The Scene: A kickoff party for Fred Hayman’s new cologne for men, 273. For those who think that real men don’t wear fragrance, Hayman held the affair in the testosterone-soaked atmosphere of Gold’s Gym in Venice. Quite a sight to see Beverly Hills business types mingling and cheek-kissing among weight lifters whose biceps were as big as the average man’s head.
Who Was There: Only men were invited, read the invitation, but the rules seemed to be waived--if the woman in question was a world-class bodybuilder. There were lots of muscle men and muscle women inside, along with Gary Collins, Jack Carter, Casey Kasem, George Peppard, fashion arbiter Mr. Blackwell, restaurateurs and chefs Jacques Camus, Patrick Terrail, and Jimmy Murphy. Everyone received a bottle of cologne on the way out.
Dress Code: Each guest was sent a mustard yellow 273 T-shirt and urged to “come as you are,” which made for some interesting fashion combinations. Hayman himself accented his T-shirt with a bright yellow double-breasted blazer and gray sweat pants. Photographer Alan Berliner wore his T-shirt under a tuxedo jacket, while others sported everything from three-piece suits to leather jackets.
Chow: A fresh oyster bar kept guests shucking. Waiters circled the workout gear, bearing hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza. At the bar, guests demonstrated their machismo by grabbing long neck Budweisers out of a silver bucket and drinking the beer out of the bottle.
Pastimes: Incoming guests were sprayed with cologne by men in Gold’s Gym tank tops. Inside one could listen to a strolling mariachi band, or watch weightlifters go through their paces on serious workout machines that look like they were designed by the Marquis de Sade.
Noted: Mr. Blackwell topped his T-shirt with a black coat that looked suspiciously like that favorite four-letter word of animal activists: Mink. (Was it or wasn’t it? Only his furrier knew for sure.)
Quoted: Did all the XY chromosomes in the air mean that 273 was the most macho fragrance in Beverly Hills? Fred Hayman laughed. “It’s one of the most macho,” he said. “An elegant kind of macho. It’s very secure here. An ordinary fragrance couldn’t come to Gold’s Gym, could it?”
Triumphs: In this day and age, when the launching of a new perfume is treated with the gravity one associates with the announcement of the Salk vaccine, it was refreshing to be at a party with such a sense of humor. Even Hayman got into the spirit of things, sitting in the back of his yellow and black Rolls-Royce as two muscle men hoisted up the back of the car with him inside.
Glitches: There was no club soda or designer water at the bar, proving that it is possible to be too macho.