Groom to improve
Darren Kennedy on summer suitcase essentials
1. Sandalwood Shaving Cream, €12.95, Taylor of Old Bond Street
Famous for their wide array of shaving creams, Taylor of Old Bond Street's sandalwood shaving cream is perhaps their most masculine offering. Whether you're going old school and applying with a brush, or simply lathering it on with your hands, this cream gives a shaving experience like no other. As well as the extra-smooth results, the soft top notes of geranium and lavender, which are complemented with the heavier base notes of patchouli and sandalwood, mean you're going to smell immaculate post-shave!
2. Original Pomade, €13.24, Layrite
The beauty of Layrite's Original Pomade lays in its versatility. While it acts like a wax, it washes out like a gel, and because it is water-based, it doesn't clump hair together like other waxes often do. Depending on the thickness of your hair or the volume desired, a small smidge of the product works extremely well and lasts throughout the day. Whether you comb it into your hair for a more sophisticated effect, or run it through with your fingers, Layrite's Original Pomade gives any guy that effortlessly cool edge.
3. Chanel Allure Homme Sport, €60, Brown Thomas
Finding that 'one fits all' aftershave can be tricky. Sport versions of certain colognes tend to be too casual for evening use, but Chanel have struck gold with Allure Homme Sport. Infused with mandarin, orange, cedar and neroli, its citrus opening morphs into a sweet, velvety and fruity scent as the day progresses, meaning it is the ideal transitional fragrance.
4. Bottega Veneta Pour Homme Extreme, €82.60, Arnotts
Famous for their impeccably crafted leather goods, Italian fashion house, Bottega Veneta, which was established in 1966, is also a dab hand in the fragrance department. A striking update to their famous Pour Homme scent, Bottega Veneta Pour Homme Extreme is a fragrance that is full of sensual contrasts from wood and leather to more amplified labdanum and pimento notes. The result is a unique and rich scent that is simultaneously soft and masculine.
5. Lab Series Age Rescue + Gel Cream, €58, Boots
After the winter months, it's not uncommon for skin to appear a little dull and tired, but Lab Series Age Rescue+ is the answer to every guy's grooming qualms. Admittedly, it's on the pricier end of the spectrum, but a penny-sized amount of this wonder cream goes a long way. Suitable for all skin types and containing ginseng which encourages skin to rapidly recover and revitalise itself, Lab Series promises that as well as moisturising and protecting your skin, the plethora of nutrients in this gel cream work to help prevent and slow down the ageing process. And who doesn't want that?
6. Geranium Leaf Body Scrub, €30, Aesop
Melbourne-born skincare brand Aesop have been manufacturing superlative potions for over 20 years, and this particular body scrub is probably the best one on the market. Consisting mainly of pumice and bamboo stems, Aesop's geranium leaf body scrub is also oil-based, meaning that it works particularly well on dry skin. Lather from the neck down and feel like a new man within minutes!