Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme + Boss The Scent Parfum Edition + Bulgari Splendida Magnolia Sensuel + Hugo Urban Journey Reviews

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme Fragrance Reviews

January tends to be a very slow month in perfume-land, with a lull in new launches. Probably a very good idea after the always-more-expensive-than-budgeted-for holidays. However, two months into 2018, I’ve got some newbie reviews for you.

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme EDP

For a while Gucci became known for its middling fragrances. The not bad, but not particularly earth-shatteringly good either variety. That all started to change in 2017 with the release of the leather-licious Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme EDP and the white florals-rich Gucci Bloom EDP. You can read those reviews here:  http://fragroom.com/2017/07/08/gucci-guilty-absolute-prada-luna-rossa-carbon-thierry-mugler-amen-kryptomint/ and http://fragroom.com/2017/11/29/female-floral-fragrances-for-men/. These stand-out fragrances, collaborations between Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele and master perfumer Alberto Morillas, made it clear that the Italian luxury brand was back in the fragrance game.

ABSOLUTE MASTERY: Alberto Morillas, the creator of Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme and Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme. Pic courtesy of Coty.

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme is also an Alberto Morillas creation. Like its male counterpart, it takes some bold risks. It opens with an unmistakable blackberry note, luscious and intriguing. But it’s not just big on fruit. A Bulgarian rose develops in the background, adding to the richness, while also tempering the sweetness. Those familiar with Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme might recognise the Goldenwood note, an extract of the nootka cypress which brings a dense woodiness to the proceedings. The patchouli base completes the sensuality.

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme Reviews

While undeniably lavish, Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme is also very wearable, for both women and men. Michele wanted an unconventional romantic fragrance and Morillas has more than delivered on the brief. Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme EDP, R1 005 for 30ml, R1 385 for 50ml and R1 825 for 90ml.

“While undeniably lavish, Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme is also very wearable, for both women and men.”

Boss The Scent Parfum Edition For Him

It seems like I reviewed new Boss The Scent fragrances very recently. Such is the relentless cycle of modern perfumery. Establish the pillar and follow with a succession of flankers. The follow-up to Boss The Scent For Him Intense comes in a super-sexy flacon. The juice is surprisingly subtle for a male seduction scent. Maninka fruit, sourced from South Africa, is still at the heart of it, with ginger, orris concrete and patchouli notes in support. Boss The Scent Parfum Edition For Him, R1 660 for 100ml.

Boss The Scent Parfum Edition For Him Reviews

Boss The Scent Parfum Edition For Her

If Boss The Scent Parfum Edition For Him is curiously understated, the female version is positively on steroids. It opens with a big honeyed peach note that’s love-it-or-hate-it stuff. Osmanthus absolute, cistus absolute and roasted cocoa also feature in the mix. Talking of relentless cycles, Boss The Scent EDT For Her will be launched in April. I can’t keep up. Boss The Scent Parfum Edition For Her, R1 375 for 50ml.

Boss The Scent Parfum Edition For Her Reviews

Hugo Urban Journey EDT

The latest addition to the long-running Hugo franchise is all about urban adventure. The grey, textured flacon captures that perfectly. The juice itself, although not particularly urban, is fresh, accessible and pleasant, with notes of Himalayan whorl flower, black tea and guaiac wood. Although not officially listed, I get a big marine whiff from this EDT that will go down well with its target market. Hugo Urban Journey EDT, R845 for 75ml and R1 155 for 125ml.

Hugo Urban Journey Reviews

Bulgari Splendida Magnolia Sensuel EDP

Launched in 2017, the Bulgari Splendida line focuses on the most celebrated flowers in perfumery. So far we’ve had Bulgari Splendida Rose Rose EDP, Bulgari Splendida Iris d’Or EDP and Bulgari Splendida Jasmin Noir EDP. The latest, Bulgari Splendida Magnolia Sensuel EDP, was created by master perfumer Jacques Cavallier (Pasha de Cartier, L’Eau d’Issey, Lancôme Poeme, YSL M7).

Bulgari Splendida Magnolia Sensuel Reviews

There’s a green-ish opening to Bulgari Splendida Magnolia Sensuel, courtesy of mandarin and neroli essences. And then a big hit of Chinese magnolia comes through, with orange flower and jasmine absolute also noticeable. The sensual aspect is further enhanced by the base notes of patchouli, musk and vanilla.

“It all adds up to create a terrifically expensive- and luxurious-smelling scent.”

