Thursday, June 13, 2013

D.R. Harris Arlington Cologne

This is a wonderful classic English cologne with lemon and fern notes. It was the first fragrance I bought for my partner, found at a niche men's boutique called The Art of Shaving where I'd gone on location with my then-TV crew. This was a fun location for me, of course; I must have smelled every cologne there while learning about the finer points of male facial grooming, and fell in love at first encounter with D.H. Harris Arlington cologne, which smelled to me like a lemon vanilla splash, fresh and clean with a subtle creamsicle-sweet touch. It didn't smell aggressive like so many Fougere (Aromatic) blends for Men like Brut or Axe, but it's simultaneously tender and sharp enough for gentlemen and ladies alike who tend to like bare essentials, things so simplified they can't be reduced anymore once they've reached perfection.

So I got my beau the Arlington set, complete with matching shaving products, all of which he used for awhile until he moved on to stronger, more complex, arguably more interesting and present aromas such as Acqua di Gio and Creed Silver Mountain Water (and lately, Bleu de Chanel). Arlington is still among my favorite scents for a man to wear because it's as polite as can be, but I'm just as happy wearing it myself. For comparison, think Jean Naté, the American drugstore staple, but better.

Less orange blossomy than 4711 and not at all lime-sharp like Jo Malone Lime, Basil and Mandarin (although it's a great modern classic lime), Arlington fills the void where other citric colognes like Guerlain Eau du Coq or Caswell-Massey Number Six are slightly more bitter with bergamot, or spicy with eugenol-y clove or a geranium-like note. Arlington is at once a classic yet unique sweet lemon drop for the very distinguished man, equal parts timelessly new and comfortingly nostalgic. With Father's Day coming up, skip the Old Spice just once and make Arlington the special gift for that special man or lemon-lover in your life.

It is only cologne, and not at all an intense one, meaning it doesn't last beyond the 1-2 hour mark, but it wouldn't have the same pleasant effect on me if it were any stronger. I sometimes imagine one of the first colognes on record made by Charles Lillie, an innovative British perfumer, was something simple yet wonderful, aesthetically pleasing yet brilliantly functional like Arlington (read more about Charles Lillie: The Birth of Modern Perfumery - About Perfume).