Ashley Kowalewski-Pizzi writes about beauty for Best Health, 29 Secrets…
Pro-athlete, model, yogi: Paco Rabanne Invictus ambassador, Nick Youngquest, speaks to us about fragrance, florals for men, and finding balance and calm in today’s busy world.
Last time we spoke to ex-pro-athlete, model and aspiring yoga instructor Nick Youngquest, we talked about sports and the etymology of his name. This time, as Paco Rabanne launches the limited edition Invictus Intense, we talked about what the modern man wants from his fragrance and what he’s learned since joining the brand almost seven years ago.
What does the modern man look for in a fragrance?
I think versatility. Something he can wear on all occasions. And obviously, with Invictus, we’ve made that a reality. The first version of Invictus was a daytime fragrance and with the addition of Intense we’ve added a more nighttime, sensual fragrance to the range. You can wear it on a first date or a special occasion—somewhere you want to impress. I think that’s what I look for in fragrances as well, even for myself.
The fragrance is described as an “Oriental Floral”; why do you think men are becoming open to wearing florals in fragrance?
I think men understand that it doesn’t always have to be super masculinity with fragrance. It can be a bit more sensual—what they wear and how they smell. I think it’s nice to see that contrast between sensuality and masculinity. Guys, in a variety of ways, are becoming more open. Especially with beauty, now using moisturizers and cleansers. Before it was macho to not use anything, and I think especially the younger generation is more in tune with taking care of themselves and wanting to look and smell nice.
Do you think that has to do with exposure to products and social media?
Yeah, I think so. I mean over the years, instead of just being given a bottle of fragrance by your mother or girlfriend or sister at Christmastime, you see a lot more guys actively searching for the fragrance that really suits them.
You’ve been an athlete, model and yoga instructor—that’s very Renaissance Man!
I had a great experience playing sports, but I like to experience different things and I’ve been fortunate enough to do that. Becoming a yoga teacher was sort of born out of finishing sport and coming to a different dimension in my mind and age where I wanted to quiet down a little bit. And take care of myself a little bit and not worry so much about the competitive side. It’s been really amazing.
Is there a similarity between those three different passions?
Definitely, the connection with people is the one constant, but they are all very different as well. I take things from each. Being involved in sports and as a brand ambassador for Invictus allows me to be public in a certain way and connect with people and advocate for certain things and to keep active.
What essentials oils and scents do you like to use when you practise yoga?
I love lavender. And eucalyptus. We have lots of eucalyptus in Australia. And it’s nice to experiment to find a way that different scents make you feel instead of just how they smell.
What have you learned about scent since joining the Invictus team?
The biggest thing I think is that I only used to think about fragrance as a consumer. And now I realize what a huge project it is, from developing to advertising. I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to see and to work with so many creative people around the world that I’ve gotten to see how much it takes to make something like a fragrance happen.
What are your favourite flowers to give?
Actually, I find flowers such a generic thing to give. The last gift I gave was actually a Brazilian Bonsai—I think a personal touch is important and this friend was Brazilian. It was so hard to find it in New York. But the personal aspect really meant a lot.
As we’re thinking ahead to Father’s Day, why do you think fragrance would make a good Father’s Day gift?
I think buying for your Father is hard. At least mine is; he has everything. It’s probably something that he wouldn’t buy himself, so it’s a nice treat.
Paco Rabanne Invictus Intense, $105 (100 ml), www.thebay.com
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