When Giorgio Armani decided to launch his first cologne Acqua Di Gio close to twenty years ago, the designer knew that he was taking a big risk. After all, he was the face of a brand known for its apparel and this first foray into beauty could either become a stepping stone or be a major flop. Luckily for him, Acqua di Gio turned out to be a massive commercial success and it is still the leading men’s fragrance on the market nowadays. To celebrate the launch of Acqua Di Gio Absolu, I was lucky enough to be invited to partake in a sensory experience in Mont Tremblant, Québec.
A few months ago, I attended my very ﬁrst opera at the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts and I had such a lovely time that I was looking forward to my next excursion to the gorgeous building. Little did I know that it would happen sooner than later and last week, we headed there once again for the opening night of the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena.
Out of all the Canadian cities, I am glad that I picked Toronto to be my home. Afterall, the city does offer a lot of opportunities and it is imbued with an intoxication energy that never fails to empower me. However, Montréal was a close second when it came down to finding myself a Canadian home. While the french city tugs at my heartstrings with its gorgeous architecture and food scene, unfortunately its winter was the ultimate factor that caused it to come second to Toronto. I try to visit as often as possible and when Sabrina suggested that we should go for a day trip to the city, we immediately booked our Porter flights.
As I am writing this, Toronto is still surprisingly covered in snow and ice. On the bright side, the weather is supposed to hit the double digits this upcoming week and I couldn’t be happier. Spring is one of my favourite seasons, not because of the blooming of the Magnolias and the melting of the ice block on which I live, but rather because of all the jackets. When you’re a boy, you don't have the beautiful dresses that girls have in the summer and instead, you often have to result to a plain outfit that consists of a t-shirt and shorts. Winter is a write-off as you are covered in the biggest parka jacket that you can find. For me, the two best fashion seasons are spring and fall but unfortunately they are quite short lived. As such, here are four jackets that you should invest on for these few weeks between winter and summer.
It’s common knowledge by now that I am a bit of a skincare junkie. Skin is our biggest organ and it is fully exposed to the outside world so we definitely need to protect and nurture it to the best of our abilities. Skincare laboratories around the world are always working on brand new technologies to help us achieve our skin goals and I am always eager to give them a try. However, unlike makeup, I simply cannot offer you a concrete answer on how much I love a new product within the span of 16 hours. While our skin does absorb quite a fair bit of the products that we put on it, it does take some time for it to truly show any form of improvement. As such, I decided to start a new monthly series on the blog where I’ll be trying a specific skincare regiment or product for the duration of a full month before offering you my opinion on them. For the first segment in this series, I’d like to showcase a brand that has been a favourite of mine for years: Avène.
We are fast approaching the middle of April and it is still snowing in Toronto. I remember the first year I arrived in Canada, it was already warm enough by Saint Patrick’s day for me to simply walk around in a tee-shirt and now I am still debating if I should put away my parka or not. Sure, snow is quite pretty to look at but this prolonged winter is starting to take a toll on my psyche. During the colder months, I do tend to become a hermit and remain confined in the warm cocoon that I call home. However, spending too much time at home does end up driving me a tad mental plus it’s hard to find the motivation to write when you’re not being exposed to anything new. Here’s a couple of things that you could do to spark some fire back into your daily routine without having to move out of your bed.
As I sat down to write this blog post, it dawned on me that my blog is almost at its two year anniversary. I still feel immensely blessed to be able to call this my full time job and it truly wouldn’t have been possible without all of you. What started off as a platform for me to review new food places and openings in Toronto slowly transitioned into a lifestyle blog and a place where I could share my thoughts and feelings. I remember the first time I decided to publish a personal blog post and I felt so anxious about how it would be received and you guys were so supportive through it all. However, when it came down to somewhat polarized subjects, I obviously garnered a few nods of disapproval.
One of the most common questions that I receive via Direct messaging on my Instagram seems to be about social media growth. The subject of growth on the platform has been brought up multiple times in the recent months due to the increasing difficulty to reach a broader audience. With the algorithm set in place, the weird non-chronological feed and the issue of shadow banning when it comes to hashtags, Instagram has become a hard beast to tame. Don’t worry, this isn’t another blog post by a blogger complaining about a decrease in likes or unethical practices in the industry. The focus of this post is about something far more important: branding.
