The Weekend's Expedition
My roommate got 2 new colognes the other day, but nothing that I might have hoped he'd get. His favorite cologne is Acqua di Giò, because it's very fresh and bracing, which it is, but without a lot of depth. He doesn't have a very informed appreciation of fragrance, calling any musky or woody undertone in a fragrance "that Pakistani cabbie B.O. smell." He's even intimated that a Cartier fragrance smells like that. I don't think so -- you can pretty much trust everything that comes out of Cartier. Anyway, the colognes he chose were predictable: L'Eau D'Issey by Issey Miyake and Vera Wang for Men, two sweetish, fresh fragrances also without a whole lot of depth to them. I'm not fond of VW. I've written about it before--it smells like a fake DKNY for women oil I used to have; and I'm not exactly crazy about L'Eau D'Issey either, but that's mostly cux I'm just tired of it.
So while I prolly won't be sneaking spritzes of any of those scents anytime soon (especially since for me colder weather demands something more fiery and impetuous), something good did come out of his purchase: samples. Unfortunately two were for VW, but the OTHER, the cologne he said he didn't like, was for L'Eau Bleue D'Issey pour Homme, which I didn't expect much from but found that I rather like it. At the very first sniff I thought it smelled like black pepper, fading into a cucumber note, and similar to Polo Blue. But later as I tried it again I noticed that it was much woodier than I first perceived, and that indeed, it smelled just like the fresh woody notes that open Joseph Abboud, but without the unpleasant drydown. So in fact as it happened I quite like this fragrance. Not enough to run out and buy it, but I do like it nonetheless. And it might even be light enough for summer wear, although I'd really have to 'get to know' it to be sure. Still, it was a pleasant surprise.
Other weekend happenings: I stopped in this shop in SoHo next to the Starbucks to look at candles. Votivo apparently has a new line out: the Votivo Murano Collection. I think they intended the packaging to look more high end, but in fact the candles look like oversized candy bars. The scents are as unimpressive as the packaging: Venetian Silk, Venetian Coffee, Venetian Leather and Venetian Pear. The Silk one is far and away the best, but I'd still rather receive any of the regular Votivo candles as a gift. The Silk has a subtle, almost lineny (as in White Linen by Lauder) quality to it, but it also kind of smells chemical. The others are perfectly banal. Should it comfort me to know that coffee in Venice smells just like it does here? And why should I buy a coffee candle when simply heating up some coffee beans, or making coffee, will give me the EXACT SAME effect? If there was a complex bouquet in the candle, I didn't detect it. Also, the Venetian Leather smells like any other leather oil I've smelled. Maybe they should have called it Venetian New Car Smell. This is a shame, because there aren't really, really good leather candles out there, ones that smell like suede or a leather jacket or that scent they ever-so-faintly put on the Coach catalog. There was the possibility for something spectacular here, but mediocrity prevailed. Venetian Pear--do pear trees grow in venice?? I didn't understand the logic behind this scent choice. Further, there wasn't anything remarkable about the scent.
Overall, I'd have to rate the Murano Collection low. The quality of Votivo candles being so high generally, this line is quite a disappointment. I expect better from them.
There was a line of candels right beneath the Votivos that were quite nice: Bluewick. I got a chance to write a few notes about them before someone came up to me and asked me something like 'What line do you work for?' and then I felt I had to leave, so as not to break the spell of my apparent mysteriousness. But what I jotted down, which now that I look at it I can barely even decipher, was that the ginger-jasmine one was spectacular, the Rain scent worked very well (all 'Rain' scents should work this well), and that while there's room for improvement in the brand, it's off to a great start.
And that's my beep for now. Ed Shepp