Monday, December 29, 2008

Burberry - Brit for Men

A few mainstream designer houses have a fragrance portfolio that is unexpectedly impressive, producing progressive and quality stuff long after their clothes and overall aesthetic jumped the shark. A very good example is pre-Light Blue Dolce & Gabbana. Even though the designers themselves are somewhat of a sellout joke nowadays, licensing their names to pretty much anything and targeting teenagers with their tacky logo ridden garments, their perfume section is still going strong. From the tobacco heavy pour Homme via the musky amber bomb By trough to the pleasant citrus of D&G Masculine and the comforting woods of The One, Dolce & Gabbana fragrances are simply good.

Another case in point – Burberry. Even though Burberry still produces exclusive clothing and high quality luxury items, especially under the Prorsum label, the brand undoubtedly has been somewhat watered down the last decade. Similar to Tommy Hilfiger in the early 90´s, Burberrys fell for the temptation of catering to logo loving casuals and football hooligans, thus making the brand associations less appealing for the trench coat- and luxury bag buyers. Under the excellent supervision of Christopher Bailey they are back on track though, and the perfume side is strong as ever, Brit for Men being an excellent illustration. Other high-quality Burberry fragrances include the violety sweet Touch, the boozy green London and the highly versatile minty fresh Burberry for Men.

any are a bit underwhelmed when first sampling Brit. And sure, this is not a sillage monster or Joop! competitor. Instead, Brit is a very cleverly updated modern oriental. It´s sensual and soft and clearly designed to be enjoyed by a loved one close to your skin. Like many L’Artisan Parfumeur fragrances, Brit sports a remarkable longevity though; the powdery sweetness lingers subtly for hours.

An immediate association for me is gingerbread, the Swedish Christmas kind with plenty of cardamom. Other notes mingling happily together with the sharp ginger include spicy nutmeg and green zesty mandarins. The heart notes are dominated by a bold rose, obviously a conscious choice of perfumer Antoine Maisondieu. Rose, along with lavender the most characteristically English of notes, was of course a must ingredient to incorporate in this national homage.

National references aside, Brit also serves as a bridge between traditional perfumery and modern. Carelessly blending time honored barbershop tradition with cheeky synthetic accords. The end result is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Maisondieu has created the ideal Hammam Bouquet of the 21: st century. Playful, dandyish and delicate.

Year of Launch:
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Boucheron Jaïpur, Paloma Picasso Minotaure, Chanel Allure Homme
Longevity & Sillage: Limited output, above average longevity
Overall Rating: 8/1o

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Speed Review: Annick Goutal - Musc Nomade

Year of Launch: 2008
Gender Classification: Unisex
Perfumer: Camille Goutal & Isabelle Doyen
Availability: In production
Dominant notes: Musks, rose, agarwood, angelica root, ambrette seed, Bombay wood, Tonka bean
Reminiscent of: Helmut Lang Eau de Cologne, Montale Roses Musk
Longevity & Sillage: Moderate sillage, decent longevity
Packaging & Design: Standard Goutal flacon with the Les Orientalistes graphic, Musc Nomade is the fourth in the series
5 adjectives: Minimalist, intimate, rosey, resinous, smooth
Overall rating: 6/10

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Oscar de la Renta - Pour Lui

Oscar de la Renta’s signature scent from 1981 is a powerful and heady floral chypre for men. With massive output typical for 80´s fragrances in general, it firmly lands in the same category as Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme and Floris Elite. This one is vastly superior though, especially compared to the latter brit.

It never takes the floral part too far and settles down to a nice powdery, musk base. But before hitting the base notes you´re in for one generous trip. Arid spices and herbs like carnation, geranium, oakmoss, lavender and cinnamon are embraced by elegant but strong incense. Further notes of vetiver, leather and gloomy florals are anchored by sturdy aldehydes. The aldehydic character makes the whole composition come across a bit like a masculine equivalent of Chanel´s ultra classic No 5.

our Lui’s quiet brilliance lies in combining all these diverse ingredients and dissonant notes and coming out on top with a smooth, refined, slightly abstract and mysterious blend.

Very far from the fresh scents of today, in small doses Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui is the perfect complement to a good dark suit. Formal, dry, unique and dense.

