“I SAW IT IN THE WINDOW AND I COULDN’T RESIST IT.” ~ Worth Pour Homme

(Worth Designer Lable 19th Century)

You can not talk about Worth Pour Homme without mentioning the historic design house of Charles Frederick Worth. The quintessential house of high fashion was in existence from the 1850’s to 1956. Its founder Charles Frederick Worth was the father of Haute Couture. An Englishman in who took Paris by storm he invented the designer label, the runway model and so many other aspects of fashion we now take for granted. He dressed the great ladies and stars of his age and married one of his models. He was the creator of the hoop skirt, the bustle and was the first designer to use the early sewing machine.

(Ball Gown, 1860’s Victoria and Albert Museum
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)

Mr. Worth was the first superstar designer in history. Patterns for his clothes were sold all over the world and most likely Mammy used just such a pattern to run up Scarlett’s green curtain dress in “Gone With The Wind.”

(Miss Ellen’s portiers)

Among his clients were the clothes mavens of the day such as Empress Eugenie of France, Empress Elizabeth of Austria, Queen Victoria, the Astor’s, Vanderbilts, and Carnegies of New York. After his death in 1895 the design house continued until it was closed in 1956. Today the house is simply called Worth Couture and has re-introduced haute couture, lingerie and Prêt-a-Porte lines by designer Giovanni Bedin . The company got into the fragrance line in the 1920’s and has produced fragrances separate from the couture house since the 1930’s. Among these perfumes is only one for men, Worth Pour Homme.

(Empress Elizabeth of Austria 1860’s in a Worth ballgown.)

 The original formulation was created in 1932 by perfumer Odette Breil-Radius who decades later created Miss Worth. It was reintroduced in 1980 and still conjures up old world glamour and joie de vivre that can only spell P.A.R.I.S between the wars. This is a woody spicy animalic delight. It is all gentleman elegance personified in the most arresting way. It opens sharp and old school style with rosemary, nutmeg, cinnamon, a huge blast of lavender, a bit of mandarin, and a dash of petit grain and bergamot. It is sharp but not rude, old fashioned and refreshing like a cocktail at four in the afternoon at the Ritz bar in the company of a beautiful French actress all decked out in her Worth cocktail dress. It is a quick drink and then off to the middle notes.

(Evening dress, 1928 or 1929 Victoria and Albert Museum
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)

(Evening dress, 1925
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)
Silk, glass, metallic threads.)

Rich notes they are too, a wonderful blending of green notes, Brazilian rosewood, pine needles and geranium. Here very early on in the hart comes the leading base note of rich exotic leather, like the polished well worn leather of a Turkish soldier’s saddle reused in a smart leather club chair. This wonderful leather seeps into the rosewood and becomes quite “Clubby” putting one in mind of rainy late Fall afternoons in salons off the Avenue Montaigne. Kind of like an Englishman in a French salon, proper, upright but not uptight or adverse to a little naughty French fun.

(Wedding dress, 1950’s
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)

(Evening dress, 1955
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956
satin with sequins and crystal beading.)

Towards the early part of the dry down enter the vanilla splendors of the tonka bean, washed in musky ambers, Oakmoss, and vetiver inside a cedar box lined with balsam fir. This is where one can relax into the warm comfy elegance of a really sumptuous dry down to the end.

In all it lasts about six hours, a wide range silage. Once within a six foot range the recipient nose in your vicinity will notice this fashionable classic. Not many people know of this old boy who had been strolling the block since the 1930’s so maybe it is time to take note of this stylish gentleman, Worth Pour Homme.

FOUR GOLD STARS ****

“YOU SIR, ARE NO GENTLEMAN!” ~ Dunhill for Men by Alfred Dunhill

 

Dunhill for Men by Alfred Dunhill of London speaks softly of waking in Mayfair on the street where she lives.  It is a glimpse of young men down from the country stepping off a train at Victoria Station in a cloud of steam. It is Kensington Gardens in the fog and Belgravia in the spring, Harrods at Christmas, and the British Museum anytime. It is very upstairs behind closed doors, it is Ivor Novello, David Niven, The Duke of Winsor, more than any of that it is Bond, James Bond. Quintessentially British and completely undeniably dangerous.

