Scent Surprise that I like

As I’m sure some of you have noticed, I’ve been spending more time with lower end scents instead of the uber-expensive, trying to scrape some of the niche snob off of me and finding some things that surprise me that I really like in the lower end.  I may not be swooning with joy and declaring it the great perfume love of my life, but every now and then mainstream gets it right, and the price point is almost always preferable.

So while some of these may not be as exciting or fun as the latest Malle or Serge, they do deserve some love for what they do accomplish.  And I need to amuse myself waiting for that new JAR to drop.

Which brings us to Sean John I Am King.  Who, but a man with a monstrous ego, names their scent that?   No surprise that it’s the former P. Diddy.  I have him to thank for that winding up being my office nickname.  Fully expecting to hate this when I sniffed it, I found myself thinking – hey, that’s not too bad. It’s not a Mitsouko or Jicky or anything remotely new and breakthrough on the cologne front, but it’s absolutely wearable and smells pretty great.

Notes are Tangerine, Orange, Cranberry, French Berry, Kir Royal Cocktail, Water Accord, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Crà¨me, Labdanum, Cedarwood, Vetiver, White Moss, Sandalwood.

I’m not sure where that list of notes comes from, I’m not smelling most of them. The fruit in it as a men’s scent makes it interesting on the open, keeping it away from the traditional fougere-wods motif that most mainstream men’s scents aim for and hit until you cry for mercy.  This has a lot of freshness in it, but not in that Tampax Fresh Accord way, more like bubbly fresh air.  Don’t get your hopes up about the labdanum, etc., there’s zero incense in this for me.  It’s like a slightly fruity vetiver cocktail imbibed out in the woods on a clear spring day with a light wind blowing and your nose buried in a freshly showered man’s neck – or something.

My hallmark of whether I like it or not is asking if I’d like to smell this on a guy or would I not?  My answer is yeah, I like it, and I think it would smell great on a guy.  It doesn’t seem to be as unisex enough that I’d wear it, but it just has a nice clean yummy smelling vibe.  I”m thinking this is pretty much what P. Diddy smells like or should. Kudos to him for capturing his whatever in a bottle.

We do have another installment of “Let Patty Buy/Do It so you may not have to,” coming up next week.  I’m going in to get a spray tan.  This isn’t that Mystic automatic thing. This is where you get hand sprayed, which is supposed to be the finest self-tan money can buy.  I’m optimistic that this will be the solution for me.  I like the look of a light tan, but I won’t sacrifice my delicate beauty (!?) at the altar of looking like I’ve been out in the sun.  Have done the Mystic tanning in the past, it turned out blotchy and just gross. Have tried the self-tanners, and the first application of the season goes great, and then it’s just downhill from there as it gets more uneven. It always ends in tears as I have to let it  wear off and start from scratch again.  The few that have worked well always seem to wind up with a streak mark here or there or a spot where too much blobbed on and is darker.  And that look seems worse than nothing.

Look for that next week! And maybe some Carnival Wax reviews, too, since I think I may have twisted an arm to get some samples.  Love the names on them.

  • gina says:

    I recently learned how to do that spray tanning you’re speaking of, and it does turn out very nice. I gave my very fair friend a lovely golden tan, she loved it. It doesn’t last long, unfortunately, and that smell o’ self tanner that I loathe is in this, though it’s not as overwhelming as it is in other stuff. Let me know how it turns out.

    And Sean John. I don’t know…”I am king”?! wretched.

  • Disteza says:

    Slightly fruity fresh vetiver cocktails SO do not sound like this woman’s idea of what a man should smell like. I may be a little sterotypical here, but I think it’s waaay sexier for a guy to smell like MKK or Yatagan. ‘Course here I am strutting around in my smutty leathers, so it may be less diversity-minded of me to expect a man to smell more butch than myself.

