I’m not really in the market for a boyfriend. I’ve got my hands full thank-you-very-much. This is about “Boyfriend”, another in the sea of celebu-scents. This one is by Kate Walsh, the actress from “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice”. I don’t watch either show, but I was intrigued by the premise of this scent, which is, “Inspired by the longing felt for [a] boyfriend’s warm scent.” OK, I get the longing and the warm part, but men and women have been swapping fragrance for as long as anyone can remember. There’s really nothing new about a woman stealing her boyfriend’s scent, along with his shirt, sweats, what have you. The androgyny trend skyrocketed way back in the 90s with CK One and it exploded from there. So what’s so hot about “Boyfriend”?
After a bit more research, and clicking over to the Sephora channel on YouTube (who doesn’t have a channel on YouTube?), I learned that Walsh didn’t create “Boyfriend” to be a shared, or unisex scent. It is meant to incorporate the smells of a man with feminine notes of a female scent. She reminisces in one of the YouTube clips about how she loved the smell of her grandfather’s after shave when she was a little girl, and how after a breakup, she found herself at a men’s fragrance counter looking for a scent that would replicate the way her ex-boyfriend smelled. And then she had her fragrance epiphany: wouldn’t it be great if she could create a scent that was feminine, yet warm like the scent of a boyfriend? Isn’t that something we all grapple with?
“Boyfriend’s” notes are dark plum, myrrh, night blooming jasmine, benzoin tears, skin musk, golden amber and vanilla woods. You know how if you keep digging through piles of crap, you’ll eventually strike gold? Well, I wouldn’t exactly classify it as gold, but in the realm of celebu-scents, this one is actually pretty good. It’s got a plummy, stewed fruit Serge-y vibe which immediately got my attention, plus the myrrh and jasmine at the top give it an almost coconutty, tropical feel. The drydown is pretty masculine; the woods are prominent, as is the amber. It straddles the border of a masculine men’s cologne-type of fragrance, but falls short of going over to that side. It’s interesting, and much better than I was expecting. But again, it is far from groundbreaking. It’s no Jeux de Peau, because there isn’t a world full of women hankering to smell like pancakes, apricots and maple syrup. But I’m sure there are enough Kate Walsh fans, not to mention single women hankering for the smell of a man on their skin, to make this one pretty successful. Don’t get me wrong, I love the way men smell. For me, it has to be a particular man, not just random man smell. If I want that, all I have to do is find a random hockey bag after a beer league game. I guarantee that sort of man-smell will never be bottled.
The bottle got my attention as well, for being a nice, solid square chunk of glass, but the flimsy plastic cap ruined it for me, as did the male names etched on the glass. At $65 for 50 ml, it’s a bit pricey, and again, I don’t understand why it has to be $72 here in Canada, especially now that the loonie is a couple of cents above par. Regardless, I dig it, although with warm weather coming, I personally wouldn’t get much mileage out of a scent like this until fall.
“Boyfriend” is available at Sephora, which is were I sampled it.