A funny thing has been occurring lately, I’ve been having more conversations with men about their love of fragrances…and they are an opinionated bunch. I made a pit stop by the cigar shop after work on Friday and I had the entire shop calling off memories of their favorite old school colognes. But what happened next blind-sided me.
When I was thinking about doing this blog last year, one of the workers at OK Cigars that I’m quite fond of, David, told me I should. I like David because he not only knows his cigars, but he’s witty and his knowledge of denim is wicked…he really needs to write an expose about the virtues of “real” denim vs. what we’re buying today but that’s another story. We once had a conversation about fragrances and he sung the praises of Gap Blue No 655, which I never heard of. But after hearing his love, I was quite intrigued. Long story short, in my recent visit to the shop he said, “I want to write an essay for you about Gap Blue.” I was humbled. Enough of my prose, here’s David’s
Fall Into This
Sometime around ninth grade I decided that cologne should be a part of my grooming routine. I thought that a scent might be part of the divide between me and the guys the girls noticed. In the high school social strata, I didn’t quite sing in a band, but then I didn’t carry a bag of many-sided dice either. Poking around the local mall, I sniffed my way through the bright lights and high-stools of department store fragrance counters. I wouldn’t buy a bottle shaped like a man’s torso or named like an automotive component. I was more interested in the girl who sat next to me in second period than someone named Kiki.
With a tired nose and money in my wallet I gave up. Like every other clean cut suburban kid, I ventured to the Gap for yet more khakis. There among the “essential” t-shirts and khakis I found a glass cube filled with light amber liquid. I took a sniff and knew immediately I’d found just the scent. Somewhere between sunshine, Tide, and well maintained lawns. Smells like nice boy, but nice boy who’s been on a few dates. I bought the bottle that day, and continued to restock until sometime around 2004, the stuff seems to have been discontinued. I actually found three bottles in Maine in 2005, so I’m certain it’s available on the internet. As for the power of scent to change one’s high school social level, I have to report that the cool girls complemented me fairly often on my cologne, but that was it. Anyway, time passes- I’m happy to report my girlfriend loves my stashed away bottles of the stuff.
Here’s the secret: GAP BLUE No 655. Think of it along side other three-digit classics like the Porsche 911, Dunhill Mixture 965, the Montblanc 149, and of course, the Levi’s 501.