A Fragrant Love Letter To All Of The Men In My Life...

November 1, 2011

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and/or guest contributors and do not necessarily state or reflect those of
The Perfume Magazine LLC, Raphaella Brescia Barkley or Mark David Boberick.

All content included on this site, such as text, graphics, logos, icons, videos and images is the property of The Perfume Magazine, LLC. or its content suppliers and protected by United States and international copyright laws. The compilation of all content on this site is the exclusive property of The Perfume Magazine, LLC. and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws.

The Perfume Magazine Banner was designed exclusively by GIRVIN and is the property of The Perfume Magazine, LLC. and are protected by U.S.and international copyright laws. Additional Banner information can be found on our ABOUT page.
All images appearing in the banner are registered trademarks of their respected company and are used with permission.

© Copyright. 2011. All Rights Reserved. The Perfume Magazine LLC

By Beth Schreibman-Gehring
Co-Founder, creator and artist of A Dozen Roses, Sandy Cataldo, signing bottles

It’s no secret to anyone who’s ever read my musings that all of my life I’ve been a serious connoisseur of men. I love them, everything about them, their rough and tumbleness, their gentleness and definitely their simpleness.  I really love the way that they smell when they’ve been working outdoors, a bit like wood, wind and trees.  I love a man in a beautiful suit, smelling of ink and old money and I love the bohemian man who smells a bit musky, scented of espresso, old books and expensive cigarettes just as much. Add to that the scent of a beautiful wood guitar and I’m all yours.  

I wish that more of you (men) would take the time to take a cue from the women in your life and enjoy the process of self discovery.

What we can’t get you to understand so easily is that we want just want you to be YOU, whatever that looks like, not a cheap imitation of you. It’s not your money that will get us in bed, but the passion you exude that is the byproduct of really knowing yourself and all of your darkest desires.  Once in a period between steady boyfriends I took a lover, an absolutely gorgeous longhaired Armenian man who had not much cash at all but great taste in wine, cheese and a bank of full of currency when it came to skill and confidence. The affair lasted for quite a good long while until I fell in love again. I still remember how he smelled, absolutely delicious like Turkish coffee, iron and pine. He wore Paco Rabanne and it was splendid and absolutely perfect for the really sexy guy that he was. I can’t smell that one without remembering him and what a incredibly good lover he was. 
Every man in my life from my grandfather to my son has left a scented impression on me and maybe that’s because I’m so finely tuned to the way that things smell. I’m always amazed by the men that I meet who don’t take the time to figure out what works for them in the way of scent.  They shower and throw on the nearest bottle of after shave instead of picking a scent that makes love to their skin.

I don’t know about most women, but if I am close enough to nuzzle (and that’s my way of saying hello to even my friends) I want to wrap my arms around you and inhale deeply.  If you’re an outdoorsy type of guy, who smells naturally like pine and fire, but you’re wearing a trendy sort of cologne - you’ll confuse me.  Wearing a scent that doesn’t suit you tells me that you don’t know who you really are or that you’re trying to make me believe that you’re someone that you’re not. If you’ve taken the time to really discover what makes you swoon with pleasure then you’ll choose the things that tell the world, powerfully, who you are and that includes your fragrance. That is a mighty potent aphrodisiac for a woman like me.  No “wannabes” need apply.
My mother’s father always smelled safe to me and warm, unlike my other grandfather who always smelled to me of anger and bitterness covered up with the scent of cigarettes and cheap manhattans.  I think that my beloved grandpa Phil wore Guerlain Vetiver back then, but if he were still alive today I’d buy him a bottle of Tom Ford’s indescribably beautiful Black Violet. He wouldn’t have cared that it was a “ladies” fragrance and he would have appreciated the quiet passion that I have discovered nestled in its deep violet woodsy heart.
I once followed a gentleman around my store for a few minutes because he smelled so good but it took me awhile to finally get up the nerve to ask him what scent he was wearing. He was one of the most perfect men I’ve ever seen, handsome with longish curling gray hair, British and wearing the most gorgeous suit of gray flannel. He smelled amazing and I knew immediately that he was a very elegant “what you see is what you get” kind of guy, gorgeous, gay and completely unashamed of who he was and comfortable in his skin. He was obviously very wealthy and he was wearing Givenchy Gentleman; a fragrance which suited him like a second skin and rendered him unforgettable.
I make love to the world through my sense of smell and from very early on if you didn’t smell right to me you wouldn’t have stood a chance of finding your way into my bed.  I think that it has everything to do with my maternal grandfather   who was one of the most elegant men that I’ve ever known. He died when I was very young, but he was fabulous. A gentleman farmer from Champaign, Illinois, I never saw him when he wasn’t in a beautiful dress suit, but instead of being starched and stiff, my grandfather was always elegantly rumpled like he’d just come in from the garden.  He used to buy me velvet and tartan dresses and I loved to just curl up in his lap because he always smelled a bit like violets, tobacco, ferns and wood. I think that it’s why I’ve always loved violet perfumes, because to me they smell as he did, of class and gentleness and I associate them with a quiet wisdom from another time and place; something a bit Victorian. 
My own father is a philosopher and a painter who always smelled to me of linseed oil and pipe tobacco. He is the son of an angry Russian immigrant, a man who never quite found himself in the new world although he was to become very successful. My father in a passionate act of rebellion that has lasted his entire life became a painter and during the Vietnam war, an activist and the holder of about 4 masters degrees. He was also a business owner, but he really didn’t care about that and I know that he is to blame for the madly passionate and creative bohemian streak that runs through Alex, my son. My father refused to put on a suit for any reason and went everywhere in his corduroysport coat and turtleneck. My mother adored him although he drove her quite mad at times especially when he’d refused to wear dress shoes with his tuxedo, opting instead for Birkenstocks.  I can remember when I was about 10 wandering into my father’s studio late one night and finding her stretched out, naked and lounging on the leather sofa and my father sitting in front of his easel painting her portrait. The smoke from his pipe was delicious, the single malt that he was sipping sweet and molten. They didn’t send me away, just told me to come down, kissed me goodnight and then sent me back to bed. They really loved each other and weren’t ashamed that we knew it.  It was a wonderful way to grow up because the environment was so creative and to this day the smell of oil paint completely turns me on.

