Marc Jacobs came out with Bang (raise your hands if you read that as ‘came out with a bang’) earlier this year to a fairly decent media frenzy that at first revolved around his statements about the fragrance, then about the advertising that came out with the fragrance in which some men begged to wonder, “if I were to choose a cologne, do I want it to be the one with a naked Marc Jacobs on the advertisement?” Query of the ages right there.
In Bottle: Bang slaps me in the nose right away with a gigantic dose of peppers. Red, white, pink, black. You got the entire pepper rainbow in this thing. And hey, it’s off-putting but I actually like it.
Applied: Pepper, pepper, pepper. Like grinding peppercorns and spraying them into my nose. The initial reaction I had was to sneeze but it didn’t get to that point. I love pepper. I love how strong and blatant the initial pepper blast in this stuff is. If you want something to wake you up, Bang’s opening is it. But after the pepper blast, Bang heads into something a little more conventional as it veers into a leathery woods scent with a tickle of vetiver and a now very familiar cedar note. But all that is second fiddle to the pepper that just doesn’t go away. Thankfully Bang is light-handed with its used of cedar and has ended up with a competent woodsy mid-stage instead of a cedar mess that so many other cedar-based fragrances suffer from on my skin. The dry down is a decent play between bitter green notes, a lingering tickle of pepper, and a pleasant bit of earthy patchouli and woods.
Extra: The less said about the advertising campaign for Bang, the better. I thought they could have taken this in a few different directions but ultimately picked the obvious, which was disappointing to me. Well, if nothing else, the ad caught a lot of people’s attention.
Design: Bang’s bottle is not for me. It’s a little silly looking, if you ask me, and seems overly gimmicky. The bottle boasts a metallic exterior that looks like it would have once been a statement piece in the world of metal rectangles before someone punched it out of shape in a blind rage. Surprisingly enough, despite its non-traditional appearance and respectable weightiness, the bottle is fairly easy and comfortable to hold.
Fragrance Family: Spicy Woods
Notes: Black pepper, white pepper, pink pepper, woods, elemi resin, benzoin, vetiver, white moss, patchouli.
I’m not a fan of the reputation they built around this fragrance. I’m much less a fan of the silly-looking bottle. But the fragrance is a competent well-blended spicy woods gig.
Reviewed in This Post: Bang, 2010, Eau de Toilette.