Tag Archives: Hermes

Good Read…

A round of applause for the increasing fragrance and grooming coverage in men’s magazines. The more men paying attention to these details, the better. I cannot tell you how many women I speak with who are in favor of guys putting more effort into how the smell and look. Anyhow, here’s a quick roundup. Continue reading

Good Read…

I find it incredibly sexy when I come across a woman who admits she wears men’s cologne. It’s the confidence that comes along with making that choice that does it for me. The industry does a good job segregating fragrances and having the courage to break the rules takes knowing yourself and what works on you. Continue reading

iPerfumer by Givaudan

When I was speaking with Chad Murawczyk of Min New York, one of the things I told him I admired about his store was its openness and how it was refreshing given the fragrance industries close door policy and the snootiness of retailers. I truly feel social media has begun tearing these walls down and consumers are becoming more educated about their preferences. It is for this reason I’m excited about the launch of Givaudan’s iPerfumer.

So how does it work? Users, down load the app and are run through a series of questions ranging from gender, age, geographic location, etc and then rate their favorite fragrance families, Oriental, Chypre, Citrus, Woody, Floral, and Fougere.

I’m curious who will download this app more, men or women. Women have no problems sampling but guys still seem to have issue with walking into stores and openly spraying themselves or engaging anyone from the sale staff without being nudged. Perhaps this will change that.

For a first hand review of iPerfumer, check out Harry Sheff over at Cocktails & Cologne.

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Good Read…I’m Proud Of This (Again)

I had the pleasure of working on the Men’s Health Grooming Awards again this year. I’m humbled by the opportunity and I’m thankful to Brian Boye for making it possible.

Here’s my feeling on a few of the featured scents:
Voyage d’Hermes – Sophisticated…powdery, peppery, sweet, musky. It’s even better on the skin. Add it to your summer collection.

Azzaro Chrome Sport – I don’t usually like “sport” scents but this is not your typical sporty scent. For me, it’s a great no-brainer choice for running around on the weekend. A definite head turner at the farmer’s market.

Tom Ford Grey Vetiver - Fresh and thorny…the pepper notes give this clean scent depth.

Pickup a copy of the June issue of Men’s Health…it’s on newsstands now.

Meet Stan Williams

stanwilliams

The year was 2006 and Stan Williams and I had lunch at the Bryant Park Hotel’s, Koi restaurant. At the time, he was the Fashion Director of Maxim magazine. I was a relatively young publicist clamoring for his time. As we were finishing up our chat, I blurted out, “you smell great, what are you wearing?” Stan replied, “Vetiver by Guerlain.” I remember being struck by how incredibly clean and masculine it smelt. I ran out the next day and bought my first bottle of this potion.

All of this rushed back into my head as the days led up to the party for his soon to be released book, The Find, held at Ports 1961’s Meatpacking boutique. Upon greeting him at the party, I reminded him of that day and told him I just had to interview him. He smiled and said “of course, I’ll be glad to.”

What’s your earliest recollection of fragrance?
My earliest recollections of fragrances were all those drug store brands that my dad used to wear: English Leather, Mennen, and all those Avon car-shaped-bottle aftershaves (in the Deep Woods fragrance) that he kept on his dresser. I also remember watching all the Hai Karate ads on TV and wanting a bottle of Jovan Sex Appeal when I was 11 or 12. I think I got it for Christmas as a joke.

What fragrances are currently in your rotation?
Mandarina Duck for Men, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Aramis (really have a new-found love of it), Eau d’Hermes and L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Eau d’Absinthe.

How often do you go out looking for something new? What specifically do you look for?
I never go looking, but I always stop and try things. I don’t really have a profile. I like old-fashioned smelling fragrances, but I also like bright ones. It just depends on how I feel. However, I can never go wrong with the YSL Rive Gauche……

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?
Yes…L’Artisan Parfeur, Hermes, and YSL Rive Gauche. I just love them, and I feel like they fit my personality.

How would you finish this statement. “My most memorable fragrant moment would be…?
When I was obsessed with Ralph Lauren Polo in high school and my best friend’s step mom somehow nabbed the gigantic display bottle for me. I was in heaven!

