… I spent all me money on whiskey and beer!
As the song goes, that is.
Since brewing and smoking have been scant because of the season, I thought I would broaden the topic somewhat to the things that are on my mind lately. With the advent of fatherhood comes a desire to enter into all things masculine. Now, I’m not saying I haven’t been a “dude” my whole life (checks trousers). I mean I reflect on my father’s and grandfathers’ generations and realize my contemporaries lack a certain elegance and appreciation for what it means to be of the male persuasion.
One of the things I think we lost somewhere is the appreciation for finer clothes and grooming. You might think that’s distinctively a female thing, but I disagree. Taking care of ones physique and presence is distinctly masculine. It’s the male of most species that sport the plumage and excrete the musky scents to attract their mate or exert dominance over others. With that last point in mind, I have embarked on a quest to find the manliest scent I can.
Traditionally, I have been a wearer of what I thought were decently manly scents; Old Spice, Dominica Bay Rum, Creed’s Green Irish Tweed–Cary Grant’s scent of choice–or BVLGARI Black (delicious licorice, leather, and black rubber tires in that one!).
An Art of Manliness post pointed me at what would be my first scent of this experiment, Moonshine: a Gentleman’s Cologne. Moonshine claims to be “A woodsy aroma with hints of spice: including notes of black pepper, tobacco, leather, gin, and patchouli.” At $72 for a 3.4 oz bottle, I wanted to avoid a blind buy, so I fired an e-mail to their contact asking if they had samples available. The reply came back that I could get a sample for a PayPal charge of $5. Not a bad price for a trial, I concluded.
A few days later, an envelope arrived in my mailbox.
Even before I opened the envelope, I was somewhat impressed with the addressing details.
Inside was a thank you letter and the sample vial; nothing too spectacular.
Then again, I wasn’t too concerned about looks. the scent is what mattered most. The little label around the vial detail was particularly cute, though.
Sampling from a small vial is sometimes difficult. The application comes across a little differently than with an atomizer. However, my Green Irish Tweed habit is supplied in little vials–a small bottle of the stuff can run into the $400 range–so I am familiar with using them.
So how did this little sip of Moonshine go down? I’m no professional nose, but it was a pretty decent scent. Definitely more floral that I would prefer. I could use more spice and more tobacco. I missed the warmth of Bay Rum I’m used to. I detect hints of maybe violet, which I could see in a classic man’s cologne. After all, it’s in Green Irish Tweed and I’m sure my grandfather probably used violet water. However, this just didn’t do it for me. My wife concurs. She didn’t think it was manly. I’ll continue to wear it off and on, applying it in the morning and living with it throughout my work day (so as to avoid any scrunched up noses at home) and perhaps append this post with some follow-ups.
Bottom line at this point, would I buy a full bottle of Moonshine, a Gentleman’s Cologne? I might, at some point. I don’t think it will be my go-to scent any time soon. In my job, I have to dress rather conservatively. For a cologne, I’m looking for something rustic, rugged, and downright rough. Despite the name, Moonshine is a bit too refined and dainty for a daily wear.