As the cashier at Walgreen's rang up my sale, I watched the cash register's display. Stetson — $2.00. (Big sale at the fragrance aisle.) Stetson Black — $2.00. Charlie — DO NOT SELL. The cashier yawned and continued to toss items into my bag. Tabu — DO NOT SELL. I glanced up at her, but she seemed unconcerned and pushed my bag toward me. The last time I got a "do not sell" from the cash register, it was for a recalled bottle of Love's Baby Soft. What has to happen that's so bad that a bottle of drugstore perfume is recalled?
I happy to report that none of the bottles of perfume I bought that day burst spontaneously into flames or ate holes in my skin. In fact, Stetson may be my best two-dollar investment ever.
Coty, under a new sub-brand, also called Stetson, launched Stetson in 1981. Stetson is marketed to men, and the half-ounce bottle I have is labeled "aftershave" and features a blocky print of a cowboy on a horse. The cowboy is lassoing other horses, and in the background is the suggestion of mountains and trees. But the picture on the Stetson bottle doesn't have much to do with the juice inside the bottle. In fact, it might be a better match with Tauer Lonestar Memories. If I were designing an image to match Stetson's smell, I'd have the cowboys sitting around a table and playing cards. In skirts.
The Stetson website lays out some of the Stetson lore. It says that Stetson went out west but didn't like the cold and damp. "So, in 1865, Stetson set out to make the hat that could tame the American west." If you look past the multi-million dollar advertising campaign starring Tom Brady (see above, right) and remember that Stetson was a clothing designer, Stetson cologne starts to make a lot more sense.
Basenotes lists Stetson's topnotes as lemon, lime, bergamot, and lavender; its heart as patchouli, jasmine, and vetiver; and its base as amber and tonka. If I were to guess at Stetson's composition, I'd give it topnotes of lemon and tonka; a heart of lavender, carnation, patchouli, tonka, and amber; and a base of more tonka and amber. The warm, spicy vanilla scent of tonka permeates Stetson, but a sprinkling of lemon and lavender remind you that Stetson is supposed to be refreshing. Sometimes its gentle patchouli floats up, and sometimes I never smell it. Stetson only lasts about half an hour on my skin, but it's a wonderful half hour, satisfying and surprising.
Gentlemen, please forego this morning's three dollar latte and buy yourself some Stetson instead. Ladies, you get out there too and round up some Stetson. You won't be sorry. I'll see you back at the ranch.
See also: Lady Stetson.
Note: images (Matthew McConaughey and Tom Brady for Stetson) via Images de Parfums.