Alright: I've approximately one hour to cover this. I will attempt to stay focussed and remain on point. A preface, though, is in order. Mike Perez, we must have some sort of brain wave connection. My entire plot, the one I was meant to explore, you harken with your post above, which, clearly, you were writing at the very moment I was engaged in writing mine. You are aware that this thread is a dream sequence: We are all still air borne, you know. I just happen to be asleep. Rubbed and kneeded into an erotic fantasy by your crew in the Lavender Lounge, my dream progresses. Monsieur de Givenchy. First of all, life is full of coincidences: Rediscovering these two iconic men's scents created under the direction of le Grand Monsieur himself, I have been all but lost in the effluvia of both of them. Today, on my way home, I saw in the window at B's a pair of....gulp. Mandals. Yes. Let it be known that I am not a fan of such things: These make themselves necessary only in Hawaii, where flip flops become so tiresome. As it happened, I quite liked them. Certain and encouraged as I was that I should for once be from safe from my usual suicide-inducing behaviour which any visit to B's will invariably bring on, purposely avoiding the perfume counters all together, bravely I took the lift directly to the shoe department: I have "a guy" up there who is a real gem. He knows my taste (A fondness for Pierre Hardy) and also knows I take an unusual size. As luck would have it, as soon as the lift doors opened, I was face to face with him. "Those.....Oh. You're going to laugh at me. Are you ready? Those.....ugh. I hate even having to say it: Those sandals in the window. The black slavey looking ones: What do you think? Any chance we can locate my size?" Guy: "As a matter of fact I think I may just have it on hand. We have three pairs left. One is in the window, and the other two.....excuse me for a moment." He didn't laugh, but quickly disappeared. I was looking at pocket squares when he emerged with a white box, opened it in front of me, and in it, were a pair of gargantuan black strappy slave sandals. Immediately, I was in a panic. "Now I'm going to have to try them on," I thought. For some reason, this felt...invasive. The department was populated with its usual collection of short, over-dressed ethnic logo-wearing clientele cooing over the usual pair of mercury patent leather Lanvin sneakers, all of whom were now eyeing me suspiciously. "Can I try them on over my socks?" GUY: "Of course!" So-I slipped them on, stood up, walked around. They were a bit tight. Guy: "You should take your socks off. They'll fit better." Me: (Blushing) "Oh. I......ehm......Oh, Ok." (Ethno-logo-posse now all spying on me, with their Louis Vuitton shoulder bags and prada sport trainers, whispering low to each oher in foreign tongues) I peeled my right sock off, slipped my foot in, buckled the buckles, stood up, walked around again: "What do you think? Do my toes hang over?" GUY: (He's magic) "Here: Try this." At this stage he knelt down, and re-fastened my buckles. I was mortified. I have such a devout respect for men who work in shoe departments: When I begin to detest my life, I think of them. Here is this fine man, with his nose mere inches from my bare foot. As it happened, once he worked his buckle trick, the right one fit perfectly, which in and of itself is astounding. "They have been running a full size big: You're in luck. They look great." ME: "really?" GUY: "Very sexy." ME: (one shade redder) "I, you know, really only need them for Hawaii." GUY: "They're perfect for Hawaii." Well, I couldn't ague the point. Out came the black card. When I got home, I hastened to try both on, secretly grabbing at straws for any reason to return them: "My left foot is bigger. I'm sure of it!" thought I, that is, until I pulled the white box out of the black bag. On it, one word: GIVENCHY. Now that, was a digression. What I meant to say, was this: Where to begin? First and foremost, Givenchy Gentleman and Monsieur de Givenchy are fascinating polar opposites. GG seems to reek of patchouli only through the nostrils of men: When they say something, it never fails to be a snide comment involving....you guessed it: "Are you wearing patchouli?" Invariably, I say: "Yep. Buck ninety-nine. Can't beat it." Women, on the other hand, go wild. I can tell, as I read body language very fluently. They bat their eyes. Blush. Smile. Make eye contact on the street. Whatever it is that is in GG, the fairer sex adores it. When it happens that you become their prey, and get caught, they will inhale you with an hunger that is palpable, being attracted to your armpits, and your neck: All of the places you have put it. (My All-Vintage GG Diet: Bubble bath, Soap on a Rope, Deodorant, Aftershave lotion poured copiously then rubbed all over my chest and back and in my hair, massaged into my scalp. Then, before the shirt goes on, two micro spritzes of eau de toilette at the base of my neck, at the shoulder, one on thr lower abdommen: Any more, and it becomes intrusive.) The looks you get when walking around in this fragrant veil are priceless. Naturally, you get the second look: At any rate I always get it, merely because i look as though perhaps I may have escaped from a circus. But in the haze of GG, that second look becomes probing. I have very pale blue eyes, and they are extremely sun sensitive, so outdoors, I am forever wearing polarized dark sunglasses: I can follow the eye contact of any passer by discretely: If I don't turn my head, they don't know I'm watching. There is a look of carnal intrigue, or, failing that, pulsing physical longing that dwells in these looks, and they emanate from the most surprising people: Older, proper looking women, all foulard Hermes and pearls. Young, shy, adolescent girls, turning visibly pink before my eyes as I walk by: Now, lest you all think I am a braggart, I will state point blank I personally find myself repulsive to look at. I am not one to harp on and on about my devastating looks: In fact, it has been pointed out to me many times that I do everything i can to hide myself: I hide behind lots of hair, lots of clothes, and just about anything else I can think of. When I look in the mirror, I sometimes sigh in