Polo’s Nacho Figueras, Estée Lauder & Damn Handsome Soap On BCA

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I’m at the St. Regis Hotel sitting in front of two tabletops colonized by a Polo Ralph Lauren marketing army. A battleground of an early prep nosh is scattered around a wardrobe of flagship fragrances. I’m waiting to interview Nacho Figeuras, a younger and better-looking version of “the most interesting man in the world,” polo conquistador, and iconic ambassador of The World of Polo fragrances. He’s in town supporting Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) month representing The Pink Pony Fund of the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation, which supports cancer research and treatment. I’m expecting a red carpet to unravel, trumpets, and Nacho to ride up on horseback, but he gingerly scales the steps and introduces himself polite, cavalier, and aplomb in a suit after a warm-up from a previous interview, as I’m counterpoised to hear personal anecdotes of his philanthropy.

BN: Why Breast Cancer Awareness and what makes this year more significant for your visit than any other?
NF: I believe in breast cancer awareness in particular, because it’s October, and I’m supporting the Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Fund, which for 15 years has been supporting cancer research and preventive care in part of the Ralph Lauren Foundation. 100% of proceeds of these two fragrances, Romance and Midnight Romance support the cause.

BN: Will you be continuing to raise awareness after you leave New York?
NF: I’m a philanthropic guy involved in many different charities. I’m fortunate to have the life I have, so it’s important to me to give back. And it makes me feel good to give back whenever and wherever I can.

BN: Do you know anyone personally who has had the disease?
NF: No. I know a lot of people, but no. Knock on wood.

BN: Will you be participating in any other kind of cancer related causes?
NF: For Robin Hood, I did a polo match a month ago, which offers assistance to low-income people and families with diseases, education, or housing. I’m an ambassador for Sentable in Lesotho, Africa, for children who suffer from poverty and HIV. My relationship with Sentable has evolved through playing in polo charity matches all over with Prince Harry. I do things for autism, for chemotherapy. I do as much as I can.

BN: What’s your favorite Polo fragrance?
NF: Right now, Red Intense. I’m having a red moment — there are different moments for different fragrances. You don’t wear Red Intense at 8 o’clock in the morning for your yoga workout.

BN: When do you wear it?
NF: You wear Polo Blue for the yoga because it’s subtle. Red Intense is when you’re out and you move in for the kill.

Coinciding with Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the launch of Supreme Leather, the warmer sibling to Supreme Oud, which was introduced at the beginning of this year. Both are iterations of the Polo Supreme Essences Collection as Supreme Oud is the first eau de parfum of Polo’s fragrance lineup in the brand’s effort to stand tall among luxury perfumeries.

As Nacho astutely recognized, fragrances are associated with mood, echoed by the perfumer himself, Carlos Benaim, a Perfumer of the Year Lifetime Achievement award recipient and senior perfumer at IFF. Benaim has been exposed to scents since he was young helping his father’s apothecary business and he has a unique fascination with Oud, which is rather an understatement for his robust creation. Its base takes hold of you like an old memory, which will become one for others, as its halo is impossible not to notice matched by a traditional, black-tinted glass flacon with gold trimmings. Rich with the years in its inspiration, it will be the last one standing.

Supreme Leather smells like an old bomber jacket left in an attic with honey wafting through the window. The smell of leather inspires associations of depth as the honey adds an organic sweetness creating a disarming and affectionate impression. But the Supremes are being advertised as one unit, thus, both can be worn interchangeably. Like a well-paired couple, Supreme Leather rounds out Oud’s bite creating an even more textured fusion.

Supreme Leather was launched at the swag Polo Bar, reminiscent of your grandfather’s den with a couple extra layers of varnish sans tobacco pipe smoke. An old slingshot and valuable stamp collection could be found somewhere. Equestrian insignias and wood accents of the upscale traditionalist environment match the exclusive restaurant’s hearty fare. Together, the fragrance duo and restaurant’s earthy tonalities evoke a classic, rustic nostalgia.

BN: So Nacho, what do you think of the Supremes?
NF: Leather is nice, it’s strong, but Oud is when you really want to make a statement. She’ll remember it.

He then picked up the Supreme Oud bottle and sprayed me like it was an aerosol can because the scent is one of my favorites.

You can handle it. Now stand on the street corner, you’ll get married.

Everyone within a block remembered me, and thank you, Nacho, I still smell good.

I wish that I asked him if Polo RL made a “Nacho” fragrance, what he thinks it would smell like.

Supreme Oud and Supreme Leather available exclusively at Bloomingdales http://www.bloomingdales.com and http://www.ralphlauren.com.

Romance and Midnight Romance available at Macy’s http://www.macys.com. Visit Pink Pony Promise to discover more.

Only a brain on beer could find a way to put it on your face. And too much the night before can make it look bloated, but because hops are good for your skin they’ll make your visage look damn handsome. So Damn Handsome Grooming Company, based in Michigan, partnered with local craft brewers and used the processed grains and hops meant for the dumpster and turned them into a grooming wonder—after all, most beauty products come from petroleum, dead plants. But behold soaps and shaving products that can’t be melted down into beer.

American Ale Beer Soap and Coconut Porter Shampoo Bar are made with organic ingredients including spent grains, hops, aloe leaf extract, olive oil, and oat flour. And it lathers up real well without the elbow grease, and women will love the soft skin and hair. Don’t worry, you won’t smell like a microbrewery either. The soaps are wrapped in brown paper with vintage graphic design elements with style. The same frame of mind was put into Happy Mint Lip Balm, made with avocado oil, mango seed butter, candelilla wax, olive oil, and of course essential hops for the perfect makeout session. Damn Handsome Grooming is also a member of Societyb.com, an online marketplace for fair trade goods, which benefit various charities. Ten percent of proceeds from Damn Handsome Grooming products will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. So now not only will beer make you feel good, it will make you look good too—a man’s dream.

Available at http://www.societyb.com and http://www.damnhandsomegroomingco.com.

Fifteen of Estee Lauder’s beauty brands are going pink in support of breast cancer awareness, including Lab Series, Estee Lauder’s skin care line for men with its Age Rescue Face Lotion. Twenty percent of the proceeds from suggested retail prices will go towards the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The rescue ingredient in Lab Series Age Rescue Face Lotion saving tired skin due to long work hours, bad sun protection, drinking, smoking, and genetics is ginseng, known for its revitalizing properties. It’s a pump-action, lightweight, gel-lotion formula that eases into the skin without forcing it. With daily usage, it can add youthful elasticity and firmness to crow’s feet and other developing old-man wrinkles.

Available at Macy’s, Bloomingdales (www.bloomingdales.com), Lord & Taylor, and http://www.labseries.com.

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