Tag Archives: Thierry Mugler

The Scent Of Comfort

A few years ago before a long trip overseas, my wife asked me give her a shirt that I previously wore so she could take it with her. She wanted to sleep with it while we were apart. At the heart of her request is what science and myriad studies have shown, there’s a link between scent and emotion. In this instance, my scent would enhance my wife’s mood.  I experienced this very same thing as a child when my dad came home and hung his work shirt on the doorknob. As I ran past it, I could smell the powder he wore. If you put a blind fold over my eyes now and put a scent strip with that smell to my nose, I’d instantly think of him and that French blue shirt hanging in the hallway.

Today, as part of a special series of group posts with my cohorts, Eyeliner on a Cat, Olfactoria’s Travels, Persolaise, and Candy Perfume Boywe’re talking about mood enhancing perfumes. I’ve gone about this a bit differently than the others but here are a few of my fragrant moments that bring me comfort. 

Scents of Comfort

A few days ago, I inherited the safety razor I watched my dad shave with as I was growing up. If you’re following me on Instagram, you know safety razors are my latest obsession. When I look at the one my dad just gave me, thoughts of him prepping to shave in his Hanes V-neck t-shirt and the scent of Noxzema and Obsession, which filled the bathroom, come rushing to mind. Those scents will forever hold a special place in my heart. It’s one of the reasons why I love the scents Dear John (formally by B Never now by Lush) and Sartorial by Penhaligon’s. The masculine appeal of both scents remind me of my dad and some of the other men in my family and wearing them brings me instant comfort.

LP No 9

Another scent that I would characterize as traditional is Penhaligon’s LP No. 9 and it brings me both comfort and sadness as it reminds me of my beloved brother Lamont, who is no longer with us. I gave him that fragrance years ago and although he owned others, he never got rid of it. On the day he passed away, I walked into his room and as the magnitude of my new reality was setting in, it was the first thing I gravitated to. I now have it in my possession and will forever. I wear it from time to time and sometimes I just smell the nozzle and think of him.

Smokin a stoggie

If there’s one thing I really enjoy, it’s a good cigar. It truly is a relaxing experience that’s enhanced by aroma and taste. The scent of tobacco, hints of coffee and chocolate sprinkled with some pepper and bourbon and we’ve got ourselves a good smoke. That could also read as a cologne, which brings to mind one of my favorite tobacco based scents, Thierry Mugler’s A Men Pure Havane. It’s centered around the art of making fine Cuban Cigars and it’s good. This cigar talk is prompting my desire for a good smoke. Catch me on Foursquare and see where I check-in tonight.

Eliana's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Marcel Proust is a critically acclaimed French novelist. In his book, In Remembrance of Things Past, Proust recalls involuntary memories brought on by smell, taste and sound. In one particular episode, Proust recalls eating a madeleine cake and drinking tea. The scent of the cake ushers in a flood of memories from his childhood. That must be the reason why my wife’s homemade chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite treats. I’m a big kid when those bad boys are in the oven. The scent of the sugar, butter and chocolate forces me to pace around the house asking, “Are they done yet.”

This was a light-hearted look at how my mood is enhanced by scent. My brother always told me I smell everything. He was right and my life is better for it. Be sure to check out Eyeliner on a Cat, Olfactoria’s Travels, Persolaise, and Candy Perfume Boy to see what scents enhance their mood.

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

Good Read…Men’s Health Grooming Awards

For men’s magazines, March and September are big issues. It’s usually when you’ll see the most fashion coverage and they distill seasonal trends. Its a must read if you like to be in the know about that sort of stuff. I, however, look forward to the June issue of Men’s Health as it’s when they conduct their annual Grooming Awards.

Each year, Men’s Health consults a panel of grooming and fragrance aficionados to seek out the best products in myriad categories. What you’re left with is an excellent list products worthy of your consideration.

For the past few years, Brian Boye has asked me to contribute to the fragrance category and I look forward to it. Where else are you going to get all of these products in one issue? This year, he sought out my opinion on how much fragrance one should apply, in addition to other topics, and I’m quoted in the issue.

The June issue is on newsstands now. Pick it up. It’s a good one.

Belated Father’s Day Gift Recommendation


If there is one thing about dad, he’s understanding. If you couldn’t find the time to get him something, here’s a quick two piece I put together for the gents over at Be Better Guys. But in the vain of repurposing, dad might have a birthday coming up and this could certainly fit there as well. Enjoy.