Year of Launch:
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme, Floris Elite, Balenciaga Ho Hang Club, Estée Lauder Aramis, Chanel Antaeus, Trussardi Uomo
Longevity & Sillage: Both stellar
Overall Rating: 6/1o

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lorenzo Villoresi - Teint de Neige

The colour of snow is white, as is the colour of powder. And surely Teint de Neige is one of the most powdery fragrances ever created. The description even reads: "The essence of perfumed powders".

his is a somewhat demanding fragrance, make no mistake about it. Some will unquestionably find it too nostalgic, reminiscent of "old things" like their grand mothers make up cabinet or boudoirs in general. Personally I can't wear it myself either, mainly due to the strong tonka bean in the basenotes that doesn't sit well on my skin. But what a fine piece of perfumery it is.

eint de Neige is like a sleigh ride through beautiful snow clad landscapes. Impressions of jasmin and rose create a profound floral ambiance that attractively transcends into a soft foundation of heliotrope with its characteristically almond like gentle aroma. The slightly astringent quality of ylang ylang prevents it from going too sugary and gives it just a touch of sharpness making the composition even more interesting.
After many hours the progression finally settles in creamy sweet musks and a clean talc accord.

If you belong to the people who can pull this Villoresi off, then you are in for a very special treat. Either way, this masterful, cloudy and complex blend deserves some serious respect.

Year of Launch: 2000
Gender Classification: Unisex
Reminiscent of: Lorenzo Villoresi Musk, Etro Heliotrope
Longevity & Sillage: Both well above average
Overall Rating: 8/1o

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Speed Review: Gianfranco Ferré - Bergamotto Marino

Year of Launch: 2006
Gender Classification: Unisex
Perfumer: Pierre Bourdon
Availability: In Production
Dominant notes: Bergamot, jasmine, oakmoss, seaweed black currant, musk, orange blossom
Reminiscent of: Diesel Fuel for Life Pour Homme
Longevity & Sillage: Both slightly above average
Packaging & Design: Pretty and classic round glass flacon, but the overall design is just a bit too similar to Frederic Malle's range that was introduced years before...
5 adjectives: Clean, refreshing, gentle, floral, soapy
Overall rating: 7/10

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jean-Paul Gaultier - Fleur du Male

An excellent modern and oriental take on orange blossom, Fleur du Male also has that classic Gaultier level of exuberance and lavishness. Therefore perhaps not best suited for high level board meetings or office use. Instead, wear this to a fun summer night out with good friends.

Although it certainly shares some basenotes with the original, FdM has plenty of merit of it's own. It's warm and spicy but also has a certain "cool" that makes it perfectly wearable in hot weather. Less projection than Le Male, but equally stellar longevity, stays on your skin until you wash it off.

contemporary, eccentric and self confident neroli for urban hipsters - good stuff.

Year of Launch: 2007
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Christian Dior Fahrenheit 32, Jean-Paul Gaultier Le male
Longevity & Sillage: Above average sillage, excellent staying power
Overall Rating: 7/1o

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Decades of Decadence Part I: Creed Acier Aluminium

The art of high perfumery has always been about creating emotions and the ability of great noses to capture different aspirations and atmospheres in their creations. From the Italian renaissance and the French courts through to distinguished British barbershops and avant-garde maverick noses, the great perfumers have always strived for their blends to evoke a certain mood or sensation.

Apart from romantic, sporty, fresh, or dreamy impressions, in this section - Decades of Decadence - I'm going to focus on debauchery and self indulgence... Or rather the fragrances from the last few decades that bring these adjectives to mind.

The French have, like in so many other facets of perfumery, always had an edge in this genre. From Guerlain's civet loaded Mouchoir de Monsieur and Jicky to Etat Libre D’Orange's entire catalog, French houses have been the masters of exploring the gritty and more sinister sides of olfactory creation. First out therefore, a ravishing blend from Parisian Creed, released in 1973 - Acier Aluminium.

In my initial review of Acier Aluminium on Basenotes ( I wrote that the visual representation of this elixir is the masked orgy scenes in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. And this truly is the type of setting that comes to mind when smelling this pagan juice.

It's very different from most contemporary offerings from Creed. Far from the safe, clean virtues of for instance Erolfa or Millesime Imperiál, Acier Aluminium projects a sinful image in an absolutely intoxicating way.

