Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stetson Rich Suede

You know what?  He really is a sexy guy. I don't think those teeth are real, though.I confess. I'm really interested in Stetson again after reading the reviews of the various Stetson concoctions in Perfumes: The Guide. One point for thought: I never realized that Stetson was very feminine. I think TS reviews it (I don't remember her name), and she goes on that it's very much like a rich women's oriental. I'll have to smell it again. I remember liking it a lot when I was young. But it's the kind of thing you can't really wear today, because even though it's rich and warm (and I do have to smell it again, because I don't recall exactly what it smells like), it's just too recognizable. I tried smelling it a few years ago, hoping to maybe get a bottle and be able to wear it--my thinking was that maybe people had forgotten it and it was wearable again. Kind of like Aramis is wearable again---it no longer reminds you of your grandfather, because if you're old enough for it to do that, then your grandfather is probably dead. Or maybe just I've changed, which is probably the case. I used to really like Aramis in the summer and only in the summer. Like I like Polo at Christmastime, but only at Christmastime.

Back to Stetson. They mention another release of Stetson, Stetson Untamed, which I'd seen in the drugstore but never bothered to smell. Well, they say it smells of toasted marshmallows, cardboard and woods. That sounds awesome! I've got to find me some of this and smell it.

The coolest Stetson development, however, has to be a new release from them that just came out, after the book was published, apparently: Stetson Rich Suede. I saw this the other day, and today was able to smell it. And guess what? I love it! Maybe it's the name, but to me it smells mostly just like dry wood, and a bit of leather/suede/something like that. A little bit like Cuiron, back in the day. I think it might have some citrus in the beginning too, because everything does. But I love how it's mostly just dry woody. I hope it sticks around. I'm going to look for a bigger bottle. At the very least, this is the kind of thing you can layer--i.e., spray on your undershirts or beneath your clothes or whatever, before spraying something compatible (Bel Ami, perhaps?) on your skin and outer clothes, depending on the kind of impact you like to make. (A note on impact: I am emphatically NOT that person who sprays the cologne in the air and tiptoes through it like a dancer in the Nutcracker. Oh HELL to the first Noel!!!! I've done that on days, say, when I've had job interviews, but mostly I'm a drencher. When I was younger, I wanted my scent to have a KAPOW!BLAMN!!! impact--to introduce me into a room. I got away from that. ....But I'm kind of getting back into it. I think it's just part of Original Ed Shepp. Maybe it's the Southerner in me, who wants to go overboard with everything. Or maybe it's the me who wants to be noticed. Or the me who wants to walk all over people. Or maybe it's the fact that I came of age in the 80s. Who knows... It could be a midlife-crisis. Shudder!!!!! Let's not talk about those...)

And here's the best part about Rich Suede: you can get a free sample! Just go here, or to (where you'll see Tom Brady plastered all over the place looking preposterous--I mean, sexy, yes, but why would you wear a big leather coat with no shirt underneath?!?! Well, I guess if I had a kickin body maybe I would. ....Or wouldn't. Because it's so impractical! Alas!!!! Does it sound like I'm yelling, "GET OFF MY LAWN!!!" Were we talking about midlife crises?), and fill out their litle dinkley-doo, and I guess they'll send you a sample. Hopefully it will arrive in fewer than 6-8 weeks. Remember when it took 6-8 weeks for stuff to arrive in the mail?!?! Thanks cod that email changed all that. So get a free sample and all that blingblongtiddlewiddle, and see what you think.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Cartier's Roadster

So here's a brief overview of the last Sniffapalooza event I went to, which was Cartier introducing its new scent, Roadster. Now, I lerv Cartier scents--Eau de Cartier Concentree was my fave for a really long time, and I've had a couple bottles of Declaration--so I was excited. In fact, I'd seen the ad for Roadster at Bloomingdales before I heard of the event. So when I got word of the event, in which someone from Cartier would be telling us about the history of the company and about the new fragrance, I was breathless. AND they were serving breakfast!!! w00t w00t!!!!

Anyway, so I show up at Bloomingdales (where the event was held) just in time to get a seat next to my friends. They started serving the coffee while this woman from Cartier spoke to us about the company. Great, whatever. I wasn't really interested in that, but it's fine. They then passed around bottles of the scent, and as we all sprayed them on our hands or whatever, we looked at each other to gauge everyone's reactions. "I don't smell anything" was repeated. I looked at the bottom of the bottle, and sure enough, it said "Factice," so those were just models. Oh, the bottle! Well, you can check it out when you see it--it's made to evoke a car or something, but the fragrance is actually named after the Cartier Roadster watch. I didn't know anything about a watch, but wow, talk about tacky. Hermes names a scent after a bag and now Cartier does so after a watch? What's next? Aisle 3 by K-Mart??

