In the Name of the Fathers

Father’s Day was never a big deal in my family. I always assumed that my dad was the kind of man, like many of his generation, who shied from the spotlight of attention and felt uncomfortable with any notion of having a day wherein he could sit back, relax and be showered with gifts. 

Looking back, it may just have been that the gifts he really wanted to receive were a considerable distance from the kind of cornershop tat my sister and I could afford as children. Perhaps, even, he felt he’d get more joy from watching his offspring get a treat for themselves than for him. Such is the lot of the father, it seems.

Whatever the reason, I must confess I inherited some of my old man’s hesitance and cynicism when it comes to Father’s Day and my own child. However, as adults, it’s important to remember that the dads, stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, masculine role models and father figures in our lives deserve a moment to be spoiled and presented with moments of delight… and who knows? Maybe when our own kids grow up, they’ll reward us for imbuing them with impeccable taste, proffering gifts which go beyond what some meagre pocket money can stretch to. 

Let’s celebrate the fathers, the paterfamilias figures and the main men in our lives, and elevate Father’s Day to something beyond the bare minimum. As always, we’ve sought out gifts that not only showcase taste and class, but which delve into the unique, the outstanding and the beautifully-crafted. After all, no matter how resistant he might seem to the praise and attention, those men deserve nothing less.

Drinks of Distinction

While not all fathers indulge in liquid refreshment, getting the father figure in your life some quality spirits is about as safe a bet as can be. A well-stocked liquor cabinet, hosting bottles made by artisanal (and increasingly, it seems, heavily-bearded and serious) distillers is a 21st century mark of distinguished masculinity. Here are some of the bottles that have caught our eye this month:

Psychopomp Absinthe

Now we’re talking. Absinthe – the drink that inspired countless 19th century artists and poets, and, well, led to Vincent Van Gogh partaking in some at-home ear surgery – has for better or worse always had a special place in my heart. Bristol’s Psychopomp distillery epitomises the glories achieved by small-batch creativity, resulting in a botanical spirit that works beautifully on its own, louched in iced water, or crafted into a classic Sazerac cocktail. 

Blind Swan Rum

Whether the much-feted rum revolution has truly arrived or not is a point of no shortage of debate. If the paterfamilias in your life, like mine, revels in sugarcane distillates on the cleaner, clearer side of the spectrum, then this white sipping rum from Blind Swan is sure to delight his senses. Notes of cacao and coffee beans abound, making it the ideal addition to a truly sophisticated collection. 

Ad Gefrin Tacnbora Blended Whisky

The beautiful Ad Gefrin distillery, housed in a spectacular setting amid the mad and moor-covered landscape of Wooler, Northumberland, is the first in the county, once a key whisky-producing part of the world, in over 200 years. It’s a heck of a heritage to live up to, and their initial blend – a stunningly smooth and complex number – shows that the Northumbrians are, as they always were, a force to be reckoned with.

Scents of style

They say that buying a fragrance for someone else can be a challenging task. When it comes to purchasing perfumes for men over a certain age, we’d argue the task becomes a whole lot simpler – stick to beautifully-constructed concoctions which lean either on the vibrant and vivifying, or dark, leathery and musky sides of the spectrum, and you’re onto a winner. These newcomers on the scene will mark your giftee out as a man of peerless and distinguished taste. 

Smoke and Mirrors by Thomson Carter

A true celebration of mature masculinity, this evocative scent – which features notes of sandalwood, musk and leather – evokes images of Chesterfield sofas, vinyl records, cigar smoke and fine spirits. At night. In the forest. If this isn’t a fragrance which epitomises the best of dad energy, and does so in spectacularly alluring fashion, we don’t know what is. 

Castelbel Gentleman’s Club Sea Salt Gift Set

I come from a long line of sailors, navvies and various sea goers, most of whom would shudder at the idea of applying anything more sophisticated than Pears soap to their skin. This pairing of a fantastically bright and zesty eau de parfum and aftershave balm, imbued with a vibrant sea salt and grapefruit aromatic blend, would sway even the staunchest of my ancestors. Enlivening and adventurous, it’s a striking summer gift set he’s sure to adore. 

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Brioni Eau de Parfum Essentiel 

Brioni’s fourth House fragrance is a first; the beginning of a new approach to their fragrance library with a focus on 100% natural origin ingredients. Eminent perfumer Michel Almairac expands on the collection with a fragrance which opens on bright verdant notes of cardamom and bergamot, which flows through a woody heart of patchouli paired with a tonka bean extraction. It ends on enduring notes of smooth sandalwood and frankincense, perfect for men who never settle for less than the iconic. 

For When He Has Everything

Straying away from the realm of booze and scents can pose certain challenges when it comes to Father’s Day gifts. For the man who has everything, one has to think outside the box – either level up an essential item or provide an enduring surprise with this trio of gifts guaranteed to make a difference. 

Pro-Ject T1 Record Player

We get it – your dad already has a record player; the one he has played his Emerson Lake and Palmer vinyls on for years, and he’s probably very attached to it. Once he hears how crisp and deep his favourite tracks sound on this absolutely gorgeous European-made unit, however, he’s sure to become a convert. Minimalist and sleek looks and game-changing sound quality? There’s simply no competition. 

Ordo Sonic+

Men appreciate nothing more than items which match the practical with the stylish. As far as everyday essentials go, a good quality and innovatively crafted oral health device is high on everybody’s list, and the Sonic+ from Ordo is a fantastic gift for the father figure in your life. Delivering 40,000 sonic pulses per minute and with four highly effective settings, it’s a toothbrush that goes above and beyond for brighter, healthier smiles.

Le Creuset Cast Iron Casserole

There’s no denying the iconic and enduring appeal of Le Creuset kitchenware, and these cast iron casseroles are a kitchen essential that truly appeals to home chefs seeking the best of the best. Hardy, stylish and perfect for slow cooking, roasts, hotpots and more, they’re the quintessential gift for foodie fathers everywhere. 

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Benjamin Mitrofan-Norris

As The Review’s Lifestyle Editor, Benjamin Norris takes the matter of his lifestyle both immensely seriously and perilously lightly, often in the same afternoon. A seasoned wine writer and specialist in perfumery, luxury hospitality, horology, gastronomy and more, he is an unwavering devotee to life’s finer things. Often found in Baltic capitals, Eastern European vineyards, dive bars and fine dining establishments alike, all while working as a copywriter for several of the world’s leading luxury brands, Norris brings a distinctive global swagger to luxury journalism.

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