The first spritz is an eye opening surprise of English lavender, Amalfi lemons, nutmeg and geranium. A short overture that momentarily off set me but then the curtain rose on splendiferous evolving notes of iris, a perfect English rose set near a bed of carnations near some stunning woodsy notes.  A glorious jasmine entwines the rose and one would be near swooning if it were not for the fact that the leather comes up fast and gives all these flowers a commanding macho edge.  It all becomes intoxicatingly masculine without being over bearing. This was the moment I fell in love with Dunhill for Men.  The dry down is a class act of citrusy vetiver, rich sandalwood, heady oak moss and refined Virginia cedar. A dash of old Tonka bean vanilla encased in fine tooled dark leather that is sublime.   It is a very adult masculine fragrance of supreme urbanity and sophisticated charm. Indeed old school, in fact old world and that is what makes it exciting and challenging. Created in the twilight of the British Empire in 1934 Dunhill for Men is a time trip back to an age of elegant sartorial grandeur. But yet there lurks just below the surface that danger that draws you in with a promise of adventure and sex.

This is a fine rich introduction for young men to the sophisticated possibilities that lie beyond the fads of today. Not “Fresh”, not “Clean” but rather it smells like a man. A little dirty, a bit animalistic, and very dangerously sexy. Dunhill is the scent for the kind of gentleman who is really not a gentleman at all. He is a man who knows his way around the casino at Monte Carlo as well as he does the back alleys of the Wan Chi in Hong Kong.

I put it on at six in the evening and when I woke at six the next morning it was lingering still and daring me to have another go. As dangerous as that may seem, that’s just what I did.

Five platinum stars *****

(Photos from Eon Produtions / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Colombia produtions of “Skyfall” staring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem. Directed by Sam Mendez. Trailer: http://www.skyfall-movie.com/site/ )

MY FAVORITE BLEU JEANS ~ Bleu de Chanel

This is what I call my Chanel for Bleu Jeans fragrance and I will tell you why.  There have been quite a few reviews around Fragrance town decrying Bleu de Chanel as being  disappointing. Not up to the standards of pervious Chanel scents. So this is my  experience with the fragrance.

While shopping a month or so back for a  new Chanel I picked up Egoiste Platinum and while I was looking at the various Chanels for men to expand my  horizons and add to my one and only Pour Monsieur the salesperson asked if she  could spay some Bleu on a card for me. I said sure, why not? I could take in  maybe one more sniff before my nose closed up shop. Well, that one little sniff  blew my Bleu socks off! I almost bought it on the spot but had already set my  shopping limit for the month. So I filed my Bleu card away for a future  purchase.

Last Saturday it was so incredibly beautiful here in San  Francisco and on a gorgeous day lots of San Franciscan naturally hightail it for  our magnificent shopping district around Union Square. I was moved by sun and  blue skies to visit our Chanel Boutique. I dressed for the occasion since I am  old fashioned and think one should never leave the house on a shopping  expedition looking less than smashing. Black Jeans, black cashmere turtle neck,  black spit shined loafers, chunky steel bracelet, a not so chunky yet stylish  gunmetal watch and a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers. One quick check in the mirror  and I set off for my adventure.

(CHANEL MEN’S WEAR)

I was in and out of Chanel so fast that  the door on Maiden Lane didn’t have a chance to close. Then I popped over to  have a light lunch at the Sir Francis Drake and following that headed home to  un-box my little treasure. I really got a kick out of the bottle, a kind of film  noir blue black moderne take on the No.5 bottle design with a really nifty cap  that is magnetized so that it clicks back on in the same position with the  locked double C’s always facing front perfectly. A nice touch don’t you think? I  sprayed my wrist and sniffed…. Hum? Then I sprayed my collar bone. “That’s odd,  it’s kind of….hum?” I thought. And a final spritz behind my ears.

