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Late summer

20 Aug

In like a lion, out like a lamb, or is that just for winter? Seems to be the case for New England summers. There is already a chill at night, and the days are hovering in the 70s. Tweeds will be returning soon.

A little recap, as I spent an inordinate amount of time this summer living life while not documenting it.






Closet Projects




And now, Fall, come at me.


Now is the Winter

31 Dec

Winter, oh winter. You start after New Years, really. There is a glory and a sparkle to the snow and ice during the holidays. Come Jan 2nd, its nothing but bitter cold with no psychic tinsel chaser.

These wintertime distractions I hold to be self evident-

Winter Fridays are tie days- Also Sat-Thurs.


Winter means obtaining as many sweaters as possible, at deeply discounted prices from cabalistically obscure companies with hard won coupon codes obtained through complex information exchanges on boring mens style forums.


Post sweater binge, I realized I needed storage for all of these woolly body stockings, specifically sweater storage– which then, in its own turn, set off a full closet reorganization which culminates in the invention/creation of a new closet accessory that is not yet to be revealed.

Now comes the drinking and reading-

Port and Aubrey-Maturin


or The Rathbones and Giardini Arimei


Let us also not forget the mulling of everything liquid-


Finally, there is this


Which is the olfactory equivalent of pounding a horn of mead on a moor cliff and drunkenly rolling through the gorse and heather, then plummeting into the sea. Its actually amazing what DS & Durga has done here. It smells so good.

Ok 2014, I’m ready.


Old and Smelly

23 Dec

For my 29th year wandering the planet, my wife, who for reasons unknown to me is happy I’ve made it this far, has made me a gift of this;


Monocle Hinoki

“Hinoki takes its name from the hinoki cypress, a tree that only grows in Japan and is the preferred wood for building palaces, temples, shrines and the finest wooden soaking baths. It was inspired by a visit to Tawaraya, a famous three-centuries-old traditional Japanese inn located in Kyoto. Soaking in the legendary open-air hinoki ofuro (wooden bath) filled with warm spring water on a chilly morning, the idea for the perfume was born and the result is breathtaking. The ofuro is captured perfectly: the full, rich scent of the wood, the smells of the surrounding greenery, the soft touch of meditative incense, the memories of native moss.”

If I have to be older, I may as well progressively smell better.

It really is an amazing smell, the kind you cant stop huffing.

She picked it up on her recent trip to New York at Odin. I had not previously known about the store, but after seeing their site, I hope I never go (and if I do go, I hope someone else holds my wallet for the duration of the visit).


D.S. & Durga

6 Jun

Somehow, in my meanderings through what my Irish brothers call “tinternets”, I came across the site of D.S. & Durga. After unconsciously navigating back to the page several hundred times, I decided to contact them for samples. I assumed this would be for naught, as boutique brands dont often work that way. Much to my shock, I got a very kind email from D.S. himself, at once calling me a brother in plaid, and extending an offer of samples. I didnt have the heart to say that while I have a place in my heart for glen plaid, I find my soul is closer in provenance to Donegal tweed– close cousins, though, says I.

About a week later, a parcel arrived bearing 4 phials (yes, PH-ials) of scent. Crap timing, as my sense of smell was gone due to a mysterious cold, brought back from S. America by a co-worker (god-damn your eyes, global trade).

Finally, with sense of smell returning (common sense still AWOL), I opened the box and gave the first one a spin. WOW. I’ve worn perfumes for a while, even a few fancy ones, but the complexity of these scents is impressive, even to my barbarian sensibilities.

They were– and bear in mind I have a very limited frame of olfactory reference.

Boston Ivy– This was by far my favorite. I’m biased to things that smell like crushed flowers in the garden. The overall scent is like a nice warm spring garden, like chlorophyll pumping through xylem in the sun. Once it fades a bit, it has a really subtle violet-sweet lime hint.

Burning barbershop– This one is, as you might imagine, very smoky. Reminded me of Vermont campfires and bay-rum aftershave. If you went out of your way to light a 20s barbershop quartet on fire, after handing each of the singers a seasoned birch log, it would smell something like this for the first few seconds (I assume).

