It took awhile to select the Big Cheese´s new fragrance. By “new fragrance,” I mean the first and only fragrance he has ever worn in his life. To him, fragrance is by definition a chick thing – but eventually, after watching me try men´s scents (and spritz him with all sorts of scents) he asked for something for himself. I decided to present him with a series of choices I already knew I liked and have him pick one, but we got hung up on the teensy detail that he wouldn´t try any of them on because he was “too busy.”
Believe me, Too Busy is a concept I understand. I am occasionally Too Busy to Shower After the Gym (although I do it at home. I swear.) I am Too Busy To Make All Those Damn Kids Their Dinner. I am sometimes Too Busy To Run Those Tax Returns Over To The Post Office. But I am never Too Busy to Stop and Smell the Fragrance.
We finally did pick one, after sampling the following (all of these are Pour Homme). After you read the list, you will probably think, well, why didn´t she consider X Pour Homme?!?! My sort-of answer is, I´m sure there are some wonderful fragrances I overlooked. But most of them (Hermes Equipage is a good example) have too much presence and/or are too “perfume-y” to be my husband´s first fragrance. This wasn´t his stated preference – it was mine, because I wanted whatever he wound up with to be a subtle skin scent, although based on his reactions, I think he wanted the same thing.
Chanel Allure – I think it´s elegant, and this was my prediction as the winner, but what a testament to the powers of skin chemistry – it went weirdly metallic on him. It wasn´t terrible, but it wasn´t great, either, and it was very, very strong.
Prada Amber – He thought it was nice but, reflecting commentary on the fragrance boards, to him it smelled overtly feminine. He humored me but refused to believe it was a men´s scent — it was as if I were trying to get him to wear Fracas. Or eyeliner. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Guerlain L´Instant – One of my favorite men´s fragrances, but we agreed the patchouli was too dominant on him (although that´s not the wording he used – he said “yuck.”) I wear it a lot in winter, and I didn’t really want to share the same scent, so I was okay with the outcome on this one.
Georgio Armani Code – Meh.
Hugo Boss Selection – The SA made me do it! Seriously, I liked it in the store, but on the Cheese it was bizarre – a lot of tart fruit in the opening before morphing into the fragrance equivalent of a big-shouldered power suit from the 80s, worn by a hairy-chested guy with his shirt unbuttoned just enough for you to see one of those stupid horn necklace charms.
Dior Homme – Demonstrating that a strong iris note is not what he was looking for.
So he ended up with a bottle of…
Dolce & Gabbana! Yeah, I know, it´s Old School. We´ve covered a lot of ground since 1994, and I´m sure among some circles it´s a cliché. I don´t care. It´s smooth, leather and tobacco, and it melds beautifully with his skin. It was exactly what I´d hoped when envisioning a subtle, sexy skin scent, and it was what he wanted when he smelled it. It was perfect.