Kenzo Peace Vintage Edition – “be the wood” — Done by Annick Menardo, the notes are: mandarin orange, cedar, tonka bean, musk, vanilla and heliotrope. I thought this was unisex, but I keep seeing it advertised as for women? I´d call it unisex. Oh, wait, let me paste in the blurb from Sephora, I wouldn’t want you to miss it: “woody musk that captures the deep desire for freedom in both men and women. The magnetic purple bottle is embossed with the symbol of peace and loveâ€”to carry the message around the worldâ€”” and is it just me, or does that make you want to smack somebody? Anyhoo, I was worried about the heliotrope but really, I´d characterize this as the masculine counterpart to Estee Lauder´s new Sensuous, if that makes any sense at all. I get very little citrus, some (okay, slightly powdery) woods, and a great pepper-musk drydown with an odd, interesting nutty smell. It´s pretty close to the skin, and you can spray both arms and not kill anyone. But it doesn´t do the disappearing act. I need to do a re-soaking to decide whether I like this or Sensuous better. I have a deep desire for that bottle. Peace, man (and/or woman).
Update: Now Smell This also reviewed this today, link here.
Ralph Lauren Polo Explorer – this ugly combat-green bottle, on the outside of the tester at Sephora, says “fresh woods, amber.” It made me start captioning the other fragrances in my head. I guess the bottle´s supposed to make you think of those covered Army canvas canteens? Polo Explorer smells fine and is as adventurous as your senior trip to King´s Dominion, if not less so. Mandarin, bergamot, coriander, leather accords, Cuban mahogany, sandalwood, amber and patchouli – and yes, that list is ultimately the most thrilling part of the experience. A disappointment after the delicious coffee-mango Double Black.
IZOD Men – “dude, where´s my car?” Clearly aimed at the high school/college crowd, this is inoffensive, in that there is nothing strong enough to offend anyone. Notes are lime, tangerine, grapefruit, mint, cucumber, air accord, cotton, cyclamen, lavender, juniper, saffron, and incense. That list sounds more interesting than the fragrance is, but seriously – it could be so much worse. It could smell like Axe. Or Bod. Or Hummer. I wouldn´t object to any young man wearing this. If I could smell it without sticking my nose in his neck (and what would my nose be doing there?) I´d assume I´d gotten a whiff of his laundry detergent and the lime Snapple he just drank. The drydown on paper smells like some fat fresh/ozonic thing, but full disclosure – there may be more to this. If I hadn´t drenched myself in the new Kenzo I´d have drenched myself in this, just to make sure it doesn´t morph into one of those fabulous aura scents I´m always yakking about. I mean, look at those notes. From IZOD. In a heeedious blue bottle. In some perverse way, don´t you want it to be fabulous? I know I do.