This has been a strange one for me. When I first sampled it I concluded that it was a foul mess. I thought it was an example of throwing together a bunch of ingredients that do not work together in a quest to be unique. The mistake I made was that I used a sample card and only got the top notes. That is exactly what not to do with any fragrance, but especially with this one. As has been said many times the initial blast can be offputting. The magnificence of A*Men reveals itself through evolution. So I revisited and sampled this on my skin. Then I bought it.
It is no secret that A*Men has great sillage and longevity. My wife complimented that I smelled great approximately 12 hours after spraying this on. It is subsequently her favourite scent on me. On my skin the initial harshness only lasts momentarily and then the longer this stays on me the better it seems to get.
So from initially hating this, I have found it to be almost like my perfect scent. I have a taste for gourmands and in hindsight I could have missed out on an essential addition to my collection. I can see why this garners polarised opinions because it represents an extreme of a fragrance genre. A lot of men, (some would say the majority) currently have a preference for fresh fragrances. I can appreciate fresher fragrances but stand firmly in the gourmand camp so this works effortlessly for me. A classic.
02nd March, 2016 (last edited: 24th May, 2016)
3rd time owning...seems to smell different each time. Formally more chocolatey, now seemingly more tarry? IDK. Still good though. I don't know if I want a 4th. Probably another flanker first.
This fragrance has hands down proven two basic facts for me...." Never Judge a fragrance in a single wearing" and "our nose change with time and age". When i first tried it in 2004 i discarded it immediately and thought of it as SHIT. those were the days when i was in love with Cool Water and only preferred fresh aquatics. Today in January 2016 this smells like heaven to me. I bought it in December 2015 Christmas and have enjoyed it thoroughly. It is a fragrance best experienced in Cold weather. It warms you up and makes you feel cozy.
Another thing about this fragrance is that it grows on you. First wearing it was ok, Second time it was Above average, third time it was good and now after a dozen or so wearings i absolutely love it. I even enjoy the harsh opening tar note to the fullest. Its to the point of being addictive now.
As a fellow member wrote this fragrance is almost like a living being. It evolves on your skin and smells different upon each wearing.
The honey and chocolate in the drydown are amazing
The coffe in the middle is spell bounding.
A true masterpiece.
This is one of the most complex fragrances i have ever come across.
It behaves differently in different conditions & keeps you guessing all the time.
The dry down after 2 hours is simply amazing, smells like a chocolate cake + cookies + rose & jasmin.
Sometimes smells like chocolate cookie dipped in with milk & made a paste of. (Real gourmand)
Longevity: 16+ hrs
Well, as modifications go, it starts out very interestingly. The high note blasts of the original Angel (Harold Hill's Brass Band) are "subdued" by a dark, spicy woody affect that won't frighten the horses and that makes the original Angel, lurking in the background, snorting, pawing the ground, feel a bit sleepy.
No fear. In about half an hour, the dark, spicy, woody affect has disappeared and we are back to the original Angel, all the louder for the nap it has taken. Actually, I rather liked the new notes and sort of wished the original Angel had taken a powder after introducing them.
Love the original, but no need to seek out this variation, unless you want to keep spraying it every half hour. Pleasant, but so wish the new boy on the block had stayed longer.