Tag Archives: Brut

Sartorial by Penhaligon’s

The very first time I smelled Penhaligon’s Sartorial I thought barbershop and tradition. It opens with a soft powdery smell that reminds me of the Saturday morning/afternoons I waited to get my hair cut, the sound of the clippers, the requests,” let me get X or Y,” those final moments before I got up from the chair; that stinging sensation from the alcohol as my barber went along my hairline and that fresh clean feeling of being a new man. How is it possible to have such details summoned from one smell? That is best answered by something I found on Penhaligon’s website in the “About Us” section and it says, “fragrance is liquid emotion.”

Scents that produced this sort of memory used to turn me off as I felt they leaned too heavily on tradition and the idea that “this is how men are supposed to smell.” But that didn’t happen with Sartorial. Perhaps that can be attributed to my new-found love for LP No 9 or my recent return from Barbados where I spent time with my uncles who are all very traditional in their fragrance and grooming habits and it’s starting to rub off on me. But as I thought deeper about the name and read its supporting press materials that talked about the tailoring tradition that influenced this scent, I began thinking of my own tailor.

Mr. Henry is a Trinidadian tailor I’ve been going to for well over a decade now. He’s old school, he knows my parents, is genuinely interested in how I’m doing, but more importantly, schools me on the finer details of menswear. But that last point needs qualifying. There’s an old adage that says, “rules are meant to be broken.” Mr. Henry is the first to tell me, “no cuff on flat front slacks, but the choice is yours, or the break in your slacks should be here but they are wearing it shorter these day so you tell me where you want them. He allowed me to make a choice that made me comfortable. His willingness to strike that balance, which is an update from the tailors of yesteryear, compliments my feelings toward Sartorial. While the dry down beckons tradition, woody and earthy, it opens with a softness that shaves off the overly masculine edge of tradition. A beautiful balance that speaks to the modern man.

Sartorial is inspired by the scents of the workroom at Norton & Sons, Bespoke Tailors at No. 16 Savile Row. Mr. Henry’s shop didn’t smell like that. It was old, filled with scraps of material; lose pins, chalk, measuring tape, a sewing machine and an old radio that cranked out soca music. But Mr. Henry smelled of a deodorant mirroring Old Spice, Brut or Right Guard. For him that was how a man was supposed to smell, fresh and clean but not frilly. Sartorial embodies the masculinity of today’s man and I think Mr. Henry would say, “Young fella, a man is supposed to smell like that.”

Sartorial by Penhaligon’s will be in stores October 11, 2010.

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The Vault – Harlem, NYC

M. Tony Peralta

You every notice how artists always seem to do everything artfully? That’s M. Tony Peralta aka Big Tone. A graphic artist/photographer/temperamental creator, I met this fly cat in the late 90’s and have had my eye on him ever since. I’ve watched his artistic expression grow in so many ways and I’m proud to consider him a friend. Check out the April issue of Giant magazine where they feature Mr. Peralta in the Flash section where he’s wearing his “Freedom” tee. I ran into Mr. Peralta at a Sound of Art event in Harlem at The Vault on Saturday to celebrate the artist Joe Buck (He’s the guy in the background with the funny look on his face…sorry Joe, I don’t have Photoshop skills) and decided to see how the art of fragrance has made an impression on his life.

What’s your earliest recollection of fragrance? Which names come to
mind?

My earliest recollection of fragrances are not good ones. I remember getting headaches from my mother’s perfumes and the image of Brut and Old Spice come to mind as well. To redeem myself from mentioning those cheap fragrances, I have to fast forward a little to the early 80’s and 90’s. I remember my older brother and Drakkar. That’s definitely a bottle that sticks out in my head.
I was just a kid back then, so I wasn’t really into fragrances. I also remember my older friends rocking Cool Water and the green polo bottle cologne.

As a teenager, I was into oils. Egyptian Musk to be exact. Besides the affordable prices of the oils. I really liked how Egyptian musk smelt, especially on a woman. It’s really soft. I’m pretty sensitive to smells, so I like my fragrances to be smooth.

During college is when I really got into colognes. If I remember correctly, I think the first bottle I bought was Jean-Paul Gaultier “Le Male.” Beside the cool packaging I really liked the fragrance. It was a bit strong but I dealt with it. I think it helped me get some attention from the ladies. After that I switched to Versace Green or Blue jeans and rode it for a few years.

What are you wearing these days? What is it about that one that makes
it special?

These days I wear a variety of colognes. My favorite fragrance is L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme by Issey Miyake. That’s the one I wear on the regular. I also own Attitude by Giorgio Armani, Versace’s Eau Fraiche. Other fragrances I love are Rush by Gucci and Emporio He by Giorgio Armani.

How often do you buy a new fragrance? When you’re on the hunt, what do you look for?

The last bottle I bought was Attitude by Giorgio Armani and that was about 8 months ago. I don’t
Shop that frequent for fragrances. I think men should have there staple scent. I think mine is
Issey Miyake but I’m not a afraid to try new ones. As longs as they’re not strong and over powering. I honestly get headaches from strong fragrances.

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

You know what is my most memorable fragrant moment, it’s this baby cologne that my mom used on my younger sister after she bathed her. It’s a baby cologne that is used frequently by Dominicans. It makes the baby smell so fresh after they’re bathed. I remember my younger sister
wearing it as well as my nephews. It’s like the smell of innocence. Its called Para Mi Bebe

Creative, temperamental, stylish and sensitive…that’s Mr. Peralta