Tag Archives: Rose 31

Fate Man by Amouage

Amouage Fate Man

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.

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Seven Fragrances You Should Know This Fall

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

Not Just Any Rose For Valentine’s Day

Dear Gents,

In case you forgot, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I subscribe to damn near everything so I couldn’t forget as I’m receiving daily reminders.

A pleasant tap on the shoulder just came in from Le Labo, featuring one of my favorite scents, Rose 31. I just loved the graphic and decided to share. If you haven’t already tried this magnificent scent, why not treat yourself this Valentine’s Day. I think you’ll love it. It’s not girly either (although there’s nothing wrong with that).

And if you’re curious as to why I’m so in love with this one, click here.

Love,
FM

Fragrant Night Out 2010

The scene at DKNY’s Madison Avenue store

For the second year in a row, I turned the much-hyped Fashion’s Night Out into my own Fragrant Night out. My night was a mix of hitting up some of the crowded boutiques, Bergdorf, Henri Bendel, Gucci and DKNY and sampling some of the fragrances retailing at the better men’s department stores. I must say, as opposed to last year, the staff at the fragrance counters I visited was very helpful. I was even surprised by the offering of samples. At Bergdorf, I was given a sample of Duc De Vervins and at Barney’s I was given samples of YSL’s La Nuit De L’Homme and Costume National’s Scent.

Last year I sampled quite a few of scents, this year however, not so many. There really wasn’t that much out there that I hadn’t seen or smelled already.

My first stop of the night was Bergdorf and it was bananas. Thank God for the men’s store which was a bit calmer but just about shoulder to shoulder. Upon entering, I was greeted by guys playing air hockey and ping-pong. I ran into one of Esquire Magazine’s style arbiters Josh Peskowitz who made me want to own some clay-colored pants. Tom Ford was scheduled to make an appearance and sign the bottles from his collection but I dipped before that scene ensued. I did sample Champaca from his private collection and it left a lasting impression all night. The wine and cognac top notes don’t open boozy at all. In fact, I never felt I was sniffing alcohol. It does, however, have a floral sweetness reminiscent of Le Labo’s Rose 31. As the night wore on, the similarities grew but Champaca didn’t contain that B.O. undertone I detect in Rose 31. I shall own this one-day but for now, the similarities make it feel like a redundant purchase. That being said, it was one of the best of the night.

After stopping in at Gucci, which had a line that wrapped around the corner, I shuffled my way into Henri Bendel, as I wanted to smell Histoires de Parfum’s Défilé New York. Apparently only 150 bottles were created and the scent pays homage to Fashion’s Night Out. As exciting as that maybe, what peaked my interest were its base notes ingredients, which included chocolate and coffee. An added and unexpected treat was the appearance of the brand’s founder Gerald Ghislain. He was super sweet and explained the scent’s influences which he said included the early morning smells of Bryant Park (where Fashion Week was previously held) and editors showing up with their coffee as they waited for the shows to begin. As someone who’s experienced Fashion Week firsthand, I found that story very intriguing.

Overall my fragrant night out was a lot of fun. Défilé was the most original scent I sampled all night. The way fresh-cut grass, bergamont, Rhubarb, chocolate and coffee all play together makes this an incredible scent. I fought the immediate urge to purchase it as I thought I could double back, but I should have known better. After making my way over to DKNY (they know how to throw a party) and having a few cocktails, my plan took a detour down to Soho where I ended the night. As Jesse Jackson would say, “Keep hope alive.” I’ll be calling Henri Bendel to see if Défilé is still available.

It’s Never Too Late

Here’s a fragrance gift guide I put together for our friends at Be Better Guys. It only went up two days ago and I’m just getting around to reposting here. If you feel that the gift you bought just didn’t get the reaction you were looking for, consider these suggestions. You can also blame it on the store and say they were out and I really wanted to get you this! Anyhow, Happy Holidays from Fragrant Moments!

