Fresh fougère - Young Ralph is the best
The top notes are a fresh lime and bergamot but with a green-floral bent with lavender, geranium and a very good patchouli. A cedar note is added. After about three hours a new chapter is opened, characterised by a delicious amber with honey, benzoin and a delicious gorgous, soft oak moss without any sharpness. The blending is superb, as are the ingredients. A confident, green drydown with good silage and projection and an excellent longevity of seven hours. A wonderful classic autumn chypre of great quality.
Stetson, all grown up.
Top notes: I mainly get a floral/herbal bomb. The citrus notes are subdued, being blended into the floral sweetness. Though there some anise (as the note profile on here claims), it's nowhere near the amount in Azzaro pour Homme, for example-- to me, it's hardly detectable. It's possible that this note has decayed over the decades as the fragrance aged (top notes are usually the first to go).
Middle notes: The floral aspect continues, and changes, dropping the subdued citrus aspect, and picking up patchouli and resinous woods instead. The only other notes I can detect are jasmine and orris; if the geranium from the note profile is there, it's very subtle-- enough that I can't find it. The jasmine does give the fragrance a sort of 'dirty' or sensual aspect- something that continues into the base. Also, for me, the sandalwood is much more prominent than the cedarwood.
Bases notes: The combination of the musk and amber gives the base a sweet, leathery smell. The amber's sweetness is reinforced by some very well-blended, other sweet notes-- the amber, honey, vanilla and tonka bean are intermingled to the point of being an amorphous, somewhat spiced sweetness. The benzoin picks up the sensual aspect right where the jasmine left off, but the note is even more 'dirty', evoking the scent of a resinous incense. Last, but not least, the oakmoss adds a woodsy aspect that works harmoniously with the spices from the tonka bean and the sensual incense scent of the benzoin.
Pros: Masculine; refined; complex.
Cons: Slightly cloying."
Rich, animalic, raw, leathery, and loud; this fragrance assaults the nostrils upon first whiff. If one can make it to the dry-down, a softer and more powdery sophistication awaits, with ever the slightest touch of sweetness. The problem is, if one over-applies the vintage formula, that dry-down phase never really happens, and it stays at the head not for the duration of the wear (Joop! has this problem as well). I can see this being reformulated into the softer and tamer creature that the "Chaps Est. 1979" is today, because Ralph Lauren wanted to take all the effort out of wearing this one the right way by removing the animalic elements and subduing the leather notes, leaving behind only the softer side that was always there, but buried in the head notes by those who wore this indiscriminately. It's a shame, because some of the powder and dry formality was removed as well, making the new version smell too fresh and casual for it's intended market. If you can find unopened bottles of this classic, go for it, because it can be quite a head-turner if worn with discretion and poise - as it was intended.
29th October, 2012 (last edited: 05th November, 2012)
Chaps kicks ass! I think this an awesome fragrance that really does put you in mind of a dressed up country boy/cowboy or something. To me it smells like the pinkish orange Caress soap mixed with musk, and it gives off a soft leathery quality(like English Leather but more leather). I find Chaps to be an innofensive and safe fragrance that screams old school and 80's at the same time which is a win win in my book.
This is animalic but not too musky. There are a lot of notes but you probably will never be able to detect them all. Thankfully, the lavender isn't too strong. It's more than a little sweet and it's undeniably powdery, but it does have good "note separation" for this kind of fragrance. There is an interesting dynamism between a sweet/syrupy quality and an old, dried-out leathery one. I don't detect any strong spice note (for me, "spice" means cinnamon, clove, etc., and not what I think of as herbs, such as clary sage), and this is largely what separates Chaps from an Old Spice type of formula (one of the older, good ones), I think. There is also an animalic quality ("dirty" jasmine, presumably), making it seem like there is a touch of a Kouros-like fragrance in here as well. Longevity and projection ("sillage") are very good if not excellent. It's certainly natural smelling, though one would guess it would be far too "old" for the aquatic/"fresh"/"sport" crowd. If you like The Knize Ten and want a variation on that theme, this is one to sample.
15th March, 2011 (last edited: 02nd March, 2012)