Happy almost-Thanksgiving, everyone! Safe travels if you´re heading off somewhere. We´re going to leave this post up through the weekend. Continuing our efforts to overcome the massive estrogenic overload on the blog due to my recent lipstick/nail polish posts, I´ve found two tasty men´s scents I want to blog about. With the holiday season coming up, and in the spirit of gift-giving to someone other than, you know … yourself, today´s post is on a couple of giftable men´s scents with the added bonus that you may want to sneak a spray of them too.
Zirh Ikon – new at Bloomie´s. You know what I love? All sorts of things, including hot buttermilk biscuits and big, sparkly cocktail rings. But I also love running into a new fragrance and sniffing it and falling into instant love, which as you know is expressed by the mathematical formula:
Total, total love on this one. Notes are: cardamom, davana, ginger, lemon, orris, labdanum, cinnamon, clove buds, frankincense, patchouli, cedarwood, vetiver, amber.
My first thought smelling it was, this would fit right into the CdG Incense series. You know where I´d plug it in? Right on top of Ourzo — Ortzo … Ourzazo … that spicy one I can´t spell, much less say. I´d delete Orzowhatsit on the grounds (sorry!) it smells bad on me, and replace it with Ikon.
I popped over to Kevin´s review and was amused to see he immediately came up with the CdG as well, although to him Ikon is softer and lighter. This is one of those men´s-shelf scents women could wear without hesitation and without waiting for some guy-signifier opening (e.g., citrus-bergamot) to fade. In fact I kind of wonder whether men might find it a little feminine – although I guess you´re supposed to be reassured by that very manly-looking bottle.
I get the mother lode of cardamom and ginger up front, which I love. The orris is more powdery/violet than rooty on me, and contributes along with the frankincense to the instant “spicy/incense” read of the scent. I kept waiting for the other guy-frag shoe to drop. You know what I mean – a big fat hit of cedar or some man-cologne accord – but it never happened. The cardamom fades a bit, sadly, but never goes away, and the clove helps keep things from getting too dark. It´s very smooth; the patchouli is there but pretty clean and not camphorous. It gets a little woodier in the drydown, but still very unisex. I thought it was wonderful just the way it is. Kevin doesn´t get much iris so he layered it over Prada Infusion d´Iris with nice results. I did the same layering thing with the Jo Malone Black Vetyver Café – and okay, you could probably call the result Cliché Pour Homme, but it smelled wonderful.
I liked it so much I did three big sprays at Bloomies, and days later it´s still lingering on my scarf, making me very happy. The bottle, as you can see, isn´t stunning, but it isn´t hideous either. And best of all, because it´s a department store man-frag it´s $50, and what´s not to like about that?
Second — Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche. The Allures (male and female) don´t do much for me, but Kevin liked it, and he and I clearly like some of the same things, so I thought it was worth checking out. They have it at Bloomies but I´ve never seen it anywhere else, maybe it´s exclusive.
Like Kevin, I can´t argue that Edition Blanche is in any way wildly innovative, but it sure smells nice. Jacques Polge did the scent, notes are lemon, bergamot, cedar, sandalwood, tonka bean, white musk, vetiver, ginger, amber, vanilla, white and pink pepper. I might buy Zirh Ikon for myself, but if I wanted a younger, hipper-looking Chanel that smelled delicious I´d go for this one. Again, apologies to Kevin – I swear I´m not blog-lifting – but we both used the word “delicious” and it smells expensive and sophisticated, two concepts pretty much missing from the original and Allure Sport. Yeah, it´s got your standard-issue top, but the ginger and pepper kick it up into something fun, and it dries down into an elegant musk-vetiver that´s saved from utter guy-frag dullsville by that creamy vanilla. The bottle´s elegant in its own quiet but kinda hip way — it’s a matte metal and feels great in the hand. I think the guys on Basenotes are pretty meh about this – again, no argument from me that it´s breaking new fragrance ground. But sometimes … particularly if you´re giving a gift, and you want to play it a little safe and not look like a total cheapskate … you just need a very nice, approachable man scent. This definitely qualifies, in my opinion, as a good choice for the less experienced consumer.
I´d love to hear: are there any scents you bought for your man just so you could borrow them? Or, are there scents of yours he´s run off with, without any prompting from you? The Big Cheese has just done this for the first time – my Jo Malone Black Vetyver Café seems to have found its way to his dresser.