Success (Five Star Fragrance Co.)

America's richest blowhard, otherwise known as "The Donald," recently attended a Yankee game, got fed up with Alex Rodriguez, phoned the organization to express his delicate position on said batter, and Tweeted, “A-Rod must be dropped in the Yankees line-up tonight if they want to win. He simply can’t perform without drugs.” Well, as it turned out, he was right. We all know what happened. Those two home runs were not hit by Mr. Rodriguez, and the second one should have been. Fortunately, Raúl Ibañez stepped up to the plate instead.

Was it Trump's killer white-collar instinct that aided his unlikely call? Perhaps his esteemed, forty-five year career of struggling against the tide to earn a profit in the real estate business helped deliver his uncanny foresight? All those summers working at McDonalds as a teenager jogged his memory, and reminded him that Americans should only be rewarded with millions of dollars after sweaty, toilsome, thankless work, the kind that snaps bones and pulls muscles like Silly-Putty. After all, if you're not carrying your share, you don't deserve the immunity of an internationally-accepted comb-over, right? Right . . .

Trump is the embodiment of yet another American success story that doesn't really involve much in the way of actual success (for the headliner in this category, see Mitt Romney), yet he perseveres against all odds as the weirdest, wildest, most outspoken celebutante of our time. Despite what he may say, his true business model was always his father's, and can anyone blame him? When it comes to perfume, however, his strategy is based on, of all things, the most recent masculine offered by none other than Creed. Success is an English-version rehash of Aventus.

The scent carries a very standard "Mens Cologne" opening that loosely mimics the sweet-fruity topnote of Aventus, which is considered pineapple by the majority of admirers. I appreciate Aventus and its crisp top, but it's not the most faithful fruit note from this house. For an easy example of how well Creed can do fruit, give Acqua Fiorentina a minute of your time, and savor its photo-realistic plum. But Aventus? Its pineapple is clear and fresh, and doesn't actually smell like pineapple (it resembles a more literal 'pine/apple' accord, with the apple picked from Green Irish Tweed). It lacks the curdled edge of ripened pineapple flesh and juice, and takes an almost-citrus approach instead. For comparison's sake, check out Lapidus Pour Homme. Lapidus is for pineapple what Pour un Homme is for lavender. Success is much less focused than any of these fragrances, and instead offers a vague shampoo-froot accord that could be anything: berries, melons, stone fruits, whatever grows for worms to nibble at. It's nice, and it's inoffensive of course, but it's not exactly an eye-opener.

The Donald's spritz eventually becomes woodier, with an ashen birch note that approximates Aventus' inky birch/man-rose core. Ginger and synthetic vetiver stand in for oakmoss, and an airy flurry of nondescript greens closes everything out. Five Star Fragrance Co. is known for rehashing classic masculine formulas, and often proves that a downmarket brand can flog quality with the best of them. Couple their expertise with that of Tom Ford nose Yann Vasnier, and Success has a fair shot at, well, success. How does it really fare? If you take a shower and wash your hair with something good, like Old Spice's only extant shampoo (which also resembles Green Irish Tweed), and enjoy your hair-washing ritual more than you should, then Success is a fine extrapolation of that, with its portability beyond the limits of your bathroom an added bonus. And we all know how important bonuses are these days.


  1. Oh heavens! A trump perfume? Eww.

    1. And it's not even his first! He had one called "Donald Trump, the Fragrance" or something like that a few years back.


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