Tag Archives: men’s cologne

Good Read…My First One

ForbesLifeSpring13

I’ve been busy, writing more about men’s fragrances and grooming than I ever have. It’s been fun and challenging as there aren’t enough hours in the day. The good thing though is I have a bunch of stuff in the pipeline to publish here at Fragrant Moments.

A recent opportunity that came my way was the chance to assist the Style Director of ForbesLife magazine, Joseph DeAcetis, in producing a Spring/Summer scent story. With the excitement of a kid in a candy factory I jumped at the chance to put my editor hat on for print and let my fragrant passion fly. What lies within the April issue is a result of sniffing this and that, fighting for some and unfortunately passing on others. It was a lot of fun stepping behind the veil and seeing how the magic happens and I hope more opportunities like this come my way.

Grab a copy if you can and let me know what you think of the selected goodies.

Thank you JD.

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Eau d’Italie Acqua Decima

AcquaDecima

When you feel a brand has done right by you, anticipation builds when you learn a new release is coming. If you’ve been following Fragrant Moments, you know I’m a fan of Eau d’Italie. Several of their fragrances are a part of my collection and I suspect Acqua Decima will be too.

With notes of lemon, mandarine, mint leaves, neroli, petitgrain white wood and vetiver to name a few, this sounds like it’s beautifully built for the dog days of summer. This is the tenth fragrance in Eau d’Italie’s collection (Acqua Decima means Tenth Water in Italian) and its inspiration comes from a stretch of land that links the Amalfi coast with the Bay of Sorrento called The Path of the Gods.

Acqua Decima launches in the U.S. in July 2013 and will retail for $140.

 

Good Read..Scents of Spring

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With Daylight Savings going into effect this weekend, we’re all looking forward to spring. Those extra moments of sunlight will be celebrated with outdoor cocktails, breezy strolls and flirty innuendos. As a precursor to the season of relief, LifeStyle Mirror produced a piece about the Scents of Spring. They asked me to be a part and to my surprise, I’m in the midst of great company. My thoughts are alongside Chad Murawczyk of Min New York, David Moltz of DS & Durga, Francis Kurkdjian, Christopher Cervasel of Atelier Cologne and Carlos Huber of Arquiste. Check it out when you have a moment.

Forget about the hour of sleep you lost and look forward to spring baby…it’s right around the corner.

Ancient Resins by Aftelier Perfumes

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris
One of the things I fondly remember about my youth was going to church on Sundays. I missed a lot of Sunday football games but mom was happy her boys received their blessing. One thing that stuck with me was the church’s scent, which was a mix of body heat and old wood. With no air condition, we tried to stay cool with paper fans. They kept us cool and hot at the same time. That collective heat and that old church made for a scent that will forever be ingrained in my head. I used to wear my father’s Grey Flannel, but not enough to drown out that old church smell. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t bad, but I often wondered what it was like going to a Catholic church where they burned incense. That was the first thing I thought about when Mandy Aftel introduced me to one of her latest releases, Ancient Resins.
Ancient Resins
Incense has long been a part of religious ceremonies. It’s referenced in the bible and there are myriad historical references. Its perfume is meditative and it’s also said that the smoke symbolizes our prayers being taken up to God. History also tells us that people used it to perfume their bodies. I imagine Mandy drew upon this knowledge when she created Ancient Resins for the legendary Leonard Cohen.

Ancient Resins had me hooked from its opening notes; I wore it for a few days straight while testing it. It’s a body oil so it can be used to moisturize your skin. I chose to wear it as a fragrance and applied it to my pulse points as I would any other cologne. It opens subtly with a smoky, resinous presence and quickly quiets to a beautiful perfumed whisper. Don’t expect a bloom of perfume surrounding you. Ancient Resins wears close to the skin and in an intimate moment, it just might answer your prayers. If you’re familiar with frankincense, you’ll pick it up immediately as it contains a generous amount. The scent stays pretty consistent throughout its wearing and it lasts a long time.

A 50 ml. bottle of Ancient Resins is $40. It’s a steal gents.

Walk Good with Prada Amber Homme Intense

Prada Amber Homme Intense

What I love about our sense of smell is that it never lies. It knows what it likes and there’s no denying it. Case in point – sometime ago, I featured a bottle of Prada’s Amber Pour Homme Intense in a piece I wrote for Complex magazine and while I liked it very much, I didn’t wear it with any regularity. Every now and then I’d spray it on and go about my business.

One particular day, perhaps a day when I wasn’t rushing out of the house, I noticed its scent five or so minutes after applying it and I said to myself, “man this is good.” Later in the day, I wondered what smelled so good and remembered what I was wearing and realized it was only getting better. In that moment I wondered why I wasn’t wearing it more often and it dawned on me, that when I was in a jam on what scent to wear for the day, Prada Amber Homme Intense had become one of my go-to scents.

In its simply designed, dark colored bottle, Prada Amber Homme Intense is slick. It opens with a fresh, zesty punch, which is perhaps where the intense part comes in. It quickly settles down but the brightest parts of the opening remain…that’s slick. It also possesses a honeyed sweetness that balances out those spices, which I quite like. It’s smoky and resinous and to my surprise, as it develops, I begin noticing its fougere characteristics. What I really like about this one is how close to the skin it sits. Its dry down whispers leather with just a touch of sweetness.

