Gentlemen, did you pay particular attention to the shape and outline of your eyebrows after your morning shave today? Were they pin-sharp yet natural? Scoff not, because if fragrance and fashion titan Tom Ford is anything to go by, a swift spot of eyebrow maintenance should be as integral to your daily ablutions as a splash of cologne and a sweep of the comb. The brand’s recent launch, a Brow Gelcomb for men, has rocketed in sales – clearly men feel the need to keep their over-eye caterpillars well-tended. Or perhaps it’s the latest sensation to sate the appetite of the men’s grooming connoisseur.
It’s National Grooming Day today, a curious flag waving of sorts to put focus on an industry that’s one of the fastest rising in the world, set to increase by seven per cent between 2014 and 2019, according to statistics body Research Moz. As such, brands are clamouring to release fragrances and skincare offerings to complement their women’s line-up.
In the case of Mr Ford, it helps that the man himself is the best possible ambassador for his range of men’s products – immaculate and polished without looking painfully preened. But for every Tom Ford there is a Nigel Farage with his new, unfortunately tufty moustache. Perhaps he’s yet to discover Ford’s beard oil.
While I’m loath to suggest that you should begin plucking, teasing and buffing as part of your everyday repertoire, it’s worth exploring a world beyond the soap and shampoo. One of the ever-expanding realms of men’s grooming is unisex fragrances, which particularly appeals– not because I long to smell like Whiff De Rose or Eau de Jasmine Frou-Frou in particular, but because the familiar men’s base notes of wood and spice can feel overly heavy and pungent, particular in summer.
Step forward then the likes of Byredo, founded by Stockholm-native Ben Gorham and focusing on fragrances that evoke mood rather than tied to a gender, such as the juxtaposition of leather and amaretto in Cuir Obscur or the delicate Rose of No Man’s Land (a tribute to the nurses of WWI).
If you’re a fellow who favours stubble or a beard, it’s also no longerde rigueur to allow to it grow wild and unkempt. A whole roster of oils and tinctures have evolved in recent times to keep things glossy and just so; likewise a handsome manicure kit will look suitably masculine on the bathroom shelf instead of veering into pamper parlour territory. Take it from there and, this time next year, the brow’s the limit.
By: Stephen Doig