Five Stand Out Autumnal Scents

With the recent shift in seasons and Autumn now very much upon us it's time to switch it up things up when it comes to your daily fragrance.  

With the unpredictable weather and temperatures, the Autumn months can be challenging when it comes to choosing the right scent.  Should you opt for a scent that reflects crisp Winter frost, damp forests or the warmth of a cosy fireplace? 

Fortunately with a number of recent launches, there are plenty of options out there to ensure you hit the right 'base' note.  

Here are 5 of my current faves:

Jo Malone - English Oak & Hazelnut:

Jo Malone are nailing it these days when it comes their fragrances.  Primarily unisex, there are numerous head turning scents within the Jo Malone stable, including this newly launched English Oak & Hazelnut, a scent that is the definition of Autumn.

With green hazelnut top notes combined with cedar-wood and roasted oak, this is a scent to be worn with a cashmere roll neck and a wax jacket.  

Ermenegildo Zegna - Elements of Man - Talent:

I've only recently become familiar with the Ermenegildo Zegna fragrances and the Elements of Man range really resonated with me.  Sometimes you spray a scent and it just taps into memories of days gone by and Talent did exactly that for me.

With the inclusion of bergamot and cedarwood, it's a fresh and woody scent with a hint of patchouli adding some musky earthiness.  A great everyday fragrance but given the higher price tag I mostly wear this on those special occasions and evening events. 

To be worn with a tux or a velvet smoking jacket.

By Kilian - Gold Knight:

By Kilian is another brand on this list that can't put a foot wrong in recent times.  One of my all time favourite scents, Incense Oud, was a real game changer and I still get compliments almost every time I've had a spritz.  

Gold Knight is another triumph and a real head turner and stand out smell.  Combining bergamot, anise and vanilla, it's an oriental scent with a hint of citrus and lime.  Given a high price tag I would recommend this as the ultimate evening fragrance for the next few months, a scent to make a real statement.

Accompany this scent with a crisp white shirt and classic blazer.

David Beckham - Respect:

A new launch from the footballing legend, Respect is fast becoming one of my favourites this season.  

I must admit the previous Beckham launch wasn't one for me and so was very pleasantly surprised to find a much more modern and masculine fragrance.  With strong vetiver notes and the inclusion of fruity grapefruit, it's a fresh musky scent thats just perfect for this time of year. 

I was actually lucky enough to meet the man himself a few weeks ago and was instantly taken back by how down to earth and genuine he was.  His passion and knowledge of this fragrance was equally impressive and it's clear Dave (!) has a big input into the design and overall make-up of the finished product.  

This will be a fantastic stocking filler this Christmas given the very affordable price tag.

To be paired with a suede bomber jacket and wool knit for the ultimate smart casual look.

Paco Rabanne - Pure XS:

Pure XS launched towards the end of Summer and it's a scent I can't get enough of at the moment.  With top notes of ginger and thyme it really grabs the attention and hints of cedar give it that Autumnal vibe.

For me this a is a great all-rounder but I particularly like the freshness post-workout, so it's a regular in my gym bag.

A fragrance to match with an unbuttoned shirt or v-neck knit to truly reveal the base notes.


Autumnal scents are some of my favourite, with the likes of vetiver, oak and bergamot all making a return and they are the perfect compliment to those Autumn threads.

What are your favourites this season?

C.

Man About Town's Guide For The Man Working On The Move

Since becoming self-employed almost a year ago I've had to rapidly learn the ways of the man on the move and get used to working outside of the typical office environment.  With no fixed office aside from my dining table at home, I'm forever working on the go and it's been a real learning curve. 

More and more people are shifting to the self-employed lifestyle and on the surface it seems like the way to go, but there are definite drawbacks that can have a real impact on productivity and efficiency.  It's important to forward plan your day to maximise your time and be successful.

Here are my top ten tips for the modern day gent to make the most of your time and be more effective when on the move!

1. Plan Your Day

Admittedly I'm not always the best when it comes to forward planning, but since changing things up and implementing more of a structure to my day, I've become a hell of a lot more productive.  

The first step is to pick up a weekly planner or journal and plan your day out to ensure you spend your time wisely and in the right areas.  It's key to prioritise and I tend to write a 'to do list' and then review things immediately, often halving the tasks based on the priority and importance.  

