Free Life is an underrated and – it seems – well unknown fragrance suffering from a coincidence of bad luck and bad choices – a hideous 1980s’ racing-inspired packaging, an achingly dull name, and the fact it’s from Aigner, which has always been both fairly underrated and maybe badly distributed. But the fragrance, well... that’s good. In my opinion it smells basically like a darker, smokier and “boozier” version of Zino Davidoff: I get many similarities between the two scents, that same kind of aromatic herbal-powdery-tobacco camphorous dustiness stuffed with (quite heavy) floral notes, aromatic herbs, and musky dry woods. An aromatic Oriental fougère with a twist, which is here represented by a more prominent presence of woods, amber and resins, and possibly something like rosewood too. So overall a drier, smokier take on Zino. That ambery-wood accord smells to me so dark and intense it recalls a boozy note of whiskey, which however vanishes soon. The drydown is an elegant, cozy and discreet musky-woody-smoky smell with a classy floral nuance. Overall something miles away from what you may imagine by looking at the name and the packaging – this is a really sophisticated dark scent, perhaps just a tiny tad tacky but surely closer to a virile yet mannered “Aigner pour Monsieur” than to the “BroDouche Sport Powerhouse” one may imagine by looking at the box. Nothing really new, but total quality to any extent.
Bergamot, Sage, Nutmeg, Lavender, Rosewood.
Cedar, Geranium, Jasmine, Muguet, Patchouli, Rose.
Amber, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla.
I was compelled today to revisit Etienne Aigner's 1987 release of Free Life. As of late, I've been wearing some of the darker, designer ouds like Ferrari and that prompted me to dig out the bottle of Free Life. I definitely don't wear Free Life enough, but that is due to the amount of fragrance choices I have. Owning many bottles is a two edged sword.
Free Life does not smell like the designer ouds I have, but it wears like they do. It is dense, semi dark and a rather serious scent. This isn't a somber fragrance, but it surely isn't frivolous or lighthearted. They certainly don't create masculines anymore using this template, so anytime I do wear Free Life, I thoroughly enjoy it.
One of things I like is the tuning of Rosewood, Lavender and Tonka. There's a somewhat moist quality present and the suggestion of licorice. Normally, I'll experience that through Anise or Tarragon. In Free Life, it's accomplished through combinations.
There's quite a bit going on in Free Life, yet it smells as if it's devoid of transitions until the extended drydown. The Spice, Woods, Floral, Earth and Oriental accents seem welded together from the onset. Because of the overall character this scent takes on, it appears to be more suited for cool to cold temperatures. It's extremely full bodied, yet doesn't cut a swath while entering a room immediately after application. The totality of Free Life affords the wearer the ability to smell extremely different, masculine and could almost pass itself off as something creative Jacques Bogart would release today. Free Life isn't synthetic smelling nor does it possess a chemical vibe. This has gravitas, but all fragrances that have this quality are always going to be off putting to some.
I believe Free Life is classified as a Woody Amber, but the Oriental finish is very enjoyable and long lasting. I've worn this scent in warm and hot temperatures, but at least for me, it performs best in the winter temps. You may have a different opinion.
Free Life is yet another Etienne Aigner creation that got glossed over since its release in 1987. To be honest, I can understand that situation since Aigner didn't exactly have the best ad and marketing campaigns in a time period where bigger, bolder and outlandish weren't considered polarizing.
Sillage is moderate, yet substantial and full bodied. Longevity is approximately 5-6 hours on my skin with normal sprays. The personal space hang time is just as long or longer. You can smell this the next day with no problem. Thumbs up from SS for Etienne Aigner's Free Life and as always, a sample wear if highly recommended. ( if possible ).
The traditional opening blast of bergamot, lavender and sage is given a nice twist with a wood note; this results in a slightly boozy gorgeous blend of top note. Jasmine, geranium and a bit of rose arise in the middle phase, a rich and pleasurable mix. The base contains sandalwood, but on my skin it is dominated by the crescendo of a rich and glowing amber note. The quality of the ingredients is superb, and it is extremely well blended without losing structure. Good silage and projection, with somewhat over five hours of longevity. A rich autumnal delight from a time Aigner produced great fragrances, but this might be their masterpiece.
FREE LIFE IS A WONDERFUL WARM, FRESH, LONG LASTING SCENT FROM AIGNER. THEY CREATE SOME GREAT SCENTS AND THEN CANCEL THEM. BUT IF YOU FIND FREE LIFE IT'S DEFINTIELY WORTH A TRY. IT'S VERY UNIQUE...FRESH, WARM, AND ORIGNINAL. 7-2-04 USA
22nd June, 2004 (last edited: 03rd July, 2004)