Franco Wright and Adam Eastwood, co-owners and co-founders of Scent Bar and Lucky Scent agree. They had an idea and flew to France to consult with niche house, Indult about creating a scent that captures the legends of leather. According to Franco, “When we went to Paris last Fall, (September of 2007), interestingly enough, it was our very first trip to Paris, and our very first appointment was to meet with none other than Francis Kurkdjian— in fact, he is the first celebrated ‘nose’ we ever met since we started Luckyscent in 2001.(Writer’s note: Kurkdjian is the nose behind Gaultier’s Le Male, Narcsico for Her, and Ferragamo's F de Ferragamo)
"So we met in a small café and had a talk about perfumes, his creative process and ideas for the future. He was kind enough to show us his laboratory and we smelled a few of his works ‘in progress.”
Wright continues, “Months later, back in L.A., we began serious discussions with Indult... They had already marketed three feminine scents, so the idea of doing a masculine scent was especially appealing. We knew it had to be the same high caliber and extraordinary quality of the existing Indult scents. Yet we all agreed to give Francis total creative reign, essentially a blank canvas for him to create an exceptional masculine fragrance”, Franco Wright says, “I suggested to Indult that we could create ‘a study in Leather’; one feminine; one masculine.”
Soon after, Wright and Eastwood realized they really wanted to focus solely on the men’s version; but
a masculine like no other –with nuances of the exotic, mystery and complexity. A few months later Reve en Cuir was born, and it was perfect...
Owning a leather-centric fragrance is as essential to a man’s wardrobe as owning a well made pair of shoes. Classic leather scents such as Knize Ten and the leathery chypre Aramis are long-time favorites of many men, at all price points.
Although there are many scents that try to replicate that familiar, yet strangely mysterious smell of leather, few fragrances provide a multi-sensorial experience. Reve en Cuir from Indult is perfect for those who are looking for something more than a leather aroma.
Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian designed Reve en Cuir using the skill of a master architect. He created
a rare fragrance that truly exemplifies perfect construction in the way it progresses on the skin. Reve en Cuir is a multifaceted progression of accords that are an interpretation of leather in various incarnations as opposed to merely replicating the smell of leather.
Reve en Cuir (trans. ‘dream in leather’) lives up to its name. The fragrance entertains with three distinct performances; all of which has the leather accord like a Greek Chorus running throughout.
Act 1 is Citrus Leather which introduces the scent. Citrus notes lend a very mild preface, more of an invitation--- a beckoning gesture that pulls you closer to the leather beneath. Act 2 is Smoked Wood and Leather evoking an image of a saddle on a wooden stand, warming next to a fireplace( my favorite ‘dialogue’ is the hint of clove at the beginning that slowly fades and seemingly morphs into a tendril of smoke.) The third and final act is Luscious Leather; it’s almost edible. Vanilla takes center stage in the finale, wrapped in a supple smooth leathery accord with just a touch of sweetness.
If you think Reve en Cuir smells great on you, hand the bottle to her. Make sure she gives it back.
Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian
Real Men Wear… Perles
By Michael W. Davis
As I was getting ready to leave for Atlanta Motor Speedway,
I realized I had forgotten my "Perles".
I know what you’re thinking; are you kidding? Pearls on a guy? At one of the country’s fastest race tracks? A place that practically oozes testosterone from the asphalt? You can stop your internal dialogue and questions because I’m not wearing a pearl necklace nor participating in a drag race.
Neither am I referring to the ubiquitous strands of Mardi Gras beads that seem to be ever present at sporting events.
My pearls are Perles de Lalique.
Real Men Wear…Violets
By Michael W. Davis
‘Shrinking’ is the first word that springs to mind when one mentions violets. Shrinkage is rarely a good thing in a man’s world. Another metaphor used with
violets is ‘shy’; let’s just say a real man wants to be seen as daring. Time to clear up violets’ wallflower reputation.
When the Mongol-Tatar forces-- invaded Russia in the 13th century, they were constantly moving and lived off the land. According to Gmelin, a 17th century German scientist who explored Northern Persia, the Mongol-Tatars ate a thick soup made from violet roots that provided adequate sustenance as they advanced.
My grandmother would say this soup will put “hair on your chest”.
