Friday, 5 June 2015

Father's Day Ideas - What To Do If Your Dad's Perfume Collection Is Already Quite Healthy

Blame the geek in me: I'm always on the lookout for an excuse to make a new list. And I've just discovered that I haven't addressed Father's Day since 2011 (when I wrote this tongue-in-cheek piece for Penhaligon's). So I've decided it's high time I put together another paternal post. But, somewhat perversely, I don't want it to be about perfume. I'm sure other sites will provide plenty of suggestions as to the best scented matter to purchase for one's pater*. Instead, I would like to offer a few ideas - taken from my own personal forays into the realm of male grooming - for the man who really doesn't need any more fragrance bottles...

Interlude Man soap from Amouage 
Scented soaps are always welcome gifts... and they're even better when they're doused with one of the most striking masculine compositions of recent years. Smoke, wood and fire come to life as soon as this stuff hits hot water and steam. Magic.

Habit Rouge soap from Guerlain 
Yet another soap. This one is almost as delectable as the perfume itself, combining dry woods and citruses with that distinctive vanilla base. Special bonus: it makes your bathroom smell like heaven for hours.

Did I mention I like soaps? Every single item in Hermès' elegant Le Bain collection is worth checking out, but the Mandarine Ambrée creations are particularly delicious, with their note-perfect renditions of sour zest and sweet, juicy flesh.

Exfoliating Cleanser from Clarins Men 
Friendly warning: my bathroom cabinet contains several Clarins products, including the exfoliator. I remember that when I gave a bottle of it to my terribly English, elderly father-in-law, he guffawed and vowed never to touch the stuff. Now, he uses it regularly. Enough said.

Active Face Wash from Clarins Men 
You can't really have an exfoliator without a face wash, and the one from Clarins has long been my favourite. It does what it's supposed to do, it isn't difficult to remove from your face (not as common an attribute as you'd think) and it features that unmistakable, grassy, herby aroma. All boxes ticked.

Oil Control Mattifying Moisturizer from Clinique For Men 
Formerly known as the M Gel, this remains one of the best moisturizers on the market. The reason? Simple, really: it doesn't linger on your face like a layer of some strange gloop stolen from the set of Aliens. On the contrary: it performs its function with complete discretion. They can call it what they like, but I hope Clinique never stop making this concoction. 

Revitalising Gel from Clarins Men
Oh, look, it's Clarins again. Yes, I realise this is another moisturizer, but I've included it here because it's new and because it's giving the Clinique a serious run for its money. The reason? See reference to gloop above. What's more, it comes in a gadgety bottle which almost reaches James Bond levels of coolness. Check it out at your nearest Clarins counter to see what I mean. And while you're at it, spare a moment for the accompanying Anti-fatigue Eye Serum, in equally 007-ish container. 

Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster from Clarins 
Okay, okay, last one from Clarins. Believe it or not - prepare to be rocked to your core here - there have been... ahem... one or two occasions when I have resorted to obtaining some skin colour from a bottle rather than from the great yellow disc in the sky. If you know anyone else who is equally impatient for the sun to make its presence felt, then consider this new wonder potion. You pour a few drops of it onto whichever moisturizer you like, slap it onto your face and voila: instant Cote d'Azur. The clever part is that you get to control how intense the colour is by deciding how many drops of the stuff you're going to add to your moisturizer. Just think: you could go out into the world with a multi-shade face! Okay, maybe not. 

Conditioning beard oil from Tom Ford 
Three of Mr Ford's best-loved Private Blends - Neroli Portofino, Oud Wood and Tobacco Vanille - are now available as rich oils for the more hirsute members of the male population. Do you have to be bearded to use them? Probably not... although I suppose the scent might last longer on hair than on bare skin. Beard or no beard, they feel wonderfully luxuriant.

Series 7 (790cc-4) shaver from Braun 
For years, I was a wet shave kind of guy, taking my trusty Gillette razor wherever I went. Every now and then, I'd try an electric shaver, but they always left me... well, hairier than I wanted to be. Then I discovered this clever gizmo. It has three 'sensitivity settings' (helpful for souls like me whose necks break out in a rash the moment a blade begins its approach). When housed in its cradle, it cleans itself (nowhere near as gimmicky a feature as you might think). And, most importantly, it delivers an impressively close shave. I am a convert!


* If you really insist on knowing what my own scent recommendations would be, here's a very concise run-down, based on some of my most recent reviews: Gorilla's Kerbside Violet; Dunhill's Icon; Mugler's A*Men Ultra Zest; Malle's Cologne Indelebile, Dior's Eau Sauvage Cologne and, of course, Guerlain's Habit Rouge, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.

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