For his homework this week my 7 y.o. son had to write a poem about the stone age.
After a bit of brain storming about which words he wanted to use and a little help putting it all together he came up with this fantastic acrostic poem.
I thought it was so good, I just had to blog about it!
As explained on readwritethink.org an acrostic poem “uses the letters in a word to begin each line of the poem. All lines of the poem relate to or describe the main topic word”.
Our word was HUNTER.
Hunting Wooly Mammoths to get our dinner.
Using flint spears and axes that we made.
Nearly getting whacked by big tusks as we kill our prey.
The fire cooks the delicious yummy meat.
Eating in our cave wrapped up snug in animal fur.
Recording our lives by painting on the cave walls.
Liking a great aftershave or cologne admittedly is a very subjective thing. My idea of a great scent is probably very different to yours.
We’d both explain what are our favourites and why. And after arguing as usual you’d probably be right. But it’s my blog so I’m going to give you my top 5 best fragrances for men anyway!
In true pop-picker style I’ll run down from #5 to #1. I’ve shown alongside what the smell is described as by the brand marketeers and other internet fragrance experts.
At any point while reading you’re quite welcome (and wouldn’t be alone either) to say ‘What the hell does Sandalwood, Bergamot or Patchouli smell like anyway?
Aftershave vs. cologne vs. eau de toilette vs. perfume
First a brief explanation as to what the difference is between an aftershave, cologne, eau de toilette and perfume.
Essentially it’s do do with the concentration of the natural essential oils / perfume oils within the product. The more oils in the product the stronger it is and the longer it will last. Stronger doesn’t necessarily mean better though – as anyone gassed out by a strong perfume can tell you!
- Eau de Cologne. This tends to contain about 7% essence. It doesn’t last long, so can be frequently reapplied directly to the skin. It tends to be marketed in large sizes of up to 200 ml and is often applied by spray.
- Eau de toilette or EDT. Eeau de toilette can contain up to around 10% aromatic essence. The top notes – the first scent released by a perfume – are dominant, making it refreshing when it is applied. It then evaporates and fades away quite quickly. Eau de toilette and cologne are the most popular forms in which fragrances are sold. Confusingly the lines get blurred so sometimes this term is used to describe the same concentration as there is in men’s cologne.
- Eau de parfum. The concentration of oils is over 15%, sometimes reaching as high as 20%. It usually lasts well and is sold in small sizes. After the top notes have died away, the middle notes or heart notes of a perfume become noticeable. This is the focus of eau de parfum which makes it perfect to spray on hair or clothing.
- Perfume. The average concentration of essence in a perfume is 25% (though some can be up to 40%!), which makes it the longest lasting of all the scent categories. Only a tiny amount is needed, which is reflected in the sizes in which it is sold. It can also be called perfume extract or extrait and is often the most expensive version of any fragrance.
Usually any product aimed at men is a ‘fragrance’ whilst for the ladies it’s a ‘perfume’.
Top notes, middle notes and base notes
Using a musical metaphor, perfume is described as having three sets of notes making the ‘harmonious scent accord’. The immediate impression of the scent is known as the top note which then leads to the middle notes. The base notes gradually appear after as the final stage. All are created carefully by experts, who often can have backgrounds in chemistry or even design.
- Top notes or head notes. These are the scents that immediately hit the senses after application of a perfume. Top notes consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly. They form a person’s initial impression of a perfume and are therefore very important in selling a perfume.
- Middle notes or heart notes. These emerge just after the top note and form the main body of a perfume. It acts to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of the base notes, which become more pleasant with time.
- Base notes: The longer lasting scent of a perfume that appears after the middle notes. They are usually not noticed until 30 minutes after application.The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume and bring depth to the fragrance or perfume.
Manufacturers of perfumes usually publish perfume notes and typically present it as fragrance pyramid, with the components listed in imaginative and abstract terms. Much like the naff arty adverts that often go alongside trying to sell such fragrances or perfumes!
My top 5 list
Calvin Klein Eternity for Men
The perfume shop says “The fragrance is fresh with woody tones and is very much a men’s classic. The initial coolness to the fragrance comes from a fresh mix of green botanicals, with a hint of lavender and mandarin”.
