Tag Archives: Men’s grooming

Interview with Dino Caracciolo of Crown Shaving Co

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For a few years now, I’ve watched the men’s grooming category explode. We have more options than ever before and have the internet to thank, in part, for that. Unfortunately retail is still a bit stale but it’s getting there. Social media, however, has helped this fresh crop of brands get their message out there and attract customers. One of those brands is Crown Shaving Company.

One day while jumping around Instagram, I stumbled upon this company and have been a fan ever since. I remember the first time I tried the product, my first reaction was, Canada isn’t so bad. Seriously though, I experienced a silky smooth shave with no irritation and it’s been all good ever since. I try a lot of products but this has stood out and become a brand of choice for me in the morning. Everything from the lather it builds to the easy glide of the razor to the way it coats and protects my face has sold me on the shaving cream. But it doesn’t stop there. They also have an after shave that’s equally impressive and if you require a preshave oil, they have one of the best.

Below is an interview I recently conducted with it’s head honcho, Dino Caracciolo. Give it a read and get familiar. If you haven’t heard of them yet, well, keep your eyes on them.

The men’s grooming category has received a lot of attention in the past few years. So much so I heard someone compare it to what’s happening with microbreweries. It’s clear to see from following you on instagram, however, your roots run deeper than this trend. Please explain how you got started?

There has definitely been a revival of sorts with barbershops popping up everywhere the last several years and what may have seemed a trend is only picking up more steam with old school shops opening all over the globe. I was fortunate to grow up on both sides of the business, beauty salons as well as barbershops. My dad was a barber/hair stylist while my mom was a hair stylist and also provided manicures. I decided at an early age I wanted to be in that biz and by age 18 I completed my 10 months of beauty/barber school and went on to work full time in the family business.

What made you realize the category needed another brand?

After years behind the chair I suddenly began to develop adverse reactions to many of the products found in the shop. This became so bad that I eventually had to stop working behind the chair and I took on a management roll. In the mid 2000 I began having reactions to the shave creams and lotions I was using. Unable to find a brand that had ingredients I wasn’t allergic to and all the while being packaged for a man, proved to be quite a task so I set out to work with a formulator and develop something I could use. There were plenty of brands out there but I knew that a lot of guys wanted a better product without the frilly unisex packaging. I also knew that my barbering experience would come in handy and would also be a good selling point. After a few years of research and formulation testing Crown Shaving Co. was introduced in 2010. At this point I was back behind the chair, I would use these products on my customers and the feedback was very positive.

One of the things that drew me to Crown Shaving Co. was its imagery and overt masculinity. Your tag line is “For Vagabonds, Gentlemen and Ruffians.” Explain why you felt this was the right direction?

I believe all men can relate to our tag-line. Each man has within them a little vagabond, gentleman and ruffian. I wanted this brand to appeal to all men and I think we nailed that. I recently received an email from a gent in his late 60’s. He wanted to tell me how much he loved the products and how at different points in his life, he has been each of those, a vagabond, a gentleman and a ruffian.

What would you say is the biggest myth about men and their relationship to grooming?

The biggest myth about men in regards to grooming seems to be that its only the metro-sexual male that enjoys it. I don’t know where that term came from or why but I can tell you that every man out there enjoys good pampering. They only have to try it once, sit in a classic barber chair, get a good haircut, some good conversation and maybe even a manicure and it will become something you make time for and look forward to.

What’s next for Crown Shaving Co.?

Crown will continue to grow slowly. I have had the opportunity for distribution as well as several partnership opportunities but I feel it is still in the early stages of a growing category in the men’s grooming market and I prefer to be hands on for the time being working closely with my network of retail partners. As far as new products, we will be launching our roll on cologne as well as a body powder in 2015.

For a list of where to find Crown Shaving Co, log onto their site to see where they can be found online and stores near you.

In The Mail: Breaking in your badger brush

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“I recently bought a badger brush but my excitement has faded as I can’t get it build a great lather. What am I doing wrong?”

Nathan – Detroit, Michigan

As a kid, I remember my dad would walk around the house in his new shoes. I found it odd that he would be pacing back and forth keeping a lot of noise. When I asked him what he was doing, he simply replied, “I’m breaking in my new shoes.” If you’ve ever worn brand new shoes, for the first time, for the entire day, I’m sure you can relate. The first few wears can be painful but the more you break them in, the better they feel. With a badger brush, the same is true – you’ve got it break it in before it becomes your best friend.

