Keeping within the scope of fashion, I define my experience as fashion before, during, and after McQueen. That's simply out of my own personal taste, and it's not a scale for everybody (clearly). Post-McQueen has been odd for me. Fashion, much like any art or skill or trade or tradition, however you define it, is now blown open to hundreds of new faces and new markets because of our world's rapidly expanding consciousness. More people know about fashion, more people have access to it, and more people are getting involved in it. Because of this there is a glut of designers and trends and styles that is so overwhelming what once used to be a joy, shopping, can now easily become an intimidating if not fearful venture. It's the grand irony that our expanding global identity has been the result of civilization, and yet how post-consumerism brings our or animlastic hunting urges is clearly a sign of our humble caveman roots.
During this vacuum buffet of fashion and design, I've been very interested in American design houses and their fragrances. For generations American culture has been intangible considering how different one person is to the next, but I've been noticing how there are glimmers of the beginning of what could be called a uniform American style, even if just loosely at best. Our national obsession with cleanliness is mostly to blame. Everything has to be fresh. Wear white in winter (I do!). Nothing too heavy. Pass on musk. etc. etc. This type of under-design was somewhat laughable in its early days as being seen as anti-fashion, and can you blame people in the 80s who loved layering on everything (hair, makeup, clothes, attitudes, so on and so on)? The way American powerhouses have evolved around their subtleties has given way to a Trojan horse of world-changing fashion contributions that everybody enjoys and is enriched by. Donna Karan. Ralph Lauren. Vera Wang. Calvin Klein. all designers and brands that have celebrated clean and/or sporty simplicity. They celebrate the lines more often than the shapes. And their fragrances are no exception.
One designer I have thoroughly been enjoying lately is Marc Jacobs, the irreverant personality of American fashion that effortlessly blends high fashion, street fashion, and casual fashion into one, heart-achingly elegant style. And I only got into his style by being introduced to his fragrances.
Marc Jacobs for Men
Marc Jacobs for Men is now easily in my pantheon of ultimate fragrance favourites. When I heae the word "cologne" mentioned by somebody, this is what I think of. This fragrance could easily qualify as gender neutral, even though it is within the pinnacle of men's fragrances in my own tastes. There is an overall sense of "perfume" that brings a slightly feminine character, but the soft woods are constant and keep the overture from having too many flourishes to detract from the masculinity. Perfumy and woody, yes, but as I have illustrated earlier, Marc Jacobs for Men sails strongly as a clean-loving American fragrance. Suitable for day wear and incredibly elegant at the same time, I cannot get enough of this one.
I don't know much about dating women, but I'm willing to bet this is a great first date scent. But hey, don't take my word for it. Get out there, roll up your sleeves, and get into it yourself.