Tag Archives: Men’s Fragrances

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.

The Procrastinators Holiday Gift Guide

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It’s the weekend before Christmas and somehow there’s still some shopping left to do. You probably dismissed things like this, figuring you had it all covered and here you are. Procrastination runs deep through your veins and now you have no choice but to get in line. As awful as that sounds, the look on his face when you present him with any of these will, as usual, make it all worthwhile. For my fellow NYC procrastinators…
(From L to R)

Montale’s Santalwood – The unexpected is often times the best surprise. Santal Wood is lighter than its name would imply. It opens airy and light and ends with a sultry dry down. Its definitely office friendly and could easily become his new go to scent. Min New York, 117 Crosby Street 212-206-6366

Blind Barber x Joya Tompkins Scented Candle – Inspired by the smell of a barbershop with notes of honey, smoke, leather and lavender this collaboration by Joya and Blind Barber will be right up any guys alley. It reads man beautifully. Blind Barber, 339 E 10th Street, 212-228-2123

The 4-Hour Chef – When I grew up, I watched my pops get into the kitchen and handle his business. While he had a few staples he could cook with his eyes close, he had no problems turning to a cookbook. The 4 Hour Chef is a New York Times bestseller and for good reason. Packed with lots of useful information, it’s not your ordinary collection of recipes. Pick up a copy and change up your order in routine. Barnes & Noble

Nike Fuel Band – Summer BBQs + fall hibernation + Thanksgiving + countless holiday parties means he’s packed on a few. He’s still cute but he’s probably going to get back into the gym once the New Year rolls around. Give him something else to consider other than reps., besides; what guy doesn’t like techy gifts. Niketown 6 East 57th Street 212-891-6453

New York Shaving Company Ultimate Shave – Plain and simple, there’s nothing like a hot towel shave administered by a barber. He’ll feel brand new without feeling like he’s broken the guy code (whatever that is nowadays). New York Shaving Company, 146 E 49th St, 212-644-1888. You can also try the following establishments for superb shaves, Persons of Interest, FSC Barber, Martial Vivot and Blind Barber

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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.

Odin Launches Newest Scent 08 Seylon


Since 2009, the beloved brand Odin has built a solid collection of fragrances. Fans of the brand will be pleased to know this growing collection has a new offering in stores now. 08 Seylon is the latest unisex fragrance and it aims to give consumers a new understanding of vetiver. Continue reading

Seven Fragrances You Should Know This Fall

The other day as I was exiting the train station here in New York City, I looked up and realized the sun is setting earlier. While that wasn’t the first time that’s ever happened, it always catches you by surprise and it’s a sure sign fall is right around the corner. Continue reading

Four Office Friendly Scents That’ll Keep The Peace

Now that summer is behind us and its excesses have become apparent, e.g., one too many beers, I’m putting in time at the gym. During a recent trip, I discovered many if you had the same idea; the gym was packed. As I entered the locker room, a potpourri of aquatic/citrus scents greeted me. It smelled like every guy in there went to the same store and left with the exact same cologne.  Continue reading

Good Read…Your Top 10 Grooming Fails

We all have some sort of grooming routine. Brush teeth, shower, shave, moisturize, apply sunscreen, spray cologne, repeat daily. Sound familiar? Whatever habits you have, there’s a good chance you either get lazy some days and skip certain things or you’re just doing something wrong. I mean, who can remember everything? Continue reading

A Fragrant Night Out at Osswald

Another Fashion’s Night Out has come and gone and in my own tradition, my night had a fragrant twist. With so many events happening, I decided to take the prudent approach and choose wisely. I went to one event. Continue reading

Here’s a look at our five day forecast

I was recently asked to participate in a fun assignment for Lifestyle Mirror. They wanted me to suggest a scent based on what the weather would be for a particular day. I thought to myself, “I love this one.” The twist though, the site caters to women. Could I pull it off? Whenever I walk into a store, I’m all about finding the men’s section and seeing what’s being offered to us. Nevertheless, what I ended up suggesting was a new scent by Atelier Cologne called Rose Anonyme. It is simply fantastic and the best part, it can be worn by either men or women. Continue reading

Him by Hanae Mori

Here we are a week before Labor Day and the melancholy of summer’s end is setting in. I plan on getting in at least one more beach day and BBQ before we say goodbye to summer 2012. With that, fall fragrance releases are here. Continue reading