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2 M∀NLY!

2 MN - by Comme des Garçons

Gather round, esteemed readers! There is something new swirling in this part of the fragrance world - and it ain't what you think! A new scent is taking over at the local fashion emporium, Red's Lumberyard! No, it's not the pig farm next door, although that was certainly a close contender. No - this scent is definitely not Skatole For Men. Like a good DiGiorno's pizza, it's it's. it's French. Yes, that's right. Created by Japanese fauxshionistas, bottled in Spain, and sold in a pseudo-early American apothecary - everything that a good French odey coloney requires. Whoops! Pardon my French. I meant eau de toilette.

What is this elixir of the gods? What is this fragrance which now has a grown man fighting with his own fashion sensibility - which is telling him that that he can't wear it every single day? What sort of scent has Red's Lumberyard looking like a cross between Project Runway and a Civil War reenactment?

2 MN - by Comme des Garçons! A fragrance so manly, even the men are running in fear!

What are people saying about this scent? Well, we decided to investigate. Rather than just grabbing some stuff off the internet and sticking (AP) in front of it, we decided to do what we do whenever the cable goes out. We hit the streets and actually talked to people. If you can believe THAT.

We encountered our first source when we drove our Ford Falcon through the chain-link fence over by the guard-dog shack on Red's service road. I must say, the guard person sure was a noisy chap. I think his name is actually Shadrach Meshach Abednego Hatfield-McCoy, although people around town generally just call him Billy. We asked Billy what he liked about this new 2 MN fragrance.

"Hell, boy. Ain't it obvious? It don't smell like some high-falutin' French co-lo-nee, probably made by a couple of Japanese girly-boys named mommy-moto or sissie-wawa or somethin' even girlier. No sirree Bob. This smells like a man needs to be wearin' it. Not some. What'd you say your name was, boy?"

Feeling the need for more in-depth research, possibly using other sources, we hit the accelerator and proceeded to the main warehouse behind Red's. Parking rather abruptly beneath a seemingly random structure made of some kind of loose lumber, we were greeted by another noisy employee, apparently of the fairer sex, although she otherwise appeared to be a lumberjack. When she was done with more introductions, we informed her that we were a journalist, and that she'd get her picture in the Muskrat Bend Tribulation if she wanted to go easy on our ears and talk about perfume instead of parking formalities. Apparently pacified by this, she informed us that her name was Reddina Mae Fiwasachic, and proceeded to get all talky on us.

"Though I would say that Comme des Garçons 2 Man is a predominantly masculine fragrance in the classical sense, vis-à-vis its traditionally masculine wood and smoke notes, this is not to say that it's unwearable by women. In the same way that Comme des Garçons 2 is really rather unisex, this one is surprisingly wearable by women. True, the floral notes that make the quote-feminine-unquote version so compelling are absent, but this one has an ambery aspect that is, frankly, rather seductive - almost voluptuous. I would say it definitely has the warm feel of an oriental. Moreover, the parallels to the previous scent are unmistakable. Admittedly, the eau de toilette strength of 2 Man doesn't really compensate for the loss of the striking richness that one gets from the earlier eau de parfum. Still, it's a wonderful fragrance that I can easily recommend to anybody."

In our journalistic investigatory examination of Reddina Mae's hindquarters, we noted that she had a bottle of 2 Man in her back jeans pocket. She told us that this parkage of the packaging was one of the things she liked best about the fragrance.

"After suffering through a leaky bottle of Hinoki, I was fully prepared for another packaging disaster here. How wonderful that this bottle isn't only safe to lay on its side - it's actually designed to be laid down. Rounded on all corners, widening toward the top, and slightly flattened on one side, it's virtually a perfect fit for a jeans pocket. Whether this was Rei Kawakubo's intent or not, it's simple, beautiful, and lovely in Kawakubo's typically unlovely way. The asymmetrical alignment of the spray head - the crudely scratched 2 - the slight cloudiness of the glass it's as if imperfection is raised to a new standard of art, like an anti-Navaho rug - all defect and one perfect spot and you can't quite figure out where that spot is. Some would argue that the design has been overused on the line, but once you've owned one of these bottles, you will surely realize just how wrong it would be to abandon the design."

"And while I'm mentioning Hinoki, it would be wrong not to mention the similarities of the scents. It is impossible to smell Comme des Garçons 2 Man and not catch a small bit of the distinctive woody accord found in Monocle Scent One: Hinoki."

Knowing that this fragrance was somewhat hard to come by, we asked Ms. Fiwasachic if she would be willing to part with her bottle. We offered a reasonable sum of cash in unmarked 20's - and in an amount generally not turned down by our volunteer celebrity photographic unit.

"Talk to the saw, paper-boy!"

Feeling the need for a third opinion, we departed both the vehicle and the über-modern parking garage through the passenger window, and proceeded directly to the sales office, presumably housing one or more sane employees. Wrong on that score, we at least noted that the folks there didn't appear to be as well-armed.

"Dude! You have got to frag up with this stuff! It's, like, so wearable. I can wear it 3 days in a row, no prob. And with the shampoo and other products? Totally! I gotta tell you, it's the bomb!"

Finally meeting a sensible employee - a part-time receptionist named Rodrigo "Rojo" Rojas, we noted that he was also in possession of 2 Man, despite his apparently drug-induced contention that it was an explosive device. Accepting his offer to "frag up", as the kids must be saying, we took the opportunity to liberally apply CdG 2 Man.

"Like, I didn't mean use half the bottle."

Having actually used 3/5 of the bottle, I took the opportunity to correct this minor error. Apparently, he was not amenable to correction, and bid us adieu.

"Dude - you need to, like, see a doctor or something."

Asking for a recommendation, he directed me to a rather stinky room which - surprisingly - did not say "MEN" on the door. Apparently, this was the laboratory of one Reedneck Prefumistico, supposedly a scientist of some type. Peeking around a green curtain, we saw him busily mixing various chemicals in small vials, while intermittently waving handfuls of white paper strips in front of his nose. He spied us and waved us in.

(continued in Part 2)