Captain Fawcett - Triumphant Moustache Wax

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“Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that's always changing!” - the wise words of Mr Toad in the Wind and the Willows. Played by Rufus Hound, his thespian talents are not his only distinguishing feature - thanks to his extraordinarily well-manicured facial fuzz. He has since teamed up with Captain Fawcett, a brand providing top quality shaving and grooming products since 2011. Thanks to the highly successful vibe they have created, it is fair to say that the range has now snowballed in both form and profits. Their website even transports you to a bygone world of Dickensian charm, but with an up to the minute interface, encouraging us chaps to lavish some attention on our personal grooming regimes. Having previously tried their Million Dollar Beard Oil (see here), and from reading up on some of Captain Fawcett’s newest adventures, we at The Amazing Blog HQ found ourselves researching for 3-piece tweeds, pipes and baccy…and none of us smoke!

Back to the point, and more importantly, the product which our friend Rufus Hound has collaborated with Captain Fawcett on: ‘Rufus Hound’s TRIUMPHANT Moustache Wax’. Part of the Signature Series, where ‘The Captain’ has teamed up with a string of perfectly coiffed hirsute faces (literally), we were keen to see what Mr Hound’s tin would provide.

Fragrance-wise we have a delicious recipe on offer - there’s bergamot, lime and ylang ylang, with blackcurrant, clove and galbanum. If that’s not enough, then this wax also has earthy notes of sandalwood, ambergris and musk, producing a richl and indulgent pong that sits well on the top lip area. The 15ml tin may be small, but a little goes a long way If you too believe a ‘tache should be primped ’n perky, £12 is a small price to pay. Be warned though, appropriate application is definitely required for the perfect result - use just the flicker of a fingernail amount and ensure it is warmed thoroughly to achieve an even spread throughout. The hold is firm, and once you have styled your moustache, you can be sure that your creation will stay in place for the day.

Available through the Captain Fawcett website for £12 (15ml), you’ll also find a plethora of other goodies to investigate, including information, advice, and updates on The Captain’s latest adventures!

Friday Favourites: Festive Gins

The second weekend of December is here, and we think that justifies a festive tipple or two. As gin lovers at The Amazing Blog, we were thrilled to come across six new spirits - we're certainly never averse to a spot of gin tasting in the name of research! Whether you're a connoisseur or not, we're sure that you'll find a suitable botanical to mix with your favourite tonic, add to a signature cocktail or gift to a gin lover in your life.

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Firstly, we discovered Conker, based in Bournemouth and known as Dorset's first gin distillery. They pride themselves on being free from traditional constraints, instead, evolving their Dorset Dry with meticulous testing and tweaking; producing a gin that has a strong focus on quality, rather than industry expectation. We don't mind admitting that we were dubious as to whether this approach would produce a suitable outcome, but in fact, the delicious taste of this gin speaks for itself, proving this assumption very wrong. Whether distilled traditionally or not, we are suitably impressed.

Despite their no-fuss approach, Dorset Dry is still a classic dry gin. The fresh taste is thanks to the use of ten unique botanicals, including Dorset elderberries and samphire, as well as handpicked New Forest gorse flowers. We were pleased to see the use of local ingredients, including British wheat spirit and New Forest Spring Water, both adding subtle and different flavours. We particularly enjoyed the light and refreshing taste, still smooth enough to be consumed neatly over ice, or equally enjoyable when mixed with a good quality tonic. We also found it works well with a dash of ginger ale, for a spicy and fresh tipple. Purchase Conker's Dorset Dry here starting from £21.50 (350ml).

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If you're a traditionalist at heart, then Hayman’s may be the gin brand for you. Producing gin since 1863, Hayman’s have a wealth of knowledge, passed down between generations. This has unearthed a brand that is committed to championing traditional methods, and through priding themselves on creating truly English Gins, Hayman’s have produced a collection of delicious spirits, that certainly stand out amongst the crowded gin market.

For us, sloe gin optimises December and Christmas, the ideal tipple for an evening spent by the fire (or perhaps Father Christmas’ spirit of choice). We tried Hayman's Sloe Gin, a handcrafted spirit that is distilled using a fifth-generation family recipe. Thanks to the use of English wild-forage berries, this gin has a plummy aroma and fruity taste, particularly popular among those of us with a taste for almond. Made from harvested English sloe berries and Hayman's English Gin, the ingredients are steeped for four months, giving a broad and bursting flavour. Due to the lower alcohol content of 26% ABV, this gin is delicious when consumed on its own, or when mixed with prosecco, for a party worthy Sloe Royale. We must also mention the packaging, launched nationwide in Marks & Spencer; the bottles are wrapped in limited edition paper, perfect as a gift for gin lovers, or merely to add a bit of festive cheer to your spirit cabinet. To purchase your own Sloe Gin for £26.00, head into a local Marks & Spencer store or visit the Haymans website here.

