Merry Christmas to all our loyal regular readers and casual visitors. Wishing you and your families the very best this Holiday Season and a joyous, prosperous & healthy New Year!
Today we’re going (very) old school with this clip from 1954’s White Christmas. This Holiday classic featuring the inimitable Bing Crosby singing Irving Berlin’s songs ably assisted by the very funny Danny Kaye, the charming songstress Rosemary Clooney (George’s aunt) and the amazing dancer Vera-Ellen. Helmed by the great Michael Curtiz of Casablanca fame, White Christmas is a very funny musical and dance extravaganza with enough sentimentality to warm the heart of even the Grinchiest viewer. If you’re having trouble getting into the spirit of the season, this slice of 1950s post-War Americana will do the trick like the visual equivalent of turkey with all the trimmings and a cup of egg nog. Merry, merry!
Because looking good is only half the battle we’re starting a new feature here on MFL: Men’s Cologne. After all, when you’re suited & booted for work or play you want to smell just as fine as your outift, don’t you? Now, we don’t claim to be the world’s greatest experts on men’s scents or be the biggest noses (that’s perfume speak for “connoisseur”). But we know what smells good to us. We don’t really mess around with unisex scents or go in much for stuff that smells like a fudge browny. We’re also not afraid to go back in time to pick something classic from the 70s or the 80s or even older. Who says you can’t wear something your dad rocked back in the day? On rare occasions sometimes we may even go hunting an old vintage or discontinued frag. But we’re definitely not afraid to try something new or popular.
That said, we also don’t want to be identified as “Cologne Guy.” A man’s fragrance should certainly be noticed in a positive fashion, maybe even complimented, but it shouldn’t speak louder than he does or try too hard. When you’ve got the right cologne on it compliments but doesn’t drown out your other positive qualities. In other words, you don’t want people saying “Nice suit but what the hell was that smell?” In short, we want to smell manly and good, just as a guy should, and from here on out we’ll be sharing our favorite and not so favorite colognes with you and our honest opinions of them. If you’re then tempted to try one or two on our recommendation then have at it. Keep in mind that smell is a very personal sense and you may not always agree with what we choose to wear. But we think that more often than not you’ll like what we’re spritzing on, as well as our advice on how and where to use it. It’s a big wide world out there and smell is one of the most subliminal and effective ways to communicate your own personal cool — might as well try out some new fragrances to help you feel your best and put the finishing touches on your style.
Alain Delon of the past helps sell Dior’s new Eau Sauvage Parfum today
Before we get to the reviews, here are a few basics on terminology that will make the discussion easier.
Basic concentrations of cologne by strength:
Eau de Cologne (EDC) — Generally a lighter grade of scent, perhaps a little stronger than aftershave but doesn’t last long and generally is not that powerful smelling, though some may start out strong/loud. Most EDC’s are sort of eye openers to start the day before graduating to something more substantial.
Eau de Toillette (EDT) — The most common strength for most premium men’s fragrances — you & I may refer to it as “cologne” but chances are any given fragrance off the shelf with any lasting power is going to be an Eau de Toilette. Can be strong and long lasting depending on the scent but generally reasonably moderate in both departments.
Eau de Parfum (EDP) — A stronger concentration than an EDT, an Eau de Parfum allows the perfumer to enhance the depth and lasting power of a fragrance generally speaking. While it should always smell similar to the EDP version, an EDP (often marketed as “intense” these days) can also take some liberties that essentially turn it into an entirely new scent (for example the differences between the classic Eau Sauvage by Dior and the modern EDP version). Generally powerful and long lasting and for guys who are comfortable wearing something with a lot of strength behind it. When in doubt, start with the Eau de Toilette then graduate to the Eau de Parfum.
Parfum — Also called simply Perfume or extrait de parfum/perfume extract, this is the least diluted strength of a fragrance and therefore the most powerful. This doesn’t really come up that often for men’s scents unless you are deep into intense fragrance and are a niche fan or serious scent head. Only for the very brave, ballsy and experienced.
