Tag Archives: men’s office fragrance

Jo Malone Grapefruit

27 Mar

Grapefruit is the perfect “morning” scent. It is dressed to the nines, briefcase in hand, checking the time and out the door to work. Look out, world… It’s Grapefruit!!!


This is one of the most masculine-leaning grapefruits I have experienced so far. That said, it is still totally unisex to me. The dry spice and transparent earthiness make it feel like a light, refreshing face tonic.

I could see Grapefruit layering beautifully or working as a light everyday office scent (provided that you enjoy grapefruit of course). It does not project very far, so that’s also good for the office depending on where you work, and it’s longevity is great for a JM.

Grapefruit stands out to me because unlike other masculine/unisex citrus oriented scents on the market today, JM shows us a natural-smelling rendition of notes and their relationships. It’s not overly-simplistic but it also doesn’t smell abstract or synthetic.

My overall impression is  signature Jo Malone. I can immediately detect the way in which Grapefruit is a cousin to Lime Basil & Mandarin, as well as Amber & Lavender. This ability to create distinct scents while maintaining a signature feeling throughout is to me, a sign of a strong identity and consistent quality.

The person who wears this by itself is not interested in a scent that evolves and transforms dramatically over time. This is just a pretty compliment to the skin. True to life citrus, a hint of pepper and some aromatic herbs.

If you feel “out of it” this will wake you right up, and lift your spirits. Good morning! Now get out there and make us all proud.

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel: Vintage vs. New

3 Mar

If for some reason, I were forced to rename Grey Flannel, I would call it Verdant Bomb. Thanks to fellow fragrange blogger Bigsly, I was able to do a swap for some vintage and new samples of GF.  Then I did a side by side comparison. The difference is like night and day.

Both the new GF and the vintage share the same freshly chopped green pepper, “verdant bomb” note.

The newest incarnation of Grey Flannel by EA Fragrances, is much more of a crowd pleaser than the vintage version. It is a citrusy, fresh and flowery, bright green aura opening right away with the juicy chopped green pepper. The new version dries down to something that could have been created by L’Occitane. It is masculine but flowery and citrusy enough to be unisex for anyone who loves green landscapes or light filtering through leaves.

It smells uncannily familiar, but not because I know anyone who wears it. It’s just that accessible and good.

The vintage GF opens with something sharp, chemical and also extremely familiar only not in a welcoming way. It’s almost like aerosol fixative, industrial adhesive, or something similar that I know but I just can’t put my finger on.

It literally smells toxic in the opening, such that I could see someone trying to get high off of it.

However, it very quickly transitions out of that, into the chopped green pepper note which was hiding under that sharp chemical veil. The whole composition remains less flowery, airy, and fresh throughout its development. Something in the greenery is dark and decomposing.

The dry down of the vintage GF is spicier, drier, and arguably more interesting than the new version. Instead of being well rounded and luminous like the new GF, the vintage is a dark green silver color in my mind. The vintage smells more serious. Potentially lethal. A plant that kills. I would go for the new one over the vintage, but can see the appeal of both. Projection and longevity are very good.

Quintessential violet green.

Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme

2 Mar

L’Homme by Yves Saint Laurent is a warm, light, slightly fruity and spicy fragrance. It has a uniform color and temperature, instead of showing off each of its individual notes. It is slightly reminiscent of Om from the Gap.

L’Homme plays nice. It’s spice without leather, tobacco, booze or smoke. It’s clean and contemporary. After the first fifteen minutes, I detect a powdery warmth, like a slightly fruity musk. Projection and longevity are low, which I actually don’t mind in this instance.

L’Homme is walking along a manicured tree-lined path on the campus of a prestigious University. It’s humid but it’s not going to rain. It’s old growth trees without being anywhere near a forest. It’s early Spring in the South. L’Homme is the embodiment of gentle, soft-spoken masculinity. It’s a corduroy jacket and arms full of books.

It is inviting in a casual way, which could turn more sensual at any moment, but doesn’t push the wearer in either direction. It isn’t pushy. It accepts you as you are. Maybe along with the books, L’Homme is also holding an apple.
I’d bite it.

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.

Tom Ford- Tom Ford Extreme

21 Feb

Tom Ford Extreme begins with an oxblood leather couch in the study of a renowned psychiatrist. The study is lined with books and the sprawling hardwood desk contains a silver letter opener, a meteorite paperweight, and other lavish clutter. Next to the desk is a pipe chest, where an extraordinary collection of pipes from all over the world, fine tobacco, and spiny brand new pipe cleaners all wait silently in the dark.

This rich but reserved fragrance delivers a salty creamy leather note, slightly sweet tobacco, woods and scotch, incense, a soft patchouli, and a combination of warm spices, making it intimate but not nearly as loud as I expected it to be.

It wears very close to the skin, such that it feels less extreme externally, but is suggestive of an intensity that is not at once visible, as if the “extremity” were being carefully bottled and stored somewhere under the surface.

Tom Ford Extreme is a depiction of a man who is markedly reserved and sophisticated on the outside, socially at ease, wearing his facade like a pro whenever he is in public or entertaining friends,

but the dark shades of his personality and inner emotional life are almost entirely hidden. They are there, and there is abysmal depth to them, but you’d never know it, unless you spent enough time and energy chiseling away at his confident exterior.

The man who embodies Tom Ford Extreme is not a tasteless show off, and he doesn’t get taken advantage of.. but stick around long enough and surrender your inhibitions to his charm, and you may end up seeing something you wish you hadn’t.

Chalk it up to experience.

Tom Ford Grey Vetiver

21 Feb

Grey Vetiver is a veil of reserved masculinity. If you had an android disguised as a human, and wanted him to smell “real” (and then get a lucrative office job), you might first want to spray him a few times with TF Grey Vetiver. It’s like a slightly synthetic clean skin scent. It is simultaneously straightforward and elusive, leaving and returning in whiffs over the course of its considerable life-span.

After the citrus opening dissipates and the vetiver emerges, one is left with a quintessentially masculine grouping of elements. It’s clean laundry with the faintest trace of fabric softener and a slightly green, salty, earthiness which smells like readymade skin scent, almost like a signature sans the perfume. Perhaps Christopher Brosius should spend some time with this one, since he “hates perfumes” so much.

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