Bench Beautiful Boy by Furne One

Bench Beautiful Boy by Furne One

Bench Beautiful Boy by Furne One

Today, I am going to review our latest acquisition, Bench Beautiful Boy by Furne One.

First, a little introduction on the brand, Bench.

Bench is a Philippine fashion brand started in 1987 by Ben Chan. It is hugely popular among teens and adults with its affordable casual clothing, underwear, and fragrances. Think of it as Philippines’ Aeropostale, or H&M.

When it comes to fragrances, Bench started with body sprays like Bench Atlantis, or Bench 8. Later on, it introduced more lasting EdTs, often fronted by popular Filipino celebrities like Richard Gomez, Piolo Pascual, or Manny Pacquiao. You can say that Bench started the celebu-scent trend here in the Philippines.

Lately, Bench started working with Filipino fashion designers for its fragrances. Bench collaborated with Rajo Laurel, Michael Cinco, and for Beautiful Boy, with Furne One.

Furne One showing Amato 2013 collections

Furne One showing Amato 2013 collections*

Furne One is a Dubai based Filipino fashion designer known for his intricate beadwork, and delicate laser cut designs. To my untrained eye, I see a lot of Alexander McQueen influences in his body of work. I would say his works are very dramatic, very theatrical, very technical, and definitely, very haute couture.

Bench Beautiful Boy by Furne One, then, is an offspring of a casual brand and a haute couture fashion house.

Beautiful Boy, according to the Bench site, is a woody citrus scent of grapefruit, musk, pepper and iris.

Beautiful Boy, on me, smells soapy and clean specially in the beginning. I am reminded of the Clean scent, or of detergents, but my partner is reminded of Bvlgari Pour Homme. True enough, there is a part of Beautiful Boy’s development that resembles that of Bvlgari Pour Homme.

Later in the day, Beautiful Boy dries down to a musky, a bit sweet, scent.

There might be traces of grapefruit, iris, and pepper, but I have to smell hard to detect them. It lasts fairly long, but not long enough to cover my 8 hour work shift.

As a fragrance, it really is a scent for the beautiful boy next door, or the class heart-throb. It is pleasant, clean, never offensive, never daring.

I do not know the extent of work done by Furne One with this collaboration but I felt that he just lent his name for this fragrance. To me, Beautiful Boy hardly represents Furne One’s aesthetics or brand. Beautiful Boy, to me, is the opposite of Furne One.

But I have no regrets.

Because of Beautiful Boy, I discovered that Furne One have his own fragrances from his fashion house Amato; Amato Argento and Amato Oro. I am very much interested to try those fragrances. I would love to experience how Furne One translates his ideas to perfumes.

Bench Beautiful Boy is available where there is a Bench store, online, in 70 ml for $17.00. That’s another reason why I should not have regrets.

image from


Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumière Noire pour homme

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumiere Noire

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumiere Noire

Two weeks ago, our office played host to a regional meeting, with VIPs dropping by our desks every so often. During that week, the ladies get to wear their most sophisticated but HR approved, dresses and pumps while I, on the other hand, get to wear my most sophisticated perfumes. One of which was Lumière Noire pour homme by Francis Kurkdjian.

Lumière Noire pour homme opens up with a zing! It is bright, spicy, and very warm. Maison Francis Kurkdjian is really good at bright openings.

After the bright, spicy opening comes the herbal, green, and earthy vibe, mainly from the patchouli taking center stage. But it will not last long. The rose will slowly join the patchouli, then take its rightful place on the center stage.

By mid-development, the rose is on the spotlight. It is at this stage that, for me, Lumière Noire is at its most wonderful!

something like this,  Garden Rose

something like this, Garden Rose

The rose here, however, is not the rose frequently seen on expensive bouquets. It is not very dainty, and certainly not perfect. It is the common garden rose of my childhood, that we usually crush with our fingers, petals and leaves included. It is an earthy, green, and a bit dirty kind of rose.

The rose is not the rose water from your grandma’s dresser, too. It is not too powdery, either. Again, it is green, earthy, a tad dirty rose.

