5 Things of the Moment: February 2013

In less than a month we rejoice at the arrival of Spring, warmer weather and  slightly longer days which melt into the balmy nights and sunny days of summer.

WITH temperatures shyly rising, in-between seasons are tricky times and although we will be releasing our Spring 2011 Manual (this Friday) for now these are our five favorite things of the moment…

The Venerable Home Shirt

The man at rest...

A gentleman’s home is his castle, not his cave and one can neither parade around in a smoking jacket all day nor can one walk around shirtless. This is why we believe that in a man’s wardrobe there is the need for the venerable, comfy, home shirt.

The Henley is the perfect shirt for this; long-sleeve for the cooler mornings (which can be rolled up as the temperature climbs, and, should you need to run a quick errand, a button short can be thrown on top of it at a moment’s notice. Look for a Henley that’s, made of soft cotton and comfortable. Fit is important, you shouldn’t be swimming in it, but neither should it look like you spray-painted it on (it’s not a muscle shirt).

The Safety Razor

The comfortable shave

Even the most ardent gentleman is tempted to go ‘grizzly’ during the cold winter months but Spring is time to welcome a new year, clean-shaven and properly groomed. Paying $24USD for four-pack of triple razors for a $3 razor that looks reversed engineered from a Transformer can be fun, but overall an unnecessary waste of money.

The truth is while three blades may give you a closer shave- they also irritate the skin much more causing razor bumps and ingrown hairs. The solution: an old-fashioned safety razor (the above is from German stalwart Merkur available at http://www.Amazon.com or here): “I swear by it,” says Alejandro Ortiz our Editor-at-Large “first off their incredibly economical and a single razor can easily sustain two weeks of regular shaving and they give a great shave without irritating my skin…”

The razor head itself may cost more than the drug-store plastic wonder, but pays for itselves in razor-savings within a few weeks.

A Boat Club

The life…

If you live by water and you don’t have a boat, then move somewhere else! We know why you don’t of course- the Young Gentlemean has many things to take care of and financial prudence is one of them which is why a Boat club is the best option.

Owning a boat is expensive, nevermoind the cost of buying the boat, but then you have to keep it in a marina, maintain it, insure it and the list (and costs) go on and on. With a boat club all those worries are gone! You only pay a monthly fee ($150-$300 depending on your club) and there will always be a boat waiting for you! No maintenance fees, no docking fees nothing= no headaches= pure pleasure. Enjoy

We like www.freedomboatclub.com but there are many boat clubs out there- shop around!

The iPad

The ultimate past-time…

Sure it’s been around but there is no better gadget on the planet (Barnes and Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle are good, but cannot do everything an iPad can!). As the spring draws near and the nights slightly warm, it’s a good time to squeeze in a couple more books before it’s too late. www.store.apple.com

Cotton Chinos (by Brooks Brother’s)

The standards of Spring…

Chino season is coming, but it’s not too early to begin dusting the mothballs off them. A soft pair of chinos with a comfy Henley is the ideal stay-at-home get-up one which can, with a simply button-down shirt, be immediately dressed up. Live a little though, experiment with colors far beyond khaki and grey. We like Brooks Brother’s new line of soft cotton twill chinos which can be both casual-cool and with a roll or two of the cuff and a polo or a spruced up with a sports coat and an oxford..


5 Things of the Moment: Fall 2011 Preview

Fall is upon us and whether you’re riling off a blistering summer (in some parts of the world) or a milder one (in others) the temperature has irrespectively cooled. The days get shorter, the sun burns cooler and the day’s now-tolerable balminess melts with the evening breeze.

SOON, a mere three to four weeks, the more full onslaught of fall will, er, fall and by the time the snows come down in November we’ll all have our coats and thick sweaters to protect us, but what about now?! In-between seasons is always tricky and in truth, should all clothes just be white in color, there would be no real distinction between the clothing-of-choice in that cusp between winter and spring than the one between summer and fall.

So what’s the difference since one, unless one fancied themselves Cistercian monks, could not live on white (clothes) alone?

In truth the seasonal cusps as discussed above (namely spring-summer and summer-fall) are dominated by smart layering, thin lightweight sweaters, cotton jackets and a return to jeans and long chinos and/or depending how cool the evenings get, light-weight “pin-wale” corduroys. The MAIN DIFFERENCE between, say, the aforementioned lightweight sweater in the beginning of Spring and the one in the beginning of fall is mainly one thing: Color.

Spring colors, not inadvertently, celebrate and echo the incoming seasons explosion of colors often found in nature- this is where ultra-masculine (and impossibly fashionable) Italian men break out their pastel-colored sweaters and yellow or bright blue pants, loose their socks and roll-up their shirt sleeves. Fall colors follow the same lead and browns, ambers, and ivories dominate. See below for an example:

{The chap on the left is wearing a spring sweater- note light, pastel colors of spring flowers.
The chap on the right, on the other hand, is wearing fall colors and hence a fall sweater…}
Needless to say a man’s style must be timeless and, at the risk of sounding contrived, classic. So it is why we here at TGG seldom play the “This season’s must have sweater…” game: it’s just stupid. We do this, risking the fact that we will often sound repetitive, as year after year, for the most part, save for particular idiosyncrasies of waning fashion-trends, we will always recommend that cable-cashmere sweater (for the Fall) or the washed red chinos (for the Spring and Summer). The men’s fashion cycle is a slow one, and things certainly come in and out of fashion (said red pants are now cropped shorter, fitter and flat-fronted; who’s not to say in then years the norm doesn’t sing back to baggy and pleated?).

In the interest of not digressing (or boring ye…) we shall continue onward with what we are calling our “Fall Preview”: 5 things to keep an eye out for this fall’s line-up. All of these items will fit-in today’s weather as it should November’s (layering may be necessary)

{Remember to leave us comments if you have your own suggestions on our comments page!}




The Cord...