It all adds up to create a terrifically expensive- and luxurious-smelling scent (with a price tag to match). My only gripe is that like its namesake, this magnolia is all too brief on my skin. Bulgari Splendida Magnolia Sensuel EDP, R1 500 for 50ml and R2 115 for 100ml.

Bulgari Splendida Magnolia Sensuel Reviews

3 Top Eye Products To Look Out For: Chanel Blue Serum Eye, Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift, Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum

Eye Products - Chanel Blue Serum Eye

The area around the eye is the most delicate skin on the face. So no surprises that it’s one of the first to show the signs of neglect, good times/bad behaviour and ageing. It’s for this reason that it pays to invest in an eye product that does what it says. Which means expect to pay more if you want to see noticeable results. How do these three eye products measure up?

Eye Products - Chanel Blue Serum Eye

ELIZABETH ARDEN ADVANCED CERAMIDE CAPSULES DAILY YOUTH RESTORING EYE SERUM

What it does: If you’re familiar with Elizabeth Arden’s super-duper Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum, these babies are the equivalent for the fight against ageing around the eye area. They boost the skin’s natural barrier, increase moisture and combat fine lines and wrinkles.

Eye Products - Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum

Ingredients: I will not bore you with the full list of ingredients. Suffice to say, each capsule contains a concentrated dose of potent and highly effective ingredients. These include: Enhanced Ceramide Lipid Complex to boost the skin’s natural barrier; moisture-boosting Botanical Complex Technology; and nourishing tsubaki (camellia) oil.

The verdict: Super-duper, of course! The more Elizabeth Arden products I use, the more I am impressed by the brand. These capsules are well worth looking at if you want the best of science and nature.

R655 for 60ml.

Eye Products - Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum

DERMALOGICA STRESS POSITIVE EYE LIFT

What it does: An eye treatment and masque in one, this product helps restore the skin’s protective barrier, reduces the appearance of puffiness and dark circles, and perks up the eye area.

Eye Products - Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye

Ingredients: Active ingredients include: wild indigo seed to combat under-eye circles; sea water extract and Arctic algae for puffiness; and bioactive diglucosyl gallic acid to energise the eye area.

The verdict: It comes with a cooling massage applicator, which feels great when you use it. This applicator can also be used to massage the eye area. I found that DIY massage unnecessarily fussy. Not to worry, the product works just as well without it.

R1 210 for 25ml.

Eye Products - Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift

CHANEL BLUE SERUM EYE

What it does: The newest addition to the Chanel Blue Serum range takes on puffiness and dirk circles, and smooths and firms the eye area.

Eye Products - Chanel Blue Serum Eye

Ingredients: It contains ingredients consumed in the world’s blue zones: Green coffee PFA from Costa Rican green coffee, renowned for its antioxidant properties; olive tree oleo-active from Sardinian olives, rich in anti-ageing molecules; and regenerative gum extract from Greek lentisk.

The verdict: Blue zones? Yip, I was also a bit flummoxed by that one. Basically, these are regions in the world where people live longer and better. While I can’t vouch for the veracity of that theory, I can tell you that Chanel Blue Serum Eye is easily absorbed and is one of the most elegant and efficient eye products around.

R1 170 for 15ml.

Eye Products - Chanel Blue Serum Eye

The Beauty Of Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal

It’s always intriguing to watch a trend gather momentum over a few years, from when it seems fresh and new to everywhere-you-look ubiquity. I first took notice of activated charcoal about four years ago when it made its appearance in face washes and cleansers. And now I seem to be spotting it everywhere.

The chemistry of activated charcoal was probably taught in science at high school. But let’s just say, I was more focused on other things during those lessons.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal (also known as activated carbon) is not to be confused with regular charcoal or coal. It is produced by heating charcoal at a very high temperature. This changes its structure and surface area, resulting in its  ability to adsorb dirt, impurities and toxins. Adsorption is the process by which molecules and particles adhere to a surface. Thanks to Wikipedia and an online dictionary or two for the info above. Are you still with me?

One of the best activated charcoal products I have tried so far is L’Oréal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Black Charcoal Wash. You can read my review on it here: http://fragroom.com/2017/08/11/loreal-men-expert/.