When it comes down to attraction, we all find different traits appealing. Some of us prefer blondes while others love brunettes. We may like our significant other to be serious and smart or a complete goofball. However there is one thing that we can agree on: being well groomed is definitely sexy. Since moving to Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart has been my go-to destination for my grooming products, whether it’s shampoo or skincare and I was excited to check out what new arrivals they have in store at the pop-up that they held this week.
Created in 1828, the house of Guerlain has had a huge impact in the history of perfumery, skincare and cosmetics. Favoured by Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III, the brand soon became the official perfumer of the french court which created an influx of demands from other European royalty including Queen Isabella II of Spain, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known as Sissi. Guerlain created a legacy embedded in quality and innovation, two characteristics that explain the brand’s longevity. I recently had the opportunity to attend a lunch hosted by Guerlain to mark the launch of their new fragrance, Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum florale.
I was sitting in front of my laptop yesterday trying to figure out the topic of this week’s blog post. It has been a busy couple of weeks and I haven't had much time to sit down and ponder upon the next article that I wished to write. Even though so much had happened, I simply felt mentally drained but I still felt the pressure to post something today. I felt the need to post weekly on the blog to remain relevant and to keep producing content which in turn started making me feel anxious. So yesterday afternoon I decided to take a step back.
The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said that “Music is the universal language of mankind.” There is something sublimely intriguing about music and its ability to convey emotions, whether you understand the language being sung or not. I grew up during the Disney Renaissance Age where music was a focal point of every one of their movies and, as such, I grew to love musical theatre. However, I surprisingly never managed to attend an opera performance until last week.
The first time I went to Copenhagen was over a year and a half ago, slightly before the launch of www.didieryhc.com . The royal Danish city was a place that I was excited to cross off the top of my bucket list and even though my stay there was short, it was one of the most memorable trips of my life. I did not originally shoot the following images with a blog post in mind, however I recently stumbled upon them on my hard drive and I decided to freshen them up. My editing style has changed since then and it's fascinating to see how a little bit of extra saturation can truly bring an image to life. With that in mind, I am finally posting a photo diary of my favourite European city.
Let’s face it: I love to eat out. As a full time content creator, I am always in search of new aesthetically pleasing restaurants and I am always eager to try new food. However, as part of my new year resolutions, I had promised myself that I would try to cook at home more often and to eat in a healthier manner. Only eight percent of us manage to keep our new year resolutions while the others will give up within the first few weeks of the year. Am I part of the eight or the ninety-two percent?
We all have those times when we start feeling a tad uninspired by our surroundings and feel the need for a change of scenery. At times, that simply means that I need to get out of the house, go for a walk and end up at a coffee shop with my computer. On other occasions, it requires a week long trip somewhere completely different to fully recharge my inspiration tank. However, time doesn't always permit such a luxury and when such a situation arises, one of the best options is to partake in a small staycation here in the city itself. With that in mind, I packed a small overnighter bag and headed over to the Shangri-La hotel.
By now, we have all heard of the huge controversy that sparked last week between the Charleville Lodge Hotel and blogger Elle Darby. For those who might be unaware of the incident, Elle wrote an email to the hotel to pitch the idea of a free stay at the location in exchange for showcasing them on her social channels to promote awareness of the amenities to her followers. The hotel owner decided to publicly embarrass the blogger by posting her email and his obvious disdain for the blogging community and the whole affair blew out of proportion quite rapidly. I pondered writing about the subject as my views would obviously be considered biased given my profession of choice but I do believe that this is a subject worth talking about. Without further ado, let’s talk about bloggers and the reality behind our “free” things.
Bonjours Paris! Not unlike most people in the world, I had been daydreaming of visiting the capital of the country that puts such an incredible level of focus on good food and fashion for years. After a week long trip to London, I stepped on a two hour Eurostar train ride and arrived in the french capital. I was ready for four days of stripes, berets, baguettes, cheese and good wine.
If you guys all remember, I had a little trip to London a while back and I even wrote a blog post about it. However, my week-long stay in the British capital was far too extensive to cover it all in one article and I promised a part deux to my London post which is now finally live. Two months later. Sorry guys. In part one, I talked about my love for the British culture and its rich architecture and part two will focus on some of the keys places that made my trip absolutely magical.
It has been a week since the countdowns have restarted and that we are slowly easing into a brand new year. Heads are slowly blurring out from the food and alcohol induced comas and most of us have already set up the goals that we wish to achieve in 2018. However, one cannot move forward without putting the past to rest and as such, I would like to summarize 2017 briefly.
