The Aesthetics of Subtle Transgression Part 1

Cuffs shot, shoes glowing, pocket square folded sharply or leaning gently out of the pocket like a blooming summer rose, bow tie jauntily angled or tie carefully knotted to compliment the collar and placket of a freshly laundered shirt. Skin clean, hair held perfectly in place with a subtle application of vintage style pomade.


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Modern dressed man is a master of illusion, projecting effortless preparation and polished nonchalance while masking an innate fear of fraud, sexual scrutiny and the erosion of hard-won chivalry.
We dress to shield and subconsciously flaunt our inner selves. Many of us will deny this, but think hard, think deep. Parading external costume serves to distract and protect the fear within. I admit I am more outré in my sartorial choices, but I claim every right to be so. Every time I step outside in a red mac, tartan trousers, a vintage cape, grey fur, plus fours with skull print bowtie, silver shoes or Harris Tweed I draw fire. I hear the expletives, glimpse the turned away faces. And while part of me is exhilarated, part of me trembles like a child, but the split is necessary, it makes for boldness and strength.
Fragrance is an essential part of this armor, this broadcasted decoration. We are bombarded with new olfactory promises: classicism, potency, delicacy, splashes of the avant-garde and new technologies. Guys have become hugely critical and influential in this evolving marketplace. [/one_half][one_half_last padding=”0 20px 0px 20px”] As the lines and definitions between mainstream and niche scent continue to blur, phrases such as artisanaldistilledbatch-madeart-scent have begun to surface.  Everyone is looking for difference. I am not a huge believer in gender divisions in scent, but certain notes and effects have a rightful place on masculine hide. Leathers, incense, fougères, boozy rums and whisky accords suit the sweet sweat and exertion of an occupied man. Soap and citrus, lemon and the burnt sugar of neroli; classic ancient clean notes – these things are alluring daddy smells. Add some textured cistus, seared lavender and you can be loved forever. But it pays to be a little unexpected, boys smell delicious in dark, lacquered vanilla or the porny undertow of white floral indoles. It’s just a question of bravery, intent and balls. Over the coming months I have six amazing and offbeat fragrances to lay before you. They will hopefully alter your perceptions of dressing with scent forever.[/one_half_last]



Alex Musgrave

Writer. Poet. Blogger. Aesthete. Fox. Aroma obsessive.