Whereas Fragantica goes into a bit more history – “launched in 1990. The nose behind this fragrance is Carlos Benaim.
- Top notes are lavender, mandarin orange, bergamot and lemon;
- Middle notes are coriander, lily, orange blossom, juniper berries, basil, jasmine, sage, lily-of-the-valley and geranium;
- Base notes are sandalwood, amber, musk, vetiver and brazilian rosewood”.
How anyone can smell anything individual with so may ingredients is beyond me!
Georgio Armani – Acqua di Gio
A number of different websites rank this as their number one and for good reason. It’s just such a good overall sweetly rounded scent. It’s also very cheap to buy too. This ensures it’s often in the top 5 best sellers. £30 for a 200ml bottle can at a push be found on eBay for example.
So what do the experts say it smells like?
Well Boots say “This aquatic, aromatic fragrance opens with a splash of fresh calabrian bergamot, neroli and green tangerine. Light, aquatic nuances mix with jasmine petal, crisp rock rose, rosemary, fruity persimmon and warm Indonesian patchouli to create a masculine scent that is both fresh and sensual. Natural and authentic, it is the perfect fragrance for gifting.”
Whereas Fragrance Direct say “Inspired by the freshness of the sea, Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Men Eau de Toilette Spray is a soothing, aquatic scent that brings a sense of richness to any man. With notes of bergamot, jasmine, rose and ambe, Acqua Di Gio is an invigorating fragrance that lingers seductively on the skin. With a classic and sleek glass bottle, Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio is a perfect fragrance for the modern man.”
Calvin Klein – Obsession For Men
It’s also come right down in price for how good it is too. For example Amazon have a 125ml bottle on offer at only £23!
FragranceX comment that it is recommended for office wear, adding “Obsession is classified as a refreshing, oriental, woody fragrance. This masculine scent possesses a blend of lavender, mandarin, clove, nutmeg and amber.”
Fragrancenet.com say “A casual but distinctive daytime scent from the iconic Calvin Klein, Obsession cologne for men is a spicy, moderate fragrance that balances its citrus notes with musky undertones. First introduced by Calvin Klein in 1988, Obsession for men has a rich, appealing construction that combines dominant notes of spice and mandarin with low tones of musk, amber and sandalwood. This appealing and resonant fragrance is the perfect choice for a broad variety of daytime events.”
Issey Miyake – L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme
Wow, what a scent! I really love this smell. Very unique and recognisable.
Created by Jacques Cavallier in 1994 this is a great EDT to own.
The perfume Shop says “Since 1994, L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme has become a hallmark of sophistication in the world of fragrances. It awakens the senses with its blend of citrus, precious woods and spices. The pure, energising scent is perfect for a modern, independent man.”
I especially like Fragantica’s explanation – “Issey Miyake uses very unusual and rare materials in order to create perfumes that evoke the sense of timeless freedom and serenity. L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme was created as a universal Eau de Toilette perfect for any occasion.
L’Eau d’Issey for Men is a woody aquatic fragrance with:
- yuzu as in top notes, along with notes of bergamot, lemon and tarragon.
- A middle note is spicy and woody: nutmeg and water lily are an exciting and unexpected accord in this composition.
- An end note carries an intense woody scent which is sharp and enriched with tobacco,sandalwood, cedar, vetiver and musk.”
Acqua di Parma Colonia Eau de Cologne
Created in 1916 (1916!!) this is my fave cologne and one I’d always wear. According to Fragantica.com Colonia became a real symbol of Italian chic among American and European celebrities in the pre-war (1930’s) and post-war (1950’s) years. Cary Grant, David Niven, Ava Gadner and Audrey Hepburn were among the passionate admirers of Colonia.
It is in fact a unisex cologne and is possibly the greatest traditional eau de cologne available.
When you spray it on it has an initial invigorating, even cheerful burst of zesty freshness. Many other layers then reveal themselves afterwards to create an overall very elegant scent. Vintage even.
The great thing is as far as I know is it’s not especially well known either. So it’s quite unique to own and use.
I’d certainly recommend trying it if you can find it. The box and even the font on the bottle look timelessly cool too.
