Category Archives: Interview

Meet David Hart

David Hart

From the moment I spotted David on the street, I was intrigued by his look. Its kinda nerdy, but very confident and modern as bowties are quite trendy. He was gracious enough to allow me to take his picture (I’m sure he gets that all the time) and as it turns out, he is a neckwear designer (David Hart & Co.). In retrospect, that makes sense, not only was his tie perfectly done, but with that type of coordination, creativity can’t be to far behind. Anyhow, I had to stop him as I had a hunch he appreciated fragrance. Man, was I right. Read on…

What’s your earliest recollection of fragrance?

My earliest recollection of fragrance was definitely the original Polo by Ralph Lauren. Aside from the fragrance which I would still consider classic and timeless, the bottle was such a great design. The loden green with antique gold was stunning. In my opinion, fragrance is great because it creates something unique to its wearer and it essentially becomes an integral piece of someone’s wardrobe.

What fragrances are currently in your rotation?

Lately I’ve been on a huge Creed kick. Currently I’m back and forth between Green Irish Tweed and Tabarome. I love the long history behind Creed and its fans like Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, and Princess Grace. I’m also pretty obsessed with Malin+Goetz’s Lime Tonic and Polo Black. I’m very big on aftershave. Learning the proper way to shave from my Dad at a young age was a right of passage for me. I shave with a cut throat and love all the products like shave soap, pre-shave oil, and creams from The Art of Shaving to Barbasol and Old Spice.

How often do you go out looking for something new? What specifically do you look for?

I usually shop for new fragrances when the old ones run out. I think the next time I am looking for something I will probably stop by Le Labo. I like the idea of creating something that is uniquely mine and a little more exclusive.

Have you ever purchased the same fragrance more than once? If so, what was it and what about it made it worthy of a repeat buy?

I repeated a buy for a fragrance once and it was the original Polo. It never goes out of style

How would you finish this statement. “My most memorable fragrant moment would be…?

My most memorable fragrance moment would be using fragrances as a way of studying for tests. I remember being in high school and learning about Pavlov response mechanisms and from then on I would study wearing a fragrance and the day of the test I would wear that same fragrance as a way to associate the memory of studying with the test at hand. It seemed to work very well.

Gentlemen, that is why I love fragrance. It has the ability to touch us in so many ways. Thanks for sharing David.

The Dynamic Duo of Mulberry St.

Meet Shane & Shawn

I was recently invited to attend a “Gentlemen’s Night” at the Mulberry street store for the dynamic shoe designing duo Shane & Shawn. It was a great event, the drinks were flowing and they even had a pool table in the store. I managed to get in a word with the very down to earth twosome and we chatted for a bit about “guy” stuff but I managed to get some fragrance questions in there.

After downing a few drinks, I went into the restroom, which was nicely laid out for a retail store and noticed a bottle of Marc Jacobs Ivy. Is it to be used for air freshener or to freshen up?

The Marc Jacobs is to freshen up! It’s a pine smelling cologne, so, it’s good for work/day. Also, the bottle matches the decor, and adds to the atmosphere.

Any plans to develop your own fragrance?

Not in the next year, but, when the time is right, and with the right partner, we are definitely looking to get into it. It is a part of our business plan. It will be a very sexy scent that transitions from the office to play, just like our shoes.

What fragrance are you currently wearing? Why?

Dolce&Gabbana. I am on the road a lot and this is the fragrance I have that lasts the longest..Very potent and manly.

Do you have a “go-to” fragrance? If so, what is it?

Yes! Jean Paul Gaultier.

How often to you purchase a new one?

I have a lot, so, only when I need a refill, or my girlfriend likes something, and I’ll jump on it. As long as she has another reason to cling to me, I am good!

When you’re on the hunt, what do you look for?

I like smooth/soft/sexy scents…Like the old school Obsession.

How would you finish this statement, “my most memorable fragrant moment would be..?

Obsession! I became a a MAN in high school when I began to wear this. Really, It was my first time ever having a women complement me in a way where it broke the ice…’you smell soooo good Shawn’.
After that, it was easy to meet girls.

Its so nice when the ice is broken for you…

The Vault – Harlem, NYC

M. Tony Peralta

You every notice how artists always seem to do everything artfully? That’s M. Tony Peralta aka Big Tone. A graphic artist/photographer/temperamental creator, I met this fly cat in the late 90′s and have had my eye on him ever since. I’ve watched his artistic expression grow in so many ways and I’m proud to consider him a friend. Check out the April issue of Giant magazine where they feature Mr. Peralta in the Flash section where he’s wearing his “Freedom” tee. I ran into Mr. Peralta at a Sound of Art event in Harlem at The Vault on Saturday to celebrate the artist Joe Buck (He’s the guy in the background with the funny look on his face…sorry Joe, I don’t have Photoshop skills) and decided to see how the art of fragrance has made an impression on his life.

