How Pitbull Bottled the Scent of Miami—Just in Time for Art Basel
Vogue recently wrote an article about Armando’s recent fragrance, Pitbull Miami. Check it out below!
This past week, before heading out to a dinner date, I applied perfume and thought about what Armando “Pitbull” Pérez told me over the phone during a recent interview. “I love a woman that smells, soft, sexy, sensual, but with a twist of exotic—when you smell it, you’re like, ‘Wow.’ ” Why take advice from the open-shirt-wearing musician and businessman? Because Pitbull is also a perfumer.
Don’t act so surprised! He’s had a claim in the misted world of scent for a while now—first launching a pair of eponymously named Pitbull fragrances for men and women in 2013, and more recently this past August, a set of follow-up perfumes called Pitbull Miami. Besides, he even looks like he smells good. Pitbull is on par with Diddy when it comes to being one of the most well-groomed men in the music industry—think impeccable facial hair and a clean-shaven crown, along with a forever fresh suit and perpetual shades.
Whether you like it or not, Pitbull is Miami’s manicured dream of masculinity—and with Art Basel descending on Miami Beach, there may be no better time than the present to explore exactly what that means. “I started wearing a scent as a baby! That’s a very big thing in our culture,” says the singer, who was born and raised in the Little Havana region of Miami to Cuban parents, when I call him to discuss aroma philosophy of Pitbull Miami. He is still dedicated to his local roots: Pitbull constantly pays homage to the “305”—from opening a charter school in the city and name-checking his hometown in almost every lyric to titling his debut album M.I.A.M.I. And his scent is a bottled reminder of that brightly lit, oceanside metropolis of Dade County—marked by eternal summer days where the strut down South Beach never ends and sleepless, balmy boardwalk nights where clubby beats are always dropping. Pitbull’s Miami is like an infinite, pheromone-soaked Calle Ocho whirlwind where bodies are intoxicated by cologne-dabbed necks and perfume-kissed wrists.
Riffing on his own eclectic take on scent—“basically the way we put it together was that I have a lot of colognes and perfumes that I like and I just started to mix them up”—he experimented with different notes and eventually began layering masculine and feminine fragrances on top of one another to achieve the most interesting scent. “Once you catch the right formula, everyone starts to say, ‘Oh, you smell great.’ ”
Which brings me back to that dinner date. I’m wondering if I can have that dizzying, entrancing effect by wearing Pitbull Miami—or, more specifically, mixing his men’s and women’s perfumes together à la the man himself. So before I head out to a concert on a very chilly, rain-sodden night in New York, miles away from the warm, palm tree–flanked Miami, I apply a splash of both formulas to my wrist.
A dewy waft envelopes me and I’m instantly transported to a higher realm of happiness: The women’s scent is pleasantly sweet, while the men’s scent has a grounding, rich musk. But to make sure I haven’t lost my mind, I run over to my coworker before I leave and have her take an inhale of my wrists. “What is it? I like it!” she says, followed by a “No way!” when I tell her what I’m wearing. Yes way. Time to take a deeper whiff of that Eau de Pitbull—it’s kind of great.