I’m going to come right out and admit it: I’m not paying that much attention to perfume on men. Yah, I know. I’m supposed to. I could have my perfumista card yanked for NOT doing it. But there are a bunch of reasons:
1. It’s allergy season. I can barely smell dog poop if I step in it.
2. I live in a place where …well, men Just Don’t Wear Fragrance. They shower. They shave. They brush their teeth. That’s it.
3. I live in a place where, if you get close enough to a man Who Is Not Your Husband to try to sniff a scent you are …well.. Besides – see #2
4. El O is NOT into perfume. At all.
5. Aren’t 1-4 enough?
Besides, I tend to think of most perfumistas as perfumistas – not ‘gendered’, since the folks who comment on this blog (as well as the other blogs I read) tend not to make gender distinctions in wearing perfume. One of the best examples of Chamade, ever, I got from a man.
By the way: Note I did not say ‘men’s fragrances’ I have and wear enough ‘men’s’ perfumes to stock a decent-sized boutique. But I think I am guilty of profilin’ (and that iz WRONG!) : I think of Guys Not Perfumista as being limited to cologne. And basic dept store cologne at that. Besides being a bonehead, I blame advertising.
But that recently started changing. Brad Pitt is the new face of Chanel No 5 – as savvy a marketing move as I’ve ever seen. Brad’s cred is hefty – he will revive the brand for younger women and intrigue a wide range of men. And the FB memes are hysterical!!! (that one is my favorite:-)
Anyway, my friend Howard (who doesn’t live anywhere near here) recently called and eerily asked me the near- exact query listed on the Surrender to Chance ‘Help Me Choose’ home page. (I am not kidding – it was almost word for word – and since he wouldn’t know a decant from a marmoset I can only assume StC knows what they’re doing) Anyhoo, we started talking about traditional men’s scents.. I said ‘perfume’ and he replied ” you mean cologne, right?” oh, grasssshopppa!!! I am SO gonna blow. your. mind. and….. we got onto the notion of men wearing women’s scents – I told him about Neil Morris recommending Fracas for El O – and Lord, but it smells divine on him (women go nuts for a big, burly guy in Fracas. I’ve seen ’em do it!)….so we chatted for awhile about the various options open for men – and he was stunned to find that it is limitless – and that men of all persuasions are looking at perfume in a different way. But different from when? Until the most recent of times aristocratic men wore all types of fragrances – it wasn’t all bay rum. Roses, violets, ambers…men were every bit as scented as the women (perhaps more so – witness the 18th Century dandy, known as a Macaroni, with his feathers and patches and paint – scent was a large part of that ensemble).
The feathers are (mostly) all gone now, of course – but there seems to be a resurgence in men’s public interest in perfume. And not just us rabid perfumistas, either. Howard is a regular guy who is beginning to become intrigued by the vast and varied options available in perfume land. He was uncomfortable with it at first, until he realized that it’s no different from being an oenophile. So now he’s having a ball at the StC site and I daresay when he comes down here to visit we will spend a few minutes in my perfume armoire. That will freak El O out, since he only wears a scent if I spray it on him. But who knows? Perhaps he might be intrigued enough to sit in on the session. Naaah. But a gal can dream.
Sunday’s UKTimes ran an article about men and their perfume collections. There’s a lot of emphasis in the article on ‘straight’ men and ‘testosterone’ (if your biology is wonky this article could give you the idea that only straight men have testosterone) – but as tiresome as it may be, it also makes sense – I think the article is trying to engage a demographic not known for its interest in ‘perfume’: straight men – and women who are interested in straight men. Guys like El O (who doesn’t have a metrosexual bone in his body) are uncomfortable with the notion of wearing, or being interested in, perfume. Guys like H (a bit farther up the olfactory evolutionary scale) need to be reassured that such an interest (beyond the manly basics) won’t get their Man Card revoked. Perfumistos are so far down the rabbit hole they don’t care about any of that – they just care about the perfume.
Obviously all the men on this blog are interested in perfume. But what about the husbands/significant others of all you women and men out there? Has your interest piqued theirs? Or do they think you’re nuts? El O couldn’t care less – as long as I don’t bug him about it (irritatingly, he is quite the supersmeller but doesn’t want to Use His Gift). Occasionally he might say ‘wow. you smell gooood’ – but it’s usually when I’m wearing something like Coty Sand and Sable. If I want something from him, I wear Swiss Arabian Noora. $12. Drives him wild. Go figure.
So…is 2012 The Year of Men in Perfume? Your thoughts??? And since I’m going to bust Howard out of the colognes….with what should I start? I’m thinking JubXXV. What do you think? Too much, too soon? Some suggestions, please!
that hysterical meme copied by permission JC/FBP