Many men fell queasy at the though of corduroy; it get’s a bad rap, especially in the US where it is mostly identified with disgruntled teenagers lugging skateboards heavy with angst. What’s more corduroys are not very flattering on individuals of shall we say, “advanced girth,” pair that with the propensity of larger waist-sizes in America’s men. However, as is evident by the myriad-shaped middle-aged men proudly donning corduroys in the fall/winter from Florence to Berlin it is no doubt the go-to trousers for men during this time. The “lines” and ridges running down corduroy are called ‘wales’ and the rule of thumb (ROT alert!) is the thicker the man (i.e. girth, legs, thighs etc) the thinner the wale should be. A thin, lanky man can afford a thicker wale.

                                                                                              {Non-frumpy cords…}

For the summer-fall-cusp try thin wale, light-weight corduroys in colors that are not too dark (and therefore won’t clash with the still live-green hanging on to trees) but won’t seem out of place: colors such as “blue smoke”, light khakhi, and light gray. Our favorite collection of cords this season are coming from Bonobos and range from 80USD to 105USD. Curduroys are trousers and should use the same “fit” guidelines as any other pair of pants!


Summer-into-Fall Sweater

Our editor-in-chief once noted that on his first trip to Verona Italy he noticed

“… all these men, of all age-types, walking around with light, almost see-through, feather-soft sweaters and cardigans thrown on top of their shoulders and back; the sweater sleeves sometimes tied in front of their chests, others simply let the sleeves hang … it was 90F and hot so I was perplexed as to why these men were carrying around sweaters on their backs!? Of course, they knew something I didn’t’—once 6:30PM came around, the sky polarized to a deep shade of purple with pink highlights and the air picked up a pronounced chill. And there I was, sitting at Trattoria Giovanni, overlooking the magnificently illuminated ancient Roman arena that is so ubiquitous with this city, and frankly, freezing my ass off. All around me, the men of Verona sat, carefree, shirt-sleeves once rolled-up the elbow now carefully buttoned at the wrist, confident in the warmth of their sweaters and cardigans…”

Nuff said… so if you think carrying on your back is a bit foppish, no worries, keep it in the car, carry it in your hands or, heaven forbid, stuff it into your rugged man-bag. Keep sweaters and cardigans fit, nothing’s worse than a pillowy fit on a cardigan, it can, beware, add twenty pounds to the wearer. Fall colors, stay awat from pastels…(except for in the spring).

A baggy and ill-fitting cardigan...

Some of our favorites:

–      Hermes Men (jump here)

–       Ralph Lauren (jump here)

–       Billy Reid (jump here)


Fig.1- The Cusp Shoe

Somehwere between the careless days of sockless loafer trotting and the pent-up boots so necessary in winter lies the something that’s a bit less constricting and more comfy: enter the “Fall Shoe”

The fall shoe is not necessarily tall (indeed should not be taller than a chukkah- below) but should not slope down the sides of your feet the way a driver or moc does (less the coldness of early spring rains or late fall snow dampen your socks). And so, in this way, the “Early Fall Shoe” is more of an idea than a specific shoe in general.

Fall Chukkah

The lovely shoe below the heading (fig 1) is a wonderful balance of something that’s sleek and wearable, with a hint of suede (recalling suede-safe, dry days of summer) yet far above the reach of damaging water/snow.

Indeed this is the time to polish and store away the suede drivers and mocs, the boat shoes (unless one is taking out the boat), and the sandals until next spring. There’s another month or so of wearing darker-ish and high-sided loafers before they go away for the next couple of months. In it’s place comes out the bluchers, oxfords, chukkahs,  monkstraps and, of course, boots.

Some of our favorite stops for shoes:

–       Leffot (jump here)

–       Billy Reid (jump here)

–       Cole Rood & Haan’s oxford collection (jump here)


Fall-ish Cotton Jacket

Sweaters are not everyone’s game (lest the gentleman mess up his hair taking it off should it get a bit warm) and cardigans area dicey proposition unless the proportions of both the wearer and the cardigan are in perfect sync. So what then?

A light jacket, made out of something more substantial than nylon for the when the wind picks up, is necessary. In the British tradition, hands-on staples like tweed sports jackets and waxed-cotton jackets are de rigeur. Old (British) standbys like Huntsmen, Barbour, and Cording.

Field Jacket


Rule of thumb: Cotton wax, although technically “light-weight” can be a bit stifling and ‘feels’ wet when very cold; although if you opt for a lined version it adds a bit more comfort. Also, look for a collar of a different material (corduroy, flannel, fleece, cotton etc…) that’s not waxed: otherwise your check will constantly press onto cold hard wax: not cool.

Layering a cotton safari jacket in cotton or denim khaki, subsequently layered with a hoodie or sweater is also a perfect.


men's colognes

After Summer Smellings

So you listened to us and relished in crisp green citrus fragrances, marine and aquatic themed colognes and relished in their unobtrusive light. During the days which can still peak at the mid-70’sF a strong upshot of Oud (a fragrant wood), Sandalwood, or heavy Musk can be overwhelming. Likewise too much other ‘stuff’ like vetivers, lavenders, etc can seem out of sync with the season. So… our ROT (Rule of thumb) for summer-fall cusp fragra

nces are the such:

  • Dark Citrus Tones: not so much lime and lemon, but more so orange blossom (neroli), bergamot, andcandied orange peel (without the sweetness)
    • Our pick: “Bergamot” by The Different Company (read more about it and buy it here)
  • Amber: What does amber smell like? Who the hell really knows- it’s more of an olfactory nod to the color amber. The best explanation comes to us from a forum-user at www.basenotes.com which states that the smell hitherto described as Amber is synonymous with a “…resinous scent that can produce a faint prickle at the back of the nose…” either way you look at it, it’s abstract as hell… just go with it…
    • Our Pick:  “Ambra” by Mazzolari (read more about it and buy it here)
  • Dried leaves/grasses: Ok here we’re talking about things like vetiver, again, sure, but vetiver and/or patchouli us a typical summer scent, however, when combined with elements of the above (ambers, bergamot, moss etc…) the results can be outstanding:
    • Our Pick: “Real Patchouly” by Bois 1920 (read more about it and buy it here)
  • Spices: This is dangerous, men usually overkill this element and end-up either smelling like the dessert-side of a Moroccan soukh  or something akin to pumpkin pie and Christmas. Spice: keep it light while still relying on old standbys like cinnamon (acacia), coumarin, burnt vanilla, coriander, etc.
    • Our Pick: “Honour Man” by Amouage (read more about it and buy it here)

Can you do lighter tones of woods and oudhs and musks: sure. But why break your neck trying to find light and wispy renditions of these when you can relish in the real thing come December?