Osmanthus Cologne– Exactly like an osmanthus bush in flower. The powers-that-be tend to plant osmanthus in parks in Southern CA. It would have been easy to feminize this one, and I wonder if it was hard not to. The smell has all of the hard, acidic edges of what I would guess the plant resin itself has- say- if one went at it with a weeding sickle. The final product is a masculine floral, which I think is a great way of coming at it.

Sir– Its hard to classify this one. It smells really old-fashioned. When I first wore it, my wife said “that smells like my Grandfather“. Its really light, yet intense, and upon wearing it, made me feel under-dressed; as if the smell had expected me to be in a tailcoat, and was politely disappointed. Also, can you believe that picture of my Wife’s grandfather? If I wear this cologne, can I also have a scarlet macaw?!?

It occurs to me that a huge amount of forethought went into these. The level of sophistication is, as I said before, impressive. Now I’m doomed to buy a bottle of the Boston Ivy to have around, and maybe even Mississippi Medicine, since I like smelling like anthing to do with paleolithic death cults.

Well it’s officially happened. I’ve found something that lives up to the fanciness of it’s website. Other than my wife, I mean (she’s actually fancier than hers).


Red Beard VS Ursa Major + things you may want

19 May

The other day, I noticed the good people at Hickoree’s were giving away samples of a new brand of shave cream. Being a thrifty, greedy person, I signed up for one. I was actually interested to note that the company, Ursa Major, is based in Stowe, Vermont. I’ve noticed quite a few companies cashing in on the commoditization of Vermonterhood.

I’d like to say that I’ve been growing my beard specifically to test this product, but its closer to the truth that I’m an overworked and very lazy individual. My beard is pretty coarse (also the color of an orangutan), though my skin is sensitive, so finding a softening product that doesn’t make me break out in hives is tricky. I was skeptical of this ‘all natural’ product, as I am of any all natural thing that comes packaged in small plastic container.

Initial impressions- It has an almost likable scent. Like lemongrass tea with a splash of birchbeer. The stuff itself is thicker than I expected, and unlike most creams, a little went a long way. Overall review- A decent product- for a cream, but the scent needs some tweaking. Best of all, it did not give me a rash.

I don’t consider myself a fancy fellow. I’m a “scrub myself with rough stones in a stream” kind of guy. At least, this is what I tell myself while I’m trimming my mustache with a silver comb and a pair of tiny golden scissors. Sad but true.

Considering my unwilling fancy man product tendencies , I figured I’d make a list of the ones I swear by.

I do not have a dental comb; I consider it a personal genetic failure. Though, the primates that do have them groom themselves with their own urine, so its a trade-off. I do, however, have this:

Royal Crown is great for taming my crazy irish mop. When I wake up, I have the hair of a person who’s been locked in a steamer trunk for a week. A tiny pinch of this lightly rose scented pomade, and I’ll be set. Also, its 3 bucks.

On the moisturizer side- I’m not sure I actually need one. I don’t really dry out unless I’ve been baked in the sun for hours (my mole-man lifestyle prevents this). Regardless, my preference is Kiehls Imperial Body Balm.

Imperial Body Balm smells better than anything inedible ever should. Its a weird, spicy, beeswax kind of smell. On the day I finally lose my mind, you might find me dressed as Napoleon, sitting at a child’s tea party table, eating this stuff on crackers- maybe tomorrow.

As far as shaving is concerned, you need 3 things: A safety razor with an old timey butterfly opening top (and a supply of blades), a badger hair brush, and a solid cake shaving soap.

Trumpers is a fairly gentle, good-lathering shave soap. I prefer the cake in a dish, vs the tube: they’re roughly the same price, but the cake lasts about 6 times longer. Smelling like violets is never a bad thing, either; that is, until you develop a thrip infestation.

As a general hand soap, Malin + Goetz Rum hand wash is amazing. It smells like a really well made Rum Rickey.

And finally, oral hygene. This is less important to me, as I’m slowly replacing all of my teeth with gold crowns. But, if you feel your natural teeth are better (pish), I recommend Euthymol toothpaste- How to describe the taste- Its basically like taking a little vial of pure old fashioned bubble gum flavoring, mixing it with half fermented juniper berries, and adding a dash of furniture polish. Its sounds disgusting written out, but its quite nice.

And of course- Botot- its high time I got another bottle; my old one ran out years ago, and I switched to a close second. A few drops in a glass of water is all you need. Lasts forever, and tastes like cloves. Concentree!