Penhaligon’s No. 33 Cleanser

Penhaligon’s is out with a new men’s fragrance, No. 33 and it comes in a variety of grooming products.

As I’m a fan of Blenheim Bouquet, especially in warmer months, I chose to begin my No. 33 experience with the cleanser. Should I enjoy it, I’ll likely consider a purchase of the cologne.

The cleanser arrived today and I’ll be using it this evening. I’ll be reviewing it after I’ve used it for a day or so.

Ahead of the arrival, I wanted to see what I might expect in terms of the scent. Here’s how Penhaligon’s describes it:

It opens in an aromatic burst of crisp citrus, rustic armoise and clary sage alongside a bracing lavender note. Incredibly smooth, the heart is enriched by warming pepper, ginger and cardamom and fresh, rosy geranium. Tobacco, cedar and vetiver add a dry smokiness, balanced by the restrained sweetness of tonka, amber and vanilla. A contemporary celebration of lavender in all its bracing charm.

I’m intrigued by this description and from the rather sparse reviews I found that indicate the cologne is light and pleasant and clearly masculine.

More later as I try this iteration of Penhaligon’s No. 33.

For more on men’s grooming and other elements of being a gentleman, follow @SterlingGent

Penhaligon's Pic

A Woman Talks About Men’s Fragrances

Reader K offers her views on men’s fragrance, including some recommendations to ensure you’re a great smelling man who impresses…

Mens fragrance can be a tricky business. Too often merchandisers over masculinize the scent, or make it more powerful than necessary. Of course, this opinion can be biased, due to the fact that women actually have more cells in the olfactory bulb (the area of the brain responsible for smell). Fun fact: the sense of smell was the first sense to evolve, and as such, our sense of smell is the most connected sense to our memories.

That being said, men be wary when selecting your signature fragrance; women are hard-wired to use sense of smell as an indication of mate preference as well ;) You’re making much more of an impression than you may be aware of!

The trend for male fragrance seems to fall between three primary themes: clean, spicy, and sporty. I’m not sure if this opinion is widely held, but for me and my olfactory receptors, this is it. I prefer clean and sometimes sporty scents, but it has to be subtle. Too much of anything, even a good thing, is an instant mood killer. Victorias Secret Very Sexy Platinum is one that I dislike, but had to learn the hard way. The brand took the classic sultry/musk undertones and attempted to apply it to a masculine sport cologne, and it just did not work for me. It seems to be an evening attempt at an athletic/masculine scent, but the result is overpowering. The original, Very Sexy for Men was great. It’s very clean and overall unobtrusive; so that I would recommend for an evening choice, because there is a little more strength to the scent (likely due to the company’s roots in women’s’ fragrance, and their tendency to be ironically strong), so it should last without choking out your company.

If you are a fan of sporty colognes, one that is often overlooked and definitely under-appreciated is the original Issey Miyake: L’eau d’Issey. To me, it perfectly combines the clean, fresh aroma of something like Acqua di Gio but with just the right amount of spice to set it apart in a more athletic/sporty direction. The product is described as including essences of verbena, sage, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg and saffron. The ingredients are each intense, but together with other trace elements, it is perfectly subdued but definitely pleasantly unique.

Another that has not garnered much attention, but I highly recommend, would be Yves St. Laurent: L’Homme. It is woody and fresh in the most refreshing way. Some men worry about woody and fresh edging too close to the florals they are accustomed to with womens perfumes. This is not at all the case with this scent. It is the perfect day time fragrance for a man who pays careful attention to his image and personal style, and I would even go as far as to say a man who spends time with people regularly because it is so inviting. L’Homme is as pleasing as mens cologne goes, and I would say fairly neutral in terms of the undertones.

One thing is for sure: You absolutely cannot sacrifice quality when it comes to mens fragrance. Drug store or department store adaptations are not created equal. Men so often make the mistake of buying body spray or imitation colognes to be budget conscious, but the difference is apparent. Cheaper colognes do not have the same quality ingredients, so the fragrance (if not completely butchered) is lackluster at best and has a tinge of sharpness, likely from filler or artificial components, that is completely unwelcome. Likewise, the scent itself does not last as long as higher quality alternatives, nor may it stay true to the original essence or intended fragrance as it combines with the body’s natural oils. Trust me guys, your lady will appreciate you taking the time and care to find your signature fragrance, and a man who prefers quality will always attract quality!

SG says: K’s advice is sound — you don’t want your cologne to announce your arrival… or to arrive before you do. You DO want your cologne to invite closeness and to leave a fond memory.