The Grinch’s heart might have grown thrice in size but in my case, it’s my belly that expanded. With a long and joyful winter holiday season coming to an end, we are now finally entering that time of the year where everyone collectively creates another list of resolutions for the new year, yours truly included. Of course, we all make those lists every year: sometimes the resolutions stick and at other times they dissipate within a week or two. Here are some of the things that I would personally like to achieve this upcoming annual cycle.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that everybody has been nice all year long and ended up getting the presents that they wanted. Now that this portion of the holiday season is over, we are finally in the finish line towards the new year. Just hold on everyone. You. Can. Do. It. While most of you are now on your Christmas break, as an freelancer my workload isn't quite fully done yet and my days are still somewhat busy. As such, I find myself requiring an outfit that will translate well from day to night and that is end-of-year party appropriate.
Isn’t it crazy to think that we are already at the beginning of December? I swear that the year started yesterday and we already have to prepare for one of the busiest time of the year: end-of-year party season. That usually means that, like many of us will and SHOULD be doing, I will be polishing my best shoes, dry cleaning my suits and starting to slick back my hair to look as presentable as possible to finish off the year beautifully. We all dress to impress but many people tend to forget the primordial finishing touch to a memorable appearance: an unforgettable scent.
While we are experiencing a rather mild December month in Toronto and the streets are still clear of snow, the air is infused with the scent of pine, mulled wine, cinnamon and cheer. That’s right people, Christmas is almost here (I tend to speak in rhyme this time of year).While I traditionally start shopping for my Christmas presents relatively early, I might have slacked off this year but thankfully there are one stop shop destinations like the Scarborough Town Centre where I know that I’ll be able to get most of my shopping done. In the spirit of Christmas, I decided to share a gift guide of items that you could get for the beloved men in your life at STC.
The temperature has finally gone down in Toronto which means that we have now entered my favourite time of the year: Jumper season. When it comes down to fashion, fall has always been my favourite with its beautiful coats, cosy jumpers and stylish boots. I have always found it hard to put together an elegant look in summer and winter but I usually thrive during the autumnal months. Today’s blog post will be short and sweet and focus on a typical fall look for me.
A few months ago, I made the acquisition of a little machine called a Sodastream. This wonderful apparatus allows you to carbonate your own water at home, providing you with a near instantaneous source of sparkling water. The consumer in me was quite overzealous in the purchase. It’s not that I wanted the machine. I felt like I needed it. However the more rational part of me wondered: How often would I use a sparkling water maker? Would it be one of those numerous impulse purchases where one would buy a new appliance, use it twice and then let it collect dust in a corner of their kitchen counter?
Everybody loves a good suit. The imperative word here being “good”. A good suit can be worn in different ways: with a white tee shirt and chucks for a casual look or you can wear a crisp shirt and brogues if you’re planning to dress to impress. The range of variables is quite wide but there is one thing that you should never compromise on: a good fit.
One of my favourite time of the year is coming. For those of you who guessed that I was talking about Christmas, you are wrong: I am talking about sale season. It is no secret that I do have an affinity for shopping and it is not the easiest lifestyle to uphold. As such, I devised my own method to figure out when to buy an item full price, at the beginning of the sales or when I should wait until the end of the sales. Here are some of my tricks.
In my early twenties, I was faced with one of my biggest life decisions: to move abroad. It wasn’t a decision that came lightly but the move felt necessary for me to be able to further my career. Thus started a year long process of figuring out the pros and cons of the potential contenders for my new home country. We all know how the story ends. I ended up moving to Toronto, Canada, a charming city filled with energy, polite people, good food and intense winters.
I grew up on a small island that is part of the Common Wealth and when I was old enough, I ended up packing my bags and moving to Canada. All throughout my life, I have been surrounded by the constant image of Queen Elisabeth II and most of my studies were done while following Cambridge’s schooling system. When I am not out and about at night for work events, you’ll usually find me cozied up while drinking tea, eating ginger snaps and rewatching The Crown or Downton Abbey in bed. I might as well be British. As such, it really wasn't much of a shocker when I decided to jet off to London on my latest trip to Europe.
Something rather unpleasant happened to me on my way to London: I found out that I had lost my PR card. For those unaccustomed with the term, a permanent residence card allows me to remain permanently in Canada and is the one piece of government issued identification that also allows me to re enter the country as I please. Needless to say that when I found out that I had lost it, I became a nervous wreck on the brink of tears.