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SKINCARE LEARN WHICH INGREDIENTS ARE BEST FOR YOUR SKIN 10

FASHION

FOOD & DRINK

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A GUIDE TO PROPER SUIT MAINTENANCE

DISCOVER TASMANIA’S FINEST WHISKEY DISTILLERIES

FRAGRANCE EXPLORE SIX UNIQUE SCENTS WITH A CULT FOLLOWING 36

The

MIRROR EDITION  TWO

INSIGHTS ON GROOMING, FASHION & LIFESTYLE FOR THE MODERN MAN.

A better life through better grooming

FREE: PLEASE TAKE ONE

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OVER THE COURSE OF A LIFETIME, THE AVERAGE MALE WILL SPEND ROUGHLY 1092 HOURS SHAVING.

One Thousand  & Ninety Two TOOLS FOR THE RITUAL OF SHAVING.


SHAVING HARDWARE MADE IN GERMANY

SAFETY RAZOR SHAVING SET IN ASH WOOD


Czech & Speake offers a range of fine fragrances, exclusive manicure sets, lavish shaving items, and exquisite leather goods. This unique and highly individual offering has granted Czech & Speake a national and international following. The “luxurious bathing� concept developed and refined by its founder Frank Sawkins, has earned him considerable recognition. This quiet English brand is now sold worldwide, and is still very much a London based family business, driven by its original founder.

czechandspeake.com


05 ISSUE  2

CONTENTS How-To —Strop a Straight Razor What’s Inside your Skincare? Suit Maintenance Product Reviews —By Nathan Jancauskas 10 Years of Men’s Biz

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A Day in Sydney The Gift Guide Drinks for the Season —By Alquimie Our Customers —With James Nolen

16 Six Cult Classic Fragrances Grooming —Morning & Night Routines The History of Denim Jeans

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Something Serious —Environment

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@MENSBIZ

Colophon — CONTRIBUTORS Men’s Biz Publisher Emma Stuart Editor in Chief Nathan Jancauskas Grooming Editor Nicholas Cary Creative Direction ThoughtAssembly Design Erin Jancauskas, Emma Stuart, Adam Gibson, James Morgan Photographers Eva Cronin, Flora Keung Styling press@mensbiz.com.au Contact Royal Arcade Shop Nº 49, 335 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Melbourne Store Strand Arcade Shop Nº 15, Ground Floor 412–414 George Street Sydney NSW 2000 Sydney Store

Follow us on Instagram for tips & inspiration


8 HOW TO STROP A RAZOR

Learn how to strop a straight razor with our easy step-by-step guide. —

Tip Always lead the razor by the spine. If you pull towards the cutting edge, then you’ll quickly cut the strop into pieces.

1 Attach the metal ring to a fixed point and pull the strop towards you with the leather side facing up. It’s important that your strop remains taut and flat while you’re using it—if there’s any slack you could end up doing more harm than good.

The cutting edge of a razor is made up of microscopic teeth, which get bent every time you shave. A strop is designed to realign and straighten these teeth, as well as remove oxidisation and metal debris. Strop your razor before each shave to keep it in prime condition for years to come.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Erin Jancauskas

Tip If your strop has a canvas side, you can start with 15-20 round trips before moving to the leather. The canvas has mild abrasive properties that help to clean off debris from the razor before you move to the leather side.

2 Hold the razor by the tang at a 180 degree opening, resting your thumb on top and two fingers on the other side. Tuck your elbow in to reduce hand movement, and find a grip that is both comfortable and allows you to roll the razor freely from side to side. Above: Anatomy of a Razor

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Tip It’s normal for the leather to darken in colour as it ages, but it’s essential that it remains free from nicks or cuts. Any cuts could harden and cause damage to the cutting edge of your razor.

5 Draw the razor back towards you leading with the spine. Repeat steps 3-5. With proper technique you won’t cause any harm by ‘over-stropping’ a razor, but aim for around 40–60 round trips. You’ll soon get a feel for the razor, and will be able to tell when it’s been stropped incorrectly or not enough.

3 Lay the blade flat on the strop with the cutting edge pointing towards you. Using a light pressure, draw the razor away from you leading with the spine. Ensure the blade stays in contact with the strop at both the spine and the cutting edge —if the spine lifts off the strop then the edge will become rounded.

Tip Apply a leather balm to the leather surface of the strop whenever it starts to feel dry. A little goes a long way, so start by rubbing in a small amount and add more later if required.

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4 As you reach the top of the strop, turn the razor over on its spine by rolling the tang between your thumb and fingers so that the cutting edge is now pointing away from you. Remember to take your time throughout the whole process—if you’ve ever watched a movie where a barber strops a razor, they’re usually going far too quickly.

— Ready to try it for yourself? Here’s what you’ll need to get started Dovo Straight Razor Tortoiseshell 5/8 Dovo Two-Sided Razor Strop Leather & Canvas Dovo Solingen Leather Balm for Razor Strops

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11 When the back of a moisturiser bottle can sound like a foreign language, it can be hard to decipher the good ingredients from the bad.We’ve donned some lab coats and set out to debunk the myths surrounding those ingredients you’re adamant you want to avoid, and a couple that you definitely shouldn’t ignore. AUTHOR

Emma Stuart

PHOTOGRAPHY

James Morgan

PARABENS

SULPHATES

WHAT ARE THEY?

WHAT ARE THEY?

Simply put, parabens are a group of chemicals that act as preservatives to stop products growing bacteria or mould. You’ll usually see them listed as butyl-, ethyl-, isobutyl-, methyl- or propyl-paraben. Preservatives will be found in almost all products, from hair pomades to shaving creams.

Commonly known as Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Ammonium Laureth Sulphate (ALS), sulphates are surfactants that provide you with that thick, foamy lather in shampoo, shave cream, body washes, soaps and toothpaste.

THE FACTS

THE FACTS

Parabens got a pretty bad reputation after a 2004 research study [P. Darbe 2004] stated that parabens were prevalent in 99% of breast cancer tissue studied. The media panic that ensued led many brands to remove parabens from their ingredient line-up. However, what the study failed to look at was whether non-cancerous cells also contained parabens, therefore proving the research entirely inconclusive. Australia has one of the strictest cosmetic chemical regulatory systems in the world—the TGA—and they state that there is not enough evidence to prove parabens are hazardous in small doses. The majority of products contain as little as 0.01% to 0.3%, whilst it’s actually deemed safe in percentages up to 25%.

Sulfates are known to cause scalp conditions such as dryness or irritation, and can also fade coloured hair and clog pores.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Triumph & Disaster Shampoo T&D’s sulphate-free shampoo uses a combination of plant based extracts (Acacia Concinna, Desert Date and Gypsophila Root Extract) to gently foam and naturally cleanse.

With research still so inconclusive, if you’re worried about the effects of parabens then it won’t hurt to take the ‘better safe than sorry’ route— there’s plenty of paraben-free options available these days. If you are choosing paraben-free products, be sure to look at what they’ve been replaced with— some ‘natural’ brands use synthetic preservatives as an alternative, including Phenoxyethanol, which pose their own health concerns.

