The Frankness of Georgio Armani
“Now, when you smell it Mr. Armani, I want’cha ta sit back and think of CLEAN. I don’t mean just surgical clean like in a hotel toilet, but clean like in nature ... “ Nathan described vague arabesques in the cigar filled atmosphere of Mr. Armani’s corner office. As if to punctuate Nathan’s description, the cigar smoke traced delicate curlicues in the wake of his hand.
“Like clean. Okay, I got’cha.” Mr. Armani put his cigar down on the lip of his ashtray and leaned back. He looked at the small cut glass vial with no more than a passing interest and read the label. “Wildfire, huh?”
“Exactly, Mr. Armani. You know how the ladies are – always wantin’ t’smell like somethin’ they ain’t.”
Mr. Armani worked the stopper out carefully and noisily sniffed the contents of the vial, at the same time he kept his eyes glued on Nathan.
“Got a tang to it, I’ll tell ya that.” He sniffed again. “Reminds me of somethin’”
“New mown grass?” Nathan ventured.
“Cat piss.” Mr. Armani answered.
It would be an understatement to say Nathan was taken aback by Mr. Armani’s assessment. He had high hopes for “Wildfire.” Wildfire would spark a media advertising blitz and a sales frenzy that would launch him into a six-figure salary and a corner office just like Mr. Armani’s.
“Mr. Armani, if I may say so ... your cigar.”
Mr. Armani had already re-lit his cigar and put the stopper back on “Wildfire.” “What about my cigar?”
“I think it gets in between – I mean, like “Wildfire” can’t fight its way through the smoke. I don’t mean nothin’ derogatory about the cigar, Mr. Amani. I’m sure it’s the finest cigar money can buy. But Wildfire is delicate, like a woman is delicate.”
Mr. Armani looked Nathan up and down. His cheeks sucked inward. He removed his cigar and blew a billowing lungful of hand-rolled Havana at Nathan. “Smell that? That’s smoke from a hand-rolled Havana and sealed with the spit of am old brown-skinned Cuban woman.” Mr. Armani put the cigar back in his mouth and puffed. “That’s what women smell like to me, young man. Not like that stuff in your bottle. I know women, believe me. I been married three times, had myself three mothers-in-law too. I even had a mother and a sister myself. No woman’s happy unless she can smell a good Cuban cigar.”
Mr. Armani stood up and brushed the ashes from his vest. “Now, you just get yourself back down to the basement in that lavatory of yours and come up with a bottle of somethin’ that smells like this Havana of mine and we can make ourselves a deal. Otherwise it’s Hasta la Vista.”