Oily Skin: Meet Your Cleansing Nemesis

Best Products For Oily Skin - BioNike, Eau Thermale Avene, Elizabeth Arden, Kiehl's

For as long as I can remember I have had oily skin and all the perks that come with excess sebum production. Clogged pores, blackheads and a super-shiny forehead are part of the oily skin package. And while I consoled myself with the myth that oily skin ages slower than other skin types, I want a healthy, glowing complexion, not an oil spill of Exxon Valdez proportions.

So what causes oily skin?

Very briefly, oily skin can be caused by a number of factors. These include genetics, hormonal imbalances, diet, stress and excess humidity. Often, it can be exacerbated by the wrong skincare regime and using skin products for oily skin that do more harm than good.

“The correct cleansing routine is the first and most important step towards healthy skin.”

The importance of cleansing to manage oily skin 

While some factors may be beyond your control (for example, genetics), the correct cleansing routine is the first and most important step towards healthy skin.

The ever-helpful Diana van Sittert, Dermalogica’s national training manager, shared these top tops with me:

  1. As a living organ, your skin expels toxins, but is also exposed to external toxins (such as pollution) on a daily basis. These elements we are exposed to can wreak havoc on the skin if not properly removed. Acne and premature ageing are but a few of the signs that you will notice if the skin is not cared for correctly. Cleansing is the first step in this process.
  2. Cleansers are meant to remove dirt and debris without stripping the skin. So opt for a soap-, sodium lauryl sulfate-, colourant- and fragrance-free product. The skin has a natural protective barrier called the acid mantle which has, as the name says, an acidic pH. When you use soaps, this pH is changed to alkaline, which is a great breeding ground for bacteria. This in turn can lead to acne and sensitised skin.
  3. Cleansing should be done every morning (to remove debris released from the skin during the night) and in the evening (to remove dirt build-up from the day).
  4. Cleansing is also important after any physical activity such as running/gym/cycling, as this is where the skin expels sweat, bacteria and oil.

Fragroom’s Top Cleansing Products For Oily Skin

So the message is clear. Put away that soap. Use the right cleanser/wash. Oh, and while you’re at it, don’t over-cleanse either.

These products work well for my oily skin issues:

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash

I am a big fan of Kiehl’s products and this is another no-nonsense winner. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash lathers up super-quick and its formulation of caffeine, menthol, vitamin E, orange and lemon extracts cleanses and perks up the skin. It also scores double-duty points, as it preps the skin for shaving.

Products For Oily Skin - Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Oil-Free Cleanser

Why should women be the only ones to benefit from this superb product? Get your hands on Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Oil-Free Cleanser for a healthy glow. This gentle cleanser (which contains witch hazel, rosemary and sage extracts, and glycerine) tones, conditions and moisturises the skin.

Products For Oily Skin - Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Oil-Free Cleanser

Eau Thermale Avène Cold Cream Ultra Rich Cleansing Gel

After discovering that this product is not a moisturiser for cracked heels (note to self: read the instructions!), I am happy to report that Eau Thermale Avène Cold Cream Ultra Rich Cleansing Gel does a good cleansing job for the face (and the body). Its key ingredient is soothing Avène thermal spring water.

Products For Oily Skin - Eau Thermale Avene Cold Cream Ultra Rich Cleansing Gel

BioNike Defence Rebalancing Cleansing Gel

If you have oily or combination skin, BioNike Defence Rebalancing Cleansing Gel is for you. It contains mattifying and pore-refining resin drops, purifying mint distilled water and essential oils, and anti-bacteria and anti-oxidant Norway spruce compounds. It’s also preservative-, gluten- and fragrance-free. I didn’t know skincare products could be gluten-free, but there you go. Must research that some more.

Want to know more about Eau Thermale Avène? Click here for more.

The Fragrance World of Mark Buxton

 

Givenchy Into The Blue. Jil Sander The Essentials Scent 79 Man. Le Labo Vetiver 46 Perfume Oil. Paco Rabanne Black XS for Her. Salvador Dali Laguna. Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire Cologne Noire. Versace V/S Homme… These are just some of the numerous fragrances that England-born nose Mark Buxton has created over the last 20+ years.

During that time, whether creating fragrances for big names or niche brands, Mark Buxton has become a highly sought-after nose for his idiosyncratic and imaginative style. Even when he’s pushing the boundaries of perfumery, simplicity is the ethos of his creations.

