Gotta say, TO is riddled with guys who fit this description and it's all starting to seem so derivative (not to mention unkempt). I prefer the metrosexual thing, any day. I love an impeccably-tailored slim suit with a crisp shirt (patterned natch) and a contrast tie. But then, if I were a guy, that's the look I'd be working.
My husband, who had a close beard for many years - and it looked good - shaved it off one day when he finally decided it was more trouble than it was worth. My kid, who was 6 at the time, came downstairs, took one look at him and started shrieking. She then hid under the dining room table (not the most secret of locales) and proceeded to cry: What happened to Daddy??? Ah, those were the days.
My point is that there's no need for beard oil in this house. But have you noticed how you can find that stuff everywhere?? Every shop on Queen West is selling it. I do wonder if and how it works. It must, or all the plaid-wearing, mountain-beard guys would be scoffing at it. Does it soften the beard like conditioner would? Does it mitigate the scratchiness? (Note: The puffy beards are less scratchy than the cropped ones, so I wonder if it's even necessary...) Is it like face serum for the part of the guy-face with hair?
I don't suppose we're gonna answer these important life-questions in this post - though if you're a mountain beard-having guy who happens to be reading this (and I haven't totally put you off), please do let us know!
This is actually one of those Simpsons-style segues into my real topic - man cologne. Not sure if your SO likes to wear it or if he wears it for you. Personally, I love man cologne and I've been known to buy it and wear it happily. It's generally constructed from chyprous scents I love: citrus top notes, mossy mid-notes and resinous base-notes. I love a man cologne that's also confident enough to subtly highlight florals (neroli, anyone?). Scott, too, appreciates these fragrance qualities, perhaps from years of coaxing. (Mind you, I don't think that scent-preference is taught.)
He sees me making all the potiony things and occasionally says stuff like: What about something specifically for me? Oh, how plaintive. So, today I made him bespoke man cologne. After doing a scent-testing, to determine what he'd prefer, I tinkered and combined essential oils and came up with something so delicious that I made one for myself too!
In case you'd like to give it a go, here's what you do:
- Make sure you have an appropriate glass container (10 ml). One with a roll on applicator is optimal but you can use a pump closure or a dropper. Note: Not a lot of guys like to use droppers, in my experience. You can find roller containers here. Plastic won't work.
- You'll want to use jojoba oil as your base. You can use ethanol or vodka if you're making an alcohol-based fragrance, but that's the subject of another post... Oh, and if you wanted to go crazy, you could make a solid perfume. But again, one thing at a time!
- You'll need the following essential oils: Cedarwood (Atlas), Ylang Ylang, Neroli, Orange, Cypress, Vetivert, Frankincense. Don't cheap out on these cuz when it comes to scent, you get what you pay for. Neroli is particularly expensive. Consider finding a place that sells a 3-10% dilution in jojoba. This may still be of very high quality, but the bottle will be affordable. Plus, neroli is so intense, uncut, that it's sometimes hard to appreciate its awesomeness until you dilute it.
- Experiment with your preferred ratios. I try to balance the low notes (vetivert, cedarwood) with the mid notes (ylang ylang, frankincense and neroli) and the high notes (orange, cypress). Let's not get too prescriptive... Use 35 drops of EO in total. No, it's not "accurate", drops of different EOs will be of slightly different sizes. But every bottle you have will provide its own basic drop size, from which you can extrapolate. You're making this "to smell". When you've got a combo you love, it's done.
- It's as easy as adding the EOs into the bottle (in your preferred ratios) and then topping up the mixture with about 9 ml of jojoba oil. Of course, finding your special sauce may take time. Don't be afraid to throw out the EO mixture and start again. And write down how many drops you're using in each mixture. Cuz you'll forget in 3 minutes.
You may find that your final cologne smells very different on you than in the bottle. It's just like when you buy alcohol-based perfume at the store... Your biochemistry is highly engaged in the wearing process, so you may want to vary your formula once you've worn it for a while. For example: Maybe your skin gobbles up vetivert, leaving too much top note. I find that, in my formula, I need more of all the EO drops, because I seem to eat up all EO scents quickly.
Hopefully you'll give this a go because it's totally fun and impressive for your giftees. If you do try it, let me know. I want to hear all about it!
Today's questions: Have you made your own fragrance? If no, would you? Do you like the manly scents? Peeps, let's talk!