Not much to add except that I don't find this dated at all and I believe it to be a MASTERPIECE.
Thank you Balenciaga!
Perhaps the absolute pinnacle of the aromatic fougere. Certainly a challenge to Azzaro PH in this regard. More complex, bright, and mossy than Azzaro, with prominent savory lime notes infused with cinnamon, thyme, coriander, and incense and softened with a floral/caramelic touch of sweetness. The base to me is about boozy oakmoss with some camphorous patchouli and woods (sandal and cedar.) Powerful, persistent perfection.
Starts out slightly soapy (not a a bad thing ). Followed by a boozy accord with a nice green accord. For this fragrance to have so many notes, it smells great. A gorgeous barbershop vibe is the result of this this retro style gem. 8/10
Thank you so much for your review, Way Off Scenter. Having never smelled this scent before, I was sure my miniature bottle had turned when I first opened it. It smelled like the whiskey sour my older sister threw up in the back of our family's station wagon Christmas 1972. :-/ (Clearly this olfactory trauma has stayed with me.) I braved putting a little on, and was pleasantly surprised within 5 minutes. Still wondering if the juice was bad or not, I was considering returning it until I read your review, which saved the day. (e.g.: "Yikes! This stuff is extreme! It practically jumps out of the bottle with harsh greens, aldehydes, and something that smells an awful lot like warm vinegar, delivering a roundhouse kick to the sinuses.") Now I realize this is just the way BPH first opens. But once it sits on your skin a few minutes and calms the hell down, it really is pretty delicious.
A great fragrance in which the waxy type of widespread animalic-resinous soapiness (finally delicate, slightly powdery and refined) is in my opinion just a preordained quality (initially faint due the dominant aromatic elements), neither a symbol of olfactory mess nor a collapse of real complexity and articulation (on this point I respectfully disagree with my friend Colin Maillard, one of the absolute top reviewers here on Basenotes). Balenciaga Pour Homme is a complex woody/spicy oriental (highly floral and faintly leathery) which possesses (in the first stage) the fresh aromatic Fougere/Powerhouse quality and all at once also a warmer powdery woody oriental chypre temperament. Yes, a kaleidoscopic fragrance finally really subtle. It starts by soon floral-aromatic (fresh lavender, coriander are laundry, cool and aromatic) and hesperidic with an unmistakable aldehydic-incensey-waxy spicy (cinnamon) undertone (or better, background) and a following earthy-powdery accord of iris/patchouli/balsams/soapy amber/wax/honey. Excellent phase, really freshly soapy, finally chypre in vibe, earthy and floral (in particular lily, rose and iris perform their valzer). A notable fruity cinnamon seems connected with incense, powdery iris, chypre powder and smooth ambery soap in order to provide a spicy-fruity smooth main texture. I detect the leather which is anyway not crucial or heady but just a smooth undertone. Yes there is an aromatic opening and a spicy/earthy undertone but the aroma is finally smoother and does not possesses the classic powerhouse strenght (like for instance in Trussardi Uomo or Drakkar Noir). In the final stage powdery woods are more notable and somewhat talky. The aroma owns (despite its brighteness) the internship in the clan of the hystorical finally soapy powderhouses like V&A Pour Homme, Antaeus or Salvador Dali Pour Homme (Yes Capucci is an even more appropriate reference on the side of Nino Cerruti) despite BPH smells milder, less aromatic/laundry and finally more spicy oriental (floral and sweet- and vaguely sweaty-greasy). A great fragrance, really sophisticated, classy and sexy. Better in the colder weathers.
12th October, 2014 (last edited: 05th September, 2015)