His collaboration with Comme des Garçons placed the avant-garde Japanese fashion company on the fragrance map. Comme des Garçons, Comme des Garçons 2, Comme des Garçons 2 Man and Comme des Garçons Series 3 Incense Ouarzazate are all considered modern classics.

MARK BUXTON CLASSIC: Comme des Garçons Original EDP, the creation that put the Japanese fashion company on the fragrance map.

Ever creative and pioneering, in 2008, Mark Buxton took the brave step of launching his own fragrance company, Mark Buxton Perfumes.

“I DON’T LIKE USING THE WORD ‘UNISEX’ – IT SOUNDS
SO SEXLESS.”

I asked Mark Buxton some questions about his approach to perfumery, his Comme des Garçons collaborations, his own line of fragrances and the future of perfumery. This is what he had to say…

What was the most important thing you learned at perfumery school? How to construct a fragrance and the importance of each ingredient.

You have a long list of top fragrances to your name. How do you ensure that each one is different? They are all for different brands and images, so you have to adapt yourself to their needs and styles.

Is there an equivalent of “perfumer’s block”? Have you ever had to deal with that? No, it doesn’t talk to me.

Looking back at the classic Comme des Garçons EDP, how do you feel about that fragrance now? Well, it’s been on the market for over 20 years, which is a good sign. Furthermore, I think the fragrance hasn’t lost its identity or originality. It’s become one of their big classics.

HOW GREAT THOU ART: My own fan-art tribute to Comme des Garçons Original EDP. Alas, the bottle is empty…

How’s your own fragrance line doing? Is it easier creating fragrances for your own range? I’m a very small company. The way the fragrances are performing is sufficient for me. You can always do more, but then the company has to grow with it. The fragrances are very different to all the other fragrances I have created. They are very personal for me – old memories, situations, people or accords I’ve scribbled down a long time ago in my famous scrapbook.

Your range is unisex. What was your thinking behind that? I don’t like using the word “unisex” – it sounds so sexless. They are fragrances anybody can wear. If you like a specific smell, wear it. What’s masculine or feminine in the perfume world anyway?

WHAT A FEELING: Emotional Drop / Emotional Rescue from Mark Buxton Perfumes.

Do you ever read reviews of the fragrances you have created? Sometimes, if they get sent or mailed to me. I don’t visit sites or seek interviews. I hardly go on Facebook and have no idea how all these blogs work. Perhaps I’m too old-fashioned or lazy.

What fragrances will we find in your home? I wear A Day In My Life and Emotional Drop [both from his own fragrance range]. I find Emotional Drop / Emotional Rescue is the best vetiver-influenced fragrance on the market.

Is niche the future for perfumery? Niche was the future for perfumery but it’s totally overflowed now. Everybody is bringing out a fragrance line and brands are copying each other. I think we are not far from moving on again, but where? That’s the big question. In any case we have to stay unique in concepts and creations, otherwise we lose our credibility.

VERITABLE VETIVER: A Day In My Life from Mark Buxton Perfumes.

What’s next for Mark Buxton? Well, I’m working on a few new concepts – let’s see what comes out of that. One thing is for sure, the MBP collection is complete with the eight fragrances.

Keen to read another interview? Click here for my interview with Bertrand Duchaufour.

Fragrance Review: Dunhill Desire Red Extreme EDT

Dunhill Desire Red Extreme

Fragrance evokes all sorts of memories and associations. I was first introduced well over a decade ago to the Dunhill Desire range by an ex who had quite the fragrance collection. Even then, as a fragrance novice, I could notice its accessible sophistication. And the hip flask-like flacons were eye-catchers among all the other bottles. So what would I make of Dunhill Desire Red Extreme, the fifth and most recent addition to the range since its launch in 2000?

As this newbie is an extreme rendition, its transparent red glass bottle certainly makes a bold statement. And the listed notes (blood orange, bergamot, saffron, clary sage, cypress, leather, patchouli, vetiver and amber) score high on the Fragroom appeal-o-meter.

So what does it smell like?

I have been wearing Dunhill Desire Red Extreme for the last two weeks or so and it’s a good – albeit safe – choice.

