Happy was one of the initial three fragrances that started me on this journey (along with Unforgivable and Armani Code). Happy and Code were on the Amazon Top 20 in men’s fragrance and me, not knowing where else to start, took that list and started hitting up stores and crossing fragrances off the list.
My thought process at the time was that Happy was unlike anything else I’d tested; that is, it was much more subtle. The orange juice gives you a clue of what to expect inside, and I’ve written previously on Basenotes that it captures the image of a ripe orange better than an actual orange does, and this is coming from a Miami native. The name makes me laugh, because it was the first time I came to the realization that I may be a homo. Happy For Men? Really? I’m not all that happy for men.
Iga Province, 1596. Fuma Kotaro dozed in the aft end of the ship. His goal was clear; he would kill the greatest ninja that ever lived. He felt the man’s presence before hearing him and awoke instantly, his hand reaching for his nihonto. It was one of his subordinates.
“We have fifteen minutes.”
Kotaro nodded his assent and started searching through his bag, making preparations.
According to Basenotes, Happy features top notes of Kaffir Lime, Kalamanzi Fruit, Mandarin, and Yuzu, with assorted green notes in the middle, set on a base of Cypress, Cedar, and Guiacwood. However, the composition is a little too tight to pinpoint any note in particular. In a word, happy is light. The base isn’t particularly prominent, and so the whole thing has a sort of ethereal quality.
Kotaro and his band of ninja pore over the map, quietly discussing the plan for the evening. Assignments and marks were given, and the rendezvous point was set; meet on shore within an hour.
“Give the command,” he muttered to the tall, bearded man standing to his right. The man nodded and went below decks. The rest of the band of ninja went above, to the deck, watching the Tokugawa-owned ship that they had been pursuing slow and gradually come to a stop in the inland sea.
Below decks the bearded man lit the fuse and quickly headed for the deck on the aft end of the ship. When the fuse hit the explosives, the belly of the ship was ripped open and they began to sink into the tranquil, but ravenous, sea. Patrols on the enemy ship watched with alarm. As the water reached the deck and spilled over, the ninja calmly donned masks and snorkels, allowing the sea to take them under.
To call the scent ethereal, however, is to maybe mask the main issue with it. This scent has no projection. It has no lasting power. It’s great for a scent to be inoffensive, but there’s a point where you can probably just do without it altogether. To be honest, I haven’t worn it as anything other than a layering agent, which it does rather well (I typically layered it with Calvin Klein Euphoria). But it’s otherwise just a kiss, a whiff of orange, and then it’s gone.
Kotaro silently scaled the side of the ship. His target was finally trapped, with no way out. Hattori Hanzo, the legend in the flesh. He peeked over the side of the ship and spotted a sentry on the opposite side, his patrol taking him out of sight. Fuma Kotaro reached down, his hands grasping a shuriken. With a grunt, he loosed the weapon at an angle, the four-pointed shuriken whistling and suddenly making a bank to the right. He heard it connect with a muffled thunk and the man let out a surprised yell, flailing wildly and falling over the side. Fuma raised an eyebrow and lifted himself over the side, taking cover in the shadows of the deck. The confusion raised by the drowning man would present the perfect opportunity. There was one ritual to complete before the death, though. Kotaro reached into his robe and pulled out a small bottle of Clinique Happy For Men. He tilted his head back and poured fully half of the bottle over his body, allowing the liquid to coat him from head to toe. He opened his eyes and crept below-decks while the pandemonium on the other end of the ship distracted the guards.
Maybe I’m wrong, and there is some other, redeeming quality to the stuff. But inoffensive has it’s limits and when all is said and done, I’m not all that happy.
Kotaro unsheathed his katana, his prey now within striking distance. Where subterfuge and surprise had failed before, there was only one option. He knocked. The door slowly opened, and Hattori Hanzo and Fuma Kotaro locked eyes for the first and last time. Kotaro exploded forward, the katana taking Hanzo through the chest.
As Hanzo died, he never even smelled the oranges.