Prada Amber Homme Intense is polished with confident subtly and I appreciate that. It has a familiar masculinity that reads a bit traditional and I suspect most men will appreciate that.

In the West Indian community when a person is departing, they are often told to Walk Good. Gents, you’ll walk good and confidently with Prada Amber Homme Intense.

The Year That Was 2012…A Look Back

As I look back on 2012 and count my blessings that I made it through another year, I realize some amazing discoveries from a grooming and fragrance perspective. I read and tweeted countless articles chronicling a renewed interest on the part of men about how they look and feel about themselves. That interest has always been there but I feel like men communicated about it more in 2012. As I write this review I can recall a conversation I had just this evening with a gentlemen about the wonders of a face cream that costs more than $100 and he raved at how amazing it is. That conversation replicated itself numerous times throughout the year and each time guys spoke in detail about what worked, reminisced and laughed about yesteryear and talked at length about their grooming routines. It was refreshing and enlightening.

Hunting Camp and Racer Shave Cream

From a grooming perspective, I made a few discoveries of my own this year. One brand in particular that impressed me on many levels was Portland General Store. I first bumped into them at the Elements Showcase and was introduced to their Hunting Camp Deep Exfoliating Soap. It was by far the best I experienced this year. It’s Sandalwood scent clings nicely to your freshly exfoliated and moisturized skin. I also feel in love with their Racer Shave Cream. When I heard it was non-foaming I was a skeptic. I became a believer after my first use. It’s that good.
Ursa Major Men Fortifying Face Balm

Another brand that’s kept my attention with its products and attention to quality ingredients is Ursa Major Men. This year they launched their Fortifying Face Balm and our faces are better for it. While it feels rich, it hydrates quickly without leaving your face feeling greasy. 100% natural and 82% organic, it’s money well spent gents. Finally, the brand impressed me when they posted this honest and transparent pitch for why their products are better than what is widely available on the men’s market today. After having used the products and being happy with the results, this made me respect them even more.

Fragrance

Olfactive Studio Lumiere Blanche

One of the things I love about the Elements Showcase is just when you think you’ve seen it all, a gem sparkles bright amongst all the other booths. At the recent showcase that took place in July, Olfactive Studios was that gem and to say it had a buzz at the show is an understatement. When it’s creative director Celine Verleure explained to me that the perfumer’s fragrance brief was a photograph from which they were to take their inspiration, I got goose bumps and it quickly became clear why they were the talk of the show. But if you think that’s a gimmick, its collection of fragrances will make you a believer. My favorite from first whiff was Lumiere Blanche. It’s sweet and warm, woody and crisp and that’s just the opening. As it dries down, its woods and musk notes bloom to perfection. It’s simply awesome.

M'Eau Joe No 3

Speaking of fragrance briefs, the collaboration between Opus Oils, the perfume atelier located in Hollywood, CA, and Michelle Krell Kydd, award-winning writer and blogger, was impressive for what it allowed consumers to experience from an insiders perspective and what its finished product delivered. Kydd, otherwise known as Glasspetalsmoke, laid out for all to see the inner workings behind M’Eau Joe No 3 Hollywood Whiskey Fragrance for the first ever open source fragrance brief. That alone is a milestone of 2012! As for the scent, it possesses a lot of mojo. Its staying power is one of the best I experienced this year. It’s bold and smoky, with a distinct whiskey scent that lingers nicely, as it should.

Kurkdjian Oud

When I heard about Maison Francis Kurkdjian was launching Oud, I thought I was over it. How many more iterations of this Oud thing could there possibly be? Then I experienced his creation and I was sold. While many other oud scents play up the funk factor, Kurkdjian’s possesses a subtly that, in my opinion, puts it in a class all by itself. What also made it a winner for me was its use of saffron, which lays interestingly alongside a metallic note I get in the opening. It’s just weird enough to keep my attention and is by far one of the best of 2012.

Ramon Monegal Mon Cuir

For the first time, ever, I smelled a fragrance and heard a melody ringing in my head. The scent was Ramon Monegal’s Mon Cuir and the song, Bob Marley’s Bad Boys. While this sensation caught me off guard, I surrendered to the moment and enjoyed the experience. This scent is unabashedly leather. It’s not smoky or anything else in the opening. That leather note rushes out with an animalic roar. Its swag is on swoll (I’m sorry but I can’t put it any other way…ask a friend for clarity). The way it lays on the skin is simply sexy.

Arquiste Anima Dulcis

Last and certainly not least is Arquiste’s Anima Dulcis. Before the purists jump on me, this was launched late 2011. But as the Geto Boyz once said, “my mind playin tricks on me” and I overlooked it then and discovered it this year. I incorrectly tagged Arquiste’s collection as florally and bright; boy was I mistaken. Anima Dulcis’ coco spice is downright delicious. The combination of the coco and chilli gives it an animalic quality that I can describe in no other way than sweet heat. The way they play off each other is distinct and charming.

There were a lot of launches in 2012, many of which I didn’t even get a chance to sample. It seems like more and more are occurring every year. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed my look back. Let me know what think, and what were your favorites. For additional lists, take a moment and read some awesome lists authored by Eyeliner On A Cat, Olfactoria’s Travels and Persolaise.

Le Labo Gives Meaning to Black Friday

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.