Review – Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue – Beauty of Capri

D&G Beauty of CapriDo not be mislead by the day on the calendar. Do not be mislead by the gradual proliferation of woolen and textured fabrics at your favorite men’s store. Do not be mislead by the steady progression of lessening sunlight and shorter days. True, the calendar might indicate that autumn commences September 22, 2016, however, summer is far from over gentlemen. Without a doubt, his summer has featured some scorching temperatures. The life and death struggle my grass has been experiencing these past few months is proof positive. Therefore, with summer positioned for an extended run into early October, I am examining a cologne I was introduced to in late May. General hardships associated with life have not eased for me, and a few unexpected curve balls have resulted in some blogging downtime. Nevertheless, Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue Beauty of Capri resonates beautifully today just as it did months ago. Adding it to your rotation of fragrances will yield not only immediate benefits, but it can also be placed on standby for Spring 2017 – yes, I am thinking ahead. Until then, let’s get down to business.

Observations

Top Notes: Cedrat, Sicilian Bergamot, Bitter Orange

Middle Notes: Neroli, Marine Accord, Sichuan Pepper

Base Notes: Cedar Wood, Vetiver, Myrrh, Musk

  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Beauty of Capri begins with a light introduction, but it does retain an energetic feel so it would be wise to exhibit restraint with applications. It is not terribly aggressive, but there is a definite presence of citrus notes that dominate the beginning. It will draw attention for all the right reasons.
  • The transition toward the middle notes is a seamless gravitation featuring a fresh, aromatic tone that compliments the top portion very well. Its presence is still very subtle and cool as it begins to deepen and settle into its base notes. Unsurprisingly, even the base notes are relatively sedate. Sometimes the base portion leans heavy and strong, but Light Blue Beauty of Capri keeps things moderately weighted with citrus notes of vetiver rounding out the overall fragrance, tempered by spicy touches of cedar. It’s a nice blend, as neither overpowers the other.
  • The presentation is clean and unremarkable. The curved bottle is standard-fare; a transparent light blue flacon houses the selected scent topped by an ivory cap.
  • Strictly a casual daytime cologne, I humbly suggest 5-6 applications, as this scent has a moderate lifespan before it begins to dissipate.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Beauty of Capri is intended for the gentleman that prefers relaxed, mellow environments that complement a quiet, smooth demeanor. Inconspicuous in its delivery, however, able to be distinguished amongst a crowd; Beauty of Capri works well during the summer and early fall. And as the temperatures begin to decline, don’t forget to put this scent on standby to be unearthed in the springtime.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Beauty of Capri 40 ml $55.00, 75 ml $68.00, 125 ml $78.00 – Available at Dolce & Gabbana, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and other fine men’s department stores
Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
Disclosure: TGS was not financially compensated for this post. Item was purchased for personal use. The opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience.

Review – Tommy Bahama – St. Kitts for Men

Tommy Bahama St KittsCurrently, here in my home state of Michigan, the temperatures have commenced their annual descent into chillier territory. Nothing drastic mind you, but apparent enough to remind local residents that cooler days are indeed on the foreseeable horizon. Such is life in states with frosty temperatures during the span between late October and early April. Therefore, on occasion, a mental respite can be summoned by way of a relaxing cologne to serve as much-needed distraction – there is subtle psychological element to wearing cologne that cannot be dismissed. That being stated, allow me to direct your attention to the latest, limited-edition offering from Tommy Bahama: St. Kitts for Men. With wintry conditions ahead, let’s gauge the performance of St. Kitts for Men, and then we can decide if it provides the mental getaway that a gentleman requires from time to time when the weather outside is frightful.

Observations

Top Notes: Kaffir Lime, Mandarin Orange, Star Fruit (Carambola)

