Perfume Directory

Devin (1978)
by Aramis


Devin information

Year of Launch1978
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 209 votes)

People and companies

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

About Devin

A green style fragrance launched by Aramis in 1978.
FIFI award winner in 1978

Devin fragrance notes

Reviews of Devin

A perfect blend of green plant stems and florals over a leathery chypre base. It's distinctive, yet casual and unassuming.

The most prominent notes are the galbanum, artemisia and jasmine, with touches of pine and carnation. The galbanum and artemisia provide that bitter-green smell from the sap of freshly cut stems that you smell when you walk into a florist. The pine here is smooth and not at all mentholated as it is in Polo green, making it more garden green than forest or golf-course green. The jasmine brings a bit of florals and a sort-of hay-like animalic pong that blends the greens with the leather as the fragrance develops. The dry down is a subtle amber and oakmoss that slowly sweeten up the fragrance as the bitter green notes subside.

The result is that the vibe is much more casual outdoors picnic than the stuffy country-club association you might get from Polo. The performance fits in with this casual vibe - it lasts a good 8 hours, always there but never projecting obnoxiously. This suits me perfectly, I use it as my weekend daytime scent year round.


09th September, 2018
It was the 70s, and as young ballet dancers we mostly wore Eau de Love, Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose, Sweet Earth solid perfumes by Coty, Muguet (also by Coty) and Jovan Grass Oil, which I sure wish I had now.

At some point my friend Dorian got a bottle of Alliage, and then I got it, too, since it was supposed to be a "sport fragrance" - I remember a magazine ad with Karen Graham in a white tennis hat. The bitter green opening was different from anything I'd smelled, and I really loved it. But trying it a year or so ago in revisiting all things green, I still loved the bitter green, but not the drydown.

So I was excited to discover Devin.

This is a masculine?! Not to question anybody's masculinity, but it's got the greens from Alliage plus a sweet, resinous base - classic Lauder with components I recognize from Youth Dew - so I'm happy to claim it as one of my current favorites.

My mind drifted just now to Goutal's Eau de Camille, which had a similar green and leafy (privet) opening and evolved into a juxtaposition of green + sweet syringa and honeysuckle. Devin really IS butch compared to the ephemeral Goutal, yet I think my instant love for the Goutal when it came out was probably due in part to a subliminal association I made to my old friend Alliage. I don't really think of myself as much of a Lauder person, but as someone who grew up in the States as a card-carrying member of 20th Century mall culture, they actually played a big part in forming my taste in fragrance.

Devin's inexpensive, but it doesn't smell cheap, and the lasting power is like an EDP. So now I check out classic masculines based on this discovery - who knows what else I've been missing all these years?
09th August, 2018
My old friend Devin
Your clarity, class and warmth
Remembered fondly.

An old style made new
A ladies' man - clean but with
A whiff of scandal.

The truer scandal
That I walked away from you
For an illusion.

Fragrance not my own
Costume, pretense, vanity
False fragrance, false love.

Lessons of my life
Learned, forgotten, learned again
As I smell you now.

Yet you aged quite well
Growing even more refined
With each passing year.