What is your book all about and might there be applicable tips for fragrance shopping?
The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details is a book that takes people on a personal journey in learning how to find beauty in other people’s cast-offs. It’s filled with 500 original photographs of work by many of today’s tastemakers — GQ’s Jim Moore, Barneys New York’s Simon Doonan, decoupage artist John Derian, Real Simple’s Kristin Van Ogtrop, This Old House’s Alex Bandon — just to name a few — and hopefully empowers people to feel comfortable decorating their own environments with vintage and thrift.

When shopping for vintage and thrift, there’s also one thing that rings true for purchasing fragrances: only buy what you love. I say that when thrifting, don’t be over-obsessed with pedigree or brand. If you love it, it is good quality, and suits your purposes, then buy it. Same goes for fragrances. I think people sometimes buy a product because they are attracted to a brand name or a bottle. But bottom line, if the juice doesn’t work on you, then don’t wear it again. And try different options. Just like in thrift shopping, it may take a while to find what you’re looking for, you’ll eventually find the scent that suits you.

Thanks Stan. And for those who have no idea of the comedy associated with Hai Karate, enjoy:

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Meet Roger Joseph

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Roger at a birthday get together for a friend. As fashionably late as he was, all in attendance greeted him affectionately and I soon learned why, he’s quite the charmer. I caught up to Roger recently at Diner in the meatpacking district where we traded stories about fragrances. I had a hunch he was into them but not to this degree…read on for yourself.

What’s your earliest recollection of fragrance?
The citrusy linger of my Dad’s Blenheim Bouquet (Penthaligon) on the stairwell, as he slipped on his jacket to go out on Saturday evenings. As a kid, I tried to make perfume by soaking handfuls of lilacs from the garden in cold water and then eventually bringing the whole experiment to a slow boil to concentrate the smell. I recall a heady mess on the kitchen counter.

What are some of your favorite fragrances?
Over the years, I find myself coming back to certain disciplines of thought to which I have handily prescribed a scent – Bel Ami by Hermes, Acqua Coloniale by L’Erbolario and Garrigue by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. Thanks to my buddy Antonio, I have a man in Naples who has created something special that I wear sparingly!

There was a time when my go-to scent was Romeo Gigli. In the 80s when severe shoulder-padding adorned even bodysuits from Donna Karan, the designs of Gigli looked artless and yet distinct. Gigli brought the same sense of proportion and colour to the design of his men’s cologne – from the lilac rectangular box with the dark orange label to the citrine green liquid to the bottle itself, which looked like a burgundy domed minaret, with metal coils around its neck. I would stock bottles of it like champagne.

What’s currently in your rotation?
In an effort to simplify my life, I have doubled up on classifications on the domestic front, which means sorting CDs by alphabet and musical genre and arranging the bookshelf by size and jacket cover. In the bathroom, only white packaged products are allowed in the medicine cabinet, and only brown bottled scents are on display, everything else is hidden. Coincidentally, I suppose, I am drawn right now to Flower Power by Comme De Garcons, L’Occitane and Helmut Lang’s Cuiron.

How often do you go out looking for something new? What specifically do you look for?
Not often and little in particular. When a favorite bottle is finished, I’ll replenish it. However, if it’s a new scent to which I’m not keenly attached, I’ll use the opportunity to review a scent I had initially waited to buy or to preview something new.

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?
Several scents, depending on how they reacted to my skin and the responses they elicited. Though I cannot say print or television campaigns inform my choices as much as before, but I remember being repeatedly seduced by the ads for Kouros, Greek god iconography in blue and white, and by the black and white visuals for Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent produced by Jean Baptiste Mondino with a young Naomi Campbell, in silhouette, hair bobbed and playing the part of a scatting chanteuse. Need I say more?

How would you finish this statement, “My most memorable fragrant moment would be…?
I have several: early mornings in general, especially Springtime in the country with the windows open; reading Patrick Susskind’s “Perfume” on the New York subway and noticing a heightened awareness to smells; walking into the Comme Des Garcons perfume shop in Paris for the first time; Fracas by Robert Piguet and the accompanying memories of a prep-school romance to more mature expressions of love and lust, encouraged by Caron’s Yatagan.

Well groomed and versed, that’s Roger Joseph.