Perfume Pen Pals: The Party The Ten Party and Aramis


I wore The Ten Party last night (the male partner of The Party in Manhattan) and it's fabulous! It's a woody-citrus (yawn, I know), but the citrus gets out of the way quickly and then the cologne morphs into a completely civilized cedar-patchouli thing, masculine but not all truculent about it. It's similar to Frédéric Malle Bois d'Orage, but with clove in place of the cigar.

The Ten Party is now top of my list. I could end up smelling like a man after all.



It sounds like you're getting manlier every minute. I need to have a clove discussion with you.



Clove and I go way back. And it hasn't always been smooth sailing. First, there were the mean girls who smoked clove cigarettes outside the teen dance clubs and listened to crappy Siouxsie and the Banshees records (which were admittedly better than the crappy Peter Murphy records.)

"Let's f up Dan Rolleri with our Aqua Net fumes."

And then there was Aramis, my first proper gentlemen's cologne, not including the five-dollar bottles of Brut I got at Walgreen's. Aramis was clove-y and leathery and sweet and strong. And it scared the hell out of me. Just like those mean Siouxsie and the Banshees girls. (I only bought it because it came with a free umbrella and I needed an umbrella.)

Putting it on for the first time was like drinking my first shot of whiskey: the smell of both was ferociously adult and made me nervous that I would never become a man. Let alone a gentleman. My arms were a third the size of my father's, I was listening to Heaven 17, and now there was this colossal gap between my cologne and me. I remember feeling self-conscious whenever I wore it, like I was wearing a suit to high school.

Alas, my arms have never quite filled out, I enjoy English pop music, I can't drink whiskey, and the gap is still there. And I'd probably still feel self-conscious wearing Aramis. But I'm finding I like clove. When it's subtle. The Ten Party is perfectly understated and so it delivers the '80s clove nostalgia without putting me too close to the mean girls. Or that horrible umbrella. It was tri-colored: brown, beige and rust. Gentlemen colors. Dan
80s girls via Aramis umbrella via


  1. Dear Dan and Miss Hot Sauna Pants 2011:

    First of all - I MUST CRASH this Party of Ten of which you speak. Anything that is reminiscent of Bois D'Orage must be tried. ESPECIALLY if there's clove involved. Clove is your friend, as is cinnamon. Learn it, Live it, Love It

    Secondly, Aramis is, and always will be, proof that Satan is alive and well in the fragrance industry. It is Evil, it is the overpowering stench of Everything That Is Wrong With Men and Why. Luca Turin be damned in his dottering ways - this is no classic; it's an abomination against the purity of oxygen.

    Never mind the minor devils that inhabit Acqua di Gio, Calvin Klein and the Chanel mens' line - BAAL Himself rests on a throne whose censers belch forth Aramis upon the wracked souls who dwell in misery unrelenting.

    I have spoken. Now hand over that Ten Party flacon and no one gets hurt.

  2. Stefush,

    I'm resistant to learning, living and loving clove and cinnamon. A fifth of a scosh of either of those is all I ever need to encounter in a fragrance.

    But you make Hades sound like an exciting place!

  3. This idea that there is a gap between Dan and the scent is something I really understand. Even when I like many scents, when I wear them, I feel like an imposter. Kenzo Flower, and Armani Code are like this for me. I still like the smell, but I never feel like it smells like me. This makes sense in my head. and I continue to wear them.

    A few scents that do feel like they become part of me:
    Jean Nate (The closest thing I have to a signature scent)
    Several BPAL scents; Santa Muerte, Regan, Katrina Van Tassel

    I want to find something that I can add to the rotation that will ot have the gap. I am looking at Hypnotic Poison...

  4. I echo this gap also. For me the scent is Polo Green. I love how it's like being air-dropped into the thickest darkest mossiest English forest imaginable, but on me it's far too strong. And I love the scent!

    Definitely an example of a fragrance wearing you.

  5. One of my first jobs out of college was selling Aramis in a department store in Florida. If you have ever lived in Florida you know about we would use it to spray it on them and kill them if we saw one in the beauty the good ol days. I still can't help but think of those bugs when I smell it. ahhhhh the 80's

  6. onesmalldog - excellent off-label use of Aramis! That really made me laugh - particularly the idea that the smell of Aramis is now solely associated with cockroaches!

    Maggie - I also have "I'm a fake" feelings about certain perfumes I wear...isn't that weird?

  7. the corner of my mind (and ears and nose).....

    Wow - hearing Heaven 17 reminded me of when I 19 and a singer/dancer at King's Island in Cinninnati. It was the first time I had been that far away from home (California) and I REALLY took advantage of "reinventing myself" into the "adult" I thought I wanted to be.....HA - if only my 19 year old self could see me now.

    During that year in Ohio, I practically bathed in CK Obsession, KL Lagerfeld and Halston Z14, I learned how to drink (and drink and drink and drink...), I went to my first gay bar, and had my first surgery (a hernia - from lifting the girls in the show....the dancers in Ohio were a tad bit larger then I was used to....). None the less, a great time in my life - thanks for the memories, D & K.

    As for Ava Luxe, I have about collected about 20 of her fragrances and all but a few have been wonderful - I think you will enjoy her line.


  8. Marko -- fun reminiscence! I completely identify with your excitement of your first experience as your own person, earning a living as a performer.

  9. I would like to add my completely sophisticated and adult opinion on Aramis: no thanks, the bottle looks like it would smell gross.

  10. I knew I could count on your for adult sophistication, Nora.