Review of Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille

The Scent of Success

The Scent of a Gentleman

For more on the gentleman’s lifestyle, follow @SterlingGent



Review of Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

Guest writer Lynn has a few words to say about Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille.

Any man aspiring to be a true gentleman must attend to details such as fragrance, and Tom Ford’s offering is certainly one to be considered.

Here’s Lynn’s take:


Remember the old-timey tobacco shops… shops with tables upon tables of loose pipe tobacco… rows upon rows of perfectly aligned cigars… the tobacco shop many  gentlemen would frequent after a hard week’s work?  This is what Tom Ford Tobacco and Vanille brings to mind immediately after spraying it on, and throughout the day.  The scent of vanilla is very, very subtle… almost undetectable other than enhancing the tobacco, hence the name, Tobacco Vanille, not Tobacco & Vanille.  A powerfully subdued scent of sweet tobacco that you would imagine wafting from Gregory Peck’s pipe.

It is sold as a men’s cologne; however, it is can easily be worn by a women without giving off a macho scent.  The finesse of the tobacco makes for an equality of femininity and masculinity.  It can be worn effortlessly by either sex and appreciated by both, so be prepared to have men and women alike to ask you what scent you are wearing!

SG Says: This fragrance is exquisite and can certainly be worn by a woman — but ONLY if you want to be tantalizing to those around you.

Find Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille and make it your own:




Quercus Bath and Shower Gel

I’ve written before about a man and his shower.

And, I’ve also written about a warm season fragrance I love, Quercus by Penhaligon’s.

And despite the late season snow yesterday, it is spring.

Now, about Quercus Bath & Shower Gel.

First, it is pitched as a unisex scent.  This is certainly true and I’ve had the pleasure of sensing it on a woman.  Luxurious, indeed.

Quercus is also strong, refreshing, and powerful. A man who has finished a long day at the office and wants a warm, welcoming shower will appreciate Quercus. As will the man who spent his day working under the car or tending to the landscaping.

When combined with heat and steam, Quercus is simply exquisite. It is a vacation unto itself.

As I’ve written before, Quercus cologne goes great with sweat and heat.  Its power is intensified when your body heats up.  Likewise, the shower gel gains strength and force when matched with a hot, steamy shower.

For a shower experience you’ll relish every single time, Quercus is for you.


For more on the gentleman’s lifestyle, follow @SterlingGent 

What Do Women Notice About Men?

If you’re a true gentleman (or aspire to be so), you want to dress and act in a way that exudes confidence.  And of course, you want ladies to notice you.

We asked the question: What Do Women Notice About Men? And @ThePreppyBelle was kind enough to give us some insight.

Gentlemen, when a lady talks, you listen! So, here goes.  Some advice from a woman on what you can do to get noticed.

Here are her 5 tips:

1) BE CRISP! I can’t say it enough. A good pair of ironed and creased khakis is very impressive to a woman. Always iron your clothes properly (that’s right, even a t-shirt).

SG Says: Sure, you’re probably NOT wearing a t-shirt and trying to impress a woman, but the point is well-taken. GET AN IRON! And learn to use it.  Women are impressed by details.

2) Buttons. When you’re at a formal gathering and you’re wearing a suit here are the rules: when you stand up, you button your suit. When you sit down, you unbutton it. I learned that back in 5th grade at my cotillion class. When I go to more formal occasions, I can always pick out a man who knows what he is doing.

SG Says: The basics! Learn how to button your suit! On a two-button suit, you only button the TOP button.  Get it right.  Women are watching.

3. Pants. Make sure your pants are long enough (to the top of the foot). And if they aren’t, make sure your socks match what you’re wearing  (and each other!) if they are visible.

SG Says: Basics and details, guys.  Socks ARE an important detail!

4. Sunglasses. I find a man wearing croakies with sunglasses attractive. For both men and women, I think it’s essential to have two pairs of good sunglasses; one brown pair and one black pair. Try to wear the brown ones when you are wearing clothes in that color scheme and black when you’re wearing black.

SG Says: Basic stuff, sound advice.  And if you’re in the market for sunglasses, check this out!

5. Cologne. Cologne adds a statement what you’re wearing. Do not let your scent wear you, you should wear it. Simply meaning, don’t bathe in it. Just squirt the air and walk through the mist. Be considerate to the others around you (especially if you’re traveling with them). Some of my favorite scents on men are: -Nautica – Black by Kenneth Cole – Polo by Ralph Lauren – #2 Big Pony Collection by Ralph Lauren

SG Says: More on men’s fragrance here.