What’s your earliest recollection of fragrance? Which names come to
mind?

My earliest recollection of fragrances are not good ones. I remember getting headaches from my mother’s perfumes and the image of Brut and Old Spice come to mind as well. To redeem myself from mentioning those cheap fragrances, I have to fast forward a little to the early 80’s and 90’s. I remember my older brother and Drakkar. That’s definitely a bottle that sticks out in my head.
I was just a kid back then, so I wasn’t really into fragrances. I also remember my older friends rocking Cool Water and the green polo bottle cologne.

As a teenager, I was into oils. Egyptian Musk to be exact. Besides the affordable prices of the oils. I really liked how Egyptian musk smelt, especially on a woman. It’s really soft. I’m pretty sensitive to smells, so I like my fragrances to be smooth.

During college is when I really got into colognes. If I remember correctly, I think the first bottle I bought was Jean-Paul Gaultier “Le Male.” Beside the cool packaging I really liked the fragrance. It was a bit strong but I dealt with it. I think it helped me get some attention from the ladies. After that I switched to Versace Green or Blue jeans and rode it for a few years.

What are you wearing these days? What is it about that one that makes
it special?

These days I wear a variety of colognes. My favorite fragrance is L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme by Issey Miyake. That’s the one I wear on the regular. I also own Attitude by Giorgio Armani, Versace’s Eau Fraiche. Other fragrances I love are Rush by Gucci and Emporio He by Giorgio Armani.

How often do you buy a new fragrance? When you’re on the hunt, what do you look for?

The last bottle I bought was Attitude by Giorgio Armani and that was about 8 months ago. I don’t
Shop that frequent for fragrances. I think men should have there staple scent. I think mine is
Issey Miyake but I’m not a afraid to try new ones. As longs as they’re not strong and over powering. I honestly get headaches from strong fragrances.

How would you finish this statement, “my most memorable fragrant
moment would be …?

You know what is my most memorable fragrant moment, it’s this baby cologne that my mom used on my younger sister after she bathed her. It’s a baby cologne that is used frequently by Dominicans. It makes the baby smell so fresh after they’re bathed. I remember my younger sister
wearing it as well as my nephews. It’s like the smell of innocence. Its called Para Mi Bebe

Creative, temperamental, stylish and sensitive…that’s Mr. Peralta

Meet Leo Shin

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Last Friday I stopped by the cigar shop after work for a smoke. I didn’t have my lovely girlfriend tugging at my time (love you sweetie) so I figured I’d chillout for a bit. The gang was all there and in walked Mr. Leo Shin. After we were all lit and engaged in our usual banter, this well dressed chap said something that I found shockingly odd… his father NEVER wore jeans in his life. Then I overheard him talking about fragrance…well, that did it for me.

I overheard you speaking about your father and his penchant for flair. Tell me a bit about his dressing habits? My dad was a very well dressed man. All the time. There was not a moment that he was not dressed up. His casual clothing was what most people would wear when they get dressed up to go out to dinner or
something.

Is it true he never owned a pair of jeans? Never ever owned a pair of jeans. Never wore a pair of jeans. In fact, the only pair of sneakers he ever owned or wore, were a pair of black and white Nikes that I purchased for him when he was about 68
years old and needed to start cardiac rehab after heart problems.

Was he a lover of fragrances? If so, do you remember what he wore? He was a lover of fragrances, but I don’t remember if he ever had a quote unquote favorite. I remember the classic green Polo bottle being on his dresser growing up and a very old bottle of Pierre Cardin with a domed cap being around his entire life. In fact, he had
the after shave that came in an identical shaped bottle. They were always next to each other in the bathroom cabinet. Never saw him apply it, though.

How do you think all of this has influenced you? I think it influenced me in that I grew up around well dressed people from the very beginning. My mom, my two older sisters and my father were always well dressed, so I grew up feeling well-dressed was the norm, the absolute baseline one started from. It also instilled a
feeling that it was “okay” to be dressed up.

What is your favorite fragrance(s)? I never had a favorite fragrance until I my father passed away. My wife and I had selected a Dunhill scent for him as a gift and he wore it often. After he passed, there was still some left in the bottle, so I started wearing it and my wife loved how it smelled on me. So it is now the only fragrance I wear on a regular basis. It reminds me of my father every time I put it on and my wife loves it. The wife loving it is an absolute requirement and my father’s memory makes it significant to me.

