Marc Jacobs Bang

I was so gobsmacked by the Marc Jacobs Bang ad that actually trying the fragrance became a distant afterthought.

Here's that ad again:

You can practically smell Marc just by looking at the picture! He looks like a gryos with abs, hiding his kebab behind the Bang factice. Anybody got pita bread?

When the photo shoot turned chilly, Marc slipped into a cozy naan.

But enough of this snack talk. What ho of the juice? Well, it's “bang” on target with the trend for woody/peppery masculines -- I'm thinking of Le Labo Poivre 23 and Comme des Garçons Wonderwood, here. But like the detonated-by-a-bomb-looking bottle, Bang is sharp and shiny -- not something you'd snuggle up to.

I could complain about Bang being thin and harsh, or I could look on the bright side and recognize that it's a really fantastic sports cologne. Because it is fresh without being annoyingly sneezy (I'm blowing my nose at you, Bleu de Chanel!).

Marc Jacobs Bang. It's a fantastic sports cologne!

Bang is available from


  1. I took a wiff of Marc Jacobs Bang (kinda sounds wrong when I read that sentence back over but whatever, just go with it)and I gotta say, it was kinda meh for me. Not a big pepper fan to begin with and when Marc's Bang hit my skin, I just had to say no to him...I just made it sound dirtier didn't I?

    It did however cause me to want to rush home and hit up youtube looking for this little gem:

    But no mas to Marc Jacobs bang. Although with the Thanksgiving season upon us, that "I look like a turkey that a kid with a box of magic markers got too before the hungry family did" advertisement is quite appropriate Mr. Jacobs, so bravo to you my good man.

    Another thing about that advertisement, my mom liked it a bit too much I might add. I guess I can't blame her. I hope I look that good naked, oiled up and laying on a pile of tin foil when i'm his age. If I ever get the chance to partake in such interesting activity.

  2. I find the add not only ugly but also confusing. What am I meant to think of: Food, explosives, a bachelor party gone all wrong, a party in a space shuttle gone all wrong, an episode of Wire in the Blood (maybe for EU readers only?) or The Profiler gone terribly wrong? What?! I don't get it.

    Since I don't eat a lot of tin foiled food, food wasn't actually the first thing I thought of - until I saw the food picture below. And now I just feel slightly queasy and not at all hungry. Errrrgh! And the poor guy looks like he's out of his comfort zone.

    And then all we get is pepper and a bit of wood. Why not simply call it Sneezey?

    What ever happend to the art of suggestion?

  3. I think Bang is like Wonderwood in reverse. Bang screams PEPPER WOOD. And Wonderwood yells WOOD PEPPER. And I ended up with both of them...

  4. Brandon, thanks for sharing the Nancy Sinatra treat. I do love her poise in that performance - such subtle theatricality.

    I'm with your Mom. I had no idea Marc was

    Junelady, the art of suggestion is alive and well. Just look how many great ones you came up with! I choose "party in a space shuttle gone all wrong".

  5. Nick I love your emphatic distinction between the two. And I love that you bought both of them.

    And I can justify any number of slightly different incense roses in my collection.

  6. This is a perfect example of how I am totally put off even wanting to smell a scent, if the visuals are not to my liking. And I'm not talking about Mark, just the gyros compells me to seriously consider vegetarianism.

  7. I'm completely with Junelady. After seeing the juxtaposition of those two pictures, how will I ever eat a kebab again? And Brandon's mom is lucky she saw the ad without a picture of street meat for comparison.

  8. Katie,

    I like to thank you again, for making me spill my morning coffee. "you don't want to over cook those bits!" You don't want to cook it at all! Yikes! I tried this when it first came out, first thing I thought its a joke. Black Pepper, Black Pepper, pass the salt. Boring is more like it, atleast it gives you girls some nice advert to look at.;)


  9. Thanks for the amusing review Katie - a few of us had asked for it on Ytube. Bang did not last long enough for me - shall we say it fizzled? If there had been better sillage it could have joined my 'boy juice for girls' so far staring Grey Flannel by G. Beene (dark green bottle.) Have you done that one? This comment is frought with potential double entendres. We'll rise above it today.

  10. When Yves St. Laurent posed nude for -- I think it was M7? -- it was artful and a little shocking but this...well, I just don't know what this is. Jiffy Pop maybe.

  11. My own opinion is that 'ol Marc looks like he blocked a bazooka hit on the nuts with an oversized lead-lined aluminium can, crashing into a foil factory in the process...and is dazed from the impact in the photo.

    Maybe he's doing a counterpoint to Natalia Vodianova for Shalimar, only she's covering a more tasteful part of her anatomy, and Guerlain
    had the good sense(and good taste) not to make the latter use the iconic flacon to achieve that.

    Remember the print ad for Chanel Égoïste Platinum?

    We've come a long way, baby!

