MOTHER AND THE MOVIE STAR ~ Vince Camuto for Men

My mother had style. One summer in 1977 I went up to visit my mother in Washington State where she now lives. And on this particular afternoon about which I am going to tell you we went into Seattle to Pioneer Square for lunch and a little sightseeing. You know, “Underground Seattle” and all of that tourist stuff that we love to do in other cities but loath to do in our own.


  We entered a smart eatery on the Square and were seated in the greenhouse which was covered with lilac vines. Our seat was by the door and we faced into the dinning room. It must have been a ladies who lunch convention for the entire room was packed with middle-aged women dressed to the nines. I was the only man in the room except for a man  facing us alone on the other side of the greenhouse seated next to the door to the interior dining room and the kitchen.

As mother and I settled into our seats and were handed those huge old fashioned menus you can hide a Buick behind we noticed an air of excitement in the room. The place was positively atwitter. Like when a tomcat gets into the giant birdcage at the zoo. The tomcat in this case was the lone gentleman facing us.

I lowered my menu to see what all the hubbub was about.

“Mother don’t be obvious but isn’t that Cesar Romero over there?”

Mother peeked over her menu. “Why yes Lanier, I think it is.” The menu went back up. “I am having the Salmon, what about you?”

Cesar Romero was a romantic Latin matinee idol of the movies back around the time when my mother was a little girl, the 1930’s. That day in Seattle he certainly had not lost one iota of his charm or Movie Star looks. He was indeed impossible not to notice, and he was making sure that the entire room knew he was there. He must have carried his own personal key light where ever he went and it was always turned on. You could not ignore him. There he was a real 24 carat Hollywood Star like they didn’t make anymore.



The women in the restaurant were making regular pilgrimages to his table and nearly curtsying as they asked for his autograph. He was gracious to each of them and gave his signature on napkins and old envelopes with a blazing smile.  Mother lowered her menu and that was when he saw her. One eyebrow shot up and his tractor beam of white hot glamour narrowed from the entire room to just her. He spent the entire lunch trying to get her attention. All eyes shifted to our table and the twittering doubled.  Mother played it cool and never gave him an inch. For me this was a revelatory treat. My mother could play a movie star like he was a smitten teenaged boy. Neither of us even acknowledged what was happening. By the end of lunch the trickle of ladies to Mr. Romero’s table had subsided. They were transfixed over cold plates just waiting for something to happen.

The check came. Despite my protest mother insisted on paying for lunch. When we rose to leave the place was like a tomb. It was so quiet you could hear a mouse pass gas. Suddenly there was the sound of wooden table legs scarping across the floor. Everyone turned toward the sound. Cesar Romero was standing at his table. He bowed elegantly to my mother. The ladies some with their mouths agape all turned their heads to my mother. At the door to the square she half turned and gave him a hint of a smile and a nod then swept out with me in her wake.

Safely outside we burst into laughter. Then it hit her.

“My god! That was Cesar Romero!”

“And he was flirting with YOU!”

“You don’t suppose I could have had an affaire with Cesar Romero do you?” She said all giggles and suddenly sixteen again.

“Maybe mom, but what you just had in there was probably a lot better than an affaire.”

We laughed about it all the way home.


Vince Camuto the new men’s cologne by American shoe designer Vince Camuto is just the kind of fragrance you would imagine a man like Cesar Romero would wear. From the uber masculine glamour of it’s leather clad bottle design with its silver “wax” seal and gun metal top and cap it is a stunner to look at. It would look good in the dressing room of any star from 1930 to today.

The bold gorgeous bottle gives the impression that you are in for a big show, “Major Studio Premiere Tonight” kind of thing. This Woody Aromatic perfume opens brightly and all smiles for the camera with a delicious pop of pepper, bergamot and mandarin orange.  At first I thought, oh here we go this is going to be a powerhouse masculine scent. But no, the opening is misleading. Like popping flashbulbs at a 1940 movie premiere it’s what comes after the red carpet entrance that counts. The three starlet openers of pepper, bergamot and mandarin drop way within twenty minutes, enter the real stars of lavender, nutmeg and a new fresh smooth leather.  It becomes subtle and soft like beautiful Spanish leather boots. It takes its time and holds back just enough to be enticing. Like a big close-up at just the right moment. The leather is sumptuous and sensuous how appropriate considering the house of Camuto is all about shoes. It moves closer to the skin in the dry down of musk, patchouli, vetiver and wood keeping the subtle masculine aura alive though to the fade out and…. The End.

