Ladies get a lot of love this time of year: Cosmetics companies hawk sparkly this, shimmery that. But mistletoe is equal opportunity, boys...
Ladies get a lot of love this time of year: Cosmetics companies hawk sparkly this, shimmery that. But mistletoe is equal opportunity, boys — and good grooming could earn you a peck under it. Here’s a small sampling of this season’s goodies for guys.
John Varvatos Vintage Cologne
Menswear designer John Varvatos is known for tweaking stodgy suits and starchy shirts and giving them a modern, relaxed feel. It’s fitting, then, that his new cologne, Vintage, is a reworked version of his two-year-old signature scent.
What starts out woodsy develops a sweet lavender note and ends on the warm wafts of a cigar box (trust me, that’s a good thing). Ideal for fragrance-phobic gents, the combination is more subtle than the in-your-face musks Grandpa knew and loved. Plus the amber bottle, wrapped in python-embossed leather, adds a classy, old-school touch to any medicine cabinet.
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I didn’t care for Varvatos’ first scent, a heady, overwhelming concoction of spices and woods. But like his clothing, this update has taken something that was merely decent and made it much better.
$70 for 4.2 ounces at Nordstrom stores.
— Cory Ohlendorf
Lush Deodorant Powder
The “T” in Mr. T Deodorant Powder stands for tea tree herb, but it might as well stand for tedious. I pity the fool who tries to apply this mess to his underarms every morning. The chalky deodorizing dust was designed for those who perspire a little more than others, and good thing for that: I worked up a sweat trying to sprinkle on the stuff without getting it all over the floor. Even worse, the scent of tea tree herb — usually a pleasant fragrance — smells almost medicinal here. Sure, the good folks at Lush have made this deodorant free of preservatives and aluminum salts, but the product doesn’t smell as fresh as it sounds. Negative jibba-jabba aside, I did find one good use for Mr. T Deodorant Powder: Sprinkling it in my decidedly Mr. T-esque white high-tops.
$6.95 at Lush stores and www.lush.com.
— Chris Richards
Men’s Body and Hair Wash
Could there possibly be a better idea for guys than a shampoo that doubles as soap? That’s the selling point of Jack Black’s Liquid Magnetism Rich Lather Body & Hair Wash. In addition to offering time-saving and decision-making convenience, the pricey product’s name hammers home the idea that it will make you irresistibly attractive — kind of like Axe for grown-ups. Thankfully, the scents (available in three vaguely distinguishable aromas) are manly without veering into macho/lame-o territory. (In other words, you’ll entice rather than overpower potential prey.)
If there’s a flaw with Liquid Magnetism, it’s that as a shampoo, it doesn’t leave your hair feeling silky soft the way it might with a conditioner. But, hey, you’re a guy. Deal with it.
$22 for 6 ounces at Nordstrom stores and www.getjackblack.com.
— Joe Heim