Brooks Brothers New York Gentleman

21 Feb

Brooks Brothers was generous enough to accommodate me with a small bottle of New York Gentleman, the masculine counterpart to New York for Ladies. NYG has the peppery opening of a 40 watt light bulb (powered by true to life verbena and bergamot), which gradually dims down to a comforting green glow stick, emitting a trace of warmth from spice and vetiver. At one point, it feels like it almost wants to turn aquatic, but veers away just in time. Whew…

The citrus is front and center in this fragrance and has the same exact bone structure and fashion sense as someone you used to know but can’t quite place. It reminds me of the vetiver/rosemary dynamic in Jo Malone’s Grapefruit, and the dry down reminds me of L’Eau de L’Artisan, due to that verbena-woody moss combo, which is much cleaner in NYG, and mustier/melancholy in L’Eau de L’Artisan.

Jo Malone’s Grapefruit and L’Eau de L’Artisan both don’t sit quite right on me. The Grapefruit in JM seems at odds with the spice/rosemary and vetiver as if the grapefruit had been scribbled over with a pen that only pulls ink some of the time, and not when you want it to.
The verbena/herbs in L’Artisan remind me of visiting an empty band shell in Central Park when everything is shrouded in mist.I don’t get the uplifting feeling from it that so many seem to experience.

New York Gentleman on the other hand, is a steady, uncompromised, herbal-citrus glow. It is dry and fresh without being sharp or aftershave-like, and more masculine and complex than L’Occitane’s Verbena due to the vetiver.

It’s in the same family as JM Grapefruit and L’Eau de L’Artisan, but this uncannily familiar and understated fragrance succeeds for me where the other two failed: it sits just right. It is by no means groundbreaking, but who cares? Apply it, enjoy it, and get on with your day.


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