Emily S. Whitten: YOU Can Smell Like A Superhero With The Avengers Fragrances!
I’ve seen a few Internet commenters wondering why anyone would want to smell like a “sweaty robotic suit” or whatever, but really, it’s refreshing to see a comics-related tie-in that’s not a t-shirt or knick-knack made of plastic. I’m an adult, and sometimes it’s fun to buy adult things that are also totally geeky. And I like that this particular product line has at least one female-specific product. So I say hooray to Marvel for partnering up with JADS International, purveyors of geeky scents, to bring us some fun comics-themed colognes and one (and maybe someday more?) perfume based on The Avengers. Also, let’s be honest, I just really, really like things that smell nice. And these scents really do.
Colognes and perfumes are super subjective, of course, and it can be hard to know what something is going to smell like when worn, because it reacts with body chemistry and the scent varies from person to person (like that one time when my best friend had the most amazing perfume and I loved it and she got me a bottle and… it smelled terrible on me. I was so sad). But it does help to know what something smells like in the bottle and on at least one person; and to that end, I am here to help! By not only telling you what each cologne smells like in the bottle, but also what it smells like on my extremely patient friend and fellow Avengers fan, the very talented comic book artist Kevin Stokes. (Round of applause for good sport Kevin, folks. Also check out his fantastic work on things like Stan Lee’s The Guardian Project. Just for fun, before I read the descriptions of the fragrances, I also wrote up what I thought the characters would actually smell like. Let’s see how close JADS International got to my ideas of what superheroes (and one heroine, and one villain) smell like.
Name/Tagline: Mark VII – Armor up. Inspiration: Iron Man.
What Tony smells like in my head: Tony smells expensive but not cloyingly so. Like the smell of new clothes in the store, and soft car seat leather, and a touch of top-shelf whiskey. He smells like the open air, and sea breezes. But underneath all that he smells like engine grease and the heated air of complex metal-and-plastic electronics blown through a computer fan, with a whiff of WD-40, and an undercurrent of that comfortably warm bed smell that indicates he may actually have slept in the same shirt he’s still wearing today.
Mark VII Description: “A resolutely sophisticated cologne forged from the sea, the sun, the earth, and a touch of devil-may-care whimsy. Transparent, aromatic, and modern in nature, Mark VII combines mandarin, neroli, nasturtium and jasmine layered with light patchouli to create a contemporary expression of “I don’t play well with others” confidence; leaving you always ready for whatever a genius, billionaire, playboy-philanthropist might encounter along the way.”
Initial Expectations: I expected Mark VII to smell sweet but fresh, and a little heady.
In the bottle: Mark VII smells light and clean, citrusy, and a bit airy, like a sea breeze. The mandarin/orangey smell is definitely noticeable, including the slightly bitter/metallic tang of neroli, but it’s not unpleasant. It’s the undercurrent of the whole scent. It does smell sophisticated, but less rich and complex than I expected from the patchouli noted in the description.
When worn: Mark VII smells very light and clean and slightly citrusy. It is a sophisticated-type scent.
Thoughts: People I immediately picture wearing this could be businessmen in suits, dining out at a fancy top-floor glassed-in restaurant in New York. It’s not too overwhelming and could work in any situation. Overall I really like this scent and think it would work on most men.
Name/Tagline: PATRIOT – Your attack plan. Inspiration: Captain America
What Cap smells like in my head: Cap smells like green grass, the loam of the woods underfoot, and plain soap, mixed with old leather and a touch of the cigarette smoke of fellow soldiers, picked up in tents and tanks and other close quarters. He smells like motor oil, slightly musty canvas, warm skin, and Colgate shaving cream, with a vague hint of Listerine toothpaste and chalk.
Description: “A cologne that pays homage to the confident, stand-up-to-bullies, hard working average Joe in every man. PATRIOT Cologne is both reserved and sexy; like a symbol on a shield or a moniker on a motorcycle helmet. Fresh notes of green lime and white pepper are the first to hit with dry oak wood, sandalwood and tequila accords finishing the adventure. Perfect for any time or place, PATRIOT Cologne puts the Novus Mundus in your strong, sensuous hands for you to embrace and discover.”
Initial Expectations: I expected PATRIOT to smell fresh and woodsy, with a slightly sweet undercurrent.
In the bottle: It has a strong, clean, tangy, slightly sharp (peppery) scent, definitely a slightly outdoorsy smell. It smells a bit grassy, and you can smell the hints of lime and tequila. It’s a more forceful scent than the Marv VII.
When worn: PATRIOT is a very clean outdoorsy scent with a slight zing to it. It’s definitely a stronger scent overall than the Mark VII.
