Warning: Nudity Inside
During an otherwise slow news day (death, pestilence, bank buyouts) I was completely charmed by a brand-new fragrance that promises to “wash away the sins of the night before” while serving as a “tribute to tomorrow’s glorious possibilities.” Man, get me some of that!
While fragrance copy is pretty much a parody of itself (I actually spent a good 45 minutes on a transatlantic flight amusing my companion with in-flight perfume pitches), the real hook on this product is its mentor: Tom of Finland.
You might not know the name of this now-deceased Finnish homoerotic artist, but you definitely know the look: Some say he single-handedly invented the late ‘70s gay policeman—the mustache, the hat, the boots (read: the Village People police guy).
Born Touko Laaksonen, Tom of Finland gained a cult following for his explicit drawings of big, hunky men in various stages of undress, generously endowed and looking for a good time. Although he died almost two decades ago, the fascination continues, and we, Boston, are fortunate to host the only shop on this coast (Motley) to carry Tom of Finland’s posthumous fragrance.
Sorry—this is a cologne, not the smell of his corpse, although the French perfume company that produces it also makes a perfume called Charogne (translation: decaying carcass), referred to as “blissful pestilence” on Etat Libre d’Orange’s website.
Unlike a 6-year old ripping apart a cereal box to get at the prize, you’ll want to carefully deconstruct your Tom of Finland fragrance carton to see which of the six drawings you just purchased (after showing your I.D. to prove you’re 21 and enjoying the lovely “crumpled leaf, suede and metal” notes of the cologne).
Without giving the game away, let’s just say that if you’re Tom fan, you won’t be disappointed. Inside may be a mini orgy (guys only!), or just a couple of fine young sailors, nicely packed. The mildest image is a guy framed by a riding boot and spur, but I imagine for some, that’s provocative enough.
Available beginning in June at Motley, 623 Tremont St., Boston, 617-247-6969, shopmotley.com