Vince Camuto has a wonderful old world meets old Hollywood feeling. It is made of elusive star shine and a dash of the stuff that dreams are made of. Like Romero’s tractor beam of glamour Vince Camuto narrows its focus fairly quickly and then stays on track for about seven hours of wear. Never pushy or loud or the kind of fragrance that calls out for the paparazzo’s attention, I find that Vince Camuto does not wear you. When you wear it, you, not the fragrance are the star.





  1. What a wonderful story! Thanks for making my Sunday.

    • Oh David! You are so very welcome…enjoy the rest of the day.

  2. Truly an amazing story! Your mother is one cool cat. Tha k you for sharing!

    • Yes Miss Ellen is to this day a wonder to me. I have always been a fan.

  3. Your father was a handsome man, and your mother is my new heroine. That is a fantastic story, Lanier.

    • Thank you Madame! Yes mother said she fell for dad because he reminded her of Clark Gable. She divorced him because he was not Clark Gable. My step-dad who did not look like a movie star turned out to be the best dad and husband on earth. Like mom says, “Handsome is as handsome does.”

  4. What a great tribute to your family, Cesar Romero and the scent itself. Just reading your post I can imagine the smell. I love Camuto’s shoes and now you’ve got me wondering what the scent is like. I’ll have to give it a whiff.

    • Thanks Magical. Vince Camuto also has a woman’s fragrance that came out earlier. I would love to smell that one too. Hope you like Vince Camuto for Him when you get a whiff.

  5. What a wonderful story, Lanier! Your mother sounds like a lovely lady!

    • Thank you Marie! She is lovely. I’ll post a photo later.

  6. Thank you! A bedtime story of white hot glamour – you are the best! Here’s a story of being in a star’s tractor beam… I was on set visiting my husband one evening during a night shoot, and at midnight we all congregated in the catering tent for lunch, it was a particularly cold night for Southern California and the very kind wardrobe supervisor saw me shivering and handed me a huge warm red parka, possible four sizes too big, with a shaggy fur lined hood, which I immediately pulled on and snuggled into. Then I noticed George Clooney staring at me, really staring at me, from across the crowded room, not only was it crowded, but Mr. Clooney seemed to be at the nexus of a mass of people. But, he kept looking my way… when it suddenly dawned on me… he was probably wondering who the girl was with the raccoon draped over her head. 😉

    • I am sitting here in my Edwardian bay window just laughing and loving your story. You are my Scheherazade of the south land. Thank you dear Miss Vickie.

  7. HA HA HA! Good on her! I am smiling so broadly. Is that story honest to goodness true? I love it either way.
    Portia xx

  8. Way to go, Mom! I love it. Lanier, you are a heckuva storyteller.

    • Ah Heck! thanks Dionne.

      • I’m chuckling now, because my “heckuva” wasn’t originally typed that way, but I decided to err on the side of caution. (My teenagers grumble that I curse too much, I kid you not.) So instead I usually decide to embrace my Clark Kent side and its kitschy charm, dabnabit!

  9. What a great story. They don’t make those old Hollywood suave men anymore…well, maybe George Clooney??!

    • Yes you are so right. I think George Clooney is a throwback to the days of the golden age of movies.

  10. That is a great story. Your mom sounds fabulous. Honestly, he sounds pretty awesome too to be gracious to all those women pestering him. Plus he stood up when your mom was leaving! Oh, to go back to a time when people had manners like that… Yeah, I’m an old lady at heart.

    • Yes lets go back for a day! Where is my key to my way back machine? It was a wonderful day worth reliving. .

  11. What a fantastic story! (And a great photo of your dad, too) I’m glad to hear the VC for Men is so nice, as the one for women is awful. Following the smashing success of your recc of Midnight in Paris, I will have to smell this when I see it, whereas before I would have passed it by.

    • Hi there Natalie! Oh you liked Midnight In Paris? I am so glad. I just hope VC will be to your liking. It is very subtle on my skin. Other reviewers think it is more out there. Funny how that works.

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