Middle Notes: Cedar, Sea Salt, Watery Accord

Base Notes: Driftwood, Ambergris, Creamy Musk

  • After a departure from its signature curved bottle – departures being Tommy Bahama Compass and Tommy Bahama Island Life – St. Kitts is a return to its unique style, arriving in a deep cobalt blue container with a very soft texture. If I were being picky, the presentation would be beautifully topped off by a brass top instead of the brass colored plastic that arrives with the product. It slightly detracts from the overall visual, but that is only for the gentleman that obsesses over details. Minor, but worth mentioning for those that care about such nuances.
  • From its introduction to its middle act to its conclusion, the transitional phases are steady and smooth. Each note flows into the other seamlessly without overpowering each other. The highlights of the top and middle notes are the mandarin orange, star fruit, and watery accord. In tandem, a gentleman enjoys a mildly sweet opening that lasts for a generous amount of time.
  • The closing notes are slow and sustained. Again, it does not dry down with a strong presence, so there is a risk of being overpowered in an environment of competing scents. So don’t trot off to the casino where the cascading smoke will negate your efforts to smell great.
  • A gentleman will surely benefit from generous applications, nothing over the top, but 8-10 sprays from the bottle should suffice and last a decent portion of the day.
  • Tommy Bahama St. Kitts for Men is not strong by any means. And actually, because of its soft notes, I could imagine a woman wearing this. Therefore, if you’re the type of gentleman that prefers a more rugged scent, this offering from Tommy Bahama may not be for you. Definitely a spring and summer cologne, St. Kitts for Men can be a welcome change of pace as the days become duller and gloomier. St. Kitts for Men is consistent. From beginning to end, its identity never changes, sweet and fruity, it affords a gentleman a softer approach to fall and winter while conjuring up thoughts of more pleasant temperatures to come.
  • Tommy Bahama 3.4 oz $65.00 – Available exclusively at Tommy Bahama locations or online at http://www.tommybahama.com/TBG/Men/Mens_New_Products/PRD_200420/Mens+St+Kitts+34+oz+Cologne+Spray.jsp
Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
Disclosure: TGS was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes only. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Review – Tommy Bahama – Island Life

IMG_3042Continuing with our coverage of summertime cologne, today we are testing Tommy Bahama Island Life. Now, in the full interest of transparency, I have long favored Tommy Bahama during the summertime, as a personal favorite of mine is the 2005 Tommy Bahama for Men. It is my hope that Island Life does not fall short of my high expectations. Described as sexy and masculine, Island Life promises to offer an aromatic retreat that infuses tranquility and a peaceful escape from busy everyday life. So, let’s dive in and see if the claims are indeed true.

Observations

Top Notes: Bergamot, Tarragon, Artemisia

Middle Notes: Nutmeg, Geranium, Patchouli

Base Notes: Cedarwood, Ambrox, Vetiver

  • Starting with the presentation, Tommy Bahama Island Life arrives in a heavy, seriously thick container with a wicker band encircling its indented surface. The cologne itself is a cool light blue – most likely a visual nod to its name Island Life.
  • Figuratively and literally, Island Life commences with a quick sweet start. The bergamot and tarragon combine to produce a refreshing introduction. Probably emboldened by the artemisia, the top notes start out the gate with a deceptively strong pace. I say deceptively strong because the fragrance does start with an aggressive tone, but it immediately mellows out as it transitions toward the middle notes.
  • The middle note is my favorite part of Island Life. The light spicy note of the nutmeg balances the sweet beginning beautifully. The longevity of the middle note is sufficient, but perhaps due to my bias, I wish it was slightly longer.
  • Island Life ends in a chill and relaxed manner – indicative of its namesake. In truth, Island Life should conjure up images of an aquatic surrounding. However, this really isn’t an aquatic fragrance. Instead, I am reminded of a luau, surrounded by plenty of foliage with the smell of smoke dissipating in the air as food cooks on the grill.
  • The application of Island Life can be generous. Again, don’t be fooled by the robust introduction. It softly unwinds as time progresses. I would estimate 8-10 sprays should suffice. If applied in the morning; don’t be afraid to freshen up your scent with a few more hits. Normally I would not recommend this procedure, but the scent doesn’t stick to you as an unwelcomed guest.
  • Tommy Bahama 3.4 oz $70.00 – Available at Tommy Bahama, Macy’s,Von Maur or any fine men’s department store.
Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
Disclosure: TGS was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes only. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
 

Style & Substance – Fear of the White Dress Shirt

J Crew Cotton Linen

J. Crew Cotton-Linen Button-Down

In all seriousness, when employing the services of a white dress shirt during moments of formal dress, well, the exercise should be relatively  foolproof. Given its blank slate demeanor, a gentleman would be hard-pressed to unearth complications when coordinating varying elements of his ensemble. However, there are some gentlemen that opt for the most unusual colors when selecting a dress shirt. Burnt orange. Neon green. Hot pink. Well, perhaps the white dress shirt is overwhelmingly too simple. So simple in fact, a gentleman can be misled into a train of thought wrought with complexity. And then again, perhaps, a simple white dress shirt screams boredom. Allow me to present this appeal: Step away from the loud dress shirts and embrace the unspoiled benefits the white dress shirt has to offer. It is a clean canvas that a gentleman can practice his sartorial art upon without fear of a fashion calamity. It’s safe. It’s readily available. It’s timeless. It should play a vital role in your wardrobe. Gent Hint: Since we are approaching warmer weather, select a lightweight fabric such as poplin, linen, or a cotton/linen blend would be just what Mother Nature ordered. Gent Hint II: Skip the necktie and opt for a button-down dress shirt without the neck apparel.

