I GOT A LITTLE STORY I THINK YOU SHOULD KNOW…For Men Michael Kors 2014

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(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. “

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“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.”

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***

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.

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FOR MEN MICHAEL KORS Five Gold Stars.

Press play to hear Robbie Williams sing One For My Baby.

THE IMAGINARY LUNCH ~ L’Orchidée Terrible by Imaginary Authors

IA-logo360 Jessie StreetDOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO and 360 JESSIE STREET

Thrown into the hubbub holiday downtown crowd in the just after noon madness of  New Years Eve Robert was hungry. Usually he had an idea of where he would have lunch on a launch into a shopping excursion.  Yet this wasn’t really an excursion but rather a hop off on his way home on the holiday half day to pick up a few needed items at the new Super Walgreens on Powel Street. His stomach reminded him that it needed more than a muffin from Pazzo and three cups of coffee if it was going to allow him to buy some shampoo and then window shop at Bloomingdales.

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The Food Court at the Westfield San Francisco Centre was overstuffed with Christmas Break teenagers. He passed on through. Mels Dinner? Not in the mood for burgers and American Graffiti memorabilia. As he strolled through the perfume solon of Bloomingdales to the back door to Mission Street he suddenly thought of the perfect place to lunch.

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Just off of busy 5th Street at 360 Jessie Street Robert was standing at the door to The Cavalier reading the menu posted behind glass.  It looked very inviting and reasonable of an upscale menu. Oysters on the Half, Wild Mushroom Pie. Pork and Beef Bangers! The hostess was smiling at him though the open doors within the cozy darkness of the interior.

“Just one for lunch.”  he said with a well practiced “male model” smile. That’s who he would be for lunch he decided as the decidedly very beautiful young woman lead him into the main dining room.

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“Is this your first time with us?” she asked as they reached the table under the tall arching windows.

“Yes, I am thinking of bring friends here so I thought I would try it out on my own.”

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He tossed his Michael Kors tote onto the black leather banquet and settled in next to it. As he shuffled off his black wool Brooks Brother’s overcoat he looked around the room. The place was new but looked old, and English and very well appointed with a long elegant bar in the front room, shinny black oak walls hung with horsy etchings of very British horsey bent. The back room was more of the same but with a red instead of black leather banquet that ran along the wall. Robert was intrigued with what looked like stable doors opposite where he sat. Tall blond waiters slid the doors open just wide enough to disappear momentarily and then reappear to sally forth into the dining room like runway models on a mission.

“My name is Alan” Robert looked up to half smiling and very poised young waiter who placed the menu and wine list in front of him. “Would you like some water sir?”

After he ordered Lamb Scrumpets, only to be gently reminded that they were appetizers, Robert settled on Fish and Chips. He watched Alan glide away and thought that he was so graceful that he just might be the most elegant waiters in the City.  He opened his tote and pushed aside his copy of hit book of the season, L’Orchidée Terrible by his favorite French author, Audrey Blavot he found his mini iPad and jumped onto Twitter.

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Ditta Von Teese was tweeting about a photo shoot.  Make up master Wayne Goss was thanking his YouTube subscribers for a wonderful year. Ralph Lauren, Paris Review, Nina Garcia were ringing in the new year early. Sarah Colonna hoped that 2014 would bring the Angels to the World Series and a win. Then He popped up!

“I used to spend countless hours picking out which outfit I was going to throw up all over on New Years Eve.”

It was Roberts’s favorite Hollywood Twitter Wit, Tony Gee.

Tony Gee: My New Years resolution is to just continue being fabulous.

RobertSF: @TheTonyGee that is not a resolution, that is a manifesto!

Tony Gee: @RobertSF you speak the #truth.

RobertSF: @TheTonyGee At lunch at The Cavalier and it is #TonyGeefabulous! Handsome waiters, want a photo?

TonyGee: Need I ask?

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TonyGee: Why is the waiter trying to escape?

RobertSF: That’s the back room.

TonyGee: What kind of place is this that has a back room?

RobertSF: A San Francisco kind of place. The Cavalier is the new IN spot in the City.

TonyGee: if you are there it is the IN spot.

RobertSF: You must come up sometime for lunch.

TonyGee: I will hire a private jet.

RobertSF: You will make a sensation when you enter the joint.

TonyGee: I make a sensation where ever I go even if it is just to the bathroom.

RobertSF: Oh yes, I forgot, you must be so very tired of causing glamour riots.

TonyGee” not at all, in fact I thrive of inciting glamour riots.

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When lunch arrived Robert sent Tony an Instagram of what he was about to consume. They had a wonderful time, the two friends who had never met in real life being WI-FI wits over fish and chips followed by piping hot coffee and doubly delicious Double Crusted Crumble. The age had arrived when one can lunch with someone who isn’t even there.

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Nowadays, when you can have lunch with a friend who isn’t there, you can also wear a scent inspired by a book that doesn’t exist.  The perfume house of Imaginary Authors is all about just such an imaginative approach to perfume. Each scent is named after a book and has a back story centered around the book and its author. Now that is taking the idea of fragrance as a story in a bottle to the maximum level. What could be more fragrant fun than that?

