Perfume and Persona —
the categorization of demography by scent.
I heard this conversation about 10 years ago —
one of those rare moments when
you have a chance to listen in
on people’s impressions of you.
That’s happened a couple of times, and in both, it was a pointed smack-down to me, a gauntlet thrown, bringing down a personal hammer on perception.
In one, more than a couple of feet away, some other designers looking at my work in a magazine, pointed out that “Tim Girvin, he gets away with everything, what an arrogant a———.”
And here I was, getting away with actually overhearing how
I was getting away with something.
And arrogantly eavesdropping I might add.
I wondered —
“what was I actually getting away with?”
And in the other conversation, it was pointed out that I was
“Didn’t you know
that Tim Girvin
was a metrosexual?”
Back then, spoke as a kind
of telling, sexually-slanted insult.
Like, “he goes that way,” getting away with something again.
But what the reference was, it turns out, was that according to this woman,
a metrosexual was a male was an urban obsessive,
one that shaved with brush and scented soap, crafted skincare, used antique hair combs and brushes, and — amazing — wore skin-bracing fragrances [whoa, aftershave,] especially in combination with carefully selected clothing, oxford shirts, hand-made suits and bow ties — and then too [really out there, getting away…]
“wore more than one cologne at the same time.”
Actual selective strategies to skin care, hair care,
facial semi-shaving and stubble style,
general hygiene and other un-manly
attentiveness also spoke to this categorization.
It was, to her take, an overindulgent self-hood and personal self absorption in presentation that was unbefitting a man.
Her kind of man, that is.
And that kind of citified man she
called the bane of her world.
Fortunately, I was around, in earshot, to overhear her remarks
and knew that I’d have to
to get closer to her ranch.
go deeper woods,
Perhaps did — but it didn’t help.
Now that’s evolved.
The dandy of the city
is now the woodsman of the working world — the so-called lumber sexual.
Rougher, unshaven, beard-full —
or less carefully so,
Wrangler & Riggs worn —
a kind of human wabi-sabi of a man.
I looked into that earlier in two notes,
blogs on international affection for what might be called the
a kind of
American Ivy Leaguer Collegiate
and/or lumbersexual look —
Filson, our NW Classic:
As well as —
what might be called —
Woods and outdoorsmen
working gear, like
Or deeper woods
That might take you out
The North Face —
but that’s likely too slick
for most LS men.
And to dress it up?
You could wear one and split some
timber and still feel right.
Like this guy,
I wondered —
what would someone like this wear,
aside from branded clothing?
What would they
The Scent of a Lumbersexual —
A perfume for men might be a cologne, but for a lumbersexual it wouldn’t be an aftershave, presuming that they don’t shave,
bearded and all. —
Parfum lumbersexuality would be —
Matriarch High Perfume,
with her deep roots:
earthy unlayments —
stories of tree, earth and animal —
or Comme des Garçcons.
And the raw, macerated, in situ
I would put those three brands in the best place to dig into the rooty earthiness, wood-chipped fragrances of a LumberSexual.
And to that, the alignment
of demography to scent.
Your fragrance lies where you live.
Would they know what to buy, or would they care?
To learning more?
The perfume of wood
and the woods.
You were MetroSexual?
Skin care, lots of grooming gear?
You can throw that out,
get back to wildness.
Move to Seattle.
To be more lumbersexual?
Pick up an axe.
Spend more time
in the woods —
and you’ll smell like them.
And smell like you’ve been there.
She’s Northwest, she’s real.
CdG’s wood groups,
New York’s Sillage Powerperfumer:
Tom Ford’s Cypress.
Try more, get dirty.
Split some wood.
TIM | OUT IN THE WOODS | GIRVIN STUDIOS
THE STRATEGY OF LUXURY
BRAND STRATEGY, DEVELOPMENT + DESIGN
Girvin Strategic Luxury
Girvin Brand Luxe Thinking