disbelief. Often, my courage and self-confidence fails me as I brush my teeth in the morning. To the mirror, I have addressed the words: "How can that be me?" many, many times. As I grow older, I have found that I live in a kind of denial, and don't even look into the mirror all that often any more, and when i do, it is to adjust my belt, or straighten my waist coat: rarely do I look at my face. My whole life has been a kind of concerted effort to distract people's gaze from my eyes. Ah, but GG has been a game changer. Not that suddenly I have become brave enough to look at myself. More that suddenly I have become intrigued to witness how others look at me. There is something, something that roars, that is hidden in this juice: There is no question. For my young assistant to look down blushing and tell me that this fragrance I have come to wear, as she put it, "Is makin' my head go all kindsa places," then look back up, frankly terrified, there must be. There is no other explanation. What it is, and how it works, I can not say. My personal theory is that it has something to do with the frank note of beeswax that's in it, as this rings very unusual and produces a singularly suave sillage that is so far above the norm that it simply can not be over looked, except by men: All they can detect is patchouli. Interestingly, I have worn this "Diet" for now close to two weeks and i can not remember once the word "Patchouli" coming out of any feminine lips. The men on the other hand, they can't get over it. In bed, it explodes like a nitrate: Fourteen hours in, and I was exploding scent I never knew I had, and it was clearly thrilling both parties in the room: It seemed to empower me, erase her inhibitions, calling me to push harder, probe deeper, hold the kiss longer, as it was with the flesh on flesh contact that alchemy occurred, and a an humid, magic mist rose up and enshrouded the bed in a kind of chemical haze I can liken only to that of a bottle of poppers circulating on a dance floor: Inhale, you're higher. Inhale again, you're floating. Breathe deeply, nothing else exists except two bodies, spiraling out of control, each intent on invading the other by any means possible. After the storm, the calm of dawn: Monsieur de Givenchy. This has been my "Fall to Earth," chill out scent for the last three days: For three days i have been wearing it, (using the same "Diet," minus the aftershave "lotion," which in M de G I was only able to obtain in "balm," which, being more emollient, cannot be used as an hair tonic. It's a very strange scent. There is no flight to it at all: It proceeds directly to the heart. It is an herbaceous lavender: It smells like nothing else. A fougrere it is not. A bizarre, alien Lavender Soliflore is more what I would call it. There is no sweetness to it whatsoever. Not an hint. "Pour un Homme" or "Jicky," this is not. Nor is it "Eau Sauvage," as many reviews indicate. This scent stands alone and will have inspired many, many copies, none of which match its uncanny elegance: It is the most discrete fragrance imaginable, yet it lasts and lasts and lasts, and this, miracle of miracles, without the slightest suggestion of lavender absolute, which I detest. (Lavender absolute is what's in Pour un Homme, and "Whatever it's Called" by Killian.) For three days, I have wondered: "But...is it sexy?" My answer, I found this evening, on my way home. M de G is sexy this way: There is a band called "the Walkman" who once did a CD called "Everybody Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone." A more sultry make-out circle-player, you will not find. On the cover of this, is a photo of three six or seven year old boys taken during the depression, all of whom are wearing paper boy caps and are smoking cigarettes. It's a sepia tint black and white, grainy image. When you pop the CD in, there blooms a kind of strange world that lasts the entire length of the work; a good 70 minutes. In this world, everything moves at a different pace: the cadence is skewed. Everything seems a bit off kilter. There are waltzes and dances and all you can imagine are old, dusty interiors full of derelict furniture and a band of horny misfits that live in them that just happen to be wildly attractive. Alternately, It is sexy this way: If you look, you may find some Edwardian porn. Edwardian porn is equally strange and off kilter because the men in it are always half dressed, while the women are quite naked: The women are obviously prostitutes, as some of them are quite beautiful, and the men are all disguised: Along with copious amounts of absurdly styled facial hair, they wear bowler hats, black knee socks with garter belts, and, invariably, some form of cover over their eyes which can take the form of a masque outright, dark, round sunglasses, even blindfolds. Sometimes, they are only seen from the back. They are often either noticeably gaunt, or slightly rotund, and usually quite hairy. While they engage in their trysts with their ladies, who will feign delight, surprise, horror, lust, according to the plot, as there always seems to be a plot, the men smoke cigars, or puff deeply on long, Dutch pipes. The images are grainy, and the movements do not follow the norm we have come to know today. There are black outs and spots, pauses and cuts: Then, out of a moment of stillness, there they are: The disguised smoking men gang raping the buxom, wide-hipped maiden, who, again, according to the plot, is either enjoying it, or fighting it off with terror: If M de G is sexy, it is sexy in this hazy, bizarre, David Lynch "Erasurehead" sort of way, just like the tiny lady who lives in the radiator and emerges from time to time to do her little, sultry burlesque dance. M de G is indeed soporific: Upon application it calms you in a very noticeable way, makes everything go just one beat off. (My dear friend Merely says it makes him "feel like an inavalid." It blows on you like dust. Do what you will over the course of the day, and it will follow you, and never fade, playing all the while it's strange, decadent, grainy waltz, shutter-lit but without ever being discordant, because as soon as it is on you, you are marching to its beat, like it, or not. Ladies, Gentlemen: I give you here are two very powerful scents.