The unorthodox blend of raw ambergris, resins and sweet fruits with a slight lemony edge create a voluptuous, smouldering and massive impression. This is not one for the office... There is also a metallic edge to the scent, slightly reminiscent of the one found in Caron's Anarchiste, but without the nauseating bits of the latter.

Longevity and sillage are well above average, which is unusual for Creed to begin with and especially in the Eau de Toilette format.

To conclude, Acier Aluminium is both a testimony to the brilliance of earlier Creed creations, Ambre Canelle and Orange Spice also come to mind, but first and foremost it's one of the premier carnal fragrances of the last decades. Corruption extraordinaire.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Forgotten Gems Part IV: Decléor Un Air de Java

Decléors sadly overlooked Un Air de Java was created by the brilliant Pierre Bourdon in the year 2000. Its closest relative is without a doubt Chanel's Platinum Egoïste, both sharing a solid base of dry woods with a slightly charred character. This smoky and arid disposition firmly places the fragrance in autumn and winter wear territory.

Apart from the scorched notes there's a strong mossy and green vibe present, which can be attributed to black currant leaves and oak moss mingling in a perfect balance. There's a mild floral touch as well, with some soft violet and jasmine.

Overall a beautiful woody chypre, managing to combine pungent individual notes in an understated and elegant manner. Truly a forgotten gem.

Overall rating: 7/10

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Speed Review: Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme

Year of Launch: 2008
Gender Classification: Masculine
Perfumer: Frida Giannini
Availability: In Production
Dominant notes: Bergamot, violet, jasmine, elemi, something reminiscent of pear
Reminiscent of: Christian Dior Higher, Gant Indigo
Longevity & Sillage: Both below average
Packaging & Design: Heavy, well done rectangular flacon with horse bit detailing
5 adjectives: Fresh, redundant, synthetic, flat, fruity
Overall rating: 4/10

Friday, November 7, 2008

Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido - Un Bois Vanille

Insanely sweet, but equally eccentric and cool, this Serge Lutens perfume isn't really something I'd wear myself. At the same time it is very hard not to appreciate the fun and joy that is so evident to have been part in the making of Un Bois Vanille.

I get a carefree "resort" vibe from it, probably due to a strong accord reminiscent of coconut. The vanilla is special on it's own, kind of "toasted" and with some bitterness - like the real pods. But together with the liquorice, sandalwood and sugary notes it transcends classic vanilla interpretations into something completely different - the quintessence of opulence.

f you're an obsessive vanilla fan and can handle this extreme gourmand on your skin - then you might find a party friend for life. Hedonistic, cocky and fun.

Year of Launch:
Gender Classification: Unisex
Reminiscent of: Coty Raw Vanilla, Hugo Boss Boss Bottled
Longevity & Sillage: Both well above average
Overall Rating: 6/1o

Sunday, November 2, 2008

No More Than Meets the Eye part II - Giorgio Armani

In the second part of No More Than Meets The Eye, a closer look at the Italian maestro of casual elegance - Giorgio Armani. In many ways the trend of forcedly fresh aquatics for men was benchmarked by Armani's Acqua di Giò pour Homme in 1996. As much as I do not like the fragrance myself, it without a doubt played a central part in the development of the world of perfume. As this style now, finally, is fading and oriental and woody launches are becoming more common again, one can look back at this legacy with almost sentimental feelings. Further, in the aquatic and fresh category Acqua di Giò to this day remains a complex and well crafted fragrance at the top of its group.

Visually Armani fragrance ads have kept a resolute image throughout the decades, portraying the soft and sensual aesthetic regularly found in the designers clothes.

(All pictures courtesy of:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Prada - Infusion d'Homme

As the name and packaging for Prada's new Infusion d'Homme indicates, this is less of a standalone fragrance and more a variation of last years stellar Infusion d'Iris. Therein lays its problem as well. Although Infusion d'Homme is infinitely more interesting than the lion's share of new mainstream launches, this release doesn't deliever too much originality or excitement in the light of its predecessor.

Fragrance wise the cedar wood has been significantly amped up and together with the beautiful incense and iris notes it creates a slightly smoky impression. This woody edge successfully puts the scent more in masculine territory compared to the highly unisex forerunner. With this added coarseness, the ambery smoothness of the original unfortunately gets lost though. The overall impression is somewhat more blunt and one dimensional.

