Straight to our office from a pasture of wild buffalo sipping from the pellucid waters of a mountain stream somewhere in the American West, Polo Ralph Lauren’s new scent, Supreme Oud, has undergone the treacherous gauntlet that is the Kempt Smell Test™.
Do you like positive energy, buoyance, radiance and things that fizz with joie de vivre? If so, boy, does Lacoste ever have a cologne for you. It’s Lacoste L.12.12 Jaune, a very yellow receptacle of something designed with the help of a celebrity nutritionist to improve your standing in the being-smelled-by-others community.
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.
Rapper + Producer + Designer + Agent + Team Owner + Philanthropist + Beyoncé’s Plus-One = Your New Perfumer.
Yes, Mr. Carter is getting into his eighth-ish career with his forthcoming scent, Gold Jay Z. It’s apparently the essence of an icon in a bottle: power, pride, confidence, strength, success and courage.
But what exactly does an icon’s essence smell like? Yeah, we didn’t know either. So we got our hands on a bottle early and unleashed our regiment of noses on the Smell Test™.
Just when you thought there were enough single malt scents...
The Glenlivet goes and teams up with Brooklyn-based perfumery HYLNDS to make a “scotch-inspired” eau de parfum they’re calling “The Spirit of the Glen.” (We’re guessing “scotch-inspired” means there’s some “barley malt” and “sherry cask” listed in the scent’s low notes.) And while it won’t be available for purchase until the holidays, we’ve managed to get our hands on an advance sample.
Thus, in our long-standing tradition of providing helpful, honest commentary on what your olfactory centers have in store for them, we’ve asked the great noses at Kempt HQ to take a good, strong whiff and tell us what they think of the stuff.
The last time we did a smell test on Kempt, we investigated Michael Jordan’s Flight Sport. And the results were, shall we say, mixed. But this time around, with some samples in hand from grooming specialists at the Motley and our olfactory palate cleansed of Gatorade and sweat, we’re feeling much more optimistic.
The first fragrance from these young-but-well-regarded curators of fine dopp kittery, Atlas boasts notes of cedar, oak moss, leather and green mandarin. And that’s all great. We’re pretty sure, though, that there must be a more expressive way of describing this “clear, strong and righteous” attempt at men’s perfumery. So we had the finest noses at Kempt HQ take a whiff.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan has made some questionable decisions since the days we trusted him on the court. So when we saw he had released the “Sport” version of his original eau de toilette, Flight, earlier this year, we were skeptical.
According to Perfumania, Flight Sport boasts notes of mandarin oil, geranium, patchouli, white lavender, vanilla and skin musk. We’re not convinced. So we had a few of Kempt’s most sophisticated noses take a spritz and evaluate. Here’s what they had to say:»
Today, Odin 09, which purports to smell like velvety peach and pear flower with hints of tobacco and bourbon. That’s almost right. We asked 10 sophisticated noses at Kempt HQ to give it a whiff and weigh in.
We haven’t had a smell test in a while, but when samples came in of the “Hamptons” scent by Bond No. 9, we knew we had to investigate. The floral notes are meant to invoke summers on the beach. But would it smell like Diddy’s White Party or Billy Joel after too much white wine?
We asked a panel of olfactory-gifted ladies to give us their opinions.
Our latest smell test comes from Viktor & Rolf, who shifted their popular women’s scent Flowerbomb into a men’s spinoff, dubbed Spicebomb.
The result is full of rich, sweet florals—but in the interest of describing it without perfume lingo, we thought we’d ask a few of our ruthlessly articulate lady friends what they thought of the scent. What follows is an unedited transcript. This could get ugly...
In just a scant few weeks, “Success by Donald Trump” will be loosed upon the world at large, and Macy’s in particular.
We know, it’s not our usual beat, but as intrepid journalists, we felt honor-bound to investigate. So we picked up a bottle proceeded to put it through our usual exhaustive battery of tests—basically, asking a few of our most pitiless female acquaintances to describe the scent. It wasn’t pretty, but it was real.
Our latest smell test comes from Brooklyn Dry Goods, inspired by the musk of an antique rifle found in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. As you might expect, it’s an offbeat scent, full of tobacco, pepper and unplaceable industrial notes.
But enough of the perfume lingo: it’s time to find out what the pitiless men and ladies (mostly ladies) of the office think. Here are their unvarnished appraisals.