THE BOTTOM LINE If you have coloured hair, dry hair, or your scalp is irritated after washing, then it’s a good idea to opt for a sulphate-free shampoo. Many people claim that sulphate-free shampoos don’t work as we have a tendency to believe that it’s the lather doing all the hard work, but don’t let that put you off—natural shampoos can cleanse just as effectively as their chemical counterparts. PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION Taylor of Old Bond Street Jermyn Street Shaving Cream Bowl This organic cream is made with 95% raw materials and is free from preservatives and fragrances.

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NIACINAMIDE WHAT IS IT? Also known as Vitamin B3 or Nicontinic Acid, Niacinamide is a potent antioxidant with a wealth of benefits for ageing skin or those suffering with acne. THE FACTS Niacinamide will improve skin elasticity, help to erase discolourations and revive skin’s healthy tone and texture. Not only good for ageing skin, this antiinflammatory has also been found to help alleviate red marks caused by acne. THE BOTTOM LINE A safe but powerful cosmetic ingredient, Nicinamide is suitable for all skin types and will provide outstanding results for both the young and young-at-heart, but particularly those with ageing or acneprone skin. PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION Jack Black Clean Break Oil-Free Moisturiser The ideal moisturiser for those with oily skin, Niacinamide helps to improve skin tone and texture and Sodium Hyaluronate retains and replenishes moisture without the use of heavy oils.

ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHAs)

BETA HYDROXY ACIDS (BHAs)

WHAT ARE THEY?

WHAT ARE THEY?

A group of natural
acids, also referred to as fruit acids, that originate from milk and fruit sugars. The two most common AHAs are glycolic acid and lactic acid, as studies have shown they penetrate the skin best, but you might also see malic acid, citric acid and tartaric acid.

BHAs will appear as Salicylic Acid towards the middle or bottom of an ingredients list—commonly found in products targeted at treating acne or breakouts.

THE FACTS

BHAs helps to unclog pores, remove dehydrated or dead skin and calm redness. The acid deep cleans inside
 the pores as well as the skin’s surface
 to prevent breakouts from reoccurring. Particularly useful for those with oily
 or acne-prone skin, it’s also proven to improve skin thickness and collagen production, making it an all-round good guy.

The thought of covering your face in acid might sound alarming, but these fruit acids are great for your skin. AHAs work to gently exfoliate and remove dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin. These multi-benefit go-getters are also used to smooth fine lines and surface wrinkles, improve skin texture and tone, and unblock and cleanse pores. THE BOTTOM LINE
 A much gentler alternative to scrubs or cleansing brushes, AHAs are deemed safe to use and good for the skin. Some people have found fruit acids can cause irritation, so if you find that to be the case then switch to a product with a lower percentage of acids, stop using it, or consult a dermatologist. Oily skin should consider products containing Salicylic Acid (a BHA) instead, as it penetrates more easily through oilclogged pores to deep clean. And don’t forget to always use a sunscreen, as AHAs can increase your risk of sunburn. PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION Baxter Night Cream AHA
 The inclusion of Glycolic Acid actively removes dead surface cells and smoothes skins texture while you sleep.

THE FACTS

THE BOTTOM LINE
 Due to its similar molecular structure, anyone allergic to aspirin should steer clear. Those with oily or acne-prone skin will get the most benefit from products containing BHAs, but the exfoliating actions are also good for treating
ingrown hairs in all skin types, and anti-inflammatory properties will help to calm sensitive, reddened skin. For best results, BHAs need to be absorbed into the skin so look for it in products that won’t be washed off straight away; such as a toner, moisturiser or exfoliant. As with AHA products, make sure you always apply a sunscreen before leaving the house because your risk of getting burnt increases with the use of BHA products. PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION Menscience Advanced Acne Pads This prescription-grade concentration of Salicylic Acid prevents and clears blackheads and breakouts.

1  Antioxidants are a group of natural and synthetic ingredients that work to fight free radical damage and environmental aggressors on the skin.

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ALCOHOL

MINERAL OIL

WHAT IS IT?

THE BOTTOM LINE

WHAT IS IT?

Not the stuff you want to be drinking, cosmetic grade alcohol is a diverse ingredients family that will appear under various names, but you’ll most likely find it displayed as ethanol, ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol (alcohol denat. / SD-Alcohol), ispropyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol or cetearyl alcohol.

Treat cosmetic alcohol as you would an evening tipple—it’s fine in moderation, but drink in too much and there could be ill-effects such as dryness or irritation. If you have particularly dry, irritated or sensitive skin then we’d recommend choosing ‘Alcohol-Free’ products from the get-go. Fans of the classic aftershave lotion should consider following with a balm or moisturiser for an extra boost of moisture.

A colourless and odourless oil derived from petroleum that can also appear as liquid petroleum, paraffinum liquidum or white mineral oil.

THE FACTS Alcohol is divided into three different categories: Simple, Fatty and Aromatic. The simple alcohols include Ethyl Alcohol, SD Alcohol and Alcohol Denatured. These can be potentially drying or irritating on the skin, but in the right quantities and combined with a cocktail of other moisturising ingredients, they shouldn’t be written off completely. You’ll find them in many products, including fragrances and aftershaves. Fatty alcohols include cetyl, stearyl and cetetearyl. They have a waxy consistency and are used as emollients and thickeners. ‘Alcohol-free’ claims are really saying ‘free from ethanol’ (the simple alcohols), so there’s no need to be alarmed if your so called alcohol-free product contains fatty alcohols in the ingredients listing—they’re completely harmless and can actually be moisturising for the skin.

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION Menaji Power Hydrator Aftershave Menaji’s alcohol-free aftershave balm contains Aloe Vera, which has antiinflammatory and moisturising properties to rehydrate skin and soothe razor burn.

THE FACTS Mineral oil has long been used as a lubricant in engines and other mechanical devices, but that’s vastly different to the refined mineral oils you’ll find in everything from hair pomades to moisturisers. There’s been plenty of debate for and against the use of mineral oil in skincare. The ‘For’ team argue that it’s a superb moisturiser and one of the most non-irritating skincare ingredients on the market, while the ‘Against’ team say that although it may not cause a huge amount of harm, it doesn’t really do a whole lot of good either. Mineral oils don’t contain any good nutrients for your skin and they’re water repellent, not water soluble. So while the oil seals moisture into your skin, leaving the appearance of being hydrated, it’s actually trapping the pores and could prevent good ingredients from getting inside and allowing your skin to breathe. THE BOTTOM LINE We always like to take the ‘prevention over treatment’ route, which means loading your skin up with potent, skinpenetrating ingredients that work to provide healthy and balanced skin long term. If you want to use mineral oils, try to do so infrequently so that your skin also gets time to breathe. Anyone with oily skin or conditions such as acne and rosacea should avoid the oil as it could aggravate skin further. PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION Jack Black Cool Moisture Body Lotion Free from Mineral Oil, this body lotion is fuelled only by the good stuff; Glycerin, Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil.

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14 SUIT MAINTEN– ANCE Keep that ‘new suit feeling’ lasting all year round with the right tools and some simple care. —

You know how you feel when you wear your new suit for the first time? You can’t help but feel a few inches taller, smarter and more irresistibly handsome. You cut a dashing figure across the hallway, and you know it. But within months, maybe even weeks, this once celebrated sartorial achievement becomes just another item in your wardrobe arsenal. Within a year or two, you notice it has started to lose a bit of its shape. A little worn maybe? The hallway compliments have long since stopped. In fact, you think
to yourself it’s probably time to buy
a new suit. But what if you didn’t need to buy a new suit? All it takes is some simple suit maintenance to bring life back to your suit, and save you some money on the side.

