(painting by Zachary Johnson)
He was down. Way way down in the 20s on 8th Avenue in a little dive called, “Set Um’Up”. And you guessed it; the bartender’s name was Joe. Can you believe it? It was three in the morning and it was just Joe and me and him. I hung around way after the place had cleared of its regular flies because of him. He was big, BIG big. One of the biggest stars on Broadway, only nobody recognized him here cause of the puffy eyes and three days of stubble on that matinee face of his. The face that made the ladies pony up nearly two hundred dollars for the first row of any show he was in. Besides, what would he be doing here so far from the Upper East Side and the bright lights of, well you get the idea. His million dollar smile was nowhere to be seen. Cause he was down, way way down.
I was just close enough to hear his story as Joe poured him another scotch. It was on the rocks. He laughed when Joe pointedly shoved him the drink.
“I guess I like it that way,” Mister Broadway said. “my scotch and my love life….on the rocks.”
I fed the juke box some quarters and picked what I though would be the right kind of blue note.
A peanut hit me in the back of the head. “Thanks buddy…that was our song.” He shot me a weak version of his star bright smile. “What are you drinkin’?” He didn’t wait for my answer, too worse to care. He just went on bending our ear with the story.
“You see it isn’t easy finding love under the microscope of fame. You just can’t trust um’. Any of um. But this one Joe was solid. Not in the Biz. Don’t ever fall for someone who acts for a living guys. That brake up is over the bathroom mirror…most times. If not that then it is because of that old Star Is Born cliché. What are ya gonna do? It is what it is. “
“Yeah but this one was different, didn’t even know who I was when we met. I didn’t believe it at first. Thought it was an act to get next to me. You’d be surprised what some jerks do to date a star. Or, maybe you wouldn’t be surprised. But no Joe, it was the real thing. I mean the REAL thing….ya know?”
“Things were going great. As great as they can when you’ve swallowed the hook. As Margo Channing once said, the honeymoon was on. When there was a big show biz event did that matter? Nope “let’s go camping upstate? Or drive out to that little bed and breakfast at Montauk. I just want to be with you.” We had even set a date…..you can do that now you know…when you fall in love too easily.” He lifted his half empty glass to his lips and scrutinized the ice. “It is what it is.”
“What happened?” I said and caught Joe rolling his eyes. He must have heard it all before.
“What happened?” His eyes got all cloudy. “Yeah, what happened?”
For a minute it got too quite, all except for Sinatra singing soft and low.
“Yeah, that’s my cue….I gotta go.” The wounded star slid of the bar stool and gave me a short last curtain bow. Then insinuated his way through the tables and stacked chairs to the door. He turned the door half open to the chilled black autumn morning.
“Thanks Joe.” He gave us a half hearted two fingers to the brow salute and then at last that million dollar smile that slays the ladies from the front row to the back of the top balcony. “Funny thing is….his name is Joe too.”
For Men by Michael Kors after a rocky start has been re-released. The wait was worth it. It is a melancholy sophisticated love song singed around the edges with a bit of a broken heart. It is smoky and moody, lush a mix of cocktails and regret and in the end filled with a longing for something lost and just beyond ever finding again. It is beautiful.
This masculine fragrance is perfect for fall and winter. It is magnificent on a man but boy could a woman wear it well and smell great. It would be the olfactory equivalent to a woman wearing her boyfriend’s crisp white dress shirt with jeans. Or nothing but the shirt. Effortless and elegant on both sexes in ether a formal night out for theater and a late cold supper or on a sunny fall picnic in Central Park. It works so well for any setting. That’s what I love about Michael Kors clothes and his two fragrances in his men’s lineup. The nose is Harry Freemont who also created among many fragrances CK One for Calvin Klein, Modern Muse for Estee Lauder and Grey Vetiver Eau de Toilette for Tom Ford, and of course the fist men’s fragrance for Michael Kors, Michael.
It opens with a dominant and beautiful star anise, which shines in a dark kind of glamour as the coriander, thyme and pepper buzz just below this star giving it that signature you will recognize from the opening of Michael from 2001. There bergamot that is there is very light and almost imperceptible to my nose but what is wonderful is the addition of the elemi that adds a smoky sweet melancholy to the opening and sets everything up for what is to come.
The fragrance moves into its mid notes with the most wonderful twisting tendrils of incense that rise up like a cobra from a snake charmers basket. But there is also something wonderful in that basket, a wreath of sage and the smoothest richest suede note I have smelled in a long time. It is simply entrancing and here is where the beauty of the fragrance departs from the generic designer signature and enters into the realm of fine perfume in a classic style.
The dry down comes on with the masculine lines of fine polished wood, a nearly caramelized sandalwood, lush rich layers of patchouli and musk add just the right light to the fade out and final curtain of this fragrance.
Now for some the bad news comes here. The longevity on my skin is not great, around four to six hours. The sillage is moderate which depending on your taste and personal style can be a good or bad thing. But for me this is not a make or break issue since I am a proponent of the liberal and lively art of the re-apply. Being a designer scent the cost is very reasonable for what you get. A beautiful men’s fragrance that can take you uptown, downtown and all around in great style.
FOR MEN MICHAEL KORS Five Gold Stars.
Press play to hear Robbie Williams sing One For My Baby.