Cool Water Night Dive for Men (Davidoff)

For those free-wheelin', third-wheelin' nights.

The reason I don't like Cool Water Night Dive for Men is the same as why I think married Russian thirty-something females with six year-old sons should avoid open-marriage flirtations with single childless Americans: it's the clearest manifestation of a bad idea. For too long now guys have been at the mercy of the sugar-bomb club-frag phenomenon, a dire situation in which perfume brands erroneously think testosterone reaches its peak efficiency after a guilty pleasure jelly roll from Tim Hortons. Night Dive smells like someone smooshed a candied fruit pastry into a cheap wet-shaver fougère (none other than its namesake), and wham! Disgusting, asexual tawdriness with a vaguely edible edge. Exactly what nobody with even half a brain wants to smell like.

I know what they were trying to do. This whole sticky mess got started when Drakkar Noir and Green Irish Tweed started making waves, back in the early eighties, before the self-deprecating weirdness of Angel, but after the unapologetically stodgy conservatism of everything sixties and seventies. Why was Drakkar so attractive? It had crossover appeal, which is why a small but notable community of lesbians appropriated it in Europe while The Clash and Joan Jett blared from monolithic Advents and sent sonic ripples through their bong smoke. Something about the bittersweet tang of tangerine mated to soapy lavender and smoked woods screams penis envy.

Green Irish Tweed took things a step further by appealing to gents who, you know, don't want to get caught. That extra whiff of violet and iris, all balled up (pardon the pun) in a wad (pardon it again) of Ambroxan and sandalwood goes both ways on guys who do the same. Catch it after a light misting of rain, and it smells like the sultriest feminine perfume ever made. Let it sit under fluorescent lights for five and a half hours, and it's Paul Newman meets Robert Redford and a small army of pissed-off Bolivians. My point is that this idea of taking a traditional fougère and sweetening it up has its roots with the beautiful ambiguities of the Old School.

The last ten years have yielded few success stories on this front. Oddly, I can think of only one true example: Joop! Jump. Odder still is that Night Dive gets compared to Jump pretty frequently. I guess they share some traits, but Jump smells good, while Night Dive smells like ass. You could go back a bit further in time and consider the merits of things like Jil Sander's Feeling Man, Versace's The Dreamer, Gaultier's Le Mâle, and Bourdon's wonderful Individuel, but why go on tangents when Jump encapsulates the only way this idea can be done right? If you want sweet fruits, make sure to balance the fructose with a hefty slug of cold potato vodka. Looking for a floral coumarin accord on sugar roids? Throw some serene vetiver next to the bouquet. It's all about balance in Jump, but Night Dive is another story.

Davidoff foolishly thought that more of everything vulgar and none of anything clever would somehow work, long as a vague sketch of the original Cool Water remained recognizable beneath it all. What they forgot was how vulgar and borderline Cool Water is without embellishment. They heaped a pre-mixed "tropical fruit" blend on top of the green apple, infused the salinated amber with a spiced patchouli so flamboyant that it makes Colour by Numbers-era Boy George look demure in comparison, and barfed the nasty mess into a weird Freedom Tower version of the iconic Cool Water bottle. One spritz, and you're repelling every gender and gender-bender within a five block radius. Want to smell sexy? Wear Jump instead. Enough said.


  1. Haha too funny😆😂 Never tried any of the Cool Water flankers, apparently Frozen is quite good, but super hard to find. Joop Jump I've always liked👌
    Abit off topic but have you tried Dunhill Icon yet? Great frag that has some similarities to Cool Water but more smoky and spicy.

    1. No haven't tried Icon - actually had not heard of it. Worth is on my radar though.

  2. The Dunhill Icon is by perfumer Carlos Benaim who did RL Polo. It's excellent, got a real classy, old school vibe that I think you would appreciate. Yeah I've heard good things about Worth, would love to try it.

    1. Thanks for your input on this one, I appreciate it! Will check it out in the future.


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