Breaking tasks up can make things feel less daunting and try to avoid building things up into a bigger challenge than they really are and just 'crack on'! Also try to avoid early morning emails, tackle the bigger tasks head on before getting distracted by that never ending rabbit hole that is your Gmail inbox.

2. Escape The House

I'm someone who is very (!) easily distracted and when your home becomes your work space the lines can become very blurred and distractions are rife.  Whether it's the postman knocking every few hours to deliver another ASOS delivery, the Jehova's witnesses (it's happened twice already!) or a basket full of washing, there are countless distractions in the home to take you away from the task in hand. 
I find I'm most productive when working away from the house, in an busier environment surrounded by other people and less homely distractions (namely the pups!).

A great place to escape to and call home for the day is the newly opened Cafe Nespresso on Broadwick Street in the heart of Soho.  Perfectly placed for central meetings, I love the buzzing atmosphere and it's a great place to grab one of the best coffees in town!

3. Tackle your challenging tasks before lunch

Earlier I mentioned that avoiding emails early on in the day and focusing on the bigger tasks can be much more effective.  Research has shown that when the mind is fresh in the morning it's capable of processing bigger, more challenging tasks and I find it's always best to get these well out the way before lunch and the dreaded afternoon slumber.  

Why not challenge yourself to cracking the hardest of work challenges before the 11am coffee and then you can sip on that double espresso victoriously!

4. Coffee and lots of it

Over the past few months I've become rather coffee obsessed and in order to get any work done, I first need that caffeine fix.  A black coffee or double espresso in the morning with breakfast is the perfect boost to kick off a productive day and I find coffee is the ideal 'snack' to re-energise when things are becoming a little 'much' later on.

This is of course another reason I love working from the Cafe Nespresso, there is a fantastic coffee on tap and nothing beats a barista made flat white or carefully crafted double espresso.

Take a moment, collect your thoughts and grab a coffee - things become remarkably clearer and easier - it works for me that is.

5. Designate days for meetings

Meetings are a great opportunity to get away from the desk and emails and of course build relationships and generate new business.

Personally I like to designate a day or two a week specifically to meetings, ensuring I'm in the right frame of mind and to maximise my time.

I always prefer to have my meetings at the same place, avoiding wasting valuable time travelling and rushing all over London in between.  It's therefore good to find somewhere centrally located, that serves great coffee and has a friendly ambience without being too loud.  Cafe Nespresso ticks all these boxes for me and the Soho location is perfect for those all important client meetings.

6. Make time for lunch

It's become a real habit for many of us to sit and eat our lunch at our desks or on the way to meetings.  This isn't great from a digestion stand point nor is it an effective use of time.  Lunch is the ideal opportunity to take some time out of the day, collect your thoughts and give the mind a break from emails and staring at a computer screen.

Get out of the office, grab something to eat and sit outside of the work environment while you recharge.

I live a pretty healthy lifestyle (Monday-Friday!) and I love the offering at Cafe Nespresso - from healthy salads to flat breads there is plenty to satisfy your hunger and help you refuel for a hectic afternoon.  Everything is available to eat-in or takeaway, so whether you are keen for a bite to eat in the London sunshine (!) or in the shop itself, Cafe Nespresso have you covered.

 My personal favourite is the beetroot and goats cheese salad, guaranteed to hit the spot. 

7. Take an hour out for that all important workout 

Exercise and working out is one of the best ways to keep those energy levels up throughout a working day.  Strangely enough I feel at my most energetic straight after a tough HIIT or weight session and general belief is this is due to moving the blood around the body and getting everything moving.

I prefer to workout late morning, so get a few tasks completed first then hit the gym before heading into town for meetings, but of course an hour at lunch or in the afternoon can have just the same effect - basically keep active!

8. Take breaks

When you work for yourself it can be extremely difficult to take breaks from work but it's important for the mind and the body to take time out from tasks, even if it's a short 15 minute breather.  I find reading a newspaper or magazine for 15 minutes every few hours can let the mind relax and refocus, making tough tasks easier to go back to and complete.  

Put it this way, if a daily task is becoming overly challenging, take a breather, go for a walk or grab a paper for 15 minutes and the head back to the task and attack it head on!

9. Stay Hydrated

This one's basic and may seem obvious but only 1 in 5 of us drinks the required amount of water on daily basis.  When things get hectic it's easy to forget to take a swig but it's essential to your health and wellbeing.  

