Wednesday, December 21, 2016

AFTERSHAVE: Four fragrances you should try in 2017

There are so many fragrances out there that I barely finish trying one out at home before another arrives in the post (thanks super PR people) or I just can't resist the urge and splurge on a few at a time, wrecking my bank balance (and BeautyqueenUK's sanity) in the process. The collection currently stands at well over fifty fragrances that range from £19.99 (Spiced Wood by Yardley - well worth a look) to well over £200 for a bottle. Buying a fragrance for a bloke or buying online without trying it our first is like tap-dancing across a well laid minefield as fragrance is such a personal thing. 

One other addition I will add in here is that when I try new fragrances they are screened by my HR department mainly because they have good taste - each aftershave will get a HRT rating - Human Resources Test.

Zadig & Voltaire For Him
Four fragrances you should try in 2017
Head: Grapefruit
Heart: Black pepper, Incense
Dry-down: Vanilla

My take: As aftershaves go, this one stands head and shoulders above about 80 per cent of fragrances I've ever tried. It has an amazing staying power, a beautiful subtle fragrance and is actually a bit of a conversation starter. It is hugely unique in aroma and I constantly get asked what that lovely smell is. Always a good confidence boost.

Strong to start with you don't really get a blast of citrus that you would expect from an aftershave with grapefruit as the head note, in fact you can detect an instant hint of black pepper which dries down within about fifteen minutes. The aftershave becomes a touch spicier for a further twenty minutes before the vanilla takes the edge of that warmth and leaves a lovely subtle sweetness that remains for well over ten hours. 

HRT Rating: 10/10
Costs: £40 for 50ml bottle
Available from: Superdrug

Creed Silver Mountain Water
Four fragrances you should try in 2017
Head: Bergamot, Mandarin
Heart: Green tea, Blackcurrant
Dry-down: Galbanum, Sandalwood, Petitgrain

My take: This is one that I absolutely love, it starts off with a lovely fresh citrus blast from the mandarin that gives way over about an hour to a warmer and heavier fruity scent. As you would expect from a luxury fragrance from Creed it has stunning lasting power, well over fifteen hours in fact and once it has dried down properly, after around an hour you have a beautiful blend of citrus, the warmth of the sandalwood with just very slight hints of the blackcurrant. Out of this world in my opinion.

HRT Rating: 9/10
Costs: £100 for 30ml bottle (yep, £100 for 30ml) 
Available from: Selfridges

Jack Piccadilly '69
Four fragrances you should try in 2017
Head: Patchouli, Bergamot
Heart: Petrol, Ginger, Musk
Dry-down: Amber

My take: From the Jack range of aftershaves and perfumes designed by Richard E Grant I confess that this one fell into my collection by accident after a visit to the Gentleman's Grooming Show. I picked up a bottle after becoming so intoxicated by the lovely fragrance I completely ignored Mr Grant who was desperately trying to talk to me about the range (d'oh). Richard, you're my hero, and sorry for being rude. 

The overriding scent is of a light bergamot which becomes much spicier for around twenty minutes. It starts to dry down into a very subtle spice and the amber provides a body that ensures that this lasts for well over eight hours. Personally I forget I'm wearing this but others around me insist that it continues to smell unique. It oozes refined sophistication.

HRT Rating: 8/10
Costs: £95 for 100ml bottle
Available from: Liberty London

L'Occitane Cedrat L'Homme
Four fragrances you should try in 2017
Head: Cedrat, Mint
Heart: Violet leaf, Lavender, Black pepper
Dry-down: Cedar, Amber, Musk

My take: I was something of a fan of Eau de Cedrat but felt that it lacked that edge, mainly because it didn't last all day and night long but this seems to have been fixed with the latest male fragrance from those lovely people at L'Occitane. The cedrat citrus tones give a lime zest to the top notes while the mint gives a freshness that can't be rivalled. It's good as soon as it leaves the atomiser. Give me any aftershave or cologne with lavender and pepper in it and I'm a happy bunny but this takes my love to new and exciting levels. It's lush from one minute in to ten hours later. 

The heart notes really make this for me and as they been with the dry down it takes an edge of the citrus and it becomes much warmer on the nose without making it overly warm on the senses. Top notch stuff.

HRT Rating: 8.5/10
Costs: £45 for 75ml bottle
Available from: L'Occitane

There you have it, four fragrances that I would mug my gran to get hold of the cash to buy (I wouldn't really, she's dead). There are brands here that I would consider luxury, particularly Creed Silver Mountain Water (thanks Auntie Sue for buying it for me) but with all of these you really get what you pay for as they have such striking and unique fragrances that have depth and last on the skin for nearly twenty four hours at a time. They are stunning and all come highly recommended from me.

Start 2017 fragrantly, and take a closer look at these babies. 


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