If you can think of flavors and smells as colors stick to fragrances with combinations of dark greens (moss and fern), light browns (spice and amber) and  auburn oranges (bergamot).

Another perfect smell? Fig:

Philosykos  Eau de Toilette by  Diptyque

Philosykos Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

{From Luckyscent.com: One of the best fig scents ever made and one of our favorite scents of all time. Philosykos is an ode to the fig groves of Greece. Created by Olivia Giacobetti, this is a very green fig – a fig on the verge of being ripe. The opening is sharp with the tart freshness of the leaves, and then the fig itself comes into play – sweet enough to tantalize, but not overwhelm. The glossy green leaves and succulent fruit intertwine with a dry wood note and a hint of rich earth. You get the sense not only of the whole tree, but the whole grove – the wood, the earth, the sky, the Mediterranean sun coaxing the sweetness of the fruit along as it ripens. Many a superlative has been used to describe this fragrance over the years and it deserves every one. Outstanding.}

5 Things of the Moment: Smells like Winter 2011

Is it too late to go into what to wear this winter? Of course not- especially with how crazy the weather’s been, it seems that winter, will be here for a while!

So what to wear? In our previous post we touched on the ins and outs of winter scents here, our Editor-At-Large, Alejandro Ortiz, talks about his favorite 5 fragrances for the season:


by: Alejandro Ortiz, Editor-at-Large

THERE are some absolutely astonishing men’s fragrances which have come my way, and as always, it’s the craftsmen, the true perfumers, outside the reigns of big multinationals which just want to create the season’s moneymaker, which are truly crafting great stuff:

[Samples were provided/sourced by/from Lucky Scent and Aedes de Venustas]


Memoir Man by Amouage

An immediate hit on the nose of something both mysterious and familiar- an Orange Julius tone of creamy bergamot whose mild powderiness unfurls to reveal a wooden core of mild-sandalwood tamed by something “darker.” The fragrance continues to evolve as it settles into base notes of musk, myrrh, and nuanced fragrances that take me to a Sufi temple somewhere in ancient Samarkand.

From Aedes de Venustas:

Heart- and basenotes that include Frankincense, Lavender, Oakmoss, Leather and Tobacco provide a resonant backdrop for beguiling top notes of Absinth, Wormwood and Basil.



Feuilles de Tabac by Harris Miller

When most people, men especially, see “Tobacco” in cologne they assume that it will smell like a well-aged Cohiba but what most don’t know is that the tobacco plant’s flowers are highly fragrant. Noctania Azteca intensely so… I keep a plant in my garden to keep the pests away from my vegetables and in the evenings, when the flower decides to express itself, it does so intently as to make anyone who’s near slightly dizzy due to its pungency.

This cologne catches just a glimpse of that: Top notes of sweet tobacco (flower) and Javanese cloves. Intense and beautiful- it stays singing a high note for a while. Soon it’s spicy core begins to surface with an array of Christmas spices (mace, ginger, allspice). This may be more apt to wear by a fire or a holiday party. Base notes of tonka beans, cinnamon, and cloves.

From Lucky Scent: (buy it here):

Cuban cascarilla oil, pimento berries, pine needles, sage, tobacco, tonka bean, Malay patchouli



Sartorial by Penhaligon’s

Top note-sharp!- of licorice, fennel and gin. This kindly gives way, as the frgrance ‘turns the page’ into slightly greener notes, something reminiscent of an apothecary and greenhouse—this mismatch of smells bgins to, after a minute or two settle into something a but more focused… sensual yet masculine. A slight smokiness that wafts the room with mild scents of tobacco, flowers (aldehydes) and a mix of botanicals which recalls a gin-based-tonic and therefore: juniper, coriander, citrus peel, powdered ginger and nutmeg. BUT do’s let this hyperbole mask the fact that this is a taut and tight-lipped (and very English) scent. IT is very nice actually… I would wear this to the opera, a social benefit, or something of the sort as it does scream old-world sophistication.

As the quintessential English dandy and couturier to the Queen Hardy Amies once said: “A man should look as if he bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, then forgot about them.” That’s Sartorial: tough and smooth, playful and elegant, impeccably tailored and as easy to wear as a bespoke suit.


From Luckyscent.com: (buy it here):

Aldehydes, ozonic effect, metallic effect, violet leaf, neroli, cardamom, black pepper, fresh ginger, beeswax, cyclamen, linden blossom, lavender, leather, gurjum wood, patchouli, myrrh, cedar wood, tonka bean, oakmoss, white musk, honey effect, old wood effect, vanilla, amber



Oud 27 by Le Labo

A masterpiece of Oriental this fragrance is a breathable tale of Thousand and One Nights… amazing. Oudh, a fungal growth on old/fallen wood, produces an aroma so mesmerizing as to make one forget where they’re standing. It is woody all at once with notes of frankincense incense; cedar and spice which makes me think this is what the temples of Ancient Egypt smelled like.

This is the fragrance that will get someone to cuddle up to your neck to try and decipher the siren’s song emanating from it.

From the guys at Le Labo (buy it there):

As always, don’t expect just pure Agarwood in this perfume. It’s even more. It’s a lot of Agarwood, Cedar Atlas, Incense, Patchouli, Black Pepper, Safran, and Gaiac, just to mention the most prominent ingredients (there are 20 more…). Oud 27 is oriental in the purest form, overwhelming and disturbing in its signature and power. Think Genghis Khan meets Shah Jahan for tea with Scheherazade. Or even less politically correct, it’s 1001 Arabian Nights distilled into 27 intense ones. You will enjoy it.


