Thursday, 7 July 2011

The best summer aftershave?

A few weeks ago I blogged about Debenhams' latest innovation, the Beauty Club iPhone app. I mentioned it was having teething trouble so I thought I'd try it again as there have been some updates. Without any trouble at all I was able to order a small bottle of Emporio Armani Diamonds For Men eau de toilette, a firm favourite of mine.

Mechanically it's a pleasure to be able to report the app is working faultlessly, then. The design could still do with a more masculine version as it's clearly aimed at a female market. Presumably someone has sat down with a spreadsheet and worked out that the female market for "beauty" products is vastly bigger than the one for the male of the species; I've commented before on how we need a new word for "beauty" when we're talking male products but failed to come up with anything better.

The scents

Diamonds is a really good, light smell for men. There's a sharpness and pepperiness that I like very much, blended with a bit of citrus and bergamot. It wears well during the day, not overpowering but lasting quite some time.

Armani Diamonds Summer
I thought this was just about the perfect summer scent, and asked Debenhams' PR team why there had to be a summer version as well. (The easy answer is "because customers will buy it" but that's just cynical). Obligingly they sent a sample through and for once I have to say I found the seasonal version even better. A bit of extra lemon zing, splash of cocoa at the base notes and you have something which I think is really excellent. My wife, on the other hand, thinks it's got "that Armani smell" and she still says plain non-seasonal Armani Code suits me better. For me the Diamonds Summer edition is probably the best scent on the market.

I've also been trying Eau de Toilette Verdon by L'Occitane, available from QVC. More in-your-face then the others on test, there's a distinct and not unpleasant whiff of lemons about it with a woody base. Strong but more subtle than previous L'Occitane offerings I've tried, I'll certainly be using this on occasion.

P. S. You might notice I'm calling these bottles eau de toilette (correctly) in the text. They have no astringent or cut-healing properties, which is what an aftershave does. I am of course cheating and putting "aftershave" in the headline because most men use the stuff interchangeably but will search Google for aftershave rather than EDT.

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