Once again this year the members of my family, both biological and legal, were generous with their hospitality and presents. My thanks to them all.

They are good to me despite having lived with me through that stage in my life when I wore far too much of some nasty aftershaves. Most of my family are teachers so they know that’s what teenagers are like. Boys grow up watching ads in which men attract women solely by splashing large quantities of scented alcohol on their faces or spraying their armpits with byproducts of the manufacture of industrial solvents. They also don’t have enough money to buy anything that smells pleasanter than toilet freshener.

These days I am so afraid of applying such stuff to myself to excess that often people don’t even know when I’ve applied any at all, and I like to think that my sister and I both have good taste in what the advertisers insist on calling “fragrances”. Unlike many pong-shoppers we buy rarely and we’re mostly indifferent to packaging.

The last time I bought her perfume I chose a new one that turned out to be a hit with the cognoscenti. A few Christmasses back, she bought me a bottle of Gucci Rush For Men and very nice that was too. I stashed it in my travel washbag and wore it whenever I was away on business. Women liked it. The last-but-one time I stayed in a hotel, the girl who served me breakfast came up to me afterwards and asked me what it was (so she could buy it for her boyfriend).

She (and he) would have been disappointed. As my family discovered later this year when they went looking for a bottle of GRFM to replace mine, it has been officially discontinued since 2004. (This also gives you some idea of how long it took me to use it all up.) My folks bought me another, similar, one instead and very nice that is too.

Naturally the scent search involved some trawling around the Web. One relevant forum I found is here, and one of its main contributors is a man who goes by the handle “LastMessenger3”. As soon I saw his profile photo I decided he was going to become my new fragrance mentor*.

babe magnetism

perhaps it’s his haircut

If he can go out dressed in that shirt and still win the attention of Nicole PussycatDoll and Ann Hathaway then truly his is a nose to be reckoned with.

In other news, this has been going on for two years (on TV admittedly) and I only find out about it today?

*[If you read his profile in full you can discover the real story behind the pic.]