When it comes to colognes, I’m no expert. Just a punter with a serious appetite for all things redolence. Introducing Mahina by Molton Brown.
I’ve always believed that cologne is the most underrated and under-used of all fashion accoutrements.
With the right cologne, you can walk into a room full of people and make a monumental impact before being seen. They say the loudest person in the room is the weakest person in the room, but I believe the right fragrance allows you to command a room’s attention immediately without being a loud, obnoxious overcompensating twat.
The smell is such a strong sense, that subconsciously we make lasting impressions of people before meeting them, based on the way they smell. Whether it’s positive or negative, the power of the human scent is as such, that we will ultimately remember how a person smells whether we like it or not.
What I find is so fascinating is a perfume’s ability to transport you immediately to a different place. Smells first pass through the Olfactory bulb in the nose, which is connected directly to the two brain areas associated with emotion and memory. This is why when you smell someone today wearing a CkOne, Polo Sport or Boss by Hugo Boss, it will most probably transport you back to your glory days, conversing with uninterested 17-year-old stunners with a Tooheys Extra Dry in hand. Likewise, a stroll past a beautiful woman wearing Alien by Thierry Mugler or Chanel’s iconic Chance might have you wondering what life would be like had that one not got away.
As different fragrances invoke such a tremendous sense of nostalgia, we associate different scents with different occasions. A Sunday session with the fellas in the Oaks Courtyard, or in the sun at Wharf Bar, requires a different scent to your everyday work cologne because we don’t want to associate work with pleasure.
We all know the standard, often generic colognes that adorn the many department store shelves. These scents are usually endorsed by a lordish model/actor with a chiselled jaw line and unattainable 8-pack. Often shot through a soft black and white filter to sell the illusion that by wearing their advertised cologne you may uncover your inner lothario and end up in a circular bed with numerous naked women while Benny Mardones’ ‘Into The Night’ plays through your premium HiFi system.
In saying that, there are some undeniably classic scents in the mainstream market that have stood the test of time. The perfect combination of cedarwood, mandarin and leather so famously put together in Dior’s ‘Fahrenheit’ or the intensely masculine ‘Gentlemen Only’ by Givenchy. Or the ever recognisable ‘Le Male’ by Jean Paul Gaultier, or even more recently ‘The One’ by Dolce and Gabbana. These can be considered modern day classics and will continue to woo women for generations to come.
In this column, I will review fragrances that are slightly off the beaten track. I want to highlight the more unique and boutique perfumes available, which are being made by specialist fragrance companies and are becoming increasingly popular in today’s market.
Today we see fragrance companies offer up fantastic ranges from all over the world, and some are much more affordable than others. I’m sure most of you have lusted over Tom Ford’s legendary ever-growing range of boutique unisex colognes at one point or another. If you’re aware of said collection, you’ll certainly be aware of the prices – 100ml will set you back somewhere in the vicinity of $400.
Luckily smelling unique doesn’t have to come at an enormous cost.
Today I’m introducing an inspired fragrance called Mahina by Molton Brown. Molton Brown is a British company who have been making boutique shower gels, body lotions, candles and perfumes since the early 70’s. Think of them like Aesops’ older, sexier brother!
Mahina by Molton Brown is part of an amazing collection called ‘Navigations Through Scent’. The range is inspired by wanderlust destinations from every corner of the globe; from the spice routes of Indonesia to the Mountains of Nova Scotia, this collection simply put, is uniquely beautiful.
Mahina is a real unisex scent, inspired by the warm shores of Tahiti in French Polynesia. This warming fragrance has top notes of blossom and ylang-ylang (the most recognisable of Tahiti’s flowers) and is cleverly blended with firm bottom notes of vanilla and cedar wood. This unique floral scent is guaranteed to turn the heads of both men and women.
The only negative I found, if any, is the staying power. While it is stronger than most of your mainstream colognes, I found Mahina to wear off a little quicker than others in the same collection. This, however, is a small criticism for what is an intriguing and intelligently layered aroma.
A 50ml bottle of Mahina by Molton Brown will set you back around $120 AUD, which is well-priced when you take into consideration the quality of its maker and the unique blends that have been used.
The Cologne Ranger