, utilising the same botanical ingredients as the fragrance, with a uniquely bold touch of smoked water. 

Fragrance notes: Top: (Gin - Juniper, coriander, angelica, orange, lemon, orris, liquorice, Szechwan and pink pepper), lemon, cypress, pine needle 

Heart and base notes: Violet, castoreum, costus, ambrarome, labdanum, amber, smokey musk, sandalwood and dry woods. 

Left - Beaufort London - Rake & Ruin - 50ml - £115 

TheChicGeek says, “Gin and perfume? Where do I sign?! ‘Gin Lane’ is one of the most famous images of Georgian London, and, it still resonates today, especially with the hipster gin revival. Fever Tree anyone?!

This fragrance is lighter and more botanical than previous Beaufort London scents. That signature smokiness is there, but there is violet and soft amber. No note really sticks its head out. I’d say this feels more feminine compared to other Beaufort London scents. And as for the gin, rocket fuel!”

Disclosure - The products were gifted by Beaufort London to review

Published in Grooming
Tuesday, 30 July 2019 16:35

Tried & Tested Manual Grooming

Review 
Manual grooming shampoo wrinkle warrior power shampoo mr moisturiser men's best rated tried testedManual launches with a focus on ED (erectile dysfunction) and hair loss, but will expand the platform to include solutions and knowledge on everything from sex to skin, and hair to general wellbeing. 

I’m trying their grooming products which consists of Mr Moisturiser, Power Shampoo & Wrinkle Warrior.

The moisturiser contains hyaluronic acid and allantoin which soothes, protects and regenerates the skin. The shampoo is infused with natural goodness from ginger, sage, olive oil extracts, with caffeine which stimulates hair follicles, biotin which boosts keratin production and saw palmetto which is proven to increase hair density.

The Wrinkle Warrior hydrates, firms and rejuvenates skin. Vitamin C fights the signs of ageing and neutralises skin damage caused by UV and pollution, coenzyme Q10, aiding the skin in regeneration and repair, and triple hyaluronic acid, which makes skin feel hydrated, plump and healthy.

Left - Manual - ‘Skin Kit & Shampoo' - Power Shampoo - 250ml, Mr Moisturiser - 100ml, Wrinkle Warrior - 50ml - £39 every 2 months on a subscription

TheChicGeek says, “Manual is similar to the American Hims brand - Read more here - which also aims to be more of a wellness brand which includes grooming alongside other issues affecting men both physically and emotionally.

I tried all three products and they all have a reassuring thickness. FYI - The moisturiser actually smells like Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male. I like the pump dispenser for the shampoo. It’s much better for guys who use a lot less and wastes less.

As for the Wrinkle Warrior, I don’t really see the point of neutralising skin damage caused by UV if you don’t put an SPF in the moisturiser, but, anyway. 

I can’t report anything radical happening with any of these products, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like them. I like the shampoo the most.

They want you to sign up to a subscription, so the pricing isn’t clear for individual products, which unless you’ve tried them before hand I guess many guys would be reluctant to do?”

Disclosure - The products were gifted by Manual to review

Published in Grooming

Review 
Goldfield Banks Pacific Rock Moss men's fragrance best rated tried testedInspired by the southern coastline of New South Wales, Goldfield & Banks’ Pacific Rock Moss is a fresh, sea spray scent on a base of cedarwood. The perfurmer is Francois Merle-Baudoin, who has used moss, Italian lemon, sage, geranium and Virginia cedar to express the home Australian coast of the brand.

TheChicGeek says, “Marine fragrances are hard to instil much depth into. The fresh, aqua top is always synthetic and, often, smells as such. The most interesting bit of this is the dry-down. It’s a light, soft and warm wood which fades into the background turning from aquatic blue to a soft sunset terracotta.” 

Goldfield & Banks - Pacific Rock Moss - 100ml - £135

Published in Grooming
Thursday, 25 July 2019 14:11

Tried & Tested Floris Vert Fougère

Review 
Floris Vert Fougère men's fragrance best rated tried testedPart of Floris’ ‘Private Collection’, Vert Fougère, a lighter reimagination of a traditional woody fougère fragrance has green top notes of galbanum, grapefruit and bergamot, blended with a heart of lavender, neroli and ginger, on a base of smoke accord, amber and cashmere.

Master Perfumer, Nicola Pozzani, says, “Revolutionary in its composition, fougère to me is a marriage made of opposites: crisp, smart freshness versus sensuous, indulgent warmth. It’s sparkle and mystery, light and shade, it’s citrus herbal notes mingling with the woody oriental. Our new fougère had to be simple yet vigorous. 

“I envisioned a garden at twilight, so I took lavender, but wanted it to be moody with the dew of the evening, so added patchouli and dark green with galbunum - green notes were my first love in perfumery. A slight citrus tone shines in the background reminiscent of our roots. Fougère stands for endurance so I boosted the scent with cedarwood, a nearly immortal red wood. Finally I created a sense of cosiness with cashmere woods and touch of vanilla and smoke.” 