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AUDREY BLAVOT

1919 – 1999

Josh Meyer is the nose behind the house and I am happy to report that his work is beginning to find a lot of love with fragrance bloggers and YouTube reviewers. The big hits right now are Memoirs Of A Trespasser, and the just released Cape Heartache. Both are lovely to say the least, but I want to give some love to another in the line. The tragically beautiful L’Orchidée Terrible.  The “book” on which this perfume is inspired by is the tale of Honey Martine, English fashion model on a glamorous downward spiral in the fashion houses of Paris in the 1950’s.  And it quite possibly could be a thinly disguised autobiography of the author Audrey Blavot. Now what more could you ask for from an inspiration? High Glamour, high tragedy and haute couture are the order of the day.

The perfume opens with a nod to Ernest Beaux and the French Style with brilliant streamlined and modern aldehydes which do not fizz like champagne but pop like flashing paparazzi flashbulbs to announce the arrival of a star to center stage.  Clad in the synthetic but lovely note of Satin our star slithers over the skin awash in notes of golden honey, with a spray of muguet in her upswept hair. This is all in service to a sweet powdery orchid whose beauty is undeniable and the star note of the perfume.   What holds it all together and keeps it from careening into what would be a tragic over sweetness is the base of clean and warm white musk. It is scrubbed in white musk. It is very unique and at times angular, like the legendary supermodel of the 1950’s Dovima. The angularity of this perfume is what makes it so modern and fresh. L’Orchidée Terrible is all high cheekbones, poise and chic with a hint of danger in the undertones.

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Dovima

It remains linear on my skin and after the first hour moves in close lasting about seven hours. Like most niche perfumes L’Orchidée Terrible is marketed for both men and women. But to me it is walking the catwalk in heels and a ball gown.  But I suppose on the right guy on the right occasion it can be white tie and tails. Where ever it falls on the gender scale with your nose it is a beauty that should be explored. In fact the entire house of Imaginary Authors invites discovery and exploration.

L’Orchidée Terrible by Imaginary Authors Five Gold Stars *****

Orchidee

IMAGINARY AUTHORS: http://www.imaginaryauthors.com/

THE CAVALIER: http://thecavaliersf.com/

Address: 360 Jessie St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone:(415) 321-6000
FOLLOW TONY GEE ON TWITTER
HE IS LOADS OF FUN!
@theTonyGee

THE BEYOND ~ Au Delà by Bruno Fazzolari Editions

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Glinting in the winter morning light, freshly varnished and perfectly manicured nails drummed on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. They were exactly the same shade of Vreeland red as the magazine with a laughing Kate Hudson on the cover. She was unaware of this little serendipity of color as she looked out over her vast living room to the snow dusted terrace that hung twenty eight floors above 5th avenue.

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New Years Eve morning. L’Ascension by Olivier Massiaen was playing on the radio.  She sighed, and flipped open Harper’s Bazaar. A beautiful girl with a perfume bottle, The page turned. “Kate Hudson gets festive in this season’s hottest styles. Welcome to Holiday Glamour……”  And indeed the actress looked very festive and hot and stylish and all the rest. Turned page. Chanel models in Chanel, Page on to Dior bags followed by Louis Vuitton.  A blond having too much fun being a blond in Michael Kors. The smile that made Julia Roberts a mega star smiled over her shoulder from the page for Lancôme. Still a pretty woman.  Austere Armani, proud Prada, Gucci Gucci Gucci. Any other day it would have been fun, like it always was.  Magazine meandering usually ended up in a trip down 5th to Bergdorf, then Barneys and always Bulgari for a bauble. She tossed the magazine aside and sank back into the silk over stuffed pillows of her now back in style Michael Taylor sofa.

Another Sigh. The sun shifted and a beam bounced off the ice on the terrace banister, glance a crystal on the chandelier and hit the facets of her pale violet diamond Deco inspired engagement ring. All twelve of the flawless carats caught fire. She lazily wiggled her ring finger and watched Tiffany & Co. dance within the stone. She pushed against the pillows, rose up from the sofa and tightened the sash on her Stefano Pilati silk robe.

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The deep pile of the Nepalese rug caressed her toes as she sauntered to the terrace doors to look out to the West over Manhattan. She had hours to get ready before dinner at the Waldorf Astoria. Hours to think. The trees in the park encrusted from the ice storm the night before looked like a Swarovski forest from Doctor Zhivago. Beautiful and cold, it looked as if there were wolves down there howling at the silver plated sky. Only last month she had been warm in San Pancho under the November sun on the Nayarit coast of Mexico. She met Jane and Earl Miller and fell in love with them when she went to stay at their little hotel. Getting to know them as she lounged by the pool at Roberto’s Bungalows was when it began, slow and steady and building over Thanksgiving and into December. The realization that she wanted what they had. She couldn’t put her finger on just what made their marriage seem authentic and real. But she knew now that she would not find that kind of love staring at her across the well appointed table at the Waldorf on New Years Eve.