The official notes are the same as for Infusion d'Iris but apparently in a different concentration: mandarin, orange, neroli, iris, galbanum, cedar, vetiver, benzoin and frankincense.

All in all Infusion d'Homme is a very good fragrance, sturdily continuing the current trend of iris in fragrances, like Dior's Homme, The Different Company's Bois d'Iris and L'Artisan Parfumeur's Dzongkha. However, personally I strongly prefer the soapy and softer touch of the first "version" in this fine series. Either way Prada continues building an impressive perfume portfolio.

Year of Launch: 2008
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Prada Infusion d'Iris, Dior Homme, Christian Lacroix Tumulte Pour Homme
Longevity & Sillage: Decent output, above average longevity
Overall Rating: 7/1o

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rawhide! The Great Leathers Part II: Helmut Lang - Cuiron

I wanna start by saying that the Cuiron flacon together with the Kiehl's Musk one are some of the finest ones in the fragrance world according to my humble taste. These no nonsense, clean apothecary style bottles are what great elixirs should be contained in - old school greatness.

It doesn't hurt that the fragrance itself is excellent also. A contemporary but rougher take on the classic leathers. This time again with a standard orange and neroli opening, but also some sweet plum giving it an almost raisinlike dimension clearly setting it apart.
The fragrance doesn't evolve too much, it stays pretty linear and is quite heavy on the lovely hide-fumes. I don't think this is unisex in the same way as Cuir de Russie or Peau d'Espagne. Rather it conjures up images of stylized bad boy bikers like Marlon Brando in the Wild One. To conclude, this Helmut Lang clearly is a macho, hairy chested contribution to the world of leather scents. And a great one at that.
Overall Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Citrus Anatomy Part III - Hugo Boss Baldessarini Eau de Cologne

Perhaps not a citrus fragrance per se, the original Baldessarini from Hugo Boss was released in 2002. What we have here is an excellent, modern Eau de Cologne leaning towards the oriental side. Like most colognes the fleeting character unfortunately remains.

The composition is basically a mature blend of tobacco and sugared bitter orange peels. The citrus has a very pronounced bitterness that works great with the complementing subtle mint notes and prevents the sweet base from becoming too much.

very elegant and formal fragrance that you can't really go wrong with. But do try to score the concentrated version since the ordinary escapes your skin all too soon. Also check out S.T. Dupont's underated Noir for something quite similar with better longevity.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cartier - Roadster

Roadster is the first male fragrance from Cartier in almost a decade and like the earlier Santos and Pasha it takes its name from one of their prestige watch collections.

Many adjectives could be used of this new scent, but ingratiating is definitely not one of them. It is rare to sample something this austere nowadays from large, mainstream fragrance makers. Roadster is simply put a demanding fragrance.

fter a harsh beginning with strong notes of vetiver and herbs, we are treated to a consistent cedar wood so dry it's on the verge of self igniting. This paired with a burly mint note makes for a macho aura with a heavy, smoky presence.

Unfortunately it doesn't develop very much from there and instead of a modern and nice update of old 80´s classics, like the excellent Narcisso Rodriguez For Him, it comes across as a bit flat and one dimensional. Kudos to Cartier though for releasing something this far from politically correct. Maybe it will appeal to some. Also, the flacon is original and well made with nicely incorporated design references to the range of exclusive time pieces.

Year of Launch:
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Lagerfeld Man, Gucci Pour Homme
Longevity & Sillage: Good output, above average longevity
Overall Rating: 5/10

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Forgotten Gems Part III - Paloma Picasso Minotaure

Very 1990's in the overall feel, this forgotten gem along with Calvin Klein´s Eternity for Men was one of the signature scents of that decade for me. Minotaure achieved huge sales in Europe, especially considering the small Picasso brand, but is very rare to find nowadays apart from online stores.

A strong juice, heavy on vanilla, orange blossom and jasmine. Instantly recognizeable and somewhat ambigous, courtesy of the sharp florals. Smooth leathery base with a mellow sweetness that keeps delievering throughout the day. The closest scent is without a doubt Roma by Laura Biagiotti, but Minotaure is the better of the two, at least for me. Special and cool, hopefully Minotaure won't be forgotten forever.

