A masculine floral chypre highlighted by a lasting sweet, grassy orange-wormwood, hyacinth-pine, amber-leather structure. Like 900 and Tuscany, it smells natural and relaxed, quiet and elegant. I find the balance (and integration) of fresh, bitter and sweet to be a little off, although, surprisingly, the sweetness works really well in hot and humid weather. Very, very pleasing.
Relentlessly green, this could only have come from the Aramis/Lauder laboratories. It shares so much with Alliage and Private Collection--both Lauder feminines--that it truly is part of a much bigger movement. That movement included the seminal Polo--they are classmates, but Polo got voted valedictorian while Devin remained quietly on the sidelines--a big man on campus, to be sure, but not the top dog. Devin is so piney, bitter, green and bracing that it is a real period piece (those were the years of green frags) but would smell stunningly original on a twenty year old today. The re-issue smells exactly like I remember it and while I actually prefer Polo, I do enjoy wearing this and thinking about a time when fresh, green, strong men's fragrances ruled the roost. Wearing this is like having suede elbow patches on your tweed blazer--old school, but back in fashion. Like all Aramis scents, amazing sillage and longevity and all at a great price point.
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.