Who Tried It: Brian Nichols, Style Photo Editor
Why I Tried It: The best chocolates and biggest flowers are easy to find in New York City but, after a long commute home, nobody wants to cuddle up with someone who smells like mass transit. Hopefully I can find a fragrance my fiancée will enjoy as much as I do.
What I Tried: David Beckham Beyond, Pitbull Miami Man, Sean John 3AM
Level of Difficulty: The hardest thing was keeping a secret from my fiancée. I think she immediately smelled that something was up.
I’ve always been an “active ingredients” person, so I couldn’t help perusing the back label of the taupe packaging. Beckham Beyond is billed as heavy on the citrus, and the few ingredients I could pronounce included limonene, citral and geraniol. Lemon, citrus and geraniums are a step up from the subway platform — but I’ve never wished I could smell like freshly blended margarita.
So I was happy to find though Beyond was fresh to start, it quickly fell back into more notes of spices, leather and wood — like a cedar-paneled locker room. It was an energizing smell, like I was getting ready to accept an ESPY. But would the lady in my life enjoy it? I emerged from the bedroom.
“You smell like dude,” she said. Uh, yeah, a dude who’s scored in three separate World Cups. I accept the compliment! So my fiancée may not be turned on by “English footballer,” but I was feeling myself. And she had to admit it was not the worst, especially after it “settled” a bit. For less than $30, I can afford to let this be just my post-gym fragrance.
Related Video: What Does David Beckham Wear to Bed?
In so many ways, Manchester and Miami are worlds apart. Mr. Worldwide and Mr. Posh Spice seemingly have nothing in common — until you try their fragrances, that is. Both scents were heavy on the citrus but if Beckham sips his margarita on a pool deck, Pitbull spills his down his front. The jig was up the second I walked in the room wearing the rapper’s hometown musk. “Whoa, that goes right up the nostrils,” my fiancée said. She began demanding to know what I’d been up to.
After explaining to her my assignment, she agreed Pitbull Miami Man is, “distinctive enough to smell through the sweaty bodies in a club,” which might be intentional. We both couldn’t wait for the scent to dissipate, but maybe that’s too hasty a judgment. Maybe, like a white linen suit, Miami should only be worn in Miami.
So would I buy Pitbull’s fragrance? The man may brag about his bank account, but Pitbull Miami is reasonably priced at $20; not so major that I couldn’t enjoy a summer fling with this scent. I’d just have to be on vacation, where none of my friends will hear about it. Or be within smelling distance.
SEAN JOHN 3AM
Last on my list was Diddy’s new fragrance for his Sean John label, dubiously named 3AM. The first whiff was far too sharp for me. At 3AM the only thing I’m known to do is snore, so I may not be the target audience for this scent.
That’s why I was more than a little surprised when the fiancée weighed in with a thumbs up: “This one smells like manly baked things!”
And she wasn’t kidding: once it calms down, the scent is somewhere between warm gingersnap cookies and black Chinese tea — both welcome additions to any early morning adventure.
So like Diddy himself, his fragrance has two sides: a tough exterior, but not so tough that he won’t turn down a cameo in Muppets Most Wanted. So in spite of Mr. Combs’ over-the-top sexy ad campaign for this fragrance, at 3AM, the most you’re getting out of me is possibly a Netflix and Chill Friends rewatch marathon. Now pass me the gingersnaps.
Have you tried a celebrity dude scent and if so, what was your favorite?
—Brian Nichols, @bc_nichols