Bordeaux Vintage Round up: The Buying Guide- PAUILLAC 2009

IF Margaux is elegance and flowers; vinified potpourri, and St. Julien vinous garam-masala (Indian spice mix) then Pauillac is a leather-couch-ed cigar-room. From a lithe Margaux, to a irreverently flirtatious St. Julien, we go to something with brawniness and a whopping punch of tannins, brown spices and all the preciously Englihsh descriptors so often associated with claret: dark cassis, fresh pencil shavings, tobacco, cedar etc.

Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron

In truth, I have always said that Pauillac is the proto-typical Bordeaux: it has the litany of flavours and aromas that are what most people talk about when they talk about Bordeaux.

Paulliac of course also boasts three of the five First Growths: Chateau Latour, Mouton-Rotschild and Lafite; although here the difference in character has more to do with there they are relative to the two contiguous appellations on its borders; St. Julien to the south and St. Estephe to the north.

The Place

Herein is the intriguing thing about these estates, Chateau Latour located at the most extreme south of the appellation (a frog could jump from Latour’s Pauillac vinyards to the adjacent vinyeards of St. Julien Chateau Beychevelle with little to no effort)-( a small estuary, the Ruisseau de Juillac serves as the borderline between the two). In contrast Chateau Lafite is located ath the most northern extreme of the appellation; the venerable estate is a stone’s throw away from Chateau Cos d’Estournel almosty literally across the street. Between the southern most vineyards of the appellation which include those of Chateau Batailley, the Pichon-Longuevilles (Baron and Comtesse) there is a wide spance of mostly Cru Classe Vineyards with, going from South to North (Chateau Latour towards Chateau LAfite) one passes by Pauillac’s other infamous names: Chateay Beychevelle, Lynch-Bages, and after a bit of a break when in the northern part of the appellation Chateau Pibran and more notably Pontet-Canet.

The "second label" of Pichon-Longueville Comtesse

I go through this painful recounting to illustrate a point and that is that we currenly, for the sake of the 1855 classification and our own sanity have divided up the northern Medoc into four major appellations (five if you count Haut-Medoc) but the truth is that even within Paulliac (a mere 8 kilometers or so top to bottom)there does exists ‘sub appellations’ if you will and some subtle differences between estates depending on when they are on the map and the subsoil’s. Here I refer to the differences (slight as they may be) between the wines of and around St. Lambert whifs of mild spice but heaftier, Bages and Pauillac proper, and further north when they become more angular (in a good way) in Pouyalet. But this is getting a bit excruciating. These variations are less notable in St. Julien as most of Estate’s vineyards are plots scattered across the appellation and through blending you end up with a faitly consistent set of wines, regardless of the estate, in different degrees of excellence. Some of that also goes for Margaux (which boasts several little-known ‘pseudo-sub appellations’), Pauillac less so.

Okay- if you’re new to the Bordeaux game forget all the BS above: just know this: Pauillac= powerful, red and brown flavors, proto-typical Bordeaux, drunk best after a decade or two depending on the estate and vintage. Overall 2009 Pauillac shined with far less inconsistencies than Margaux’s minefield

If you like smoking jackets and cigars (and most of you do…) then you’ll like Pauillacs. Pauillacs are smoking jackets, cigars and velvet slippers personified.

The following is a list of wines from the Pauillac region from the 2009 vintage. The wines were all tasted March 29th in a controlled temperature room out of Riedel wine glasses. The wines were not tasted blind. All wines were barrel samples. Any exception to the above are noted. Notes by Alejandro Ortiz.

Alejandro’s Ratings:

O/P: Ok/ Poor

G: Good

VG: Very Good

GR: Great

E: Excellent (an intermediary between Great but not Fantastic)

FA: Fantastic

AM: Amazing

The first sub rating a “+” or “-“ is given for original impression on the nose and palate followed by a subsequent sub-rating for it’s overall performance within its rating.