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Rose Layering

The layering of fragrances is quite a daring act. I admire anyone that is willing to differentiate themselves in this manner. Harry Sheff, a fellow fragrance enthusiast and new contributing writer for Fragrant Moments, had a chance encounter with layering fragrances recently. He talks about it here in his debut post:


Rose

After wearing a succession of my own colognes and spraying an array of samples on my wrist, my watchband has acquired a bewitchingly complicated fragrance.

I’d heard people talk about layering fragrances before, but I’d never tried it myself—at least not intentionally. So when I realized how great my watchband smelled, I tried to decipher the scent. I don’t quite have it yet, but I tried wearing Costume National’s new men’s scent (reviewed by Barney here recently) over Le Labo’s Rose 31 (which was recommended to me by Barney and reviewed by him.

It’s brilliant. The softness of the Rose 31 (which for those who aren’t familiar with it is deepened by woods, musk and cumin) is deepened even more by Costume National Homme’s sandalwood, cinnamon and cloves. And, conversely, CN Homme’s harsher spiciness is soothed by Rose 31’s floral qualities. This experiment was a great success, I’m guessing, because of Rose 31; I plan on layering this with other fragrances.

Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet, a rich evergreen scent, would be a great candidate for layering with Rose 31. This comes to mind because of another pairing my girlfriend discovered with the help of a very smart salesman at CB I Hate Perfume in Brooklyn.

CB sells what seems like hundreds of individual accords, single note scents broken down into 14 categories like spice, flower, sweet, and clean. When the salesman came out from the store’s back room wearing an amazing smelling amber that he got in the mail as a sample from a competitor, he was unwilling (naturally) to tell us what it was.

Instead, he scrambled around the room smelling vials, eventually layering Rose Bulgare and Fir Douglas with an amber. The result was an excellent approximation of the fragrance he was wearing. But even more interesting was the combination of the rose and fir notes. My girlfriend bought them both and wears them together.

As a relative newcomer to the world of fragrances, it’s exciting to reach the level of sophistication (however modest) of mixing existing fragrances together to create new ones. It allows a whole new way to enjoy one’s collection of scents: simultaneously.

-Harry Sheff

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Le Labo’s Oud 27 – Love Me Or Leave Me Alone

oud274

One of my favorite fragrance manufactures, Le Labo, has launched a new scent, Oud 27. It’s their first in three years. When I got wind of the launch, I will admit, I was quite excited. I do not possess a favorite scent but when asked, Rose 31 remains at the top of the list. I’m such a fan that when I visited Paris in April of 2008, the top of my agenda (after watching my lovely lady cross the finish line of the Paris Marathon) was to make my way over to Collette to purchase, Vanille 44. It can only be bought there and that type of exclusivity sweetened the deal. To put it in perspective, some of my peers might liken that desire to getting their hands on the new Air Yeezy’s. I’ll take a fragrance over kicks any day, but that’s my obsession.

I stopped by Le Labo on Saturday and my heart was literally fluttering in anticipation. Upon first spritz of the tester, I was wowed, but not in a “this is the best thing I have ever smelt” kind of way. A strong but slightly sweet urine top note unexpectedly greeted me. It in fact made me take a seat. Could this be what they wanted me to take away, why? I do like untraditional scents like Serge Lutens Santal Blanc which some have said smelt pissy and Carolina Herrera’s 212 Sexy Man but this was even more offbeat. I then sprayed it on the back of my hand and allowed time to do its thing. I smelled it every so often and the urine stayed with me but then it got slightly smoky and as more time passed, slightly sweet. As I chatted with one of the customers, she asked if I was testing Oud and we agreed to smell it on one another. On her, it smelt soft. It wasn’t as pungent. When she smelt it on me, she loved it and actually thought it smelt better on me. Her reaction is probably why I ended up purchasing the .5 oz travel size, which costs $52, and I’m glad I did.

That urine smell that initially hit me, is a characteristic of Oud, which is an exotic oil that also has animalic, smoky, and musky notes. Oud is an aromatic resin that is a result of Aquilaria trees that become infected with a mold and over time produce a resin in response to the attack. When I learned this, after doing some research, it was like dejavu hit me all over again. When I first smelt, Rose 31, I questioned that “B.O.” note that initially confused me. So to answer my earlier question, yes, Le Labo meant to do this.

