Green Lover

A bit of clematis leaf and sample vial, with Lolita Lempicka promo card featuring a waterfall over green mossy rocks.

I never really thought of Shamrock Shakes as sexy, but daaamn–this is a guy’s gourmand done right.

A milky mint confection spiked with orange flavored gin–(Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla is a pretty nice one)–that elevates it out of after school detours for fast food and into high end pastry shops with a liquor license.

Lolita Lempicka’s trademark syrupy-yet-powdery vanilla musk, here turned into sweet green teasing shadows, drifts in and out of intimate space all day, whispering invitations to drinks and dessert.
Yum.

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Valentino Uomo Acqua

Cut crystal mini flask with tiny cherry tomatoes on the vine.

Lovely tomato greens honed sharp with citrus, but then they soften–the sage takes the iris and turns it into that dusty rime on herb plants, rather than sweet powder.
Then Acqua (an odd name for this flanker because I don’t find it aquatic at all) slowly eases down to high quality Italian shoes, but they’re green and soft, keeping some of that suede texture that both sage and tomato leaves have.

Refreshing and smart–lasts half the day in personal space, longer on cuffs.

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Bassi was one of the founders of the Italian hip-hop scene–this one came out in 2017, the same year as Uomo Acqua. My favorite line (that translates well into English) is “I have always been half rapper, half man, divided halfway between the sky and Milan.”

Novacaine

Opaque black bottle with silver cap, box and slate blue inner liner with Rocky Horror lips, and toothpaste, toothbrush and floss.

TokyoMilk No. 85 lists Crushed Ginger, Thai Pepper, Frankincense and Vanilla Orchid on the box, but it opens with Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
The pepper kicks in immediately and makes the ginger, cardamom and clove mix a bit antiseptic, in a comforting way–like Band-aid adhesive–then it all soaks into the skin, leaving a smear of vanilla frosting and a dusting of head-shop olibanum.
Within two hours, it disappears, gone completely numb.

I really like it. There’s a laid-back medicinal feel to it, with good self-care cuddles.
Good for the guy who’s still too young or shy to pull off Old Spice.

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My favorite laid-back jam band version–

Toy Boy

Moschino promo card and sample spray, advertising a black bottle in the shape of a teddy bear.

This guy is fun, jeans and a whimsical graphic tee with nice shoes–he can tell a great joke without punching down, knows good drink recipes, and flirts with just his eyes.

Quick pink pepper and slice of pear, with a pinch of spice at the beginning, then an earthy–almost oily–masculine woody rose blooms in personal space for half the day.
Drifts down to the skin with more woods and fluffy fiber notes–the way a new skein of silk mohair yarn smells, a bit musky and animalic, and so, so soft–for a few more hours.

Lighthearted, affordable and a nice change from the ginger-lavender-vanilla mash-ups that are everywhere right now.

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An earthy song by the Rosewood Thieves.

Fat Electrician

Etat Libre d’Orange sample spray and box, and a power supply plug.

(Semi-Modern Vetiver.)

I love this stuff!
At first, vanilla ice cream, sweet and a little sweaty, with that strange metallic smoke of burnt wire, but wonderful–y’know the scent in the air at McDonald’s, when the shake machine blows a circuit mid-pour? That.

The singed plastic note grows into the middle–the vetiver, hot and ashy, but sexy in a smouldering way–for a nice hour inside cuddling space, before melting down to the most enjoyable myrrh for the rest of the day.

ELdO spins a nostalgic story about the gigolo who aged out and had to go into trade (yay for artsy ad copy!) that reeks of classism and fatism and ageism–NoT aLL eLeCtRiCiAnS!–and yet, because this stuff is so fantastic, we get a marvelous tribute.
The workingman’s ass crack made voluptuous, his sweat pheromonal–and who doesn’t love the guy who fixes the shake machine?!

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Clutch has been rocking out for thirty years–

Bad Boy

Promo card with a black and gold lightning bolt shaped bottle, and a sample spray.

This “bad boy” just earned a week of detention when he got caught with a blunt at his all-boys private school, along with Axe Dark Temptation and Invictus Victory. He’s got good taste in chocolate, and misses his mom.

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(It’s a shame that The Inner Circle’s Bad Boys is indelibly linked to the show Cops, because it’s a good song.) Here’s a Scandi EDM duo

Garofano

Vintage mini bottle with an orange bow-tie and a label illustrated with stylized carnations, and real pink edged white ones.

Garofano means carnation, and this little Italian beauty–first produced in 1930, and reissued for gift sets in 1970–is exactly that, but amplified.

Jasmine sparkles up the carnation’s already sweet and zingy opening, and then the heady middle is augmented by roses, making it even more rich. The bottom is the best part, with added cloves (wild carnations are called clove-pinks) and pepper bringing out the floral spice.

My schnozz is healing!
I get all the facets, even the base notes (which are spicy enough to be worn by even the most alpha gents)–they’re just at 50% volume, rather than full blast.
Right now, I get two hours from it, three inches off the wrist–but I’m sure the performance is at least double that.

One of my favorites from the Borsari 1870 collection.

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Oasis’ cover of The Jam’s Carnation jam.

Lui

Guerlain long glass sample phial with pink eau, on black box embossed with gold foil sun face.

Big boss benzoin that morphs into cuddly cloves, and swanky.

Splashes on with spiced sipping vodka and a squeal of brand new tires, (I should probably spell it tyres, because these are definitely fancy imports) and cracks a leather licorice whip at everyone for a while.
Then it relaxes, and slowly settles just above the skin with soft smoky vanilla powder–rich sweet incense ash–and whispers complements all day long.

I’m crushing hard on this one.
Very unisex, but wouldn’t be offended by the assumption of male pronouns.

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This grunge oldie is smoky and sweet, with a nice aggressive edge.

Rose and Me

Coreterno discovery set with Fornasetti style branding, sample spray, and black promo card with cool blue reflections.

Opens with spicy saffron roses, big and jammy, in Fort & Manle fashion.
Then lemon leaf geranium jumps in with a big splash–that flowers in the rain thing that Nest does–pleasantly tart and wet.
After an hour or so, a nice smoky tea brews, with patchi honey and Amouage’s woody rose incense.

The best performance of Coreterno’s perfume catalog, with fill-the-room floral sillage and semi-permanence on clothes. Hardly original, but that might be a part of their branding: a pastiche of beloved cliches that blend into a new but still familiar composition.

Not one I’d wear–this one would be more likely to wear me–but I’d love to huff on someone else, especially masculine types in retro neckties.

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Here’s another pastiche of cliches done perfectly.

Pamplelune

Medium Guerlain bottle with gold beehive lattice neck and ball cap, with a mini bottle doing something suggestive to a pink grapefruit half.

Grapefruit pith in the best way, a smart bitterness that slides to sweet throughout the day.

There’s a weirdness, a uniqueness to it that is almost distracting–I’m sniffing my wrist every few seconds, wondering if it still smells the same as the last huff I took. (How much of my enjoyment is just an oxygen rush?)

The performance is a lot of fun. Begins like an herba fresca cologne, a bright wake me up of citrus zest with a tart bite of fruit, then it cools down to a few inches above the skin and stays there, slowly growing soft with vanilla, with the tenacity of an eau de parfum.

Wonderful.
Marketed to women, but would be delightful on anyone.

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Feeling this one today.