Thanks to @ThePreppyBelle for her words of wisdom.

For more advice on men’s style and fashion, follow me @TheSterlingGent


Some Gentlemanly Advice

From our friends at Penhaligon’s


Ensure you are always Clean Shaven
Headwear should never be worn indoors
Ensure your footwear is always Well Polished
Ensure your bristles are Crumb-Free
A light splash of scent will ensure you make a Fine Impression
Eyeing a lady's ankles in public may result in a Slapped Cheek
Blowing one's nose in the company of ladies is not acceptable
Ensure your collar is always pristine and stiffened
Ensure your underarms are suitably fresh
Should a lady refuse your advances it is wise to reapply your scent


The Scent of Summer

A gentleman pays careful attention to details.  And that includes his shower.  I’ve written before about the importance of gentleman enjoying his shower (or bath).

And, now that it is officially summer, I’d like to share one of my shower favorites.

I included Quercus in my list of favorite masculine scents.  I noted how perfect it is for warm summer days.  How it blends wonderfully with that inevitable summer sweat.  How it is fresh, and light, and wonderful. Simply put, Quercus is the Scent of Summer.

Now, I’m offering a free bottle of Quercus Bath and Shower Gel in a little #QuercusSummer giveaway.

Penhaligon's Quercus Bath & Shower Gel 300ml

Here’s how it works: Simply tweet out this link and tag it #QuercusSummer and of course, mention @SterlingGent in your tweet.  Everyone who tweets out the link as instructed by Tuesday, July 2nd at 12PM Central Time will be entered in a drawing.  I’ll announce the winner Friday afternoon and we’ll work out the shipping details.

Every gentleman should enjoy summer – and a #QuercusSummer is just the way to go.




The Gentleman’s Bath

Now, I know. I know.  A Gentleman doesn’t actually take a bath.  A gentleman enjoys the heat, steam, and power of an excellent shower.

But, a bath is so much more.  The process of cleansing, renewing, refreshing, and preparing for a day.  Or, the process of cleaning off the day and moving forward into the evening.

It’s about water and steam.  But it’s also about soaps and deodorant.  It’s about being clean and staying clean.

A gentleman always IS clean and always smells clean.  After work, you may not need cologne, but if you’re going out, you do need a shower.

And, if you’re a man who wants to present your best (all gentlemen are always at their best), you want the best to go on your body.

London’s Bathecary makes that possible.  And they feature outstanding products such as the ones I favor from Penhaligon’s.

Moreover, Penhaligon’s now has Sartorial in a deodorant.  How perfect is that? If you’re a gentleman, it’s quite perfect, truly.

So, be a gentleman. Take a shower.  And use the best products to present your best you to all around.

Style Tips for Guys — From Of Iron and Oak

So, the great people over at Of Iron and Oak have a few tips for the young man aspiring to be a gentleman.

These are all very solid pieces of advice.  And all of them should be noted and heeded.

We’d like to focus on number 2 (regarding the wearing of cologne) and number 4 (shoes).

Yes, guys, you need to use cologne.  Yes, you should choose wisely and apply cautiously.  Here’s some advice to enhance your application of fragrance.

Also, you need dress shoes.  They need to be black.  They need to be simple, made of leather, and of high quality.  How do you choose your dress shoes?  Look here for more.

As always, follow us for tips and advice on how to be a gentleman!

The Scent of Success

Here’s another adapted post.

Yes, gentlemen, you need to add fragrance to your wardrobe.  Do it and do it well.

Sartorial from Penhaligon’s is one I cherish.

You know the man.
The one in the impeccable suit.  Perfectly tailored.
The one with the immaculately pressed shirt.  Cuff links.  Smart tie.
The one whose watch is of fine quality and accentuates his simple, classic style.
His shoes are black and shined and beautiful.
The man who gets things done.  Who makes things happen.
He’s serious.  He’s focused.  He’s in control.
This man wears Sartorial from Penhaligon’s.
He wears it at work … and he’s almost always working.
His suit and look are finished in the morning and remain finished by day’s end … which for him, could last well into the evening hours.
The scent is no-nonsense.  It is masculine and confident.  It is refreshing and refined.
This is not the scent of a man on the town or out and about on the prowl.  This is the man you truly want because he’s the one who makes things happen.
While it may not be a “date night” cologne, it’s the scent a woman will unmistakably note as the scent of ambition fulfilled, goals accomplished, and a clear path forward.
While it may certainly be worn without a suit, it’s not recommended.