Tag Archives: Arquiste

Good Read..Scents of Spring

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With Daylight Savings going into effect this weekend, we’re all looking forward to spring. Those extra moments of sunlight will be celebrated with outdoor cocktails, breezy strolls and flirty innuendos. As a precursor to the season of relief, LifeStyle Mirror produced a piece about the Scents of Spring. They asked me to be a part and to my surprise, I’m in the midst of great company. My thoughts are alongside Chad Murawczyk of Min New York, David Moltz of DS & Durga, Francis Kurkdjian, Christopher Cervasel of Atelier Cologne and Carlos Huber of Arquiste. Check it out when you have a moment.

Forget about the hour of sleep you lost and look forward to spring baby…it’s right around the corner.

The Year That Was 2012…A Look Back

As I look back on 2012 and count my blessings that I made it through another year, I realize some amazing discoveries from a grooming and fragrance perspective. I read and tweeted countless articles chronicling a renewed interest on the part of men about how they look and feel about themselves. That interest has always been there but I feel like men communicated about it more in 2012. As I write this review I can recall a conversation I had just this evening with a gentlemen about the wonders of a face cream that costs more than $100 and he raved at how amazing it is. That conversation replicated itself numerous times throughout the year and each time guys spoke in detail about what worked, reminisced and laughed about yesteryear and talked at length about their grooming routines. It was refreshing and enlightening.

Hunting Camp and Racer Shave Cream

From a grooming perspective, I made a few discoveries of my own this year. One brand in particular that impressed me on many levels was Portland General Store. I first bumped into them at the Elements Showcase and was introduced to their Hunting Camp Deep Exfoliating Soap. It was by far the best I experienced this year. It’s Sandalwood scent clings nicely to your freshly exfoliated and moisturized skin. I also feel in love with their Racer Shave Cream. When I heard it was non-foaming I was a skeptic. I became a believer after my first use. It’s that good.
Ursa Major Men Fortifying Face Balm

Another brand that’s kept my attention with its products and attention to quality ingredients is Ursa Major Men. This year they launched their Fortifying Face Balm and our faces are better for it. While it feels rich, it hydrates quickly without leaving your face feeling greasy. 100% natural and 82% organic, it’s money well spent gents. Finally, the brand impressed me when they posted this honest and transparent pitch for why their products are better than what is widely available on the men’s market today. After having used the products and being happy with the results, this made me respect them even more.

Fragrance

Olfactive Studio Lumiere Blanche

One of the things I love about the Elements Showcase is just when you think you’ve seen it all, a gem sparkles bright amongst all the other booths. At the recent showcase that took place in July, Olfactive Studios was that gem and to say it had a buzz at the show is an understatement. When it’s creative director Celine Verleure explained to me that the perfumer’s fragrance brief was a photograph from which they were to take their inspiration, I got goose bumps and it quickly became clear why they were the talk of the show. But if you think that’s a gimmick, its collection of fragrances will make you a believer. My favorite from first whiff was Lumiere Blanche. It’s sweet and warm, woody and crisp and that’s just the opening. As it dries down, its woods and musk notes bloom to perfection. It’s simply awesome.

M'Eau Joe No 3

Speaking of fragrance briefs, the collaboration between Opus Oils, the perfume atelier located in Hollywood, CA, and Michelle Krell Kydd, award-winning writer and blogger, was impressive for what it allowed consumers to experience from an insiders perspective and what its finished product delivered. Kydd, otherwise known as Glasspetalsmoke, laid out for all to see the inner workings behind M’Eau Joe No 3 Hollywood Whiskey Fragrance for the first ever open source fragrance brief. That alone is a milestone of 2012! As for the scent, it possesses a lot of mojo. Its staying power is one of the best I experienced this year. It’s bold and smoky, with a distinct whiskey scent that lingers nicely, as it should.