Activated Charcoal - L’Oréal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Black Charcoal Wash

More recently I have been using the following activated charcoal products:

Hask Charcoal Purifying Shampoo and Hask charcoal Purifying Conditioner (R139.95 each for 355ml)

I horrified some readers and friends recently with my admission that I have used soap to wash what’s left of my hair. Well, I’ve continued to be a good boy since that confession and have been using these haircare products. Apart from being sulphate and paraben free, both these products cleanse and clarify without stripping the hair of life.

Activated Charcoal - Hask Charcoal Purifying Shampoo

White Glo Deep Stain Remover Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste (R54,95 for 100ml)

Up until recently, I have been a heavy smoker and coffee/tea drinker. The result? My pearly whites ain’t so white. I have tried several home-use teeth whitening products over the years, without much success. I was keen to see if this product made any difference. While my teeth still have a long way to glow, they are not looking as stained. PS: The black paste turns into a white foam when you start brushing, so don’t let that put you off it.

Activated Charcoal - White Glo Deep Stain Remover Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste

T-Zone Charcoal & Bamboo Deep Cleansing Face Scrub (R59,95 for 150ml)

A scrub is an important part of the cleansing process. But a product that’s harsh on the skin can do more harm than good, so best use a gentle exfoliant. This one does just that with activated charcoal to attract dirt and excess oil and bamboo particles to exfoliate.

Activated Charcoal - T-Zone Charcoal & Bamboo Deep Cleansing Face Scrub

Jaguar Fragrances: Here Kitty, Kitty…

Jaguar Fragrances - Jaguar For Men Evolution EDT

People are often surprised to hear that automotive companies are also in the fragrance biz. When I talk about car fragrance brands I don’t mean car fresheners. They are something altogether different. I am talking about the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Bentley, all of which have released fragrances that might surprise you with their quality and value for money. For this post, I am going to focus on Jaguar fragrances, as they have been in the car fragrance biz longer than most.

Jaguar Fragrances - Jaguar for Men EDT

You don’t have to be a petrol-head to appreciate Jaguar fragrances (or any other car fragrance brands for that matter). My eyes glaze over at the best of times when men speak about their wheels.

“You don’t have to be a petrol-head to appreciate Jaguar fragrances (or any other car fragrance brands for that matter).”

It all started with Jaguar for Men EDT (R549 for 100ml) for the British luxury car manufacturer. Launched in 1988, this EDT was created by none other than master perfumer Thierry Wasser (now Guerlain’s in-house perfumer). It’s an old-school treat with a herbal and soapy character after the citrus opening has subsided. The good news is that it celebrates its 30th year on the market in 2018. It’s also ridiculously cheap – roughly half the price of a designer fragrance.

Jaguar Fragrances - Jaguar for Men EDT

And what about other Jaguar fragrances worth sniffing out? Here goes…

Jaguar For Men Evolution EDT

Yes, it’s not as distinctive as its predecessor Jaguar for Men. But this EDT created by Dominique Preyssas is one of those everyday (yet elegant scents) with fresh and spicy overtones. It’s also a bargain. Jaguar for Men Evolution EDT, R595 for 100ml.

Jaguar Fragrances - Jaguar For Men Evolution EDT

Jaguar Classic Black EDT

I will apologise on behalf of Jaguar for the nasty silver plasticky packaging for this one. It’s worth overlooking, though, as this Dominique Preyssas scent strikes a good balance between its fruity (orange, green apple, tangerine notes), spicy (cardamom, nutmeg) and sensual (sandalwood, tonka bean, musk) elements. Jaguar Classic Black EDT, R895 for 100ml.

Jaguar Fragrances - Jaguar Classic Black EDT

Jaguar Classic Red EDT

Please see above regarding the silver packaging. Karine Dubreuil (Gucci Pour Homme II, L’Artisan Parfumeur Mûre et Musc Extrême, L’Occitane en Provence Eau de Cade) created this EDT. It opens with the right kind of sweetness, courtesy of raspberry and blackcurrant notes. It’s got a warm and welcoming vibe, with jasmine leaves, bay and hot pepper oil, vanilla, tonka bean and patchouli notes. Jaguar Classic Red EDT, R895 for 100ml.

Jaguar Fragrances - Jaguar Classic Red EDT

Jaguar Pace EDT

There’s a fresh and aromatic vibe to this EDT created by Alexandra Monet and Philippe Romano. The opening features a big hit of rosemary and black pepper notes, followed by cashmeran and French lavender notes. It’s a sporty scent and you don’t have to be a gym bunny to wear it. Jaguar Pace EDT, R895 for 100ml.

Jaguar Fragrances - Jaguar Pace EDT