(BRAD KROENIG AND HIS SON HUDSON)

It was  not at all what it had seemed in the store the month before. What had happened? Where was that oh my god sensation? It was nice, it was interesting, and it was  perfectly fine. But something was missing. As the day wore on I discovered it  has some wonderful aspects about it. I love how the incense, ginger and peeper  all work together and it lasted on me a reasonable 5 to 6 hours. Yet still I was  vaguely disappointed. During the week at work it drew rave reviews. And that  puzzled me. THEY loved it; they wanted to know What it was that made it so  unique and exciting. Why did they find it so wonderful and I found it to be just …fine? To me it wasn’t the magic Chanel we all dream of, what we hope to find in  each new Chanel offering. It was just dare I say it, a work-a-day  Chanel.

(ANNA WINTUR SMILES!)

Then it hit me. It smelled just the same as it had in the store;  the only thing that had changed was me. I had been obsessing over that smell for  over a month, and in that time I had turned that sense memory of Bleu into  something it could not live up to. No perfume could. I had let the aura and  history of “Chanel” out Chanel the Chanel! It was fine and I liked it just fine,  and that is fine. Not every Chanel or any other perfume house can hit it out of  the park each time. But what Chanel did with Bleu de Chanel was make a good  everyday perfume. Something nice to throw on when you feel like being casual and  elegant around your frayed edges, like a pair of comfortable blue jeans. They  fit well and you know exactly what to expect from them, and they are classics in  their own way. So that is why I call my Bleu de Chanel my Chanel for blue jeans.

(MOVIE STAR GILBERT ROLAND 1929 AND MY BOTTLE OF BLEU)

Four Gold Stars. ****

ON THE TRAIN TO VENICE ~ Armani Eau Pour Homme

The uniquely plaintive train whistle echoes thought the huge train shed of
Stazione Termini Roma.

(“ROME ADVENTURE” 1962)

The doors with an airy whishing close and with the second  whistle blast the sleek Ferrari red Italo bullet train begins to wheel like a  silky sliver of light from the cocoon of the station. Suddenly, like any city in the  world, the backside view of Rome appears. Across the rows of polished steel tracks the walls and roofs of the city begin to slide away with increasing
speed, crumbly, golden and eternal, farewell Roma. Onward the train glides toward the final destination of Venice.

The train at top speed cuts with  surging power and grace though the beautiful central valley of Italy that lies  between the Apennines and the costal mountains. This deep lipstick red machine  is now speeding along at a smooth imperceptible 250 miles an hour. Quietly it  banks like a private jet gently and with much less noise it takes a turn. With
each turn left then right it becomes a waltz across the landscape Train  attendants move along in their chic uniforms with carts overflowing with snacks  and beverages. Everyone on the train except the tourists are thoughtfully and  beautifully dressed. Outside trees, and farms and hills and towns fly buy in a  beautiful kaleidoscopic whiz of green light and terracotta shadow. The glamour  of train travel is alive and well in Italy.

(LEAVING FLORENCE)

In no time at all the Duomo  of Florence appears on the right side of the train. In the station and out again  and on over the pass in the Mountains between Florence and Bologna.

(PASSING THROUCH BOLOGNA)

There are  high towers in the city of Bologna that lean too. Pisa has no exclusive rights  on leaning towers in Italy. Bologna’s can be seen high against the sky as the  train rolls out of the station to cut across the Po Valley and into the Veneto.

(ARRIVING VENICE ~” SUMMERTIME” 1955)

As the train leaves the mainland and ventures like Cupids arrow straight across the causeway  for the heart of La Serenissima the city shines on the lagoon. In moments the  passengers are descending from the train and moving caught up in the bustling  throng, though the station and out onto the Grand Canal. The whole world has  changed with this startling view of Venice accept the legendary style of Italy  and her people. They like Rome are eternal.