AUTHOR

James Seaford www.trimly.com.au

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Use a broad, well-shaped hanger

There are several reasons why a suit starts to lose shape and chief among them is an ill-fitting hanger. Using a broad, well-shaped wooden suit hanger will protect the suit from turning into a glorified hessian bag.

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Brush your suit after every wear

Brushing your suit is the first habit that every man should learn to properly maintain his suit. By brushing away the remnants of the day, you restore the fabric and extend its life, and about three minutes is all it takes. Most suits are made from wool or a
blend thereof. Wool is a magnet to dust, dandruff, loose hair and other tiny floating debris. As innocent as these little floaters appear, dust is actually an abrasive that will decay the fabric over time. To properly brush your clothes you will need a decent quality clothes brush with natural bristles. Natural bristles have more give and brush into the fabric; whereas synthetic bristles can be too hard and may actually scratch the fabric.

The purpose of a quality wooden hanger is to protect the silhouette of your suit, and to prevent creasing. The hanger should emulate one’s natural profile (from the neck to the shoulder) to preserve the jacket’s collar profile and drape. The shoulder flares should also be wide enough to protect the delicate moulding. Not all shoulders are the same, so selecting a hanger width to match your jacket size is critical. These important features will preserve the jacket’s delicate mouldings and allow your jacket to drape naturally. Don’t forget the trouser bar—the best of which are extra-diameter felted bars. Clamps can damage the fabric and hard material such as wood will leave marks, whereas felt restricts movement of the draped trouser, allowing it to be stored for long periods of time without creasing.

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Rest your suit— air and rotate

A suit endures a lot, including your sweat, the weather and wind. After a day of action your suit will need a bit of rest, and just like humans, a suit needs air. Allowing the suit to air in a nice open space for several hours with a bit of light will evaporate any moisture and many lingering odours. To give it the rest it needs, and as a general rule, a suit should never be worn on consecutive days. But as a travelling businessman knows, this isn’t always possible. In these instances, just remember that one day of wear is equal to one day of rest—and compensate accordingly. THE

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Use steam

Steam rejuvenates the fibres and is a most effective way to remove creases or any lingering odours that airing did not totally remove.

Quality professional dry cleaning

Dry cleaning your suit too often will decrease its lifespan and give the fabric a shiny, listless look. This is because dry cleaning uses strong solvents and high drying temperatures during the cleaning process.

A garment steamer works best, but simply hanging your suit in the bathroom while you shower is an easy, DIY alternative.

By brushing, airing, rotating, steaming (when required) and using a fit-forpurpose hanger, you will reduce the need to visit the dry cleaner as regularly as you think.

A caveat to using a garment steamer
is to avoid excessive steaming of carefully pressed and ironed areas of the suit jacket, such as the chest area. Excessive steam in these areas may cause the suit to lose its shape.

But this doesn’t mean you should
 forgo the dry cleaners all together. Professional dry cleaners are vital for proper maintenance and rejuvenation of your most important garments. The best way to find a reputable dry cleaner is to ask your local tailor—they would not dare send their clients to a dry cleaner of disputable quality. It may cost you a little more, but appreciate that quality is the best bargain here.

Once steamed, allow the suit to air for about fifteen minutes prior to wear.

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Use a garment bag

Don’t throw out the garment bag provided by your tailor—you’ve been given it for a reason. A breathable canvas or cloth suit bag will protect your suit against wardrobe dust and “fabric pests”. Fabric pests such as moths and carpet beetles will, along with their larva, make a meal out of your most cherished clothing. Their refined taste for quality wool, mohair, cashmere, fur, feathers and down means the wardrobe of a welldressed man is like a Michelin five star restaurant ‘all you can eat’. The best prevention against fabric pests is to use a garment bag along with small cedar blocks (cedar is a natural repellent) and regular vacuuming in and around the wardrobe area. A

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16 Product Reviews with Nathan Jancauskas —

1. URTH FACE WASH This has been my favourite for almost ten years. I try lots of face washes, but keep coming back to this one. 2. JACK BLACK CLEAN BREAK OIL-FREE MOISTURISER My new favourite moisturiser. Not too heavy, not too light … Jack Black have got it just right. 3. CZECH & SPEAKE NO 88 SHAVING SOAP After using this soap, I decided to clear out most of my other shave soaps. It’s that good! Quality of the lather and the scent is top notch. 4. GEO. F. TRUMPER COCONUT OIL SHAVING CREAM This is very dense and creamy—it seems to cushion the skin from the blade exceptionally well. And I love the smell—it reminds me of surf wax and great times spent at the beach.

Nathan Jancauskas is the Men’s Biz Founder and Managing Director. When he’s not busy keeping the business running smoothly, he’ll be somewhere in the great outdoors. Whether it be to go paragliding in the high-country or trekking through the Himalayas, he’s always got a good story to tell on a Monday morning. — Nathan has carefully handpicked every product we stock for the last ten years, which makes him our most reputable source of what to try. Here are his current daily grooming choices.

PHOTOGRAPHY

James Morgan, Erin Jancauskas

LOCATION

Artedomus Richmond

7. TAUER L’AIR DU DESERT MAROCAIN EDP This fragrance is a masterpiece in my opinion. Spicy, woody and complex. Bold without being overbearing and lasts all day on my skin. Even the name is perfect. 8. JACK BLACK COOL CTRL DEODORANT Most deodorants irritate my skin, but this one is nice and gentle. It’s aluminium-free too, which I like. 9. TRIUMPH & DISASTER SHEARER’S SOAP A fantastic soap from our mates across the Ditch. Great masculine smell and poppy seeds for exfoliation. 10. CZECH & SPEAKE 4PC AIR SAFE MANICURE SET A beautiful set containing everything you need. Superb quality and finish.

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5. GEO. F. TRUMPER LIMES SKIN FOOD Trumper’s Skin Food is the best post-shave product I’ve used—it’s cooling and soothing without being greasy or heavy. I particularly like the contrast of the limes skin food after the coconut shave cream.

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6. MERKUR SOLINGEN SLANT BAR RAZOR & FEATHER BLADES The best razor and the sharpest blades. Once you’re proficient with a double edge razor, you should try the Merkur Slant Bar.

STYLING

Eva Cronin, Flora Keung

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12. MARVIS CINNAMON MINT TOOTHPASTE Strong minty flavour with a spicy undertone. Just how I like my toothpaste in the morning.

11. DOVO SOLINGEN KLIPETTE A clever little tool for keeping hair out of unwanted places. A

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13. 1092 SYNTHETIC SHAVING BRUSH Synthetic brushes are proof that sometimes science can triumph over nature. This brush has the perfect resistance and softness, plus it offers a lot of advantages over badger hair: it’s easier to lather, easier to clean and it dries faster. 17


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Y E A R S  

In celebration of our 10th birthday this year, we’ve taken a trip down memory lane to look at some of the good, the bad and the downright ugly grooming trends that have had their time in the spotlight this past decade. AUTHOR

Emma Stuart

THE BIG FIVE We’ve crunched the numbers to present our best-selling products of the last decade: — P  roraso Shaving Cream: Green —  Merkur Solingen Heavy Duty Razor 34C — Marvis Classic Strong Mint Toothpaste —  Baxter of California Clay Pomade —  Geo. F. Trumper Sandalwood Skin Food

2006 High spiked locks were the must-have hairstyle in the mid 2000’s. Bonus points were awarded to those who finished off the look with bleached blonde tips, or so said Brad Pitt. — Men’s Biz is founded in a 12 square metre office in the Melbourne suburb of Canterbury. The initial offering is just 100 products.