Here’s the blurb from the John Lewis website – “A unique and naturally fresh sensual scent that will linger for hours:
- Top notes:Grapefruit, Mint, Blood mandarin
- Heart notes:Rose absolute, Cinnamon, Spice
- Base notes:Leather, Wood, Amber, Indian Patchouli”
House of Fraser says “Fresh, light and suitable for all seasons, Colonia is Acqua di Parma’s signature scent. An exquisite blend of Sicilian citrus fruit, English lavender, rosemary, verbena and deep sensual notes of sandalwood, cedar and mysore, Colonia is modern classic dedicated for both men and women.”
Acquadiparma.com says “A fresh, refined, and timeless fragrance for a pragmatic and successful man who loves tradition. A composition born from sunny Sicilian citrus fruits and the harmonious blend of floral essences such as lavender and damask rose that merge with woody notes of vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli in the base.”
Hint: Don’t get confused with the very similar ‘Colonia Assoluta’ which is slightly different.
Other colognes that I hear are great but haven’t had a chance to try yet
- Bleu by Chanel
- One Million by Paco Raban
- Mont Blanc Legend for Him
Ones I’ve tried and meh..
- Man by Calvin Klein – underwhelming and a bit too bland in my view.
- Uomo Ermenegildo Zegna cologne – smells almost identical to Man by Calvin Klein
- Calvin Klein Contradiction Homme – OK but there’s better EDTs out there.
- Liz Claiborne Lucky Number 6 Men – this isn’t actually too bad. The bottle is a naff design though and the top spray nozzle gets lost all too easily (as I found when I opened the box in my car once, only for the top to get lost down the side of the seat – doh!).
- Chrome Cologne by Loris Azzaro – OK I guess. Nothing special in my eyes.
So what do you think?
Do you agree and like these men’s fragrances, or have I got it all wrong and I’ve missed a great one?
Do please comment below! I’d love to hear your comments.
Ever since we bought the amazing video game Skylanders Giants for my son’s 6th birthday (we bought the Wii version), all of us in my family have been bitten by the Skylander bug. Well, apart from my wife who’s not that bothered! (she’ll come round I’m sure).
This platform-style game is simply great fun. The characters are brilliant (especially the way they level-up and gain new skills/power etc) and the levels, battles and heroic challenges are really fun to complete.
The fact that you swap the physical toy onto the portal of power is also a great idea too. It makes it much more fun to then collect all the characters.
Anyway, less about the game..!
So who is the best Skylander to play with? As in, the most powerful and the easiest one to play with to advance throughout the levels, complete all the battles and easily achieve all the heroic challenges?
We’ve got all the Skylanders (apart from Ninijini, who’s much too expensive, and Shroom Boom, who we’re not interested in buying), so what I’m suggesting below is from our many hours of playing the game with all the characters you can possibly hope to buy. We’re’ up to about 80% completed now for the game and should hopefully get the final 20% with a little help from Google and locating where the final treasure chests/hats are etc!
So without further ado I give you:
Here’s my reasons why, I think, he’s the most powerful and easiest character to play and complete skylanders with.
Note, I’m not saying ‘most fun’, which could be any of the characters as they’re all great in their own different ways (for example my fave is Slam-Bam with his jingle bells sleigh and all-conquering close-combat smashing ability).
1. He fires constantly.
You hold down A and blitz everything in your path. None of this constantly-clicking-and-then-getting-cramp-in-your-thumb. You just press once, hold on and he fires constantly, until you let go. This is of course because he’s a tech Skylander – so Trigger Happy, Drill Sergeant, Sprocket and Bouncer all have the same ‘hold it once’ ability. A really useful ability in my view.
So you just calmly walk through the level (or battle or heroic challenge etc) zapping all who come before you. Each individual ‘zap’ isn’t that powerful, but the sheer volume and deluge of fire power you dish out, means you can kill off even the most powerful monsters quickly.
2. His lasers go really far.
They go really far, like right across the screen and even beyond it. So you don’t have to get worried about getting up close to anyone and getting hit/damaged. So those final battle levels ‘You Only Live Once’ – where you’ve only got one point of life and cannot get hit – are easier to achieve as you don’t have to worry about getting close to your enemies. You can sit back across the far side of the screen and can pretty much obliterate anything before it gets even remotely close to you.