(KATHERINE HEPBURN HAPPY TO BE IN VENICE IN “SUMMERTIME”)

In its classic men’s perfume  from 1984 Armani Eau Pour Homme, the fashion house of Giorgio Armani captured  all the style and refined polish one finds in a train trip across Italy. Sleek,  elegant and powerful this fragrance has it all. It pops on the skin at first spray, the top notes of mandarin, green orange, basil, bergamot, lemon all  conspire to create what I can only describe as jalapeno peppers. This surprising  accord almost lost me the first time I tried it on but it was as it turned out  just a little lurch of the train leaving the station. I was willing to overlook  this in anticipation of the journey ahead. Up from the bottom notes comes the  sandalwood to smooth and calm the top notes. This note like a good train  conductor stays always present for the rest of the journey.

As the opening notes die away and leave the sandalwood to greet the most powerful of the heart notes jasmine, and lily it moves to its restrained presentation which  makes it stand out against the other overwhelming power fragrances of the 80’s.  These two notes hold court over the more subtle rose, nutmeg cumin and clove.  Here it is close to the skin and will remain so. As the journey though the  heartland continues enter the notes of cedar, oak moss and musk. This lasts a  good four to five hours. As the train begins to loose steam in the dry down  there is just a whispered memory of jasmine and sandalwood left and they find  support in a hint of patchouli musk and vetiver. At about 6 hours the ride is  over.

The first time I tried Armani Eau Pour Homme I found it to be a  bit of a disappointment. That was two months ago. As time went by I would come  back to it and try it again. Finally I was in tune with its subtle style. Like  the extraordinary suits and elegant gowns of Armani it is all about understated  elegance.

FOUR GOLD STARS ****

“It smells to heaven, It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t!” ~ Fracas for Men

DREADFUL is the kindest word I can come up with for Robert Piguet’s Fracas for Men. Oh my bloody stars it is like smelling Freon mixed with sewage from Tijuana that has been fermenting in an old cooler for about six weeks in the Mojave Desert. I have passed homeless men on the street that smell better than this travesty.


I did a little research and there is a reason behind why it smells so bad. It seems this was created when Piguet was sold to a company called, Alfin Inc solely to cash in on the fame of Fracas for Women. When the company was sold Fashion Fragrances & Cosmetics Ltd. in 1995 this formula was dropped as a phony Piguet from the line. It was considered not a legitimate creation of the house of Robert Piguet by those in the know.


I won’t even bother to go into the notes since they are so noxious that I could not identify a single one as I ran screaming for the shower. The bottle is some kind of pseudo deco design with a huge ugly plastic cap. It shouts “I am cheap, loud and classless and I don’t care!” through a bull horn as it rides on a unicycle down the center of Rip-off Avenue. Fracas for Men is the grand marshal of the bad taste parade.

NO STARS! (if you see this bottle call hazmat asap!)

ZOOM ZOOM! ~ Jaguar for Men

Word association, Jaguar, what do I think of when I hear that word?  The first thing that comes to my mind is not elegance, speed, sleek design, or tradition.  What comes to mind for me are years of mispronouncing the word!  Not until I was in college did I discover that it is not pronounced Jag-Wire. It was pointed out to me by my good college buddy Kent, “The word is Jag-You-Are.” So there you are…or at least here I am, all these years later I still have to remind myself how to say the word.  Oh the humiliation.

(HUMBOLDT STATE  DORMS)

Second association: a weird little night club I visited in Guadalajara in 1971.  El Jaguar pronounced by the way, L Ha-war. It was bright red circular arena that you descended into on narrow stairs. Hot orange and red lights heated the dance floor in the center. It was like dancing in a chili bowl inside an oven. For some reason I ended up there one night, a little tipsy and dancing alone in that flame hot arena. Oh the humiliation.

Third association: the H R Owen car dealership on Old Brompton Road in London.  Every morning for two weeks while I had my breakfast, I studied it from my holiday flat on Wetherby Place at the other end of Rosary Gardens. Oh how nice, I thought each morning, how nice to have a cozy Jag-wire…Jaguar dealership at the end of the street. Not until the last day of my visit to London when I walked to the end of that block did I discover it was not a Jaguar dealership at all, but a Ferrari showroom.  I really should put my glasses on right when I get up in the morning. Oh the humiliation!

