Perfume Directory

Aramis (1965)
by Aramis


Aramis information

Year of Launch1965
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 682 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerBernard Chant
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies > Aramis and Designer Fragrances
Parent Company at launchEstee Lauder Companies

About Aramis

Aramis was launched by Estee Lauder Companies in September 1964 in New York and then in the UK, exclusively in Harrods at first in 1965. It has remained popular ever since and is a true classic fragrance. The Aramis range has grown and includes a wide range of shaving, hair, bath and body products. Aramis Gold was launched in 1998, which has a scent based on the original Aramis.

Reviews of Aramis

hcr Show all reviews
United States
Not my favorite of the powerhouses, a little too loud for most situations. It had its time and it's a classic but there are better scents out there.
07th July, 2018
A stunning masterpiece. A huge initial blast of Bergamot, Sage, and Clove in the opening. Then leather, spice and a sweaty note probably from Cardamom(even though it is not listed). It just all comes together so well in the dry down. The first time I tried Aramis, I didn't like it. I thought it was too strong. But I realized later that I sprayed it on too heavy. There is a method to wearing this. Do NOT over spray it. You have to hold the bottle a good 16" away and let the MIST hit your skin, NOT the stream. One spray on each arm, maybe one on the neck. Wait for it to settle for a few minutes before you judge it. It is STRONG at first, just like ALL Aramis scents are. But what an amazing value. An amazingly beautiful fragrance, highest quality, yet inexpensive. This is one of the greatest of all time. A true work of art!
10th February, 2018
Aramis is such a landmark masculine fragrance, such an icon, that like many seemingly immortal perfumes and colognes, it remains as relevant now as it did when introduced. The scent was Estée Lauder's entry into the masculine world, nearly a decade after competing US cosmetic companies like Revlon, Elizabeth Arden, and Avon all entered that same water, but maybe this truly was a case of saving the best for last, as it easily outmatches any of the debut masculines created by those other companies. In the case of all it's preceding competitors, the Estée Lauder Company sat back and watched them all attempt emulating what was fashionable among French designers and perfumers, with varying degrees of accuracy (Revlon came closest with "That Man" in 1958), but Lauder took a different and bolder approach by making not an aromatic citrus chypre like it's peers had done, but an undeniably macho leather-type chypre that still had oodles of class and suave. It released exclusively in NYC in 1964, then worldwide the following year, but what many don't know is it was the first US masculine fragrance in it's high-end class to see widespread distribution among all competing department stores, not just as an exclusive at brand boutiques or at counters of X or Y department store licensee, which helped put it in more hands than it's competition and is a trend the others would soon have to follow. Like it's much-older distant relative Alfred Dunhill for Men (1934) it was a contradiction of alpha male posturing and uncompromising poise, which made for confusion that caused the cologne - and it's wearer - to be that much more alluring. Seldom does one come across a designer with the quality that the niche segment (which barely existed in the 60's) touts, but Aramis is such a designer scent, and one will be hard-pressed to find another with such quality composure and strength, from any year.

Bernard Chant, who was practically Lauder's house perfumer for years in all but title, sat down and made this without a single drop of lemon like all it's fore-bearers, focusing instead on an intense aldehyde, bergamot, artemisia, and an incense-like note that sharply cuts the air when first detected. This extreme aldehyde sparkle makes some compare Aramis to Chanel No. 5 (1919) favorably, calling it the "No. 5 for Men", which is a bit of a reduction for the Chanel scent, but we won't hold it against anyone. After this beautiful opening comes an animalic quality, the "man sweat" facet not really present in older leather-type masculine chypres such as the aforementioned Dunhill or MEM's English Leather (1949), which immediately sets this apart from any predecessors save maybe Eau d'Hermès (1951) and it's profuse use of cumin. The animal note (which is likely castoreum) isn't quite the crotch funk of the Hermès scent, nor the gym bag odor of something like Kouros (1981), but it's a hairy bare-chested man on a Naugahyde couch that promises only snuggles but intends to do more once you've both finished your drinks. The naughtiness of the middle is balanced by sage, a huge blast of barbershop clove, mrytle, plus what I can only detect as orris and jasmine, all in very slight doses, before the chypre base warms it all up and mulls it over with sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, moss, musk, and most obviously leather. At the end of the day, that's all this is: a sparkling shimmery leather fragrance with florals and animalics doing battle in an arena of classic chypre base notes. It's such a stunning display that even people who don't actually like the stuff give it loads of respect, in almost of "fear of God" sort of way, which is a testament to master blending by Mr. Chant. Go easy on this one because those aldehydes will recur all day long, bringing wisps of the top and heart notes back from the dead alongside the ever-present strum of the throbbing base.

Aramis endures culturally like no other scent from it's decade because it indeed endures physically like no other as well, giving you day-long enjoyment until scrubbed. It's virility is more understated than anything else which contains said swagger, which is how it gets away with being both unerringly manly and still come across as refined. It's also the smell of money and power in the 70's much the same way Ralph Lauren's Polo (1978) would be in the 80's, but manages to avoid stuffiness or fussiness by not drowning itself in vanilla, tonka, moss, or spices like the powerhouse fragrances that would follow. This stigma did (and still does) prevent it from being a big clubbing favorite, as the alpha male chest beating of it's animalic and leather notes would not scream out with the addition of real sweat like the others thanks to those aldehydes keeping everything bright and chipper. That isn't to say this didn't make it into discos, but it wasn't the "it" scent for many guys of that scene. The success of Aramis would also see the launch of a company that bears it's name, creating both flankers and stand-alone scents in the following years, resulting in some of the best scents men have available to them, and all of them (including Aramis itself) having a feminine counterpart either from Estée Lauder or the Aramis sister company Clinique, which would launch in 1971. Easily a perfect score for me, but understandably too bold for some in a modern era of calone, ambroxen, and ozone. However, for those looking for a rich manly experience in modern times, think twice about that oud fragrance and give this one a try, you might see why it still goes strong even 50+ years later. In terms of vintage versus modern, moss restriction has made the base less buttery rich, but the rest of the fragrance is still quite on point, plus the bergamot top fades in older batches anyway, so the real question is what phase of the scent do you prefer? That will determine what era of Aramis makes it into your collection.
23rd January, 2018 (last edited: 19th May, 2018)
TeeEm Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A true classic ... I cannot think how can someone dislike this scent... This is oldschool but you can still wear today and get away with it
Good longevity and can be smelt from afar
06th January, 2018
Aramis does what is says on the tin. It's an old school fragrance which is 100% man. It doesn't smell weird or strange or anything else. It just smells like an old school classic cologne. I own a bottle and glad that I do. I wear from time to time when the mood suits to remind me of how things used to be. However, I honestly believe this stuff belongs in the past. It's a nice collectors piece but in all honesty it smells really dated. I know the mighty Kouros is younger but it has stood the test of time much better!!
05th December, 2017 (last edited: 06th December, 2017)
The trick with Aramis is to apply it very sparingly.

It is less synthetic than many modern fragrances and the complex leathery note that appears in the dry down is long lasting and very appealing.

It smells expensive, and even for those who wouldn't know a base note from a bank note (and I include myself in that) can pick up that the fragrance evolves over time on the skin in a very satisfactory way.

In production for over half a century and always a big seller: the world is not mad, Aramis is indeed something special. A cologne classic that is a masterpiece of its type.
07th November, 2017

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