Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Main: Consumer's Choice - MEN

Yes, the time is here to cover the main event as far as I'm concerned, the Consumer's Choice award nominees for men's fragrances. And yes, as you can tell by my style of posts, I am a fan of fame and fortune, and I obsess over awards. While many choose to say that awards aren't a good marker of quality I have to content that without them we would not have the opportunity to use a critical mind in our experiences. If everything deserves an equal position in the grand scheme of things, then why bother innovate or create new things? Awards allow us to view an entirety within a small window or viewpoint. It's like a big, collective TED talk. Of course nobody has to agree with awards, how they're awarded, who or what should have won, etc., but the point is we should value the chance to use a greater POV of looking at the inside from out that awards bring.

Speech over! Down to business.

This year, the Fragrance Foundation offered up four nominees for Consumer's Choice in men's fragrances. Yes, they decided to nominate 6 in the women's category but only 4 in the men's (proving the Consumer's Choice awards are heavily a marketing ploy, but oh well), and yes this lineup is quite a bit different than the finalists in contention for the main prizes that foundation voters select. Are the Consumer's Choice nominations consolation for not being in contention for the big prizes, or sponsored social media advertising pandering? Or as I call it, "Adverpandering". We'll never really know, but I digress. Regardless of the legitimacy of the bandwagon I am still getting on it, as my love of fragrance outweighs my sense of economic morality.

Let's jump in. In my handy dandy sample packet that was sent out to first so many people who registered to vote, I found something amiss. Despite there being samples for all 6 women's nominated fragrances there were only 3 of the men's. One of the fragrances was mising outright. I thought perhaps an attached sample had gotten loose, but on its page there wasn't even a trace of any type of publication adhesive whether it be tape, glue, or some other industrial emulsion. Considering each other sample looked fairly unique and sourced from distributors to the foundation, I could only assume the distributor just did not submit samples. After much personal deliberation I decided that rather than approximate my judgement of the missing fragrance I am awarding it a big fat 0. A goose egg because they did not provide a sample. This was tough to do because the nominated fragrance in question is A*MEN Pure Leather, a flanker to the famous A*MEN by Thierry Mugler, which is one of my top 5 fragrances of all time (If I had to make such a list). But after I overcame that internal anxiety laden moment, I was at least thankful that my work had been cut down for me.

The three remaining nominated fragrances are:

  • Legend by Montblanc
  • Vince Camuto for Men
  • Acqua di Gio Essenza by Armani

Because there are only three, I'll spare the lengthy countdown. This is also because, honestly, my decision on which one to choose was painfully easy. Now don't get me wrong, the one that I picked is definitely a deserving scent, but there is a part of me that enjoys the subjective deliberation, the pros and cons list, the mental struggle, and so on of picking a winner. (Or picking which one I'm going to vote for, at least).

So, without too much fanfair, my selection is:

Legend by Montblanc

The first thing that hits you with Legend is "Wow. Another sweet fragrance", but like so many good fragrances for the ages Legend might have an assaulting first split second, but the full body after shows it is a true star. It falls in a category I've created in my own mind called "Dark Cream", the type of deeper, woody scent that comes off as dessert inspired but doesn't quite trek into sugar territory. Lately this style has seemed to be en vogue and I don't believe it will pass any time in the near future. Give it to 2020, but hey, who's predicting?

Anyways, that is my pick and vote for the category this year. Vince Camuto for men and Acqua di Gio Essenza definitely have their time and place, but neither gave me a sense of inspiration nor a distinct character of innovation.

The awards will be revealed soon, and I will provide an ample wrap up of the men's selections!

Comin' Up Soon: My next review, and it's a new purchase!

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