Tag Archives: Men’s Fragrances

Seven Deadly Sins – Greed

As you know, my blogging cohorts, Candyperfumeboy, Eyelineronacat, Olfactoria’s Travels, Persolaise, and I come together for fun group posts centered around fragrances. This time around, we agreed on tying scents to the seven deadly sins and I chose greed. In case you forgot your Sunday school lessons, the other sins include wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony

Greed is the desire for excess, especially when it comes to material things and we all know someone like this. The more I thought about it, however, the more I struggled with the thought “this smells of greed.” Perhaps I over thought the assignment but the more I pondered the topic, the more I found myself attaching it to a human, more so than to a scent per se. For that reason, my expression here will surely be different than the group but this challenging journey sure did bring back some memories.

Patrick Bateman is Greed

One of my favorite movies is American Psycho. Patrick Bateman’s character was so devilishly interesting. He was shallow and greedy and at the same time, hated others who embodied these very same characteristics. I loved how immaculate he kept his apartment and prized possessions like his stereo. And that scene where he describes his grooming routine is priceless. If there was an updated version of this movie, I could definitely see him drooling over Clive Christian X. With a price tag of $570 for 3.4 oz. and notes of bergamot, juniper berry, amber and cedarwood, to name a few, it screams luxury and power. Bateman would surely wear enough just so his colleagues would ask him what he’s wearing and go into a monologue on just how exotic it is, how much history the brand has and of course, the scent’s price tag.

Tony Montana is Greed

How many times have you watched Scarface? Can you recite the lines of your favorite scenes? Every time it’s on TV I can’t turn away even though it has commercials and they horribly dub over foul language. Tony Montanna had to have it all. His strut, his suits, and the way he spoke bottled up his desire for the excessive beautifully and with that Drakkar Noir would be his scent of choice. If you’re old enough to know Drakkar, you either have a love or hate relationship with that scent but it was one of the most popular scents in the 80’s and as an aromatic fougere the scent evoked power. I knew a few characters that used to wear it and they all wore their greed on their sleeve.

Are there any particular scents that you would attribute to greed or any characters you can think of that you’d partner with a scent because of their greed? I’d love to hear from you and to see how Candyperfumeboy, Eyelineronacat, Olfactoria’s Travels, and Persolaise interpreted this topic, check out their posts.

A Gift Guide for Dad

At 77 years of age, my father, Robert Orminstin Bishop, is still alive and kicking. I’m fortunate I know. And as we get closer to Father’s Day, I think about all he’s done over the years and continues to do and I get emotional. As a child, he was strict. When that church bell rang at 6pm, shortly thereafter dad was coming down the block looking for his boys. We didn’t like it then but he did what he thought he had to do for his boys to survive these mean streets. As an immigrant from Barbados, he came here and by any means made it happen for his family. That’s a man and he is my father. I love him like cooked food on a Sunday. (My West Indian friends will chuckle at that one.)

As you reflect on your dad and ponder his greatness, here are a few Father’s Day gift ideas for your consideration…

Anthonys Logistics Perfect Shave
Anthony Logistics For Men The Perfect Shave Kit
As dads get up there in age, they can be stubborn in a lot of ways. Offer him a departure and an upgrade from his usual shaving routine in the form of a great dopp kit from Anthony’s. Featuring a quartet of full sized products including facial cleanser, preshave oil, shaving cream and after shave balm, this combination of products helps to eliminate ingrown hairs, irritation and razor burn; all of the essentials he needs for a perfect shave.

Anthony Logistics Perfect Shave Dopp Kit – $55

Cannon Radio Vault
Radio Vault
If dad loves his gadgets, he’ll get a kick out of the Radio Vault by Cannon Security Products. This dual-purpose safe is a fully functional radio alarm clock with an iPhone/iPod docking station and a hidden security drawer that is accessed with a biometric fingerprint scanner. How cool is that? Wait, it gets better – The stealth security door is reinforced with steel and disguised to look like speakers.