2013 For the first time ever, men around the world spent more money on malespecific toiletries than shaving products. Coincidentally, it was also the first year that women noticed their own bottle of moisturiser lasting twice as long as before.

2007 The buzz cut never really goes out of fashion, but David Beckham’s return to the classic style in 2007 saw many men reaching for the electric trimmer in an attempt to ooze even just a little bit of Beckham cool.

2014 A bearded revolution was well and truly upon us by 2014. Hirsute men began to pop up everywhere, even Mr George Clooney himself got on board, with those sporting everything from tamed stubble to the “Ned Kelly” buying up the latest in beard oils, balms and shampoos.
 — Men’s Biz opens their first store in Melbourne’s historic Royal Arcade offering a barbershop and hands-on shopping experience.

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2008

2009

We never expected Justin Bieber’s haircuts would have an impression on anyone over the age of 16, but it seemed many men followed his lead, sporting a ‘swooping’ skater-guy hairstyle that we long to forget.

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The return to tradition was prominent in the 2010’s. Shoe shine stations were popping up in cities, the classic barbershop was making a comeback and hair returned to the 50’s with slicked-back Mad Men inspired styles.

2016

The hair growth didn’t just stop on the chin, with more and more ‘man buns’ being seen on our shop floor, pioneered by Hollywood stars such as Leonardo di Caprio. Whilst we don’t mind it, it’s a fearfully short fall to the ‘man braid’. — Following the success of the Melbourne store, Men’s Biz heads north to open their second store in Sydney’s heritage-listed Strand Arcade.

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An ever-expanding product range led Men’s Biz to move their operations to Richmond, Melbourne. The office is fondly referred to by a customer as the “Aladdin’s cave” of shaving products.

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We don’t know exactly what’s next for grooming, but predict that men aren’t going back to stealing their partner’s products any day soon. Barbershops are here to stay and beards will soon return to the custody of lumberjacks.

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Today the Men’s Biz online business operates from a warehouse in Abbotsford, Melbourne. Online there are more than 1200 different products to choose from.

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20 Sydney is perhaps best known for its iconic pictureperfect landmarks, but tucked away within the commercial and business heart of the city are unique offerings from exceptional artists and craftsman that both visitors and locals will delight in discovering.

A DAY IN We spoke to Jaci from Culture Scouts and Alessandra from Artisan Walk Sydney for some recommendations of originality and creativity within the streets, laneways and heritage buildings of Sydney.

PRESENTED BY:

Artisan Walk Sydney www.artisanwalk.sydney Culture Scouts http://www.culturescouts.com.au

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Start your day just south of the CBD at Galerie Pompom in Chippendale. The contemporary art space aims to develop some of the brightest and best Sydney and Melbourne artists working in a range of art mediums. Once you’ve wandered the gallery, Jaci from Culture Scouts suggests heading to nearby café Henry Lee’s, where the creativity keeps on flowing. The tucked away kitchen and collaborative space boasts a large stylish courtyard and picturesque brunch dishes will delight Nick Cave fans with a menu strewn with references to his songs and albums, such as the tasty ‘Tender Prey’ braised beef cheeks.

Wander past Hyde Park and take a left on Market St to reach 412–414 George St, where you’ll find the last remaining Victorian-era shopping arcade in Sydney, The Strand Arcade. Once you’ve stopped by MEN’S BIZ on the ground floor for a tidy up at the barbershop and a restock on your grooming armoury, take the stairs up to level 2. Here, Alessandra suggests visiting the workshop of artisan shoemaker Andrew McDonald, where you can browse a range of handmade ready-to-wear leather shoes and accessories, make an appointment for bespoke custom-made shoes, or even sign up to his five-day beginner shoemaking course where you’ll design and make your own pair of shoes from scratch. Such stylish shoes wouldn’t be complete without a handmade suit, so head across the walkway to the studio of stylish menswear label Mister Mister at shop 126. Daniel and team will accommodate walk-ins and appointments for beautifully designed, made-to-measure menswear shirts and suiting.

After refuelling on some bad seeds and good beans, walk up to Central station and make your way into the city where Alessandra from Artisan Walk says to visit the heritage-listed St James Trust building at 185 Elizabeth Street. On the ground floor, tailor and textile designer Shane Rochefort offers a bespoke outfitting service with imagination and flair, as well as a luxurious selection of accessories including ties crafted from limited edition, custom-made silks.

After meeting the artisans, perhaps seeing them work and maybe buying something one-of-a-kind, it’s time for a different type of artisanal experience. Tucked down a cobbled laneway at 348 Kent Street is the tiny Papa Gede’s bar. An intimate New Orleans-style cocktail bar offering thoughtfully selected platters of food to share, a variety of delicious and unusual cocktails and a range of handmade tiki mugs, this is the perfect place to end your day, or start your evening…

1 Galerie Pompom → 2/39 Abercrombie St, Chippendale

2 Henry Lee’s → 16 Eveleigh Street, Redfern

3 Rochefort Tailors 6 3

→ St James Trust Building Ground Floor, 185 Elizabeth Street

4 A. McDonald Shoemaker → Strand Arcade, Level 2, Shop 121, 412-414 George Street

5 Mister Mister → Strand Arcade, Level 2, Shop 126, 412-414 George Street

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22 Whether you’re buying for your dad, brother, partner, friend or boss, choosing a gift isn’t always easy. This year we’re taking the hard work out of gifting with a curated selection of our top products sorted by personality.You’re sure to find something for every man on your list, right from the Aristocrat to the Foodie.

STYLING

Eva Cronin, Flora Keung

PHOTOGRAPHER James Morgan

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The Trendsetter —

The Trendsetter has figured out the cool new bar before it even becomes cool, and is always one step ahead of the latest fashion trends. Unless you know where to look, he can be notoriously difficult to shop for, so we’ve put together a selection of products that will be sure to impress even the most in-the-know urbanite.

King Brown Original Pomade; Tauer Perfumes L’Air Du Desert Marocain EDT; Gentleman’s Brand Co Daily Moisturiser; Captain Fawcett Million Dollar Beard Oil; Baxter of California Skin Care 1.2.3. Kit; Nasomatto Black Afgano EDP; Baxter of California Large Comb

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The Aristocrat —

For the Aristocrat, only the very best will do. He is always dressed to the nines, frequently travelling to a glamorous holiday destination and more than likely owns a European sports car - if not two. So what do you buy the man who has everything? Fear not, The Aristocrat will love this selection of luxury gifts from the crème de la crème of men’s grooming.

