Adam Levine For Men (Adam Levine)

I'm one lucky fucker. I have a job that I enjoy, and I work entirely with women. And somehow, after all these years of being a dick, I'm still their favorite employee. I don't have to worry about catty stuff from them, and have learned that being the walking personification of Switzerland gets me through any and all issues unscathed. The key to success: don't take sides. Living by this results in good karma.

My one rue, however, is that they all love the guy pictured above. They're Maroon 5 fans! Not that there's anything wrong with that. I don't mind some of their music, although a few songs rub me the wrong way. And I have no quarrel with Mr. Levine. He seems like a fine, upstanding citizen. Probably gets more ass than a toilet seat. I don't know what his karma looks like, but I'd say it looks good, judging by his popularity. His voice is certainly adequate, and he has enough sex appeal to ruin whole generations of the female race.

What continues to puzzle me is that someone as far removed from the fragrance world as Adam Levine should take it upon himself to fund two celebuscents. Easy question - why? What could possess a Top 40 radio star to think that fragrance is a necessary addendum to his manly swagger package? Don't answer that, it doesn't really matter. He somehow managed to hire the accomplished Yann Vasnier to do his bidding, and apparently his bidding was an ode to grapefruit, because it comprises ninety percent of his masculine composition. Vasnier, probably using artistic license, fleshed the fruit note out with pleasant hints of lemon, sage, ginger, lemongrass, and cedar. It's not very woody, and more fruity than anything, but it smells nice enough. Expensive body wash for men, in liquid-spray form.

The grapefruit note in Adam Levine for Men is fairly standard designer issue, i.e., not quite true to the fruit. People who want grapefruit in their perfumes should know that it's a very pissy accord, with urinous off notes that elicit associations with rubbing alcohol and ammonia. To embellish the accord means robbing the fruit of its identity, resulting in something unnecessarily sweet, an almost unidentifiable citrus-like smell, that never truly represents grapefruit. Such is the case here in Mr. Levine's offering, with some spare lemon and herbal elements saving it from falling into the gummy-synthetic territory of a recent reformulation of the original Quorum.

I tip my hat to Levine for releasing something that smells fresh and citrusy without becoming sickeningly sweet and cloying, and recommend the much-cheaper Old Spice Wolfthorn as an alternative for those on a budget. Truth be told, P&G manages to achieve the same (almost exact same) fresh-citrusy effect, to the extent that I kinda feel bad for Levine. This type of structure has become all-too common, and its ubiquity devalues whatever cache it may have had ten years ago. Somehow I expect ALfM will be discontinued before the decade is out (its licensing company, Andrenalina, is in big financial trouble, so it all depends on whether someone else buys the formula). I'm not saying I don't appreciate the joy Levine spreads to the world, and my co-workers. I'm just saying he shouldn't quit the day job.

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