  • Chateau Grand Puy-Ducasse
    • VG—
      • Muscled red fruit, deep and penetrating, tobacco et al: typical Pauillac.
  • Ch. Haut-Batailley
    • VG++-
      • Improving every year- very very nice.
  • Second Tasting @ UGC Tasting: GR—
    • Bing cherry, earth and very French.
  • Ch. d’Armailhac
    • VG+++
      • Never been a huge fan preffering Clerc-Milon’s playfulness more but this was beautiful, again typical Pauillac nose and taste. Will last!
      • Second Tasting @ UGC Tasting: G/VG+–
        • Velvety with a core of brambly red fruit and earth.
  • Ch. Clerc-Milon
    • G–+
      • Lighter than I ever remember it, lithe and pretty- but not great.
      • Second Tasting @ UGC Tasting: VG++1
        • Very different than first tasting- much brighter. Buy.
  • Ch. Croizet-Bages
    • VG—
      • Cedar, pines with nice red fruit- wow, what a great value!
  • Ch. Haut-Bages Liberal
    • VG+++
      • Best in a while although it is a very consistent estate- incredibly balanced, supple, red velvety fruit with a core of gaminess. Beautiful.
  • Ch. Lynch-Bages
    • G+++/VG+–
      • Muscular and a tart black fruit background but ostensibly a beautiful wine.
  • Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste
    • VG—
      • Lots of tobacco and deep red/brown fruit.
  • Le Petit Mouton
    • G+++
      • Not great (obviously)
  • Ch. Pichon-Baron
    • GR+++
      • Lilac, pink fruits, flower and an overall smooth and silky texture- beautiful! Fabulous, best in years!
  • Second Tasting @ UGC: FA+–
  • Third Tasting @ Chateau Pichon-Baron: FA++-
  • Ch. Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
    • FA
      • Exceptional, my god! Could be confused with a Margaux, so beautiful, so much perfume. Amazing, velvet, red and purple fruit, a strong bouquet of Croatian wild lavender (ok, this may sound like bullshit but I was in and out of Croatia during this time and trust me that’s what it smelled like). Amazing, fabulous.
  • Second Tasting @ Chateau Pichon-Longueville Lalande: FA
    • My goodness, what consistent magic. This, guys, is frightingly exceptional with an undying finesse, great structure and a nearly infinite finish. Very impressed!
  • Third Tasting @ UGC: ?
    • This was so great, and I was so excited, I cannot read any of the notes I wrote about it, I can make out one expletive however.
  • Second Wine: Reserve de la Comtessee: FA
    • Tasted several times and always absolutely fabulous. Try the Latour challenge with this too (see below Latour notes).
  • Ch. Forts de Latour
    • FA+–
      • Holy enamel-peeling-tannins Batman! This boy’s huge! Together with almost every second label this year; there is such a conserted effort being paid to their quality and makeup that there surpass some off vintages of the Grand Vins, moreover they are wines onto themselves usually coming from plots of vines entirely dedicated to their production (as opposed to being blended from the Grand Vin’s leftovers). Spectacular, muscled—I challenge someone out there to serve this blind to a so-called ‘wine expert’ fifteen years from now and I will wager a small car, right here and now, if he doesn’t think this is a Chateau Latour!
  • Ch. Latour
    • FA+++
      • A brooding monster, monolithic, tobacco-dark-chocolate and dark tarry tobacco-dripping wine. Immense, beautiful and could very qualify as a “nuclear holocaust wine” (see previous posts here). Unbelievable.
  • Ch. Mouton
    • GR—
      • Better than I’ve tasted in a while, MUCH better
  • Ch. Lafite-Rothschild
    • AM—
      • Ethereal and magical as always, stupendous.

The Obsession (and yes 2001 is drinking great!)