Acqua di Parma Calfskin Leather Dopp Kit; Czech & Speake Manicure Kit (8PC); Amouage Jubilation XXV EDP; Men’s Biz Gift Card; Acqua di Parma Shaving Cream Bowl; Dovo Solingen Mammoth Ivory Straight Razor 5/8; Czech & Speake Shaving Set

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The Athlete —

When he’s not in the park training for his next marathon, the Athlete is most commonly found at the gym. Always on the go and rarely out of his active wear, the Athlete is the recipient of far too many pairs of sports socks. Buck the trend and give him some powerful grooming essentials that he can toss in his gym bag and keep the sweat at bay.

American Crew Molding Clay; American Crew 3-in-1; Jack Black Dry Down Friction- Free Powder; Lab Series Skincare for Men All-In-One Shower Gel; Jack Black Cool CTRL Deodorant; Jack Black Turbo Wash Energising Hair & Body Cleanser; Lab Series Skincare for Men Daily Moisture Defense Lotion SPF15

The Jet Setter —

You rarely get to see The Jet Setter, as he’s never in the same time zone for more than a day.While you might not be able to improve his diet of airline food, you can treat him with some of the comforts of home with these compact and practical gifts, all designed to be able to travel wherever he does.

Jack Black Supreme Cream Shaving Cream Tube; One Thousand and Ninety Two Synthetic Travel Brush; Merkur Solingen Travel Razor with Leather Pouch (46C); Triumph & Disaster On The Road Travel Pack; Menaji Camo Concealer Stick; Clinique for Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel; Czech & Speake Air Safe Manicure Kit (4PC)

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The Traditionalist —

The Traditionalist may have succumbed like the rest of the world and purchased a smart phone, but he still only uses it to make phone calls. Not fazed by state-of-the-art gadgets and fleeting trends, the Traditionalist favours products that have stood the test of time. Gift him with brands such as Geo. F. Trumper, Penhaligon’s and D. R. Harris, all of which date back to the 1800’s, or a traditional double edge razor and shaving brush that are guaranteed to stir memories from “back in the old days...”.

One Thousand and Ninety Two Shaving Mug; Geo. F. Trumper Super Badger Shaving Brush SB5; Merkur Solingen Barber Pole Double Edge Razor (38C); Geo. F. Trumper Sandalwood Shaving Cream Bowl; D.R. Harris Arlington Soap On A Rope; D.R. Harris Sandalwood Aftershave; Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet EDT; Penhaligon’s Sartorial Shaving Soap in Bowl

The Environmentalist —

A down to earth soul, the Environmentalist prefers his vegetables be organic and his grooming environmentally friendly. Although he might complain about your poor recycling habits, the Environmentalist would have nothing but good things to say if he were to receive a natural shave soap, an ethical and sustainable shaving kit or a solid cologne that has been crafted from plants harvested and distilled amongst the Californian wilderness.

Jack Black Military Hair Brush; Juniper Ridge Big Sur Trail Resin Cologne; Jack Black Pure Clean Facial Cleanser; Jack Black True Volume Thickening Shampoo; One Thousand & Ninety Two Ash Wood Synthetic Shave Brush; One Thousand & Ninety Two Ash Wood Double Edge Razor; Juniper Ridge Big Sur Trail Resin Cologne; Jao Brand BeardScent Beard Balm; D.R. Harris Natural Shaving Soap in Bowl

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The Foodie —

This self-confessed foodie is known for taking photos of his dinner, but who can blame him when you can whip up a meal as good as he does? Instead of cook books or yet another novelty apron, add a touch of spice to his bathroom with these flavoursome products—they smell so good he won’t know whether to eat them or put them on his skin.

P Frapin & Cie 1270 EDP; Thayers Peach Witch Hazel Astringent; Taylor of Old Bond Street Grapefruit Shaving Cream Bowl; Geo. F. Trumper Limes Skin Food; Baxter of California Lime Vitamin Cleansing Bar; L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea For Two EDT; Marvis Amarelli Licorice Toothpaste; Jack Black Black Tea & Blackberry Lip Balm

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The Handyman —

In another life, the Handyman lives in a secluded countryside cabin that he built with his own two hands. Although reality might not be quite so picturesque, this DIY guy’s most prized possession is his tool box and he enjoys spending any free time building, fixing and fiddling with his gadgets. A heavy duty hand cream wouldn’t go amiss with these hard working hands, and a straight razor is the perfect tool to keep him entertained for hours.

Triumph & Disaster Shearer’s Soap; Jack Black Pit Boss Deodorant; Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer; Dovo Solingen Two-Sided Razor Strop; Dovo Solingen Straight Razor Set in Leather Case (2 Piece); Tweezerman Splintertweeze; Dovo Solingen Klipette Nose and Ear Hair Trimmer; Merkur Solingen Progress Double Edge Razor; Triumph & Disaster Coltrane Clay

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SMOOTH OUT YOUR ROUGH EDGES

MORE THAN JUST AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH

THE WORLD'S FIRST T-SONIC PRE-SHAVING AND ANTI-AGING DEVICE, SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR MEN TM

Discover the smoothest shave you`ll ever have with the cutting edge T-SonicTM technology. In under 2 minutes it removes dead skin cells, helping reduce shaving irritation for a recharged and refreshed skin.

TO FIND OUT MORE VISIT: www.mensbiz.com.au

A revolutionary toothbrush that combines cutting-edge Sonic Pulse Technology with a unique silicone design that cleans and whitens teeth and gums like never before.


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TASMANIA —

How has a small but fertile island off the driest continent become the newest draw for the legions of malt whisky enthusiasts looking for the latest in distilled perfection? — In edition six of Alquimie, whisky historian and author Philip Morrice took us on a tour of  Tasmanian distilleries.

AUTHOR

Philip Morrice

PHOTOGRAPHER Adam Gibson

THE

NEW

WHISKY

A MODERN INDEPENDENT PUBLICATION, ALQUIMIE SHARES THE CULTURE & STORIES BEHIND THE DRINKS WE LOVE. ALQUIMIE.COM.AU

FRONTIER


The former colony of Van Diemen’s Land—as it was known at the time— was awash with whisky allegedly flowing from no less than 16 distilleries mainly located in and around the early settlements of Hobart and Launceston. Since the territory had as its main purpose the “correction” of offenders against the laws of the Crown, the administrators of the day thought that an appropriate level of sobriety and good order could best be achieved by banning whisky distilling, which came to pass in 1839. And so it remained until some local entrepreneurs had the prohibition legislation repealed and regulations changed so as to allow them, albeit on a tiny scale, to recommence whisky distilling in Tasmania in 1992. But what brought them to a realisation that this inexact craft could be followed with any certainty of success so far from the northern hemisphere where whisky distilling traditionally flourishes? Was it the startlingly clean air free of the influences of satanic mills? Or was it the sparkling clear water, for which Tasmania is renowned? Or was it the excellent local barley, which grows so abundantly there?

Each has played its part. However, without the human element the Tasmanian whisky phenomenon of the last 20 years would never have happened. The early 1990s saw a small number of individuals come up with the idea of recommencing whisky making on the island. Without being overly prescriptive as to who did what and when, I believe that three names stand out in terms of inspiration, innovation and perseverance to ensure that Tasmanian whisky went from being an experimental craft or hobby activity to becoming a profitable industry achieving international recognition at the highest levels of the whisky world. The Three Musketeers of Tasmanian distilling (Lark, Maguire and Overeem) have, together and individually, put Tasmania on the world whisky map and each has produced his own brand and style, which are both eminently distinctive whilst combining to create a recognisable separate Tasmanian category. No small achievement by these gentlemen distillers of the old school who I imagine were not that dissimilar to the original crofter/distillers of 18th century Scotland.

