How does an Italian couture house, renowned for crafting the most exquisite, red evening gowns for over five decades and for hosting the most lavish celebrity, cough, Kimye, pre-wedding luncheon in recent history become synonymous with men’s fragrance? Easy. You engrave the name Valentino across the bottle.
At eighty-something years of age, designer Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani’s name (like Cher and Madonna, he gets by using just the first one), is a fashion heavyweight.
It maintains a permanent spot on Anna Wintour, Gwyneth Paltrow and JLo’s VIP lists. It’s on the front door of a Roman museum, solely dedicated to showcasing his life’s work and it’s in the title of one of the highest grossing documentaries ever, Valentino: The Last Emperor. Now, in capital letters it’s featured on a brass placard embedded onto the front of Uomo’s heavy, cognac decanter-like, glass flacon.
Uomo (Italian for Men) opens with zesty bergamot and spicy myrtle before smoothing into a sweet, Nutella-like scent thanks to its rich blend of roasted coffee and gianduja cream. After several minutes of wear, the eau’s warm base of woody cedar and sensual leather seep through. The overall effect is intoxicating with more than a hint of mystery. It makes you want to lean in, to inhale a little deeper, longer. Perhaps it’s because Louis Garrel, the unconventional looking and yet, irrefutably sexy French actor is the face of the cologne and its enticing two-minute commercial. Or maybe it’s because Valentino has simply done it, again.