There’s an initial sweetness to Dunhill Desire Red Extreme, but it’s the right kind of sweetness – refined and fresh. While I can’t pick up all the listed notes, the leather and patchouli base is sensual, come-closer stuff.  Sometimes a leather note in a fragrance can be quite cold, but this one is warm and inviting.

Thumbs up to nose Michel Almairac, who also created the original Dunhill Desire for a Man. Dunhill Desire Red Extreme retains the sweetness of the original. But, like any good flanker, also adds something different to the mix.

I have been working from home a lot recently, but as I have some important work meetings coming up this week, methinks Dunhill Desire Red Extreme will set the tone perfectly for those occasions. Distinctive, confident and intriguing. Now all I need to do is polish my shoes.

Dunhill Desire Red Extreme (R1 195 for 100ml) is available at Foschini, Truworths, Edgars, Dis-Chem, Red Square, Markham and Clicks stores.

Dunhill Desire Red Extreme

The Benefits of Eau Thermale Avène for Sensitive Skin

Eau Thermale Avène

The French are particularly enthusiastic about the healing powers of spring water. I am not talking about Lourdes here. Although come to think of it, a pilgrimage sounds very appealing right now. In this case, I am referring to the benefits of thermal spring water for your skin and its use in skincare ranges such as Vichy, La Roche-Posay and Eau Thermale Avène.

I was particularly keen to try Eau Thermale Avène when I noticed its new display stand at my local chemist on one of my numerous aisle inspections.

A bit of background for you on the Eau Thermale Avène range… A clever Frenchman by the name of Pierre Fabre launched the brand in 1990.  The range now encompasses 130 products that treat a variety of skin concerns from acne to eczema.

The purity, mineral content and molecular structure of the thermal H20 where Eau Thermale Avène is sourced (in the gorgeous Haut Languedoc Natural Park, the south of France) is regarded as highly beneficial for sensitive and irritated skin. So Monsieur Fabre and his R&D team have utilised it as the key ingredient in all their products.

It would take me a lifetime to try all the relevant Eau Thermale Avène products, so I focused on the ones that addressed my skincare needs most. These are my quick impressions of each:

Eau Thermale Avène Mattifying Fluid (R259,95 for 50ml)

I struggle with oily skin at the best of times, so this product has my name written all over it. I have tried mattifying products in the past, but most of these just made my skin worse. Not this one, though. I have been using this morning and night and am impressed by Eau Thermale Avène Mattifying Fluid’s ability to regulate sebum production while also keeping my skin moisturised with its light formula.

Eau Thermale Avène Mattifying Fluid

Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water (R149,95 for 150ml)

This can of pure thermal spring water is recommended as a treatment for everything from nappy rash and sunburn to itching and scratched skin. I have been religiously spraying Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water to combat razor burn and when my face needs a bit of TLC. The next time I am travelling abroad, this will definitely be one of my in-flight essentials.

Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water

Eau Thermale Avène Very High Protection Emulsion SPF50+ (R229,95)

This broad-spectrum sun protection product is no-nonsense stuff. Although, at first, I found it difficult to spread on my face once I had applied it, it delivers potent, long-lasting protection.

Eau Thermale Avène Very High Protection Emulsion SPF50+

I have also started using Eau Thermale Avène Cold Cream Ultra Rich Cleansing Gel. For some reason, I thought this was a foot treatment. Duh, sometimes I am a silly boy! I have now started using it for its intended purpose (to cleanse the face and body). So I will tell you all about this product in an upcoming post about face washes/cleansers.

Eau Thermale Avène is available at Dis-Chem stores nationwide.

Etat Libre d’Orange’s Etienne de Swardt (Mostly) Unfiltered

Since its launch in 2006, Etat Libre d’Orange has gained notoriety and a large international cult following with its provocative perfumes and tongue-in-cheek humour. With perfumes such as Putain des Palaces, Attaqeur le Soleil Marquis de Sade, Fat Electrician and Encens et Bubblegum, Etat Libre d’Orange has walked a fine line between shock value and scentsory awe.

ROYAL WHORE: Putain des Palaces.

The man behind this Paris-based niche perfumery, Etienne de Swardt, was born and raised in South Africa. The name “Etat Libre d’Orange” is a witty word play on the Orange Free State, the South African province where De Swardt lived during his formative years.