My findings and time allowed me to appreciate Oud 27. As with any fragrance, how it adapts to your skin is part of the decision equation. But in this instance, more so than in any other I’ve experienced, I believe one REALLY has to get past that initial smell to allow oneself to test it. In 1993 the rap group Brand Nubians had a song called “Love Me Or Leave Me Alone” and that is exactly what Oud 27 says to me. You’ll either get it or you won’t. My suggestion is to give it a try. Let time and your body manipulate the scent. It continually changes and nestles into your skin. I love it, but will you?

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A Primal Musc

muscravageur1

Back in April when I was in Paris and visited Frederic Malle’s Edition de Pafum store, I left with a few samples. One of them happened to be Musc Ravageur. I remember immediately taking a liking to it, but Une Fleur de Cassie was ultimately what I purchased.

Yesterday as I was getting myself together, I was going through my collection and came across this sample and decided to finally give it a try. I was instantly reminded of why I like this scent. Maybe its the name or maybe its the scent combination itself but its initial reaction conjures something primal. There is a dirtiness to it that reminds me of my initial impression of Le Labo’s Rose 31. But its also sweet and cozy. I’ll chalk that up to the tangerine and cinnamon notes. As it settles on my skin, I get hints of chocolate, the dark kind.

What gets me the most about Musc Ravageur is how different it is. This won’t be a scent for everyone but if you truly like standing out, give this a try. Like I said in a previous post, its ok to sample. It allows you to try something with no monetary risk. That said, now that this is something I feel good about, I will be running over to Barney’s to get myself a proper sized bottle of this naughty little scent.

A very fragrant Frederic Malle experience

Life has a weird way of bringing things into fruition. Some years ago, I read an article about Frederic Malle and one of his boutiques which housed a very unique smelling system. In a nutshell you put your face up to this metallic funnel looking thing and a mist of a scent is released….how cool is that? When I read that I remember saying to myself, I must experience that one day. On Weds after a day of
sightseeing, I stopped by the 140 Avenue Victor Hugo location just so I could experience it…and what a pleasurable visit it was.

Once you enter the shop, you can’t help but stare at the wall of scents and school science project looking contraption that releases a fragrant mist. It is unlike anything you have experienced. As with most of my visits to shops in Paris, I feared my communication with the salesperson was a roll of the dice. But this was to be a great day as not only did Claire speak enough English to communicate with me, we danced as we realized we had a common passion for the power of fragrance.

After the usual questions of trying to figure out my taste and offering a few scents for me to smell, I gravitated to Une Fleur De Cassie. I told Claire that like Le Labo’s Rose 31 and Serge Luten’s Santal Blanc, there is a dirty/sweatiness at the bottom of this scent that’s grabbing me. I explained how with Rose 31, I found myself a bit perplexed because before smelling that, I never experienced a scent that tripped me up…I mean who would dare combine something that would somehow make you think of sweat. In trying to find the words to communicate this, which bought a smile to Claire’s face (I guess I was onto something) she began telling me its just that sort of thinking that’s behind the Editions De Parfums collection. I won’t fully retell the story hear as you can read it on their website but the bio for the creator of Une Fluer De Cassie, Dominique Ropion says he is “…on a quest to create new, harmonious scents by pairing ingredients that are polar opposites.” I can really appreciate that and I believe that’s why Claire offered this to me. I can’t remember if she mentioned this as one of their best sellers but a very chicly dressed French woman came in while I was there and asked for it by name with no hesitation.

This is not for everyone and it’s defies the conventional scents being marketed to men. Its out there and I love that. If you’re inclined to try it, know that it starts off pungent but settles into your skin for a hint of fragrance. Spray and walk away. Don’t listen to the first reaction, let it settle. It’s just the right amount of good and bad to tickle and tease.

Image courtesy of www.editionsdeparfums.com