Overall Impression of the Pauillac 2009

  • GR-FA : great to fantastic

Yes- while I didn’t remember before looking over my notes to write this post that Pauillac certainly provided some of the most memorable wines of the vintage. Moreover it did so consistently. From top to bottom the wines were exuding elegance within the broad-shouldered power that is common to all Pauillacs. These are wines that have upwards of 20-30 years worth of girth and power—but revisiting the irresistibly dismembered 1982’s it’s really anyone’s guess whether wines have been refined to the point of limited longevity. Still these all have a while. Notable, again, because it’s an overall trend this vintage was the high quality of the second labels with some, like Forts de Latour and Comtesse de Lalande being fabulous and complex wines on their own. If investment is what your after then the advice is always simple: buy from the top, and with Pauillac buy a lot and fearlessly.

If you are buying to drink, look for some early maturers like Clerc-Milon, Lacoste-Borie (second wine of Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste), Lynch-Moussas, and Chateau Bernadotte because the big boys have a long long way to go.

2009 Pauillac Top 3:

  1. Chateau Latour
  2. Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
  3. Chateau Lafite-Rothschild

2009 Pauillac Underdogs (buy to surprise)

  1. Chateau Haut-Batailley
  2. Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal/ Chateau d’Armailhac

Americana International Inc. From New York Times Magazine

JUNE 18, 2010, 4:55 PM

Wanderlust | Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold

Erik Thor

Now that there’s a Red Wing concept store in Berlin, you can buy Filson in Paris, and scarves from Brooklyn’s Hill-Side have made it to Amsterdam and Trieste, it’s clear that the fetishization of American “heritage” style is no longer just for American men. And few shops in Europe are more faithfully dedicated to heirloom denim and classic work wear than the new Stockholm shop Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold. The name alone, taken from a Townes Van Zandt classic, is like Carharts incarnate. The shop, in Södermalm, the city’s answer to Brooklyn and the only party of town that could be called gritty, is outfitted almost entirely in unfinished knotty pine boards; they line the walls and form blocky benches and tables for merchandise that includes Mr. Freedom work shirts, Quoddy moccasins, Pendleton blankets and Wesco motorcycle boots. And true to the cult of craftsmanship, the narrative behind every company the store does business with is highlighted on its Web site. The expertly focused selection of brands includes plenty of international origin — canvas satchels from Brady Bags of England, founded in 1877; Grunden rain gear (Sweden, 1926); jeans by The Real McCoy’s (Japan, 1990) — but the effect is nonetheless a mashup of styles that feels unmistakably American. Easy rider meets California gold miner meets New England stevedore, all crammed into your dad’s tool shed, circa 1976.

Manual to a Young Gentlemen’s Wardrobe: The Navy Blazer

The Navy Blazer

FEWER things in a man’s wardrobe as indispensable, with exceptions like socks and underwear, as a navy blazer. As hinted at by the New York Times coverage of Pitti Uomo (here), the world’s most important mensware event hosted yearly in Flrocence, Navy blazer’s popularity and future hipness and ubiquitness is here to stay. Not only that- but every major designer has versions of the venerable article of man’s fashion.

The blazer’s origin can be found somewhete in the realm between mythological legent and perpetual fact. It is said that Queen Victoria was once upon a time set to review her Navy. On her tour was the the ship HRM Blazer; the captain embarrassed at the condition of his crews uniform and eager to make an impression is said to have ripped down a navy-blue said and had a local tailor fashion jackets out of them thus creating an everlasting sartorial meme: the navy blazer. (another story contends that the term originally belonged to the ‘blazing red’ jackets the rowing team from one Britian’s gilded schools wore).

Indeed the word ‘blazer’ technically only refers to a navy-colored jacket and for true purists one that is double-breasted and bedazzled with brass buttons. For today’s definition we will cindlude the other ‘modern’ standard of two or three-buttoned jackets: everything else is a sportscoat.

