By Candice Sabatini
What do most men think of the abundance of men’s fragrances that are on the market? Are they confused by the marketing blitzes and sexy images (ever see those abs on the guy in the Davidoff ad, woa, baby) the fragrances companies project? Do they leave it to their wives, girlfriends or significant others to buy their colognes? We didn’t know the answers, so we took three of BN’s favorite men’s colognes to the streets of New York, Washington DC and New Jersey and asked nine very different men if they could make any sense of these scents.
First up, is John Varvatos ‘Vintage’, a rugged/sweet/spicy scent of the aromatic chypre family. This fragrance is blended with unusual notes such as various rare woods, rhubarb, quince fruit paste and the frankly sensual Venezuelan tonka bean. The drydown is Turkish tobacco and suede.
Michelyn took Vintage to Midtown in NYC and Georgetown in D.C. and asked three random men, three questions: Do they choose their own cologne, do they like this one, and would they buy it.
Sonny J., Concierge, NYC: “Wow what is this…Its great. Its smells like cognac? Does it have cognac in the cologne? I like that it’s slightly sweet; I would definitely buy this, and wear it while my wife and I have some time alone… when her mom watches the kids.”
Ryan W., Marketing Executive, Washington D.C.: “I don’t really wear cologne; I never know what to buy. But, I like this, its something I would wear when going out with my wife to a nice restaurant or to a cocktail party. She would probably buy it for me if you give me the name.”
Matthew M., Creative Director, NYC: “Great bottle, very well designed. It’s too strong for me though, I like something more earthy and subtle. I am really picky about scents and ALWAYS buy my own.”
John Varavatos Vintage is available at www.Bloomingdales.com
Giorgio Armani’s latest men’s fragrance is called Attitude. The Company’s press release says…” Attitude is profound and elegant”. It is a woody-oriental that opens with Sicilian citrus, very fresh– which is played against the bitterness of a touch of Coffee Absolute and amber drydown. The result: an icy, slightly bitter but aromatic fragrance that seems inspired by Italian Granite.
On an unusually balmy winter day, Michelyn approached three more men, this time downtown, armed with Attitude, on NYC’s Wall Street (and got just a bit more ‘attitude’ than she expected).
Jared S., Financial Advisor, NYC: “Nice; fresh, clean, not overpowering. I like it, its sophisticated. Where do I buy it? Would you come with me and I’ll buy it? (Michelyn politely and firmly says NO, thank you)
Jorge R., Maintenance Worker, NYC: “It’s ok. I don’t really smell much of anything. I like stronger colognes. I wear Aramis and Chaps. I get them as gifts.”
Leonard B., Stock Broker, NYC: “I would wear this to impress the ladies. It’s masculine without being overwhelming. It smells like I am not trying too hard. That’s the message I want to give when I wear cologne. It’s by a famous designer, right?”
Giorgio Armani Attitude is available at www.Nordstroms.com
Tom Ford for Men is an innovative take on what men’s fragrance ‘should smell like’, and includes among the classic woods the unexpected… manly florals. We think it’s the ‘sexiest’ of the three, but what do guys think? Does the cedarwood heart, patchouli, vetiver mist, oakmoss and cypriol, (a root from India which emits an animalistic note that’s never been used before in fragrance) tip the scale in Ford’s favor?
Now, its Candice’s turn (not fair; she gets to road test the ‘sexy’ scent). She asked three men, including her husband for their opinions about Tom Ford for Men…
Tony S. (C’s loving husband): Chief Technical Officer, NYC: “I like it. It’s not too sweet and not too spicy. But the truth is I’ll wear anything you like. I’ll wear it when we go to our favorite little French restaurant on Valentine’s Day, because you love it. I’d never buy fragrance unless you buy it for me. You know I’m just your Ken Doll.”
Kenneth K., Couture Designer, NYC: “I like it a lot. I like the fact that it won’t enter the room before I do. It’s spicy, but not overbearing. I wouldn’t want my fragrance to distract from a potential romantic interlude and this one won’t. Yes, I would buy this fragrance, especially if there’s a hot guy at the counter selling it.”
Stan G., Real Estate Sales Exec, New Jersey: “Is this by Tom Ford…. I already own it. My wife bought it for me for my birthday a couple of months ago, so I know she likes it too. I’ll wear it on Valentine’s Day when I take her to our favorite paella place. The restaurant isn’t fancy, but we went there on our first date and we … I am not going to tell you because if I do she’d kill me.”
Tom Ford for Men is available at www.saksfifthavenue.com