After working for big fragrance names like Givenchy and weary of the conventions and limitations of perfumery, De Swardt launched Oh My Dog! and Oh My Cat!, his fragrance range for pets, which humans could wear too. Cheeky bugger!

My first encounter (“experience” is too tame a word) with Etat Libre d’Orange was with Je Suis un Homme, launched in 2006. Although that bottle was emptied many years ago, I still remember it as a heady collision between citrus, spice, leather and cognac notes. Not the usual, for sure.

I wangled my South African background to get an email interview with De Swardt. For a change, I had to turn off my overly vigilant inner editor to retain the drama and flow of his manifesto-like answers. So mostly I have shortened and explained his answers where necessary for clarity.

BOTTLED MISCHIEF: The Etat Libre d’Orange collection.

After more than 10 years in the industry, has Etat Libre d’Orange achieved what you set out to do? The objective is still too confused to measure a pertinent achievement. Sabotage will be the final destination, with all our narcissism, scented exactions, calculated pathos and endorsements of rogue heroes and heroines blended on one magnificent fire. I would love a purifying fire at 69 Rue des Archives [the address of the Etat Libre d’Orange store in Paris] to consume a decade “à tout faire de travers [doing it our way]”.

You started out as an agent provocateur in the industry. Is that still your motivation? I was born a sophisticated Shakespearean impostor, lost in between South Africa and New Caledonia. I was shaped by womanity, materfamilias, gay but elusive multiple (step) fathers, literature, cloud soaring, instants in the wind and, of course, my own departed. Hence, I am fucking confused and disturbed. But thankfully I have all the codes of vanity, arrogance and narcissism, knowing all that will be gone with the wind, revenged by our finitude and hazardous biology, so I bow to Diogenes’s cynicism.

EXISTENTIAL AESTHETICS: You or Someone Like You.

Using your latest fragrance, You or Someone Like You, as an example, briefly talk us through your conceptualisation and creative process. Just a good name to ignite the process and federate the passions, and a good extra bonus of existentialism with my knowledgeable Chandler Burr [the acclaimed American author, journalist and perfume expert] on board. Chandler is a crusader of aesthetics on the road less travelled. Alive and kicking this is what we are, knowing the end is a Greek tragedy. In the meantime, let’s be dramatic, frivolous and genuine.

With its notes of blood, adrenaline, sperm and saliva, Secretions Magnifiques created a huge sensation when it was launched in 2006 and still upsets or delights people. Looking back now, what do you think of it? My beloved virus, my favourite crime scene, why did you betray me, trapping for so long our land of plenty in a swamp of miasma, saliva, sperm and other encoded fluids of duplication and reproduction. I was born in 1970, the year of the dog, and I sniff around not like a perfumer, but like a hound, hunting high and low body intimacies.

SCENTED FREAK: Fat Electrician.

What’s your favourite Etat Libre d’Orange fragrance? I love all my scented freaks equally. They all speak my very universal disorders. Etat Libre d’Orange is a land of plenty, inclusive of all neurotic but charming darkness. It’s where a Fat Electrician shall dance an eternal farandole with a powdery slut, a leathery Tom of Finland, an abject ylang-ylang Charogne, the synaesthesia of a Nijinsky dancing the faun in 1912 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the eternal feminine killer’s kiss blending jasmine at twilight with a seductive cigarette, a naive Justine lost in between vice and virtue, but deliciously perverted by a Luciferian Marquis of Sade. They are all for You or Someone Like You.

Has your definition of success changed since you launched Etat Libre d’Orange? Penitence is my lot in life, stoicism and cynicism my brothers in arms. I hope that all these existentialism-scented manoeuvres since 2006 will help me to buy a Jonker JS-1 Revelation sailplane, designed in Potchefstroom, South Africa, by two talented brothers. Soaring is a place where everything starts and ends, driven by humility.

SOARING IS EVERYTHING: De Swardt’s dream Jonker JS-1 sailplane.

What fragrance are you working on now? Vos Beaux Yeux Vont Pleurer, inspired by the poetry of Ray Bradbury and David Bowie (Martian Chronicles + Serious Moonlight), the curse of beauty of Rock Hudson, Edna “E” Mode [from The Incredibles], Roxy Music’s Love is the Drug and WD-40 Multi-Use products to keep our souls away from rusted parts. Disturbed, isn’t it?

What are your thoughts on the current state of the perfume industry? Mutation and survival of the fittest.