So the woman talks and breakfast, which seemed to be catered by lower-end McDonalds, was served. Then she goes into the scent. I remember seeing a ridiculous movie montage, the point of which escaped me, and then her going into her spiel. So here's Cartier's thing about how they're representing the fragrance: They're not describing it in terms of top, middle and base notes, because it "doesn't have those." Um, OK. (Never mind that the whole top/middle/base notes thing is pretty much marketing crap anyway; I think Luca Turin wrote that in so many words, and when I read it I was like, "Yeah, I alwayskinda thought that.") No, they constructed the fragrance in four Cs, to correspond with the ways one judges a diamond (because Cartier was "the king of jewelers and the jeweler to kings"? Or something like that. You'd think I'd remember--she repeated it enough.)--cut, clarity, color and coherence. No, wait, carats. I can never remember that one. So she went into the "notes" then--"So what's the 'cut'? Right! It's bergamot!!!" What a bunch of crap. I zoned out. I couldn't believe we were being asked to participate in this ridiculousness. Come on Cartier, we like fragrance--that doesn't mean we're brain dead. I really did feel a bit insulted by the crap she was shoveling. And if anyone from Cartier is reading this, get your marketing department under control. Seriously.

So what does the cologne smell like? Benzoin. Straight-up, fresh from the bottle benzoin like you can get at a lot of health food stores. Not a bad thing, not at all. But I kind of expected more. If you're not familiar with benzion (and usually for perfumery the benzoin Siam is the preferred material), it has a cocoa-vanilla, ambery smell with kind of a weird tone somewhere in there. When I had a friend smell it, and I asked how it smelled he said, "It's.... different." To which I replied, "Actually, it's rather familiar. It smells like cocoa-vanilla." But there was always that part of it which smelled peculiar to me--not the resiny amber part, but some kind of up top smell. Well, now I think I know what that smell is: mint. Because Cartier's Roadster apparently has bergamot, mint, labdanum and vanilla, making it I guess an ambery fougere. The Cartier person stressed that it was a fougere, and equally stressed that that was the the best selling category for men's fragrances in the U.S. Oh--I didn't realize that was the reason for making a fragrance. So we're supposed to accept the romantic cut/color/clary/carat/crap while knowing that you made it in this fragrance category not because you find it particularly beautiful, or because you have something to say in it, but that it's the best-selling category.

Anyway, I think that minty is what that off smell in benzoin is. Because I started to smell the mint in Roadster after a while. I still don't smell the bergamot. But to sum, basically the scent smells like good benzoin made sprayable and more effusive and long-lasting. Nothing more. I didn't get the emotional impact from it that I got from Eau de Cartier Concentree and Declaration. It's a fine scent, but I wouldn't buy it. I'd buy more Eau, maybe more Declaration (although I'm kinda tired of it now), I might would buy Pasha Fraicheur Menthe (but probably not--I'd probably buy Polo or Aramis first), but I don't think I'd drop coin for this. And since we're talking about what I'd buy, I would also buy Bel Ami and Equipage by Hermes, Yatagan by Caron, and possibly Incense Avignon by Comme des Garcons. And any scent that, when sprayed on my commputer, would magically put in all the diacritical markings that I'm too lazy to do right now.

That's pretty much all I can recall from that event. They gave us a gift bag with testers and a small purse which I promptly gave away in Central Park (You'd be surprised how difficult it is just to give away a purse). I LERVED the Baiser du Dragon (where have you been all my life?!), in spite of the fact that Turin hates it (he hates Spellbound too, but I'll NEVER give that up, even though I don't actually own any; maybe I should say I'll never give up the dream of owning a bottle to spray on my sheets); I thought the Declaration body wash didn't work well for the fragrance; I didn't really smell the Delices eau Fruitee, and I didn't smell the Must. And since I mentioned Luca Turn (yeah, I keep referring to Perfumes, the Guide, which I never bought but flip through all the time), I'm really wanting to get another bottle of Stetson and give it a try. I hearted it when I was super young. And I'd love to try Stetson Untamed, because it's supposed to smell like toasted marshmallows and cardboard. And of course, Stetson Suede, which I just saw tonight and isn't in the book, and couldn't possibly live up to its name, but you never know, right?

And that's the beep for now.


Doppin Science!

Before I talk about recent stuffs, I thought I'd drop a li'l science, since smell seems to be all in the science these days.

First, a thinglet I got form Very Short List, which has proven to be really cool. They talked about a book called If There Ever Was: A Book of Extinct and Impossible Smells. It's "a scratch and sniff book of 14 extinct and impossible smells including the smell of the sun, communism, and extinct flowers. The book accompanies the exhibition of the same name curated by Reg Vardy Gallery (April – June 2008) and involved a collaboration with 11 fragrance designers and organisations such as NASA and International Flavors and Fragrances." Sounds awesome. I wonder how long the scratch-n-sniff thingies last, though. At 12 pounds, I suppose it's worth trying out. But what's the smell of communism????

So that's first. Secondly, a science story that I didn't get around to looking at until forever after it was published. The findings? Apparently, wearing too much perfume could be a sign of depression, resulting from anosmia. From the article: “Our scientific findings suggest that women who are depressed are also losing their sense of smell, and may overcompensate by using more perfume,” explains researcher Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld, a member of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University. “We also believe that depression has biological roots and may be an immune system response to certain physiological cues.”

Interesting. I always suspected that wearing too much perfume may correlate with unhappiness, but I never suspected that it would with depression, especially depression resulting from anosmia. So why did I think that? From my own unscientific observation: In so many places I've worked, I noticed that the ladies in housekeeping would walk around wearing lush evening perfumes, and I figured that they did to ameliorate the suckiness of their jobs. Because I would wear a lot of cologne or perfume at my jobs (which I hated) too, because it gave you at least a little bit of pleasure. So I assumed there might be a connection. Who knew?!

And that's the scent beep for the moment.