Cologne is part of the ANA, Take Me ‘Round the World Trip Report.
Much like I have a refined palette for quality wine, I have a keen nose for cologne. Since I was a kid, I used to collect bottles. My trove surpassed 50 at one point. Moving from place to place, I lost many along the way though many classics are still at my parents’ house. These include but are not limited to:
- Hannae Mori
- Dolce & Gabbana
- Issey Miyake
- Cool Water
- Bvlgari (green bottle)
- Versace Metal Jeans
- Versace MAN
- Jean Paul Gaultier
- Pasha de Cartier
- Polo Sport
*Acqua di Gio had to be removed due to overuse by the masses.
** Joop! Had to be removed because everyone would pass out if I wore it.
*** Hugo Boss had to be removed because after a night in Mallorca, it reminded me of tequila shots. It does win the award for clever bottle.
****Not on the list are Fahrenheit and Obsession and Michael Jordan. Those are just spicy nastiness.
*****I won’t reveal what’s in TPOL’s closet today. That’s proprietary. But if anyone has the now discontinued Emirates first-class Bvlgari in the red bottle, please send it over.
When I visit a department store, the employee’s worst mistake is asking, “Can I help you?” After showing me a few samples that I inevitably shoot down, the employee quickly disappears. On rare occasions, I end up with an old-school aficionado and we discuss the history of cologne and the evolution of fragrance. That is a great experience. Still, I typically walk away distraught that nothing innovative has been created. Much like hip-hop, fragrances are recycled and resold as the new hotness (see any Drake album).
With such a sophisticated and particular taste in cologne, I made the most amateur of mistakes by purchasing a bottle on my EVA flight from Taiwan to New York. I relied on the description in the Sky Duty Free magazine to tell me what the cologne would smell like. J. Peterman would have been disappointed by words that did not reflect the odor of this parfum.
To my credit, I thought I was making a safe choice because I have and enjoy the original Bvlgari Man and thought the wood infusion would mix the power of Issey Miyake with the tenderness of Bvlgari (now that’s a line for J. Peterman). It did not. Unlike Strangé, it did not stink so good. It smelled awful. On top of that, I overpaid.
Good cologne is like speakers. Good cologne is like wine. Good cologne is like an automobile. Buying it without sampling it is downright foolish.
TPOL’s TIP: Don’t buy cologne in the air. Don’t buy it in a department store. Buy it online, after you test it, of course.