Are your fragrances distributed in South Africa? No, we are too “incompris” [misunderstood].

BODY INTIMACIES: Secretions Magnifiques.

Apart from its name, does South Africa inspire your fragrances at all? Etat Libre d’Orange is the best blend of 21st-century Voortrekker spirit and existentialism à la française. Tell the Ruperts [the wealthy South African family who founded Richemont] that I don’t want to sell my house to LVMH or L’Oréal. But I would be happy one day to dance the carmagnole in the Great Karoo around the camp fire with protective laager people, my family, Walt Whitman or Alan Paton – the same universal, drifting, contemplative saga of pain and beauty on the limitless borders of New Caledonia, Colorado or Kroonstad. I am the true son of a Free State farm boy with vast memories of Bothaville and meat pie…

Want to read another intriguing interview with one of the masters of modern niche perfumery? Check out my interview with Bertrand Duchaufour here.

3 Fresh Fragrances To Try Now

Fresh Main Pic

Fresh fragrances are always a good choice, when they offer the right amount of uplifting and invigorating appeal. They run the gamut from citrus bursts to marine splashes. Of course, they make the perfect choice for summer, but there’s no reason why you can’t wear fresh fragrances year-round if they work for you.

I recently tried these three different takes on fresh fragrances . Here are my quick impressions of each.

HUGO BOSS HUGO ICED EDT

There’s a simple note structure to this fresh fragrance – lots of mint (very nice!), wild tea, juniper, bitter orange and vetiver – and all are given the iced treatment. On my skin, Hugo Iced EDT dissipates very quickly, but I like the crisp vibe when I wear it to gym. I will be passing this on to my fashion-conscious 19-year-old son, who’s very much its target market.

R845 for 75ml and R1 155 for 125ml.

HB Iced Pic

BULGARI AQUA POUR HOMME ATLANTIQUE EDT

I did not like this fresh fragrance at all when I first tried it. Perhaps I was expecting a salty marine offering. But the more I wear Bulgari Aqua Pour Homme Atlantique, the more I “get” creator Jacques Cavallier’s interpretation of ambergris, sea accord, in this EDT. If you’re looking for more of the same Bulgari Aqua formula, with a few tweaks, you’ll be surprised.

R 1060 for 50ml and R1 480 for 100ml.

Aqua Pic

BOSS BOTTLED TONIC EDT

After the potency of Boss Bottled Intense EDP, the latest addition to the Boss Bottled range is admirably restrained. Notes of grapefruit, bitter orange, lemon and apple set the tone for this fresh fragrance, and there’s also ginger and vetiver in the mix. I like Boss Bottled Tonic because it doesn’t try too hard to be sophisticated and grown-up.

R955 for 50ml, R1 265 for 100ml and R1 755 for 200ml.

Bottled Tonic Pic

PS: I haven’t smelt them yet, but I am looking forward to trying out two other fresh fragrances when they arrive in South Africa: Jimmy Choo For Men Iced EDT and Thierry Mugler A*Men Kryptomint.

Too fresh for you? Want something more sensual? Read my fragrance review of Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT here.

Product Review: Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver

Main Pic

I don’t enjoy shaving. And can’t remember the last time I shaved on a daily basis. But as I am a hirsute man, I need to do the deed, on average, every four days. By day four of not shaving, I start to walk the line between rugged and ragged. And by day five, what a mess! And we’re not talking a hot mess. It also doesn’t help matters that I have sensitive skin.

I usually use Gillette Sensor Excel blades to do the job. Then during one of my recent tidy-ups, I re-discovered the Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver in my grooming product drawers.

How could I have forgotten about this wet and dry electric shaver? It’s specifically designed for men with sensitive skin and comes with a load of nifty features? These include comfort rings with anti-friction micro-bead coating, a GentlePrecision blade system and five-direction DynamicFlex heads for a smooth, trauma-free shave. Plus, it provides 50 minutes of cordless shaving (it takes an hour to charge fully) and there’s a SmartClick beard styler.

My last experience with an electric shaver was with a Braun something-or-other way back in the 1990s. I eventually abandoned it, as it could not deal with the rigours of my stubble. Would the Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver fare any better?

My first few shaves with the Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver were a failure and I had to finish the job with my Gillette. Not because this Philips is a piece of rubbish, but because a) I didn’t read the instructions properly and b) I gave it the impossible seven-day Richard stubble challenge.