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Despite the name 'London Dry Gin', it is not only manufactured in the UK. Strane introduced us to their Swedish offerings, made at Smögen Whisky, a small craft distillery on the Swedish west coast. As a whisky company, we found it interesting that Strane have applied their whisky process to gin making, focusing heavily on the blending process. Launched in 2014, Strane's blending process is designed to ensure that each gin has a distinctively different outcome, with different proportions of botanicals added to each of the three offerings. What impressed us, is the quality control of this small batch company, trialling and testing on a constant basis to re-balance the final product.

We tried two of Strane's gins: Strane Merchant Strength 47.4% ABV and Strane Ultra Uncut 82.5% ABV. Both are handcrafted in small batches of around 45 litres and are mixed by master blender, Pär Caldenby, who ensures each of the three gins is mixed precisely. Merchant Strength has an intense depth of character thanks to the use of juniper, coriander and mint. Strane also include two secret botanicals, one local, and the other, typical of the ancient trade of the armed merchant ships. Although we can't spill the names of these ingredients, we certainly enjoyed the gin with a good quality tonic and a classic lemon garnish. Strane's Ultra Uncut gin is an explosion of strength, yet is still a delicious gin to be consumed with a good quality tonic. Thanks to the use of cinnamon, sweet almond and sage, this gin has a botanically strong taste, which is rich in juniper, and heavily citrusy with notes of lemon peel and garden mint. Try it for yourself here for £33, or if you're feeling less adventurous, try Strane's Merchant Strength for £39.83 here.

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Finally, thanks to Esker Spirits, we were transported to Scotland and introduced to two final additions to our (ever-growing) gin cabinet. With a desire to create premium spirits, Esker's first distillery was housed in a humble back garden shed, which has now impressively evolved into a distillery on the Kincardine Estate. As a family-owned distillery, ingredients are sourced from the local area of Royal Deeside, and it is the silver birch sap, in particular, that is characteristic of their unique spirits. Thanks to this ingredient, Esker Spirits have a classic yet distinct flavour, distilled traditionally in a copper pot still, creating delicious gins that we couldn't wait to try.

Firstly, we tried Esker's Traditional Gin, with citrusy notes, thanks to the use of orange peel. This is a refreshing gin, with floral undertones that are characteristic of rosehip and heather flowers. We found this gin is best mixed with a good quality tonic (we liked it with elderflower tonic especially) and the citrus flavour really pops when served with a small amount of orange peel. It is also delicious when added to prosecco, add a cordial of your choice, and wow your party guests with a delectable (yet simple) cocktail. Equally, if you're looking for a spicier alternative, then Esker's Honey Spiced Gin is the answer. Thanks to the use of pink peppercorn and cassia, this gin has a warming kick, enough to warm the cockles after a long week at work. Although this can be served with traditional tonic, we enjoyed it immensely when served with ginger ale and orange peel, the ultimate long drink to accompany an evening of present wrapping. Purchase Esker's Traditional Gin for £36 here, or Honey Spiced Gin for £35.30 here.

How's that for some gin cabinet inspiration? Whether you're searching for a gift, a companion for your festive cocktail recipes, or even a spirit to put hairs on your chest - we're sure one of these gins will be your answer. Enjoy!

Sana Jardin - No. 5 Celestial Patchouli Perfume

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A specific scent can immediately change your whole mood, bringing good memories back or creating new and exciting ones. This is why we at The Amazing Blog love exploring new fragrances. It’s so interesting to see how each person’s skin interacts, and the different perceptions of the very same fragrance. For that reason, we were thrilled when Sana Jardin, the world’s first socially conscious luxury fragrance house. What we love about Sana Jardin is that their mission is not only to provide a long-lasting scent, but also to help empower women all across the globe.

We first fell in love with this natural perfume brand Sana Jardin when recently reviewing their Discovery Set (see our blog post here). This is their range of 7 Eau de Parfums, presented in discreet and elegant bottles which were launched in Harrods in 2017. In collaboration with IFF Master Perfumer Carlos Benaim, these Sana Jardin perfumes were created, unfolding the healing power of natural oils while primarily using some of nature’s most exotic scents, without the use of artificial colourants, parabens, phthalates or formaldehydes.