If you troll the Internet, you’ll find a myriad of opinions on breaking in a badger brush. To me, the simplest and shortest answer is to just use it. With the bristles being so new, they’re stiff and don’t hold water or your shaving cream, which ends up producing a lack luster forth. With time and regular use, they will soften, the brush’s hair will bloom and you’ll notice its performance changes producing the desired lather.

Patience is key to breaking in your badger brush Nathan. Fight through the frustration and know a lifetime of great lathering is just around the corner. Hang in there, you won’t be sorry. I promise.

If you have fragrance or grooming questions, feel free to shoot me a message at fm@fragantmoments.net.

Happy shaving Nathan.

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Wordless Wednesdays

Shaving Essentials

The Beloved Is Back

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If I pulled a bunch of my guy friends together and went down a scented memory lane, a few must haves from back in the day would be repeated, Polo in the green bottle, CK One, Cool Water, and Joop are a few that come to mind. One in particular was hands down a crowd favorite, Issey Myake. I remember having a conversation with my barber and the way he emphasized his fondness for the scent, it was though an outfit for a night out was incomplete without those final few sprays.

For the first time since dropping his beloved namesake scent, Issey Myake, the Japanese designer has released a new scent, Nuit D’Issey. On first sight, I thought it was another flanker because the bottle’s shape has remained the same. For this scent, Myake enlisted the noses of Dominique Ropion and Loc Dong and they’ve produced a crowd pleaser.

The scent’s opening is sharp and crisp  and we can thank its grapefruit note for that. I also detect hints of pepper, which give it enough of a lift to spark curiosity. From there leather and woods give it a virility that we’ve  come to expect from men’s fragrances.

Nuit D’Issey hits all the right notes and for that I expect it will be well received. Whether or not barbershops and cigar dens will be reminiscing about it a decade from now only time will tell.

Nuit D’Issey can be found nationwide at Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, & Sephora.

Dove Men Care Expert Shave Cream

Dove Men Care Expert Shave Cream

 

Now that we’re in the thick of summer, shaving can be a real chore…umm add to that grooming in general. While we’re taking off layers of clothing, the last thing we want to do is put on extra lotions, etc. I recently gave Dove Men Care Expert Shave Smoothing Shave Cream a test run and out the gate, it felt incredibly light against my skin – a win for the brutal summer months.

The Dove Men Care Expert Shave Cream is a partnership between Dove and leading barbers and dermatologists. It’s been formulated to give shavers adequate moisture, protect the skin and provide a smooth glide. Sound familiar, you bet. Does it deliver, indeed it does.

The first thing that caught my attention about the shave cream was it’s scent. It’s beautifully masculine without being being overly bravado. It smells like you’d want to smell all day. Next, the cream does produce a very good lather but it felt more foamy rather than creamy. I like a good lather and with just a tap into the shave cream, you can work up a good one. The more I worked it in, the frothier it became. The best part, and I suspect most men will appreciate this, it didn’t weigh down my face; it barely felt like it was there. In the summer time, that’s a beautiful thing.

On some occasions while testing the shave cream, I felt like it could have produced more glide. Some of the best shave creams I’ve used, after the first pass, while there maybe little visible shave cream left on my face, what remains is a slick enough surface that allows my razor to glide with ease. That’s usually when I run my hand cross grain to find spots I missed. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. You can always reapply more shave cream with what’s left over on your badger brush and doing so with this shave cream gave me the extra glide needed for subsequent passes.

Overall, the shave cream performs well. Even with its scent, which could be an issue for some, my face never felt dry.The collaborators also know a thing or two about packaging. My wife commented that it looks high end. It’s very well done.

Dove Men Care Expert Shave Cream – 150ML – $21.99

Taylor of Old Bond Street Review for Customshaving.com

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While life has been extremely hectic as of late, I’m never to busy to shave. I might rush every now and then but I always manage to give my grooming regimen the time it deserves.
My latest review for customshaving.com had me trying out Taylor of Old Bond Street. These guys have been around and thriving since 1854 for a reason.  An exceptional shave is achieved with quality products. Read my review here.

Old Spice Body Spray Contest Winner Announcement

Old Spice Infographic

In my last post, I reviewed Old Spice’s New Body Spray Collection and mentioned their effort to stop overspraying. I told you how good I thought it was and held a contest so one lucky winner could experience their new technology, which slowly dispenses the scent over the course of the day. That lucky winner is Robert. Congratulations. I’ll be contacting you via email.

Above is an interesting but very telling infographic by Old Spice. Some interesting things to note are why overspraying happens and how to scent responsibly. Enjoy it and calm down. Worry less about if he or she will like how your smell and worry about not being “that guy.”