Shaver Other Pic

I must have been in a good mood this morning, because I gave the Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver a more reasonable test – four days of stubble growth. While not as dense and tough as a week’s worth, it would still test the shaver’s agility and precision.

At last! The shaver handled my stubble with aplomb, gliding with ease. Sure, I had to finish up under my nose with my Gillette, but overall I was impressed with the Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver’s performance. Now I just need to remember the four-day rule when using it in future.

3 tips for buying an electric shaver

* Make sure you buy an electric shaver that suits your lifestyle and your shaving needs. For example, if you prefer to shave at gym before going to work, you will want one that’s light and good to go. Similarly, if you travel frequently, make sure it is travel-friendly. The Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver comes with a handy travel lock.

* There are generally two types of electric shavers: rotary (revolving blades) and foil (a thin layer of metal covers the blades). Rotary is best for men who have thick and coarse hair and prefer not to shave every day. Foil is best for men who don’t mind shaving daily and have finer hair.

* An electric shaver isn’t for everyone. If your razor is a top performer, there’s no need to go the electric route.

Shaver Secondary Pic

Fragrance Review: Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT

 

SF Art Work

Tiramisu. Undoubtedly, one of my favourite Italian desserts. When I am at a restaurant, I can always rely on a well-made tiramisu when it’s time to order dessert. Why am I banging on about tiramisu? Well, when Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo was first launched internationally last year, I read that one of its dominant notes is tiramisu.

On paper that sounded deliciously intriguing, but I wasn’t entirely convinced either. Would it be sickly sweet? Would it be one of those generic, ready-made tiramisus all too common in pizzerias? Or would it be a refreshingly modern and stylish take on the classic?

When Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo officially arrived in South Africa in March 2017, I was impaziente to get my nose around it. I arrived at the launch before most of the other media contingent (blame that on my German ancestry!). Not such a bad thing. It gave me the opportunity to spray this EDT before everyone else.

Pssss! Pssss! And there it was! The unmistakable smell of tiramisu. And not just any ol’ tiramisu. An authentic and joyful tiramisu. La dolce vita! But let me not give you the impression that Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo is just about tiramisu…

Elegante nuances

I have spent the last three weeks living with this EDT. The more time I spend with it, the more I notice its nuances. That’s a word I use deliberately here. This is not a loud, macho Italian fragrance. This is Salvatore Ferragamo, after all. So we’re talking elegante. Notes of black pepper, cardamom, bergamot, orange blossom, ambrox, cashmere wood, sandalwood and tonka bean all play their part to create an eminently smooth, sexy and sophisticated scent.

cropped-SFU-2-1-1.jpg
GET A GRIP: Whichever way you look at it, what a handsome bottle.

This should come as no surprise, as Alberto Morillas is one of the co-creators of this fragrance. The Spaniard knows his stuff and has a long list of top scents to his name. These include Bulgari Man in Black, cK One, Panthere de Cartier, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio, Givenchy Pi and, most recently, Gucci Guilty Absolute.

Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo is also very versatile and works day or night. I find it especially appealing as a bed-time scent. Not because it’s an aphrodisiac as such, but because it’s so comfortable and soothing to wear.

The reassuringly solid bottle deserves a special mention, too. The combo of glass and logo-ed black sides makes a suitably luxe statement.

Something tells me that Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo is going to be one of my favourite fragrances of 2017.

Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT, R1 000 for 50ml and R1 380 for 100ml.

Want to know more about the top fragrances of 2016? You will find five of the best here. Continue reading “Fragrance Review: Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT”

4 Top Grooming Tips: How To Apply Your Eye Cream, How To Store Your Fragrance

Tips Eyes

Grooming can be hard work if you’re not equipped with the right tools and essential know-how. For myself, I know there’s always (g)room for improvement. I hope these top grooming tips help alleviate any confusion.

HOW TO APPLY YOUR EYE CREAM

Up until a few months ago, I used to apply my eye cream/serum with a heavy hand. Like many of us, I rubbed it under my eye, the inside outwards. And then Dermalogica’s national training manager, Diana van Sittert, put me right with these top grooming tips. As the skin surrounding the eye area is super-thin and sensitive, it needs to be treated with the care it deserves.