My father was always wore Bay Rum which really suited him. A true maverick to the core he really had a sense of his own style which was a bit like “Walt Whitman meets Henry David Thoreau" in the midst of a ménage a quois with Pablo Picasso.   I used to steal his bay rum when I wanted to feel adventurous, although this Christmas I’m going to buy him a bottle of Creed's absolutely delicious Epicea which will delight and suit him beautifully because of its down to earth spiciness and musky sensuality. It may also make him even more irresistible than he already is…a true maverick to the core he still delights the ladies in the nursing home where he lives with his saltiness and bold sense of himself and yes, I’ll have no problem stealing a bit of it from him every now and then!

He looks amazing in a suit and just as marvelous in his kilt and always smells of single malt, leather, chocolate and really good tobacco even when he’s not imbibing. Although he’s very athletic he looks totally strange in workout clothes. He’s a great tipper and a huge flirt, a skill which is utterly charming for me to watch given that he is completely trustworthy and if you know anything about me at all then you know what a flirt I can be so we’re actually perfectly mated.  He has an amazingly robust laugh. There’s something of a very ancient soul about Jim and I knew that any scent that I chose for him would need to have that quality as well so when I discovered all of those things embodied in Creeds Royal English Leather I knew that I’d found it. I dragged him to the counter at SFA and sprayed just a bit in the air for him to walk through. The effect was immediate and still is. He became practically regal and if possible, even more arrogant. Trust me, Givenchy Gentleman, as much as I adore it would not have had the same effect. Royal English Leather was the first fragrance created by Creed in 1781 for King James the 3rd and is a sensual fusion of bergamot, mandarin, ambergris, leather and sandalwood and probably many other things that I’m not even aware of, but blended with my husband’s lovely old soul and fiery passion brings me to my knees on a fairly regular basis.

My son Alex at the tender age of 24 has also got this “knowing” thing figured out in spades. He’s like his grandfather, handsome, brooding and rebellious with a Hemingway-esque streak that women love, but faithful, arrogant and passionate like his father. He wears a sexy black Barbour jacket and loves Irish whiskey.  He goes hiking in the woods with pairs of dogs and once plunked himself down in the middle of Central America for three months without knowing a bit of Spanish.  His nickname on my cell phone is Magellan, like the explorer who went off on a great adventure in search of citrus and spice.
No conversation with me about men would be complete without the ones who still captivate me the most, my husband Jim and my devilishly darling son Alex.  It took me forever to get Jim to wear cologne, because he really hated it. However because he loves to please me, I was allowed to persevere and finally after a long while discovered a fragrance that suited him perfectly.  My husband is a self made man who is more comfortable in his skin than any man that I’ve ever known, which is probably why he’s been the keeper of my flame for over 30 years now. Having left home at 16, he’s worldly without pretense and completely arrogant which is a quality that suits him just fine. He’s also incredibly kind and very brave. I’d walk naked through the middle of the dark night with him because I know he’d pull out his sword and slay anyone who got near me with bad intent and yes…I’ve actually seen him do it, just not the slaying part.

Alex is uncompromising about his pleasures and has taken the time to get to know himself quite well which at his tender age has brought him a hard won confidence. He is the only person that I know who can go to the symphony dressed in his jeans and a button down shirt and look completely appropriate sitting up in the box seats next to his formally dressed parents. He absolutely doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about how he should be, a quality which makes him totally irresistible to women.  Fortunately he’s also fairly oblivious as to his effect on them until of course he wants to notice!  
Alex wears Royal Spyce which suits him brilliantly because he’s always smelled a bit like the sea and pipe tobacco and interestingly enough of clover and horses. It won’t surprise me at all one day when he runs back off to the sea with all of his guitars and a backpack, a monastery in Tibet or to a racehorse farm in England. He's just wired that way.

All of this is simply to say to my gentlemen readers that if you want to be completely captivating to any woman you choose than you must simply be the most authentic YOU that you can be. Don’t settle for anything less for yourself!

We can sense when you’re faking it. When you’ve gotten it right you’ll know quickly because we’ll flock towards you like bees to pollen, so trust me, it’s worth it to take the time. Walk through the fragrance department of any great store and enjoy taking the time to find the right scent, the right soap, the right lotion. Remember, we don’t care if you’re rich because these days we can take care of that for ourselves. We care that you’re happy, kind and that you know yourself well.  Get comfortable in your skin and out of your clothes with your Chanel a la Miss Monroe.   It doesn’t matter what you look like, because the most ordinary man can turn into a prince the second that he opens his mouth  to speak and the most handsome man a toad.
Avoid the newest and trendiest unless it really suits you because unless it really does you’ll never be able to pull it off and besides, who wants to smell like everyone else? “To thine own self be true” definitely  includes your cologne!  Be honest with yourself because we’ll love you all the more for it and we know that’s all you really want from us. When you smell great we respond accordingly so have fun choosing your signature scent.  Although I’ve never approved of a man that kissed and told, please write me and let me know what you’ve chosen for yourself and feel free to include as many of the salacious details as you’d like. It’ll please me greatly if I know that I’ve had anything to do with making you happy, self confident and sensual!


About Beth