The Big Cheese’s New Smell

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.

  • March says:

    Katie — those horn things have a name, but I can’t remember it (shudder.) Good to know the Boss thing wasn’t my imagination. I actually like Pi — I can think of many worse frags.

  • March says:

    Andy — Thank you so very, very much.:x

    I’m doing a post next week on the Orris, by the way.

  • March says:

    Elle — wow, the Cheese would never stand still for four scents. But he does let me dab things on him occasionally. I think it’s okay to only have one perfume nut in the house. If he reeked all the time it would bug me.

  • Katie says:

    Aw hell, ain’t a thing wrong with going Old School. When it’s right, it’s right. Your hubby is much more adventurous than mine. He swears by Pi, and refuses to budge from his position that it is the only fragrance a man needs. Well, if L’occitane would bring back their fig line with an edt, he might be persuaded to change his tune, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Even the Fig shower milk has been discontinued. You know, the thing with the Boss one? Not so bizarre. My husband swears this is what happens with all Hugo Boss fragrances – not that he’d know they were Hugo Boss unless I pointed it out, but he’s found them all too cheesy for his tastes, too. And, wow… forgot all about those stupid horn necklaces, but you’re right. Now you’ve visually stamped the image of them in my mind for every time I smell that frag. Hee!

  • Elle says:

    Hi-jacking the blog here to say that I’m *thrilled* that you’re going to be releasing Orris. When I saw that on MUA I almost did back flips (well, in my imagination since in real life I’d have been hospitalized w/ a concussion for trying). It’s just beyond belief gorgeous.

  • Andy says:

    Dear March
    Probably you’ve seen: Yes, there will be Orris. hmmmm I still haven’t figured out to make a list. But I don’t think it is necessary… But maybe I’ll make a quick-n-dirty excel…but that’s tech blabla here.
    Let me finish by saying that I was really, I mean really, touched by your and your fellow perfume lover’s reactions. It was not anticipated and was truly lovely.

  • Elle says:

    DH lets me use him as a guinea pig to test scents on so I can see if there is much difference w/ his skin chemistry versus mine. Of course, he only lets me do this in the evening when he’s positive he won’t be going out any more or seeing any of his friends (I often have 4 or more scents on him at a time). But actually wear scent? He’s still totally opposed to it. I’m impressed that you DH actually did find the time to pick a scent! And the D&G was a great choice.

  • March says:

    P — man, that smell is so sexy. But W wears all sorts of other tasty things, so you’re not doing so bad…

  • March says:

    Leo– I am ready for the LE Orris!:x

  • Patty says:

    Men’s D&G is awesome. I’ve been trying to get W to wear it since it came out, but he’s not so crazy about it.

  • Leopoldo says:

    Not sure if there’s a list, but Andy’s such a sweetheart I’m sure you’d be put on one anyways.

  • March says:

    Robin — Nautica? Ack!!!!!!!!!! Good job with the Vetiver!!!! Of course, I have smelled much, much worse — and so have you! 🙂

    I have always been a little grateful he came to me fragrance-less, given the array of wretched things out there he COULD smell like.

  • March says:

    Pam — mmmmmmmmmmmm, a husband who smells like Jicky is a-okay in my book:d

    The last “pounce fragrance” I can think of was Yatagan. Isn’t it funny? He’d prob. let me spray him with Baby Phat Goddess every day if it got that reaction.

  • March says:

    Dusan — the patch was WAY stronger on him than on me:o go figure.

  • March says:

    Leopoldo — hahahahahaha!!! I love it when the word “perineum” turns up on the blog… okay, your, uh, drift is gotten.

    Orris — NO WAY?!?!?!?!!?!!!! You mean I should stop sending him groveling emails??? Gotta go check — is there a list to get on?

  • Robin says:

    I got the husband to give up Nautica in favor of Guerlain Vetiver, and considered it a great success. I did NOT like the Nautica. As for the rest of the wonderful scents for men, well, all the more for me 🙂

  • Pam says:

    Hey, March.

    Nice article. Glad The BC found himself a fragrance. That’s great. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled D&G PH. Will give it a try. My DH rarely ever wears scent. Did I say rarely? I meant never, unless I spritz him with Jicky and then chase him around the house. *wink* He has almost-full bottles of Maxim’s and RL’s Polo from two decades ago. Ah, well. My collection more than makes up for his lack of interest! 🙂

  • Dusan says:

    I knew it! I knew you’d both decide on D&G the minute you told me you thought it sexy! And good choice it is. Still, I can’t say I’m glad it was bettered by my beloved HG L’Instant, but I can understand the patchouli intimidation.
    ITA with Marina on Egoiste, it’s such a beautiful scent. But then, it’s like she said – more for me 🙂

  • Leopoldo says:

    I think CB Musk is less butt crack and more the other direction… if you know what I mean. Shall we leave it somewhere on the perineum?

