Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Not just common scents

I was going to post about male grooming products today anyway - and then found that Cheapsmells is launching its half price sale today. The link I've put there isn't sponsored at all, makes no difference to me whether you go there or not; of the aftershaves and colognes on display I could see myself going for Dunhill London, or I could have until I actually had a bottle for Christmas and found that for some strange chemical reason my wife couldn't smell it on me. I could. Odd.

What I've been trying out this season is Limited Edition by Pecksniff's, which you can get from QVC. It's a bit fruity and heavy for my tastes, a lot of spice, hints of fig. I think maybe it's the fig I wasn't wild about - very fashionable, there's an Acqua de Parma which has very heavy fig and is selling well to people with tastes other than mine. Some people will love it.

Returning to the market recently has of course been Old Spice. I've been sent a sample and of course it smells exactly the same as it did in the 1970s when my dad as well as every other male in the UK wore it. Note the aftershave smells the same; the slight fug of tobacco accompanying it as everyone seemed to smoke at the time is reassuringly absent.

It's heavier than most of the stuff I'd use and ideally you'd use it sparingly (again, unlike the way people put it on in the 1970s, particularly after Henry Cooper urged is to "splash it all over" - OK, he was talking about another brand but the message sunk in).

It has a lot going for it. A distinctive, nostalgic scent and very much one that fits into the "under a tenner" bracket - and more particularly, one whose skillful marketing has led to it not being perceived as naff. It could have backfired spectacularly. My advice to men of "a certain age", at whom this blog is targeted, is to use with caution. We can't get away with the "ironic" use of older scents that younger people might. Also watch for partners' reactions; I won't be wearing this when visiting my mother in law because I absolutely couldn't turn up smelling like her husband did when her kids were young - it would remind her too much of her recent loss.

What I'd welcome - also available from QVC and elsewhere including Amazon - is the Elemis Men's Essential set. I've used it for a couple of days (funnily enough it's the same set they used on me when I had my facial a few months ago) and can honestly see a difference - I look a bit less haggard, although nowhere near as healthy as if I got a bit more exercise and ate and drank a bit less. Two cleansers, some moisturiser, eye cream, shave gel - I'm positive that the time I'm taking over it is having as much effect as the products themselves, but if your bloke likes to pamper himself a bit (whether he admits it or not) this could be a great post-Christmas reviver gift. Just tell him delivery was delayed by the post.

(The link here is a sponsored one from Amazon - I get a small cut if you buy, that's a declaration in the interests of full disclosure).

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