When I smelled the scented Dolce & Gabbana ad in the December GQ, I laughed out loud, because it smelled to me exactly like those spongey orange circus peanuts candies, which smell nothing like actual peanuts (more like a powdery, sugary confection). The little scented towel square that came in the mail from GQ didn’t smell quite like that, but it was as soft. Is this how a gentleman smells? Within minutes, the scent had disappeared from the towel (which looks like an anti-bacterial alcohol wipe). It’s barely holding onto the hand I rubbed it on.
The card says to go to gqinsider.com/DGsurvey to “tell GQ what I think of this new fragrance.” If I do, I may win a $100 gift card from American Express. The survey, in a nutshell: Did I try D&G “The One Gentleman”? (yes); am I likely to buy it? (probably not); does it enhance my style? (no); is this what I expect from Dolce & Gabbana? (not exactly); is this like other fragrances I’ve tried? (no); I’d give it a 3 out 5, if 5 means I love it and 1 means I hate it.
Now, when they ask me how I’d describe the man who wears this fragrance, and my choices are Worldly, Strong personality, Modern, Charismatic, Masculine, Naturally elegant, and Successful—well, I have to think that this is more marketing than survey. But then I had my suspicions from the beginning. I tried to advance to the next question without selecting anything, but that isn’t an option. I choose “Modern,” because it’s the most vague.
When I smell my hand again, I begin to like The One Gentleman, but then I smell the little scented towel and the circus peanuts smell is back. Overall, this is like a sugary vanilla teen girls’ scent mixed with a bit of powder and some masculine notes. I can detect a bit the lavender D&G says is in there—along with the aforementioned vanilla—but that’s it for me. Defiinitely no pepper top notes. All I’m getting on the top is sweet. No cardamom in the middle, either. It’s not bad, but it’s not really exciting to me. I certainly prefer it to Bleu de Chanel, which has been my example of the typical boring men’s scent since its recent launch.
I can’t help commenting on the packaging: the smooth square glass and the block of varnished wood for the cap look dated to me. As elegant as they are, my associations here are of slick-looking by ultimately low quality retail stores and restaurants paneled with “modern” woodgrain vinyl or thin dark-wood laminate. This style of commercial fixture has hard edges that quickly get dinged and don’t wear well. Translating it to apparel, I’m thinking Kenneth Cole’s square-toed shoes and the worst Euro-trash Prada looks in collarless black monochrome. I am clearly not the audience for this fragrance, but then, I am not a D&G customer either.