    D&G PH is a perfect choice really – a non-classic classic. Happy wearing.

    And, fwiw (yikes, I’m using web acronyms – nasty!) I regularly skip showering at the gym. In fact, I enjoy my own pong, asd long isn’t get too heady…. so there.

    And Orris is going into manufacture! Yippee! Limited edition 30ml bottles, if I read correctly. Check out Andy’s blog from last week…

  • March says:

    Vi — I’m gonna email you — I can’t even remember what I sent?!?!?! C’mon… you’re woman enough for that buttcrack! Try layering it with something girly or, conversely, with leather.

  • March says:

    Andy — the classics were too … classic. I can’t articulate it any better than to say that, to him, they smelled too “perfume-y” — what I think of as elegant artifice. He was looking for less of a statement. I have dabbed many a classic on him, and mostly he’s not delighted.

    But who cares — what I really want to know is, are you going to make all my deepest hopes and desires and dreams come true regarding Orris? I am wishing very, very hard for some more.

  • March says:

    Justine — that is so funny — yeah, I know, every MORNING … I spent last week trying (mostly) to wear just one scent per day as an experiment, and I thought it would kill me. So a “signature scent” is an idea I find as baffling as, say, a Signature Shirt.

  • March says:

    Ina — shoot, I forgot — I actually TRIED the Gucci PH on him. Something (the vetiver?) made him wince. It was sorta stinky on him.

  • March says:

    Marina — It was just too … much. I know, I know, think of the dozens of scents I left off (Derby, Vetiver, Hermes, etc.) All I can say in my defense is, I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t want much smell going on around me — no candles, room sprays, potpourri, etc. In order to work for ME, it had to be reeeeaaaallly subtle. And Egoiste is great, but subtle it’s not, at least not to my nose.

  • March says:

    Chaya — ooooh! I would love to smell Avignon on a teenager — I wonder if #1 daughter would wear it, she is developing some tolerance for incense.

  • violetnoir says:

    Well, it’s a great start for him, March! Congratulations.

    I just purchased Rochas Lui from a local discounter. It smells WONDERFUL on my husband. 😉


    P.S.-Thank you for sending the samples. That CB Musk is amazing. I don’t think I will wear it, but boy is it skanky. That butt-crack accord came in loud and clear!! 🙂

  • Andy says:

    hehehe….I liked this one. Although, I find the selection somewhat limited (well, you mentioned it…. I know) how about a nice decent Guerlain Vetiver? Hmmm…maybe Big Cheese is not into the classic ones?

  • Justine says:

    For my husbands birthday I got him Allure sport body wash, with a few testers of the after shave. The first time I tried this with something unisex, and he kept saying sure he liked his *perfume,* wink, wink, nudge, but there was no way he was wearing this womans’s stuff out of the house. So I figured something with sport in the name would give me some sorely needed credibility.

    This time, he half rolled his eyes “and who is this gift really for….” BUT a mere two weeks later he tells me, “I am really loving that wash you gave me. It smells great, and then I put on a little bit of that cream and wow…” Now of course, I’m a little bored with the sport, I mean EVERY morning…come on…and am looking for a couple of alternates. I’ll have to give D&G a try.

  • Ina says:

    Yay! I’m glad you finally found one! Dolce & Gabbana for men is awesome! Used to be my brother’s staple. Gucci Pour Homme is another winner. 🙂

  • Marina says:

    Where’s Egoiste?! :d

    Fine, more for me 🙂

  • chayaruchama says:

    Welcome back!

    Hey, Bubbeleh, who knew?
    If that’s what does it, then that’s that.
    After all, we have to break them in gently…

    I began gingerly with DH years ago, mostly the classics- Pino, Imperiale, Blenheim Bouquet, Vetiver de Carven.

    He still only wears it to please me, when he remembers-

    On the other hand, my 16 year old won’t leave the bedroom without fragrance, and he’s far more sophisticated in his choices! [I didn’t know Avignon could smell so delicious on a teenager…just wait ’til high school girls get a whiff of him !]