Bang (Marc Jacobs)

I'd like to start by saying something nice - I love the bottle for Bang. Its metallic, hit-by-a-car aesthetic is fun to look at, and surprisingly easy to hold. Must be all those straight lines curved inward. Bravo to Mr. Jacobs' package design team.

Now, I learned something today while wearing Bang. I stopped into Marshalls and found an EDT/Aftershave set of Sung Homme, which I promptly purchased. It's rare to find Sung Homme in aftershave form. I gave my purple acquisition a quick spritz in the parking lot, just to make sure it was good (Marshalls doesn't store its fragrances correctly). It was, and actually smelled better than my current bottle, which makes me wonder if it's an older formula. But after a few minutes on skin, I had a difficult time telling Sung apart from Bang. Some of this was olfactory fatigue, but the thrust of my story is that Sung Homme has a lot more black pepper in it than I thought. Fortunately, it also has a lot of other stuff in it to balance the spiciness out, like violet leaf, vetiver, carnation, geranium, and rose.

Bang, on the other hand (literally), is much less complicated. It opens with a pleasant burst of fruity pink pepper, which maintains its fresh ambiance for a good twenty minutes on skin, and is balanced with some well-rendered patchouli. It gradually segues into something with more kick - a black and white pepper accord that combines with a dry, nondescript woody note. Ninety minutes after application, the pepper trio fades away, leaving just that one spare wood note. There's literally nothing else to Bang. That's it.

If that's enough for you, and you happen to love pink pepper, maybe Bang is something you should try. If you prefer pepper as an olfactory condiment, and not the main dish, you're better off with Sung Homme, or any other classic masculine chypre or fougère. Bang is, in a word, boring.