My personal favorite:


Jasmin et Cigarettes by Etat Libre d’Orange

“Long Live Perfume, perfume is dead” Is Etat Libre’s motto which has declared its independence from the “normal universe of classic perfumery…” These guys are out of their minds and gentlemen everywhere should be happy for that!

I was intrigued by this fragrance when I heard about it, especially because the company that makes it: Etat Libre d’Orange, have some crazy-arsed perfumes for men such as “Fat Electrician” and “Don’t Get me Wrong Baby I don’t Swallow…” But the master behind their scents is Antoine Maisondieu who has created other highly regarded perfumes for  Comme des Garcons (Hinoki, Stephen Jones and Patchouli) as well as Van Cleef & Arpels (Muguet Blanc) as well as a host of others…

Jasmin et Cigarettes captivates you with a mild and absolutely sexy nuance of jasmin peeking through a captivating body of tobacco flowers, hay, oriental spices, woods and then settles into a beautiful muskiness tamed by dried Turkish apricot. My first reaction when I smelled this for the first time was “Holy shit…” I will be wearing this for years…


From the loons at Etat Libre (www.etatlibredorange.com)

It is the era of Harcourt Studios when Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich magnetised men with a Hollywood look in the eye, smoking a cigarette in a smoky black and white ambiance. Jasmin et Cigarette is also the slightly jasminy smell of a woman’s skin when she exposes her freshness to the dark seduction of night. A hazy atmosphere. The reminder of a fantasy, of an indelible trail she leaves on a dress at the break of day or in the intimate memory of the man who made love to her. It is elegance seen by Gainsbourg, the woman from the 80’s who smokes Gitane cigarettes and wears jeans and who, with astounding naturalness, claims her sensuality as a right. Transparency in sophistication, just a trace of jasmine mingled to the so far neglected smell of a cigarette. Jasmin et Cigarette is the twilight zone, the banned, addiction. Nicotine woman or heroine, she is an icon, the woman one longs for.

Composition: Jasmine asbolute, tobacco notes, apricot, tonka beans, curcuma, cedar, amber, musc…

(buy it here)


– Wear these with confidence and enjoy!

5 Things of the Moment: 2011 Resolutions

Five Resolutions for the New Year

The Resolute Man (from The Sartorialist Blog)

Why Five? We don’t know, we just like that number…

SO… Gentleman of the world, repeat after us: “I will…”

1) …buy at least one great pair of shoes:

Believe it or not, buying a pair of GREAT (and yes, expensive) pair of shoes a year, for three or four years, will save you lots of money in the long-run. Polish them regularly, roate usage over the course of a week, don’t jump into the pool with them and they will last you a life time! Start with lace-ups first: brown or black, keeping in mind brown (not an exotic type of brown) is the most versatile as it can be worn with just about anything, including a grey suit or a nice pair of jeans.

The Basic Shoe (Leffot)

  • We like: Tod’s, Peal & Co. (Brook’s Brothers), Leffot and Cole Rood & Haan

[check out Leffot for some of the best shoes…  here]

2)  … acquire one well tailored sports-jacket or suit:

The difference between a skillfully constructed jacket and the full suit is often 100USD-200USD so our logic says, spring up the extra couple bucks for the whole thing—but not just any suit; here we are exclusively talking about what will be the most versatile suit you ever buy: a navy suit. Why navy? Navy suits are handsome, can be work with anything from suede loafers and a grey polo underneath (for a casual feel) to a more formal configuration with a  crisp oxford shirt and chocolate-brown lace-ups and just about any tie you throw at it. Better yet, should you be on business for a day or two it’s the only suit you need to take. The jacket can be worn on its own with grey trousers or, for a night out on the town, jeans and a pair of boots.

The Navy Suit (Ralph Lauren)

What to look for:

  • Expensive DOES NOT usually mean better: but in the world of shoes and suits, those without flashy logos, it usually does- get ready to pay well over $800USD for one. (OR check out Brooks Brother’s which still has the industry’s best off-peg suits… for a trim look  try the Milano fit. J.Crew also has Loro Piana wool suits in their Ludlow line). Look for drape. Drape is the way the fabric hangs on your body- this is truly the biggest difference between a ‘good’ suit, and a ‘great’ one.
  • One or two buttons. Unless you’re in the American NBA player or are an African dictator, four to five buttons is never necessary… two are just enough as one (the bottom) remains unbuttoned. Which is why, should it have one button, we’d recommend it even more.
  • Wide face? Peak lapel. Skinny and long-ish face? Notch lapel. Or so goes the wisdom. Shawl collars are for smoking jackets and velvet frocks.
  • Construction: live in the tropics? The Carribean, Miami, Singapore, or the Philipiines? Stick to light cottons or twills and, if you can find it, a deconstructed jacket (i.e. one that is not lined and therefore ‘cooler’. Everywhere else try a multi-seasonal wool or wool blend. Scrunch it up in your hands; the fabric shoucl bounce back and not leave wrinkiles. If it does wrinkle, it’s cheap… keep walking.
  • Fit. TRUE FIT gentlemen is not waollowing in a jacket. The shouldders should be snug but not tight. Armholes high; cuff should not cover your hand and the jackets buttons shoulc cinch slightly at the waist. A great suit it supposed to give you a better figure (that’s silhouette in girl-speak) than you actually have… you’re not supposed to make the suit look worse than the shape it actually is. AND don’t cuff your pants…

Navy Suit! We like:

The Navy Suit revisited...


  • International: Ralph Lauren Black or Purple Label, Brooks Brothers, Zegna (***), Kitton, Canali and Loro Piana.
  • US: Billy Reid, Freeman’s Sporting Goods, Tomas Maier (trust us…) and by extension Bottega Veneta, and Tom Ford (should you want to part with part of your kids inheritance…)-(they are unforgettable suits however).
  • For the ‘fuller’ man: Brook’s Brother, J.Press (US only), Ralph Lauren, and Paul Stuart.
  • For the ‘rakish’ man: John Varvatos, Thom Brown… and by extension Black Fleece (Thom Brown for Brooks Brothers), and Phineas Cole (Paul Stuart).

