“NOW WASH YOUR HANDS”

iLK™, France’s answer to Bansky, has ‘tagged’ these limited edition graffiti bottles for cult soap brand, Compagnie de Provence. With one bottle modelled after his interpretation of Hell and another designed to represent some kind of Ghetto Heaven, you’ve never needed a greater incentive to wash your hands after creatively vandalising public property…

Compagnie de Provence Graffiti savon liquide de Marseille; £16.50 from ariashop.co.uk   


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WRIST ACTION

Inspired by the centuries-old tradition of scenting gloves – a practice that preceded the advent of actual perfumes – this leather bracelet dispenses APOM (A Piece of Me), a blend of orange flower, cedarwood and amber dreamt up by Francis Kurkdijan (Le Mâle, Eau Noire…).
 
With three turns of leather held together by a monogrammed clasp, it’s as much of a fashion statement as it is an innovative way to wear one of the most impressive cult fragrances of the last few years. 
 
Tour Atour APOM by Francis Kurkdijan; £149.00 at Liberty and Space NK

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FERN-TASTIC

The macho aromatic fougères of the late 60s and 70s gave men’s fragrances a bad name. Many could fumigate a room at 20 paces with their overzealous use of lavender, geranium, coumarin and mosses and yet they remained hugely popular among a certain kind of side-burned, medallion-and- leisure suit-wearing sort of gentlemen.

The likes of Paco Rabanne Pour Homme or, more infamously, Brut by Fabergé have not aged well, not least because our tastes have evolved to embrace more androgynous and fresher scents.  “The accord started to rely on huge blasts of nitro-musks,” says lauded Professeur de Parfums Roja Dove. “They lacked refinement with their powdery, blunt, animalic sensuality. Stereotypically, the accord was best suited to a truck-drivers cabin.”
But not all fougère’s should be judged by the questionable standards of those erstwhile ‘classics’. The fougère evolved over the 80s and trailblazers like Davidoff’s Cool Water and Creed’s Green Irish Tweed became “responsible for bringing freshness back into masculine perfumery, but without resorting to overt citrus harmonies,” he adds. “Suddenly, fresh complex scents were in vogue once more with better quality materials than had been used in years.”


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ABLUTION SOLUTION

While I’m fully aware of how wrong it is to judge a book by its cover – or, worse yet, a product by its packaging – I fell for certified organic French brand Absolution long before I even got round to ripping open its snazzy hand-rolled eco packaging.

Consider it a bonus that the products the formulas are on a par with the boutique brand’s award-winning product design. Mix and match products from the eight-strong collection depending on your skin’s needs which, as any magnifying mirror will testify, can change on a daily basis. Slap on the hero product, La Crème de L’Homme, an anti-oxidant rich anti-ageing cream with a mineral sunscreen, and follow with a concentrated booster designed to either plump, brighten, balance or simply invigorate.


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ATONEMENT

No new year  – and certainly no January blog post – comes without the prospect of creating a new you. In our hasty desire to wipe the proverbial slate clean, we’ve been bombarded with countless ways to repair the damage of the holiday season. Rather than sandblast our organs clean with faddy detox plans, we’re giving our digestive system a bit of a helping hand with a range of enzyme-based supplements from new brand on the block, Atone.


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PARTY SURVIVAL GUIDE

While we’re fully aware of the cosmetic consequences that come with boozing and late nights, none of us plan on partying by half-measures during the festive season.
Rather than overdose on (expired) Berocca and Aspirin in a pathetic attempt at combat the inevitable slew of carcrash hangovers, The Exfoliator has compiled a skin survival kit to get you through the social season without looking (or feeling) like your internal organs have given up on you.
These anti-fatigue products not only hide the signs of excessive behaviour – ashen and dehydrated skin, random breakouts, puffy eyes etc – but they can also help shake off your festive funk before you go out and mess yourself up all over again.  Find out more after the jump…



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L’HOMME GRUAU

Celebrate pre-Photoshop graphic design by attending the forthcoming exhibition in honour of renowned illustrator René Grau, the man responsible for some of the most enduring fashion and beauty images of the last century (and whose surname we  have no idea how to pronounce. Anyone?).

Darling of the haute couture world, he was employed by Givenchy, Balmain, Rochas and Lanvin as well as countless glossy magazines… but it was his position as Artistic Director of Advertising for Dior that earned him the most kudos.


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27 AMENDMENTS

With so much choice on the market, the very idea of a brand with just one cream to its name is as alluring as it is questionable. And while Baume 27 might not be a one-size-fits-all sort of concoction, it certainly bears all the hallmarks of a rich, multipurpose super cream in the tradition of Crème de la Mer.

At the heart of its 27 ingredients are three different  extracts of Centella Asiatica, a healing medicinal plant used in Ayurvedic medicine with reparative, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties (it’s so potent a wound-healer, that tigers instinctively roll themselves in the plant after getting into a scrap, giving Centella it’s more common nickname, Tiger Herb).


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THE EXFOLIATOR MEETS… JEAN-CLAUDE ELLENA

For the uninitiated, Jean-Claude Ellena is to fragrance what Mozart is to music.  His back catalogue spans some three and a half decades and includes signature scents for Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels , L’Artisan Parfumeur and many others. Most guys with a passing interest in fragrance will probably know his work in the form of  the phenomenally successful Terre D’Hermès but, should you want to find out more about the man himself, check out  this feature by Hannah Betts for The Times.

Currently the inhouse perfumer for luxury lifestyle brand Hermès, he talks exclusively to The Exfoliator at the launch of his new Hermessence fragrance, Iris Ukiyoé. Read the entire interview- including the odd bit of Franglais –  after the jump…


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OIL PAINTING

The hyperactive sebaceous glands that cause oily skin are wiley little blighters. Succumb to the temptation of stripping them dry with industrial strength acne / anti-blemish formulas, and you’ll send them into overdrive, causing an oil spill of BP proportions. Kid gloves, good sirs, are required when treating greasy skin.

Ren’s four-strong, step-by-step anti-blemish range tackles the three causes of breakouts (excess sebum, build up of dead skin cells and bacteria) with gentle, bioactive formulas that won’t set off a series of side effects. The anti-microbial day fluid and cleanser are great for balancing out problematic skin but it’s the clay mask and  night serum which win hands down for reducing redness and lightening pigmented acne scars. They’re no solution for serious cases of hyperpigmentation or scarring but they will sort out that ‘Windolene’ shine in a jiffy.


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