Opposite Nathan Campbell, Tasmania Distillery, taking a reading of new spirit

This Page 1 Tasmania Distillery 2 Craig Johnstone (Lark Distillery) writing details

BETTER

Tradition and innovation go hand in hand at Lark. Whilst the core Single Cask Lark at 43% ABV remains at the centre of the product range, there are always exciting variations appearing, the latest of which is the Whisky Hall of Fame limited release. Drawn from a 200 L Heaven Hill Bourbon cask and finished in a 90 year old Seppeltsfield Para Port cask, Bill Lark decided to bottle this straight from the barrel, unfiltered, at natural cask strength to produce a mere 220 bottles. But then he had just entered the Hall of Fame and so something rather special was called for. Bill, you have done it again!

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The Lark Distillery, which follows traditional malt whisky distilling practices, is small, even unpretentious, but with a high level of creativity from a young and boisterous team. The copper stills, of relatively modest capacity, are worked relentlessly, such is the demand for the product, which is matured largely in 100 L casks for a variety of periods but never for less than three years.

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And, of course, start any whisky tour of Tasmania with a familiarization visit to the Lark Bar in downtown Hobart, site of the original distillery and, with any luck, Bill might even be behind the bar, despite his new-found ambassadorial status! After somewhat mixed beginnings Tasmania Distillery’s Sullivans Cove brand, under Patrick Maguire, has won numerous awards and the French Oak cask HH525 was voted the World’s Best Single Malt Whisky at the 2014 World Whisky Awards. New premises, soon to be enhanced by a second still to act as the wash still, are evidence of the brand’s success. Unlike most Tasmanian whiskies, Sullivans Cove goes for longer periods of maturation of between 10 and 13 years. Whilst Tasmania Distillery relies on the same barley and water supply as Lark, the similarities end there. The first point of differentiation is that the Sullivans Cove wash is brewed at Cascade Brewery and, reflecting a recent agreement, at the Moo Brew Brewery located at the now world-famous art museum of MONA.

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A further distinction
is that Tasmania Distillery uses 200 and
300 L casks for
maturation whereas
its competitors tend to
rely on smaller barrels, usually of 100 L, which leads to quicker maturation. The current site is the distillery’s fourth location and has a visitors’ centre in keeping with the industry’s alliance with Tasmanian tourism. The enterprise is up for sale and whoever acquires it has a duty to build on Patrick’s excellent achievements. Overeem—formerly Old Hobart—is the first of the new breed of Tasmanian distilleries to disappear as a separate entity, but only to find a natural home alongside Lark, which reflects the longstanding friendship and close association between Bill Lark and Casey Overeem. Overeem has its own strong following and Casey’s daughter, Jane, who is now marketing manager for both the Lark and Overeem ranges, will ensure that the latter continues to flourish.

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Around this coterie of Tasmanian whisky icons, other distilleries are flourishing or breaking new ground. Hellyers Road in the north and Nant in the Tasmanian “highlands” are important producers with serious backing behind them and have done much to extend the reach of the Tasmanian category in a market which seems to be constantly starved of the product. At the other end of the spectrum there is Belgrove, Peter Bignell’s unique paddock to bottle rye whiskey operation at Kempton; the tiny Redlands Estate distillery at Plenty, which is a misnomer in terms of the quantities produced; and William McHenry, the “sleepless still-man” in his eyrie atop Mount Arthur. Each of them a pioneer, each of them not necessarily trying to make a better Tasmanian whisky but at least one as good as those of the Three Musketeers! As for the future, one can only relish the prospect of ever more exciting expressions, not least from Tim Duckett under the Heartwood label as he works through his “independent” bottlings of Lark, Sullivans Cove etc. Should I move from the fleshpots of Sydney to be nearer the temptations of Tasmania?

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1 Chris Thomson, Lark Distillery, sampling from a cask 2 Closely monitoring the development of spirit 3 Lark Distillery spirit still 4 Wayne Rowe, Tasmania Distillery Production Manager, decanting a barrel 6 Nathan Campbell, Tasmania Distillery Still Man, racking barrels 7 Bertie Cason, Tasmania Distillery Marketing Manager, sampling barrels

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— This article first appeared in The Australian Table, a mini-magazine which was published in conjuction with edition six of Alquimie. www.alquimie.com.au

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34 OUr CUSTOMErS

— James Nolen is easy to spot in a crowd. W   ith his dapper outfits, perfectly groomed facial hair and infectious laughter, the film programmer at the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) has been a Men’s Biz customer since 2014. W   e chatted to him about film, style and how to be a gentleman in a modern world.

On ACMI... James is part of the Film Programming team at ACMI and has been with the company for 13 years. “I have always been interested in curation of one type or another and have been fascinated by the way institutions present exhibitions and ideas to the public. I was very lucky to work for many years as an assistant at the Grainger Museum and after a stint of living in London it dawned on me that I wanted to work in film exhibition and that path eventually led me back home to Melbourne and ACMI.”

James’ Top 3 —

Marvis Amarelli Licorice Toothpaste It makes brushing a pleasure rather than a chore

On his favourite film... “It changes all the time! I do often relish recalling Isabelle Huppert’s performance in Merci pour le Chocolat or Juliette Binoche’s in Three Colors: Blue.” On style... Nolen says he finds his style inspiration everywhere, particularly through Instagram and on the streets of Melbourne. “Falco Boutique in Caivano, Italy (@_falcoboutiquecaivano_) has a great Instagram feed, and American Tailors (68 Bourke St, Melbourne) and Tolley Savile Row (111 Toorak Road, South Yarra) always have inspirational window displays that inspire new ideas.”

Etat Libre d’Orange Jasmin et Cigarette I’m quickly becoming a fan of Etat Libre d’Orange’s fragrances

“I love the process of getting dressed each morning. Selecting the right tie and pocket square. A final twist of the moustache. A spray of my favourite scent (Guerlain’s Héritage is a personal favourite). It gets my head in the game!” On grooming... The one product he’s never without? A moustache wax. “One holds for any length of time—all day and night.” On Melbourne... Any respectable Melburnian has their favourite coffee haunt, and Nolen’s choice is Duke’s Coffee Roasters at 247 Flinders Lane. “I marvel daily at all the wonderful design elements, from the wooden bench to the mind boggling tile work.”

D. R. Harris Pink Aftershave I love the old school design of the D.R. Harris range

On being a gentleman... “I think being a gentleman is really simple; Be aware of your surroundings. Keep to the left. Let people exit the tram or café before you enter.”

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36 We highlight six fragrances that all share a cult-like following— frequently spotted on bestseller lists and critically acclaimed by experts and fragrance lovers alike.