A Gentlemen’s Guide to Sartorial Minutia: The Jacket

  • Matching jacket+trousers= suit
  • Jacket with different color trousers= sports jacket
  • Single or double-breasted navy jacket (with brass buttons)= a blazer
  • Navy jacket with black or brown buttons= a sports jacket

The definitive look

As with any jacket one needs to keep it simple, especially if it’s your first rendition of said article of clothing, so we recocmend that you start out with a two-button notch-lapel blazer (with or without brass buttons). Hint: the standard brass buttons blazer comes with are meant to be replaced with those emblazoned with the family crest, initials or the sumbol of your regimen… of course many of these things simply don’t apply anymore. So, instead you can keep them on or replace them with silver ones or perhaps peruse the selection at your local flea market or ebay.

The Fit

The downside of the navy blazer is that it’s been around for a long time and like anything that is somewhat ubiquitous, and in this case a fashion-commodity, most renditions re there are bad, boxy and poorly made. SO look carefully and try a blazer on, walk around the store, sit down, look at it with the buttons open, with the buttons closed etc. There is nothing effeminate at posing at the mirror, remember others will look at you far more than you will look at yourself, so make sure the jacket fits right. It should sit comfortably on your shoulders without the seam going far beyond your shoulder proper, and no shoulderpads, ever. If you are a young man, or have a slim frame, stick to model with higher armholes, narrower arms and a bit of a shorter cut (unless you’re tall of course). Tall men would benefit from three buttons, shorter, talkier guys with two to even one. Men of medium or “rpund frames” should still stick to a narrower cut and the width of the lapels should match the width of the face. Have a wide face or a large frame? Opt for wider peak lapels. But, whatever you do, whatever your frame pick the right size, you shouldn’t look like you’re wearing a sack (it’s not complimenting).

(photos courtesy of The  Sartorialist )

The Navy Blazer: The Advantages

  • Very versatile: can be worn with a button shirt, tie or no tie, a polo shirt, or if you’re the hip type a white v-neck t-shirt or Henley. You can wear with jeans (the wash needs to be lighter than the jacket), khakhis (warning, you can look like a shclepp in the pants are too baggy or pleated), white pants (for a very modern look) down to adventurous things like pastel yellow, striped blue, red, or seersucker. Moreover, for a more formal setting, a navy blazer with grey trunks looks incredibly smart.

A Versatile combo...

  • Can be dressed up: grey trousers, repp tie; ready for business.

The Office

  • Can be dressed preppy: red pants and a white polo? White pants and a bottle of champagne. Foppish, hell no! (more on this later).


(photos courtesy of Esquire and The Sartorialist)
  • Can be dressed down: v-neck t-shirt and jeans.

(photo courtesy of GQ)

  • The ultimate business-trip jacket (see above).
  • It’s hip but, moreover and infinitely most importantly: It’s timeless.

    Cool, safe, unpretentious, preppy- masculine.

The Navy Blazer: The Disadvantages

  • It’s popular and sartorially ubiquitous which means there are many styles out there with special renditions, features and atributes in order to distinguish one from the other. For the first one: Keep it simple! Start basic, then go from there (you know, the blazer with white piping? That’s level 5).

The next level.

  • The Khaki conundrum. It seems natureal: navy blazer with kahki pants. Right? But this is a the problem, it’s so ubiquitous and overused by schkleppy banking types and no-nothing frat-boys that the look, often an oversized sack-jacket and baggy pants, has gotten a bad wrap. It’s a good look and a classic one, but it needs to be done carefully, see below:

The unfortunate archetype: too big, too baggy, too schleppy

The right way to do khaki+navy blazer.

  • Choices. There are simply too many choices so let’s go to our buying guide:

TGG’s Navy Blazer Buying Guide

  • Start Simple and basic for the first Navy Blazer:
    • Notch lapel
    • Two button
    • Standard Navy color
    • Light wool (so it can be used year-round)
    • Lined
    • Slim cut: should be slightly pinched at the waist, narrow arms, higher armhoples. Dapper and proper.
    • Be willing to spend; you only need one right? So do it right. A good Navy Blazer may cost anywhere from $120USD to $900USD. A notable exeption is Uniqlo’s unlined Navy blazer which is, in short, fantastic.