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Late in the afternoon as she applied the finishing touches to her make-up she felt terrible for what she was about to do.  She knew he would not understand, she understood that he thought he loved her. She realized nether he or she had any idea what love was really about. Finished dressing by five-thirty she called for her car, put the engagement ring into its box and into her purse. There was only one thing more to do. She looked at the array of perfumes on her vanity. She picked up the small unassuming bottle of Au Delà and applied it to her wrist and neck. The old world yet modern beauty of the perfume enfolded her, comforted her, and promised of life to live beyond tonight. It whispered very softly just behind her ear “…the beyond.” She smiled for the first time, just a tiny hint of a smile really. After Auld Lang Sine she would be free to find out who she really was.

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(Bienvenidos paraíso, Roberto’s Bungalows) 

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Au Delà by perfumer and artist Bruno Fazzolari is something very special. I first smelled it along with the other perfumes of his initial launch into the perfume world last March at San Francisco Artisan Fragrance Salon. You can read about that event in my post, “Meeting The Magicians ~ SF Artisan Perfume Salon 2013”.

Au Delà immediately struck me as a fabulous perfume that recalled the great days of the house of Dior in the early 50’s. It is so reminiscent of such beauties as the old original Miss Dior. Not the silly girl she has become today in her reformulations but the beautiful confident woman she was at the dawn of post war glamour. I have to give credit to Hilary Randal who was the one to pinpoint for me what I was smelling in that bottle of Au Delà that day back in March.

Bruno has in his collection all of which was released in 2013, Lampblack, Jimmy, Five, Monserrat,  It’s Better Not To Worry Abut It and Au Delà. Each are exquisite and should be explored by any and every perfume lover, but for me Au Delà is the masterpiece of the line. It is the goddess in a bottle, the essence of French chic created by and artist who grew up in both in France and the United States.

This perfume was inspired by one of the major French composers of the 20th Century, Olivier Massiaen. And in this inspiration there is music, glorious music. To equate this fragrance to the inspiration just listen to L’Ascension by Massiaen and you have the tones and notes of this perfume.

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(Au Delà is right for any woman with the slightest chic)

It opens with a simple clear, glowing note of coriander. This note is almost immediately obliterated by an unfolding song from a beautiful jasmine that is wreathed with Neroli and orange blossoms. This plays its melody with increasing sensuality as it is aroused by the arrival of the base notes of Amber, Oakmoss and something magical created by Bruno known as Immanence. Immanence is a fantasy note that is as ephemeral as a dream and as real as fairy dust. It is the God note that encompasses everything and exists in all creation. It is there in the base of the perfume and gives it wings, shimmering wings on which to fly.

NYC Man(Au Delà is perfect for a man with great personal style)

This Chypre is indolic, intoxicating and inspiring. It loves to live on the skin of both men and women and in so doing finds the essence of male or female sensuality in the meeting of perfume to flesh. Since its release Au Delia has won both the Gold Medal for Top Artisan Perfumer at the International Artisan Fragrance Awards and the Gold Medal at the San Francisco Artisan Fragrance Salon.

I found this award winning perfume to be sublime with a respectable sillage and good longevity. You can find it at Bruno’s Webpage and at Tigerlily in San Francisco. Tigerlily is the first brick and mortar store to carry Bruno Fazzolari Editions. For a debut perfumer Au Delà is exceptional and I look forward to watching Bruno Fazzolari’s journey as an up an coming perfumer.

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Au Delà by Bruno Fazzolari Editions  Five Gold Stars *****

BRUNO FAZZOLARI WEBSITE: http://brunofazzolari.com/

TIGERLILY: Love & Luxe

(Tigerlily pop-up)

1169 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA94110

Hours: 12 – 6 Wed, Thurs
11 – 7 Fri, Sat
12 – 5 Sun

415 648 7781
info@loveandluxesf.com

ROBERTO’S BUNGALOWS: http://robertosbungalows.com/

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Listen to L’Ascension by Olivier Massiaen

MICHAEL by MICHAEL KORS

Michael by Michael Kors is a rich elegant and utterly sophisticated scent for any gentleman of discerning style and taste. Hitting notes of leather, tobacco, and plum it has the feel of tony aristocratic mahogany paneled New York men’s clubs, or a brisk walk to the boathouse in Central Park in the golden glow of a late afternoon in autumn. Certainly not for everyone, least of all a kid, this is strictly for a man who knows just who he is and where he is going.

Five Gold Stars *****

UPDATE: It has an incredible longevity ~ If I were it in the evening it is still going strong the next morning. The stars of the fragrance are the plum and the tobacco notes. They give the perfume a deeply rich full really masculine punch. The silage is wonderful too. Michael is a real complement getter.

We all enjoyed Michael Kors on “Project Runway” his quick wit and his eagle eye for detail. He was a great addition to that show. Wish they would bring him back.

(Michael Kors)

08/06/12 Update: Michael Kors along with Nina Garcia and Heidi Klum are all back with the wonderful Tim Gunn!

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