If I've learned anything about postmodern perfumery, it's that there's a Great Olfactory Divide between the two sexes. Men smell things one way, and women smell them another. A good male perfumer is prone to enjoying animalic and deeply woody (nudging into "urinous") notes of tobacco, unfiltered "raw" honey, maple syrup, stale grains, and decayed woods. His girl, on the other hand, may not share his enthusiasm.
This poses an existential dilemma: should men wear things that they like, or should their fragrances be unerringly in sync with feminine sensibilities? If they cater to themselves, they risk eternal bachelorhood, but at least they enjoy what they're wearing. If they attend to their partners' tastes, they may eschew the impracticality of owning their favored "challenging" perfumes to better maintain happy relationships. This has never been more true for me than it is with Steading. I can attest to the allure of Steading. It smells intense right out of the atomizer, and remains so for fully seventy-two unwashed hours. And it smells challenging. Oh man, does it smell challenging. One-two punches of maple syrup, gingerbread molasses, waxy honey, and cigar tobacco assaults every nasal orifice within a three-mile radius, and the onslaught doesn't ease up. Eventually the maple, honey, and tobacco form a core accord of sweet and direly woody ("peat smoke," supposedly) machismo. Move over Havana. Step aside, Tobacco Vanille. Outta the way, Molton Brown Tobacco Absolute. Steading is here. You think you're an aggressive, king-making masculine tobacco fragrance? Hold Steading's beer.
I like it. But I'm sure I'd never wear it, because it's a nose-crinkler, even for me. I enjoy smelling it. I just couldn't wear it all day, or even for a couple of hours. Imagine the smell of raw, straight-from-the-hive honey, that intensely sweet, borderline stinky smell of almost-pee bee vomit, mixed with the wax they wiggle in. Now imagine wearing it. Now imagine wearing it in the car. Now imagine wearing it in the car, next to your girlfriend.
Mine said, "Uh, no." Case closed.