Radio Vault – $349.99

Joya Oliver Rugger In Girum candle
Joya x Oliver Ruuger In Grinum Candle
For those quiet moments when dad just loves to unplug, a nice candle is an excellent accessory. Joya Studio and fashion designer Oliver Ruuger collaborated on an exquisite work of art, In Girum Candle, which is a limited edition candle that’s handmade in London and New York. The candle is encased in leather that’s made from British saddle hide and features intricate artwork burned deep into the leather. The subject of the artwork is formed around an ancient Latin palindrome and offers an answer to the riddle: “In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni.” Translation: “We go into the circle at night and are consumed by fire.” As for the scent, it’s smoky, woody and all man. The total package is exquisite. After the candle is long gone, dad will keep this for sure.

Joya x Oliver Ruuger In Girum Scented Candle – $450

Pengallan grey white seersucker front

Pengallan Slim Fit Boxers
For the dad that pays close attention to his stylish details, he’ll really appreciate the modernity of some boxer shorts from Pengallan. Far from the pack of three most guys are satisfied with, Pengallan’s boxers are handmade in NYC using 100% cotton shirting fabric from Europe. Sporting a flat front and sized to men’s pants sizes, these boxers are cut slim through the hips and seat, which eliminates unnecessary fabric that ends up causing what’s known as the “riding up” effect. What you’re left with is truer to size boxers that can now been worn with slimmer cut pants. One last thing, these aren’t your basic blue, white, and black colored boxers. Color ways and patterns are updated to keep things fresh. Once a particular size option is gone, it’s gone.

Pengallan’s Slim-Fit Boxers Grey/White Seersucker – $60

Florentine Iris
Florentine Iris
If there’s one thing guys suffer from when it comes to products, it’s loyalty. When they find something that works, it’s with them forever. Florentine Iris by Ermenegildo Zegna will, however, give dad a reason to pause and consider adding a new scent to his collection. One of a collection of five scents from Zegna’s Essenze collection, each scent is built around Italian Bergamot. Florentine Iris uses three different varieties of Iris along with jasmine, violet and musk to offer a distinctively clean, slightly powdery scent that can be worn day or night. What makes it particularly appealing is how alluringly subtle it is. Mom will especially dig it.

Florentine Iris – 4.2 oz – $195

Montabaco by Ormande Jayne

Montabaco

Many years ago, as a Christmas gift I received my first desktop humidor. After unwrapping it, I stared at it for a while and day dreamed about how it would look on my desk. After stocking it with cigars and desperately trying to maintain its humidity level, I’d open it just so I could smell freshly humidified tobacco and the cedar that contained it. This gave me the same ahhh feeling I’d get when I visit the walk in humidor at my favorite cigar shop, OK Cigars. After wearing Ormande Jayne’s Montabaco, my ahh ha moment revealed that this scent captures what no other tobacco scent I’ve come acrfreshly humidified tobacco and the moist air that surrounds it, and it’s fantastic.

Montabaco is a part of Ormande Jayne’s Four Corners of The Earth collection, which is made up of four scents. Collectively, they pay homage to the places that have inspired the brand’s founder and creative director Linda Pilkington. Montabaco’s inspiration comes from Latin America.

The scent opens very herbaceous with a slightly sweet edge. It’s zesty and aromatic. The scent has a lift to it as well. I imagine that’s the clary sage that’s present in the top notes. I can see where some may say it’s medicinal in its opening but it doesn’t bother me. There’s also something mysterious about the opening, it’s airy but in a way I’ve never quite experienced.

As Montabaco moves into it’s next phase, the scent turns and the star of the show, tobacco becomes more prominent. A well humidified cigar blooms revealing the beautiful scent of its tobacco leafs. Walk into a humidor and the humidity intensifies this scent. It’s like it lifts it from the leaf and floods the air with it. Montabaco’s tobacco leaf note captures this essence while the use of rose gives it a sweet mossy scent. Once I finally peaked at the scent’s notes, I realized there’s an air note and whatever that is, it’s likely imitating the humidity in the air that makes the scent of tobacco blossom. As the scent moves into its final phase, it becomes more sensual with its use of sandalwood and ambergris, which surrounds more tobacco.