3) … not smell like every other guy I  know:

Due to the passion of some (ahem) this blog, at times, has seemed as more of a fragrance blog than anything else.  A recent piece on the New York Times confessed that mos men’s sale of Colognes were in the guise of Bleu (Chanel) and Polo’s multi-colored and numbered creations: both rehashes of a much more refined Cool Water and a mis-match of old (boring) standards respectively. Live a little- smell different! Men are afraid of buying cologne, why, we don’t know… perhaps it’s because a man walking into a store and having something sprayed on him and then carefully smelling it conjures  a trifecta of paranoias of manlihood, vanity and foppishness that makes most men queasy. Fine we get it. If that’s the case try our friends at Luckyscent (www.luckyscent.com) – you can search for your next fragrance by what you currently wear or by components such as “citrus”, “fresh” or “aqua”. Find a couple you like, order small samples at $3.00 each and try them in the privacy of your own man-space- try each on for a day or two (on your skin, this is important) and find the one you like! If you happen to be in New York check out Aedes de Venustas (www.venustas.com) on 9th and Christopher Street.

We like: Memoir Man by Amouage, Feuilles de Tabac by Miller Harris (fantastic!) and Fiquier by Heeley (all available at Lucky Scent).

The scent for the Season...

For more “commercial” fragrances a few stand-out. Most large department stores both in the US and Internationally carry colognes from Creed and Santa Maria Novella… all worth trying as both houses make great stuff. The quintessential men’s cologne? Chanel’s Pour Monsieur Eau de Parfum (NOT the Eau de Toilette, not the Eau Concentree but the Eau de Parfum… trust us!).

The Archetype...

4) …Discover great champagne:

There’s seems to be something inherently effete about Champagne- perhaps it’s the bubbles or the endless tirade of images of scantily-clad women (and androgynous guys) drinking the stuff, but champagne has been relegated to the realm of feminine products. Rest assured there is nothing “precious” about drinking champagne; one of champagne’s biggest champions was Winston-Churchill and who’s going to argue that the boozy womanizer was not masculine? Churchill’s passion for Champagne was such than in one of his rallying speeches to English forces in World War II proclaimed “…remember Gentlemen, we do not do this only for France, but for Champagne!”

The Man

The problem is that many champagne houses are now owned by fashion houses, the very same peddling women overpriced bags, shoes and accessories (not to mention make-up). Case-in-point: Louis Vuitton, whose parent company, Louis-Vuitton-Moet Hennessey (LVMH) owns Chanel, DKNY, Dior, Pucci, Marc Jacobs, Aqua di Parma, Sephora, along with Chateau Cheval Blanc, Chateau d’Yquem, Hennessy Cognac, Champagne Krug, Moet-et-Chandon and Dom Perignon… to name a few of course. What this ultimately creates is Champagne being sold as a fashion accessory, the next “it bag” as opposed to what it really is: a wine. Champagne, the wine, is first and foremost a wine, one that has bubbles. It’s effervescence is at the same time both incidental and part of its magic. The wine, can only come from the hilly and remote region of Champagne in France, hence its namesake. This region, dotted with dozens of funny-sounding villages, produces a handful of wonderful and fabulous wine every gentleman should know and keep in his fridge, ready to enjoy and either celebrate a special occasion or make any occasion special.

The Bubbly... Cuvee Louis by Tarlant

What we like:

  • “Casual Bubbly”: Billecart-Salon Brut, Tarlant Zero, Bollinger, Pierre-Peters, Jaquesson, Roederer and Delamotte.
  • “Champagne for Romance”: Billecart Brut Rose
  • “Serious Celebratory Effervescence”: Krug Grande Cuvee, Dom Perignon Oenotheque Series 1979, Krug Clos de Mesnil 1990, Salon 1995, Billecart-Salmon Nicolas Francois 1988 or Vilmart et Cie “Cuvee Creation” 1997 (trust us…)

oh, and PS: ditch the flute and ask for a white wine glass instead…it’s wine, not a cocktail.

5)… learn to cook one new dish…

[From our friends at MAN-CAN-COOK]

Any woman will tell you a sexy man is one who can cook… and while the way to a man’s heart may be his stomach the kind of vivacious women worth holding onto have the very same gastronomic detour to their hearts.

Want to try something great? We like:

Pasta all’amatriciana

The indispensable dish...

(adapted / inspired by “Hosteria Oswaldo” in Rome)


  • 1 x 1lb can of “San Marzano” Tomatoes (ask the clerk…)
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1Tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 3 strips of bacon (fatty bacon), chopped (for authenticity’s sake one should use pancetta)
  • 2 Tablespoons of cream
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pecorino-Romano cheese
  • ¼ lb / 100gr. Dry Spaghetti or Spaghetti Rigatti (TGG reccomends Barilla)


  • 1 small to medium sauce-pan
  • 1 large pot for boiling
  • 1 blender (or food mill should you be inclined)
  • cheese grater
  • knife

The method:

  • Small saucepan: with of olive oil on medium heat stir around the chopped shallot of and garlic until soft (but not brown).  Add the Red pepper flakes.
  • Add tomatoes and crush them with a spoon; and let the sauce sit until it bubbles a couple times. Turn on low—let it simmer away (on low heat) for 15 minutes.
  • Place in blender and liquefy. Clean the pot and put it back on the heat.
  • Now, on medium heat, add another tablespoon of olive oil and the bacon. Cook the bacon a bit but not to a crisp. Add the puree of tomato, the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. On low heat bring it back to a simmer for 5 minutes and then turn it off!
  • Fill big pot with water, bring it to a boil, and add enough salt until it tastes like seawater. Follow the packaged instructions for an al-dente pasta (usually 7 minutes).
  • Once done, drain the pasta (reserve 1 cup of the liquid); and put hot pasta in a bowl. Add six or so tablespoons of the hot tomato sauce with bacon and two tablespoons of grated cheese. Toss.
  • Serve in two bowls and spoon excess toss from the bowl on top and grate some cheese over the two portion.
  • You’re done… enjoy!
  • Rosso di Montalcino or a Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, while not local, are you’re best bets…

5 Things of the Moment: Summer Flash-Forward

5 things to try this summer:

1- Madras:

The Look

Yes we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: try some Madras. Check out our post here about madras do’s and don’t but remember, start small—once you see how comfy and lightweight this material is it’ll become a favorite.

