This is the third of Acqua di Parma's Colonia range of 'ingredient' fragrances - Oud, Leather and, now, Ambra.
Inspired by Marco Polo’s journey along the Silk Road, it is an exotic and rich blend of the ingredients found along the way. At the court of the Chinese emperor Kublai Khan, surrounded by millennia-old inventions and secrets, Marco Polo came to know unfamiliar essences, such as rare ambergris, which Chinese practitioners used in their pharmacopoeia. A substance that the Venetian explorer called ambrum and took back on his long journey home. Venetian master perfume-makers, charmed by the warm and intense scent of this natural essence, added it in tiny amounts – due to its high value to precious fragrances intended for Venetian aristocrats.
Here it has been blended with the typical fresh citrus notes of the classic Colonia fragrance. The woody accents of nagarmotha – a type of grass - and cedar wood are blended with the delicate, yet vibrant notes of rosewood. The heart closes on the earthy and musky notes of patchouli enhanced by sandalwood and warmed up by soft vanilla accents.
TheChicGeek says, “Ambergris is one of those strange ingredients that makes you wonder who first discovered that decaying whale vomit that has been floating in the sea for years, absorbing salt, then washed ashore, would make the perfect animalic ingredient to a fragrance?!
Anyway, if you see any big lumps washed ashore, this summer, it could be your own version of winning the lottery as this stuff goes for ridiculous amounts - here It's smell is musky and animalic, not fishy.
As for the fragrance, this is one for the rich oud fan club. It is quite overpowering and heavy, so would be for those who like a rich and deep fragrance. It doesn’t has the potency of oud, so good those who want some a bit different and the colonia base always adds a freshness. I wouldn't put too much on unless you want to be as overpowering as a whale!"
Above - Acqua di Parma Colonia Ambra - 100ml - £150
This isn't the first time TheChicGeek has got on his soapbox, but never this literally before! With the forthcoming election looming, TheChicGeek is standing up for the right for men to look their best. Promoting the rights for every guy to make the best of themselves, his manifesto includes tax cuts on new men's clothes and interest free loans on Valentino accessories.
The Ginger Party needs YOU - *points finger* #VOTEGEEK
Credits – Suit – TM Lewin, Tie – Hardy Amies, Shirt – Brooks Brothers Made-To-Measure, Turnbull & Asser, Cufflinks – Hardy Amies, Socks – Pantherella, Shoes – Bertie, Watch – Mondaine from The Watch Gallery
Shot by Robin Forster with thanks to Rocket Gallery
See TheChicGeek in his 'Ginger Party' campaign office - Part 1
See TheChicGeek looking fly fly-posting - Part 2
Forget the summerhouse in the Hamptons, a true geek has a shabby-chic beach hut on the south coast.
Who needs to be beach body ready when you have a rubber ring to disguise your spare tyre?! Just make sure you match it with your T-shirt.
TheChicGeekTip - If you're going bright, at the beach, match colour with more colour.
Credits - Jacket - G-Lab, Shorts - Vilebrequin, T-Shirt - Make Your Odyssey, Hat - Umbro, Socks - Topman, Sandals - Dr Martens, Sunglasses - River Island, Suncare - Clarins
Shot by Robin Forster on #OlympusPEN
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Dolce&Gabbana's new men's fragrance, Intenso, is a woody aromatic scent that opens with luminous aquatic notes and green accents of basil and lavender.
Left - Dolce&Gabbana - Intenso - 75ml - £52
The fragrance is defined by a brand new discovery in the olfactory world: the Moepel accord, used for the very first time in perfumery. The moepel is a milkwood tree found in South Africa. It’s odour is totally unique, extremely sensual and incredibly rich.
The face of Intenso is Irish actor Colin Farrell
TheChicGeek says, “This has something of an alpine freshness to start and then dries down to smell of that parched, dried leafy undergrowth you find under trees and bushes in a warm climate.
