Tag Archives: Fragrance

West Coast Shaving Build Your Own Starter Shaving Kit

SAMSUNG CSC

On a rainy Saturday afternoon, I was bouncing around the Internet and came across West Coast Shaving’s Build Your Own Starter Shaving Kit. For $30 plus shipping and tax, you’re given a choice of badger brushes, double edge safety razors, shaving cream and razors to choose from. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Could this be? Would I go through the motions only to find out nothing I want is available or worse, the site hadn’t been updated and this offer no longer available? After poking around and building what I thought was a good set, I realize this is happening. This set is priced at $30 plus tax and shipping. I know we’re used to free shipping these days but I was so intrigued by this offering that I wasn’t going to be turned away.

I ordered the set on Saturday afternoon and by Wednesday night, it was waiting for me. Excited see the product, I tore into it that night, took a peak and knew I scored a set that would rival any. I held out though and did an unboxing via Instagram stories. If you missed it, be sure to follow my in the gram.

Out the gate, West Coast Shaving impressed me with it’s packaging. For $30, they are giving you a badger brush, razor, shaving soap and razors. No one could blame them if they bubble wrapped each item and sent it along in a brown box. Instead, each piece is packaged by itself in West Coast Shaving branded packaging. As for the razor, the handle and razor head came in separate boxes.

SAMSUNG CSC

The badger brush I choose has an ivory handle and I’m loving the blue tip. Made of synthetic badger hair, the bristles are soft and overall, it’s well constructed.

The stainless steel double edge safety razor is a thing of beauty and by itself, it will last you a lifetime. I’m loving the ergonomic design of the handle and its grip strips. What’s most impressive is its weight. It’s by far the heaviest starter razor I’ve ever held in my hand. This razor is a closed comb, three piece that requires breaking down by unscrewing the handle to dismount the head, which is an additional two pieces. If there’s one criticism, one could argue that a twist to open would be a more appropriate “starter” razor.

Astra Superior Platinum Double Edge Razors were the default or you could pay an additional $7 for a sampler pack. The latter would be a good option if you’re truly purchasing this as a starter kit for someone but kept the Astra blades since I knew I’d use blades I already have at home.

Lastly, the shave soap is West Coast Shaving’s own brand and comes in three scents, bay rum, ocean and lime basil. For a fragrance head like myself, I thought the lime basil would be the most interesting. It’s quite fragrant and I’m liking the juxtaposition of the lime and basil.

Bottom line, this is an excellent kit. It’s remarkable they are offering all of this for $30 plus tax and shipping. What’s pictured above is the set I put together and I love that even at this price, West Coast Shaving offers choices.

Father’s Day is right around the corner and this would make an excellent gift, even for someone who is a seasoned shaver. For a young man graduating college and moving into the professional world, this would make a great gift too.

Well done West Coast Shaving.

This product was purchased by me and all views are my own.

Discover Your Aha Moment with Scentbird

SAMSUNG CSC

I am a firm believe that sampling a fragrance before purchasing it is a necessity. That would seem like a no-brainer but retail isn’t set up to accommodate that. In my experience, often, a quick spritz is all you can expect. It’s likely it’s cost prohibitive but some offer it without hesitation. It’s also likely that some retailers believe if they give you a sample vial, you won’t buy. I was in Sephora once and overheard a guy asking for a sample and inquiring about how long it would last. Was his intention to buy or to wear free samples for as long as he could? Who really knows. The bottom line, don’t buy without sampling is my mantra. Through sampling, you’ll experience your “Aha Moment,” which will determine if you want to own a fragrance or not.

When Scentbird approached me about their sampling program, I said, it’s about time somebody offered this service. As they so eloquently state, Scentbird was designed for the pickiest girl- or boy- to let you date luxury perfumes before marrying them.” Wait, what? With over 450 fragrances to choose from, you can purchase a sample of either designer of niche fragrance for $14.95 a month. The intent here is a subscription service, where you’ll receive a new sample every month but you can cancel at any time or pay as you go. Here’s the added bonus, the samples are more generous than what you’ll find in a store. 30 days worth (8ml.) is how long they estimate the sample will last. If you’re an excessive spritzer, don’t expect it to last that long. You also get a cool carrying case that any of their vials can hold in.

Scentbird really is a win in my book. You’re headed out on vacation in a few months and have been wanting to try the new XYZ scent. Check them out on Scentbird, order a vile or two, throw them in your carry on and by the time you return home, you’ll know if you’re ready for a full bottle.

Head over to Scentbird, check out their FAQs, get to sampling and await your Aha Moment.