Kurkdjian Oud

When I heard about Maison Francis Kurkdjian was launching Oud, I thought I was over it. How many more iterations of this Oud thing could there possibly be? Then I experienced his creation and I was sold. While many other oud scents play up the funk factor, Kurkdjian’s possesses a subtly that, in my opinion, puts it in a class all by itself. What also made it a winner for me was its use of saffron, which lays interestingly alongside a metallic note I get in the opening. It’s just weird enough to keep my attention and is by far one of the best of 2012.

Ramon Monegal Mon Cuir

For the first time, ever, I smelled a fragrance and heard a melody ringing in my head. The scent was Ramon Monegal’s Mon Cuir and the song, Bob Marley’s Bad Boys. While this sensation caught me off guard, I surrendered to the moment and enjoyed the experience. This scent is unabashedly leather. It’s not smoky or anything else in the opening. That leather note rushes out with an animalic roar. Its swag is on swoll (I’m sorry but I can’t put it any other way…ask a friend for clarity). The way it lays on the skin is simply sexy.

Arquiste Anima Dulcis

Last and certainly not least is Arquiste’s Anima Dulcis. Before the purists jump on me, this was launched late 2011. But as the Geto Boyz once said, “my mind playin tricks on me” and I overlooked it then and discovered it this year. I incorrectly tagged Arquiste’s collection as florally and bright; boy was I mistaken. Anima Dulcis’ coco spice is downright delicious. The combination of the coco and chilli gives it an animalic quality that I can describe in no other way than sweet heat. The way they play off each other is distinct and charming.

There were a lot of launches in 2012, many of which I didn’t even get a chance to sample. It seems like more and more are occurring every year. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed my look back. Let me know what think, and what were your favorites. For additional lists, take a moment and read some awesome lists authored by Eyeliner On A Cat, Olfactoria’s Travels and Persolaise.

Agent Provocateur

Madonna Sealed

A few months ago while I was in Philadelphia for another #phillyweekend getaway, I bumped into an unassuming record store that caught my attention with it’s boxes of $1 vinyl. #ILoveVinyl and I couldn’t help myself. Digging in the crates is fun and what ensued was an hour and a half of searching for gems. I blew a nice wad that day but I scored an unopened copy of Madonna’s first album, Madonna. While I’m not the biggest fan, I recognize her brilliance and there were moments in her career that caught my undivided attention. For a #FunFriday post, my scented partners in crime, Carrie, Dariush and Thomas have agreed to post about the material girl and tie it to fragrance.

The year was 1992 and America was a completely different place but that wouldn’t stop this agent provocateur from exploring her sexual fantasizes. In conjunction with the release of the Erotica album, Madonna dropped Sex. Just a year prior to its release, Magic Johnson revealed he was retiring from the NBA because he became infected with the virus that causes AIDS. This obviously propelled the disease into the mainstream and surely exacerbated the controversy surrounding the book. Consider the following when thinking about where we were then:

Bill Clinton was elected President
Riots broke out in Los Angeles following the Rodney King decision
Home Improvement was a popular television show
Boyz II Men was on the radio
Reservoir Dogs, Lethal Weapon 3, The Bodyguard and Basic Instinct were in theatres
The average monthly rent was $519

Madonna Sex

The book was raw. The leather, the acts she depicted, and the nudity pushed all the right buttons. If you had to pair a scent to the book today, what would it be? What scent could one wear to push another persons buttons and temp them to touch? What could give the night more legs when it seemed like there were none? What’s raw and brings the heat? What’s good and bad all rolled into one? If we had that magic potion, I’m sure we’d all be wearing it daily. The following scents, however, are sensual, a little dirty and pack some serious heat:

Comme Des Garcons by Comme des Garcons
Tobacco & Tulle by Liz Zorn
Secret Garden by Mandy Aftel
Absolue Por le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Anima Dulcis by Arquiste
Epic Man by Amouage

In the song Human Nature Madonna says, “express yourself, don’t repress yourself.” It’s clear she listened to these words and for that she’s loved around the world. By the same token, each of the fragrance I’ve selected was created by perfumers whose work is loved by many for its point of difference. They bring artistry to the craft that can be likened to musicians, especially those that aren’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers with their work. Sound familiar?