Led by Batu Khan, a grandson of Gengis Khan, Mongol-Tatar armies destroyed many Russian cities including Kiev, Vladimir and Moscow. The advancing horde continued to the "Great Sea" (Atlantic Ocean). [Writer’s note: Violets can be ‘invasive’ because of their ability to spread quickly and overtake lawns and gardens.
I find it interesting that this invasive plant provided fuel for an invasion.]
(Batu Khan, invading Mongol leader)
Real Men Wear Roses
by Michael W. Davis
Real men define masculinity on their own personal terms with little or no outside influence. They do not need media personalities nor anyone else telling them what is masculine. I consider myself to be a real man in that I define my self-identity as a masculine male in
my own terms.
My self-identity as a man is partially related to some of my interests and personal taste. Real guy stuff; restoring vintage cars, weight training, contact sports, motorcycles, grilling red meat, drinking single malt scotch whisky, watching action flicks...and wearing rose - based fragrances. Yes, you read correctly, rose - based fragrances. I'm not referring to those that have a hint of rose buried by woody and spicy notes either. I also include rose soliflores and other fragrances in which the rose note plays a dominant or featured role. Dominance is a so called 'masculine' trait!
Assigning gender to specific notes or fragrances is based on culture and personal taste. In western culture, there are many men and women who consider rose fragrances for women only. A common stereotype is that rose scents are 'old lady', 'pretty' or otherwise 'too feminine' for men. This is not true of other cultures and groups. Rose fragrances have always been popular among men in the Middle East. Many of my friends who are perfume aficionados have been wearing masculine and feminine rose fragrances for years.
Fortunately, for those of us who are open-minded about fragrances, there are some exceptional choices en niche. Paestum Rose from Eau d'Italie is a spectacular rose fragrance that defies gender stereotypes and wears beautifully on both men and women. It is a fragrant experience of sun-warmed stone, wood and earth infused with incense, flowers, and spices.
Real Men Wear...Lavender
Creed Royal Scottish Lavender
by Michael W. Davis
Do real men actually wear pink?
Some do, but I don't.
Trust me when I say it has nothing to do with insecurities.
I just don't look good in pink.
However, I do wear lavender. Not the pastel purple color either.
I wear the scent of lavender. When I am in the mood for lavender, only Creed Royal Scottish Lavender can satisfy my craving.
The history and use of lavender has been documented as far back as the ancient Egyptians who used it in mummification and making cosmetics. Influenced by the Egyptians, the Ancient Greeks used lavender in making perfume. The Romans found a variety of uses for lavender form treating wounds to using it as an aphrodisiac. During the reign of Henry VIII, ladies of the era used lavender to scent linens and repel insects. Queen Victoria used lavender so much that it developed the stigma of being an 'old lady' smell. In modern times, lavender plays an essential ingredient in fougères, which have been popular with men for years.
Although not a fougère, Creed's Royal Scottish Lavender is a classic that has been in production since 1856. Royal Scottish Lavender opens with a crisp, clean lavender accompanied by effervescent citrus notes of bergamot and lemon. Lavender is somewhat short-lived but clove from the heart lends lavender some resonance. Clove adds a spicy kick to the scent and blends with lavender creating an olfactory illusion that lavender is still present after it fades. Vanilla and sandalwood anchor the base with a buttery smoothness.
I know what you're thinking...vanilla? Don't worry. You are not going to smell like your grandmother's kitchen or a bakery. Vanilla adds the barest trace of sweetness to soften the cloves and augment the clean, polished buttery wood accord in the base.
Creed Royal Scottish Lavender is the quintessential lavender fragrance with a timeless classic feel. There is nothing 'old fashioned' about it at all. But don't be surprised, guys, if the young ladies borrow your bottle.
Real Men Wear… Leather
By Michael W. Davis
Obviously. It’s ‘ingrained’. That new car smell, our first perfectly worn in jacket, saddles, our first baseball glove; leather is in every man’s DNA.
How many of you guys (including yours truly) have wanted to look as tough and as cool as Marlon Brando or James Dean did in their leather jackets? Or did you gravitate towards the Euro-style and Gallic savoir faire of Jean Paul Belmondo or (I know you are out there) the head to toe ‘statement’ of Glenn Hughes from the ‘macho macho man’ ‘70s disco band The Village People? From the hide skins worn by our cavemen ancestors to the A–list sophistication of Diddy or Tom Ford, leather is part of a global masculine mythology.
