I first smelled Marc Jacobs Bang before it officially launched and really liked it. This 2010 men's fragrance caught my attention with its pepper overload and dry wood, and while I didn't think it was groundbreaking and the name was ridiculous, I thought it was a good one, especially considering the mainstream pricing. Then came the ad campaign, featuring a very oiled and naked Marc Jacobs on a tinfoil sheet with the bottle of Bang acting as his fig leaf. Then there was an issue with the bottle itself or the sprayer, and Bang was hard to find for a while until it got fixed. By then the buzz died with a whimper.
I remember people complaining that Bang is a pale imitation of Terre d'Hermes. It's definitely in the same ballpark, but Terre's magic is in its earthy mineral-laden vetiver that was just dug out of the earth, while Bang is mostly about wood. Terre d'Hermes is far longer lasting (two showers and counting), while Bang, despite the shock and awe surrounding it, is much more timid.
On my decidedly girly skin, the pepper is just as noticeable, but Bang become more about pencil shavings and sweet incensy resins as times goes by. There's also something savory-edible there that I'm having a hard time pinpointing, though maybe it's just my impression of a pepper-crusted chunk of wood. The fragrance is warm and intimate, and if I dare say so-- also sexy, in a much more understated way than the ready for roasting Marc Jacobs portrait above may lead one to think.
As far as I know, while Marc Jacobs Bang ($40, 1oz EDT) is still in production, it is not stocked at Sephora and the usual designer counters. It can be ordered directly from marcjacobs.com or from various online discounters.