American designer and style icon Marc Jacobs has just released his latest fragrance in South Africa, named simply Bang. It’s set to be the hottest new fragrance this Summer.

Bang is Jacobs’ first male scent in almost a decade and aims to ignite the men’s fragrance market with its blend of modern sophistication and Jacobs’ trademark irony and irreverence. But he acknowledges that putting together a new fragrance today is not just about the scent.

“I think that shopping is all part of the process, the bottle is part of the process, the scent is a part of the process, and the ads are part… It’s part of the ritual of what people enjoy, and I find it far better to celebrate that then to try to turn it upside down…” Jacobs explains.

Starting with the fragrance, Bang is quite unique, extremely memorable and very sexy. It’s confident and sensual; peppery, woody and spicy.

It takes off with an explosion of black, pink and white peppercorns. The heart and base of the fragrance are masculine woods adding a comfortable warmth. Finally, elemi resinoid and aromatic benzoin meld with vetiver, white moss and patchouli to create a powerful sensuality.

The scent was developed by top perfumer Yann Vasnier, known for his other fragrances for Comme des Garcons, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger and True Religion. The New York born Jacobs says that he collaborated closely with Vasnier because, unlike with his women’s offerings, it was important that Bang reflected his personal tastes and likes.

“I think when we started to talk about this men’s fragrance, I was very keen about the idea that it had to be something that I love. That I would wear, and that I would want, which is hard. For the men’s line, it becomes a very personal thing and, so starting with the name, and of course the bottle or the fragrance they all had to be things that I felt comfortable with and good about [and] that I would want.”

The bottle’s design is as special as its contents: the classic metal and black glass bottle is “impacted” – as if by a bullet – giving it an original twist.

Jacobs explains that he wanted to “take something quite classic, simple, this sort of north-south, rectangular bottle and then dent it, break it or crack it”.

And, for the first time ever, the openly gay Jacobs – ranked 15th on Out magazine’s 2009 list of “50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America” – appears in the provocative advertising campaign for Bang.

The designer underwent something of a full body makeover – from couturier geek to stud – around 2006 and he’s now clearly not afraid to flaunt his body. Legendary fashion photographer Juergen Tellet captured the 47 year old Jacobs in the buff – holding a giant Bang bottle – against a mylar background.

“I do feel more confident probably about the way I look now more than I ever have before. We tried this campaign with clothes, but it didn’t work. It just didn’t work and I have no problem taking off my clothes,” said Jacobs.

Bang is exclusive to Edgars and the eau de toilette spray retails for around R680 (50ml) and R925 (100ml). It’s pricy, but there’s nothing else quite like it out there; a truly exciting fragrance that is destined to become a classic.

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