Tag Archives: Aedes de Venustas

Discovering Columbus (A Little Monday Morning Quarterbacking)



If there’s one thing I love about living in New York City, it’s the anything is possible reality, case-in-point the public art exhibit Discovering Columbus. At the entrance of the famed Central Park is an area known as Columbus Circle. It’s also the intersection of eighth avenue, broadway and central park west and south; and where you’ll find a statue of Christopher Columbus, hence the name. With the hustle most New Yorkers move with, one could pass this thing daily and not even recognize it. Well, the Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi set out to change that for us. Continue reading

Odin Launches Newest Scent 08 Seylon


Since 2009, the beloved brand Odin has built a solid collection of fragrances. Fans of the brand will be pleased to know this growing collection has a new offering in stores now. 08 Seylon is the latest unisex fragrance and it aims to give consumers a new understanding of vetiver. Continue reading

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

Good Read…Props Due

It’s May already and I don’t even know where April went. I was thumbing through some of my piled up mail the other day and came across the April issue of Details magazine. I don’t even know if I missed it or if it just came. (The beginning stages of a new subscription can be a little tricky.) What I do know is it features on all-star lineup of men’s fragrances. I was particularly happy to see Atelier Cologne in there. I posted about its Oolang Infini earlier this year and I’ve heard nothing but praise for Vanilla Insensee, which Details chose to feature. All of the other fragrances are worthy of your consideration.

But wait, it gets better. A few pages later, they bless readers with a nice selection of “guy appropriate” candles. I can’t remember ever seeing a men’s magazine this stocked with scent related stuff. Well done Details.

Diptyque’s 34 Boulevard Saint Germain Scented Ovals


When we decorate our homes, in addition to the basics, we often look for unique items that clues visitors into our personality. My living room is a clayish orange and that usually gets a wow reaction. My wine cabinet is pretty cool and I have some photographs from the very talented photographer, Hassan Kinley hanging over it and that set up in the welcome room really invites guests into our home. During a visit to the fragrance emporium, Aedes de Venustas, I discovered Diptyque’s scented ovals and I knew I found that unique piece. Continue reading

Sartorial by Penhaligon’s

The very first time I smelled Penhaligon’s Sartorial I thought barbershop and tradition. It opens with a soft powdery smell that reminds me of the Saturday morning/afternoons I waited to get my hair cut, the sound of the clippers, the requests,” let me get X or Y,” those final moments before I got up from the chair; that stinging sensation from the alcohol as my barber went along my hairline and that fresh clean feeling of being a new man. How is it possible to have such details summoned from one smell? That is best answered by something I found on Penhaligon’s website in the “About Us” section and it says, “fragrance is liquid emotion.”

Scents that produced this sort of memory used to turn me off as I felt they leaned too heavily on tradition and the idea that “this is how men are supposed to smell.” But that didn’t happen with Sartorial. Perhaps that can be attributed to my new-found love for LP No 9 or my recent return from Barbados where I spent time with my uncles who are all very traditional in their fragrance and grooming habits and it’s starting to rub off on me. But as I thought deeper about the name and read its supporting press materials that talked about the tailoring tradition that influenced this scent, I began thinking of my own tailor.

Mr. Henry is a Trinidadian tailor I’ve been going to for well over a decade now. He’s old school, he knows my parents, is genuinely interested in how I’m doing, but more importantly, schools me on the finer details of menswear. But that last point needs qualifying. There’s an old adage that says, “rules are meant to be broken.” Mr. Henry is the first to tell me, “no cuff on flat front slacks, but the choice is yours, or the break in your slacks should be here but they are wearing it shorter these day so you tell me where you want them. He allowed me to make a choice that made me comfortable. His willingness to strike that balance, which is an update from the tailors of yesteryear, compliments my feelings toward Sartorial. While the dry down beckons tradition, woody and earthy, it opens with a softness that shaves off the overly masculine edge of tradition. A beautiful balance that speaks to the modern man.

Sartorial is inspired by the scents of the workroom at Norton & Sons, Bespoke Tailors at No. 16 Savile Row. Mr. Henry’s shop didn’t smell like that. It was old, filled with scraps of material; lose pins, chalk, measuring tape, a sewing machine and an old radio that cranked out soca music. But Mr. Henry smelled of a deodorant mirroring Old Spice, Brut or Right Guard. For him that was how a man was supposed to smell, fresh and clean but not frilly. Sartorial embodies the masculinity of today’s man and I think Mr. Henry would say, “Young fella, a man is supposed to smell like that.”

Sartorial by Penhaligon’s will be in stores October 11, 2010.

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04 Petrana by Odin

Paul Birardi and Eddy Chai, co-owners of Odin New York, and Larry Paul and Kelly Kovack of Purpose Built have once again partnered for the release of 04 Petrana. It continues the unisex theme of the three fragrances previously launched as well as identical packaging, kudos to them for that. I love when packaging begs to be displayed.