Review – Vince Camuto – Solare

Vince Camuto SolareWell, it is certainly that time of the year. It is that time of year when spring is well underway, summer is right around the corner, and Father’s Day is on the horizon. Therefore, this perfect storm of events have given rise to a prominent influx of grooming review requests from my friendly public relations connections. This month has been especially busy, as two unexpected trips to the emergency room with my daughter, all within a 2 week span, have accelerated the rate of gray hairs growing in my beard. Alas, the life of a parent. Nevertheless, between trips to Beaumont and still fulfilling my employment duties at Trinity Health, I was able to carve out some much-required time to shower, groom, and test products. And thus, let the reviews begin! Today, we are placing Vince Camuto Solare under the examination light. Launched this year as a follow-up to Vince Camuto Homme – which I enjoyed immensely – Solare arrives with the promise of introducing creativity and vitality into a gentleman’s grooming lifestyle. Let’s see if it delivers on that promise.

Observations

Top Notes: French Lavender, Juicy Mandarin, Red Apple

Middle Notes: Cardamom, Wild Sage, Pimento Leaves

Base Notes: Sensual Musk, Tonka Leaves, Cashmere Woods, Creamy Blonde Woods

  • Vince Camuto Solare swiftly commences with a sharp burst of citrus that is unabashedly sweet and fresh. The notes of sweetness endure for a surprisingly extended length of time before finally settling down into the middle portion. Fleeting hints of apple will be the last distinct note you will be able to discern before the top notes are finished.
  • Now the middle section of Solare shares the same sweetness as the introduction, but not as sharply defined. Its temperament is slow and steady. Nevertheless, the tandem of the top and middle notes work in concert to comprise a majority of the scent’s dominant smell.
  • Given its sweet nature, Solare appears slightly fade over the course of the day. And given that fact, a gentleman can be seduced by the thought of dispersing additional applications – please don’t. Solare will adhere to your clothing far longer than it will to you. Therefore, I recommend addressing your pulse points – the neck and wrists – with a spritz of 4-6 hits. Depending on your body chemistry, a gentleman could perhaps apply a little more. I would steer clear of spraying your body unless you don’t mind the scent sticking to your clothing.
  • Now, as sweet as the top and middle notes were, the bottom notes carried the same theme, but with darker undertones. There is a faint woody flavor present, but not really overt. And if a gentleman decides to bathe himself in Solare – as I previously warned against – those undertones will be overwhelming and haunt you – and your clothing – for the rest of the day.
  • Vince Camuto Solare is best suited for light casual affairs where a gentleman might find himself around a pool or body of water. The atmosphere should be as clean as possible, as heavy scents, such as the smoke from a barbeque grill, will surely overpower Solare. Solare is a fun fragrance; energetic, yet sublimely subtle.
  • Vince Camuto Solare 3.4 oz $70.00 – Available at Vince Camuto, Macy’s,Von Maur or any fine men’s department store.
Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
 

Style & Substance – Eton – The Floral Pocket Square

Eton Floral PSTo be absolutely certain, the much-anticipated arrival of pleasant weather will necessitate the process of temporarily jettisoning apparel indicative of fall and winter seasons. And with that short-term separation, a gentleman will surely divert his sartorial selections toward men’s accoutrements that welcome the sensibilities of spring and summer. Assuming that the venerable necktie will be rarely beckoned for professional utilization – depending on your lifestyle – a pocket square is a viable alternative that lends unique character to the dapper gentleman’s breast pocket. Now, extending beyond the mere practice of rocking a standard pocket square in lieu of a necktie during the summer, I want to take the time to endorse the pocket square bearing a floral design. Fun, lively, and charismatic; a floral pocket square pops with gentle personality. It is an understated way to inject some softness into a masculine demeanor. Stock up on a few and employ when needed.

Style & Substance – Spring & Summer Suede

IMG_0174A gentleman should not contract the services of suede during the spring and summer seasons. As a matter of fact, he is strictly forbidden from entertaining the thought. To that notion, we emphatically say: Nonsense! But, suede in the spring and summer? Why, yes my friend. Think of it as sweet & sour, or sugar & spice, or sweet & salty, or – well, you get the point. And that point is: Sometimes, opposites most certainly do attract. Marry with a pair of pressed cotton khakis or relaxed denim jeans. And if you are really feeling adventurous; rock a suede pair with one of your suits. Hey, we said opposites attract. It should be noted, I’m adventurous, but not that adventurous. Perhaps I would wear a pair with a crisp cotton suit, but that is about as far as I can take it. I just wanted to be transparent with the audience. So, check out my newest kicks – a cool pair of Florsheim wingtips – courtesy of a bonus sale at DSW. Draw the necessary inspiration and go kick it this season, and the next, in style.

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