Finally, in the dry down, Lumière Noire hums with a lovely, soft, musky, but very sophisticated rose.

Lumière Noire  pour homme is a wonderful rose fragrance which can be enjoyed by both men or women, even if it says ‘pour homme’ on the bottle. In fact, I can see more women reaching out for this fragrance as it takes some degree of self-assurance, or confidence, for men to use this scent.

Lumière Noire is not your usual cheery, floral fragrance. And it may not appeal to most of the younger sets. As an eau de parfum, Lumière Noire projects really well, but it is suitable to be worn inside conservative offices, or in posh, modern, restaurants. On my skin, it lasts very long.

As a rose fragrance, it is tie with my favorite rose perfume, Rose 31 from Le Labo. But then again, I also think they are of different categories.

Lumiere Noire pour homme was developed by Francis Kukdjian for his eponymous house, with notes of spiced rose, patchouli, and mugwort herb. In contrast, the feminine version, Lumiere Noire pour femme contains notes of rose, patchouli, and narcissus.

Locally, it is available at Adora Greenbelt 5, or can be purchased online at

*images from and from

United Colors of Benetton Let’s Move

Benetton Let's Move

Benetton Let’s Move

At first blast, Benetton Let’s Move is very spicy, very peppery, and with hints of bergamot.

After a while, Benetton Let’s Move becomes sweet, ambery, and a little woodsy. Every now then, I would also detect the lavender and cumin, perhaps, which would stay until the dry down.

The drydown of Benetton Let’s Move, on my skin, is vanilla, only less sweet. There’s also the lavender, and cumin, which would remind me of some dirty talcum powder.

“A new fragrance line specially designed for athletic
and self-confident guys
who want to live their life following their sportive style!”

With that description on the sample, and with the notes I described above, Benetton Let’s Move is something for the typical Filipino male who plays basketball. I can definitely picture a bottle of Benetton Let’s Move together with a basketball, and Nike Jordans in a duffel bag. Unfortunately, I don’t play basketball, I don’t know how it is played, and I already have another perfume inside my duffel bag.

As a scent, Benetton Let’s Move reminds me of Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, Paco Rabanne One Million, and some of the perfumes offered by the local clothing giants, Bench, and Penshoppe.

Benetton Let’s Move is the first of the “Let’s…” series of Benetton, and it was developed by Olivier Pescheaux. Notes include bergamot, mandarin, black pepper, geranium, lavender, cedar, amber, tonka bean and vanilla. A 100 ml costs PHP1450.00 the 40ml costs PHP 950.00.


Histoires de Parfums Ambre 114

CaptureI know, Manila is starting to feel the summer heat but still, it is relatively cool during early mornings. Definitely, it is not yet too late to wear amber perfumes!

Histoires de Parfums Ambre 114

Histoires de Parfums Ambre 114*

To start off this week, I am wearing Histoires de Parfums Ambre 114.

Histoires de Parfums Ambre 114 opens up rather spicy and sweet, like a spiced dessert drink.

Immediately, it becomes more sweet than spicy, with the woodsy smell of sandalwood, or patchouli, announcing their presence every now and then. This might be the most complex part of the perfume as you can smell several notes, appearing and disappearing, like children playing hide and seek.

Then gradually, all those notes would all give way to the drydown of creamy and sweet musk and vanilla.

Histoires de Parfums Ambre 114 is most suitable for cold, dreary days. It’s as comforting as  sipping hot, spicy, creamy eggnog, while lounging on your cushy sofa bed, while watching the gray and cloudy skies outside.

Despite the vanilla, I must say that it is not too sweet, nor too heady, and never headache inducing. Again, it is comforting.

As an eau de parfum, it lasts long. A little definitely goes a long way.

Histoires de Parfums lists thyme, sandalwood, cedar, patchouli, amber, vanilla, musk, tonka bean, among others, as the notes of Ambre 114.

Here in Manila, it is available at Adora Greenbelt 5. Or you may order online at

* image taken from