Tag Archives: Men’s grooming

Fragrance Shopping for Boys and Teens: The Perfume Society For Him Discovery Box

Many people ask me what to buy the beloved youngsters in their life as their first fragrance. It’s a tricky one. You like that they are taking care of the appearance and image, but  because they’re still young, you definitely don’t want anything provocative. All the seductive and alluring stuff can stay on the shelves, thank you.

I was lucky enough today to press gang my own son, Freddie, aged eleven ( on the right), and his lovely friend Morgan, aged twelve (on the left), into trying out a few scents for me.  I launched them onto the Perfume Society For Him Discovery Box and let them spray with abandon. I absolutely loved their reactions, although our dear chums at Jovoy did not fare so well among this age group!. They both smell great today and Morgan went away with a freebie.

I did not sway them and their responses are unedited.

L-R, Morgan and my son Freddie

Cartier L’Envol 1.5ml eau de toilette (50ml normally £63)

“Smells like a garden centre.” “Not sure.”


Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 2ml eau de toilette (30ml/£19.00)

“Smells lush”, “really nice, I love this one.”

This one was a favourite of both boys. Morgan went home with the sample and both were a-sniffing with impressed looks on their faces.

It may have something to do with the fact that they are both excellent football players and avid fans, so this may have swayed them. In any case, a resounding success

Coach For Men 2ml eau de toilette (40ml/£39)

“Oh yeah. That’s nice.” “The Coach one is good.”

Morgan and Fred both liked this one. Cool, fresh and clean, and not remotely provocative.

Dunhill Racing 2ml eau de parfum (50ml/£63)

“Nice.” “Clean” “My joint favourite.”

As for me, I think Dunhill Racing was my favourite, although I was taking a back seat today.

Ferrari Man in Red 1.2ml eau de toilette (50ml/£42)

“Lush,” “I like this one.” “sort of sweet. I really like it.” “Yeah the Ferrari one is my favourite. That and the CR7.”

Jaguar Black Chromite 1.8ml eau de toilette (100ml £55.00)

“Joint favourite” “I like this one, the Ronaldo and the Ferrari one.”  “Can I keep this one, Mum?”

Aww. Of course he can keep it.

Jovoy Private Label 2ml eau de parfum (100ml £125)

Jovoy, my apologies in advance. The exact response was “minging”, “disgusting”, “wash it off”, “rank” “smells like tar.”

Well, thank goodness, they didn’t like this one (It was the most expensive of the lot). Parents stressing over bank accounts will breathe a sigh of relief if they have to get an iPhone as well this Christmas (cough) I imagine.

I’m sorry Jovoy, I still love you!

Kenneth Cole Mankind 1.5ml eau de toilette (£30 for a 30ml)

“Oh wow.” “Yep. it’s good.”


Missoni Parfum Pour Homme 5ml eau de parfum (50ml £45.00)

“What’s this for?”  “There’s no spray on it.” “I can smell it now.  Not bad.” “That bottle’s really cute.”


Vince Camuto Homme 1.5ml eau de toilette (£45 for a 50ml)

“That smells amazing!” “Like it.” “Who’s Vince Camuto?”

NB The box also contains a 150ml Heath face wash and a mini size Missoni after shave balm and bath and shower gel, making this a great gift set.

The verdict?

Favourites were CR7, Ferrari and Jaguar, with Dunhill Racing, Vince Camuto and Coach coming up close seconds. Sadly Jovoy was not quite for this age group, but their faces were a picture!


You can buy this fabulous gift box from The Perfume Society. Mine was sent to me as a gift with no conditions attached.  Opinions are those of my son and his friend.  Thanks boys! Take your pick as a reward.


Penhaligon’s Sartorial: Suits Your, Sir!




Today and yesterday I have been wearing Penhaligon’s Sartorial.  Inspired by the tailors of Savile Row, Penhaligon’s Sartorial is outrageously good and it comes as no surprise that the nose behind it is none other than the prolific Bertrand Duchaufour.

Sorry, I couldn’t help the flippant title.  If any UK readers remember the Fast Show with the overly familiar tailors you will understand why I couldn’t think of Savile Row without thinking of their catch phrase.  I especially liked the Johnny Depp episode!  But I digress.

Sartorial opens with woods: both vintage and polished.  There is beeswax in there, and some light gentlemanly spices.  There is a blast of green aldehydes on first applying this, which beds down into a manly middle phase, which makes you want to see the hairy chest under the shirt button.

In the middle there is lavender and leather and  a hint of  Spring time linden blossom, but it’s the base notes that do it for me and which hang around for about seven hours on my skin. (This is intended for men but I think it is excellent on me, even if I say so myself).

The finish of Sartorial does indeed smell like a posh tailor and very much makes me want to go and get fitted for hideously expensive trousers. There is Oakmoss in abundance, and lots of prickly patchouli, and balsam,  and Myrrh, and brand new leather belts and more rich antique wood and oh…it does what it says on the tin to the power of a hundred.  Penhaligon’s Sartorial is terrifically good and deserves to become a classic.

Over on Fragrantica, at least 14 readers have decided that it smells like Brut.  I can’t say they’re wrong, it may smell like Brut to them and I cannot argue with a subjective response.  However, in my opinion, if Brut smelled as good as this and was as woody and rich then I would be wearing it every day. And so would my husband.

Now although I like to champion inexpensive perfumes, I also think its worth stating a case about pricing sometimes.  Penhaligon’s may look expensive but actually a 50ml bottle of Sartorial is £52 on allbeauty.com at the moment.  When you compare that to a lot of mass market High Street stuff,  Sartorial becomes pretty competitive but the quality and longevity is far superior.



Stockists: You can buy Penhaligon’s Sartorial from the website Penhaligon’s, or  try the lovely sample tin of 10x2ml samples before buying blind.  In the USA and Canada, you can buy in person from branches of Saks or Wilkes Bashford or LuckyScent in LA, or online from Amazon.com  and Amazon.ca, where Sartorial is just over $90.


Diesel Zero Plus Masculine: Stolen From My Husband


Out of all the fragrances I have bought for Mr IScent, Diesel Zero Plus Masculine is the one he wears every day and likes best. He smells wonderful in it, although it smells different on him than it does on me.  On him, it is a fresh, milky musk which is never overpowering, even at 7am when he kisses me goodbye for the day.

On me, it is fresh, green and spicy and could easily be marketed as a feminine Autumn scent without anyone batting an eyelid.  The most prominent notes when first sprayed are Green notes, Mandarin, Bergamot and  Spice: specifically Cinnamon and Nutmeg. The Green notes are woody and musty, like sodden leaves, but fresh and zingy at the same time.  After a while this beds down into a Musky Sandalwood finish, but with sharpness from the Oranges and Cardoman.  The Anise sneaks in for the final flourish, with warm Amber and Patchouli rounding things off nicely.

It’s ridiculously cheap for this kind of likable quality.  I bought this for around eight pounds in my local Bodycare shop, but it’s pretty much everywhere and very often less than ten pounds.

The bottle has lasted since last Christmas despite daily wear and is still nearly half full, making this extraordinary value for money.  It’s not up there with the Serges or the Guerlains, but it’s an excellent buy and I say phooey to male/female labels.  This is just a great Autumnal scent.