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Thread: Thursday...

  1. #1

    Default Thursday...

    So I didn't know really what to call this thread, and I don't even know why the hell I'm writing this thread...

    On Thursday I was getting ready for work. I had a jonesin' for something with tobacco and was trying to decide what to wear. I decided against Burberry London, so I figured I'd take the bottle off of my bathroom "rotation" shelf and replace it with something else. I don't know what the f*ck I was thinking (I can be a spazz), but what I did was stupid-- I decided to try one of my "cocktail" bartender moves and I threw the bottle of London up in the air, from one hand to the next with a spin. I failed to catch it with the other hand and it went spiraling toward to hard concrete floor that has already claimed the life of my Vettiveru bottle (RIP) and a few smaller items...

    Somehow, the bottle survived. I deserved to have it break into a thousand pieces for flinging it so carelessly-- my floor is unusually merciless. The cap went flying. The nozzle top whizzed off. Even the bezel that goes around the nozzle got knocked free by the force. I couldn't believe it but the worst damage was a very, very tiny chip in the outside of the glass on the bottom corner. Somehow, the goofy little cloth "jacket" that encases the bottle saved it. I guess London was wearing its helmet on Thursday and lives to ride another day.

    Well, the scent I chose to wear was none other than Aramis Havana (current reissue). I bought a bottle a few months ago and am still feeling it out. It's complex and I wouldn't say it's in my comfort zone yet. i figured I'd give it a go at work because our hotel was hosting a huge Eastern European ethnic music festival and I wanted something manly and swarthy in case there were going to be a bunch of hot swarthy babes there... I was trying to plan ahead.

    Well, the one thing that always gives me pause in any scent is when i see "cumin" listed in the pyramid. Cumin notes often freak me out and often make me paranoid. I once got a terrible reaction from Declaration Essence, and I've never really had a lot of confidence when wearing anything with cumin in it since then. I saw cumin listed in the notes of Havana-- and it does smell a tad bit raunchy along with being refined. I was feeling pretty sure that I could safety pull off Havana without smelling like I needed a bath...

    Well, unfortunately I got to work and the bar was PACKED. As I walked past the service bar I thought to myself," Maybe I'm crazy, but something stinks in here." I moved around trying to get drinks for people and I couldn't escape this nasty stench. I knew it wasn't me-- I'd just showered and put on deo and a spray of Havana before coming to work-- still, wearing an untested scent can make you feel so paranoid. Yes, something was definitely smelling foul. I can't describe it as anything other than "obese man funk"-- that sour, drool smell like a child's toy that has been covered in rancid slobber. I looked at the first stool by the service bar... Obese man--check. Short-sleeve shirt-- check.

    I'm usually pretty tolerant of other people's smells and usually I don't even notice them, but this was something so palpable I had to hold back vomit. I looked at one of my coworkers and casually asked "Hey, does something in here smell or what?"

    My buddy looked at me and said "Galley" which is our code for "Let's go back in the kitchen where we can talk amongst ourselves about people at the bar where they can't hear us." Turns out, it was the fat guy who was causing all the problems. He'd been sitting there for over 4 hours and stinking up the place for that long. He'd been playing music before that and had worked up quite an array of vapors. Not to pick on the guy, but it was almost comical how bad he smelled and how diffusive his BO was. You could seriously smell it 15 feet away. I had to hold my breath every time I walked by the dude. I purposely tortured my waitresses by making their drinks slowly, thereby forcing them to stand near the guy for long periods of time at the service bar.

    At least I knew it wasn't the Havana that was the culprit, and my coworkers actually asked me if I could put on some more of it to combat the reek of "Fatmanstew" as we called it. The guy finally left at 9 pm and we were all so relieved. Still, the smell lingered in our noses for a while. A coworker texted me later after she left to tell me that the horrible smell was still in her head. Later when I got home, I had to get the nosehair trimmer out and trim my nosehairs just to make myself feel clean again...

