September 3 2014

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6 posts tagged "cologne"

A Men’s Scent That Smells Even Better on Women


montblanc-emblem-fragranceTo spritz or not to spritz, that is the question. critic and perfume industry legend Luca Turin reviews the latest fragrance launches and answers this age-old question.

Name: Montblanc Emblem Notes: Cardamom, violet leaf, wood

When I was a student, on the “try everything once” principle I went spelunking with the university club, a truly miserable experience. I remember only two things: how good it was to see the damp grass and leaden sky of Yorkshire upon climbing out, and the wonderful smell of the old-fashioned acetylene lamps we carried that were strapped to our foreheads.

One of the great wonders of smell is that we can infer the composition of a molecule by smell alone. Acetylene has an unusual triple carbon-carbon bond and it—and all derived compounds—smells, well, acetylenic. In polite fragrance language, the smell is referred to as “violet leaf” so as not to offend sensibilities. Unfortunately, triple bonds are quite chemically reactive, and most have been banned or severely restricted by the ever-watchful authorities. Grey Flannel [1975] and the Original Fahrenheit [1988] made great use of the sharp, metallic tang of triple bonds.

It appears either that one of the violet leaf compounds has escaped regulation or that a perfumer has figured out a way to get the same effect without using them, because the violet leaf note in Emblem is both intense and durable. This is a masculine fragrance, of course, and it comes in a beautiful black bottle that looks like the cap of a titanic fountain pen. On a guy, it would probably be a little too Porsche Design “black is the new black” for my taste. But it will work great on a woman, as a chaser for the nauseating meringues everyone else is doing, and to advertise an unrepentantly dry-eyed disposition.


For another review from Turin’s bimonthly column, click here.

Five Products You Should Buy for Him (And Steal for Yourself)



Forget the tie and invest in some grooming goods that will benefit him (and beautify you). Nothing says “I love you” or “Thanks for being there, Dad” like stocking his bathroom with lotions and potions you can snag later. Here, five guy-friendly finds both sexes will enjoy. (We suggest giving the old man at least a day or two to enjoy his new fragrance or face scrub before you poach it for your powder room.)

Harry’s Father & Son Shave Set

One distinctive memory I have from childhood is watching my dad shave before work and being surrounded by the scent of Barbasol. This duo—which includes an engravable aluminum Winston razor for the big kid in your life and a toy version for any active tot—will build memories and buy you five precious minutes to yourself.


Baxter of California Facial Scrub

This gritty blend of walnut powder, chamomile, honey, and lavender smells like sweet almond and keeps skin smooth. Tell Dad to use it before shaving to prevent ingrown hairs from forming.


Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Refreshing Shine Control Spray Toner

Spritz this menthol-infused toner for an instant cooling sensation and a mattifying effect. He’ll love the refreshing scent and you can use it to set your makeup.


Anthony Logistics Blue Sea Kelp Body Scrub

Perfect post-workout, this allover exfoliator eliminates rough patches via sea salt and soothes care of sea kelp and aloe.


Krigler America One 31 Eau de Parfum

Worn by John F. Kennedy and favored by Ivy League fraternities, this blend of cedar, black pepper, vetiver, and mandarin is what a leader smells like.


Dior Designs a Scent for Dudes



Designing a fragrance—specifically one meant to attract the male demographic in the U.S.—requires the man behind it to get in the kitchen. It’s not a place you’d expect a perfumer to start, but for the house nose at Dior, François Demachy, this part of the process is paramount. “It’s very important to smell the atmosphere and try some new cooking because cooking is really an image of each culture,” he explained. After all, the flavors, spices, and sensations that accompany an order of steak frites vastly differ from that of meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

The classic Dior Homme Eau de Toilette, launched in 2005, primarily appealed to Europeans. And though the new blend crafted by Demachy shares many of the same notes (like Tuscan iris and cardamom), it’s decidedly fresher, with hints of crisp grapefruit and bergamot, followed by a warm base of Virginia cedarwood. “Freshness,” noted Demachy, equates to “cleanliness,” at least in the minds of those residing stateside. “[Dior Homme Eau] is also more direct and less complicated,” he added. In short: It caters to the simplistic olfactory palette (and mind?) of the American male.


Or, top of a freshly shaven face with Dior Homme Eau After-Shave Lotion, $50, out this month.

Ermenegildo Zegna Keeps Things Private


ermenegildo-zegnaThe house of Ermenegildo Zegna has always sourced the finest of materials for its sumptuous suiting, and the label’s Essenze fragrance collection (launched a little over a year ago) is no different. Each eau celebrates an ingredient derived from the company’s private crops around the world. The newest addition to the collection of colognes (out this month), Haitian Vetiver, stars the fragrant grass hailing from a single plot in Les Cayes, a seaport town located in the southwestern region of the Caribbean island. After the vetiver is meticulously harvested, its woody-scented oil is extracted from the roots via steam distillation before being threaded with notes of bergamot (grown in the brand’s orchards in Calabria), neroli, carrot seed, and orris. Wearing the final composition feels like wrapping yourself in a cashmere camel jacket (seen on the Fall 2014 runway): comfortable, luxurious, but not too over the top.


A Scent That Measures Up


Gucci Made to Measure

Inspired by Gucci’s Made to Measure service (which entails hand-selecting the fabric and silhouette—and even having your name embroidered on the label—of your custom-made suit, tux, or dress shirt), Frida Giannini conceived a new cologne by the same name. For far less than one of the Italian brand’s impeccably tailored garments, a dapper gentleman can spritz on that same aura of luxury and sophistication with Gucci Made to Measure Eau de Toilette. And like any scent, it adapts uniquely to its wearer. Top notes of French lavender and anis seed are meant to represent the first encounter with a suit—from the softness of the silk lining down to the shiny cuff links, while the spicy heart of cinnamon, nutmeg, and plum reflect the feeling of sumptuous cashmere or substantial wool fabric on skin. A rich base of patchouli, cistus labdanum (the resin of a Spanish shrub), and leather offers a bold and refined finish, lending structure to the blend. As for the weighty flacon, Giannini wanted it to be iconic and reflective of the fashion house (similar to what No. 5 is to Chanel), adding details like the horse-bit gold cap and emblazoning it with the signature of founder Guccio Gucci. And it doesn’t hurt that James Franco—who produced The Director, a film that documents Giannini’s life over 18 months—serves as the face of the fragrance. We’d say the handsome actor fits this campaign (in which he drives around in one of Jay Leno’s vintage Lambos) like a glove.

Available now exclusively at Macy’s.

Photos: Courtesy of Gucci