Important Qualities for a Fragrance:
Longevity: Self-explanitory, this is how long a fragrance lasts. This can vary from person to person depending on skin type and other factors like the weather like temperature and relative humidity. This is not directly connected to the power of the fragrance per se, as even when your cologne is no longer making an impression on anyone more than a foot away, if you can still smell it on your skin (“skin scent”) then that still represents longevity. And more often than not, fragrances linger longer on clothing than on one’s skin.
Sillage: A French word (pronounced see-yazh) that refers to your personal vapor trail while wearing a fragrance. It essentially defines the way your cologne wafts in the air and can be detected by others. Generally speaking, if you are wearing something pleasant and that you like, sillage is desirable in that you are making a statement with your cologne so other people should be able to detect it in a subtle but perceptible manner.
Projection: Sometimes used interchangeably with sillage, projection is slightly different in that it refers to the sort of radius that your chosen scent throws off. Does your cologne enter the room before you do? That’s projection. If you gesture with your hands a few hours after applying your cologne and a pleasant waft of it is newly stirred up, that is more like sillage. Some people love colognes with a lot of projection and some prefer to keep it a bit closer to the body. Depends on what kind of guy you are, the social setting you’re in — maybe what you wear to a nightclub is not so appropriate for the office — and how much of a statement you want to make.
We at MFL would like to wish a Happy New Year to all our loyal readers and occasional visitors. We really appreciate you stopping by in 2015 and wish you & yours all the very best in 2016.
Our New Year’s Resolution is to keep on marching to the beat of our own drummer and expanding our horizons to all things interesting and gentlemanly and then hopefully sharing that with you. What’s yours?
After all that shopping, general running around and all those holiday parties the day itself has finally arrived. So Merry Christmas from all of us here at MFL to all of you and yours! May your holiday be filled with joy, friends & family and good food & drink. Enjoy the day’s celebrations and get home safely — it really is a wonderful life so remember to count your blessings and toast your good fortune. We’re certainly very appreciative that you stop by from time to time and we raise our glasses of ‘Nog to you!
Man’s Fine Life would like to wish our loyal readers a wonderful Thanksgiving Day full of feasting, friends, family & frivolity. And here’s to all those who do the hard work of putting the celebration together every year. Lord knows it ain’t easy and we’re certainly thankful for all their efforts and the fine food that results!
Enjoy your holiday, travel safely and know that we give thanks for you stopping by when you can. See you on the flipside for some day-after turkey sandwiches on rye with Russian dressing!
The Vintage Rolex world has lost a titan — the great Marcello Pisani has passed away. The legendary Italian collector and veritable encyclopedia of arcane Rolex knowledge made his mark with his unparalleled research into special issue watches such as COMEX and British Military-issued Submariners. His willingness to share what he’d learned with his fellow collectors great and small really set him apart and made him the go-to guy for technical and historic questions, as well as pinpointing those all-important identifiers of authenticity.
I first encountered Marcello about a decade ago as I began my obsession with Vintage Rolex. Through private emails and public interactions on the vital Vintage Rolex Forum I can honestly say that I learned more from Marci than from any other source. More importantly perhaps, I learned what questions should be asked and how to go about researching the puzzles that presented themselves, many of which have now been solved thanks in no small part to M. Pisani. To say he was a mentor to me is a great understatement and yet it’s absolutely a fact that I was but one star in a veritable constellation of questing collectors helped by Marci. So you can multiply his edifying influence on me a thousandfold to get a rough idea as to how many lives he influenced and how much knowledge he shared.
This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the grandaddy of endurance motor racing, is underway at the Circuit de la Sarthe in the Pays de la Loire region of France. You can catch literally all of the action live on the Fox Sports GO site or through their app by logging in with your cable provider ID and password. The complete broadcast schedule is below:
– FOX Sports GO (Saturday, June 13 at 8:30 a.m. to Sunday, June 14 at 9:30 a.m.)