To keep this never-ending love story going, we asked to try No.5 Celestial Patchouli. Its rich intense smell creates a notion of soft cinnamon bark and leather, with a bit of Australian sandalwood and of course, the slightly sweet but dominant smell of patchouli. It then unfolds to reveal rose and jasmine, as well as Moroccan orris root and the fruity aroma of osmanthus. As these full notes mingle, a deliciousness is revealed, we would go as far as to say making you feel more balanced, relaxed, empowered and harmonised. The packaging is exquisitely designed and we love the magnetic top on the bottle, all of which adds to the luxurious feel. All in all, we think that this fragrance creates an all-round feel good factor. No.5 Celestial Patchouli can be purchased at Harrods, or here at £95 for a 50ml bottle or £180 for an 100 ml bottle.

We must also mention the brand’s founder, Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed, who created this luxury brand as a vehicle for social change, empowering low-income women. Her brand is the force behind The Beyond Sustainability™ Movement, a movement to impact lower-income women, not with the use of charity, but rather through commerce. The opportunity comes from recycling floral waste into products which end up being sold locally and nationally. Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed is proud to call this process a true flower revolution. So why not join the change, and empower women to ‘flower to power’? This movement already supports 3 of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Sana Jardin is not only about having a powerful scent but is also focused on making a change! For further information, visit the Sana Jardin website or have a look at @sanajardin on social media.

Africology Coffee and Rose Diffuser

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Who doesn’t love entering into a beautifully scented room? Here, at The Amazing Blog, we have a weakness for reed diffusers as they are safer and more versatile than candles. At this time of year, we want a room fragrance that has both warmth and freshness, this is where one of our favourite beauty and lifestyle brands Africology never fails us. Our regular readers will remember our post on their Rose Body Balm where we commented on their African heritage and how they capture the key flora and fauna of Africa in their ingredients.

Africology has as range of five different fragranced Atmosphere Reed Diffuser sets. We tried the Coffee and Rose diffuser, which for us was absolutely delightful. From its simple, elegant packaging to its sophisticated tawny glass bottle design, it offers soft warm top floral notes combined with the rather interesting and more robust coffee ones, making it a more weighty fragrance and perfect for that heady romantic evening ambience. Apart from its elegant design that will complement any décor, this diffuser is long-lasting; we had ours on the go for at least 3 months!

This diffuser is made from only 100% natural oils. It is very simple and easy to use, just open the bottle and place the diffuser reeds into the bottle until the reeds are fully coated with liquid. Wait about 5 minutes and take the reeds out and insert the opposite dry end of the reeds back into the diffuser. To enhance your home with this long-lasting and evocative fragrance, purchase the Africology Coffee and Rose Room Diffuser here for £45.00. Or at their newly opened London store here.

Rawgaia - Hemp Glow Cleanser

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Our skin is continuously suffering from the cold temperatures. Add into the mix London's pollution, and an array of skincare products containing chemicals, and it's clear to see why we're struggling with dry and dull complexions. With upcoming festive parties, we’ve been searching for new skincare products at The Amazing Blog, hoping to nourish our complexions back health. On this quest, we re-visited Rawgaia, an award-winning brand that uses only pure, raw, cold pressed and healthy ingredients - giving excellent value for money, and peace of mind that the products are protecting your skin. We have in fact tried their Cold Pressed Carrier Oil before, so we were pretty certain it would help us this December!

Started by wellbeing expert, Jessica Michael, who is also the owner of Rawgaia, it is registered to COSMOS Organic Standards and has Soil Association certification. Their focus is on creating skincare that is nourishing for the skin, with natural ingredients as opposed to synthetic ones. We tried their Hemp Glow Cleanser, which promises to pull out dirt and balance the avails of daily life. This is something we can vouch for, our skin felt squeaky clean, yet was still nourished and supple. We particularly like that it is gentle enough for eye makeup removal, as there's nothing better than a multi-purpose product. The ingredients are the talking point of this product, 91% of which are organic. The use of flower water, vitamin E, sunflower seed oil and witch hazel are notable for controlling sebum levels while remaining moisturising. Additionally, tea tree is another natural ingredient known for fighting against oily skin, and the use of hemp (a Cannabis plant fibre) is an exciting addition that forms a protective layer over the skin. Hemp also prevents skin rashes and provides relief from acne, a powerful ingredient to fight skin troubles.

This cleanser should be used both morning and night and is suitable for oily and combination skin types. Simply smooth this cleanser over your face and neck, gently massaging it into the skin. We recommend removing it with a damp and warm cloth, to unearth a radiant glow. You'll find this cleanser leaves a brightened complexion without a sticky, greasy or heavy feeling. Purchase your own bottle of goodness here for £28.00 (50ml).