Because as of yesterday, they’ve launched their own proprietary brand of grooming products—the same stuff Sam Buffa has been perfecting in his barbershops for years.
You’ll want to hop over to their (also) new online shop and preorder the lot, shipping before the end of June. While you’re there, you may be tempted to pick up a few other essentials from the likes of Odin, Filson and Baxter. Just go with it.
The mullet doesn’t get much love these days—and for good reason.
But there’s one place it has always enjoyed a warm welcome: the world of soccer. In fact, you’ll still spot a surprising number of them on the fields of Brazil this month. (Look no further than tournament favorite Brazilian wunderkind Neymar, who’s sporting the updated Euro-fied version of the haircut that verges on faux-hawk in front, ducktail in back.) Needless to say, if there were ever a group of people who knew how to make an already flamboyant hairdo even more flamboyant, it’s soccer players.
The birds are chirping. The trees are in bloom. The sun’s still up when you leave the office… most of the time.
Ah, isn’t spring glorious?
Now that the better weather’s here to stay, it’s about time to swap out your deep, smoky winter fragrance for more a seasonally appropriate option—that is, something light, fresh and probably with a hint of citrus. But, of course, not just any eau will do.
The latest grooming news sweeping the world: Kim Jong-un has required all male students in North Korea to wear the exact same haircut as his.
The coiffure in question could best be described as the unholy union of a crew cut and a bowl cut—shorn to the scalp on the sides yet long enough on top for a middle part. On a good day, it’s reminiscent of something out of a Color Me Badd music video. But really, having a signature hairdo is classic totalitarian dictator stuff. They all had a “look” that they adhered to—and some were better than others.
As you’ve probably realized—what with the dry patches, chapped lips and other little tortures this winter has forced you to endure—the cold can be a real bitch on your skin.
So we thought it would be in your best interest to call in the experts from up north and try out Recipe for Men, a highly scientific battery of weather-defensive skin care out of Sweden, “tested in the extreme conditions of the Scandinavian climate” and slowly making its way onto American stock lists. Because if it can really endure the Arctic Circle, it should be good enough for your walk to work.
Tomato sauce, mozzarella, a touch of oregano: ingredients for delicious pizza or top notes for dubious cologne?
If you’d asked yesterday, we’d have scoffed at even the idea of the latter. But then a bottle of Pizza, the Neapolitan-inspired aroma from Demeter Fragrance Labs, found its way into Kempt HQ. Claiming to “stretch the boundary of the concept of wearable fragrance,” it’s “a departure” that we couldn’t not have our resident scent-hounds put to the test. Because as much as we love the cheesy stuff, we’re just not sure if we’d want to reek of it.
With his stellar track record, nobody is doubting John Varvatos’s fragrance chops these days.
But when a sample of Artisan Acqua, his latest citrus-and-basil-laden scent, made its way into Kempt HQ with the oddly specific claim to “embody the panache and leisure of the Mediterranean man who, without overthinking, achieves high style and an effortless nonchalance,” we couldn’t not be curious.
Fortunately, we have protocols in place to handle such skepticism. And so it was up to our resident bloodhounds/writers to take a good, strong whiff of the stuff and put into words what their noses were telling them.
And to mark the monthlong celebration of hirsute upper lips, we took a look back at some of the greatest and—depending on how you feel about soup-strainers—not so great mustaches of all time and asked this question:
Rapper + Producer + Designer + Agent + Team Owner + Philanthropist + Beyoncé’s Plus-One = Your New Perfumer.
Yes, Mr. Carter is getting into his eighth-ish career with his forthcoming scent, Gold Jay Z. It’s apparently the essence of an icon in a bottle: power, pride, confidence, strength, success and courage.
But what exactly does an icon’s essence smell like? Yeah, we didn’t know either. So we got our hands on a bottle early and unleashed our regiment of noses on the Smell Test™.
Leonardo DiCaprio. Jake Gyllenhaal. Matt Bomer.
All have two things in common: spectacular hair. And they trust it to New York’s Martial Vivot Salon Pour Hommes for their daily, or cover story, styling needs.
Naturally, we were intrigued when we received news of Mr. Vivot unveiling his own line of grooming products, boasting a “universal formulation [that] means they will never have to change products again. Never.” But we’re not ones to take such grand claims at face value. So we went straight to human testing, in our secret underground bunker lab. Okay, actually, we had a Kempt staffer take the stuff home to try it out, clipboard in tow.
First there was 1. Then there was 2 and 3 (see where we’re going with this?). And now with its 11th iteration, Odin delivers Semma.
With layers of tobacco, chili pepper and sandalwood, it’s professed as “a collection of notes from distant lands veiled in mystery.” Bold words.
As recreational conquistadors of distant lands veiled in mystery, we’ve put the claim to the test and asked the unbiased and hypersensitive noses of Kempt HQ to take a whiff.
Two days ago, I lost my firstborn beard.
All right, so I didn’t really “lose” my beard. I shaved it off using a beard trimmer, too many disposable razors and a despicable amount of shower water. Also, a shaving gel infused with something called “Australian quandong fruit,” but I digress.
With the onset of October, fall is looming close. Here at Kempt, that means serious prep work: we’re rewaxing our canvas, lacing up our boots and pressing our finest woolen suits.
With our wardrobes on lockdown, we’d be remiss to overlook the necessary tools required for managing autumnal facial scruff.
