Category Archives: Profile

Meet Marina and Sebastian of Eau D’Itale

A few years ago I meet the owners of Eau D’Itale, Marina Sersale and Sebastian Alvarez Murena, at an event at Lafco sponsored by Men’s Health magazine. Continue reading

An Unforgettable Experience at Martial Vivot compliments of Caron Paris

As a young man growing up, I longed for the day I could be like my dad and shave. He did it. He was (and still is) my hero. And it would mean I’m a man too. But before I even had peach fuzz, dad told me, “never put a razor on our face.” His reasoning, the hair would grow back quicker and thicker. That said, for years I avoided straight shaves. Instead, I would use an Andis Outliner II, which my barbers used to line me up and would finish me off by giving me a shave with it as well. And years later, I started using an electric shaver dad gave me, a Remington MicroScreen 2 for a closer finish. Both do the trick just fine. That is until my wife kept saying, “babe you missed a few hairs” and “I wish you’d get rid of that thing (the Remington) and get something else. In my head I always reply, “This baby works just fine.” But when an opportunity to experience my first straight shave came my way, care of Caron Paris, I decided to give it a try. Continue reading

Le Cherche Midi

LCMCandle 20

Le Cherche Midi, a 20-year-old New York fragrance company that specializes in scented candles, has recently expanded from its initial scent and relaunched, selling eau de toilettes, candles, and “fragrance cubes” online at lecherchemidi.com.

No. 1, the company’s first scent, created by perfumer Robert Loiseau, is a very traditional masculine. The re-launch introduced a handful more. Nos. 5 (floral and pine), 9 (sweet and fruity), 14 (soft mandarin), 21 (spiced tea), and 57 (an exclusive for Bergdorf Goodman offered only as a candle) were created by perfumer Cecile Hua. No. 20 was done by Bertrand Dor, who was one of the perfumers who did Nautica’s Oceans men’s scent.

Like CB I Hate Perfume, another small New York firm, it markets fragrances as experiences. In LCM’s words, No. 20 (my favorite) “reveals warmly lit corners where whispered conversations are surrounded by dark wood, leather-bound books, and a cedar-wood fire.” More specifically, it starts out with citrus, powder and spice, and then turns to pine.

No. 20’s notes include armoise, bergamot, lemon zest, black pepper, rose water, soft cedarwood, sandalwood and dark amber. In the candle, the cedar and citrus are dominant, and they’re warmed by the amber and sandalwood. In the eau de toilette, powdery and pepper notes are stronger, and the dry down is much less of the earth and leather experience that the candle gives.

The fragrance cubes (which we didn’t test) are LCM’s alternative to the reed diffuser. It’s essentially a bottle of alcohol-free fragrance that uses an absorbent wooden top to scent a small room. Each one ($45) should last at least a month, maybe two.

The candles, offered online for $50, come in handsome light wood boxes with sliding tops. Inside, the three-inch square candles are covered with fabric-bound lids and feature the LCM logo and fragrance number discreetly on one side. Each 7.8 oz. candle should last about 40 hours.

If you like the candles, there’s good news: the eau de toilettes are an incredible value at a mere $39 for a strong 12% concentration in 3.4 ounce bottles.

By contrast, a typical mass-market men’s fragrance sells for about $70 for 3.4 ounces. CB I Hate Perfume’s 3.4 ounce water perfumes start at about $65. Smaller boutique brands often sell for about $110.

I asked LCM’s founder, Nathan Motylinski, about how the company prices them. “We work directly with our perfumers and consumers, allowing us to offer our luxury products at a better price and value to the consumer,” he told me via e-mail. “Without expensive marketing budgets and overhead, we can focus our time and resources on what we do best: creating unique, sophisticated fragrances unlike anything on the market.”

While the company may not have an exorbitant marketing budget, it’s obvious that they’ve put quite a bit of effort into the website. It’s beautiful, easy to navigate and full of videos designed to introduce the public to the company and its range. There’s also a blog with some engaging commentary by Motylinski.

-Harry Sheff

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