  • Pocket squares: silk, cotton and linen- don’t be afraid. Go from simple white linen to colorful prints: Make it count.

The diversifier... (courtesy of the Sartorialist)

  • Different materials: the summer one (unlined, linen, cotton) to winter (wool, velvet, tweed) down to the stylish and unique (knit, patched, etc… see above picture).

Some ideas:

Navy Blazer cool (from the Sartorialist)

A stylish Combo (from

Top 10 for Navy Blazers

  1. J. Press (sack suits- get the a size smaller and have them tailored)
  2. J. Crew
  3. Brook’s Brothers (Black Fleece is slimmer)
  4. Uniqlo (fantastic- lightweight and inexpensive)
  5. Zara
  6. Etro
  7. Cucinelli
  8. Ralph Lauren
  9. Zegna
  10. Kitton

Bordeaux Vintage Round up: The Buying Guide- ST. JULIEN 2009

The St. Julien spectrum

SEVERAL weeks ago i wrote a post (here) about the 2009 vintage of Bordeaux, which is being hailed as the vintage of the century (that, by the way, includes 1982– which in retrospect, was not that great since the wines are on their last legs) i agree with the critical praise, in spirit. The 2009’s were fabulous- but buyer beware! Not all of it was excellent. I will continue in various parts to share my impressions and tasting notes: we start with my personal favorite; St. Julien.

If Margaux is feminine and Paulliac is masculine with cigar and pencil shaving nuances then St. Julien is more of a rumbuctious young aristocrat somewhere between Eaton and a Manhattan bachelor pad who is aptly named Phineas or Cole and looks like Mika or the fashionista scion of the Ferrari family. Equal parts spicy, flirtatious and deep, St. Julien’s wines are the favorties of many novices to Bordeaux who, although love the tender flowriness (that putrid-rose perfume) that is Margaux’s calling card, want something with a little more punch. In truth, St. Julien’s are a different animal than Margaux and in the structure it can sometimes achieve a prowess not unlike its muscular northern cousin, Pauillac. But it’s in its differences to Pauillac and further north to St. Estephe which really makes St. Julien standout.

On the nose St. Juliens often smell of spice box with hefty doses of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg sometimes harkening me back to the spice-markets of Old Delhi. Alas the comparisons to India stop here (although with a Raan, a sort of marinated and tandoori-roasted leg of lamb which is so tender it can be cut up with a spoon, a garam-masala scented Ducru-Beaucaillou is just the perfect match). Unlike Margaux St. Julien (as is Pauillac and St. Estephe) is known for being very consistent year after year in terms of quality and overall profile, with nuances differing between one estate to another for various reasons we won’t get to here.

As I wrote in my notes: St. Julien makes me happy.

The following is a list of wines from the St. Julien region from the 2009 vintage. The wines were all tasted March 29th in a controlled temperature room out of Riedel wine glasses. The wines were not tasted blind. All wines were barrel samples. Any exception to the above are noted. Notes by Alejandro Ortiz.

Alejandro’s Ratings:

O/P: Ok/ Poor

G: Good

VG: Very Good

GR: Great

E: Excellent (an intermediary between Great but not Fantastic)

FA: Fantastic

AM: Amazing

The first sub rating a “+” or “-“ is given for original impression on the nose and palate followed by a subsequent sub-rating for it’s overall performance within its rating.