– Saturday, June 13 (8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., FOX Sports 2)
– Saturday, June 13 (7 p.m. to 8 p.m., FOX Sports 1)
– Saturday, June 13 (11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., FOX Sports 2)
– Sunday, June 14 (3:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., FOX Sports 1)
– Sunday, June 14 (7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., FOX Sports 2)
– Sunday, June 14 (9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., FOX Sports 1)
Can Porsche put an end to Audi’s remarkable run of dominance in P1? How will Nissan’s Nismo fare in its debut race? And of course it’s time to find out who’s the top dog in GT: Corvette, Ferrari, Astin Martin or Porsche. Watch the whole thing live or tune in at your convenience — you’re bound to see something dramatic, unexpected and likely hair raising. After all, it’s Le Mans.
So the reason for the radio silence is that my wife and I just got back from a very nice vacation in Tulum, Mexico, where we have been so many times it feels practically like a vacation home. This winter was brutal in the Northeast and we were in serious need of some warm, sunny beach time, which that magical place on the Mexican Caribbean never fails to provide.
I first went to Tulum in the 90s just for a quick visit while staying at Isla de Mujeres off of Cancun and Playa del Carmen up the road (now a sprawling metropolis in its own right), mainly just to see the seaside Mayan ruins. That led to my wife and I going down there for spring vacations beginning in the early 2000s. We initially stayed at Cabanas Copal and then Azulik towards the north end of the resort area many times. At first there weren’t that many hotels in the whole Tulum strip and virtually none south of the small checkpoint down the road from Zamas, essentially only the Maya Tulum yoga spa right on the spit of the small bay, then a little down the road/beach there was Posada Margherita, the original Tulum “destination” restaurant run by some charming Italian ex-pats with help from some very sandy dogs, and just a few other small places scattered on the beach along accessible by dirt road. Hemingway on the beach — which despite the name does not have a real bar! — and El Tábano, on the inland side of the road and still serving up wonderful Mexican comfort food cooked up by a troop of hard working abuelas, were some of the last restaurants and hotels that far south, not including a few exotic outliers tucked into the palms on the beach and in the jungle.
This time we stayed at the very reasonable and good Coco Tulum Hotel on that once-sparsely developed southern part. But now, after countless fashion photo shoots and ad campaigns, as well as travel write-ups in pretty much every major publication in the US and abroad, that southern strip between the checkpoint and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere is packed back-to-back with places to stay and eat. Due to the ease of travel from the East Coast (it’s about a three and a half hour flight to Cancun from New York and then about an hour and a half drive down to Tulum) and the magic of the name “Tulum”, snowbirds flock there in ever increasing numbers. Thankfully, it never feels crowded or overpopulated on the beach side because it is so long and the resorts all have their own large sectors. But inland you find that it is absolutely hopping. It’s startling to see tattooed hipsters from Brooklyn and well to do people from all over the world, as well as the traditional backpackers, jamming the paved roads and pathways of what used to be a rutted trail unsuitable for bicycles. There’s even a must-try restaurant, Hartwood, where people line up for dinner reservations in the early afternoon as if it were Per Se in Manhattan. I hear great things about it but there’s no way I’m spending my vacation trying to make the scene in what is to me an escape from all that sort of pretentious jive. Not that there’s anything wrong with it…
The Bay at Zamas at sunset
In fact, as it’s turned out with the way the southern sector has been (over) developed, it’s the northern “town” section that’s most like it was a decade ago. Continue reading →
We’re very happy to announce that a new man has joined our little enterprise here. He goes by the handle Dick Bonneville and with admittedly perfect timing for the fast approaching NFL season, he’ll be covering the Pro Football beat with a special emphasis on weekly matchup spreads, as well as whatever else tickles his fancy. As one of the resident experts over at TheOfficePool.com, he’s a good man to listen to when it comes to your Sunday lineups or pick ’ems. So a warm welcome to the MFL team, Mr. Bonneville, and a toast to your pigskin prognostications. We certainly feel like dancing in the end zone at having another well-rounded chap to help carry the rock.