    Moral of that story-- I don't know if there is one. I'm not trying to rag on that guy, but I really hope to god that when he left today he wasn't flying on a plane-- I can't imagine being next to a funk like that on a flight. I'd be out the door JetBlue style at 30, 000 feet, parachute or not. I guess sometimes it's preferable to be a guy who wears too much cologne, rather than the guy who doesn't shower. Yuck.

    The whole day almost ruined Havana for me, which would have been unfortunate. Today I wore it again, and it meshed in my head with memories of Thursday and I keep reimagining that phantom funk. Have you ever had that happen? You wear a good scent in a stinky environment, and every time you wear that scent afterward, your mind reconstitutes the bad things in addition to the actual scent.

    I just needed to purge all that. And to add that we are so lucky that Aramis has reissued Havana. I'd have liked it if they'd released it in the original bottle, but at $50 it's just a flat out steal. In some ways it reminds me of Creed's Baie de Genievre with its warm clove/cinnamon feel and juniper notes. I think it takes a little patience to discover it-- it can seem on the surface to be a typical 70's/80's Aramis old school kind of scent (it's odd that it was released in the mid-90's, just can't fathom that). As it settles in, the earthy tobacco comes to the fore and the whole thing is just so complex and powerful. The most masculine scent I can imagine. Underneath that is a soapy patchouli/olibanum accord that reminds me of Jo Malone's Amber & Lavender. This is really the opposite of a fussy scent. It's something I imagine that "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials would wear. I want more of Havana. I wish they would release a shower gel of this scent so I could get the full experience of washing my hair with it. Current top-fiver for sure.

    I'm going to keep a vial of Havana in my pocket when I go to work. And a clothes-pin in the other.


  2. #2
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thursday...

    I'm just sad no one has responded to this thread. A few days ago, I was on the bus and a semi-homeless guy (it's Berkeley - we've got a lot of people who "dropped out" in the 60's ago who have simply stayed out) got on who smelled simply foul. But it was that cumin sweat. I almost wished I could have boxed him up and sent him to all the BNers who don't understand how cumin can smell sweaty...
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  3. #3

    Default Re: Thursday...

    Hey Indie,
    Great read. Thanks for another amusing tale from your work. I have been at the receiving end of those experiences many times. I spent some time working in an ER, and it could be a total house of olfactory horrors on occasion. People smell bad. That is my conclusion from my last 15 years of work. First in the ER, then over the past many years working in the prison, I have come to really understand the whole man funk thing. The prison was awful at times. There were some inmates that were just notorious for their lack of hygiene. By law inmates are required to shower once per week, but that wasn't the sort of thing that got monitored. As a result some folks just walked around the place emanating the most foul smells. It's weird. Both the prison and the hospital are generally pretty antiseptic places, and strong smells just stand out there.
    I could ramble on more, but let me just send my sympathies.
    And Havana is excellent. I have an old bottle from the old formulation that I was sort of hoarding. Now I just wear the reformulation, and I think its pretty great. I never get much cumin from it.
    Seems to me that you need what we call in the business a "corrective emotional experience" with your Havana, where good associations supplant the bad. I'm sure you will figure out something...


    -Slim
    Haikus are easy
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Thursday...

    I'm a cumin fan, but guys like that don't smell like cumin to me. Instead, they often smell like rancid food mixed with other things (like flatulence). As to ruining frag enjoyment, I usually wear two frags a day, and sometimes I get a little on my shirt, and the second frag doesn't mix well with the first. So, if it gets really bad, I just avoid wearing those frags (or similar ones) for a couple of weeks.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Thursday...

    Hey guys, thanks for replying. I was feeling like this thread was going over like a turd in the punch bowl. Like I said, I didn't really have any reason for this thread other than a rant, I suppose.

    I got to work today and my coworkers were still talking about that smelly obese guy. There are a lot of human smells I guess-- some worse than others, but this one was as bad as one can get without involving some form of decomposition.

    Back to the Havana. I like it a lot. I recall Miller Harris' Feuilles de Tabac being a tad similar in its tobacco note. Thinking about checking that one out more at some point.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Thursday...

