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    Cologne celebrates James Bond’s 50th anniversary

    The release of the new James Bond fragrance is timed with the latest Bond film “Skyfall.”
    The release of the new James Bond fragrance is timed with the latest Bond film “Skyfall.”

    What does James Bond smell like?

    In theory, it should be a combination of gun powder, vodka, chlorine from Tiger Tanaka's hot tub, and Pierce Brosnan’s discarded cigars.

    Turns out, the super spy’s scent is no longer a mystery. James Bond now has an official fragrance: James Bond 007 Cologne. For years we’ve known what Bond likes to drink, what he likes in his women, what he likes to drive, now we have an idea of what he might smell like as he ogles Halle Berry or climbs out of the ocean wearing a baby blue square cut swim trunk.


    The fragrance, which was created by Procter & Gamble and went on sale at Kohl’s on Oct. 17 for $30 to $40, is described by its manufacturer as containing “notes of bergamot, geranium, apple, cardamom, rose thorn, lavender, cedar, patchouli, and vetiver.” I’m not entirely sure what rose thorn smells like. Brett Michaels from Poison, perhaps?

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    This isn’t the first time that perfumeries have attempted to capture an eau de Bond. Rummage through your dad’s dresser drawers, and you may find a bottle of the original 007 fragrance from 1967. You can also find bottles on eBay, but I can’t imagine that — much like Roger Moore’s interpretation of Bond — the years have been kind. The ad campaign for the 1967 007 fragrance featured a red head (who looks suspiciously like Ginger from “Gilligan’s Island”) purring, “If you don’t give him 007 . . . I will.”

    While the 1967 version of 007 cologne was available in grooming essentials like aftershave and talc, the new version is cologne only. Although the new James Bond 007 Cologne is arriving to coincide with the new film “Skyfall” and Bond’s 50th anniversary, the scent is not tied to any particular actor or film.

    rancois Duhamel/Sony Pictures/AP
    “Skyfall” stars Daniel Craig.

    It seems that the British public isn’t interested in what actor may be associated with the scent. When it went on sale at Harrods on Aug. 15, the fragrance counter sold one bottle of 007 cologne every four minutes. It was sold out by the end of the day.

    British GQ described the cologne as “the most dangerously sophisticated fragrance in the world.” To my untrained nose, the cologne has a powdery scent, with a powerful burst of apple. Perhaps there was a point in the 2000s when Bond was drinking appletinis with Sarah Jessica Parker and every gay man in Boston?


    I decided to take the cologne around and hear from the masses — meaning my co-workers, friends, and random people on the street. My question to them was: “What fictional character would wear this cologne?”

    One co-worker said Larry Wilcox’s character from “CHiPs.” A friend, who thought she was being funny, said “Alf,” and a random gent on Newbury street guessed that the scent belonged to Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), the 173-year-old vampire from “True Blood.”

    In the end, it probably doesn’t matter what it smells like. There are men, in their attempt to be like Bond, who will spray it on liberally while singing along to the theme of “Goldfinger.” And because 007 does not smell like Aqua Velva, I fully support this fantasy.

    Christopher Muther can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.