I’ve never smelt moepel before, so it’s difficult to put my finger on it. This would appeal to the guy who wants something subtly different yet still masculine and approachable.”
The Slendertone Abs belt is said to tone and firm your abs in 4 weeks. Slendertone’s EMS (Electronic Muscle Stimulation) technology makes the muscles simultaneously contract and then relax, similar to the regular muscle contraction experienced during normal exercise. This sensation is powerful enough to recruit all muscles in the chosen region, yet comfortable enough to have a conversation whilst using it.
It is important to remember that Slendertone is not fat loss technology, that part is up to you; it is recommended incorporating cardiovascular activity and a clean and lean food plan to decrease body fat.
Use for 20 minutes a day, five times a week for a minimum of four weeks for results.
Left - Premium Slendertone Abs Belt - £149.99
TheChicGeek says, “Once I’d gotten it out of the box, (you have to be mentally ready and want to commit!) everything was pretty straightforward. I always imagine these things to be a bird’s nest of wires and chargers, but in fact it was really simple and straightforward to put together.
Right - The Before/After picture. I was surprised there wasn't more visible difference because it felt like it was working more
The sticky pads need to go on and then you add the clear covers. You get one set of sticky pads and you can buy them separately when you need to.
I decided to follow the 30 day plan that was in the Instruction Manual which gradually increases the intensity with rest days in between.
I took a picture before and after, in the same place and the same time of day. I didn’t exercise anymore or less and my diet stayed the same. It’s not that scientific, but you should get the idea.
The belt sticks on with the pads once you've removed the covers and fastens with Velcro at the back. You set the time and increase the intensity on each side of the belt. I didn’t see it was only suppose to be 20 mins, so everything I did was 30 minutes at a time. You can easily do other things while you’re wearing it.
It does take a bit of getting of used to it, but be brave and just remember, no pain, no gain! On the 30 day plan it does shoot up from 90 to 150 which is quite a big jump and if the 90 is hurting, you wonder how you’re going to get all the way up to 150. On the first attempt I managed 135, but on the final day I got to 150. As your muscles get firmer they can obviously take more.
So, what did I think? I actually got slightly addicted to it and missed it on the rest days. I was surprised there wasn't as much visible difference in my before and after picture as it really felt like it was working. They definitely feel firmer but then I did take the picture on the minimum 4 week marker, so maybe I should see after 6 or 8 weeks. I estimate the pads to last about 6 weeks and they cost around £10 a set.
I would buy another set of pads and carry on using it. It made me want to exercise other parts of my body.
Welcome to the competitions page... We try to run a few competitions a month to make sure our readers (you!) get a chance to win some amazing prizes. All we ask is you fill in the form with your details as it speeds the process up of getting the prize sent out. We NEVER share your details, unless we had said so in the competition as some prizes we have to let the giver of the prize know who entered.
Despite being of the ginger persuasion TheChicGeek loves the beach. Armed with his factor 40 and bucket hat, TheChicGeek's beach style is a clash of seaside prints in bold reds and blues.
Spotting a beached dolphin, TheChicGeek does his bit and puts him back into the surf and as a true GEEK, sandals always come with socks.
Credits - Jacket - Casely-Hayford, Shirt - Vilebrequin, Shorts - Vilebrequin, Sunglasses - Retrosuperfuture, Socks - Topman, Jelly Sandals - Hunter Gather, Hat - Umbro, Sun Protection - Clinique, Sea Salt Styling Spray - Murdock
Shot by Robin Forster on #OlympusPEN
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This plant-powered formula offers multi-protection with an incredibly fine, transparent texture. New and exclusive from Clarins, this lightweight formula is reinforced with antioxidant protection on the skin’s surface thanks to organic Alpine sanicle extract. The Alpine sanicle is a delicate plant that grows in high altitudes in the Alps, a very pure environment far from any urban pollution.