However tempting it may be to simply grab a Bic and proceed, there’s a whole slew of grooming excellence out there to consider. We’re here to help you navigate.
For the past three months, “clean and refreshing” may have been used to describe both the beverage in your hand and your choice of cologne.
Chances are, that’ll change soon. And naturally, we’re here to translate the array of autumnal fragrances before you. (As for a fall drink, may we recommend a wassail?)
Just when you thought there were enough single malt scents…
The Glenlivet goes and teams up with Brooklyn-based perfumery HYLNDS to make a “scotch-inspired” eau de parfum they’re calling “The Spirit of the Glen.” (We’re guessing “scotch-inspired” means there’s some “barley malt” and “sherry cask” listed in the scent’s low notes.) And while it won’t be available for purchase until the holidays, we’ve managed to get our hands on an advance sample.
Thus, in our long-standing tradition of providing helpful, honest commentary on what your olfactory centers have in store for them, we’ve asked the great noses at Kempt HQ to take a good, strong whiff and tell us what they think of the stuff.
The average size of a sink top hasn’t changed much over the past 50 years, but with the dizzying array of modern grooming products out there nowadays, yours probably feels a lot more cramped than granddad’s.
It was a simpler time then, sure, but you can still find shaving cream in a can, a good bar of soap and a classic stick of deodorant in any drugstore in town. And you can sure as hell bet they get the job done—which is why they’re still around, some going on two centuries, and usually still selling for old-timey prices (a bonus for anyone stretching his grooming budget).
Yup, it’s that time again.
The last time we did a smell test on Kempt, we investigated Michael Jordan’s Flight Sport. And the results were, shall we say, mixed. But this time around, with some samples in hand from grooming specialists at the Motley and our olfactory palate cleansed of Gatorade and sweat, we’re feeling much more optimistic.
The first fragrance from these young-but-well-regarded curators of fine dopp kittery, Atlas boasts notes of cedar, oak moss, leather and green mandarin. And that’s all great. We’re pretty sure, though, that there must be a more expressive way of describing this “clear, strong and righteous” attempt at men’s perfumery. So we had the finest noses at Kempt HQ take a whiff.
With the official start to summer only two days away, it’s only getting hotter, and decidedly sweatier, from here on out.
And since no doubt you’ve already transitioned your closet to lighter fabrics for the impending dog days of July and August, it’s time to focus on summer-izing your scent.
And we’re not just talking about deodorant.
It’s time for some fresh summer updates to your everyday grooming arsenal. Fact is, a light fragrance in all your primping products can really help keep the stench at bay. (Yes, even in your soap.) And when nature’s cranking the dial on the thermostat, we like to use the same rule of thumb with our grooming as we do our beverages: always better with a hint of citrus and herb.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan has made some questionable decisions since the days we trusted him on the court. So when we saw he had released the “Sport” version of his original eau de toilette, Flight, earlier this year, we were skeptical.
According to Perfumania, Flight Sport boasts notes of mandarin oil, geranium, patchouli, white lavender, vanilla and skin musk. We’re not convinced. So we had a few of Kempt’s most sophisticated noses take a spritz and evaluate. Here’s what they had to say:»
Last time we met, we determined that Odin’s 07 fragrance smelled like Michael Fassbender in a closet made of cedar. Then along came 08, which we… well, we ignored it.
Today, Odin 09, which purports to smell like velvety peach and pear flower with hints of tobacco and bourbon. That’s almost right. We asked 10 sophisticated noses at Kempt HQ to give it a whiff and weigh in.
The only difference is that associates at top private equity firms know that male pattern baldness, when on display, must be taken high and tight. And they know that this is not up for debate.
Now we will bow to you and be on our way.
We haven’t had a smell test in a while, but when samples came in of the “Hamptons” scent by Bond No. 9, we knew we had to investigate. The floral notes are meant to invoke summers on the beach. But would it smell like Diddy’s White Party or Billy Joel after too much white wine?
We asked a panel of olfactory-gifted ladies to give us their opinions.
A few days back, we received a press email from a stranger. This is not an uncommon event. Also, not an exciting event. Especially when it pertains to soap. But as we started to glance through this one, a series of unusual buzzwords piqued our interest. First off, they called their soap “Fancy Black Soap.” That’s the name of it. Bold. Pretentious. Now we’re on to something… Then the crazywords started tumbling toward us in droves: “volcanic ash,” “fresh milk from local pasture-raised Nubian goats,” “a secret Catskills Mountain location,” “hand poured.” So many, in fact, that we called in a sample of this stuff and decided to wallow in some dirt for a few days in preparation. Also, Googled Nubian goats.
To our surprise, the soap couldn’t talk, it didn’t hold the secret to the mysteries of the deep ocean, and it wasn’t wearing double monks. But it was a chocolate brown bar stamped with the words “GOAT MILK,” felt excellent on the skin and left us feeling aggressively clean. And sure, maybe we just think it’s great since Nubian goats are involved. But isn’t that enough?
The furrowed presidential brow is also a well-groomed one.
So says Michael Gilman, founder of the Grooming Lounge in Washington, DC, who contends that “seven of the past eight [US presidential] elections have been won by the candidate with the best-groomed eyebrows.” Maddeningly, Mr. Gilman leaves us hanging on the exception.
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