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Smell Test: Demeter Pizza


Tomato sauce, mozzarella, a touch of oregano: ingredients for delicious pizza or top notes for dubious cologne?

If you’d asked yesterday, we’d have scoffed at even the idea of the latter. But then a bottle of Pizza, the Neapolitan-inspired aroma from Demeter Fragrance Labs, found its way into Kempt HQ. Claiming to “stretch the boundary of the concept of wearable fragrance,” it’s “a departure” that we couldn’t not have our resident scent-hounds put to the test. Because as much as we love the cheesy stuff, we’re just not sure if we’d want to reek of it.

Their nasal musings, in the form of a Smell Test™, after the jump...»

Smell Test: John Varvatos Artisan Acqua


With his stellar track record, nobody is doubting John Varvatos’s fragrance chops these days.

But when a sample of Artisan Acqua, his latest citrus-and-basil-laden scent, made its way into Kempt HQ with the oddly specific claim to “embody the panache and leisure of the Mediterranean man who, without overthinking, achieves high style and an effortless nonchalance,” we couldn’t not be curious.

Fortunately, we have protocols in place to handle such skepticism. And so it was up to our resident bloodhounds/writers to take a good, strong whiff of the stuff and put into words what their noses were telling them.

Their olfactory musings, after the jump.»

A Gentleman’s Guide to Smelling Like a Barbershop

You know the scent: that first whiff of razor dust and talc that hits you on your way through the barbershop door, along with a certain lemony tonic smell. It’s the same in nearly every shop, and every time it puts us in the same nostalgic mood.

The good news is, they bottle it.

It’s called Pinaud Clubman and it’s been occupying an unassuming corner of your local drugstore for two centuries now. And while we’re usually interested in the more modern end of the fragrance world, it’s hands-down one of the most classic scents in the world of man, combining a strong hit of alcohol with lemon, jasmine and all manner of unobtrusive odors.

In short, it smells like a freshly shaved man (200 years of incidental aromatherapy tends to leave an impression). And since it’s about as expensive as shaving cream, it’s also good news for anyone stretching his grooming budget.

Test-Driving Gant’s First Cologne

Gant launched their first cologne this week, with a little help from the mildly legendary Pierre Wulff. And since they don’t do these things in half measures, we thought it deserved nothing less than a full battery of tests, including a poll of a few of the sharper noses in the office.

If you want to smell it in person, Gant stores will be handing out half-ounce samples with every purchase—but first, we’ll give you a sense of what you’re in for.

Fair warning: you’re in for at least one Miami Vice reference...»

Tom Cleans Up, Josh Washes Off, and Penelope and Scarlett Make Out


Cor Blimey!: Our favorite hero, Kristen Bell, livens up the pages of British FHM. [Hollywood Rag]

Out of the Gutter: Tom Ford manages to get through an interview without talking about penises or shooting an inappropriate ad. [Wallpaper]

Best of Both Worlds: These kicks are part sneaker, part boot—all color. [The Pipeline]

Dag Nabbit: So the new Penelope Cruz/Scarlett Johansson Woody Allen film won't be two hours of lesbian kissing. We're still going though. [Gawker]

Scott's Picks: The Sartorialist's guide to doing it right. [Brandish]

What Smells?: Joshua David Stein gets a rubdown courtesy of Unilever. No evidence of the "Axe Effect" reported. [The Moment]

Spring Suits, That New Ford Smell and Paris Towels Off


Close Shave: Tom Ford releases men's toiletries line (soap, shower gel, aftershave) to complement his signature cologne. Scratch the screen for a preview. Not working? Keep trying—it'll happen. [DNRNews]

Season Opener: Suit up for the vernal equinox. [Refinery29]

Big Stink: Related - How to look like Colin Farrell smells. [Style Dash]

Mea Culpa; Apparently, a red club tie with contrasting white stripes is the universal signifier for, "Sorry, I was thinking with my jock." [NY Times]

The Chicer Picker Upper: Ever eloquent with her actions, if not her words, Paris Hilton gracefully ends the celebrity-fashion-line era with her new collection of paper towels. [LA Times]

Plain White Ts: Gap will continue it's indie designer collaborations program with Band of Outsiders, Michael Bastian, Philip Crangi and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Somehow, Threeasfour snuck in while no one was looking. [Racked]

On the Bright Side


With backdoor health benefits becoming more and more common in products, it was only a matter of time before someone offered to sell happiness in a bottle. And, as you might have expected, it’s both hilarious and terrifying.

The French company Happy Therapy has come out with a line of scents called Smiley that are designed to chemically induce happiness, blending fragrance and what could charitably be called “aromatherapy.” Not only will they give you a joy-inducing scent, but you’ll be breathing in stress-relieving chemicals all day, with calming names like phenylethylamine and theobromine.

The marginally-translated website is even more ominous»