Left - Clarins - UV Plus Anti-Pollution Day Screen High Protection SPF 50 - 30ml - £32
At the heart of the UV PLUS formula, organic Alpine sanicle extract helps protect the skin by reinforcing its natural defences against the harmful effects of pollution and UV by encouraging the expression of specific proteins called SPRRs which play a key role in the skin’s primary defense system. The Alpine sanicle extract is combined with cantaloupe melon extract, a powerful cellular-level antioxidant, to ensure that the skin is protected to a deeper level.
The high level UVB, UVA and Infra-red protection is provided by 100% mineral titanium dioxide filters. As these filters are natural rather than chemical, they do not absorb into the skin, but rather protect from the surface meaning, UV Plus HP is compatible with all day creams and perfectly tolerated by all skin types, including the most sensitive, even when applied daily.
Skin-ageing free radicals become more active as pollution levels rise and Clarins anti-pollution complex of white tea, succory dock-cress, rhodiola, venuceane, glycofilm not only helps protect skin from atmospheric pollution, but it’s also a rich source of antioxidants which neutralise free radicals.
TheChicGeek says, “There’s a lot going on here, which is good. This has a high UV protection factor - 50, but it does'nt feel like it: the lightweight texture allows the skin to breathe making it perfect for gentlemen with an active lifestyle or for those who are prone to outbreaks when putting sun protection on the face. The small size of the bottle is deceiving as you don’t need much as it goes on and absorbs very easily for such a high factor.
It’s definitely worth investing in a specific sun product for your face as UV damage is the biggest cause of aging of men’s skin. The added pollution benefits, here, are a bonus and is something that would encourage me to use it here, at home, in London more. This is one of the best high factor products I’ve tried.”
Mark Macdonald, Senior Buyer, End Clothing
“‘Cut & Sew’ on a timeless garment form Japan’s premier retailer.”
Left - Beams Plus – Patchwork M-65 Jacket - £475
“With more than a subtle nod to a certain Mr Smith these are my number one summer sneakers.”
Below - Common Projects - Achilles Retro Low - £275
“Technical flower power that can be worn layered under your summer raincoat or its own with a classic white Tee.”
Left - Nanamica - Ground Jacket - £285
"Our Legacy deliver truly unique shirting season on season. This can be worn and washed repeatedly to see the chambray fade over time."
Below - Our Legacy - 1950s Button Down Shirt - £139
"Paris meets 60’s Psychedelica in an everyday easy to wear stripe number from Comme Shirt."
Left - Comme des Garçons SHIRT - Long Sleeve Printed Insert Border Tee - £119
Sometimes men forget that beards require the same care as the hair on their heads. The result of neglected beards is wild whiskers, dry facial skin and damaged hairs. Beard oil helps to replenish and condition facial hair. It’s usually made from a unique blend of natural oils such as jojoba, lavender, grapefruit, tea tree, and almond oil. These ingredients work together to moisturise, nourish, and sooth both your beard and skin. Some of these oils are also scented, thus leaving your beard with a nice smell.
Used properly, beard oil improves the appearance of facial hair and can help to sooth itchiness. But it’s still important to point out there is a right and wrong way to use this oil. Slathering a fist full of oil occasionally may be what most men do but that will not deliver the best results.
If you want to get the best possible outcome, you should use beard oil regularly. The essential oils also have to penetrate your beard and reach the skin. Here are some quick steps on how to use beard oil properly:
Step 1 - Pour a few drops of your favorite beard oil in the palm of one hand.
Step 2 - Gently rub the oil into your beard, goatee, and moustache. Make sure to work deep into your beard so that the oil gets to the skin below.
Step 3 - If you have a full grown beard, use a bristle brush or comb to groom and style your facial hair as normal.
Step 4 - Wash your hands with warm water and soap to rinse off excess oil from your hands.
Remember to develop a routine because sporadic applications of beard oil just will not do. Instead, a consistent daily routine should be adopted to keep your beard healthy, soft, and looking good at all times.
Thanks to www.beardtrimmerreviews.co.uk for the advice.