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.
We’re all being bombarded by Black Friday deals, it’s that time of year. But here’s one I think New Yorkers will find rewarding.
A few years ago, I had the fortune of visiting Paris for the first time. When I begun planning my to-do list, I knew a trip to the hip boutique Colette was a must. At that time, it was the only place anyone could get their hands on Le Labo’s Vanille 44. After Labo’s Rose 31 made me a fan for life, the thought of snagging something I couldn’t get in NYC was thrilling. I don’t collect sneakers or much else, so this is my participation in the collector’s fanaticism thing. Continue reading
Back in 2009, I happily found myself in Paris and one of the many things I had to do was visit Colette in search of Le Labo’s Vanille 44. Back then, it was the only way I could get my hands on this creation and I’m happy I did. I’m still rocking it and it remains one of my go-to rainy day scents. (Never mind that date on the bottle. Mine is still going strong.) Continue reading
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, members of the beauty and fragrance industry gathered to attend the second installation of the Elements Showcase, which took place at Skylight Studio in New York City. It describes itself as, “the first-ever curated event devoted to the art of fragrance design.” Essentially, it’s an opportunity for buyers and members of the press to connect with niche fragrance and skincare brands. Participants included MCMC Fragrances, Atelier Cologne, Odin, Caron, Six Scents, Ursa Major, Bond No 9, Histoires de Parfums and many more. For a fragrance enthusiast like myself, it was two exciting days. Continue reading
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Tagged Aesop, Amouage, Bond No 9, Carner Barcelona, Caron, D.S. & Durga, Dorie Greenspan, Elements Showcase, Harry Sheff, Histoires de Parfums, Joya Studios, Le Labo, MCMC Fragrances, Odin, Six Scents, Ursa Major
It’s May already and I don’t even know where April went. I was thumbing through some of my piled up mail the other day and came across the April issue of Details magazine. I don’t even know if I missed it or if it just came. (The beginning stages of a new subscription can be a little tricky.) What I do know is it features on all-star lineup of men’s fragrances. I was particularly happy to see Atelier Cologne in there. I posted about its Oolang Infini earlier this year and I’ve heard nothing but praise for Vanilla Insensee, which Details chose to feature. All of the other fragrances are worthy of your consideration.
But wait, it gets better. A few pages later, they bless readers with a nice selection of “guy appropriate” candles. I can’t remember ever seeing a men’s magazine this stocked with scent related stuff. Well done Details.
Posted in Good Read
Tagged Aedes de Venustas, Atelier Colgone, Burberry, By Kilian, Christian Dior, Details Magazine, Diptyque, Frederic Malle, Hotel Costes, Lafco, Le Labo, Malin+Goetz, men's cologne, Men's Fragrances, Prada
If you’re in the market for a new fragrance, consider combining your next purchase with Le Labo’s effort to help Japanese relief efforts. Gaiac 10, which normally can only be purchased its Tokyo boutique, will for a limited time be available in its New York, Los Angeles, and London stores and online. This opportunity is good until May 15, 2011 and all proceeds wil go to the Japanese Red Cross.
Last summer in New York City was brutal. I often felt I needed another shower shortly after taking one. That’s why in anticipation of what may be another scorcher, this “Orange Blossoms” article that appeared in The Wall Street Journal particularly interested me. Most, if not all, summer scents are citrus based and their fresh, vibrant appeal softly kiss the skin to complement the harsh heat. It’s one of the reasons why Nautica’s Pure became a favorite of mine. Anyhow, give this article a read and get out there and test a few. You just might find your summer savior.
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.
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.
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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