Thursday 19 May 2016


Products that are sighted at a male market with point blank aim have a terrible history of actually missing the target altogether. They can end up languishing on the bottom shelf or, worse still, relegated to the "bargain" section. So it was with some apprehension that I approached GRUHME NO.14, a male Eau de Toilette. I imagined a gym-butch masculine scent with the subtlety of a hammer that existed just to deplete the worlds supply of patchouli and vetiver, but I was wrong. I was very wrong. Put preconceived ideas to one side and let me introduce you to a beautifully refined men's fragrance, which ladies are bound to steal.

When Robert Hallmark set up Gruhme in March 2013 he didn't come from the normal beauty background. Robert trained in law, and for seven years worked as a corporate solicitor in Birmingham and London. He said at the time that he wanted to create "quality British-made products" that customers could "enjoy whilst paying only sensible amounts". Very quickly the Gruhme range became a regular sight in Birmingham, but could it break out into the wider market? The answer is yes, and it continues to receive a stronger following as more people discover it.

Robert Hallmark
GRUHME NO.14 is a variation on their first fragrance, simply called GRUHME. Here comes a little bit of technical information. The original fragrance contained 10% "fragrant compound", the scent of the perfume, with the remaining 90% made up of water and alcohol. The new version is exactly the same "compound" but is increased to 14%, hence the name. As I've said before, it's the ingredients used that determine a fragrance's lasting power, not the strength, so how does this new variation perform?

Straight away you get a mouthwatering citrus, and it really does make you want to drink it. Within this you have a zesty lemon alongside an airy bergamot, but with traces of peppercorn and juniper berry. This being a "male" fragrance, you have a classic lavender in there as well, although it is used sparingly to give what I can only describe as a "comfortable" note. You're aware that these fresh notes are fading over time but they're gently taken over by a woody amber, and the transition is seamless. This is partly achieved by a good dose of petitgrain linking down into the patchouli and cedar.

GRUHME NO.14 gives you the impression of a cheerful cologne but the lasting quality is of a "skin scent". By that I mean that you smell clean and, excuse the pun, groomed. The longevity is about four hours on the neck and clothes, but if you spray it onto your chest before getting dressed it lasts around seven hours. The bottle has found a home next to the front door of my house and gets spritzed every morning when I leave, so even at 6am I'm smiling!

For details of stockists and information about their range you can visit the Gruhme website at, or if you're in London then you can also visit Roullier White in East Dulwich.


  1. Hi Stephan, I own Burgins Perfumery in York, (@BurginsofYork) on Twitter, and stock both Gruhme fragrances. Would I be able to use the link to your article here if I posted on Facebook? I am asking as I do not wish to breach any Copyright agreements.

    1. Hello Hanuš, of course you can link to the article. It's a fantastic fragrance and I hope it does well for you in York. Stephan