Greg Lauren Eau de Parfum ($195)? I was looking for another Barneys exclusive, which I bought. I was lured to Greg Lauren by its description. It certainly wasn't the bottle.
Greg Lauren is a completely unique fragrance designed and handcrafted by Greg Lauren himself in collaboration with master perfumer Ralf Schwieger. The combination of tonka beans, vanilla, and marine notes delivers irresistible sensual facets - a very special fragrance both artistic and elegant.
Artistic? The fragrance is, but the bottle is hobo chic at best. I was surprised when it arrived. The slightly peeling label is topped with masking tape - seriously, masking tape, with Greg Lauren written with what I assume was a permanent marker. I looked at it with wonder after I unpacked it. "Barneys exclusive" didn't resemble the handcrafted, distressed bottle I saw.
The notes in the fragrance description appealed to me, though, and that is how I came to blind-buy Greg Lauren. The first time I sprayed it on my skin, I was hooked.
Greg Lauren is an American actor and painter who happens to be gorgeous. He looks much better than the bottle above. Check him out on Wikipedia. Yes, he's related to Ralph Lauren: a nephew.
I am impressed with his bloodlines, but I'm in love with his fragrance. Ralf Schwieger is a renowned perfumer, so Lauren selected his namesake's creator well. The fragrance is a vanilla-centric fragrance, but the other notes keep it from the vanilla trap that often claims vanilla fragrances and swallows them up into the vanilla rubric. Bath and Body Works, anyone?
The vanilla opens with the tonka bean making its presence known, like a fine liquor, and it quickly turns soft and - dare I say - feminine. The marine notes, whatever they are, remind me of the sea air, driftwood, seashells, and natural dune grass characteristic of Kiawah Island. The fragrance is salty, without the parching quality that often equates to "salty."
I found this fragrance to be beautifully balanced. It's unique, harmoniously blended, sweet, and salty, but light and fragile. Wear it, and you will be reminded of the sea, but you won't smell like seaweed. Instead, you will smell intriguingly welcoming (that has to be the vanilla) and sensual. Greg Lauren, although marketed as unisex, is, in my opinion, a perfume that will sing to women and the men who love them.
See what you think. It's the perfect time to try Greg Lauren. Barneys is having its Beauty Bag event. Spend $250 on cosmetics and fragrances, and you will receive a bag truly worth the effort. I wish I had waited to order.
Photo courtesy of Barneys New York