3. His secondary weapon ‘tactical blade gears’ is rubbish.
This might seem like an odd thing to put down for a so called strength, but the benefit is that you don’t get distracted trying to use this B weapon. Instead you just focus solely on using the main lasers weapon instead. These are, all things considered, the only weapon he needs anyway!
4. He’s quick
The fact that he’s a dragon means that he can fly. So if you need that turn of speed to complete a level quickly (if you’re going for that third star and trying to beat the time limit) or even just to get out of the way of a powerful opponent, you can use the afterburners to blast away and travel quickly to a safer location. The fact that these afterburners also damage enemies is a bonus too.
The most highly annoying thing though is that if Drobot is next to something or touches slightly the wall etc, he jolts and falls out of flying mode. So for example you can’t fly down corridors easily.
5. He’s got loads of life.
750 – 800 odd, if you level him up by doing heroic challenges and combining this with a good hat too. This is a massive amount of life and borders on the stats for the Skylander Giants, like Crusher, Tree Rex, Eyebrawl etc. The benefit of course being he’s hard to kill and stays alive longer – making it easier for you to complete levels without losing a life, thus achieving that tick on the final summary for that level.
So what do you think?
Do you agree that Drobot it the best for completing Skylanders? Or do you prefer another character? In which case who!?
Leave me a message below with your thoughts.
When I first discovered Darwin Deez, it was through Spotify. They’re so quirky and unique; a really ace NY indie band.
The upbeat jangly guitar sounds, melodic chord progressions and rhythms, the catchy melodies and of course the charismatic front man himself – Darwin Smith – are all very cool and very endearing and likeable.
I then looked at their stuff on YouTube and completely fell back in love with music videos.They’re so well thought out and entertaining to watch.
Check out the below and see why I’m raving so much…!
Who are Darwin Deez? (blurb taken from the official youtube channel)
An equal mix of indie, wacky, Beck, and Fleetwood Mac, Brooklyn’s Darwin Deez is skilled at mixing sunshine pop with some indie attitude and lo-fi dissonance, but he’s been known to drive audiences crazy with his offbeat, Napoleon Dynamite-like dance routines.
After spending time in the N.Y.C. band Creaky Floors, Deez formed the band that sports his name and released the infectious indie pop single “Constellations.”
Live shows where the bandmembers entered dancing to “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” made them the talk of the Brooklyn hipster set, while the U.K. caught on thanks to their early-2010 single “Radar Detector” and its extremely bonkers video.
That same year the band collected all its best “happy songs for sad people” for a self-titled debut album released by the Lucky Number label.
~ David Jeffries, Rovi
Weird and awkward choreography to go with a song about breaking up.
A Carl Sagan tribute. theberadblog.com/2010/09/14/new-darwin-deez-video-constellations goes into detail about it.
You can’t be my girl
A brilliant video; a story of unrequited love, told using stock video footage.
Free (The Editorial Me)
A cool video where he’s trapped in some kind of momentary Groundhog Day time-vortex. When he tries to break out of it, things get weird. It’s a clever concept that runs throughout the whole video.
Note the copy of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness” in Michelle’s hand when she spills the coffee – an existentialist reference.
A video based on the book called the Bento Box of Useless Japanese Inventions. It captures the bright weirdness of the band, with lots of eye-popping colour and bizarre adventures.
Up in the clouds
Deez undergoes several weather related punishments to win back his air traffic controller girlfriend.
Video by www.anikainlondon.com.
Here’s a brief run down of a number of grammatical terms (that I think at least) we should be aware of. I’ve included examples so that they make more sense.
If you want a far better, more professional and trustworthy account please see the brilliant Grammar Monster site – www.grammar-monster.com. The creator of this site is behind the highly enjoyable ‘Grammar for Grown-ups‘ book, which lists a number of brilliant quotes and quips to help highlight the below. I’ve used several of these quotes below – which I hope they don’t mind!
You’ll also notice that the below list is a real mish-mash. There’s no real thought behind it other than the bits of grammar that I find interesting! Enjoy!
