Sunday, September 22, 2013

Re-View: Eros, My Soft Spot for Sweets, and My Gameplan

So, it's been pointed out to me that I don't get into the specifics of note profiles in my reviews. There are two reasons. One, I am kinda too lazy to meditate over a diagram of a dozen scents and how each might fit or not into a fragrance. Let's face it, only one or a handful of notes get to be the star, the half a dozen plus additions are backup singers at best. Two, I like to keep it real. The average guy has no. fucking. clue. what any of the minute names of features in perfumes and stuff are. If the average guy smells, let's say the subject of my review today, Versace Eros, he isn't going to say "Interesting combo of vanilla and mint top notes descending into cedar, and the dry-down has a nice mix of woods and vetiver." He is going to go. "??? Goood? No. Bad. Ehhh. Grunt"

It's far more fun for me to write from experience without using too much cataloging for reference to bridge the complete novice to the enthusiast. That doesn't mean I don't like it though! If you're interested in more thorough note profiles I strongly suggest searching fragrances on They have an awesome and well-designed interface to show what individual fragrances are made of, what people think they are like, etc. You might have to join to view entries (a big downside, I'm tired of sites making you join to research what is pretty banal knowledge), but if you're interested it's worth the time. And hey, I can't complain too much. It's free damnit.

On with the main show.

Sweet scents get a bad rap. If there ever was a fragrance trend which could be called the bad boys of the industry it's sweet smelling. Chocolate, coffees, vanillas, caramels, so on and so on. Sometimes along with other food-based scents called gourmands, and sometimes just desserts, there's a perception that anything smelling sweet in men's fragrances (sometimes women's too) is tantamount to being corny or dumb. It's hard to explain why, but considering the traditional palette of fragrance notes has been dominated by rather inedible notes for generations it's not hard to understand. It's also easy for sweet smells to "smell cheap", so they can be dangerous in concoctions.

I LOVE sweet scents, myself. I love wearing them. There, I said it. Deal.

Versace Eros

This little beauty, the newest in the Versace pantheon of men's fragrance (I think, if i'm wrong comment and correct me please), came out in all markets fairly recently. It's one of those fragrances that instantly divided the masses. You either love it (guilty here) or hate it. It is SWEET. Mint and vanilla are both incredibly obvious in Versace Eros, and the rest of the scents (tonka bean) base it. Although it's not been described as having it, I get the sense of an incense middle note that adds some a smooth complement to the singing sweet vanilla. I have to admit, it is a damn decadent smell to wear and could go wrong. What elevates it from feeling too sticky for me is the mint. The cleanliness of it helps keep the rest from becoming a muddled mass of cavity inducing goo.

What's amazing, I think, is that this fragrance came from Versace in the first place. (Audience gasp). Now hold up. Hold UP.  I'm not saying anything bad about the house, the fragrance, or anything, it is just SURPRISING that such a clean-sweet scent would come out of Donatella's empire. Consider the following evidence:

1.  Versace and many other Italian design houses, if not most of Europe altogether, stay away from clean or sweet like the plauge. The cleanest I've smelled is Burberry, and even then they use enough herbs and woods to make you think you fell face first in Narnia if you smelled them all at once..Tradition meets modernity in the the European palettes of fragrances, and the inelegance of prominent edibles is usually absent. A*Men by Thierry Mugler, a universal classic, challenges this, but that's for another day.

2. The name is Eros, a Greek god (Donatella wisely went Greek instead of Italian "Cupid", preventing the silly connotations), and the Greek-godlike ad campaign, a heavenly display of man meat if I've ever seen, emphasizes masculinity to such a degree you'd THINK Eros would be spicy or deep, at the very least incense and aquatic.

3. Donatella herself playing up the masculinity. I found this gem of a Donatella Versace quote on Fragrantica: "This fragrance is for a man who is his own master. He is a hero, a man who defends his ideas and goals."  Of course every designer and perfumer promotes any men's fragrance has having masculine attributes, but using the words hero, ideas, and goals doesn't quite translate into sweet fragrances.

All in all, getting over the surprise, I love Eros. The mint is key in making this a wearable joy, because otherwise it might smell like stayle syrup. Eros will make you hungry, but it's worth it. Definitely not for use for being active, but it's a great anytime fragrance. If you're in mixed professional company with some people who might not like perfume and cologne, this is a good one to go for, as edible scents are pleasing to just about everybody. I give this full marks, 7 out of 7 sprays.

Donatella Versace, have you got anything else to say about Eros yourself?

Heh. Aight.

That's not really her, it's of course the superb Maya Rudolph as Donatella Versace. Speaking of which, Lifetime made a movie called House of Versace starring Gina Gershon as the big D. I cannot fucking wait for this awesome movie. I'm gonna be front and center when it comes out in a couple weeks.

Peace out.

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