The opinions of the opinionated. Let's take a look at food, cinema, fragrance, baby products, legal decisions, booze, cars, and whatever else catches our interest.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Car Smell

Stinkum Review: Mustang and Mustang Blue

My 2008 white Ford Mustang was a gift to myself as my 40th birthday loomed near. I snapped cel-phone pictures of it and sent them to friends under the caption "The Midlife Crisismobile." It's been a fun set of wheels, especially for my long highway commute, and my only regret is that getting the baby seat in the back is a pain. It had that "new car smell" at first, mostly plastic and rubber. Come to think of it, perhaps new car smell is like mixing Claiborne's Lucky You (plastic) and Bvlgari Black (rubber) together? Sounds like a vicious combo! After a mishap with a broken bottle of Disney's Mickey Mouse -- yes, there is a Mickey Mouse cologne -- my car smelled like soap bubbles and cookies, the notes of a cologne aimed squarely at toddlers. Luckily the makers of Mouse anticipated spills and overzealous sprayers and it faded quickly.

Turns out Ford licensed the Mustang name to Aramis/Lauder for scent branding, two scents to be exact, both sold in drugstores. I got a bottle of Mustang online for US-$12.50 and tried the second release, Mustang Blue, at the local Rite-Aid.

The bottles are hefty curved rectangles with machined metal caps, and the logo is right off my car. The both come in padded tins, for no good reason but another opportunity to show the galloping horse, enbossed and chromed on the tin but just printed on a sticker for the bottle. The caps are strong design -- matte dark metal with three "speed lines."

Mustang isn't special or surprising, but it isn't bad -- the topnotes are as expected, mostly citrus and lavender. The lavender stays strong throughout the drydown. The base is supposed to be cedar, tobacco, and patchouli, and though I'm new to the fragrance game, I know patchouli when I smell it, and the dreadful Berkeley oil of my college years isn't present. Thank heavens! Someone with a patchouli oil habit had a locker near mine at the rec center, and I would hold my breath when I went to get my swimsuit and goggles. So no patchouli, just woods at the end of Mustang. I would call it a barbershop kind of fragrance, clean and classic but not very pretty. My own tastes lean toward spices and vanilla, so I don't see making this a regular morning spritz.

Mustang Blue is a different story. Clean it ain't. Downright dirty. Too dirty for me. The topnotes are herbal, but more importantly, mechanical. Burning oil, rubber gaskets, and hot metal join pine, basil, and mint, all sharp herbal scents. It's one of those novelty scents like most of the Demeter fragrances -- Demeter offers funny stuff like jelly bean scents, Play-Dough, Gingerale and Bonfire (both favorites), and now Mustang Blue brings us HOT REVVING ENGINE.

Mustang Blue is downright assaultive. I had to wash it off.

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