I was browsing in a Paris antique shop one winter afternoon when a fitted leather train case caught my eye.
It contained silver-handled brushes, boot hooks, a straight razor, several silver-stoppered glass bottles…
One bottle was different. Encased in yew-wood, with a handwritten date: 1903.
Inside the bottle, there was still the faint, intriguing aroma of a gentleman's cologne. A “prescription” cologne, custom-made for a rich traveler a century ago.
Curiosity was eating at me.
I bought the case (the price was shocking) and sent the bottle to a laboratory for analysis. They broke down the residue by gas chromatography. Identified its fingerprint through spectro-photometry.
The report said: an “old woody fougère.” Clean citrus notes, bergamot, “green notes.” The middle notes: clary sage…cardamom. The dry-down: leather notes, smoky labdanum…elemi, tabac, frankincense.
The detective work was impressive.
So is the thing itself.
Women like the way it smells on a man. Like a symphony that begins loudly, then soon slides into subtle, entangling developments that grow on them.
Or so I've been told.