I was a young Student Naval Aviator when a young lady working at a fragrance counter stretched the rules and gave me a GWP set of Devin. (She said something about knowing I was just starting out in the world and needing every advantage I could get.) I wound up liking it better than my original purchase. Devin was a contrast to the heavier, muskier, heavily macho fragrances of the day. The pastoral, country scent also fit my personality well, and I liked the fragrance myself (which is Rule One for any fragrance I wear - if EYE don't like it, I'm not going to wear it). I'm very happy that Devin is still available and I'm likely to wear it again to remind me of my long-vanished youth.
If I remember correctly, this was the first fragrance I ever owned -- it was given to me as a gift when I was in high school. (OK, I just dated myself.) Now, decades later, I'm wearing it again with renewed appreciation. In a sea of chemical spill aquatics and bland Cool Water clones, Devin shines like a beacon of distinction and originality. Wedged in somewhere between the green chypres and the leather chypres, Devin opens green with sweet lemon zest, then quickly reveals spices, fruity esters, rich jasmine, and leather. The grand drydown, balanced between leather tang earthy oakmoss, manages to be at once outdoorsy and sophisticated.
Devin's scale and complexity leave most modern masculine scents smelling thin and puny by comparison; its poise and balance make much of what has come since smell hopelessly clumsy. Why anything this good hasn't already been discontinued is beyond me. Now that oakmoss is all but illegal, it probably will be.
I really enjoy the bracing evergreen opening - Northern trees with a mentholated pine and galbanum blend. It begins very airy and fresh. When the top starts to peel away the artemisia starts to poke out and starts turning bitter, while a sour oakmoss creeps up from behind. Here is what I don't like; the late heart transitioning into the base smells like a screechy, sickly version of the frankincense chypre of Halston Limited or Ho Hang Club. While not nearly as offensive on skin, wherever it rubbed off on my shirt Devin's end phase smells a little nauseating and is somehow as strong as or stronger than the opening blast. The inky black incenses and sour greens jumps up the volume too high and lose the crisp counterweight needed to keep Devin in check.
Another winner from Aramis. So glad they brought back Devin, Tuscany, New West, and Aramis 900. All four are outstanding Classics.
Devin is a captivating fragrance that exudes richness and class. It is captivating, warm, manly and ideal for daily use or special occasions. I get many compliments when I wear this fragrance, as I have worn it for many years! It is in my top 10. Although I do like the original packaging better. I highly recommend this fragrance!
Another Aramis Reissue Home Run
The reissue is mossy, leathery, herbal, tangy with some lavender thrown in the mix. Heavy, dark and pleasantly bitter from the get-go much like the hops effect I experience from a pint of top quality dark ale. Sillage and lasting power of the reissue seems somewhat less than the vintage but the overall impression is that they both are very similar.