(MY HOLIDAY FLAT AT THE END OF THE STREET)

Finally I think of my brother’s racing green 1990 Jag xj6 which my niece drives on occasion to school. She hates that car. It seems some teenagers don’t like to get too much attention.  When my niece drives that beautiful car the kids at school notice….BIG TIME. All together now, oh the humiliation!

So with all this baggage behind me I eyed my new acquisition of Jaguar for Men. The beautiful racing green bottle is of a deco design in a reminiscent shape of an old radiator topped by a silver cap.  I turned the key on this baby and it stared up right away with out a sputter. No humiliation here! On first spritz you are met with fresh citrus notes of orange, mandarin, grapefruit, and bergamot. These fade very fast to the lavender, green notes, cassia, basil, anise, and thyme which in turn linger only for about ten minutes.   Then the motor of this scent begins to hum as you speed along the green country roads of the imagination. Up come the middle notes of cyclamen, nutmeg, carnation, gardenia, cinnamon, jasmine, caraway, sage, rose, geranium and fir. Coming at you so fast like a spring wind in the face with the top down at 65 mile per hour.  At cruising speed you enter the deep and solid dry down.  With traces of the trip trailing behind you the wonderful tobacco and leather are now the majors of the landscape of this scent. They find support in Moss, sandalwood, cedar, amber and musk that just bring a balmy glow to the fragrance. Confident, strong, and entirely masculine and mature this is the best part of the whole Jaguar or Men experience.

(EVEN JAMES BOND FLIRTED WITH A JAG IN “DIE ANOTHER DAY”)

This Jaguar lasts a long time on my skin. The silage is very good. And the best part of this wonderful fragrance is that is won’t cost you very much. The investment I made on this Jag was a mere eighteen dollars. A great sent doesn’t have to be expensive. Go ahead. Take this Jag for a spin, you know you want to. Just one little warning though, you will get noticed and unless you are my niece, that is a good thing.

FOUR GOLD STARS ****

THE ROMAN SUMMER OF MR. LANIER ~ 1881 Men Cerruti

 

In the center of Rome there is an island of green. A haven  of umbrella pines, juniper, lemon and sycamore trees with winding paths, fountains and thousands of roses all flooding the gardens with wonderful smells,. The Borgese Gardens. When high summer takes hold of the city in a stranglehold these gardens seem to be the only cool escape to the Romans. Within this oasis the spray of fountains seem to catch and carry the myriad of fragrances out over Rome adding something magically classic to this classic city.

1881 Men Cerruti has the same effect on me.  The opening to me is a rush of cooling juniper and cypress backed up by carnation, a light citrus note of bergamot complimented by a lilt of lavender. As it warms to its heart notes enter florals ylang-ylang, rose, Lilly of the valley with more citrus from the Vetiver, the garden in bloom. Then in the dry down it smells of warm nights of musk, cedar, pine patchouli and pepper all warmed and rising in the air after sunset which brings it all to a magical finale.

1881 Men Cerru by the famed Italian designer Nino Cerruti is a genuine classic that has lost none of its charm or power over the years. A brilliant addition to any man’s collection. good silage and projection only adds to its appeal.

Five gold stars *****

THAT CERTAIN SOMETHING ~ Molinard Homme II

Thank god for the French, for the need for perfume that developed at Versailles to mask the odors of the over powdered and under washed pre-revolution court of several King Louis.

And thank god for Grasse. These three elements, France, Versailles and Grasse are invaluable to the world of perfume. This, Molinard Homme II is one of the pinnacles of French perfume. It is so incredibly complex and luxe. Rich and frothy vanilla, sharp tangy juniper berries, and rich thickly luxurious gold honey are the major notes I pick up right away. The bourbon vanilla and the honey come up from the base notes and never fade throughout the entire life of the fragrance. All the other notes are more or less a rising and falling Greek chorus that tells the back story to this utterly enjoyable scent. But at center stage though out its performance are the stars of the show, vanilla, juniper and honey.