While the first three fragrances in Odin’s collection, 01 Nomad, 02 Owari and 03 Century were inspired by the mountains of the Himalayas, 04 Petrana takes its cue from the desert of Jordan. And like the vast swings in temperature in the desert, 04 Petrana runs from a cool, sweet and spicy opening to a warm and earthy dry down that pleasantly reveals a bit of leather. My initial reactions had me asking myself is it to sweet and feminine but I was also drawn to the contrast of the peppery notes. The two playing together, sometimes fighting each other makes it irresistible.

04 Petrana’s top notes include purple cassis, pink pepper, and herbaceous coriander. Its middle notes comprise black iris, violet leaf absolute and garden heliotrope. The base notes include wild orris, earthy vetiver and white musk.

Retail price $110 for 3/4 fl oz.

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Oriental Lounge – What I’m Sampling Now

A few weeks ago, one of my twitter pals mentioned he was wearing a Jo Malone scent that was suggested to him by a mutual friend. To be specific, he was wearing sweet lime cedar layered with vanilla. Where it gets interesting is while he liked it, he thought it smelt girly.

Undoubtedly, his feelings toward this scent have been influenced by how the industry has marketed fragrances. Sweet and floral scents are for women. Spicy and woody scents are for men. But the reality is, the ways our bodies react to scents are quite different. I personally experienced this when I was testing Le Labo’s Oud 27 and a women who was also testing it, hated the way it smelled on her skin and loved it on mine. I also had a moment when I was wearing Tom Ford’s Black Orchid. A woman smelt it on me, thought it was great and had no clue I was wearing a women’s scent. To my male comrades, this girly smell thing is all in your head…get over it.

This brings me to what I’m currently sampling, The Different Company’s Oriental Lounge. I learned of this fragrance a few weeks ago when I was looking for a Christmas gift for my wife. In my opinion, this very well could be a unisex scent but it was introduced to me as being for women. From the moment I smelt it, I thought to myself, I could wear this and quite frankly, after this twitter exchange, I decided I would begin wearing it.

Oriental Lounge starts off like a sweet smelling rose and you quickly realize you’re in good hands. The fragrance is very concentrated and on the Different Company’s website, they discuss their concentration levels and reveal they only create parfums, so that makes total sense. But if a rose isn’t your thing, perhaps you’ll appreciate how it evolves.

What I find attractive about this fragrance is how warm and spicy the dry down becomes without being overbearing. As a Different Company says, “It is a modern and sophisticated amber, an outspoken and subtle perfume for those who are looking for a comfortable, sensual and true oriental. A fragrance that suggests but does not reveal immediately its true character.”

I’m loving this scent and know I’ve worn it more than my wife. I just might have to get my own bottle.

Amouage Miniature Men’s Collection

Amouage was founded 25 years ago, in accordance with the wishes of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, ruler of the Sultanate of Oman. It was his desire to create a global luxury brand with roots in Oman under which the traditional Arabian love of perfume making and gift giving could be preserved and celebrated.

It was also his intention to tell the world about the ingredients particularly found in Oman, the rarest frankincense from Dhofar in the south of the country and the rarest rose of all, the rock rose harvested high up in the mountains of the Jebel Akhdar range towering over the Sultante’s beautiful capital, Muscat.

The Amouage miniature men’s collection contains six .25 oz bottles. Included in the set I have are Lyric, Jubilation, Reflection, Gold, Dia, and Silver. Each has very distinct characteristics but all are rich with great lasting power. The packing and presentation is simply beautiful. Right now, my standout favorites include Dia and Silver…but I’ve only just begun.

Amouage Miniatures set for men – $260 (and worth every penny)

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Odin New York Launches Fragrance Collection

Odin_Group

Opening their first store in New York’s East Village in the fall of 2004, Odin New York has since become known for the carefully curated collection of brands they carry. From Band of Outsiders, Comme Des Garcons, and Common Projects to Phillip Lim 3.1, Our Legacy and Florsheim by Duckie Brown, shoppers can find a range of items including footwear, jewelry, bath and grooming products and accessories. Odin is now expanding its offering with their first fragrance collection.

A trio of scents, being dubbed unisex, can now be found in Odin New York, Pas de Deux, Aedes de Venustas, Hershleifer’s in New York, Studio Beautymix at Fred Segal in Los Angeles, Louis Boston, Forty Five Ten in Dallas and Carrots in San Francisco.

Odin_NOMAD_01

Top: Juniper Berries, Himalayan Cedar Leaves, Rich Bergamot

Middle: Sultry Palmarosa, Indian Black Pepper, Creamy Heliotrope

Bottom: Tonka Bean, West Indian Sandalwood, Grey Musk

Odin_OWARI_02

Top: Owari Mandarin, Bright Green Bergamot, Grapefruit Leaves

Middle: Cubbed Pepper, Amyris Wood, Crisp Neroli

Bottom: Fresh Cut Cedarwood, Golden Amber, Tonkin Musk

Odin_CENTURY_03

Top: Silver Birch, Earthy Cypress, Forest Mint

Middle: Smoky Vetiver, Liquid Myrrh, Subtle Patchouli

Bottom: Black Musk, Dry Oak Moss, True Amber

The collection, which was collaborated on with fragrance supplier Drom, is available in a 3.4 fl. oz EDT and retails for $110.

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