An adjective is simply a describing word i,e squishy, exciting, blue etc.
‘This post about grammar is simply fascinating‘. – Fascinating being the adjective.
“And though she be but little, she is fierce.” – William Shakespeare
On a similar nature a Compound Adjective is an adjective made up of two words, for example:
‘Three-storey house’ or ‘Best-known Director within the company’.
An adverb is similar to an adjective, but it instead modifies the verb in the sentence.
Adverbs tell us when, where, how, in what manner, or to what extent an action is performed.
They are often -ly words e.g. poorly or helpfully.
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves” – Thich Nhat Hanh. Drink is the verb (a doing word) whereas slowly is the adverb.
Or, ‘She sang beautifully‘. – Sang is the verb, beautifully is the adverb.
These join words together. The most common are: and, or, but, because and so.
“This man is either dead or my watch has stopped.” – Groucho Marx
“I failed to make the chess team because of my height.” – Woody Allen
Interjections are words used to express strong feeling or sudden emotion. They are included in a sentence – usually at the start – to express a sentiment such as surprise, disgust, joy, excitement or enthusiasm.
‘Hey! Over here.’ or ‘Blimey, that was a close one’. – Where Hey and Blimey are the interjections.
“Ah coffee. The sweet balm by which we shall accomplish today’s tasks.” – Holly Black
Is the term for anything with a name, be it:
- people (e.g., man, worker)
- animals (e.g., dog, giraffe)
- places (e.g., city, road)
- objects (e.g., table, car)
- substances (e.g., water, rock)
- qualities (e.g., heroism, sorrow)
- actions (e.g., talking, eating)
- measures (e.g., inch, stone).
‘The best thing about this pen, is that you write almost anything with it’ – Unknown
www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/nouns.htm goes into good detail regarding nouns.
A preposition is a word that precedes a noun or pronoun to describe its relationship to something else within the sentence.
Examples are the words in, under, toward and before.
“Courage is grace under pressure.” – Ernest Hemingway
“Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.” – Mae West
A pronoum replaces the noun in a sentence, to prevent you from having to repeat it again.
He, she, we, they, it are all pronouns.
“I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home.” – Robert Orben. Where ‘they’ is the pronoun, rather than having to say ‘my children’ again.
“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.” – Ellen DeGeneres
Where a word or phrase is separated into two parts, with other words interrupting between them.
‘Abso-bloody-lutely‘ is such an example.
As is ‘Wel-diddly-elcome‘, a signature phrase of fictional character Ned Flanders from The Simpsons.
Verbs are doing words. They convey actions (bring, read, walk, run, learn), an occurrence (happen, become), or a state of being (be, exist, stand).
“Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.” – Mark Twain
“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” – Roger Miller
“Sometimes I think we’re alone. Sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the thought is staggering.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
Over the years there’s been some excellent cover versions. Many of which have been much much better than the original.
Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (originally by Leonard Cohen) and All Along the Watch Tower by Jimi Hendrix (a Bob Dylan song) are just a couple of great examples where the song is popularly associated with the cover artist rather than the original writer.
But what about future cover versions. Can we predict what would do well for modern artists if they covered particular songs?
Below are a few songs where I think these artists could make really good versions and do the original proud, if not better:
The Clapping Song by Shirley Ellis – should be covered by Fat Boy Slim.
Fat Boy Slim’s been off the scene for a while and enjoying it too as he describes in this Independent interview. But if he ever wanted to make a quick fire hit, this song would make for a classic big beat song with the pounding drums and brass section.
I Can Make You Feel Good by Shalamar – should be covered by Peter Andre
In a similar vein to the first song, this cover would also help get the cover artist back into the limelight. If Peter Andre ever decided to turn his back on reality shows and documentaries and try his hand again at making another pop song, I think this would suit him down to a tee.
She Makes My Day by Robert Palmer – should be covered by One Direction
This song would really suit any boy band covering it , not just one Direction, as the chorus has harmonies and layered lyrics which would suit a group performing it. It’s also slushy as hell, so your sister, mum and gran would all love it!
What other songs do you think would make good covers and for who?