Go in peace, old friend
Let us keep what can be kept
Your beauty, my age.
18th July, 2018
This is exactly like a mixture of Caron Yatagan and Halston Z-14. Absolutely beautiful. Excellent longevity and sillage for a cologne. Yet another masterpiece by the house of Aramis. Aramis NEVER disappoints. Easy on the trigger. Do not spray the same spot twice, or the animalic note overwhelms. Spray your shirt also. Perfection.
20th June, 2018 (last edited: 24th June, 2018)
outstanding classic. absolutely oldschool masculine.
18th May, 2018
Five years would pass between Aramis 900 and the then-newest entry Aramis Devin, but like with the pairing 900 had with sister company Clinique's Aromatics Elixer, Devin would be the masculine take on the main line Estée Lauder Alliage released in 1972. What's most interesting is the fact that the Aromatic Elixer/900 pair were only 3 years apart, while the female counterpart to this was not only a whopping six years preceding, but actually predates the previous masculine. Those who know anything about Alliage and it's notoriously shrill explosion of green notes with a peach top will concede that it's nearly unisex in construction, especially with the oakmoss, vetiver, and pine ringing loud in the mix. This feminine "sport spray" chypre was already a few note swaps away from being a meat-on-the-bone masculine to begin with, so retrofitting it for that purpose and renaming it Devin wouldn't be too difficult, especially considering that perfumer Bernard Chant returned for this as well. For the record, he's the same nose behind Aramis 900, the original Aramis itself, and assisted in the follow-up JHL as well. Devin would become one of the most notoriously green masculines of the era, which itself was already known for extremely aromatic fougères, but like it's femme inspiration source was no fougère and rather, a chypre. An aromatic chypre was no strange thing, but most of them were heavy on the lemon, or had a leathery or sandalwood base, while this had neither so to speak, and followed a construction very close to the green fougères that came before it, making it quite unique in it's class.

Devin opens up with a lot of harsh and bitter greens, with the usual chypre top notes of lemon and bergamot extremely overshadowed by the galbanum. In fact, Devin is to galbanum what Polo by Ralph Lauren (also 1978) is to pine, with it very prominently featured throughout and never quite going away. Devin has a pine note as well, but it's much submerged in a soup of carnation and thyme, with a bit of jasmine and cinnamon for counterpoints of added sweetness. This loaded chypre base of leather, olibanum, cedarwood, amber, musk, moss, patchouli, and labdanum is literally kitchen-sink chypre construction here, being so much heavier than an aromatic chypre of decades past that I almost think this is trying to create the syrup swamp of the old early 20th century feminine chypres instead. If ever anything was needed to separate this from Alliage, it would be this sense of weight, a plodding heft in the base that almost threatens to destroy the balance of a scent that is otherwise milder in all respects to it's feminine sibling, which makes some men actually prefer the femme version once they've smelled the two. Granted, this is a small percentage of people and realistically, masculines at this time were increasingly about density as the powerhouse trope slowly emerged, but in hindsight the massiveness of the drydown in this does steer it towards fall/winter use as it's uncharacteristically rich for it's style. Many people like to compare this to the aforementioned Polo, but the difference is night and day for the trained nose, as the former is clearly all about that pine and moss, while this focuses more on an interplay with near-oppressive galbanum and slight lemon with the moss just carrying the weight alongside the rest of it's fellow base notes. This really has more in common with Halston Z-14 (1976), especially in the beginning, it's just far less woodsy or sweet.

All in all, Devin reasserts the masculinity of the Aramis house began with the eponymous scent, whereas the previous Aramis 900 was quite the floral dalliance and probably had a few "manly men" checking out of Dodge once they caught whiff of what was essentially a reincarnated dandy's delight from the previous century but with 70's sensibilities. Devin was indeed a much more popular scent for it's unambiguously male gait, but always played second fiddle to Lauren's Polo because the Lauren name was trending higher at the time and the iconography of the bottle's design (and logo) were just too much to ignore. I actually think Devin is the better scent because I think pine is done much better with pepper and lemon (Blenheim Bouquet and Pino Silvestri both say hello), than with moss, as green with more green as the counterpoint just gets lost in the static it creates to my nose. Here with Devin, the piercing Galbanum is almost ozonic in it's intensity, decades before that would even enter perfuming vocabulary, but learns to play nice within minutes as the ten-ton chypre-from-Hell base comes out to play. The final verdict is a scent that is among the few green masculines which serves in place of an oriental or dedicated musk in the heart of winter, and a classy yet somewhat un-classifiable bending of genres that makes it a good signature for the fan of heavier but original scents. I don't recommend this for romantic use or casual wearing as it's still a bit too stiff for anything outside of business meetings, offices, or structured social functions, unless you're just a hobbyist that wears whatever whenever. Regardless of how or why, if you don't agree that this isn't one of the greenest things out there, then you might as well just go rub against an old tree somewhere. Very distinctive!
04th January, 2018 (last edited: 05th January, 2018)

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