  • Chateau Gloria
    • G++-
      • Black muddled fruit- the most serious Gloria I’ve ever had, wow.
    • Ch. Talbot
      • O / G
        • A bit weak in the middle and melancholic- something happened here (or didn’t).
        • SECOND LABLE: Constable de Talbot: G—
      • Second Tasting @ UGG Tasting: G+– / VG—
        • Totally different wine that what I remembered tasting before; this had bright brambly red fruit jam spread on a fermented tobacco leaf (this, at least to me, sounds delicious) with hints of mint and a leafy greenness which screams “picked too early” however.
    • Ch. Lagrange
      • VG++-
        • Supple folds of liquid mahogany with nuances of cherry and a velveteen mouth feel. If a Sweedish designer conceived a sex-chair for Betty Page using Versailles as an inspiration it would be similar to this.
        • SECOND LABEL: Les Fiefs de Lagrane: VG—
    • Second Tasting @ UGG Tasting: G++- / VG —
      • Elegant but not showing as well- the sample’s a bit shy.
    • Ch. Beychevelle
      • G++- / VG—
        • Meaty and chewy—where are my braised short-ribs? Can a wine be described as guttural?
    • Second Tasting @ UGG Tasting: VG—
      • See above.
    • Ch. Branaire-Ducru
      • G+++
        • Brown baking spices sprinkled on red fruit… put in a bowl, let it macerate in the spring sun for several hours. Smell. Get it? Very nice.
    • Second Tasting @ UGG Tasting: VG—
      • See above. This is one of the great values of St. Julien.
    • Ch. Gruaud-Larose
      • G+++
        • Typical: slightly feral and funky. Always… some people love this don’t get me wrong but I have never gotten this Chateau’s wines. There’s a core of red fruit with a sprinkling of black pepper but I need to put my glass down…
    • Ch. St. Pierre
      • VG–+
        • Interestingly flowery with spicy nuances- great value.
    • Second Tasting @ UGG Tasting: VG+–
    • Ch. Leoville-Poyferre
      • GR+–
        • Powerful red/black fruit compote, but nuanced.
    • Second Tasting @ UGG Tasting: GR++-
      • See above.
    • Ch. Leoville-Barton
      • VG+++
        • Good God! (my notes). The old man (Monsieur Barton) must be getting old… Like when grandpa turns the volume on the TV waaaay up so he can hear, this wine slams you in the face just in case Mr. Barton may not be able to taste it. And Taste it you do. Need a break…
    • Second Tasting @ Chateau Leoville-Barton: VG+++
      • Huge; this time I was ready for it otherwise you can pass out. The tannins are massive, dry, full of stuff Winston Churchill loves: Cohiba cigars, scotch, French whore and god knows what else. There is a sprinkling of Thai cinnamon and sun-dried cherries somewhere in there but it’s hard to find. This is definitely a “nuclear holocaust” type of wine. Buy it up! You’ll be drinking it at Rapture…
    • Ch. Langoa-Barton  (tasted at Chateau Leoville-Barton)
      • VG+–
        • Fabulous- in the same vein as Barton- huge, blown, and chock-full of brown mulling spices. Will last forever.
    • Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou (tasted at the Chateau)
      • FA+++
        • The chateau was decorated like a sort of carnival hall-of-mirrors motif and yet no mirrors. At the entrance two statuesque blondes in small black dresses welcomes guests: I liked the wine already. Once inside the tasting started with a new wine the chateau is producing which was surprisingly in its… how can I describe it: “Californianess…” Which is not a bad thing, but if I want a California wine with a French accent there’s a slew of wines to choose from (i.e. made by French wine makers or owned by French companies). The second label La Croix de Ducru-Beaucaillou was marvelous and in line with a truism in this vintage: the second labels of the top estates are amazing and at time better than the top wine on less fortunate vintages. When I think French garam-masala (Quare Epices) I think Ducru—this is a telltale feature of the wine and one that is hard to forget. Ducru and in this case the “Croix” is difficult to let go: juicy, flirtatious, bright red fruit with a solid dose of the above-mentioned spice mix… its beautiful. Of course, the prize has to go to the big brother which tempts you to jump into the glass and swim in it. The depth of the wine is near-infinite with waves of tobacco, spices, earth, and red fruit all enveloping in it in a pretty solid jacket of soft but present tannins; this is Bordeaux after all and this wine is not pretending to be anything it’s not. And what it is, is fabulous!

        The Favorite underdog...