TheChicGeek says, “There’s almost something medicinal about this at first. The green element is coming from the galbanum, which is from an aromatic gum resin derived from the plant genus Ferula, chiefly Ferula gummosa and Ferula rubricaulis. It’s part of the carrot family and looks a bit like cow parsley or fennel. 

This fragrance has a cooling, almost menthol quality, but it’s not cold and then goes slightly powdery. This isn’t a spring green type vert, but rather a damp, fernery undergrowth type green on that perennial favourite fougère but there’s also a sweetness that makes this very easy to wear and far from dark.” 

Left - Floris - Vert Fougère - 100ml - £120

Disclosure - A sample to test was provided by Floris

Published in Grooming

Review 
Gillette Heated Razor Labs tried testedGillette has released the first-to-market heated razor by their new ‘GilletteLabs’ stable. This wet shave razor delivers a sustained heat sensation via an innovative warming bar and provides the pleasure of a hot towel with every stroke. The stainless steel warming bar has adjustable temperature levels and a wireless magnetic charging dock. The rechargeable lithium ion battery lasts up to six shaves, depending on usage.

Left & Right - GilletteLabs - Heated Razor - £199

TheChicGeek says, “New slogan - The hottest a man can get (™)?! It looks great to start with. I was wondering how much of this was a gimmick, but the clean design of the razor and the simple magnetic charging dock already had me won over before even trying it.

There are two temperature settings to choose from, 43 degrees and 50 degrees. Apparently, Asian men are more sensitive to heat and these two temperatures were chosen because they were found to be the most comfortable to the majority of men’s faces. On your hand it doesn’t feel that hot. You can easily switch between the two temperatures with the handle changing from amber to green.

Review 
Gillette Heated Razor Labs tried tested

On the face, it was much warmer. It’s that comforting sensation, which at first you want to pull away from, thinking you’re about to get burnt, but once over that, it’s an enjoyable sensation. Definitely a good start for those cold mornings or when you can't really get the water in the sink hot enough.

Gillette wants us to shave more. The more we shave, the more razors we buy and this uses a 5 blade cartridge which are exclusive to this gadget because the heat bar has to come through the cartridge head. 

They want us to feel like we've had a hot towel type shave at home and this does offer a passable stab at that.

Did this make me want to shave more? Yes. Will people buy this? I really don’t know. It’s a nice piece of kit, but is it too disposable for £200? There is novelty here, but I enjoyed using it and the heated bar did actually bring something new to the shave."

You can pre-order at here  

Disclosure - A sample to test was provided by Gillette

Published in Grooming
Sunday, 16 June 2019 20:48

Tried & Tested Creed Aventus Cologne

Review 
Creed men's fragrance Aventus Cologne tried testedFollowing on from the hit Aventus fragrance, Aventus Cologne is said to be a fruity yet aromatic burst of ginger, mandarin and pink peppercorn, complemented by a heart of patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver. A leathery balsamic base of styrax, birch, musk and tonka bean.

TheChicGeek says, “Creed has become something of a cult, and looking at the prices, £155 for 50ml, they are certainly premium, even though they’ve managed to ingratiate themselves into the mainstream - John Lewis window anybody?

Colognes are usually lighter and easier to wear, and benefit from frequent reapplications. This is safe. No note really sticks its head above its tasteful parapet. Even the top, which usually dominates a cologne, doesn’t have much distinction and quickly disappears into a that soft and dry twiggy dry-down of vetiver. There’s nothing wrong with this, but if you’re investing, like here, I’d advise to demand more.”

Left - Creed - Aventus Cologne - 100ml - £215

Disclosure - A sample was provided by Creed

Published in Grooming

Review 
Guerlain men's fragrance cool L'Homme Idéal tried testedThe latest instalment of Guerlain’s L'Homme Idéal series, this ‘Cool’ release has ‘re-orchestrated’ the almond olfactory centre with coolness around three accords; the effervescence of top notes of bergamot and orange mingled with the freshness of mint. Patchouli and vetiver are the base notes.

TheChicGeek says, “This is the first of Guerlain’s L'Homme Idéal fragrances I’ve tried. (There are 4 in total). I’m not getting much of the almond centre, there's a slight warmed frangipane note when on the skin, but there’s plenty of the aquatic mint. 

From the majority of mass fragrance brands this would be just another generic cool and fresh fragrance, but, Guerlain has a pedigree which takes it up a notch. While the name isn’t memorable - Ideal Home, anybody?! - and the fragrance isn’t very distinctive, it still has a decent quality for a reasonable price.

I really like the matt grey sides of the bottle and engineered top. It looks classy while in a pretty standard and classic shape. If you want something minty, fresh and easy for summer, then this could be it.”

Left - Guerlain - L’Home Idéal Cool - 50ml - £56

Disclosure - A sample was provided by Guerlain

Published in Grooming
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