Overall rating: 7/10

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Speed Review: Kenzo Power

Year of Launch: 2008
Gender Classification: Masculine
Perfumer: Olivier Polge
Availability: In Production
Dominant notes: Bergamot, coriander, iris, cedar wood
Reminiscent of: Givenchy Insénse
Longevity & Sillage: Both slightly below average
Packaging & Design: Heavy, superb silver coated flacon in the style of japanese saké bottles, excellent finish and detailing
5 adjectives: Floral, abstract, powdery, weak, ambigous

Overall rating: 6/10

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Crabtree & Evelyn - Sienna

Crabtree & Evelyns Sienna from 1990 is an aromatic and ambery melange that leaves the wearer with a perfect old school trail. It is similar to rugged classics like Calvin Klein Obsession for men and Devin from Aramis, but with a bit more polish and elegance. It sports a soapy, clean aura often found in old barbershop colognes and the pronounced cinnamon note places it firmly in autumn and winter wear territory.

Overall Sienna is a spicy, warm and comforting juice - not terribly original but with great versatility instead. Just as suitable for carefree sunday loungeing as for high level board meetings.

Year of Launch: 1990
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Calvin Klein Obsession for men, Aramis Devin, Halston Z14
Longevity & Sillage: Great output, moderate longevity
Overall Rating: 6/10

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bond No.9 - Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue

exington Avenue
from Bond No.9 is the third collaboration with the Andy Warhol foundation, the previous two releases being Silver Factory and Union Square. This most recent fragrant instalment continues in the fun and hedonistic spirit associated with Warhol's art and lifestyle.

Lexington Avenue opens with an initial blast of fennel making the first impression a bit opaque. From its liquorice-like, spicy and considerably woody top, the fragrance progresses smoothly trough several phases. In the end the overall impression is quite suede-like. No harsh leather, but delicate suede with subtle floral elements - almost abstract.

There's a resemblance to Serge Lutens's Daim Blond, especially in the heart notes. The suede accord mingling with cardamom and something reminiscent of apricot kernels can be found in both. However Lexington Avenue takes a more gourmand route, albeit a moderate one. Roasted almonds add a coffee like touch, Italian orris root provides depth while créme brulee sweetens the deal and adds some edge.

However, the drydown is where this fragrance really shines. The use of patchouli is brilliant. Removed of all it's naturally earthy sharpness it beautifully anchors the composition along with a more traditional rendition of sandalwood. The end result - contemporary and unique. The official pyramid further includes notes of blue cypress, pink peony and pimento berry.

The eye catching flacon with its colourful stilettos - a reference to Warhol's early days as an illustrator of among other things vibrant shoes - only partly represents the content. Although vivacious and somewhat playful, Lexington Avenue is a very soft and tender perfume, even sensual. Like many L'Artisan Parfumeur fragrances, it stays close to the skin, but with very good longevity. To conclude, Bond No. 9 has created a modern and well behaved gourmand perfect for romantic occasions.

Year of Launch: 2008
Gender Classification: Feminine, but wearable for basically anyone
Reminiscent of: Serge Lutens Daim Blond, Caron Eau de Reglisse
Longevity & Sillage: Above average longevity, subtle sillage
Overall rating: 7/10

Rawhide! The Great Leathers Part I: Santa Maria Novella - Nostalgia

The ability to recreate the pungent and characteristic aroma of leather in perfumery dates back several centuries and involves many great houses and perfumers. In this section Rawhide! The Great Leathers I'll be taking a closer look at some of the most important contributions in the genre.

Leather fragrances diverge hugely, one of the reasons being that leather itself can't be distilled but needs to be recreated in an abstract way through other components. Therefore there are as disparate renditions as Truefitt & Hill's Spanish Leather from 1830 which sports a soapy and sweet tone, Helmut Lang's contemporary Cuiron with its slightly fruity approach and Chanel's very animalic Cuir de Russie.

But first out a more modern take from ancient Italian monastery, herbarium and fragrance maker Santa Maria Novella. Nostalgia is a tribute to automobiles and the aesthetics of early 20th century motoring. The overall impression is however something very avant-garde, especially due to the turbulent opening notes of motor grease and sharp petroleum. This weird bit fades pretty rapidly, making way for something conjuring up images of the majestic leather interior of a Roll's Royce Phantom or vintage Bentley.

