Coffee and I go waaaaaay back. I grew up in a household where I had no set time for bed and no restrictions on what I read or watched on TV. I could also eat and drink what I liked (I was not allowed to drink, let’s say, whiskey or beer openly, but when I’d admit taking a nip here or there I was not punished). I would start my day with a cup of coffee — even in first grade (my grandmother thought coffee, cream and sugar were ‘health foods.’) My free-style childhood and almost constant high approval ratings by my parents and live-in grandmother have contributed to some character “flaws” to be sure (a famous L.A. psychic looked at my palm once and proclaimed: “I see…Buckingham Palace!”) and my early coffee consumption no doubt made me what I am today: a man immune to the effects of caffeine.
Still, I love the scents and flavors of coffee: fresh coffee beans, roasting coffee beans (an aroma you can easily experience in Seattle), brewing coffee, percolating coffee, espresso, coffee in chocolates, ice cream, cakes, cookies and custards. I never thought I would like the scent of coffee on my person. The idea of wearing a coffee perfume made me queasy, until I sampled Thierry Mugler's A*Men Pure Coffee. Almost as much as I detest A*Men, I enjoy A*Men Pure Coffee.
A*Men Pure Coffee was developed by perfumers Jacques Huclier and Christine Nagel and it contains Arabica coffee, patchouli, musk, moss, cedar and vetiver. A*Men Pure Coffee opens with a deep, roasted coffee bean note and segues to a dark chocolate accord. Slowly, A*Men Pure Coffee’s chocolate ‘dissolves’ into a sweet liquid coffee aroma. I can detect hints of coffee and chocolate from start to finish but as A*Men Pure Coffee develops on my skin, I also smell mellow cedar, musk and vetiver. As I wore A*Men Pure Coffee, I would ask people how they liked my perfume. This fragrance got raves from everyone and I was surprised that only a few “sniffers” detected the chocolate or coffee notes immediately. The usual response to A*Men Pure Coffee was: “I recognize something…but WHAT IS IT?” When I’d reveal “coffee” and “chocolate”…all screamed: “YES!”
The moment I put on A*Men Pure Coffee I thought: “This will go great with Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental.” I was right; both of the perfumes become more interesting and complex when layered. I hate buying 100 ml bottles of any fragrance and I also hate buying wintry scents in spring, but after smelling A*Men Pure Coffee layered with my Vetiver Oriental I may have to buy a bottle. (A*Men Pure Coffee is only sold in a 100 ml size spray bottle/$65.)
Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Coffee is a limited edition fragrance and will be available in the U.S. from mid-April thru the summer. (Why are all the recent men’s limited edition fragrances so much better than the permanent offerings in the same line?)