January 17, 2013
As a man who spends a lot of time thinking about perfume I can tell you it gets lonely out here for a brother. It was why I was so impressed with the rise of a group of New York City perfume lovers who seemed to be everywhere. They were loud and proud about their love of fragrance and their disdain for gender labels. EIC Michelyn Camen felt their existence turned the conversation to “real men do wear perfume” and named them a part of the Best Trend of 2012. Michael Devine our regular monthly contributor is a member of the group and so we thought it would be a good idea for him to introduce the members of the band and give them a chance to talk about their group. So without any further introduction Michael take it away. -Mark Behnke, Managing Editor
From l. to r. Michael Devine, Rich Scardaville, Carlos Powell, Ed Gochman
The Goodsmellas are: Ed "Frunkinator" Libassi, Carlos Powell, Rich Scardaville, Michael Devine, Ed Gochman, Ahmed "Freeze" Zindani, Cody "Dracdoc" Sulaimana, Igor Kipnis, Barney Bishop, Christopher Bruschi, Luis Ginorio and an honorary membership goes to Chad Murawczyk, owner and President of MiN New York.
Who are the original founders?
Mike: It's tough to say that there were, in fact, original "founders." We were just a bunch of New York guys who shared a common interest in fragrance as an art. We were friends before we were "Goodsmellas."
The picture that launched a movement
l. to r. Michael Devine, Rich Scardeville, Ed Gochman
Who came up with the name?
Carlos: A picture of Mike, Rich, and Ed G wearing suits was posted at Peace Love Perfume (a popular Facebook group for fragrance enthusiasts) back in March of 2012. Dawn Danehart, a member of the group, immediately commented, "THE GOODSMELLAS," and the term was coined. Thanks to the hard work of Mindy and Chad of MiN New York, they were featured in an article at Racked.com, adding myself and Frunkinator to the interview. The term stuck, and we were from that point on, referred to as The Goodsmellas. Subsequent interviews followed, and more of our peers/ friends were added.
Frunk et Mad
Madalina Stoica-Blanchard and Frunkinator
Do you all share scents?
Luis: We're definitely a very generous bunch of fellas. If someone is ever in need of a fragrance, or just has never had the opportunity to smell that particular fragrance before, we just whip out our empty atomizers and decant away. The Goodsmellas look out for each other, and we make sure that each and every one us always stays smelling good. That's what the Goodsmellas are all about.
Mike: That's something that's great about the fragrance community. Everyone's saying, "You gotta try this!" or "I bet he or she would love this," and fragrances get around. Our pockets are often filled with samples and we love to spread the word, even to "civilians."
Frunk: We all have our own style of decants and labels. The best is getting a sample from Ahmed … they're never labeled and you always have to figure out with your nose what's in the vial!
Cody Sulaimana and Lysa Chen
Are any of you scent twins? Evil Scent twins?
Ahmed: My scent twin is Frunkinator. We virtually wear the same scents and love the same fragrances. My evil scent twins are Rich and Michael. They’re complete opposites from Frunk and me. They enjoy dark, heavy incense and oud type of fragrances, hence the reason why I ask both for advice on such fragrances. While Frunk and I wear crowd-pleaser scents, Rich and Michael love complexity and enjoy the more daring side of fragrances.
Ed G: Frunkinator and I share similar likes in terms of “fresh” scents and scents dominated with the iris note. Carlos and I both love Black Orchid by Tom Ford. Mike Devine and I recently both fell in love with the new Byredo scent Black Saffron.
Igor: I wouldn't say we're twins, but we do overlap in our tastes and it's actually pretty neat. It's as if you're looking at a color wheel where each person may represent a scent they love – and when you look at us as a whole, there's an overlap.
Carlos: We all have very different tastes. Some of us love patchouli and oud, and some hate it. I think my tastes are mostly in line with Michael Devine, Rich Scardaville, Christopher Bruschi, and Edward Gochman.
Cody: There are some who have similar tastes, but I don't have an evil scent twin per se.
Where do you all hang out and do you have Goodsmella parties and meetups?