Upping the amount of water to you drink on a daily basis at work may mean more trips to the Gents, but will leave you feeling more energised and refreshed throughout the day.  

Top tip is grab a refillable water bottle, ideally metal/aluminium and keep topping it up as you drink ;-)

10. Keep away from your phone

We may get separation anxiety without that beloved smartphone within touching distance but it's becoming more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to getting things done.  I am a social media addict and even though it's a key part of my job and daily routine, it's important to put the phone to one side and focus on the task in hand.

Social media, YouTube, Sky Sports - ultimately are a distraction and it can be easy to get 'lost' for hours without having realised.  Put the phone on loud but stick it in a bag pocket or out of touching distance and you'll notice you are a hell of a lot more productive when it comes to completing tasks!

I'm definitely still learning the ways of the man on the move and how to be as productive as I can be, but hopefully the above tips may help some of you when it comes to being more efficient and effective in the work place.

The key thing for me is to change things up and constantly set new challenges and tasks to keep life interesting :-)
C.

*This post has been written in collaboration with Nespresso, although all views and opinions shared are my own.

Autumn Fashion Tips For The Modern Day Gent


Autumn is without doubt my favourite season when it comes to fashion and menswear.  Gone are the limitations of Summer and in come layering, textures and outerwear.  

With all the new options it can be tough to get it right when it comes to the right outfit and the right time and situation.  Dressing well does not need to be over complicated, but here are a few things worth bearing in mind before you step out that door:

Colour Combos:

Colour combinations are key this season and it can be tough to get the contrasts right.  If in doubt, navy and beige is an absolute winner and one of my go-to combos.  The dark of the navy works perfectly with the lighter shade of beige and is a solid look for any smart casual occasion.

Here I've combined a navy merino wool jumper and beige overcoat, both from Hardy Amies with dark jeans and some suede kicks - perfect for a day in town or out at meetings.

Layer Up:

One of my favourite things about Autumn Winter fashion is the introduction of layering.  Not only is it a practical way of keeping warm against the elements but it's a fantastic way of adding more texture and detail to an outfit.

A merino wool knit is a wardrobe essential for the coming months and the perfect top to carry in your day bag and to stick on should the weather get a little chilly.  

Roll or funnel necks are also a great option and look great under an overcoat.

Play With Textures:

One of the biggest trends this year is textured outerwear and the combination of differing textures to upgrade your look.  This boiled wool overcoat can be worn from work to weekend and the unusual texture of the outerwear not only adds an element of interest to the look, but is a great way of working the AW17 trend of textured outerwear into your look but without going OTT. 

There's nothing better than nailing one of this seasons key trends with an incredibly wearable piece and you'll find yourself reaching for this coat in years to come.  Whether technically 'on trend' or not -  you can't go wrong with classic and high quality outerwear.

On that note, investing in outerwear is always a top priority for me when it comes to choosing my Autumn wardrobe. Your coat of choice is the first part of your outfit that onlookers will notice, so choose a coat that represents your style and how you wish to portray yourself. The coat featured within this post shows that I take care and consideration of how I dress myself, I take note of the trends but don't let them dominate my outfit, and I take pride in great fit, and great quality clothing.

Comfort Is Key:

With the weather getting increasingly colder and more unpredictable, be sure to think through your outfit taking into account the conditions that day.  For me comfort has to come into consideration and in particular when it comes to footwear.  On the colder, wetter days change things up with some trainers that will make navigating the busy London streets that much easier and safer.  

These suede Zespas are a great option, smart enough for work and perfect when combines with tailored trousers or jeans. 

Don't be caught out by the rain when wearing suede, either choose something more rain suitable or better yet grab an umbrella! Hardy Amies have a great curated offering in store including these beautiful umbrellas from the masters at London Undercover - a worthy investment for the British weather.  

Tip - try and remember to spray any suede shoes 30 minutes before leaving the house!

What are your favourite things about Autumn Winter fashion?

C.

Shop The Look:

Hardy Amies is without doubt one my new favourite places to shop all things Autumn Winter.  Located on the famous Savile Row, they have some fantastic outerwear options alongside a great selection of knitwear and pieces for layering.  I picked my favourite pieces and you can shop the look below:




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