Bottle image courtesy of House of Creed and Adam Brecht, other images courtesy of Editor
Violet postcard circulated during Napoleon’s exile. Can you find the three hidden faces of Napoleon, Marie Louise and their Son?
The print shown is from an engraving by Canu in 1815. Copies were circulated among the supporters of the exiled Emperor.
They would toast, "Corporal Violet."
Credits: The Playful Eye by Julian Rothenstein and Mel Gooding, 1999; Chronicle Books, SF. Original engraving by Canu: 1815
Bois de Violette bottle image courtesy of Aedes Venustus and Serge Lutens website. Violet photograph courtesy of Culver Edu sigma/kappa. Additional images courtesy of Editor /Stock Photos
One of the world’s most famous military leaders, Napoleon Bonaparte, held a lifelong passion for violets. Napoleon had fond memories of the sweet scent of the violets that he remembered from his childhood in Corsica. His first wife, Josephine, wore violets on her wedding day and Napoleon gave her violets each year on their wedding anniversary. Ok, so real men are romantic; nothing wrong there.
It’s high time to cast aside the stereotype of the violet. They are flowers with bold charm and strong roots. Violets have a sweetness that can charm an emperor and roots hearty enough to feed an army.
And to make one of the most beautifully constructed fragrances of all time.
While in exile on the island of Elba, Napoleon secretly informed his friends that he would return to France with the violets in the spring.
His supporters adopted the violet as a symbol of his returns and often referred to him as Caporal Violet
or La Père Violet. In addition, a popular postcard circulated during this time depicted a bouquet of violets with hidden outlines of Napoleon, Marie Louise and of their three year old son, Charles, King of Rome.
Espionage…real men stuff…
Bois de Violette by Serge Lutens showcases the multifaceted nature of violets better than any fragrance
I have worn. The violets and violet leaves in Bois De Violette are bold, charismatic and command your attention; a stalwart accord with powerful sustain. Although bold and resilient, the violet notes provide a soft, sweet welcome for their woody, cedar partner.
In Bois de Violette, perfumer Christopher Sheldrake created a perfume reminiscent of the sweet, Corsican violets of Napoleon’s childhood.
The crystalline confectionery sweetness of the violets is like a light sugar glaze. The opening sweetness
is quite potent but settles quickly without ever becoming cloying. As the intense sweetness fades to a transparent glaze, a warm honeyed cedar becomes evident but not dominant. Cedar and violet accords are blended yet distinct as if they are bound in a helical spiral. Bois de Violette eventually spirals down to a mildly spiced woody base that pays homage to its inspiration, Shiseido Feminitè du Bois.
I’ve never been one to follow someone else’s rules of what I can or should wear. The driving force behind my fragrance choices is my personal taste and the reactions of others, such as “What are you wearing? You smell amazing!”
Perfumer Nathalie Lorson created Perles de Lalique for Lalique as a modern chypré that feels like silky smooth strands of pearls. A powdery Orris imitates this feel of pearls giving the scent an understated elegance. Bulgarian rose adds a rich sweet floral to the creamy Orris. Bourbon pepper cuts through the opening with a sharp spicy edge but it’s not enough pepper to dominate the scent and it’s also blended with Indonesian patchouli in the heart. Cashmere woods, oak moss and vetiver finish the fragrance with mossy woods.
Perles de Lalique is very versatile and has a weight that fits all seasons and situations. It is warm and inviting on a cold winter’s night and invigorating and refreshing in the summer. The quiet unassuming presence of the scent makes it perfect for both casual and formal wear.
Inspired by Laliques’s cactus-spike design, the eau de parfum flacon is an opaque glass bottle lined with glass beads. The glass bottle and cap resemble polished and frosted crystal.
A pure parfum version is available in a decidedly frou-frou crystal flacon but Perles de Lalique parfum is a spicy, woody mossy experience that wears just as well on a man as women
Remember guys, don’t forget your Perles. And it’s ok to share them with her.
