The other day I had the pleasure of speaking to Jany Temime – award-winning costume designer for the new Bond film SPECTRE – about what men can learn from the way 007 dresses. We didn’t talk about the labels he wears in the movie – you can read about those elsewhere – but about what men can learn from Bond’s general style. If you want to read more (and discover how many pair of gloves Daniel had to be fitted with before the right ones were found) simply click on the pic above. This message will self destruct in 15 seconds.
In the beauty industry – where, by and large everything is fabulous, wonderful and beautiful – criticising a product is not an act without consequences. So I thought long and hard (for a full 12 seconds) about whether to give out an award for the product that least lived up to expectations this year.
But, hey, I’m a straight-talking northerner and didn’t start this blog to be afraid of giving my opinion. And that’s all it is – my own personal opinion. So…when it comes to picking out a real stinker of a fragrance his year, for me it has to be the James Bond 007 one.
It’s not that this eagerly-anticipated fragrance from Procter & Gamble is particularly pernicious (it’s terminally bland rather than offensive, suffering the fate of most fragrances that probably came into the world with the assistance of that most cack-handed of midwives – the focus group). No, it’s that it should be so much better. This is the James Bond brand we’re talking about here after all. In its 50th year and smashing box office records with Skyfall – a film regarded by many as the best Bond film ever.
The bottom line – and I’m not the first to say this – is that James Bond himself would never wear this sharp, rather acrid concoction with its signature apple note (who knew 007 was so fond of a Cox’s Pippin?). He might spray it to repel enemies perhaps but certainly not to bed the girl. As someone on one of my favourite fragrance sites basenotes.com said, though, its main crime is of being a wasted opportunity. Another simply wrote “it’s the cheaper smell of Burberry For Men” but even I wouldn’t be that scathing.
Having said all this I suspect it’ll initially do ok sales-wise. Not least because, with the 50th anniversary celebrations and release of Skyfall, it’s riding on the crest of a 007 publicity frenzy. It’s also had the advantage of some very shrewd marketing. There’s a rather fetching limited edition gold flacon version (though that to me is a bit like opening the bonnet of your Aston Martin only to find the engine of a 2CV inside) and GQ heavily promoted it as “the most dangerously sophisticated fragrance in the world” earlier this year – an endorsement which one reviewer called “quite a claim” and which I call “quite bonkers”.
The press release for next month’s launch of Procter & Gamble’s new James Bond 007 fragrance might say “the world’s first male fragrance dedicated to the legendary British spy” but a quick search on Google reveals that someone officially (or unofficially) got there first in 1996 with this stunning-looking eau de toilette. And whilst I doubt there’s much difference in smell, this version does look decidedly….well, George Lazenby. Know what I mean?
A while back I ran a little poll on here to identify the top Male Grooming Faux Pas – you know, those common mistakes that have us reaching for the gas mask/sick bag/divorce courts. Well, the voting came thick and fast and the results surprised even me.
Most heinous crime of all wasn’t manky toenails or picking spots but, to use James Bond’s words, smelling like a tart’s handkerchief, with B.O a close second and dirty fingernails third. Surprisingly, given all the money spent on advertising remedies, dandruff and yellow teeth were much lower down the list, nestling either side of hairy backs (I actually gagged as I wrote that).
So, men, go easy with the eau and stick to the ‘two sprays rule’ I’m always promoting. When it comes to fragrance, less really is more ok?
The complete results.
1. Too much aftershave (24%)
2. Body odour (23%)
3. Dirty fingernails (17%)
4. Dandruff (13%)
5. Hairy back (10%)
6. Yellow teeth (7%)
7. Other (6%)