(LAVENDER FIELDS GRASSE FRANCE)

The 163 year old house of Molinard in Grasse France is famous world wide for some incredible creations. This particular scent was created in 1996 but it seems timeless and new yet speaks of classic masculine fragrances of the past. It is the history of French fragrance in a milk glass bottle. (The bottle by the way is stunningly simple white milk glass with the notes listed in red on the back in French).

Wear this and you are transported to the Hall of Mirrors in Chateau Versailles flirting with some impossibly seductive courtesan, to the Opera house in the center of Paris on opening night of Les Troyens. Splash a little on your wrist and you will find yourself at Maxim’s with your cigar being lit by Collette. A little behind the ears and you will be drinking champagne from the slipper of Jane Avril at Moulin Rouge.

(ZSA ZSA GABOR AS JANE AVRIL ~ MOULIN ROUGE 1952)

Or you may find yourself climbing the stairs up to Sacré-Cœur at dawn with a sparkling flapper. A little spritz on the collarbone and you are toasting the glorious fireworks at the Exposition Universelle from atop the newly opened la Tour Eiffel, or just off the 747 at Charles de Gaulle Airport for your first visit to France. It is all here in this wonderful timeless magical mystery tour of Molinard Homme II. I can’t wait to try I and III!

(EXPOSITION UNIVERSALLE 1889)

The silage is very good and it projects well at about five feet. Last a good 8 to 9 hours on my skin and it elicits brilliant responses from those who were moved to comment on it.  A real find at an incredibly reasonable cost, this is a masterwork of French Perfumery.

(My bottle of Grasse heaven)

FIVE PLUS PLATINUM STARS*****

ON THE TOWN WITH COCO! – Coco Noir by Chanel

“Vous n’auriez pas vu Coco?” 

Not everyone is going to like Coco Noir. After all she is not what they expected. Coco has a reputation in town for being uber-chic and almost always a perfect thing. But tonight she just wants to have fun.

THE OPENING: Bergamot, Grapefruit,

Where is the party Coco? It all begins around 10 pm in a cabaret in Pigale.  Coco Noir is a party girl ripe and ready for flaming a night on the town from one end of Paris to the other. Don’t let the little black dress fool you or the gold jewelry so artfully placed lead you to think she is above scandal and a little naughty fun. Liquor sweet as cotton candy is passed around the club to girls for rent by men who light their cigars with 10 franc notes. Coco likes to mix it up with the hoi polloi and in so doing she finds herself dancing on the bar and singing her old song to the rough customers down from Montmartre.

“You have not seen Coco?

Coco in the Trocadero

Who has seen Coco?

Hey! Coco!  Hey! Coco!

Who has seen Coco?

Hey! Coco!”

The crowed is singing along with her, hands grabbing at the hem of her skirt. They are laughing. She is laughing and ready to move on.

THE HEART: Rose, Jasmine, Narcissus.

It is after midnight when Coco makes her escape in a taxi to the elegant calm of Maxim’s. Her entrance causes a stir among the well dressed upper croissant of Paris. They are ALL talking about her.  Some say she is too much, others that she is not enough and a few that she is heading for a fall. Where she is heading is to a private table for a late supper with a certain special Englishman. Here in the posh Maxims Coco Noir relaxes and enjoys the glamour that she infuses into the scene. All eyes are on her cool elegance as she flirts with the Englishman and sips Champagne cold,  crisp, and bubbly. She may laugh a little too loudly but she doesn’t care.

DRY DOWN: Sandalwood, Olibanum, Vanilla-Tonka Bean, White Musk, Patchouli.

Always the capricious coquette it is now on to the left bank. She and the Englishman along with a few Coco fans cross the river on foot singing her song, this time not quite so fast or as loud.