2- Deep-Tissue Massage:

The Spot

A massage helps circulation as well as soothes the body; plus it’s relaxing as hell. Forget the happy ending and with it seedy massage parlors; for the best spa/massage experience head to hotels. While recommending up-market hotels for spa may seem a bit contrived very few other places (independents especially) have the economies of scale, expertise,  not to mention supply-chains to be able to do the stuff right, and, if we may make yet another sweeping reference; the Asian hotels do it best: Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton, The Standard, The Penninsula, The Four Seasons, GHM Hotels.

Take heed; most men are uncofortable with massages for avarious reasons; they think it’s too feminine (it’s not…); they don’t like people touching them (these are trained pro’s); or are afraid of arousal (which does happen, but… alas, these are trained pros- just apologize earnestly they’ll work, ahem, around the problem).

Here are some basic “spa” etiquette points. And although it goes without saying; “happy endings” are usually NOT in a spas repertoire of services.

3- The Aperitif: Aperol Spritzer

The Drink

Sounds dumb, but there’s nothing like a late-afternoon drink sometime between the beach and dinner. An aperitif is all about relaxing and taking it all in: the Parisians and Romans are masters at this. So, forget the beer, never mind the champagne and grab a classic Gin Fizz (gin, soda water, a squeeze of lemon/lime juice and a splash of sugar syrup or agave nectar) or something far more novel; an Aperol spritzer: glass, ice, a shot of Aperol liqueur (bitter orange flavor without the overbearing-ness of say Campari) soda water and an orange slice, forgo the umbrella.

4- Summer Wine:

The Wine

Forget the Sauvignon Blanc or (gasp) Pinot Girgio; while real men may wear Madras and fret over fragrance; they certainly do not order a Pinot Grigio with their dignity in tact (you do buy at home for wifey…). So here are a few things to try, order, and enjoy by a body of water, near sand, or on a hot day:

  1. Albarino (tried, tested, and true)
  2. Dry Rose (Provence Rose…)
  3. Anything from Alto Adige (Italy; north-east) that comes in white.
  4. Crisp Assyrtiko from Greece
  5. Vinho Verde from Portugal (if you’re paying more than 5USD for it forget it)
  6. Dry Riesling (i.e. not the sweet stuff in a blue bottle…)

5- Disconnect:

The Solution

Let go, leave the phone at home, turn off the computer, forget all about connectivity and try and make-belive like you live in a world without Facebook, tweeting, email, skype or IM. F$*k it all—even if its just one day a week; and while your at it; sit back in your cool madras shirt, sip on an aperol or dry rose and chill out while you contemplate a much needed massage and spend time with those you love. Cheers…

5 things of the moment: February 2010

1) Rain-proof Jacket

The Waxed Jacket: from Barbour

Why: February through April is, in most places, are cold, rainy and damp. A Gent needs to stay, not just warm, but dry. Enter wonders like the trench coat and others jackets designed to keep a man from the effects of the elements. A Trench coat is great, but sometimes a man needs something a bit more rugged, a bit more rumble-tumble and unique like waxed canvas and water-proof poplin.

(Ps- there is only one TRUE waxed jacket, and that’s the ones made by Barbour. We don’t always advocate certain brands but there are certain truisms out in the world: Polo Shirt= Lacoste; Button-down oxford= Brooks Brothers; Denim= Levi’s; Waxed jacket= Barbour. Barbour is timeless and classic- durable and will be yours all your life.)

2) Winter Grissly Boots by Quoddy |  TGG ENDORSED

The Handcrafted Boot by Quoddy

Why: They’re comfy. Simple. They’re made for you i.e. you tell them how you want it, where and when- the width, the color, the length. Whether in the rugged dessert, on a cold hike, or in the urban jungle wearing a Quoddy is like walking on air… oh and they weigh half of what a chunky Red Wing will.

3) Rhone Reds

Reds that'll put hair on your... er... The Rhone Reds

Why: Because it’s the liquid equivalent of the Quoddy but or the aforementioned dry coat. It’s the drinkable Tabarome, it’s the ultimately masculine (read= rugged) red. From the north Syrah-rich reds are spicy, meaty and ripping with wisps of dry cherry, bacon fat and white pepper.

Our Pics for Northern Reds:

  • Domaine du Gaillard (anything…)
  • Domaine Auguste Clape
  • Domaine Ogier
  • Rene Rostaing
  • Domaine de la Janasse

The more diverse Southern Rhone provides wines with a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mouvedre. The latter offers up a mix of candied blood orange peels, violets, cherries, tomato and anything you can throw lamb at.

Our Pics for Southern Reds:

  • Domaine Brunet / Chateauneuf-du-Pape (CdP)
  • Chateau de Beaucastel (CdP)
  • Chateau la Nerthe (CdP)
  • Domaine St. Cosme (Gigondas)
  • Domaine de Santa Duc (Gigondas)

4) Laguiole Knives

The Steak Knife

Why: Because God made this possible. There are knives and then there Laguioles; this region in the Midi-Pyrenees region is better known for its hand-crafted knives topped with an iconic fly denoting it as the real deal. There are a lot of poorly made Laguioles, so make sure what you’re getting is a real quality produce- finishes range from stainless steel to olive wood. Form and function.