Thoughts: I could see athletic, no-nonsense guys wearing this. It’s another scent I really like, and I think could work for many men.
Name/Tagline: SMASH! – Be angry. Inspiration: The Hulk.
What the Hulk smells like in my head: Bruce smells like polyester and metal and ink, with a hint of antiseptic, overlaid with Brazilian spices (turmeric, cumin, oregano, cilantro, nutmeg and pepper) and slightly floral sandalwood incense. He also sometimes smells of rage, of course, but don’t ask me to describe that. You really have to be there.
Description: “Very unusual and rare materials have been brought together to create a woody aquatic cologne evoking both a serene sense of timeless freedom and a single-minded, unbridled passion for life. Yuzu, bergamot and tarragon create clean, clear top notes along with unexpected accords of water lily and nutmeg. SMASH! then carries an intense woody drydown enriched with Indian sandalwood, vetiver, musk and sharp cedar. Complimentary to a full range of emotions, it wears well no matter where—at work, the lab or an evening out on the town.”
Initial Expectations: I expected SMASH! to smell complicated, rich, and slightly spicy, with a fresh undertone.
In the bottle: SMASH! smells sweet and rich overall, with a pure water base scent from the water lily and cedar and tiny nudge of zestiness and spice. The cedar and sandalwood are noticeable, and the tarragon and nutmeg also come through. It’s lighter than PATRIOT but stronger than Mark VII, and it’s complex.
When worn: When worn SMASH! smells rich and slightly spicy, with a noticeable blend of the sandalwood and spices. It’s probably the warmest of the scents (except maybe for Mischief).
Thoughts: I could see this being worn by sensual men who sometimes just don’t give a damn. It’s a little unusual and might not be for everyone, but it’s very nice overall.
Name/Tagline: Worthy – Possess the power. Inspiration: Thor.
What Thor smells like in my head: Thor smells a touch metallic, like ozone, and a little bit like burning oak. Over that, though, he smells fresh, like a wide open space after a rainstorm, when there’s still a bit of water in the air and the whole earth is touched by it, releasing all the tiny natural scents into the air at once. His scent is complex in its simplicity.
Description: “This woody citrus cologne is a unique, meaningful combination of bergamot, frozen ginger and wheatgrass blended with a hint of fresh natural grapefruit and layered deeply with aromatic cypress. Basenotes are possessed with sensual, seductive tones of dark amber and cedarwood, protecting and enhancing a deep, dry masculine (dare we say almost God-like?) musk.”
Initial Expectations: I expected Worthy to smell fresh, slightly sharp and grassy, with earthy undertones.
In the bottle: Worthy smells earthy and woody, with an extremely obvious note of the cedarwood and possibly some cypress. In lightness it’s on par with Mark VII.
When worn: When worn, honestly, all I can smell is the cedarwood.
Thoughts: I could see outdoorsy types who like a clean and not overwhelming scent wearing this. However, of all of the colognes this one smells, to me, the least complex, and I wouldn’t choose it.
Name/Tagline: Infinity Formula – Activate the Initiative. Inspiration: Nick Fury.
What Nick Fury smells like in my head: Fury smells like sweat and cigars, worn leather, gun-oil, and generic aftershave. And yet, under all that turmoil, he smells calm, and cool like metal; which, is fitting for a man with the nerves of steel needed to mastermind and implement the Avengers Initiative.
Description: “Colonel Nicholas “Nick” Fury.
Paratrooper, Ranger, Weapons and Demolitions Expert, Aircraft Specialist and Pilot, Green Beret. Veteran of every US War and Military Conflict since WWII.
Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. “The single most powerful, most important organization on the planet Earth.” And the only human strong enough to bring together a group of remarkable people who would fight the battles no one else could.”
Initial Expectations: I don’t knoowwwwww. There’s no description of the scent notes; probably because Nick Fury classified them as top secret. Even JADS International and Marvel wouldn’t defy Nick Fury!
In the bottle: Infinity Formula has a musky undertone, overlaid by something sweeter. It smells very slightly metallic, and I think maybe I smell a hint of sandalwood, too. It’s a slightly heavier scent than the Mark VII and Worthy.
When worn: When worn I can smell a woody undertone that I think is sandalwood, and a hint of vanilla. There’s almost an outdoorsy campfire note to it too, though it’s very subtle.
Thoughts: I could see down-to-earth guys who like a subtle, comfortable scent wearing this. Overall it’s a warm and unusual scent, and smells outdoorsy, but in the realm of woods and outdoor camping rather than the airy or fresh scents often associated with outdoorsy scents.