    When I know a day may portend a negative situation, I stay away from favorites so I won't "ruin" them. In your case, you were caught off guard and could not avoid the negative connection with Havana. Stress, not just negativity, can ruin a scent for me.

    If you really love Havana, you do need to wear it on a day that you see as a potentially great one. That starts a new association.

    Any day I have a big meeting that could go either way, I wear a scent that is just a sample for me, and not part of my regular wardrobe. That way I can test drive a potential buy, and also not wreck a keeper.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Thursday...

    Oh Indie_Guy...I've sorely missed your giggle inducing posts. Thanks for posting your story. I spurted up some of my coffee at the 'hot swarthy babes' part. LOL

    Usually it's people breath, that sort of grosses me out (I work around a lot of French smokers at my office...and I'll just leave it at that), but ever so often I come upon my own version of 'Fatmanstew', usually at the gym (WTH - do guys just put back on sweaty gym shorts without washing them?!) or in bars (have you ever smelled a overweight, hairy gay guy in a leather outfit? I have!). I think most of these people really don't smell themselves as bad, they've probably become acclimated to their funky scent...and well, I find that almost bizarre and a little sad.

    Havana. Can you believe I've never smelled it (the old or the new juice)? I love most of the Aramis line (except for the aldehyde heavy JHL) so I am not sure why I haven't tried it. I sort of aspire to be the 'Most Interesting Man In The World' myself when I dress up certain times, and I usually look for a fragrance that matches that vibe (you know...like Tom Ford Extreme or Sycomore). Now I really want to check it out.

    Speaking of tobacco and funk - Indie have you tried Cuba by Czech & Speake? If not please do.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Thursday...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    (have you ever smelled a overweight, hairy gay guy in a leather outfit? I have!). .
    Ha! When i was in grad school I used to pull overnight shifts as the psychiatric crisis worker on duty at the ER in downtown San Fransisco. It was a total education in humanity. I remember one guy who was a "frequent flier" in the ER who fits that description (hairy, overweight, leather). Hilarious dude, but seriously stinky. And pretty crazy when off his medications. When he was on his meds he was a great guy. I used to see him at the bar near the hospital sometimes. He would try to teach me how to play pool, but I could only stand to be near him for a short time. I think folks like that just become anosmic to their own funk.
    -Slim
    Haikus are easy
    But do not always make sense
    Refrigerator

    ____________________________________________
    My swaps and sales are now listed here:
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=124

    And here (just search for Slim):
    http://scentsplits.wikidot.com/current-splits

  9. #9

    Default Re: Thursday...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Havana. Can you believe I've never smelled it (the old or the new juice)? I love most of the Aramis line (except for the aldehyde heavy JHL) so I am not sure why I haven't tried it. I sort of aspire to be the 'Most Interesting Man In The World' myself when I dress up certain times, and I usually look for a fragrance that matches that vibe (you know...like Tom Ford Extreme or Sycomore). Now I really want to check it out.

    Speaking of tobacco and funk - Indie have you tried Cuba by Czech & Speake? If not please do.
    Havana is awesome stuff. At first it just seems like it's one of the Aramis brothers-- masculine, yet dated in a way. As you become familiar with it, there's something about it that just makes it so endearing. Also, the fact that you can get it for under $50 is one of life's little bonuses. It's kind of like they took Aramis and thought, "what would this smell like if we let these Basenoters have their way with it?" I think it's got a lot to offer guys like us who are looking for that distinguished gentleman scent, but with a little something extra...

    I've tried Cuba and liked it quite a bit. Especially the rum notes. One of these days I'm going to nab a bottle for the "smoking section" of tobacco scents in my drobe.

    Slim, wow. I have a lot of respect for people who have to work in such conditions. I couldn't do it.

    Chuck, you're right. I have to wait for a really big day and make Havana my choice. It's funny, sometimes you have a really good day and whatever scent you were wearing that day happens to get associated with good times and makes it to the top of your rotation. Had a great birthday a couple of weeks ago and was wearing Guerlain Homme Intense EDP. Since then, it's been a huge fave.

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