  12. "it doesn't make me cry out in pain." High marks, indeed.

  13. DomPerrier, I suppose the question of which is a more tasteful part of the human anatomy is down to one's....taste. ;) Totally agree with your reading of the Bang ad - let's just be glad Marc's using the Bang bottle and not a human shield.

    Olfacta - Jiffy Pop was the first thing that came to mind for me, too!

    Capri - it's too hard to resist double entendres when it comes to a good Bang...comment.

    Gojira, I really did feel that poor Marc looked ready for the broiler rack in that ad.

    Melissa, Brandon's mom is just generally lucky she doesn't have to be exposed to the nonsense on this blog. There are all kinds of unsavory juxtapositions that could twist her melon six ways to Sunday. (I do like Marc Jacobs = street meat", btw. Thinking that "street meat" is a possibility for his next tattoo.)

    olfactoria'stravels - That's what happens when Marc styles himself as street meat.

  14. Bang was rather intensely woody and spicy for me and definitely fell the wrong side of the gender divide. I have not smelt Wonderwood but I do know CdG 2. Indeed, if I had to rank Bang, CdG2 and Power (the only one of the three I would wear) in order of potency, I would say Bang is Bang, CdG 2 is Big Bang, and Power is a Whimper. Which is fine by me!

  15. I admit I was kinda jazzed when I first read about Bang last spring or whenever the press release first came out, though any interest on my part had nothing to do with the ad. Honestly I just don't know how to take it. If that were Tom Ford laying there naked I would know how to respond, mostly because it fits not only his image but the image of his label. With Marc it's kind of funny, but in a way that I'm not so sure it was intended to be.

    I got a sample of this stuff as soon as it hit Bloomingdales' shelves mid-summer and I couldn't wait to try it out. Cut to me, two months later, hating every minute of it. I'm all for spicy, but that opening of pepper, pepper and pepper wore out it's welcome in 5 minutes flat. I'm all for spice, love it in fact, but I draw the line at smelling like the bottom of a pepper mill. I cringe just thinking about it, and if a man's only choices are things like Bang or Bleu, look for me at the women's counter.

  16. Let's here it for Mark Jacobs very healthy ego! He's glistening with pride! (But shouldn't the dent in the factice be an outy not an inny?)

  17. Scott, the direction of the dent depends on who's the bang-er and who's the bang-ee.

    Spike, meet you at the woman's counter. Though I hear that Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight in Paris is a beauty for the boys. I'm hoping to try it in the next few days.

  18. I actually love Bang. Smelled it at Bloomingdale's before I saw any ads, and bought it a couple weeks later. I thought the pepper and spicy wood combo was perfect, and I don't mind that it doesn't last as long as some fragrances.

    Because so many mass-market fragrances these days trade on their brands and celebrity tie-ups and pay so little attention to actual quality and uniqueness of scent (I'm thinking Chanel's boring Bleu), I was pleasantly surprised that Bang had a hook--pepper--and wasn't just another woody clone.

    And as long as everyone is talking about Jiffy Pop, has anyone tried the Orville Redenbacher Natural Salt & Cracked Pepper popcorn? Mmmmm, pepper. Delicious.

  19. c&c - I was talking to a gentleman fume lover today whose favorite flavor of fragrance is black pepper. He thinks Bang is just dandy: a cheap'n'cheerful version of Hermès Poivre Samarcande, as he put it.

    I heartily concur that Bang's big plus is that it's striking out beyond the sweet/woody or sneezy/aqauatic safe zone of mainstream men's scents.

    That popcorn sounds goooood!

  20. ahaha, oh no. The mix of photos here was surprisingly raunchy. I think I've seen a porn like that.

  21. Prosetry - I know! That kebab snap looks rather oozing and sinister. And Marc's just...oozing.

  22. I'm just late to this party now for MJ Bang - for me it was a dismal failure. Why for any reason would a human being want to be this redolent of pencil shavings? That's all I got from this - pulverized No. 2's in large doses trying to act like something different was happening.

    Also - note to design students everywhere - don't design a flacon that is already half-ready for disposal. Or if you do, please make sure the juice within is good enough to counter the sudden idea to just smash the bottle outright.

  23. Stefush,

    Awww, I don't know - the bottle's my favorite thing about the whole effort. It's been "banged". Neato!

    Haha, "pulverized No. 2's in large doses trying to act like something different was happening" - funneeeeee.

  24. I think I'm in the minority here. Bright, fresh--I love it. Then again, I only tried it on a tester and didn't get a chance to really let it develop with time or on my skin.

    I would almost buy it for the bottle alone!

  25. I've heard from some other women (and many men) who love this one. The bottle is a kick.

  26. Yeah, the bottle should say, "POW!!!!"

  27. Does anyone else find the name really funny?

    Reminds me of this (NSFW):

    I think any perfume whose name ends with an exclamation mark makes me chuckle.