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The Grooming Room: Rob Hallmark

The Grooming Room: Rob Hallmark

Up your grooming game with the latest edition to the FLANNELS grooming range, Gruhme For Him. Rob Hallmark is the “nose” behind this fine British fragrance. Disillusioned by the endless fragrances pumped out by big-name conglomerates, Rob turned up his nose at the thought of buying any more mass-produced scents. The solution to this problem? Strike out and make his own. No longer convinced by the money-making agenda of many established brands, Rob set about creating Gruhme, with a focus on authenticity and wearability for the modern guy. The grooming market continues to grow, with the sheer number of products becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. Cue Gruhme, designed and made in the UK, with a straightforward mission to be energising, uplifting and striking-but-subtle enough to make a great first impression. We caught up with Rob to find out more about how one man plans to turn the world of scent on its head. Just follow your nose.

On launching Gruhme . . .
I started out when I was 32, about 2 months after the birth of my first child, and it seemed a fitting time to make a new start. It was quite a learning curve in those early months at home and at work. Despite the insane lack of sleep, it was still a great time and I have never looked back.

On the significance of fragrance for the modern man . . .
Truthfully I've always preferred going out wearing a fragrance, but never did so a great deal. I had my favourites as a teenager and almost lost interest in new scents after that. Gruhme was a chance to find a fragrance that suited me as an older but still modern guy – busy, conscientious, subtle but keen to make a decent impression without overwhelming people.

On making it in an industry powered by noses . . .
We still have a long way to go but I think that attention to detail is key to making it in the industry. If I'd had more money saved up to begin with I would have been happier taking even longer to release our first fragrance. My sense of smell is based on what makes me smile, and what attracts me to experience more of it. I have certain smells that do not work for me – I’m not a big fan of many Ouds and certainly not a fan of vanilla in a fragrance, for example. I like to experiment with what I like, whilst not becoming too fussy about it all.

On the Gruhme ethos . . .
Not to sell anything that we're not happy to put our name on and to use ourselves. We also like to strike a balance between quality and an intelligently affordable price. We’ve found that people in our market are not looking for a brand to make things as cheap as possible – they want a meaningful experience and they are happy to pay for it.

On the scent . . .
The mission with Gruhme was to be usable every day, so the focus was on the scent being uplifting and energising. For me the best use for the scent is actually first thing, as soon as you're dressed and ready to go out. It starts with a burst of citrus notes and that's key to engaging the senses. The scent dries down through more woody and spicy tones to leave a mellow, subtle and relaxed ambience to the scent.

On the composition . . .
There are some well-known fragrance favourites in there such as Bergamot and Patchouli. The Petitgrain oil is my favourite as it is ideal for a men's fragrance, with its anti-septic qualities and citrus freshness giving an instant, uplifting kick. You should find the Gruhme fragrance to cause zero inflammation, which makes it very comfortable to wear.

On the Gruhme man . . .
I believe that the Gruhme man is not afraid of choosing his own path, he's confident in his lifestyle. By day I expect he works in an office and by night and at the weekend he's out enjoying life, whether as a family man or just by doing his own thing. He will appreciate the difference between a product that cares about its composition and a product just doing its best to make as much money as possible. He will also be a very savvy shopper and quick to dismiss anything faddy and lacking authenticity. We expect he will be a loyal supporter so we're keen to do all we can to reward that loyalty with exemplary and interesting products.

I believe that the Gruhme man is not afraid of choosing his own path, he's confident in his lifestyle.

On what sets Gruhme apart . . .
I was starting to feel a gulf open up between myself as a shopper and the established brands. Walking around department stores I was struggling to want to buy anything. My belief is many modern established brands have lost their story and therefore what drives them. It seems that they stay very close to trends and fashions but rarely risk doing their own thing. For instance, they don’t capture the fact that I prefer classical yet contemporary styles over volumes of choices. The mission with Gruhme is for the customer to feel an intimate part of our journey, as we simply can't make it from here without them. In turn we will put our customers first and make our products something they are proud to display at home. I hope Gruhme will become a timeless and unmistakable brand.

On his own grooming ritual . . .
With a new business to run and two young children below three years old, I have to make quick and snappy decisions with regards to personal luxuries (such as lengthy grooming time.) Because of the busy routine I need my products to work hard for me, so I use quality products only. I also prefer to carry out most of me routine at night, including the shave, so the skin gets the night to recover and hydrate. The start of the day involves a face wash (non-exfoliating for 6 days, then Sunday night the face gets scrubbed - no microbeads though!) Using a quality moisturiser for the face is a standard daily approach too. Cutting out coffee and only having water in the day makes a big improvement to the skin too.

The way I make up for the loss of attention is to visit the superb local barbers we have in Birmingham and go for a full cut-throat shave and a decent bit of downtime in the chair, with a beverage in hand too.

On having a signature scent . . .
People notice how you smell so sticking to something that suits you is pleasant for them – changing your scent every day can actually have a detrimental impact on your enjoyment of it. I believe people would benefit from knowing the family of scent that they and their other half prefer. From there you can develop your favourite scent. Once you have it, it’ll help you explore and compare other scents too, and know what to look out for. You can then choose a contrasting scent when you want to make an impact, which can work well if you have an evening event with work colleagues or your other half.



Discover Gruhme Here.

gruhme.co.uk

WELL GRUHMED