A funny thing happened last week, as I was on my way to the Today Show, a clan of men in suits greeted me. One handed me a folded up newspaper that I accepted and I went on about my business. Later that day, I saw them riding around in another pack, but this time they were driving pedicabs. All of this creativity was for the promotion of USA Networks show, Suits. Continue reading
Posted in Good Read
Tagged Christian Dior, Maison Francis Kurdjkian, Men's Colgone, Men's Fragrances, Men's Scents, Mr. Porter, Nassomato, Penhaligon's, Power Scents, Suits, Tom Ford, USA Network
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
I’d like to tip my hat to Details for, yet again, placing a spot light on men’s grooming and fragrances. You may remember I posted a Good Read from its April issue, a little late I might add. This time, I received my issue on time and I was floored by fifteen pages of editorial coverage.
Of course its fragrance editorial interested me most. Featured brands included, Bulgari Aqva Pour Homme Marine Tono, YSL L’Homme Cologne Gingembre, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau De Cologne, Original Penguin For Men, and John Varvatos 10th Anniversary Fragrance.
Pick up the July issue and find out the where you should get your hair cut, shower gels you should check out, a list of Apothecaries worthy of visiting and more. Well done Details.
Posted in Good Read
Tagged Apothecary, Bulgari, Details Magazine, John Varvatos, Men's Fragrances, Men's grooming, Men's Scents, Men's Shower Gels, Original Penguin, Tom Ford, YSL
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.
Posted in News
Tagged Barney's, Bergdorf, Champaca, Costume National, DKNY, Fashion's Night Out, Gerald Ghislan, Gucci, Henri Bendel, Histoires de Parfum, Josh Peskowitz, La Nuit De L'Homme, Le Labo, men's cologne, Men's Fragrances, Men's Scents, Rose 31, Tom Ford, YSL
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.
Some years ago I experienced Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique for women and it transformed my opinion of men’s fragrances. I wondered why scents marketed to men couldn’t be as interesting and began my search for those I thought broke away from the classic, woody, leathery, and spicy realm. To be honest, I bought Classique for myself, but hid it from public view. I was a closeted women’s fragrance wearer. I was young and still influenced by the homies. It’s all good though, I’ve grown up and from time to time will wear Tom Ford’s Black Orchid for women…there I said it. I just think its more interesting.
In many respects, I owe what I’m doing here to Classique. So you can imagine how I felt when I came across a recent article by Chandler Burr, the fragrance critic of the New York Times. This line in particular really stood out, “Masculines — the industry term — are generally defined by the vast creativity, beauty, elegance and innovation that have not been put into them. Those qualities are usually reserved for feminines, though men who know scent just wear what’s great and ignore the gender distinctions.”
Continue reading his article here and know my journey to find that beauty, elegance and innovation that mainstream scents lack continues.
As I mentioned sometime ago, Fragrant Moments comes from an experiential perspective. That said, I hope you can appreciate the road that lead to L’Air du Desert Marocain.
If there’s one thing I like to do on a Saturday afternoon, when I have a free moment, is relax to a nice cigar. I did that this past Saturday and ran into a friend, Konstantie-Kahi. We hadn’t seen each other for the entire summer so we had quite a bit of catching up to do. Being he’s from Georgia, I naturally asked him what the conflict with Russia was all about. After breaking that down, and delving into American politics, we moved into frivolous but entertaining things like wine and music. Then something leads me to ask this worldly gent if he was into fragrances. Wholly shit, not only is he into them, but he immediately began name-dropping. After going back and forth about brands such as L’Artisan, Tom Ford, Mont Blanc, Le Labo, etc, we went on a spontaneous scent hunt; first stop L’Artisan on Thompson street. While there we smelled Fou d’Absinthe, and Passage d’Enfer. Next we stopped by the Mont Blanc store to smell their newest scent. From there, we hustled over to Aedes de Venustas, which I encouraged Konstantine to experience. Having never been there before, he entered the pearly scented gates of fragrance heaven. Frank, who’s cool as a cucumber, greeted us and immediately whizzed us around store after I pried out of Konstantine some of the brands he likes to help get us started. (Gents, when fragrance shopping, if you’re approached by a sales person, try to remember some of the brands you like, it really does make a difference in which direction they lead you).
Frank knows his scents. There wasn’t one he bought to us that I didn’t like. But without question L’Air du Desert Marocain was one of the most original and it left a lasting impression. Konstantine thought so as well…he purchased it. The scent is rich and layered. It nuzzles nicely into the skin and that’s when the magic begins. According to its maker, Andy Tauer, “L’air du désert marocain is a true scent of desire.” It’s mysterious, soft and spicy all at once. It’s not overly woody or overly this or that. It’s simply wicked. If I were traveling alone to an exotic locale, this would be the only scent I’d bring with me. Its that potent.
I remember the first time I came across this ad, I was thumbing through one of the men’s magazines (I forget which one) and when I hit the page my first reaction was simply “wow.” I just stared at the page. I wonder what the average “stare time” is. It came as no surprise that while hanging out after work on Friday, the topic of fragrance came up, Mr. Ford was mentioned and his sexually charged ad campaigns were thoroughly discussed. The general sentiment was they are simply “off the meter.” As for his scents, props were given to his private blends and they were thought to be better than his mass marketed scents. I can attest to that. My first reaction to Tom Ford was I expected more. However, if you removed his name from that bottle and showed a series of fragrance ads, this would win hands down. I look at some of these ads and I just don’t get it. I’m left in a daze asking myself is this the best we can do. NO daze or guessing here.
Is it the sweat, the heat causing it, or the …. I could go on and on, you fill in the blanks but it makes a statement that screams possibility. Honorable mention to the Dolce & Gabana ad (you know which one I’m talking about). A friend said to me, “you know how you guys react to a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, he’s our Victoria’s Secret.”