I must admit, with some unease, my initial obtuseness toward Comme des Garçons 2 Man, one of the 10 greatest works of perfumery art in the world.
Just slightly above Axe body spray and Jean Naté and below Old Spice.
The perfumer Mark Buxton built the upper decks of this sleekest of vessels out of C11 ISO, a synthetic molecule that smells of clean pressed fire, if you can imagine such a thing; ...
... the pine-scented synthetic C12 MNA; ...
A smidge of Pine-Sol.
... and a high-quality natural Haitian vetiver that smells like dust on jungle trees.
I repeat: No.
But the hull is frankincense from Oman, an incense cool as cream, warm as onion-skin stationery, glossy and slick as a traffic light in the rain.
As strong as a Gauloise, as chewy as an economy-size box of Jujubes, and as furry as ferret.
This technically flawless perfume (it diffuses like radium) ...
So, that's what Madame Curie was working on.
... smells more beautiful than one can say, like a perfect chord in an empty echo chamber.
Is that a koan? Like, what is the sound of one hand holding one's nose?
Herodotus warned that frankincense was dangerous to harvest because poisonous snakes lived in the Arabian trees that contained it, and I do believe my first reaction to 2 Man was, in part, fear.
Much like my reaction to this review. And, to be fair, I suspect that Herodotus was nipping at the absinthe.
This perfume is not just extraordinary. It is perfect.
I am now officially out of snark.
(PS: That subject line translated by the Google language tool. God knows if it's good French, because I certainly don't.)