Friday, October 23, 2009



There are more things to a man than just good underwear, a great body and a million dollar suit that attracts the rest of the human populace. The haircut, that perfect shave and not to mention the scent one leaves as a lasting impression all contribute to the whole look. Probably, the scent is the best weapon when all else seem mediocre (bad style and bad manners). It's the final touch to a cool style.
Gerard Gotladera obsesses about being Happy with Clinique, wondering why D&G's latest line-up is very tempting to buy and why smelling like wood doesn't make you much of a man.

I went perfume hunting days ago at Rustan's, in search of the perfect scent that would get me through the rest of this year and hopefully, half of next year. One thing I could NEVER leave without is perfume. Many might think of it as too pretentious of me or that maybe I smell much like teen spirit. But it's been habit of mine to wear it like it's a shirt or it's clean underwear. Nobody could ever leave the door without underwear on---unless you're a celebrity or a model who could damn get away with it. And nobody really leaves a house without a shirt on---again, unless you're like Noah Mills or Tyson Ballou or Garrett Neff or any of those superhumans. Since I'm no model or celebrity, I wear a shirt all the time and put on the cleanest underwear in the world. And my perfume---whatever it maybe, is like second skin. I have always been an advocate of looking good and a huge chunk of that means being as clean and hygienic as possible. And that cleanliness means smelling like a million bucks.

So, why does one have to be so consumed and-like me, obsessed with smelling good? In my opinion and I believe scientific research has back up for this: the scent of anything is the most potent when it comes to memory. Like when I was a kid, I could still remember the smell of wax on a "5" candle burning atop my fifth birthday cake. Along with visualizing the color of it, the sound of out-of-tune singing and the taste of the cake, the scent kicks in and enhances those trips down memory lane. I also have a sharp memory when it comes to people who smell good. I have friends who wear great scents-others just naturally smell great, and I could remember their names, their faces, the way they would talk and the amount of time I had spent with them better than the ones who don't wear scents. The perfume I remember falling in love with would be my mom's Estee Lauder. I forgot the name but it comes in a gold bottle and is probably one of the house's classic perfumes. Anyway, whenever I see the bottle and smell the perfume I am taken years and years back to my short-spent childhood in Chicago and how it was growing up.

Scent also contributes to a person's individuality. There are people who are die-hard fans of Acqua di Gio and they stick to it 'till God knows when. They do have the right to stick to it because in my opinion, it's the most masculine and least annoying perfume ever created. Others go hop from one scent to another. Either way, whatever one chooses to wear is reflective and telling of their personality. The cliche of wearing one's personality is true: whatever we choose to use and wear shares to others our ideals, interests and basically our selves. A sporty man would smell perfect wearing Chanel Allure Homme Sport. The sophisticate is probably eyeing a bottle or is already a wearer of La Nuit De L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent. The music-techy savvy dude is probably the reason why Givenchy's PLAY bottle looks like the future of the i-Pod.
Another point is that the cherry on top of a well-dressed man is his scent (along with his haircut and his perfect shave). The scent creates the aura of a man in close contact with whoever, and it adds something to the intimacy. Wearing perfume-expensive or not just as long as it smells fantastic, makes up for a plain and simple ensemble too. It adds personality and does justice to one's style. Smelling like rotten ham sandwhich and sporting the sleekest Tom Ford suit is an Oscar winner of a horror movie plot. Nobody can ever look good enough if they don't smell the part.

What I also like about scents is that they could change moods. Some perfume company came up with the idea of branding their product with the name happy on it or something like that and claimed that once worn, it lifts up the wearer's spirits. I haven't tried the scent and never will I, just to know if it's no bullshit. But what I do know though is that perfumes not only create auras, but also affect mood. When I wore Gucci Pour Homme II, it felt like everyday was a special event and that special event was some intimate get together at a sober, ultra cool and hip place. I also came to a green tea phase and had fancied sporting L'Occitane's Green Tea with Mint perfume. Pretty much like stepping out of a cool, cool shower on the hottest of summer days. Years ago, I found the ideal scent for young men in Liz Claiborne's Curve. It's masculine once sprayed on and it mellows out into a certain sweetness that I find very appealing and young. I just don't know if they still sell it. But what I am mad about, truly insane about, is Clinique Happy for Men. I am down to my last few spritz of the latest bottle I purchased and I am thinking of maybe buying an entire set of its line: bath gel, after shave, the works. It's a classic masculine scent that's not hard on the nose. I have a dislike for too-manly smelling perfumes, ones that resemble the scents of deodorants. I think it's a tacky scent and it's superimposed that it leaves no room for appreciation or imagination. The classic scent that is Clinique Happy for Men is masculine without trying to prove a point. It's citrusy in a moderate and handsome fashion. And it's perfect for any kind of weather: once worn under a humid or hot climate, it smells potent and clean while worn in colder temperatures it smells fresh and crisp. The first time I wore the scent, I was so happy about it that I decided to spray some on---after a shower, before going to bed. And the next morning, I felt like I was as happy as the orange on their bottle.

I believe that scents should be a subtle touch to anyone's look. Much like my sense of style, nobody really wants to know everything about you based on all-out and gaudy looks. Had you worn baggy pants, python sneakers, huge jewelry, a hip-hop cap, sunglasses inside the darkest of clubs and sport something that smells like fresh-chopped wood and alcohol, then where's the mystery and fun in that? It's already too obvious that you're a douchebag, right? A man should always be clean, fresh and subtle. The statement should come in after close contact with you and it should linger in the person's mind for a long, long time. Clouding is only a woman's job. But of course, you have the freedom to do so and drown yourself in Aqva by Bvlgari and I'd appreciate it. The thing is, it's all about being subtle and mysterious. In a world where everything is quick to know and instant, break the rules and be a classic man who lets the women (and men) take a wild, wild guess as to who you are and what you are by being subtle.

Now, I'm still wondering if the new line of tarot-card inspired perfumes by D&G (above) would smell great. I haven't purchased anything yet to replace my Clinique and I'm giving this D&G 1 some hard thinking. The simple bottles, the all-star casting of their ad and commercial and the very mysterious numbers-as-titles seem so deliciously intriguing that I just might be this close to considering a purchase. Or maybe I should just go and stick to being Happy with Clinique...



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