  • Dispense a pea-sized amount onto your ring fingers.
  • Dot the product under your eyes, moving from the outer corners inwards.
  • Circle the product around your eyes three times.

HOW TO DRY YOUR HAIR

Easy enough, right? Shower, dry vigorously and off you go. Absolutely – if you want to damage your hair. But if you want to maintain the condition and shine of your hair, best follow these top grooming tips from hair salon owner Penny Cheong:

  • After hair has been shampooed and conditioned, use a smooth, absorbent towel, preferably one made of a micro-fibre fabric, not a rough cotton terry towel.
  • Remove the excess water by gently pressing the towel to your head. Avoid vigorous scalp rubbing.
  • The aim is to remove excess water, but to keep some moisture and allow your hair to naturally air-dry further.
  • Aggressive towel-drying damages the hair cuticles and can also damage the follicles, leading to premature hair loss – something all men would rather avoid

Tips HairHOW TO PERK UP TIRED LOOKING SKIN

You haven’t slept well again or you’ve pulled an all-nighter. And your face is looking haggard as hell. While there are plenty of products that promise a quick rescue job, there’s a highly effective solution right inside your freezer. Ice cubes. These are great for increasing facial blood circulation and de-puffing the eye area, among other benefits.

  • Wrap the ice cube in a paper serviette and circulate around the problem areas. Don’t apply ice directly to your face, as this could cause broken capillaries.
  • If that’s too extreme for you, a good splash of cold water also helps banish a multitude of sins.

Tips IceHOW TO STORE YOUR FRAGRANCE

Did you know that if you don’t store your fragrances the right way, they can spoil over time? What a waste that would be! While you don’t need to build a Chateau Lafitte Rothschild-worthy cellar for your precious perfumes, think of them as a composition of fine molecules that needs to be protected from the harsh elements.

  • Keep your fragrances out of direct sunlight.
  • Your stash of fragrances looks mightily impressive in your bathroom, but all that steam and up-down temperature is not going to do them any good.
  • Some aficionados insist that the refrigerator is the best place to store fragrances, but there’s not much consensus on that. The main thing is to store them in a cool, dark place. A cabinet or box will do.

PS: While Zadig & Voltaire This Is Him! makes for a cool photo prop, it’s also a darn good fragrance. So while I have your attention, I will give it a well-deserved punt. The notes of grapefruit, incense, sandalwood, vanilla and black pepper come together beautifully in this one. Simplicity is the ultimate seduction.

Tips Fragrance

3 BARGAIN FRAGRANCES TO ADD TO YOUR COLLECTION

Bargains Main Pic

I love popping into stores to check out the latest fragrance launches and to sniff out those I might have missed. Those fragrances are inevitably on the expensive side. I have learned, though, that if I step away from the branded, fancy counters, there are remarkably good bargain fragrances to be discovered on the cheaper, less glamorous shelves.

If you’re going to be doing some bargain hunting yourself, the trick here is to be patient. You will need to sift through a lot of bottles to find the bargain fragrance that appeals to you. But the rewards, in terms of money saved and fragrance gem found, will be well worth it.

These bargain fragrances get the Fragroom thumbs up:

QUORUM EDT

Originally launched in 1981, Quorum packs an old-school power punch with dominant notes of oakmoss, leather, tobacco, artemisia and sandalwood. This bargain fragrance is super-masculine stuff, irresistibly earthy and is as far from generic as you can get. It’s not often you will find quality at this price, so hunt it down now.

Price: R220 for 50ml and R320 for 100ml.

Bargains Quorum

4711 ORIGINAL EAU DE COLOGNE

This bargain fragrance is apparently still made according to a secret recipe from the late 18th century (yes, it’s been around that long). While 4711 Original Eau de Cologne lacks staying power, it more than compensates with its uplifting mix of lemon, bergamot and orange oil. More than a fragrance, it’s a superb pick-me-up tonic.

Price: R280 for 100ml and R395 for 150ml.

Bargains 4711

JEANNE ARTHES COLONIAL CLUB EDT

Jeanne Arthes might not have the immediate prestige of some of the more high-end fragrance companies, but it still produces some goodies. A tad on the sweeter side, Jeanne Arthes Colonial Club is a sophisticated take on jasmine, musk, patchouli and cedar notes. It smells way more expensive than its price suggests.

Price: R200.

Bargains Colonial Club