Bottle images courtesy of Saks' Fifth Avenue. Other images courtesy of Michael Davis and Editor/Stock photos
Paestum Rose was created by master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour who is noted for his exceptional use of layering accords, rather than adding note atop of notes in his creations. Subtle spicy blend of pepper and coriander awaken the senses; a light touch providing a warm introduction rather than a heavy hand and a bracing bite. Incense, tea and myrrh lend a resonance of timeless wisdom. Elemi oil provides a sense of calm and peace. The floral notes in Paestum Rose are the highlight, exuding a lyrical, realistic hint of sweetness avoiding the false pretense of artificiality that has been the ruin of many floral fragrances. Turkish rose which is a key material, is voluptuous, luscious and succulent. This fragrance is a holy grail for those men and women searching for a perfectly rendered rose with a kick. There is a base accord that is quite woody and at the very foundation are the aqueous and earthy accords, evoking the damp, fertile earth that allows for this uncommon rose to flourish; damp earth grounds the fragrance.
Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour masterfully blended the accords in Paestum Rose using notes of davana, cinnamon, pink and rose pepper, black pepper, coriander, black currant buds, osmanthus, peony, Turkish rose, tea, elemi, incense, myrrh, opopanax, cedarwood, papyrus, patchouli, Wenge wood, vetiver, musk, and benzoin. However, describing Paestum Rose in terms of notes only is facile and belies its complexity and the many levels on which it stirs the senses. It is a fragrance that one must wear, experience and feel to develop his or her own personal understanding of this tremendous accomplishment of perfume art.
Available at Lafco New York
Real Men Wear Roses; Published in Sniffapalooza Magazine 2008
New York Times' Chandler Burr gives Reve en Cuir Five Stars
'Leather — old, dark, smoky, heavy — is diabolically difficult to adapt to an accessible 21st-century format. Under the creative direction of Maselli, Wright and Eastwood, Kurkdjian has succeeded masterfully. Rêve is a delectable, edible, light-infused leather that is instantly legible, deliciously impossible, as if an Hermès belt had been candied and baked by a patissier. Technically perfect (it lasts and diffuses like clockwork), it is also an aesthetic triumph. Hermès’s own Kelly Calèche wonderfully modernized leather; Rêve en Cuir is even better, stronger and more daring. It is not just the leather you never imagined — it is also the gourmand you never imagined. Indeed, membership has its privileges.'
Chandler Burr, The Moment Blog - NYTimes.com: Scent Notes
Images courtesy of LuckyScent.com, Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian photo courtesy of Paris; By Appointment Only. Review courtesy of Chandler Burr and Lucky Scent
Additional images courtesy of Editor.
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Michael W. Davis is a writer and management consultant who specializes in training and development. Michael's foray into the field of fragrance began many years ago when he received a bottle of Aramis as a Christmas gift and he has been collecting, wearing, and testing fragrances since. Michael holds a B.S. in psychology, an M.S. in organizational behavior/human resource management and has many interests outside his professional career. He is an avid fan of bull riding, auto racing, muscle cars, photography, music, art, Thai and Indian cuisine, and philosophy to name a few. Michael is also a fitness and nutrition buff does his best to lead a healthy lifestyle.
This is his first Top Five Finalist nomination for Editorial Excellence in Fragrance Coverage 2009 Blog for Sniffapalooza Magazine.com.
The Fragrance Foundation and The 2010 Fifi Awards announced April 23, 2010 - the Top Five finalists in the category of Editorial Excellence in Fragrance Coverage 2009 Blog. Sniffapalooza Magazine garnered TWO nominations again in the TOP FIVE finalists in the category of Editorial Excellence in Fragrance Coverage 2010 Blog.
See the two of the top five articles here in their entirety. Congratulations to Michael Davis for "Real Men Wear" featured here and Mark David Boberick for his article "Scents My Sister Loved" viewed here.
The Editorial Excellence in Fragrance Coverage Blog category is an historic and appreciative gesture on the part of
The Fragrance Foundation for the quality work on online fragrance blog sites, legitimizing them as editorial vehicles.
This is truly a great honor for us.
Congratulations to the two contributors who placed Sniffapalooza Magazine.com on the map again!
A sincere heartfelt thanks to the Fragrance Foundation and FiFi Awards.