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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Thierry Mugler’s A*Men Pure Malt

Pure Malt
Many of my peers are collectors in one form or another. They’re collecting limited edition sneakers, apparel, toys, art…you name it. Me, I collect fragrances. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out that Theirry Mugler was putting another A* Men limited edition item.

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you should be familiar with the Theirry Mugler name or at least know of one of the most popular scents of the decade he’s responsible for, Angel. Well, his new scent, which recently dropped, A*Men Pure Malt pays homage to Malt Whisky. After narrowly missing his last limited edition, Pure Coffee, I just had to get my hands on this and I’m loving it.

Building and fusing the woody nuances of Angel, the key ingredients of this heavenly concoction, which takes cues from traditional whisky aging techniques by storing Pure Malt in oak casks, include coffee absolute, cedarwood, patchouli, and something a little scientific, Pure Malt Co2. The result is a very sophisticated fragrance that begs to be accompanied by a great fitting suit. While it starts out quite sweet, it ages nicely on my skin and moves towards rich woods and chocolate and that’s where the boozy feel of the whisky begins opening up. Undoubtedly, Angel’s presence can be felt but Pure Malt is lighter and thus can be seen as having a more masculine appeal. I’ve seen some reviews that have mentioned this as a good summer scent but I beg to differ. For me as autumn firmly takes hold, and we take shelter indoors, comforting thoughts such as rich leather lounge chairs, crackling fire places, and a great cigar (or not) come to mind. This is where I see Pure Malt and its rich woody character setting in nicely.

A*Men Pure Malt by Thierry Mugler 3.4 fl. oz available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales.

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Meet Johanna Laracuente

johannal

Your eyes are not deceiving you. This chic young lady loves men’s fragrances and wears them quite regularly. Quick back-story-Johanna is a fashion stylist that I met when she came to the showroom of one of my clients. Our worlds didn’t really collide until one evening I was at an event that The Sound Of Art held at the Hotel on Rivington with Airwalk. I bumped into her and as we conversed, I remember being enveloped by a familiar scent. I proceeded to ask her what she was wearing and she couldn’t quite remember the name. She said, and I loved this, “it’s from that brand where the bottle doesn’t stand upright.” I immediately knew she was talking about Comme de Garcon. That sparked quite an interesting tale of her love for men’s fragrances. I was blown away. It takes a confident man or woman to get past all the “gender specific” marketing we’re fed by the fragrance industry and Johanna is proof-positive that what smells “manly” changes on a woman. I made no connection between what I smelt and her gender…all I processed was she smelt great and it intensified our conversation. Without further ado, Johanna Laracuente:

What’s your earliest recollection of fragrance?

I grew up in a small town in Puerto Rico. Everything around you had an aroma, a unique scent. The smell of the beach, mountains, and rain, mixed with my mothers cooking was memorable.

What fragrances are currently in your rotation?

Prada Amber, Cannabis Rose from Fresh and my fav Comme de Garcon 2

Tell me a bit about your preference for wearing men’s fragrances?

I used to have a roommate that would spray me with Comme de Garcon or Angel Men by Thierry Mugler on his way out. The way my body reacted was amazing. The smell was a lot warmer, so sexy, I loved it! After he realized how empty his bottle became, he opted to get me a bottle for my birthday and is been in my rotation ever since.

How often do you go out looking for something new? What specifically do you look for?

Not often. I choose scents that are unusual and definitely unexpected; hence, the Homme affair. The other night I went to my neighbors place and stole a bit of L’Artisan’s White Pepper (actual name, Poivre Piquant). It is sensual, light and yet masculine. Everyone loved it and lets just say it was a VERY successful evening. I bought it the next day; hopefully it will get a repeat performance!

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?

I’m a creature of habit in certain things. When it works, it becomes a part of my personal scent. I have been wearing Comme de Garcon for 8 years; it’s always a repeat. The chemistry of it on a woman is totally different, and unique on each one.

If you had to give the guys reading this blog advice about fragrances, what would it be?

Wear it, experiment and don’t be afraid to try new things. Wait… or is this advice for something else?

How would you finish this statement? “My most memorable fragrant moment would be…?

Papi all dressed up for work. He had a massive collection of colognes. He loved to switch them up. Whenever I smell Cool Water or Drakkar Noir, I smile and become a little teary eyed too.

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