Today’s blog is brought to us by Odette Toilette associate Laurin Taylor, who has unearthed a time capsule of famous moustaches and is here to share them with you all.
In a turn of events that I can only describe as “serendipitous”, I picked up a gem of a book called “God’s Gift: Over 100 Studs, Stallions and Dreamboats from the 70’s and 80’s” one grey Sunday afternoon at a Southbank Centre book market. It was during the BFI Flare Festival, a celebration of LGBT film from around the world. My friend Callum had dragged me along to see a short film intriguingly titled “Trouser Bar” (google it, but maybe not on your work laptop). It was fate, we agreed, and my only question to the seller was, “How much money will you allow me give you for this?”
Here we are then, with my top fragrance picks for my favourite C*ck Idols. Buckle up and start your (vintage Ferrari) engines – it’s time for Moustache Mania!
Here’s a fun fact to brighten your day. In 1975, Revlon released a cheap and cheerful men’s fragrance called Chaz. You can still pick up a bottle on Amazon for about $12, but you probably shouldn’t bother. It’s Fine. Quite Nice. Pleasant Enough. The reason I bring it to your attention is this ad (skip to 0:45), featuring a then little-known actor by the name of Tom Selleck. “Chaz Cologne for men is dedicated to that feeling of…freedom,” the voice-over smoothly assures us as our freshly showered, cattle-bothering hero leaps into a Ferrari and speeds through the desert. Don’t get any ideas, ladies. This wild stallion can’t be tamed.
I like to think the red Ferrari was a nifty bit of foreshadowing for Tom’s most famous role – that of couch-surfing, Doberman wrangling, open water swimming enthusiast Thomas Magnum. Despite the conspicuously heterosexual props – fast cars, cigars and a steady stream of lady callers – re-watching Magnum, P.I. feels a little bit like being let in on a joke – and the joke is conventional masculinity. This detective is no James Bond – he’s not even a Sonny Crockett. He’s just a regular Joe who’d rather be kicking back a beer with his mates on the beach, but instead finds himself battling elderly Nazis on a houseboat or defending a priceless vase against a pair of Chinese assassins apparently dressed as extras from Saturday Night Fever.
Chaz Cologne is for a cad, not our hapless P.I. He needs a perfume with a punchline. Je Suis Un Homme (Translation: I AM A MAN) by Etat Libre d’Orange knows how to tell a joke. Given the name, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a chest-thumping beast of a fragrance, waiting to drag you back to the cave by your hair. It’s actually nothing more than a really, really good men’s cologne – crisp and citrusy at the top, but warm and leathery as the sun sets. Make sure you stick around for the hint of cognac, too – it’s just what Hawaii’s number one private investigator wants when he lets down his chest hair at the end of a long day.
Okay, I’m bending the rules a bit, since Arnie here doesn’t have a moustache. But just you look at him. He is literally covered in ladies. And if that’s not the ultimate aim of every moustache-sporting heterosexual male, I don’t know what is. Viewed through twenty-first century eyes, this photo is a little bit silly, a little bit sexist, and a whole lot of camp. What better way, then to scent our former Mr. Universe than with Jean Paul Gaultier’s 1995 blockbuster, Le Male? If you can think of anything more camp than that “hello, sailor!” torso that’s either smuggling a 10lb dumbbell in its (skintight) trousers or is just very happy to see you, please let me know in the comments below.
Le Male falls into the traditionally masculine fougere fragrance family – an aromatic mix of lavender, tonka bean, vanilla, spicy coumarin and
hairy waxed chest. According to the PR copy, Le Male is the perfect combination of “virility and sensitivity”. Perfect for both our cold-blooded Terminator and our tough but kindhearted Kindergarten Cop.
I put Lionel on the list mostly because I liked the idea of googling “Lionel Ritchie’s clay head” counting as legitimate research. If you’re old enough to remember the music video “Hello“, you’ll instantly recognise it. If that was before your time, allow me to recap: teacher in questionable jumper seduces blind teenage art student who then sculpts an exactly replica of his head and nobody thinks to call the authorities because maybe she can see his soul? And maybe his soul looks like his face but in a wig made of cauliflower?
Interestingly enough, Lionel Ritchie is incredibly popular in the Middle East. Iraqi citizens played “All Night Long” the night that US tanks invaded Baghdad. So he’s not only the singer-songwriter of unlikely anti-war anthem, he’s also smooth crooner who gave us “Stuck on You” and “Say You Say Me”. He needs something soft, woody and a little bit sweet. Parfumerie Generale’s Aomassai does the trick. Salted caramel, toasted hazelnuts and just a waft of incense in the background. If you close your eyes, you can almost imagine the box of chocolates on a satin pillow, the room glowing with soft candlelight. Somewhere, “Three Times A Lady” begins to play. You turn around and…*screen fades to black*.
In my perfume selling days, I had an elderly customer who would call in from time to time to blag a few samples and regale us with outlandish tales of his past. In Tom’s time, he’d not only served as a motivational coach for M&S, but had also invented a curtain that protected against both flooding and rhinoceros attacks. The governor of New York State (that well-known hunting ground for rhinos hell-bent on mischief) had ordered a dozen, apparently. But my favourite story was about the time he’d sat next to Chuck Norris at a bar. Apparently when he got up to leave, he handed my customer his business card. Chuck Norris, as it turns out, was the commander of the entire U.S. military.
I did some research, but I couldn’t find anything to verify his claim.
I have long been of the belief that Chuck Norris wears Fracas. Fracas, the most hip-wiggling, voluptuous, fleshy tuberose you can buy without an ID and a pair of Louboutins. Why? Because he bloody well likes it. Chuck Norris is a man so manly that even his beard can grow a moustache – he doesn’t need the label “homme” on the bottle to give him permission to buy it. The notes listed for Fracas are deceptive – tuberose, jasmine, peach, some other things that sound pretty and inoffensive. But turn out the lights. Feel its hot, sinister breath on the back of your neck. Feel its talons scratching down your back. Fracas is a brilliantly deceptive work of perfumery, and a flawless disguise for the man who walks softly but carries a big roundhouse kick.