One Thousand Scents

Friday, June 09, 2006

Nothing and Everything

Great bottle: couldn't they have put something decent in it?

I was out at a drugstore this evening and tried three new scents: Instinct by David Beckham, Guess Man, and Nautica Blue. I like the Instinct bottle: there's a magnet in the cap or the neck which pretty much grabs the cap from your hand and slams it into place, and I'm just a sucker for interesting closing mechanisms (Le Feu D'Issey, 212 Men, Bulgari Black, and Yohji Homme all spring to mind). But otherwise, what's the point? The three scents are all pretty much interchangeable, three more entries in the never-ending assembly-line production of fresh-cool-outdoorsy men's scents.

I don't get it. This article about trends in men's fragrance starts with the sentence "Cool is out, warm is in". Oh yeah? You wouldn't know it from looking at the most recent batch of releases. And just look at this Now Smell This article: there's a new L'Eau Bleue d'Issey subtitled Eau Frâiche, as if the original weren't fresh enough, Old Spice is launching something called Signature with "ozonic marine accord", and Brut has a brand extension called Revolution with "aqueous wood mist". So where the hell are all the vaunted warm scents?
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It's just as well, though, that most of the scents that are launched are things I don't like. Because then, well, I'd want to own all of them instead of just way too many of them, and we can't have that, can we?

I do, it's true, own way too many scents. Even if I never bought another one--or got another sample--I'd have enough to last me for the rest of my life. (Assuming, that is, that time magically declined to work its dark alchemy on them. Scents, like everything else, have a life span, and theirs is usually measured in years, or at best a couple of decades.)

But I refuse to feel guilty about it. I don't have many bad habits: don't smoke, don't drink, don't do drugs. My only real addictions are reading material, food, and scents. A wide array of scents gives me inestimable pleasure: I love looking through my medicine cabinet for just the perfect scent for the day, I love pulling out something new or interesting from my hidden stash, and I love sampling all the new releases, thinking about them, dreaming about them, occasionally buying. Even if the huge majority of them are dreck.

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