Ed G: We have regular meet-ups and parties at MiN NY in Soho. MiN NY is like our headquarters given that the owners Chad and Mindy are such gracious hosts. I have to give lots of credit to Mindy Yang of MiN NY for helping me get a better understanding of niche fragrances when I started my journey about three years ago. Her patience and knowledge is remarkable.
Carlos: Oh most definitely! MiN New York has hosted quite a few events for us, but we also will just meet up and sniff at the three B's … Barney's, Bergdorf, and Bendel. We also spend quite a lot of time together at the Facebook group Peace Love Perfume. We have built quite a unique perfume family.
What advice would you give a guy who is new to perfume in picking?
Chad: First and foremost, I would advise a newcomer to get out of the department store and shy away from brands with large advertising campaigns. The magic and beauty of scent happens from the inside of the bottle out. Secondly, I would gain a foothold in this new universe by smelling all types of fragrances and anything that you find interesting or curious, jot down the name and do some research on that particular scent. You will then learn more about the notes and general composition as well as some background on the perfumer who developed the scent. This will be the beginning foundation for understanding what you like or don't like in scent. Remember, this is a building process and cultivating an understanding and appreciation for fragrance takes time, no different than understanding and appreciating wine or cognac. Lastly, I would tap into the incredible social community who have a passion for fragrance and listen, learn and have fun. You will find your own path to scent happiness soon enough!
Frunk: Smell everything that's on the counter and choose the one that speaks to you the most. Fragrance is a very personal matter and you should wear what you like. Take your time when selecting, let the fragrance tell its story as it dries down and see where it ends up taking you. Some fragrances have taken me on incredible journeys from the very moment it was sprayed onto my skin, ‘til the last minutes of its life duration. And the best part is that every journey is different for everyone. Pure unpredictable bliss at its finest.
Igor: I would say to try, try, and try before you buy anything. If you must buy anything, make sure you are in love with it. Do not force yourself to like something that someone else adores. Keep samples at home so that you're not pressured in store to purchase. I have found that trying scents at my own time is the best way to judge if it's right for me or not.
Cody: Listen to suggestions from people, but at the end of the day, the authority is your own nose.
Ahmed: Testing the development of a fragrance is the conclusive way to pick the right fragrance for you. One must test the development of the scent, longevity, and projection. In order to do that, you have to sample the whole fragrance because the initial spray that you fell in love with might just disappear as the scent develops.
l. to r. Lysa Chen, Cody Sulaimana, Ed Gochman, and Igor Kipnis
FUBU started a revolution in hip hop clothing, For Us by Us. Do you see any business opportunities down the road or is it all about fun? Goodsmella websites, fragrances, etc
Luis: For the moment it’s all about fun, but I would love to see people learn more about the positive impacts fragrances can have on their lives. Whether it’s giving you a boost of confidence, having a fragrance remind you about a particular memory in which you're very fond of, or just reassuring yourself that you smell pleasant to those around you.
Ed G: Perhaps a Goodsmellas Eau De Parfum.
Carlos: Absolutely! A Goodsmellas fragrance is not out of the question, but I can't say any more about that right now. For now you can find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheGoodsmellas and on Twitter https://twitter.com/TheGoodSmellas
Luis Ginorio and Olya Bar
One scent you all love?
Luis: That's a hard question to answer because we all love and hate so many (laughs). But if I had to choose one, I think it would be Aventus by Creed. Cody once said its effects on men are like catnip's effect on a cat.
Who has the best nose?
Luis: Isn't it obvious? I do, of course! (laughs). No, I'm only kidding, I believe everyone has a great nose and every nose speaks to the individual differently. What smells good to one person might not smell good to another person. Difference of opinions on a fragrance is what makes this beautiful world of fragrances so absolutely wonderful and enjoyable.
Igor: "The Shnozz" (points at Frunkinator). This guy's nose is incredible.
Cody: None of us, and all of us.
Thanks to the ever generous Chad and Mindy of MiN New York we have a very special draw of a $100 gift certificate to MiN New York. To be eligible leave a comment on your favorite part of the interview. The draw will close on January 21, 2013.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.
-Michael Devine, Contributor