AUTHOR

Liam Sardea, Men’s Biz Fragrance Curator

FIVE SIX


E OF THE BEST CULT CLASSIC FrAGrANCES


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  L’Air du Désert Marocain Tauer Perfumes

2  

  Jubilation XXV Amouage

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  Timbuktu L’Artisan Parfumeur

RELEASED: 2005

RELEASED: 2007

RELEASED: 2004

PERFUMER: ANDY TAUER

PERFUMER: BERTRAND DUCHAUFOUR

PERFUMER: BERTRAND DUCHAUFOUR

FRAGRANCE FAMILY: WOODY ORIENTAL

FRAGRANCE FAMILY: WOODY ORIENTAL

FRAGRANCE FAMILY: DRY WOODS

A list of cult classics wouldn’t be complete without Andy Tauer’s L’Air du Désert Marocain—an absolutely mesmerising fragrance, at once lavish yet sensible in its dosage of spice, woods, and resins. Tauer achieves a luminous and shimmering quality to his work, like smelling a fragrance from a distance and just out of reach. The salubrious and pure dry air of the Moroccan desert is captured, harmonised with the warm ambery tang of spice markets, and the austerity of taut cedarwood. Praised and raved by fragrance bloggers and the foremost fragrance authority, scent scientist and ‘perfume pope’, Luca Turin, as one of the greatest works of fragrance in the twenty-first century, with an enduring quality like Chanel’s eternal No. 5. L’Air du Désert Marocain is exoticism on the skin.

Jubilation is the result of two excellent things: intersecting cultures, where the opulence of the Middle East meets classical French sensibilities; and an absolutely unlimited budget towards superlative fragrant materials. French perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour has created a modern Middle Eastern scent, where the dust has been removed from Aladdin’s Cave. It is the scent of celebration, launched in 2007 commemorating Omani brand Amouage’s 25th anniversary. Opulent but not gluttonous, Jubilation XXV is richly oriental, loaded with generous lashings of balsamic resins and spices, balanced with silver frankincense (the best you can get), then cut effortlessly with a counterpoint of tart blackberry and sweet honey, resting on a base of firm woods. Rumoured that bottles of this scent are gifted by the Sultan of Oman, Jubilation XXV is quite literally fit for a king, or at least those that are kings at heart.

Through Timbuktu, perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour renders what is usually heavy and dense into a scent of feather-like delicacy. By manipulating woods and vetiver, Duchaufour turns them into refined and transparent subjects that meld with the skin— becoming an aura on the wearer. A scent of tremendous presence yet completely undemanding, Timbuktu is washed in smokeless, ritualistic incense to add a slick of dryness, then given an exotic timbre through green mango and pink peppercorn evocative of African jungles. A weightless and masterfully balanced perfume, Timbuktu is a shimmering work, spreading itself all over the skin. A modern woody scent of definite uniqueness and compositional brilliance, it deserves a place in everyone’s collection.

THE

MIRROR—Nº2


4  

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  Sartorial Penhaligon’s

  Colonia Acqua di Parma

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  Black Afgano Nasomatto

RELEASED: 2010

RELEASED: 1916

RELEASED: 2009

PERFUMER: BERTRAND DUCHAUFOUR

PERFUMER: IN-HOUSE PERFUMER

PERFUMER: ALLESSANDRO GUALTIERI

FRAGRANCE FAMILY: FOUGÈRE

FRAGRANCE FAMILY: CITRUS

FRAGRANCE FAMILY: WOODY ORIENTAL

Fragrance at its most nostalgic, memories of fascination towards paternal figures splashing on Brut or Old Spice are reignited through Penhaligon’s Sartorial. A considerably well done and highly imaginative reconstruction of the classic fougere perfume: defined with notes of lavender, amber, and tonka bean, this classical blueprint is projected into modernity by situating it into an idealised tailor’s workroom. The scent of thread through beeswax, the hot metallic burr of steam irons, and a puff of chalk dust are all present. Sartorial flirts with this childhood fascination for masculine shaving preparations and the romantic anachronistic values of fine tailoring and the even finer manners of a gentleman.

With an impressive pedigree of wearers: Cary Grant, David Niven, and probably every Italian grandfather, Colonia is a cult fragrance of celebrity proportions. From small factory beginnings in Parma to a prestigious status as a 100-year-old classic cologne, Colonia bursts with a vibrant Italian energy full of vim and vigour—like bottling Mediterranean sunshine—by the way of sharp citruses and a cooling rush of aromatic herbs. At its depths, Colonia has reverberations of classical lavender and musks to give base and a nuzzle-worthy warmth. Quite simply a life-giving tonic that cools the body and warms the soul.

A fragrance of intense gravity, Nasomatto’s perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri undertakes a heavy-handed maximalist approach in his quest to capture the narcotic effects of hashish. Gualtieri achieves a style of organised chaos, captured through large brush strokes to enhance the mesmerising idea of hashish through additions of coffee, tobacco, and precious oud wood. The shadowy severity of this fragrance is intensified and a hypnotising sense of mystery is created. At the very centre of this fragrance lies a moment of calm and mellow serenity—an assurance of classical, well-groomed masculinity. Black Afgano is notorious for pushing convention to the edge, favouring raw and brutish rather than cerebral. Consistently producing works of confidence and shameless sensuality, Nasomatto plays no games and is a favourite amongst men with a daring streak.

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MORNING

An SPF moisturiser is best used during the day, but what should you use at night? Here’s the best of AM and PM to help organise your grooming routine.

1 Menscience Advanced Deodorant 2 Jack Black Cool Moisture Body Lotion: Best absorbed straight after a morning shower. 3 Clinique for Men M Protect SPF21 Moisturiser: It’s important to apply SPF even when there’s no sun in sight. 4 Acqua di Parma Colonia EDC: A fresh, citrus fragrance is a definite crowd-pleaser. 5 King Brown Matte Pomade. 6 Baxter of California Pocket Comb. 7 Urth Face Wash. 8 Menaji Camo Concealer: Hide late nights with a camo stick. 9 Anthony Logistics Wake Up Call Hydrating Gel. 10 Marvis Mouthwash. 11 Clinique for Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel

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NIGHT

PHOTOGRAPHY

1 Czech & Speak 8PC Manicure Kit.
2 Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer: Repair the ravages of a hard day’s work. 3 Baxter of California Night Cream AHA. 4 Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud EDC. 5 American Crew Power Cleanser Style Remover. 6 Triumph & Disaster Rock & Roll Suicide Face Scrub: A clay scrub can be left on as a face mask for an even deeper cleanse once a week. 7 Lab Series Skincare for Men Future Rescue Repair Serum: Give your skin some extra fuel to help repair itself overnight. 8 Marvis Toothpaste. 9 Marvis Toothbrush.

Erin Jancauskas

LOCATION & STYLYING

Artedomus Richmond Eva Cronin, Flora Keung

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42 We look into the making of an icon from early origins in the 16th century, to its place as the most universally worn piece of clothing today.

