Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene
This was one of the best selling male fragrances of the 70s and still smells better to me than half the generic marine Acqua Di Gio dupes shilled out today. I desperately need aquatic fragrances marketed to men to be over. I blame the movie Splash, for this obsession with the sea. FIGHT ME! Before the era of ozonic oppression, Grey Flannel had made its way into countless stockings, dressers, and drugstores over the past several decades since its launch in 1975. The reasonable price tag and extremely wearable composition made it a crucial step in any guy’s beauty regime including a blowout with the Pro 1200 hair dryer finished off with a dab of Brylcreem.
Although there is no gender in fragrance, and this one in particular is beautifully unisex, looking through the historical lens it was an unlikely oddball for “male” marketed fragrances at the time. That’s because at its heart Grey Flannel is a beautiful violet scent that is as herbal as it is fresh—which was a far cry from the Hai Karates of the world. This leads me to believe that people really do want something unique and not to just live in the binary of “I smell like candy” or “I smell like Axe.” There are standout cheapies like Geoffrey Beene’s creation that show us that time and time again. I highly recommend popping by your local drugstore and getting a bottle today.
Notes include galbanum, petitgrain, neroli, lemon and bergamot; middle notes are violet, iris, geranium, mimosa, sage, narcissus and rose; base notes are oakmoss, vetiver, cedar, tonka bean and almond. In real life you’re going to smell like a wool sweater after a rainy afternoon in London. Comforting and green.