“Qui qu’a qui qu’a vu Coco?
Eh! Coco!
Eh! Coco!
Qui qu’a qui qu’a vu Coco?
Eh! Coco!”

 

Ending up in Le Chat Noir jazz club just off the Boulevard Saint Germain Coco leans lazily into the crook of the Englishman’s arm.  Softly, dreamily she hums along to the cool slinky jazz sax. She could stay this way for hours, luxuriating in the lush smoky atmosphere of the end of a perfect night on the town. When the hangers on drift away she smiles up at her Englishman then winks.

As they walk arm in arm across the Pont Saint-Michel in the chilly pink dawn Coco Noir rests her head on his shoulder and sings softly to him.

“Qui qu’a qui qu’a vu Coco?”

The opening of Coco Noir  is very bright and fizzy with bergamot and grapefruit. There is the pink fuzzy feel of cotton candy to me in the opening. That passes very fast as the bottom note olibanum snakes up to take its sensuous hold. Then the heart notes rose, jasmine and narcissus come in to play softly and with a stayed elegance enhanced by the grounding geranium and the upwardly moving bottom notes of vanilla and tonka bean. All through this center you get the arrival of the final dry down notes. Fist the sandal wood followed closely by the white musk and patchouli. It has a fine silage and last very long on my skin.

Coco Noir is not dark and mysterious as one might expect from the name and the beautiful black bottle. It is all about sophistication having a bit of fun. This is a scent for a night out including anything from the Opera to a down on its luck nightclub.  Aside from the early cotton candy sensation that is only there for 10 minutes it really is not that overtly feminine so I would say it could be worn by both sexes.

Coco Noir is the kind of mademoiselle that when you wear her at night, anything could happen.

Special thanks to Undina for sending me the sample!

FIVE GOLD STARS ****

JUST THE FACTS MA’AM ~ Frank No.2 by Frank Los Angeles

There is an angry wind from the north that comes down the canyons of Los Angeles like flames from the nostrils of Beelzebub. The autumn wind from the Mohave is as hot as the devils breath and licks relentlessly at windows and doors pushing its sandy heat through any available crack.  It has been known to drive men mad and women to wanton acts of murder.

It rides on the backs of rabid dogs as they scrounge the dry river beds of the Valley for something to bite. It is relentless and even as it leaves the land scraping over Long Beach, Laguna and Doheny out over the waters of the Pacific, not even the great ocean can cool its searing anger. It is called the Santa Ana and it is something to behold.


From the moment I felt the touch of Frank No.2 by Frank Los Angeles on my skin I understood this fragrance as an old friend. In this unique perfume there are the familiar smells I recall from my youth in Los Angeles.  When that old wind begins to howl in the opening it is rich with plum, bergamot and white Lavender, the smell of the fragrant gardens of Southern California. In the heart notes of cognac, coffee, coriander are a boozy mix of the night before as it meets the rich breakfast aromas of the morning.  They do their job to enrich this fragrance and give it a creamy liqueur feeling. How about a shot of cognac in your cappuccino sir?  Further into the scent the wind begins to build and heat up. The resins in Frank No.2 smell to me of sun burned rocks in the desert. The wind from the Mohave picks up that smell and carries it over the mountains where it marries with the aroma of fur trees and other woods. As it blows out of the canyon you are engulfed by the power and force of this aromatic wind. The dry down  is so smoky and comfortable that you just want to linger there for hours.

Frank No.2 is very bold and in your face but in a welcoming open gregarious way that belies its dark noir undercurrent. It is inviting and cozy on the surface but beware the aggressive danger it hides. And indeed though it is listed as a masculine fragrance the plum notes give it a sweet touch that would work well on a woman of urbane sophistication and style that carries danger in her purse like a derringer pistol. It projects well and lasts about six hours on my skin.

(All three illustrations by Glen Orbick)

This warm wind from the desert has been known to dive men mad and women to wanton acts of murder, so if you can’t be good, then go mad with Frank Los Angeles.

FOUR GOLD STARS ****

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