STORY OF DENiM JEANS


AUTHOR

Jackson Byrne

EARLY HISTORY

To understand just how ubiquitous riveted blue cotton trousers have become, a recent study (conducted by reputable sounding academics) concluded that only people residing in very remotest corners of China, and possibly undiscovered tribes living in the jungles of PNG or The Amazon Basin were yet to encounter the wonders of denim jeans. Travel virtually anywhere else in the world and you will universally see locals clad in the all-global indigo uniform. So did this item of clothing, which existed as workwear for manual labourers for hundreds of years, come to so completely conquer the planet? The history of denim jeans centres around not one but two fabrics, ‘jean’- originating from Genoa, Italy, which was worn by sailors during the 16th century, and ‘denim’, which most probably originates from ‘de Nimes’, a French town where the fabric was said to be first made during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. However, historians argue that de Nimes might have actually been made first in England, canny Brits using the French name to add cachet to their local product. Both fabrics were made using similar yarn, dyed using indigo grown in India, but de Nimes was slightly courser, considered of higher quality and was more readily used for over garments such as smocks and overalls, while jean was often used for industrial purposes such as protecting docked cargo. For decades the fabrics had limited popularity, were never worn by those above the lower working classes and production rates remained steady. We can see no early clue of the world domination that would follow.

The inevitabilities of world trade combined with frontier opportunism eventually saw North America become the centre for both jean and denim production, George Washington making a campaign appearance at a Massachusetts mill that manufactured both fabrics to the highest standards in 1789, much to the delight of his New England constituency. Despite this presidential endorsement, gradual growth in popularity was again the natural order for jean and denim. In 1873 our story encounters Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis, who jointly patented a design for rivet reinforced work wear on 20 May 1873—considered the birthday of modern jeans. Strauss was a dry goods salesman who retailed to gold miners, and it is thought that inventing a pair of extremely durable trousers might have seemed a nice sideline for the canny entrepreneur, upon realisation that a miner can only use one shovel at a time. For many years after this momentous date jeans were seen purely as the workwear of choice for those involved in the heaviest manual labour. Levi Strauss was sent a letter in 1920 by a disgruntled gold miner, shocked that after being worn every day except Sunday for 3 years straight, while engaged in the hardest and dirtiest labour known, his jeans were starting to show some wear and tear. The letter has been preserved as an artifact. Jeans were also seen astride cowboys during this period, a vocation that also required a durable set of strides, given all the time they spent chaffing in the saddle, but once again mainstream appeal was minimal.

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REBELLION

The notion of jeans as work-wear was upended when a strapping, brooding Marlon Brando inspired a spirit of denimborne rebellion in the 1953 film ‘The Wild One’. James Dean then sent this notion of clothes as social defiance into the stratosphere two years later in ‘Rebel Without a Cause’. Teenagers of all social standing flocked to embrace the look with unrestrained enthusiasm, sticking it to the establishment by slipping into denim jeans all possible occasions. In response many middle class high schools banned the cursed fabric, a move that inevitably had the opposite than intended result. It didn’t take long however for grandpa to clamber aboard the bandwagon and jeans have long since lost their status as statements of rebellion and defiance, being seen on even the uncoolest of cats, George W Bush and Tony Blair famously flaunting well ironed jeans in unison during their first summit, ‘just a couple of regular guys out for a stroll, nothing diabolical going on here folks’, being the intended statement. Research also uncovered a pic of a very hip looking Dick Cheney, pimp-rolling a pair of baggy, faded jeans, tucked in of course to an olive coloured shirt, brown leather belt, white running shoes, the very pinnacle of street cred in full flight. Proof that denim straddles the political divide can be seen in the wardrobe of Barrack Obama, also a dedicated jeans man.

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While the free world was going crazy for all things denim following Hollywood’s 1950’s intervention, in other parts of the globe being seen as an American product had served as a severe branding disadvantage. Throughout the Cold War many markets behind the iron curtain were closed to obvious symbols of western capitalism. Jeans were smuggled into the USSR, but this was a dangerous business, with real threat of judicial recrimination for those caught in the trade. Russian jean label ‘Rokotov & Fainberg’ is named after two currency traders who were executed for economic crimes in 1961, trafficking jeans listed amoung their many heinous offences. Of course the Cold War ended, capitalism won the day allowing a thousand sweatshops to bloom, cheap pairs of jeans were churned out in their millions, and the rest is history.

TO WASH?

A microbiology student at the University of Alberta, Josh Le, conducted an informal experiment in which he wore the same pair of raw denim jeans for 15 months without a single wash and then tested their bacterial content. A retest two weeks after washing them found the bacterial content to be almost identical. Washing causes the precious indigo dye to fade and the garment to lose its shape, which famously conforms to its wearer like no other item of clothing, so why wash them at all? Freezing jeans overnight, a short stint in a hot oven, methods to avoid washing abound. Most jeans manufacturers agree that washing should be done as infrequently as possible, and the heat method would seem the more effective in killing off odour causing bacteria. MB

As a lesson in western consumer goods conquering the globe the denim jean must go down as history’s most successful export, with a sugary cola sold in a red bottle probably running a very distant second. So will denim jeans ever by replaced as THE go to fashion item? No. Civilisation as we know it might crumble, but the denim jean will live forever.

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MIRROR—Nº2


46 SOMETHING SERIOUS

— As real as the threat of global warming may be, many of us brush our hands of the responsibility, thinking it’s best left to the experts to fix. However, we believe that every little bit counts and have listed a few simple ways that you could improve yourself, whilst helping the environment at the same time.

Contacts — Department of Environment & Energy www.environment.gov.au or phone 1800 803 772 — Environment Victoria www.environmentvictoria.org.au or phone (03) 9341 8100

W W W. M E N S B I Z . C O M . A U

Trade your car for a bike Riding your bike to work everyday gets you out in the fresh air, saves you time spent sitting in traffic and money spent on petrol, parking and costly car services. Not only that, as a pollution-free mode of transport, cycling 10km each way to work could save 1500kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year. If you can’t ride the whole distance, catch a bus or train and get off a couple of stops early to cycle or walk the rest of the journey.

Switch up your shave You might not think that your grooming routine has anything to do with the environment, but millions of disposable razors and shaving foam cans are dumped in landfill each year, with very few able to be recycled. Switching from a cartridge razor and shaving foam to a double edge or cut-throat razor and a traditional shaving soap and brush will dramatically reduce your wastage, with most packaging and parts either recyclable or reusable.

Avoid microbeads Most people associate microbeads with the small scrubbing beads you find in face and body scrubs, but they can also be used in many other products including toothpastes, cleansers, and household cleaning products. The plastic beads are non-biodegradable and end up in the ocean, releasing toxins and harming marine life who are unable to properly distinguish between food sources and the microplastics. According to the Environmental Protection Authority NSW, because of their small size they are not captured by most wastewater treatment systems and are almost impossible to remove from the environment once they reach it. Microbeads aren’t always easily spotted, so look out for products including the ingredients Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Polyethylene Terephtalate, Polymethylmethacrylate or Nylon.

Get Political According to Nicholas Aberle from Environment Victoria, some of the biggest gains in environment and climate will come from government decisions, and Aberle encourages some good old fashioned people power to make it happen. Reach out to your state and federal politicians and urge them to do more to protect our environment— it’s a small task for a big impact.

THE

MIRROR—Nº2


GROOMI N G

ROYAL ARCADE SHOP Nº 49 335 BOURKE STREET MELBOURNE VIC 3000

F O R

ST SHOP Nº 412–41 SYD

M E N

RAND ARCADE 15, GROUND FLOOR 4 GEORGE STREET NEY NSW 2000

WWW.MEN S B I Z . C O M . A U

The Men's Biz Mirror Issue # 2  

Insights on grooming, fashion and lifestyle for the modern man. www.mensbiz.com.au #mensbiz

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