“Fashion anticipates ... elegance is a state of mind.”
He was born in Pairs the son of a Russian Count and an Italian Countess. As a child he moved to Florence Italy where his mother opened her own design house. “I had to change my taste from caviar to linguini” He quipped later. As a young man he fled Italy after winning a duel arriving in New York in 1936 “with only a tuxedo, two tennis rackets and talent.”
By the time he appeared in Hollywood in the early 40’s his talent at tennis lead him to a meeting with the head of Paramount studios who was looking for a new designer for his studio. The first film he designed for was the famous “I Wanted Wings” staring Veronica Lake and her peek-a-boo hairdo, which he claimed to invent. Some of his other films were, “The Razor’s Edge”, “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” and “The Shanghai Gesture” all staring his soon to be wife Gene Tierney. Over his lengthy career he designed for films such stars as Rita Hayworth, and Marilyn Monroe all the way to contemporary luminaries such as Kim Basinger and Taylor Swift. All of this would be enough to put him in the ranks of the greats yet the greatest achievements were yet to come.
After World War II he opened a ready to wear design house in New York while still working in Hollywood. In 1961 he was appointed by Jacqueline Kennedy as her personal couturier for her new position as First Lady of the United States of America. He created a look for her that was international and timeless which resonates today as the look of Camelot. “All I remember about those days are nerves, and Jackie on the phone ‘Hurry, hurry, Oleg, I’ve got nothing to wear’,” (She loved French haute couture but was told that as first lady she would be wise to wear only American designs.) "I dressed Jackie to be a star in a major film, which she was, the most famous first lady of all time. I became her secretary of style".
In his time he married a movie star and had a famous affair with another star who would one day break her engagement to him to become her serine highness Princess Grace of Monaco. He created a look so classic that it is emulated by many today and he was the innovator of designer licensing. He brought color to men’s dress shirts. Vibrant hues where before only white was allowed. He was in all essence the very first modern superstar American designer. He was the great Oleg Cassini.
One of the other things Oleg Cassini did in his pursuit to leave no stone un-turned was to create a few fragrances. One of which is Cassini for Men introduced in 1994. This is an Oriental Woody that opens brilliantly with notes of chamomile, mandarin orange, exotic apricot like osmanthus, basil and Brazilian rosewood. This rush of delight lasts about ten to fifteen minutes and it is really a glorious promise of things to come. The middle notes are sadly short-lived and the promise dies on the vine, Lavender, jasmine, lemon verbena and geranium become a muddle and die within an hour. The base notes for me barely make an appearance. The sandalwood is nil, with only traces of amber, musk and vanilla. The vetiver and incense for me never got a chance to dance by the time the ball was over. At best it could be used as an after bath or shower spritz. Within two hours the entire fragrance disappeared like a carnival in the night with the town sheriff in hot pursuit.
It is really a shame to see such a gorgeous presentation wither like the sunburned petals of a morning glory. For truly the bottle is a glamorous deco creation worthy of any star dressing room. But like too many Hollywood dreams it is made of smoke and mirrors and is forgotten by the time the lights come up.
"St. Francis of Assisi has always been an inspiration to me. He was a playboy, too." Oleg Cassini
Cassini for Men comes from the species of fragrance populated by Ricci Club, Jivago 24K Men and other aromatic offerings of the period. Cassini has less impressive longevity than several others of its ilk. While it lasts, though, I find it among the more pleasant of this genre, admittedly not my favorite.
Cassini has a smoky character that lifts it above the rabble but this aspect doesn't last throughout the life of the scent, unfortunately. A decent choice if found at a discount.
From parfyym.pri.ee, a slightly different take on the pyramid:
Top Notes: Mandarin, Basil, Caraway, Rosewood, Osmanthus
Middle Notes: Lavender, Geranium, Verbena, Jasmine
Base Notes: Vetiver, Musk, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Amber, Incense, Benzoin
An aromatic fougère with an unusual caraway top note that makes it smell a little like pepper and a little like dill for the first few minutes. Osmanthus is another unusual top note in this fragrance. After the mildly acerbic top, the heart is a fairly typical floral fougère bouquet, which as usual, features lavender. With tonka bean for the coumarin note (de rigueur for fougères), the base also heavily incorporates oriental notes, giving this a rounder, subtler finish than its start. Very fresh, nice for cool-to-temperate spring days, with which our San Francisco summers abound.
Cassini for Men by Oleg Cassini is like an old-fashioned drug store fragrance, which might be all right, except that it was created only a few years ago. Quite barbershopish in a bad way (stereotyped lavender / geranium combination), it has conglomerate accords with multitudes of notes that are individually indistinguishable. These accords might be called “pretty” but they have no depth to them, and there is very little movement in the progression of the fragrance. Cassini’s top notes are sweet, but I cannot fit them into the typical categories of floral, herbal, green, citrus or woody: They are sweet and can’t be categorized, and that is the only description I can give. The middle florals are not very different from the opening accord. And the base is not that much different from the previous levels. It’s basically only a mediocre linear accord. Vadim is right. How can so many notes make something so nondescript?
I thought this stuff smelled great!! A more pricy version of California. I plan to buy some of this stuff. I'd be a fool not to!!