When the temperature outside has you hot and bothered, that ahhh moment a cold shower offers is all we can think about. Hence, spring and summer scents are lighter and fresher and conjure the feeling of cleanliness.
In the fall and winter, however, we bundle up to keep warm. We also sweat less and look for scents that comfort us. That said, fall scents are generally spicier and fuller than scents worn in the spring and summer. Cinnamon, clove, rum, amber, tobacco, leather, saffron, and cognac are a few notes on full blast in the fall.
In the end your nose won’t let you down. You’ll smell the spice factor and know this is for the fall/winter months for sure.
As we settle into fall and the weather gets chillier, what sort of fragrances will you be wearing? If you’re still trying to figure that out, here are a few of my fall fragrance favorites I put together for Birchbox. Enjoy.
My first recollection of cumin in a fragrance was Le Labo’s Rose 31. It confused me early on as I found its warm, sweaty body order like smell jarring. When I realized it was supposed to be there, the scent grew on me. and it has become one of my favorite scents. Saffron caught my attention when I was in Paris a few years ago and sampled L’Artisan’s Safran Troublant at the Lourve. Its sweat heat was an instant win for me. Both cumin and saffron are prevalent in the opening of Amouage’s Fate Man, which not only caught my attention but has continued to excite my olfactive bulbs.
Fate Man for me has been a troubling scent. Every time I’ve worn it, I realize another layer and for that reason, I appreciate its craftsmanship. The very first time I wore it, I picked up the cumin and saffron right away in the top notes and they pretty much overshadowed everything else. On another wearing, about four hours or so after applying it, I was in awe that my nose picked up the floral notes in the middle. I surely didn’t think it would go there after the pungent opening I experienced and that dramatic shift impressed me. I have since recognized there’s more going on in Fate Man’s opening and that tug of war between the freshness of mandarin and the zestiness of ginger and the animalic presence of cumin piques my interest. I should footnote here that my early test of Fate Man occurred in the middle of the summer and perhaps that heat agitated the cumin enough that it presented itself in stereo while the other notes were in analog.
If you’re a fan of Amouage’s collection of fragrances, you’ll recognize that Fate Man fits the story they’ve been telling. Their use of pungent spices, incense and woods has become defining traits of the brand. But Fate Man illustrates what I love about perfumery – just when you think a scent has flattened out, an interesting twist occurs and wakes you up. The right turn it takes in the middle was such a surprise for me that it sealed the deal on how I feel about it. On top of that, its longevity is superb. If Fate Man is your first encounter with Amouage, the amount of cumin you detect could affect your perception of this scent as it can be a polarizing note. In other reviews I’ve read, it would appear cumin played it’s part as opposed to my experience where it played an extended solo. Nevertheless, I suspect Fate Man will do well for Amouage and I look forward to the next chapter in this ongoing story Christopher Chong is superbly narrating.
Fate Man – 50ml – $280.
What I love about our sense of smell is that it never lies. It knows what it likes and there’s no denying it. Case in point – sometime ago, I featured a bottle of Prada’s Amber Pour Homme Intense in a piece I wrote for Complex magazine and while I liked it very much, I didn’t wear it with any regularity. Every now and then I’d spray it on and go about my business.
One particular day, perhaps a day when I wasn’t rushing out of the house, I noticed its scent five or so minutes after applying it and I said to myself, “man this is good.” Later in the day, I wondered what smelled so good and remembered what I was wearing and realized it was only getting better. In that moment I wondered why I wasn’t wearing it more often and it dawned on me, that when I was in a jam on what scent to wear for the day, Prada Amber Homme Intense had become one of my go-to scents.
In its simply designed, dark colored bottle, Prada Amber Homme Intense is slick. It opens with a fresh, zesty punch, which is perhaps where the intense part comes in. It quickly settles down but the brightest parts of the opening remain…that’s slick. It also possesses a honeyed sweetness that balances out those spices, which I quite like. It’s smoky and resinous and to my surprise, as it develops, I begin noticing its fougere characteristics. What I really like about this one is how close to the skin it sits. Its dry down whispers leather with just a touch of sweetness.
Prada Amber Homme Intense is polished with confident subtly and I appreciate that. It has a familiar masculinity that reads a bit traditional and I suspect most men will appreciate that.
In the West Indian community when a person is departing, they are often told to Walk Good. Gents, you’ll walk good and confidently with Prada Amber Homme Intense.
The other day as I was exiting the train station here in New York City, I looked up and realized the sun is setting earlier. While that wasn’t the first time that’s ever happened, it always catches you by surprise and it’s a sure sign fall is right around the corner. Continue reading
Posted in Fragrance Review
Tagged A'Men Pure Cuir, Atelier Cologne, best cologne, best mens cologne, Etat Libre d'Orange, Fall Fragrances, Home Fragrances, Juniper Ridge, Kerosene Fragrances, men's cologne, Men's Fragrances, mens cologne review, mens top fragrances, new mens fragrances, Opus Oils, Paestum Rose, Pinon, Ralf Schwieger, Rose 31, Rose Anonyme, Rose d'Homme, The Afternoon of a Faun, Thierry Mugler, Woodhaven
Here we are a week before Labor Day and the melancholy of summer’s end is setting in. I plan on getting in at least one more beach day and BBQ before we say goodbye to summer 2012. With that, fall fragrance releases are here. Continue reading
Posted in Fragrance Review
Tagged best cologne, best mens cologne, Fall Fragrances, Fragrance Review, Hanae Mori, Masculine scents, men's cologne, Men's Fragrances, mens cologne review, mens top fragrances, New Fragrances, new mens fragrances, Nordstrom, Sephora, Spicy Fragrances
The Wall Street Journal recently published a fragrance story and I wanted to share it here in case you missed it. With the temperature finally dropping in the Northeast, it’s a great time to wear spicier scents. I talked about that in the article I wrote for Complex and it’s good to see it reiterated here.
The story focuses on three notes, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom and features a great selection of scents: Musc Ravageur by Frederic Malle, Arunima by Strange Invisible Perfumes, Colonia Assoluta by Acqua di Parma, New York Amber by Bond No. 9, La Fumée by Miller Harris, Nutmeg and Ginger by Jo Malone and Baume du Doge by Eau D’Italie.
Give it a read and sample accordingly.
A few months back, the Editor-In-Chief of Antenna magazine contacted me about writing a piece on scent. We talked about this a few years back but the stars finally aligned. Part of that delay was my own. I really like Antenna’s editorial point-of-view and wanted to be sure I was ready with my own. When that email finally made its way into my inbox, I was ready.
To me, scent is a detail more men should pay attention to. We make conscious choices about the clothes we wear, how we style our hair, yet for some, when it comes to scent, we couldn’t be bothered. Well, this piece in Antenna is my attempt to reverse this thinking. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, let them know.
Thanks to Kaity and Sarah for making this dream of mine a reality.
Posted in Good Read
Tagged Amouage, Antenna Magazine, Atelier Colgone, Carner Barcelona, Cuirs, D.S. & Durga, Diptyque, Duro, Fall Fragrances, Good Read, Jim Parsons, Joya Fragrances, Liz Zorn Perfumes, Men's Colgone, Men's Fragrances, Nassomato, Oolang Infini, Rivertown Road, Staghorn Sumac