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Cologne Chronicles

Recalling My Humble Beginnings Again

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Okay, I'm going to resume my "Testing 1, 2, 3" posts sometime later this week. It's been almost 2 years, so my nose has been fine tuned a bit, well, just more experienced. I just can't quite identify everything I'm smelling besides the fact that it smells like [insert fragrance here] or if it smells good or not. Anyway...

I was reading this thread and I was inspired to write yet another "this is where I started" post here. Except I decided to recall more details leading up to that eventual 4.2 oz bottle of Le Male I bought 25 months ago (that's 2 years and a month for those of you who are better than me at math).

I had fancied the idea of owning a bottle for years and sometimes would stop by the fragrance counter at a department store at least once or twice to look at stuff. I was normally scared off from entering that area of the store because I kept imagining the SA's randomly spraying stuff on me (like the stereotypes you see on TV or the movies). Prior to that, I was an Axe guy a few years after my bottle of Acqua Di Gio ran out back in 2001. Years later, I had a friend who posted on his blog about getting colognes. That friend ended up buying D&G Light Blue, Z Zegna, and Givenchy Pi. I had no idea what these were at the time. There was talk about Acqua Di Gio in the comments and I thought, "Hey! I used to wear that, it's great." Then I found out nowadays that everyone and their dads have it. Aw nuts, I really liked that one back then and I was gonna get another bottle. I don't want to smell like everyone else.

I only got that self conscious because one time I went to Vegas back in 2005 for SEMA with a bunch of coworkers on a business trip and we all went to the outlets. A coworker was smelling stuff at Perfumania and I smelled something he was going to buy, which was Burberry Weekend. I commented, "This is pretty nice, I might want it too." He straight up said to me, "Man, don't buy what I'm buying, I don't want you to smell like me." I didn't know that was an issue before. Haha. However, to this day, I'm still a bit self conscious when even ONE of my friends has the same bottle. Hell, I even went as far as giving away two bottles just because some friends were interested in getting their own. This happened with L'eau Par Kenzo, Bulgari Aqua, and Geir Ness. Kinda dumb to just give away partial bottles just because of that, now that I think about it. However, I mostly did it out of good will instead of "FINE, if you want it, i don't want it anymore."

I was going through an image overhaul at the time, so not only did the way I dress change during that time, so did how I smelled. I used to throw on XL t-shirts, baggy jeans, and a janky Ecko track jacket that was way too big for me with any sort of basketball shoes I had. Then I switched over to a big city chic style with sweaters, jeans that fit better, and more casual shoes instead of an ugly pair of kicks that are more suited for the black top to play hoops in. I had already been subscribing to GQ Magazine and I finally went back to those old issues and smelled all the magazine strips. There were a few that caught my attention at the time. The featured Burberry trio (Touch, London, Brit), Polo Double Black, and Le Male. So I went researching on the internet for information. First I found an article on (essentially similar to this article). Then I stumbled upon this page. I think I was looking up the keywords, "cologne that ladies love" or something stupid. Anyway, I somehow ended up rubbing the Le Male page on my face just to see how it wears on me. I know, stupid! Everyone's done it at least once, right, RIGHT? I decided on buying a bottle of something. Around that time, somehow I ended up on Basenotes too and read around.

While looking at these sites on my spare time, believe me, I had plenty. I opened up Text Edit (that's like Note Pad for you Windows users) and typed out all the ones that interested me based on description (more like, what I felt would get me chicks). I headed over to Macy's with a small list of things I wanted to try. Platinum Egoiste, Gucci Pour Homme I, Gucci Envy, Armani Code, A*Men, and Terre d'Hermes. I have never smelled any of these before. At the Macy's, the sales associate had no idea what the heck I was asking for when I asked for Terre d'Hermes. They didn't have Gucci Envy or A*Men. Nor did they have Platinum Egoiste on hand either. They had Gucci II, but no Gucci I. I did end up smelling Chrome, Kenneth Cole Black, Armani Code, 212 for Men, and Very Irresistible Fresh Attitude. I only thought Armani Code was interesting. So not all was lost. I walked out feeling a little unaccomplished because I didn't get to smell what I wanted.

So I took a stroll around the mall to clear my head and I noticed the fragrance kiosk that I always walk by on my way to Macy's. I asked the guy manning the counter about Terre d'Hermes, he said he isn't getting anymore shipments of it until the next couple weeks. Man, FINALLY someone who recognized what TdH was. So I asked about Le Male. He said, "Yea, it's great stuff, very smooth. I like it!" Then he said he had a 4.2 oz bottle for $60 after tax and mentioned, "You're not going to get these prices inside of Macy's, I'll tell ya that." Recalling how much I loved sniffing Le Male on the paper strip in a magazine, I bought it. I freakin' bought it. I was so happy about my purchase and got home to post about it. The friend who posted about colognes commented on my post and said, "4.2 oz!? That's a f*cking huge bottle. That'll take you forever to finish. You can only wear that stuff in the winter because it's heavy." and somehow in my head I needed more versatility if I'm going to wear cologne. Which also meant I needed more bottles. That's where it all started.

Updated 22nd January 2010 at 07:28 PM by Hollandaze



  1. Amit's Avatar
    Great read
  2. Surfacing's Avatar
    I have always thought it was important to remember "how it all started". Another fine personnal article, Rawk Lee.


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