  • Karen G says:

    I’ve had the hand-sprayed air brush tan done a couple times, and LOVED the result. Seriously, the best tan of my life. Granted, I’ve got pink irish type skin that doesn’t tan worth beans in the real sun, which I avoid anyway. But for about 10 days I had beautiful glowy skin. Hope you have good luck with yours!

  • Elle says:

    Will have to give this one a sniff next time I’m in the mall. My favorite recent lower end find is Kiehl’s Vanilla – very close to Jalaine’s and a mix of the two makes my perfect comfort scent vanilla (a note I *thought* I’d gotten over permanently, but, clearly, not).
    Very much hope you do those Carnival Wax reviews! Drives me nuts that they don’t offer samples. I ordered a full bottle of the 1965, which sounded *fab* on paper, but was a complete disaster on my skin. Sigh. Several of the new ones sound so good, I was actually tempted to order unsniffed again, but that 1965 fiasco remains too fresh in my mind.

  • Wordbird says:

    Ah, I remember how excited I was at the name. I thought it was going to be some kind of comment on the great Dr Martin Luther King along the lines of ‘I’m every woman’. I thought that would be a step forward, bringing those brilliant ideas to another generation. But no. It’s some bling-a-ding-ding egotism. Leaves me cold. I’d rather a guy wore nothing at all.

    Got to say the fake tan thing drives me crazy. I try every year and always end up with streaks, patchy bits or at best, looking dirty. I have learned to compromise with a faint glow courtesy of those ‘got a little bit of fake in it’ moisturisers. That’s about as far as I can go without looking like I need to be hauled off to the nearest tap and scrubbed mightily.

  • Musette says:

    This is different from You are my King (or is it just KING), right? I’ve always wanted to sniff King (the one I’m thinking of) because it just seems so…..I dunno. Found at Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

    SJ’s doesn’t sound too bad and you’re right – it sounds like it smells like he oughta smell – and that’s nice. Next time I’m where it’s at I’ll give it a sniff!

    The other one is probably a private label fragrance; I just googled it and WAIT – got it! It’s from Parfums de Coeur and it’s called King Exceptional (huh?) – anyway, Amy George @ Splendicity reviewed it last year (I’m scared to death to link another blog, lest I do it wrong and get everybody mad at me) – totally ‘meh’.

    If I had to be locked in a room with a guy wearing one of these I’d go with SJ’s. Unless the guy was The Rock, in which case he could wear Catagan and it would be o-tay!


  • Olfacta says:

    P Diddy or whatever he’s calling himself now just brings out the snoot in me. I keep thinking of him walking around St. Tropez with his “valet” holding the umbrella over him. And those rooftop-helicopter-and-3-models perfume print ads. And, well, just everything. Although you have to give him kudos for hauling himself out of video-backup-dancer hell to international mogul. Now I just wish he’d go to charm school. (Do they still have charm school? Of course not!) Like with most things, I vote with my wallet, and can’t imagine myself spending a nickel on anything with the name “Sean John” on it.

    • Natalie says:

      You think the print ads are bad, check out the endless and unintentionally hilarious video!

  • Melissa says:

    First I couldn’t get past the name. Then I couldn’t get past the list of notes. I really, really do not like to wear my cocktails and dessert on my person. Although I suppose there was that incident back in the early 80’s with Kahlua, a chocolate creme pie and a toilet bowl. Or was it a banana creme pie?

    But really, if I can close my eyes, forget about Sean John and keep repeating “a touch of fruit and vetiver”, then maybe I will give it a sniff.

    I will be eagerly awaiting your verdict on the spray tan. The Mystic tan doesn’t turn out badly on me, but I have to really scrub and exfoliate after 4-5 days, particularly if I plan to do it again. Otherwise, I get streaky, blotchy etc. Self-tanners? A mess. I won’t even bother.

  • Lee says:

    I’m glad I Am King has some guts and isn’t a wan king (geddit?). I’ll sniff it out one day.