In some ways it resembles the old leathers like Knize Ten and even Caron's Tabac Blond, it's closest relative though has to be Bulgari Black, but Nostalgia is even more progressive. Something very untypical for being a Santa Maria Novella fragrance - after all we're talking about a house with several centuries of heritage. In no way does Nostalgia put that legacy to shame, quite on the contrary- this is probably their best launch so far and a great addition to the field.
Overall Rating: 7/10

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Citrus Anatomy Part II - Floris Pink Grapefruit

In the further exploration of this great category of fragrances time has come to esteemed British house Floris.

heir Pink Grapefruit from 2004 is brilliant in its naive simplicity. A super clean, fizzy cologne based on the lovely aroma of freshly squeezed pink grapefruits. The juicy pulp accord is nicely supplemented by a light touch of the white grapefruit blossom. Minimalism at it's finest.

Regarding it's longevity I don't find it half as bad as many say, easily lasts 4-6 hours, which is a lot considering it's carefree citrus anatomy. One of the best, effortless feelgood juices out there - sparkling and playful ingenuity. I don't see how anyone could dislike this.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Monday, September 15, 2008

Montale - Aoud Lime

Aoud Lime is one of those fragrances that hardly leaves anyone neutral. This Montale, like most others from this French house, is a intense and somewhat aggressive fragrance with an exuberant personality. For the record, my experience with oud or agarwood was somewhat limited before trying this line, but I certainly enjoyed it in Yves Saint Laurent's M7.

After sampling a few of the oud based Montales, M7 seems to be true enough to the nature of this pungent wood. But despite their slight resemblance, Aoud Lime, is something completely different. The heady, oily citrus combined with saffron and the charred, smoky and semi-sweet wood create a dry, herbaceous and medicinal aura. The dryness is further accentuated by iris and aromatic sandalwood. The effect of the notes mingling together make for a dusty, romantic impression, but one that smells very clean at the same time - puzzling and dissonant in a good way. Also the sillage is a killer - this will take over a small room in no time, so be gentle on the trigger.

he main difference compared to other Montale agarwood fragrances is that Aoud Lime lacks the eccentric floral elements that make so many of the others unwearable for me. There is some rose lurking in there, but that strong middle eastern floral sensation is not present at all. Therefore Aoud Lime is by far my favourite in this range. A sharp, dense and unique perfume.

Year of Launch: 2006
Gender Classification: Unisex
Reminiscent of: Yves Saint Laurent M7, L’Artisan Parfumeur Voleur de Roses
Longevity & Sillage: Both nuclear
Overall rating: 7/10

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Paco Rabanne - 1 Million

Paco Rabanne fragrances have had a certain edge compared to other mainstream designer offerings during the last two decades: from the excellent XS pour Homme - which many consider Creed's Himalaya to be a copy of, the milky, avant-garde but disappointing Ultraviolet Man to the overlooked but decent crisp lavender of Eau de Paco Rabanne pour Homme. Not always with completely successful results, this house at least has made an effort to put out original stuff.

The most recent masculine launch, 1 million, is no exception. Apparently the perfume - and obviously the flacon, was inspired by Paco Rabanne's famous metallic fashions. The fragrance is however not particularly metallic. Instead, 1 Million is a very modern take on leather.

he composition strikes me as very simple, but quite effective and interesting - not something I remember to really have experienced before. The topnotes are dominated by a beautiful blood orange that makes way for some cinnamon, mint and subtle rose. The drydown, which arrives way too quickly, is an attractive light leather - more suede cloth than biker jacket. The overall impression of 1 Million is very positive, intensely wearable and just right in its contemporary vision.

However there are two slight problems... First of all: the bottle... What were they thinking? The thing looks like a bar of gold from Uncle Scrooges Duckburg mansion. The reference to Mr. Rabannes love for incorporating metal in his designs was perfectly done in 1969's Calandre, this packaging is just beyond tacky.

The bigger issue though is the extremely short longevity of the fragrance. Fading from the skin in less than two hours ruins a bit of an otherwise great experience. Hopefully a concentrated version will follow. Either way 1 Million is a very nice surprise and will hopefully do well.

Year of Launch: 2008
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Jean Luc Amsler Privé, Hugo Boss Baldessarini
Longevity & Sillage: Both unfortunately below average
Overall rating: 7/10