Gym Bag Essentials

SAMSUNG CSC

I recently started going to the gym again. I’m paying a more than I have for my membership but the experience is worth it. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is guys either having to much grooming products or relying on whatever maybe thrown together by the gym. I’m all for a lighter bag. Not having to carry around a towel is beautiful amenity. One thing I won’t skip on though are my essential products. Call it what you want but after a great workout and a long day ahead of me, it makes all the difference. Below are a few my must haves for your consideration.

Lucky Tiger Liquid Shave Cream – While I love using my badger brush, even I know when to leave it home. I love this shave cream because even with my hands I get a nice lather but more importantly, its ingredients moisturize the skin and gives the razor a super easy glide.

Crown Shaving Co After Shave Balm – Ever since I tried Crown Shaving Co., I’ve been hooked. Boasting traditional formulations and masculine marketing efforts, these guys know shaving and know how to take care your skin while doing it. The balm isn’t super thick and doesn’t leave my face greasy. Makes a difference when your metabolism is still revving and while rushing so you won’t be late, you find yourself sweating.

Curel Itch Defense Moisturizing Spray – It’s easy in the rush to forget to apply lotion and if you happen to remember, what’s provided at most gyms smells medicinal. Believe it or not, spraying the lotion actually shaves time off getting ready but what I love about Curel Itch Defense Moisturizing Spray is it absorbs into the skin super fast, isn’t greasy or heavy and most importantly for a scent enthusiast like me, it doesn’t compete with my cologne choice of the day. It’s just what I need to keep the ash away.

Degree Motionsense Dryspray – Not that I need protection for 48hrs (God forbid that amount of time passes and I haven’t showered…can you say ewww) but after an arduous day, I find this deordorant is still going strong. Works for me!

Bevel Razor – balanced weight, extra long handle, never looses its grip…never leave home with it. (Disclosure, I am a freelance writer for Bevel. My decision, however, to use it daily is because it’s really a great razor.)

Musc Imperial by Atelier Colgone – I will admit, this is the one thing that changes regularly. I’m not a signature scent kind of guy, as I love variety. If I was, however, this is one I’d chose to go with. I’ve been a fan of the Atelier Cologne brand for a very long time as I’ve never been disappointed by their scents. Developed as the signature scent of the Majestic Hotel & Spa in Barcelona I find this simply magnificent. If this is in part a reminder of Barcelona, I want to go. This reads traditional to me. I think of well-dressed Barcelona men that make me want to wear a suit. It opens sweet and clean and right away I pick up the lavender and fig. As it develops the leather, woods and musk kick in. Its longevity is incredible as is the case with all of Atelier Cologne’s fragrances. When I’m headed out on a business trip, I usually throw Oolang Infini into my dopp kit. Musc Imperial is now a no brainer for gym bags and business trips.

 

Good Read…

Do you change your scents with the seasons? I do but I’ve read articles where others are not advocates of doing such a thing. For me, my nose is sensitive enough to pick up the heavy notes, which bloom once my body temperature rises, and that’s typical in the summer. So, in essence, my decision to change, starts with me and that’s enough. I came across a good article about such a thing and wanted to share it with you. Enjoy.

Field Notes From Paris by Ineke

Field Notes From Paris

A few years ago, I went to Paris for the first time and I recall thinking these people look good. Lapels flapped in the wind differently, stilettos were paired with everything differently, and even a drag from a cigarette was different. It all seemed sexier. Was it a figment of my imagination, perhaps? But the scenery didn’t help either. Continue reading

Meet Matthew Waldman

Nooka_MattWaldman

When I was on my way to meet with Matt, I was nervous. I was about to interview the cat behind nooka. Dude oozes cool, is featured on all the “cool” blogs and here I was about to sit and chat with the cat. Well, an ease came over me when he greeted me in a regular ole white t-shirt and jeans. His office was filled with so many toys. I just wanted to reach out and grab a few. While we chatted, I sat on a swiss ball. I’ll admit now, my lower back started to hurt after awhile but I couldn’t let on.

Matt is passionate about design. He’s smart, funny but he really is a cool. He’s a big communicator as well. But it’s his non-verbal communication that speaks volumes. It reinforces his philosophy seamlessly.

It was refreshing to watch his matrix unfold as we kicked it. I could have spoken with him for at least another hour but the time we shared was well spent. Here is a snippet from our conversation.
While Nooka is known for its watches, what made you venture info fragrance?
Up until the fragrance, nooka was perceived as a watch company, which is understandable, since that’s the easiest way to describe the first product line. But to me and people who understand the brand, nooka has always been about universal language, communication and futurism. I wanted to create something that expressed my ideals, and fragrance really struck a cord – sure you can read the romance copy about a scent, but at the end of the day, it communicates to the user and environment without words – perfectly “nooka“.