Name/Tagline: Mischief – Made to rule. Inspiration: Loki (“Even the bottle is crooked, really!”)
What Loki smells like in my head: Loki smells slightly musty, like secret and infrequently used corridors, but also overpoweringly sweet, with a touch of something tangy.
Description: Possessed of Superhuman strength, Genius-level intelligence, Mystical powers, Telepathy, Flight, Clairvoyance, Therianthropy, and Teleportation… who could blame you for becoming the greatest trickster of them all?
So wear your crown of baleful maleficence with pride; let mirth and mayhem stand ready, anticipating your every command. Test their mettle knowing you have nothing to fear; you are Mischief and you were made to rule.
Initial Expectations: Loki is so mischievous that he didn’t let us know beforehand what scent notes might be in this cologne. Curse you, prankster!!
In the bottle: In the bottle the cologne is strong and sweet, with a clean light undercurrent like the smell of someone who’s freshly showered.
When worn: Mischief smells sweet and even slightly flowery, but also has a slight spice to it. It’s in the category of warmer scents, and is rich without being heavy.
Thoughts: I could see strong, confident, and slightly artsy guys wearing this. Overall it’s pretty different from the hero scents, and it’s very nice, although it might not work on everyone.
Finally, Marvel is making a high-quality personal product for geek gals! I’m happy about that, although I would have loved to see at least one more – a Pepper Potts perfume. I could have seen that being a great clean-smelling scent for gals. But hopefully we’ll get more girl-scents in the future…
Name/Tagline: Black Widow – fallaces sunt rerum species. Inspiration: Black Widow
What Black Widow smells like in my head: Black Widow smells rich and heady, with a mysterious undercurrent of something not quite recognizable. She smells sweet but not too sweet.
Description: Russian Spy, Trained Assassin, World Class Ballerina, Girl from Legal Department. Like changing clothes in the back of a chauffeured car, strip away the façade and live that life…and many more.
A clear shot of citrus and fresh berries create a statement which slowly gives way to a sensual caramel and honey note; but kept too sweet by a pairing of dry Australian Sandalwood. Then, like a spider spindling silently from above, Black Widow dries down to a deeply desirous gourmand delight of bitter chocolate, clear patchouli and praline. This is a fragrance for those who can navigate the high-tension tightrope of love and duty – and who knows what it takes to be called Black Widow.
Initial Expectations: This perfume sounds &*%$# amazing. I expected it to have a hint of a sweet and fruity scent, and overall rich and earthy but not overpowering thanks to the sandalwood.
In the bottle: In the bottle it’s extremely strong and rich, with a very complex sweet scent to it, almost a candied smell.
When worn: Black Widow is a complex scent, and definitely a stronger one. At first it seems almost overpowering, but as noted in the description it “dries down” pretty quickly to something slightly more subtle. I would classify it as a warm scent, and a primarily sweet one, with the patchouli and sandalwood making an interesting mix.
Thoughts: I could see sophisticated city gals wearing this for a night out. For me personally, I tend to do better with cooler scents (which is why I’d have loved to see a Pepper Potts perfume, as I could see that one being a cool, fresh, slightly tangy scent), but I did enjoy wearing this, and suspect that women who usually like warmer scents would love it.
Favorite Colognes: Mark VII is my favorite, followed closely by PATRIOT. I love both scents, and I also could see them working well on many men. I also enjoyed the unusual scent of Infinity Formula.
Least Favorite Cologne: Worthy – despite my being a fan of the character, I confess to being unimpressed with Worthy – to me, it just smells like cedar. However, perhaps on some men the other notes would be more prominent.
Overall: I loved or really liked all except Worthy, and could see several of them working for everyone, and the others definitely working for at least some guys. They are all definitely good quality colognes.
Coming soon: Spider-Man and DEADPOOOOOOOL colognes. I am infinitely curious to see what the Deadpool cologne smells like. Sweat, gun-oil, and dirty socks, with a faint hint of cheezy puffs and blood? Okay, maybe not. Knowing JADS, it will turn out to smell really good and I’ll eventually have to end up explaining to a significant other why it’s not creepy to ask him to wear cologne named after a mercenary killer.
Why not coming soon? More Perfumes! Hello, Marvel! This is your female fanbase speaking! Please give us more pretty-smelling things to wear now!
So, now that I’ve given you all the details, which cologne do you think you’d want to wear? Tell us in the comments, and you may be the lucky commenter who wins a bottle of Avengers cologne! And if not, you can always buy one, since they’re on sale now!
Hope you enjoyed this review, and don’t forget: I’ll be back next Tuesday, so Servo Lectio!
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