Acca Kappa’s Giardino Segreto (2013)

Acca Kappa Giardino Segreto © Victor Wong
Acca Kappa Giardino Segreto © Victor Wong

I rarely find modern perfumes for men interesting, particularly of designer brands. Chanel Bleu, Yves Saint Laurent’s L’Homme, Paco Robanne’s Invictus are all big yawners for me. (But I occasionally find them sexy-smelling as long as it’s not me who’s wearing them.) Even niche perfume house such as Amouage is no exception. I regret buying Amouage’s Epic and Memoir for Man, for they once smelled epic and memoir to me, but now they are so boring. I should have bought the woman’s versions instead.

But I guess I can understand why I don’t like typical men’s fragrance. The easy one first: I like florals. Even though most men’s fragrances contain florals, they never go above and beyond. The second reason is that I just can’t see myself a good match to any of the marketing images the perfume companies want me to think I would look like after wearing their fragrances. In fact, my co-workers have told me that I look, act, and speak like a comic character. (It’s bad, right?) The way I draw, I write, my gestures, the things that I like are all comical, according to them. And Mr. Potato wears Eau de Sour Crème, not Chanel Bleu.

Last time I was in Hong Kong I saw an Acca Kappa fragrance shop for the very first time. That got me very excited because I didn’t recall anyone talk about this line of fragrances on Facebook; I thought I could get a bottle and brag a little. What’s more, they only sell men’s fragrances! Look at their logo! Tools from a men’s barbershop! Wonderful! I can finally select a men’s fragrance without any distractions. After smelling the whole shop, the ones that immediately grabbed my attentions were “Giardino Segreto” (Secret Garden) and “Calycanthus”.

Giardino Segreto has a lot of stuff in it, yet it doesn’t smell too “rich” or heavy. It smells sophisticated and old worldly. It has some heavy dose of pink peppercorn, together with patchouli and vetiver, this combo almost smells like some very high quality tea. There’s also some rose, woods and spice, just wonderful.

I bought it and thought, “Finally a great men’s fragrance!” Just as I was writing this review, I found out from their website that they carry both men’s and women’s perfumes, and Giardino Segreto is for woman. You Italians making a fool out of me ya!!!