5) Fire (The Civilized kind by Radius Home)

The Fire

Why: Where did we say it was cold? I believe we said “cold and wet” and so therefore, when you come in from the elements, take off them boots and jacket, the Gentleman needs to curl in front of a fire; and what’s more primal male than that? We don’t mean a pile of logs or a true-to-form fireplace, we’re in 2010 and fireplaces have come full circle and can be as beautiful as a work of art…

5 things of the moment: To Celebrate the arrival of 2010

The Bubbly

1- Champagne (of course): Cuvee Louis by Champagne Tarlant

Champagne is not just bubbly, and before the Young Gentlemen succumbs to the marketing exploits of large champagne houses and their erstwhile commercial bubbly we at TGG encourage him to seek out a wine of true integrity:

…Cuvee Louis draws you into its profoundly truthful universe. Being cask fermented, it has a complex structure and its unique bouquet allies power and richness, balance and generosity.

From Tarlant’s Website

Harvest: 1998 + 1997-1996

Grapes: 50% Chardonnay 50% Pinot Noir

Terroirs: Vineyard “Les Crayons” in Oeuilly (Marne valley). Chalk. 60-yrs old vines.

Vinification: Vinification in 4-wine oak barrels. No malolactic fermentation. Barrel fermentation with the lees regularly stirred back into the wine. Remains in barrels until May.

Bottling: May 1999

Disgorging: See date on rear label. Manual.

Dosage: 3 g/L – Extra-Brut

To the eye, golden yellow robe, deeper hints, finely crystalline mousse.

Nose: Generous and powerful, with woody, appetising hints (of dried fruit, vanilla, grilled).

Mouth: Superb, full, round and complex. Palate sweetly honeyed. A broad, mature and vinous wine, with good cellaring potential.

Food & Wine: An exceptional champagne for rare and special moments, for Haute Cuisine. The Cuvee Louis is the champagne par excellence to accompany your moments of contemplation.

2- Caviar from Caviarteria

The Goods

We have always maintained the life’s pleasures are simple (not necessarily cheap) and nothing celebrates the New Year with more flair than fabulous Caviar. What to serve it with is up to you (hint: the Champagne above); but latkes, small blinis, or boiled potatoes are traditional. If anything, just get yourself a spoon and enjoy.

3- Velvet Slippers from Berk Cashmere London

The Slip

There is something contrarian and endlessly indulgent as an silk-lined pair of velvet slippers; worn outside of the home or in the absence of a tuxedo, velvet slippers do say you don’t take yourself too serious but do mind the details, moreover the decadent ones (if the soiree the Gentleman will be attending is rowdy, messy or outdoors, do forgo the slippers…)

4- A Good Camera: Canon PowerShot SX 120 IS

The Shot

Sure TGG likes the Leica Hermes Edition (see here) but to quote our founder’s words “It’s not always about the most expensive…” at times substance is just that: functionality with a bit of form. The Powershot SX120 delivers just that; with 100 megapixels and a powerful zoom, it takes fabulous pictures, no matter where and when. Moreover it is sleek and small-ish. The Young Gentlmen does not want to carry around a behemoth of a cameral he is not Annie Lebowitz and he is smart enough to recognize that. He also does not want to pullout a monstrosity that shouts to the rest of the room that he spent several thousands on camera equipment (that is unbecoming). Instead he is understated and practical; trust us—this camera is good. (Click here for specs).

5- A Resolution

This one is free as the Gentleman may imagine but no less important. A New Year’s resolution is as much of a tradition as Champagne and caviar. Should the Gentleman want to loose weight, be a better person or take up Cigars now is the time to make that decisions and strive for it.

Happy New Year from the Young Gentlemen’s Guide

5 Things of the Moment: For December 2009

The Scent

Home Fragrance: “Nazareth” by Cire Trudon (limited edition candle):
A Gentlemen’s room must be welcoming, cozy but masculine. His room, his couch, his choice of pictures and must speak of his sophistication. A Young Gentlemen’s domicile that has a slight odor reeks of sophomore unsophistication and little couth. It is therefore important that a Gentleman’s chambers always exude the very same elegance he does when he walks into a room.

It should be said, right here and now, that an aerosol can of fragrance is NOT the answer. There is nothing remotely elegant about a Gentleman spraying down his room down as though it was a Wal-Mart bathroom. For this there are scented candles. Alas, not all scented candles are created equal. While there may be nothing wrong with an inexpensive scented candle (the type that comes in ‘vanilla’ or ‘spring’ scents) a bit more effort can yield much more pleasurable results. Most commercial scents are a combination of chemicals, additives a Gentleman and his guests will breathe in—theses chemicals can be quite harsh and are not good for ones health. YGG recommends that the Gentlemen seek out scented candles which eschew the use of such artificial additives and rely on natural ingredients; these can be found in a variety of places, from upscale department stores to specialty retailers such as Crate & Barrel as well as your favorite perfumer (www.aedes.com).

From Aedas de Venusta on the Nazareth Candle:

Under the guiding star, a fire dances in the silent night with the scent of clove, cinnamon and orange. Travelling from afar, a pinch of olibanum from the Orient is offered to the bronzed ashes of the incense burners.

In Asia, look for similar products in Takashimaya and Tang’s.

    The Boots by Gordon Rush

    A Gentleman’s circumstances change and at times so does the terrain and he may find himself in a place or situation where a nice loafer just won’t do. Should it be the urban jungle, or the real one (Safari in Rajasthan) the boots may differ, but nevertheless they should compliment the man’s sense of style.

    For the Rajasthan safari

    The City Boot by Paul Stuart

    For a city walk on a winter day

    The Tudor Boot by E. Vogel
    The Flask

    A Flask:
    Many a winter walk through town, or simply to tend to some winter vegetables, can be made more tolerable with ones gums moistened with a rare malt or premium brandy. TGG DOES NOT condone a Gentleman drinks while he is driving (that would not be Gentleman-ly, after all) but should he not be behind the wheel a small sip of Cognac may take off the chill of a cold winter. While you are at it, fill it with…

      The Drink

      Glenfiddich 21 year old aged in Rum Casks
      To the Modern Gentlemen a blend just won’t do and a neophyte Scotch such as a 10 year old will not deliver the heft necessary for the chill of a cold day. For Glenfiddich’s nuanced sweetness the Rum casks only add more layers of subtle magic.