Explain your belief that scent is the universal language of the future?
Well, it is a universal language at least on our planet for all living things large and small and will certainly be so in the future. I feel that with convergence, we will need fewer and fewer physical objects [for example, the iPhone eliminated the need for me to carry a laptop and a mp3 player]. This doesn’t mean humans will have a lessening desire to acquire new things. I see a focus on fashion and fragrance returning in a big way because of these trends.

Some brands either categorize their scents for men, women or label them unisex. Who is The Future Distilled catered to?
Well, I hate the word “unisex.” There is no “unisex” with people. We are not worms. We are men, or we are women. It is not my job to tell anyone I haven’t met what they should experience as “masculine” or “feminine.” therefore, it is for men if you are male, and it is for women if you are female.

Give us a little insight into the bottles design.
Glam-future! Man-made satellites, giant gemstones, chrome coated surfaces, shiny shimmering mystery!

What fragrances are you personally wearing these days?
nooka all the time now. I really love it. Sometimes Prada Infusion d’Iris

How often do you go out looking for something new? What specifically do you look for?
To me, something new is not limited to shopping. For example, I noticed recently that I rely too much on my right leg when bicycling, so as of yesterday I decided to make an effort to push off with and leave my left foot in the stirrup. It’s a body memory action, so very hard to change, but challenging myself to change small things somehow makes my mind sharper and has a halo-effect on other things. Does that make any sense?

Have you ever purchased the same fragrance more than once? If so, what was it and what about it made it worthy of a repeat buy?
Oh yes: eau de correges! It reminds me of being at summer beaches AND cut grass in a park all blended together.

How would you finish this statement? “My most memorable fragrant moment would be…?
The first things that come to mind are too dirty to print, but consistently, I love the way the city smells when I’m riding my bicycle in the rain.

What’s next for nooka?
We are adding to our accessory lines, just launched a cool belt called the nooka strip and a wallet called the nooka asset organizer, and more to come next year. I’m building what I like to call a mindstyle™ brand!

We are not worms…I couldn’t have said it any better Matt. Thanks for the time and the great scent.

Share

The Future Distilled by Nooka

So much more than watches…

NOOKA

About a week and a half ago I was on Twitter when something led me to the page of @nooka. While there I read the following post, “i was just interviewed by matt evans of WWD on my fragrance! lot’s of questions and i hope great answers #nooka #beauty #fragrance. My mind immediately started racing. Could it be that the company I knew for the funky, futuristic watches has now ventured into fragrances?? I sat there and pondered sending an inquiry tweet. As a publicist, we get rejected often. It could be in the form of unreturned emails, phone calls…you name it and we’ve probably experienced it. I did not want to experience that via twitter too but I said what the hell and wrote “@Nooka I’d love to learn more about your new scent. DM me. To my surprise Matthew Waldman, the Chief Creative Officer, President of Nooka Inc responded. We exchanged a few emails and Matt offered me an opportunity to come up to his office for a chat. He also let me know that new scent was available at Den if I wanted to test it.

I had absolutely no expectations before I made it over to Den. All the write-ups/reviews were great but for some reason, my mind was completely open. When I made it to the store, I admired the watches for a bit and then made my way over to Nooka’s new scent, The Future Distilled. I sprtized on a bit and my thought to myself, it’s powdery and a bit metallic. I was digging it so much that I couldn’t take my hand away from my nose. I’m pretty sure the sales attendants thought my actions were peculiar so I asked a few questions so I wouldn’t look too strange. This scent was really grabbing me. Its metallic opening matched the bottles design, the watches and the stores decor…lots being communicated all at once. But the powder softened it nicely. I liked the juxtaposition. Here’s the kicker though, as the scent settled into my skin, I wasn’t picking up any woody notes that usually make up the bottom layer scents catering to men. Which led me to ask myself is it a scent for men or women?

The Future Distilled, which debuts as an eau de parfum for $80, was conceptualized and guided by Matthew Waldman. The olfactive chemistry was developed by renowned perfumer Pierre Constantin Gueros. What I appreciate about this scent is the ease at which it wears. Its not overly perfumey and nestles itself into the skin for an added layer of refinement. It’s sexy without being spicy or florally. It communicates confidence because it’s not a run of the mill scent. Matt could have gone a bit more safe for his first foray into fragrance but he didn’t. He’s passionate about fragrances and it shows. The bottles design and the synergy of scents used all tie back to his views on design and universal language. The bottom line here, The Future Distilled is an awesome scent I’ll be adding to my rotation.

Tomorrow, my interview with Matt.

The Future Distilled by Nooka is available via their website or at Den

330 E. 11th Street
New York, NY 10003
212.475.0079
STORE HOURS:
Monday – Saturday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Share