What most people day to day don't understand about fashion, specifically about the design house and couture worlds, is that these clothes should be thought of as wearable canvases. There's always a color piece written up in some newspaper or newscast about how audacious and crazy some of the designs are, but really they are just paintings meant to expand our conceptual horizons and are not meant to demand consumers wear them en masse. I could explore that idea more, but I'll spare the time. The thing enjoy about fashion almost as much as fragrance (a close second) is the art of the fashion show. The scenery, the sound, the whole context which comes from the designer's universe to put this moving art gallery inside, all lasting for a mere 10 to 20 minutes, and each one never being able to be witnessed in person again. The supermodel era brought on the plain, white runway, which is what everybody thinks of when they think about fashion shows, but in the past decade designers of every calibre have certainly been as highly inventive with set design as major tech firms have been with our ever-evolving persoanl devices. To get a taste of what I am trying to convey I strongly suggest to anybody who is unfamiliar with fashion to watch videos of Alexander McQueen's shows from the 90's up until 2010 when he unfortunately left this earth.
Speaking of Alexander McQueen, I took news of his death in February of 2010 very hard. Not that I knew very much about him, but I knew his work, and his set design, and his universe was a deep inspiration for me and continues to be to this day. The more I learn about him after his life only multiples the deep respect and affinity I have for him ans his work. What does this have to do with fragrance, you might ask. Well, the scent of one fragrance in particular gives me vivid McQueen imagery, so much so it's how I describe it.
Kenzo Pour Homme
by Kenzo. 1991
To describe this fragrance I use two words:
That is the name of Alexander McQueen's final fashion show, which was his Spring/Summer 2010 line shown at Paris Fashion Week in 2009. It's the only way I can comprehend Kenzo Pour Homme logically in my own mind. To me, it is a marine fragance. Although rich in wood notes, the ozone and overall outer layer scream seaside scents to me. But it's not marine in your average summer-season aquatic fragrance, it is deep, dark, and dare I say gothic. There is a salty sourness that bites when I use this fragrance, and the deep woods underneath add a brown layer that only further masks the dark marine mystique. The moody sea scents strongly echo the melancholy and understated elegance of Plato's Atlantis, and the touch of modernity makes me recall the moving camera arms and their cold but stunning ballet as they tracked the models and audience alike. I have yet to smell anything similar to Kenzo Pour Homme and that is something I am both disturbed and delighted by.
I do have to say that Kenzo Pour Homme is not something I routinely use and most days I feel it is a highly inappropriate, but the elaborate art the fragrance creates for me is something that I will treasure forever.
The fragrance is not for every man, but it's position bridging the thick, pitch black ("night") scents with the noble marine and wood notes is easily suited to anybody identifying themselves as being harbingers of the little known masculine mystique.
Use it wisely, guys.