You don’t have to be a tobacco lover to appreciate Montabaco. The way it’s layered with notes like orange absolute, rose, violet, tonka and sandalwood, to name a few, presents a very unique scent. Judging from a few of the reviews I’ve read, I suspect men will either love or hate it, but that’s the beauty scent. On one occasion I wore it, a woman picked up its rose note and complimented me on how I smelled.  If Montabaco is inspired by Latin America, I suspect it’s not the glamorized sexy that we’re often fed to the beat of drums. Its inspiration is the culture beneath the veil. And like the back roads where the really good food comes from fish shacks and rum shops, Montabaco isn’t for everyone but I’m digging it.

Royal Vintage by M. Micallef

ROYAL VINTAGE Before the Elements Showcase, I didn’t know anything about the fragrance brand M. Micallef. Ever since, however, I’ve become a fan and it’s all because of its latest release, Royal Vintage.

M. Micallef was established in 1996 by Martine Micallef and Geoffrey Nejman. The brand is based in Grasse and to date has over 750 retail locations across 39 countries.  That’s impressive.

ROYAL VINTAGE bottle with car

To me everything about Royal Vintage is a throwback as its name conjures. Many men’s fragrance bottles today convey their masculinity through their angles, which are usually sharp and square-ish and via its weight. A men’s fragrance that feels substantial in your hand must be masculine, right? The design for Royal Vintage, however, took its inspiration from vintage cars and iconic cinema. As for the scent, it feels familiar, something I can see many men instantly liking. What we have in Royal Vintage is a masculine scent with enough panache to claim signature scent status.

Like a firm handshake, the slightly peppery opening of Royal Vintage gets your attention. But it’s also cool and confident and the juxtaposition of bergamot freshens it up while adding a touch of sweetness. As it dries down, its woody, leather and musk characteristics are where the scent blooms and it keeps on going. It has wonderful lasting power.

The men’s cologne of yesteryear exuded a bravado that led me to reject them when I was younger. Their masculine quotient was on overdrive. While Royal Vintage reads unequivocally masculine and traditional, it’s quite mellow and possesses a quiet elegance. It reads suits and ties but I can also see it giving a t-shirt and jeans weekend an entirely new life. It’s timeless and can be worn anywhere and I suspect many will add this to their scent wardrobe for years to come.

Royal Vintage – 100ml EDP goes for $185 at Lucky Scent.

A sample of Royal Vintage was sent to me but my opinions are my own.

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.

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.

 

Pit Approved

Deodorant

Have you ever come home, opened the refrigerator and stared into it like something would miraculously jump out at you that didn’t before? That’s the same thing that often happens when I troll the aisles of chain drug stores looking for deodorant. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t all bad but sometimes I look hard for something else; anything other than what’s already there but somehow I leave without buying anything.  As a result, I didn’t wear any deodorant for a long time. I don’t perspire a lot but the last time I left my pits bare, it was in the fall/winter so I could get away with it. With spring and summer on the horizon and perspiration due to increase, something had to change – enter Baxter of California’s Deodorant.

The first time I smelled Deodorant, I thought I forgot to take a protective layer or something off the roll on. The scent isn’t as loud as most men’s deodorants can be. It’s Citrus & Herbal-Musk scent is subtly present and it won’t compete with your fragrance choice of the day. The citrus notes are in the background giving the scent a slight fresh lift but its earthiness is what will rope you in. It’s all man without the usual “guy” scent. For those with sensitive noses, I think you’ll find this wearable. For those with sensitive pits, this is formulated with you in mind. And it’s aluminum and alcohol free to boot.

Deodorant 2.65 0z $18

Good Read..Scents of Spring

Image

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.