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Monday 30 November 2015

Top 5 | Luxury Fragrance Gifts for Guys

1. Tom Ford Noir (100ml) - £64.95

First on the list is one of my all time luxury scents by Tom Ford. This is a sophisticated and intense fragrance for the professional guy and lasts all day long. It’s also presented in this amazing black glass bottle. Featuring notes of vanilla, patchouli and oud wood this truly is an opulent experience and a great gift for guys this Christmas.

Available from allbeauty.com

2. Acqua Di Parma Colonia Essenza (180ml) - £123.00

This is the most expensive and exclusive cologne on my list. Certainly a real treat if you feel like splashing out this festive season! Colonia Essenza features notes of citrus and becomes even more pronounced with the addition of grapefruit, mandarin, and petitgrain. There are also woody notes, which creates this extremely masculine fragrance. Selfridges will also gift wrap the item for free which means you can put your feet up.

Available from selfridges.com 

3. Tom Ford Black Orchid (30ml) - £53.00

Another fragrance from Tom Ford for the list. Black Orchird is very pricey at over £50 for only a 30ml bottle but what a scent! This is one of the best bottles I’ve ever seen for a mens cologne and luckily it has the scent to match. Featuring notes of black truffle and ylang mingled with fresh bergamot and black currant, this fruity fragrance feels extra masculine and lasts all day to boot. A fantastic gift for the guy who’s tried everything.

Available from harverynichols.com   

4. Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme (125ml) - £65.00

Finally a bottle that’s not black! This classic fragrance from Dolce & Gabbana is aimed at projecting the “irresistible sex appeal and tenderness of the Italian man” - sounds gross I know (unless you’re into that in which case this is perfect) but honestly this smells amazing! At the heart of the scent, lavender provides a soul of pure, dry freshness, like a Mediterranean breeze, while cedarwood lends it its masculine structure. The perfect gift for a classic gent  this year.

Available from harverynichols.com 

5. Comme Des Garcons Wonderwood (100ml) - £80.00

Finally, here’s a pick you might not have come across before. Wonder wood by Comme Des Garcons is a woody scent with notes of oud, cedar wood and sandalwood. Hence the name! It’s one I hadn’t tried before until I was unexpectedly sprayed with it as I wondered through Liberty a couple of weeks ago and just had to have it. It’s got a very strong scent so doesn’t need much to last all day but the results are great. A strong woody fragrance for the guy that’s looking for something a little different this Christmas.

Available from harverynichols.com 

Sunday 15 November 2015

Top 5 | Men's Fragrance Gifts under £50

If you're unsure what fragrance to get the guy in your life this Christmas then look no further. I've complied a list of my top 5 scents to get him this festive season. And don't worry you won't even have to spend a fortune - today I'm looking at gifts that are all £50 and under!

1. Mont Blanc Legend (50ml) - £39.00 at Boots.com

This is a classic fragrance for men. First launched in 2011, this is designed for a grown man looking for a classy yet rugged scent. It's very reasonably priced and comes in this great black bottle with silver finish. There's no doubt that Mont Blanc Legend smells exactly like the classic Abercrombie & Fitch scent so if you're looking for a much cheaper alternative then this is the fragrance for you.

2. Armani Code (50ml) - £48.00 at Boots.com

This is one of my all time favourites and one that I've been wearing on and off for a good few years. This sophisticated and irresistibly attractive fragrance develops gradually, reacting differently with each man's skin to give a unique and personalised scent. Right at the top end of our £50 budget but for 50ml this isn't a bad price. I find this fragrance lasts all day but isn't to over powering. It's kind of a spicy oriental scent with some citrus in there as well. 

3. Joop! for Men (125ml) - £33.00 at Boots.com

Joop! Homme is a strong, masculine fragrance that features oriental notes to create a sensual and bold scent for young men. This includes various scents including Orange Blossom, Mandarin, Bergamot and Amalfi Lemon to create a zesty fragrance for all occasions

4. Bleu De Chanel (50ml) - £47.50 at Boots.com

This is one of the best fragrances I've ever owned. My girlfriend bought it for my birthday this year and I've worn it everyday since! It's a little on the pricey side for only 50ml but if you want to really treat him then this one's perfect. This aromatic-woody fragrance unites the invigorating freshness of citrus and the strength of an aromatic accord with the woody whisper of dry cedar notes. New Caledonian Sandalwood lends it a warm and sensual trail.

5. Hugo Boss - Boss Bottled (50ml) - £43.00 at Boots.com

Another classic for the professional man. Again this one is at the top end of the £50 budget but so worth it. The apple, cinnamon and vanilla leave quite a feminine fragrance that I found a little bit too subtle in comparison to others, however it certainly lasts all day and is the perfect treats for a special occasion. I also love the bottle design on this one - great to open on Christmas Day!


Sunday 8 November 2015

The Review | NEW  TV (4th Generation)

Finally, after over 3 years the Apple TV has received a much needed extensive hardware & UI update. This time around Apple has signalled that the end is now for traditional TV channels and that the future is apps.

Joining the updated little black box beneath your TV set is a neat new remote control that utilises both touch and voice with the help of Siri functionality. It consists of just 6 buttons that are used for the basics like volume controls and menus options. The star of the show here is the touch screen technology that enables you to swipe around the user interface and simply tap to delve into an app - a very similar experience to the newer Macbook Pro trackpads. This consistency between devices continues on the home screen of the new Apple TV, which has been refreshed with a much similar yet  colourful look - something similar to the latest version of iTunes on PC or Mac. The new interface shares the same UI and UX cues as iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. From the font to the images, everything looks modern — yet familiar.

I've never invested in any of the previous generations of the Apple TV purely because i've only really seen it as a way to stream content that I already own via iTunes or watch TV shows and other video content via basic apps like Netflix & YouTube. I purchased a new 4K Smart TV earlier on this year, which has all of that functionality so why would I need a separate set top box to stream said content? 

When Apple announced the new Apple TV at an event on Sept 9th this year, the factor that changed my mind was the idea of gaming and shopping on the device. I have to say I'm very impressed with the results! Although there aren't currently a huge number of apps in these categories to choose from, there are certainly some real stars including Crossy Road and Airbnb. If you've got a big TV then this is certainly the perfect way to shop and play games. For years, developers have wanted to build and sell apps on Apple TV and now they can with the addition of tvOS. I'm sure we can expect a huge number of apps to flood the new Apple TV before the year is out. 

One of the few downsides to the Apple TV is the process by which you sign in to various apps and services. For some odd reason the device doesn't remember you're log in credentials for apps such as YouTube, which requires you to sign in with both the e-mail address and password - easier said than done with the new Siri remote. This seems lazy from Apple - they've already got all my log in info linked with my Apple ID so just use it here like they would across iPhone/iPad/Mac etc. ?

The Verdict

The Apple TV has a starting price of £129 for the 32GB option, which means it's certainly not cheap when compared to competitors like Amazon Fire or Chromecast that are half the price. If you're already part of Apple's ecosystem it makes sense to pay the premium and go with the Apple TV, however if you already have a smart TV with a breadth of interesting apps then I wouldn't bother with the upgrade this time around.

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