Friday, April 27, 2012

"Ode to .....?"

Good Day Readers:

With the announcement recently the New York Yankees would be introducing an official his/her fragrance, we wondered what would you call your favourite team's?

For us it was easy. Basketball is the thinking person's game the intellectual capital of which is in Boston.
Not to be outdone what about, "Kevin Garnett's After Game Sneakers" or "Paul Pierce's Post Victory Uniform" or our favourite, "Rondo's Triple Double Socks" - the possibilities are endless. Perhaps "Green Perspiration" would have market appeal.

Clare L. Pieuk
Yankees Enter Fragrance market, expert Panel Samples Scent
By John M. Clark Jr./Contributor
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Smells like Team Spirit (Image Via Cloudbreak Group)

Branding the fragrance is the brainchild of Cloudbreak exec Tom Butkiewicz. “They’re a prestige brand,” he told The Times. “They’re a brand that exudes class.”

Another Cloudbreak representative said they wanted “the unique sense of swagger that the Yankees have.”

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and center fielder Curtis Granderson will represent the brand. And no, for now Cloudbreak has no plans for future baseball team scents.

All this is well and good. But we wanted something more, some insight, maybe even a trial. Thankfully, the good folks at Deadspin assembled a panel of experts for a quick sniff-and-chat. Here are the results:

Michael Carl, Vanity Fair fashion market director: “This is like when you walk into the gym locker room and this is whatever random fragrance they have. It’s like the one they just sprayed and I walk into it and I’m like ‘Oooh, intense fragrance!’ But? it’s also not upsetting. It’s really a generic kind of scent.”

Chandler Burr, former perfume critic for T: The New York Times Style Magazine and the current curator of olfactory art at the Museum of Art and Design: “They’ve put in a classic masculine fresh. It’s verrrrry much a masculine trope that started in 1986 with Drakkar Noir that used a clean clothes and freshly showered deodorant scent as the default masculine model.”

Nick Axelrod, senior fashion news editor at Elle: “I guess this is what guys want to smell like? It’s very much like any of those drug-store fragrances.”

Page 2 of 3

But after a few seconds, another smell starts to come through … and our panelists look pretty intrigued.

Burr: “This is … wow! It’s really startling to me because it’s overlaid—that [masculine] model is overlaid with a huge amount of sweet fruit.”

Axelrod: “It’s sweet! Oh my god, there’s like a lot—there’s a lot of tropical fruit. There’s this weird, subversive fruity smell. Wow, this is a fucking gay smell for a Yankee.”

(Axelrod, by the way, is gay.)

Burr, after taking another big sniff: “This is absolutely the pitch perfect Justin Bieber hit. You get a perfectly constructed pop hit that stays resolutely within the boundaries of comfort and familiarity but has a great hook. The boundaries of comfort and familiarities are the 1980s late 20th century masculine and the hook is a very sweet fun fruit—like a raspberry. It’s the Justin Bieber of scents—if you could bottle Justin Bieber this would be it.”

Axelrod: “There’s a Sex and the City episode where Carrie gets with the Yankee. This scent epitomizes that scene in Sex and the City. She gets the Yankee phone number. This is the smell of that moment. This is the smell that mingled between her Nina Ricci and his Polo—whatever a Yankee wears.”

But wait, what’s happening to that masculine part?

Axelrod: “You lose that beginning part. Whatever masculine pretension the fragrance had completely disappears within the first five minutes and you’re left with—remember that gum? The striped one that lasted for like 10 minutes? It had a zebra on the packet.”

Pinstripes, meet Fruit Stripe.

And who’s the target audience?

Carl: “Someone in Staten Island?”

Burr: “I think it’s perfect for a kid anywhere from 15 to 25.”

Page 3 of 3

Axelrod: “Maybe I want to wear this? It smells like bubblegum. It smells like candy! It’s smells like your boyfriend’s candy or something. As a gay man you’re always looking for the new or the next thing, right?”

But whenever you’re talking about the Yankees, the conversation inevitably comes back to one thing—money. Our panel did not like the price.

Carl: “For $30 I wouldn’t buy it, but I wouldn’t fault someone for buying it. But for $50? I would fault someone.”

Axelrod: “Fifty Dollars! For that small thing? That’s crazy. I would say that would be like $30. Seriously, $50? It’s way overpriced.”

Deadspin’s conclusion?

“Justin Bieber in a bottle; pretensions of masculinity but ultimately fruity; way overpriced. Smells about right.”


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