Why don’t Men in the UK use much Aftershave?

I really wish men in the UK wore more aftershave, and not just for ‘special occasions’ or for ‘masking’ horrid things.

It was really noticeable when I worked in a hotel and we had guests from all around the world, particularly from France, who wore aftershave.

You walk in the street these days, and when you walk past some men, they either smell of nothing, which is really boring, smoke, pungent alcohol or cannabis, which to me, stinks of the bitter, stale aroma of dead rats (trust me, coming from a farm, I have smelt this!). It super compounds the problem when you walk past pairs or larger groups of men, stinking of smoke, garlic and onions, cheese, pizza, chicken legs, kebabs, alcohol and cannabis. Some their waft comes from their cars which can be smelly with smoke and food. There is a huge cloud of pong by them. When all these whiffs go together, it goes, er, ‘superstench’.

When you get a guest who smells of good quality aftershave, and not of huge splashes of it which can make them ‘look slimey’ particularly if wearing a blue suit, you feel that he has taken care of himself, feels ‘dressed’ and that he cares that he doesn’t stink badly when he is out in public areas. It creates a good impression. (Of course, he generally uses the good quality types of aftershave, not the ones you remember, such as the ‘honking ones with the cheesy names’ from 70s. However, sometimes, I have to say, there could be some good ‘cheap finds’ but you have to hunt really hard.

We women buy aftershave a lot for our men, but we notice that the bottle remains disappointingly full, a year after we have given it to them. There’s some really good products for men in the market now, many that have more natural incredients; my favourite aftershaves come from Penhaligans in Burlington Arcade. They are a reasonable price for the quality and the thought that goes into it. Aftershave isn’t just for ‘sex panthers’, it is for every day use too, not just the boudouir. The right aftershave, I think, is great for confidence and self-esteem. I have noticed in that in the UAE, they love aftershaves and they sell a huge variety of them and they often have interesting and well designed bottles. My ‘adopted half brother’ who was from the UAE, loved to put reddish type of perfumed ointment on his feet. I don’t know what it was exactly, but he showed a bit of pride.

Now, I can understand that sometimes some men can’t wear aftershave, for various reasons, such as they are allergic, cannot wear it at work or on the tube. But the vast majority appears not to be wearing any from what I can tell. Are they seriously worried that they may be ‘beaten up in the toilet or streets’ for wearing aftershave?

I like perfume on women, though not the overpowering or tacky kind, like Poison, and it is nice walking past them, but here in the UK, you almost wretch as some men here do pong, you can smell their breath, their skin, and stuff they have been smoking. It creates a bad impression.

Come on men, wear some decent aftershave, and use breath freshener, while you are at it. Even Fido the Old English Sheepdog, with his special deep-flea treatment, probably smells a lot better than some men. It really doesn’t have to be that way!

London Review: DIY Orange & Lemons, Lavender & Poppy Seed Natural Hand Lotion

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I made this gorgeous hand lotion this afternoon and I really was pleased with the results.

To make this lotion, I was inspired by the traditional English children’s nursery rhyme and singing game, “Oranges and Lemons” which refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the City of London:-

“Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement’s

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin’s

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!
Chip chop chip chop the last man is dead”

INGREDIENTS (I eyeballed these)

Coconut oil (in solid form (I got mine from Tesco which was under £3) (Avoid being ripped off by specialist health shops)

Shea butter (I always keep some of this in my cupboard)
Grated Lemon Peel
Grated Orange Peel
Lavender Essential Oil
Lemon Essential Oil
Poppy seeds
Lavender Flowers (edible version, I used some lavender tea)
Orange, Tangerine or Mandarin Essential oil
Olive Oil (a nod to the Romans)
Organic Beeswax (from a local farmers’ market)
A silicon soap mould of your choice or you can use the ‘square’ of a milk box

I heated the ingredients up by putting a bowl and saucer as a cover in the microwave for a few minutes (I checked it every so often). Hot oil is dangerous so keep away from small kids.

I then poured the content into a silicon mould, left it to set outside and then put it in the fridge.

Tips: Be more liberal with the beeswax to make the mould harder. Be generous with your grated orange and lemon peel but it needs to be dried so the lotion lasts longer. Try to keep the lotion in the fridge, away from each other.

Suggested uses: As gifts and, even better, as a random act of kindness! Love to hear if you do that….

REVIEW: 9/10 The first time I did this, I forgot the beeswax, which meant a lot of it was used really quickly as it was too soft. This time I used the beeswax and the lotion didn’t fall apart. I also used too much olive oil the first time, so it was a bit oily. This time it was perfect and I didn’t have to use much for it to go a long way. It has a really lovely vintage, summery smell, great for wellbeing too.

Facepack Review: 7th Heaven, Strawberry Souffle (Self Care)

I bought this facepack from an independent chemist in Kent. It claimed to moisturise and soothe.

I love facepacks and I love to try out new ones. Facepacks are great for a bit of self-care in a crazy world, and it can be a bit silly too, as we can look ridiculous. It is even more fun, if you get your boyfriend to do it too! And even if your man feels that men don’t do this, all men love to feel pampered and do silly things sometimes.

So I tested on myself and on a man’s skin. He said it was fine ‘as long as no one saw him with it on’. The majority of the ingredients didn’t look too bad, although it had a few unnatural ingredients. It claimed to be cruelty-free.

When I looked in the packet, there didn’t seem to be an awful lot there but there was just about enough for a small adult face. The cream was a very pale pink colour, but when you saw it on the face, it looked white.

Both of us liked the strawberry aroma and we both have sensitive skin. Our skin felt fine- at first. The man’s skin had a kind of grubby London skin which seemed dry and covered in pollution. He had never had a faceback before!

We kept it on for 10-15 minutes and washed it off with a warm flannel.+ When it was all taken off, both our skin did look and feel great. Though my skin felt great, the man’s skin, which was more sensitive than mine, started to go mildly red and stung a bit. The man’s skin looked great at first and I think it knocked 5 years off his face, as it removed a lot of dry skin cells. His skin had a very light shine which made him a look much healthier. However, ten minutes afterwards his skin started to tingle and go mildly red. His skin did look much clearer which was great to see.

Verdict: Me – 8/10 (could do with more cream and fewer chemicals)
Him: 6/10 (only as it was mildly tingly, but he now loves facepacks, even if he does it in secret!) Personally I think all men should have facepacks, they will really see a difference to their skin. My male friend said he would try a more natural facepack though.

Would we use the product again: Yes (Me). The Man (No)

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