        The Modern Tweed Jacket

        A Tweed Jacket
        In winter few items of a Gentleman’s wardrobe can comfort as much as a wonderful tweed jacket. All tweeds are not equal, and many a harsh, grainy and itchy tweed have turned people off this wonderful fabric, thus a soft silky tweed (there is such a thing) is highly recommended. It is worth paying a little extra for good tweed, as it will easily mold to the Gentleman’s body as well as adds a soothing softness whenever he should touch it. Some guidelines exist:

        • Type of Tweed: the weight of a tweed entirely depends on where a Gentleman will use his tweed: in the country with little to no heating; heavy, Harris Tweed, is the best. However, if he will be using it purely for sartorial splendor, and modest warmth while in a Modern urban environment, then a light tweed is better suited.
          The Tweed Suit

          • Cut: For the Modern/Young Gentleman, the cut of a particular jacket, slacks, or shirt is of the utmost importance. A “sack” cut, with no defined waist is not very complimentary should the Gentleman in question be slim. Whatever the cases do remember that the middle button must have some slight resistance, if it is loose then the jacket is too big. Ditto for the shoulders, the seam of the arms should lay on the edge of one’s shoulders, never beyond.  Moreover, tweed may seem a bit “old fashioned” a nice, Modern and slim cut will ensure the Modern Gentleman looks Modern and relevant. TGG TIP: The best tweeds come from old-fashioned haberdasheries which stock a sack or English cut suit (Huntsman,UK; J.Press, NYC) and so a Gentleman needs to be creative; he should invest in a size smaller than what he is and have it slightly taken in and tapered by his tailor.
          The Olive J.Press Tweed Sack Suit
          The Classic J.Press Tweed Sack Suit (bow-tie not compulsory)

          • Color: tweed can range from blue to black and everything in between. For the Gentleman who is about to invest in a new tweed jacket TGG recommends browns; as it is tweed’s most popular color. Moreover it is the perfect day jackets in cold weather and looks just as good with jeans as it does with slacks.  Grey tweed, whether in a slim-cut jacket or as a top-coat is luxurious and wonderful, but definitely an addition to the first, brown or olive colored piece—ditto  for renditions in blue herringbone or other such exotic colors and patterns.
          Tweed Technicolor

          • Finish: The choice is ample for tweed, whether glen-plain, herringbone, houndsooth or otherwise, there is a plethora of choices. Initially the Young Gentleman is encouraged to be conservative perhaps opt for a brown herringbone jacket that is a solid color. A slight plaid in the background, whether blue or otherwise, gives the jacket a nice accent, but ultimately a Gentleman needs to feel comfortable with the design. Checks and plaids, not to mention houndsooth, should be left for a later time when the Gentleman’s sense of style has evolved or for the Gentleman who is thoroughly comfortable in his sartorial rectitude.
          The Wide World of Tweed

          • Where to buy:
            • $$$- John Varvatos, Dolce & Gabbana, J. Press
            • $$- Banana Republic, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren
            • $- Gap, Zara, Uniqlo

          5 Things of the Moment

          November  2009

          The Smoke

          Ashton Cigars
          Because they’re light, creamy and delicious and a near perfect way to start your day. Try these with Café con Leche (latin-style sweet and milky coffee), Chai latte or your favorite obnoxious Starbucks coffee creation. They smoke great to the stub.

          The Drink

          Camus “Borderies” Cognac

          Because it’s not the same ole Remy Martin (not that there anything wrong with the Martin)… Borderies is a ‘sub-appellation’ or smaller more specialized region within the region of Cognac in France. It makes a beautifully smooth and fabulous. Try it with Ashton’s other cousin the Ashton Cabinett after a meal or in a rocks glass with a cube of ice and your favorite jazz track.

          The Stuff

          Kiehl’s Eye Cream
          Because bags under your eyes make you look tired and give off the impression that you were partying on a school night, even though you went to bed along with your grandparents at 9PM and your boss just won’t buy it. Eye cream is not gay and this specific range is for men only. Sure you can use Preparation H, but you can also use a condom to make blow-up puppies for your little cousins birthday but you choose not to. Hint: Carry it with you, especially in long flights, dab a bit on wherever you go and you will always look refreshed.

          The Place

          Because its not Delhi… no really. I’m no authority on India, let alone Bombay, but the place is cool. South Bombay looks more like Madrid and Barcelona than India complete with gothic cathedrals and gargoyles hanging off art-deco buildings. Very cool… when you go check out Tote and Blue Frog.

          The territory marker

          Original Santal by Creed
          Because 98% of all perfumes you see canvassing the whole first floor of even the most poshest department stores comes from the same three companies who are hired by designers and fashion companies alike to create scents, mostly made from artificial extracts and marketed with impunity. What you pay for is not the quality of the stuff that went into it, nor the craftsmanship of an expert (called a ‘Nez’ or nose). Creed does things differently and are a family affair that’s been in the perfume making business from some time now (http://www.creedperfumes.us/) and have designed custom-scents for Sophia Lauren, Winston-Churchill and King Edward VIII of England (more on this later).

          Original Santal from Creed’s Website:

          Mr. CREED combines the essence of royal sandalwood trees from India with other pure elements known for sublime scent, spiritual strength and calming power. Red-as-rubies ORIGINAL SANTAL aspires to opulent inner calm for those who wear it.

          Classification: Woody / Oriental

          Characteristics: Made with heartwood essence of royal sandalwood trees from Mysore, India and other pure ingredients revered for their capacity to soothe.

          Top Notes: Royal Indian sandalwood; cinnamon evoking calm and home; divine coriander; fragrant, cleansing juniper berry.

          Middle Notes: Tender lavender, leaves of the absolute orange tree; fragrant rosemary; revitalizing ginger.

          Base Notes: Soulful Tonka bean; dreamlike vanilla

          Original Santal is sexy… very sexy and draws its inspiration from India. Perfect for that trip to Bombay, sipping on chai-masala while smoking an Ashton, looking refreshed with a flask of Cognac by your side.