    Overall Impression of the St. Julien 2009

    • VG-GR

    Overall the St. Julien appellation produced very solid wines across the board. Here again though the gulf between the premier estates, and everyone else was quite noticeable although not as dramatic as in Margaux, for example. St. Juliens are great because upon release they drink well for about a year or two until shutting down for about a decade. All Bordeaux do this: try them at release and then try them two years later: two different animals. These St. Julien’s will keep and keep and keep they’ve got a lot of guts and will deliver pleasure for decades (and decades) to come.

    2009 St. Julien Top 3:

    1. Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou
    2. La Croix de Ducru-Beaucaillou
    3. Chateau Leoville-Poyferre

    2009 St. Julien Underdogs (buy to surprise)

    1. Chateau Branaire-Ducru
    2. Chateau Dufort-Vivens (not reviewed)
    3. Chateau Gloria

    Smells like Summer: The Archetype- Davidoff’s Cool Water

    ALL hail the Classic(s)…

    The Summer

    Summer is ultimately about sun. Often sun comes with water; in the form of beaches, pools and lakes. There is a casual ease about the long rambling days of summer as the cool morning air melts under a softly pulsating sun which kisses the air with its lusty warmth.

    Summer is a time when even the most uptight Brit dons colorful pants and strips down to his swimming briefs (god forbid) to enjoy the water and soak up the fun.

    Summer is also the time for forbidden romances—when weeks of dieting after the winter holidays gives way to sorbets and ice-cream; where a flash of your girlfriend or wife tanning as she lays down remind you of naughty desires; when the smell of coconut, salt and wafts of summer food, alcohol and pheromones fills the air.

    In an earlier post TGG waxed poetic on the ins and outs of summer scents (here) and featured citrusy concoctions from Le Labo and Santa Maria Novella to a true wonder: salty air and sun-tan lotion-scented cologne from CB I Hate Perfume.

    Fruits and flowers are an easy stretch of the imagination for colognes; but there is another genre, which we will call “aquatic cyphres” that bring the crisp, steely and refreshing aspects of water (or what we think of water anyway) to the fore. It is a genre almost singe-handedly created by Pierre Bourdon who in 1988 took the world by storm with his concoction for a cigar-house and called it  “Davidoff Cool Water”.

    In the last breaths of the 1980’s came a new meme onto a world; a world full of possibilities one which was to shed things like floppy disks and cassettes for the Internet and the iPod. That meme was “Cool Water”- with racy ads, a full media blitz and it’s lingering sexy smell it was the equivalent of a song that at first you love then love to hate. No kid in America missed this phenomenon and if you were in middle school or high-school a coveted bottle or an erstwhile splash guaranteed you would become your school’s Casanova. It was an aphrodisiac, a statement, an emotional sentiment- it also spawned many imitators, all fabulous perfumes on their own right such as Aqua de Loewe, Aqua di Gio, Polo Blue  and Dolce & Gabbana Blue: all reversed engineered versions of the original.

    All perfumes are self-identifiers, markers of emotion and this is what makes them great. Pick a bottle of this up; albeit bashfully, and splash some on the way out to the market, the beach, lunch or for the night bar-hopping—you will see the response.

    The top notes of lavender, herbals, citrus and jasmine with a heavy aquatic nose recede to reveal middle notes of sandalwood (ever so slightly in order to remind you this is a male scent after all), musk and cedar. It’s ethereal.

    “’What is that?’ is the most common response by women of a certain age…” says one of our contributors who we’ll call ‘Jay,’ “… a whole generation of women came of age and discovered their sexuality with men wearing cool water; it’s an immediate smell-association thing…” Of course it can backfire and moreover no where was Cool Water more popular than in the states; but nevertheless it’s allure does translate. All you need is a nose.

    The Mold

    GG Classification: Spring/Summer

    Recommended for: sunrise through sunset- possible catnip (or a slap in the face). Oh and definitely go light on it! Many women remember Cool Water as being a very “strong” scent but they moistly remember it from the their youth when guys usually spray waaay to much on…