How often do you buy a new fragrance? I’m always on the journey to find a fragrance that blows me away. Never really happens, though.

When you’re on the hunt, what do you look for? I look for a combination of woodsy, leathery, maybe tobacco, with an overriding sense of refreshment and cleanliness that comes with citrus notes. It’s a difficult thing to find because philosophically, I’m looking for something substantial, but light.

How would you finish this statement, my most memorable fragrant
moment would be…?
I think acquiring the fragrance I gave to my father and was the last thing he wore is the most memorable moment. However, on a lighter
note, my most memorable fragrant moment happens every time I’m walking down the street and some lady walks by and smells wonderful. They have usually just passed before you realize what just happened, so you never really can put the fragrance and the person together.

Thanks Leo.

OK Cigars, NYC

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Robert Warner

From the moment I met Robert I loved being in his presence. We occasionally meet by chance at OK Cigars down on West Broadway in Soho and partake in interesting conversations…more like debates. In a sea of sameness, you can see Robert coming from a mile. Always smiling, always offering a point of view no one else is taking, he is always refreshing. Once I decided I started this blog, I knew he would be someone I wanted to talk to.

What is your favorite fragrance manufacturer? Penhaligons

What is it about them that makes them standout? Established in the late 1800′s, they have a very rich British history and being of British/West Indian decent, its a history I can identify with. The brand was started in a barbershop in London and it reminds me of when my grandmother would send me to to get my hair cut right before I went back to school. It is a classic scent with a simple but masculine appeal. It smells like how a man should smell.

What scent do you regularly wear? To be honest, I like to keep it simple. Sometimes I’ll wear something and sometimes good ole soap and water is it. It really depends on how I’m feeling on that particular day.

How would you finish this statement…my most memorable fragrant moment would be…? I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

(I can see why Robert likes this brand…it has a very Aristocratic history and it mirrors his charm that is very proper, it has an old world appeal…he often refers to the other men in the shop as Mr. He is confident yet humble and a gentlemen in every sense of the word.)

Amsterdam Avenue btwn 84th & 85th

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Kyle Cherek
What’s your favorite scent? Creed Green Irish Tweed.  A friend gave me a half of a used bottle because she didn’t like it on her husband.  I took to it immediately and it is all I wear now except in the hottest of months. I recently learned it was originally developed for Carey Grant, which makes me like it even more.  I dare not compare myself to the great Mr. Grant, but he was the first actor of my father’s era I ever wanted to be like when I was a child.  I still remember having a paper route and delivering papers the day the announcement came that he had died.  He was still handsome and dignified in his later years.  Great panache, great glasses, very self possessed.
How often to you buy cologne? Maybe twice a year.  I update scents only about twice as often as my library card.
How would you finish this statement…my most memorable fragrant moment would be…? The train station in Milano.  I was tired, a little mis-directed and had maybe 20 minutes to pay for the the public bath rooms, eat for the first time that day, buy tickets and then find my train to Venice. I went into the station’s coffee bar and there was the amazing group of young Italian women all traveling together, getting coffee and talking.  Having nothing to lose at this point, I interrupted them and in my best pseudo-Italian/English accent said “‘scuse’, can you send me the way of the ticket office?”  One of the women leaning into me (which kind of threw me) and said in English something like “you look like you would smell good,” then she took my arm, walked to the edge of the cafe and pointed to the top of the escalator that went down to the ticket counter I had walked right past when I came in.

Fragrant Moment – Milk Studios, NYC

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Oliver Jackson Cohen

The other night I went to Milk Studios in NYC’s meatpackaing district and met some friends. This young chap was the brother of one of my friends girlfriends. Get this, he just got off the plane from London less than 2hrs before and was already hitting the town. NICE. Anyhow, we’re standing around talking and I noticed he was pulled away by this rather cute young lady and then moments later everyone in our group was smelling his neck. Intrigued as I was, I to had to give it a whiff. He told me he was wearing Dior Homme and it was mixed with Marlboro cigarettes and airplane…I thought that was funny. I must say, it was an interesting scent. I can’t describe it any other way than inviting. That might sound cliche but follow me…It wasn’t to strong but it had a subtle gripping effect. I get the feeling its the type of scent that could actually change a nights outcome….an unexpected delight. You might not score but you will leave an impression. That gents is what my love for fragrances are all about…the possibility.