I'm a perfume transvestite. Really. I get the phenomenon of "Chanel no.5" perfume more often than my girl friends, aunts and all female acquaintances, because I'd use it myself if it was a little bit sharper. I'm the one who uses YSL "Opium" for men and the one for women by turns and doesn't see anything wrong about it. Also, I test all of the newest fragrances to a great surprise
of retarded missies in perfumeries who kindly inform me that "It's a women's section, the male one is on the right/left" and are astonished when I respond: "Do I look like Stevie Wonder?".
It's gonna be about male scents, a rather limited and not so interesting market, but with the help of a goddess, a fashion icon, I'll try to traverse it safely and without any bloopers. Especially for you, Gentlemen, I spoke with gorgeous Anja Rubik about male perfumes.
Let's not fool ourselves: scents for men are usually bland, sporty and smell like mediocre air freshener. At the beginning I have to say that I am a fan of sharpness and musk, jasmine, orange, vanilla, cigar, tobacco and petrol scents. I love perfumes which smell on skin like aftersex traces - bitemarks, passionate hickeys or scratches - rapaciously, fiercely and provocatively. My top 5 is: "Opium" by YSL, Donna Karan's "Black Cashmere", CK's "Obsession", Gucci's "Pur Homme" and "Avignion" from Comme des Garcons. Top 5 in perfumeries consists of "Le Male" by Jean Paul Gaultier, Dior's "Fahrenheit" and anything new from D&G, Givenchy or Davidoff. In other words - a group shout of faggyness. Darling, you smell so gently, like warm, summer rain! Such rankings break me down - it always becomes clear to me that guys are afraid of distinctiveness and resort to cheap classics like Lacoste. And it stays on skin depending on the wind's strenght outside - from 5 to 15 minutes.
And here's the conflict: I choose sharp scents, Anja prefers the subtle ones. I want exceptional and she wants universal. Although, we agree on male scents. But let her speak - after all, I know that it's what everybody's waiting for.
Which scent does Ania Rubik use?
ChloÊ by ChloÊ.
I was wondering whether it's an advertising gimmick, taking into consideration that Anja is a face of the fragrance, but bunch of friends confirmed the information.
What does perfume mean for you?
Perfume is reflection of a woman who wears them. For me, they should emphasize woman's beauty and at the same time encourage her with a subtle bit of class and sexappeal.
If you had an opportunity to design your own fragrance, what would it be like? Or maybe you were given such an offer?
No, I didn't get such proposal, but if I had a chance it would definitely be a delicate, floral and fresh scent, intriguing at the same time. Perfect for every woman.
What, according to you, makes an ideal male scent? Which one would you notice for sure? Maybe you could reveal what does your man smell like?
A perfect perfume for man should be easily recognisable, one of its kind. Such a fragrance that makes women turn their heads instinctively. It should also be alluring and modern at the same time, like Armani Code that Sasha (Anja's boyfriend, a model - editorial note) uses.
Male perfumes seem to become more and more feminine. What is your opinion on
the blurring of the differences between men and women?
Gender blurring is something entirely favourable to me. I think that a man who takes care of himself, does yoga, visits a beautician regularly or pays attention to what he eats, is in my opinion a 100 per cent man. I also think that women are more interested in neat men than in their opposites.
Big world is an everyday life for you - you know all the trends perfectly. What do you think about the current men's fashion?
I think it's very good. This season men really do have something to choose from. From minimallistically modernistic look presented by Calvin Klein, through Prada's smart collection, to nonchalant and sporty sets from Dsquared2. To sum up, everyone can find something for themselves.
You had a pleasure to be a designer - precisely a shoe designer. How do you recall the collaboration? And if a well known company would give you a chance to design women's and men's collection how would it look like?
The collaboration with Quazi was a wonderful experience for me. I remember it very positively, both the very designing and an ad campaign as well. If I had an opportunity to design men's collection, it would definitely stand out because of the simplicity of cut and a colour palette. Strong, firm cuts and deep colours, mainly black and navy-blue. That's how the men's collection
would look like: masculine.
Is there any fragrance for men that you'd withdraw from shops?
No. I haven't stumbled across any such scent yet.
Masculine or feminine? Which element is wanted the most? When my friend sprinkled herself with my perfume, guys kept asking her what scent was she using. When I did the same thing with her frangrance (CK "Euphoria"), I was being approached by girls massively. So maybe it's rather worth playing than taking the easy way out? Unisex can be sexy too, especially since fragrance smells different on everybody. And don't buy perfume because of the advertisements, what many of my friends did. Mat Gordon in the ad of Pacco Rabanne's scent "1 million" looks definitely hot, but those who are interested in fashion know that... he's said to prefer boys over girls. So don't be fooled by the impression that within a second you may become a macho like the guy from the spot. Well, after all you can become a macho, but an active one at the most...
Text published in Dilemmas Magazine.
Translation: Gabriela Korput
Photo: Anja's archives (Thank You!)