This review is of the ORIGINAL formulation.
Somehow I never got around to rating this. It is one of my favorite fragrances. It is hard to describe or break down, A Chypre woody, spicy, green opening screaming testosterone, and pillaging villages. I haven't smelled the reformulated version, but BOTH are listed for sale on Marc's website so they must be different enough that they give you a choice in purchasing either one.
Like it, but don't love it. Genghis Khan kicks off with a pretty standard 80's woody chypre top, a crowded blast of bergamot, lavender, greens, and something kind of lemony that feels simultaneously woody and mentholated. Powerhouse fanatics will swoon while others will just find it kind of dated in its roughness. This eventually gives way to sandalwood, though the topnotes stick around to flavor it. Later in the day, as the topnotes recede, the sandalwood gets paired up with a slug of galbanum.
All in all, I've enjoyed Genghis Khan, but haven't really been won over. When I want a rough powerhouse, I want a rough powerhouse, so I'd go with Bijan for Men or something similar before this. As for retro sandalwood chypres, this can't hold a candle to Santal Noble. I'll still vote a thumbs up, but without much enthusiasm...
A fresh spicy opening that is a little bit soapy starts this fragrance off. Soon enough a herbal sour note makes a appearance and melds with the above.
In the basenotes and once the fresh spiciness diminishes the scent becomes dry and arid from the vetiver that now dominates.
This fragrance has character and is unusual in the way the notes come together. I can smell lots of pine and cloves that is offset by lots of other notes. Thumbs up!
A first blast on skin and a marvellous spicy flashback of my youth jumps arrogantly on mind. Look around at the listed notes guys and compare at once those to all the ones listed around by Basenotes and Fragrantica under the great Romeo Gigli by Romeo Gigli; many many elements expressly in common (bergamot, citrus, cloves, aromatic herbs, rosemary, amber, patchouli, sandalwood, resins etc). I detect furthermore a common note of tobacco and a touch of animalic (civet??), both the elements not listed for Marc de la Morandiere Gengis Khan while present in Gigli. I detect more in general also a common foundation of resinous (ambery-incensey) oakmoss, ginger, sweet spices, indiscernible fruity patterns and amber-vanilla. Either the scents are tremendously spicy, resinous, exotic, animalic and musky. Basically the two fragrances are really close each other, being Gigli far more floral, sparkling, revolutionary (despite seems having been issued one year later) and complex while Genghis Khan seeming more mossy-resinous, woodsy and typically coniferous. Anyway both the juices are woodsy/resinous spicy-oriental with plenty of nuances (based on a common foundation of resinous oakmoss, oriental patterns and richly spicy tobacco/tonka) despite Romeo Gigli stands out incomparably. Anyway Genghis Khan (Gengis Khan) performs a powerfully earthy undetone (prickling under my nose) which I appreciate a lot along the way. Another juice jumping far more timidly on mind is Boss Elements (because of the fruity-floral spiciness rooted over a woodsy foundation) but Elements is more properly woodsy aromatic and floral while Gengis Khan and Gigli deflect towards a resinous spicy-exotic "orientalism" more daring and visceral. A further floral-spicy-oriental jumping endly on mind (with its ambery/mossy/coconutty/suede-tobacco veined resinous dry down) is also the great Moschino Pour Homme, more properly powerhouse in structure, leathery and benzoinic. An extremely sensual fragrance with a classic articulated structure (with many "powerhouse" nuances of course) and an exotic hyper spicy modernism.
06th April, 2015 (last edited: 20th September, 2015)
Herbal, mossy, coniferous, spicy (I agree on the bold presence of cumin) balsamic and resinous: pine needles, fir balsam, crunchy branches... and a thin, rarified black ambery fog. Evocative and really pleasant. "Evocative" because it actually makes you think of a calm, green, meditative, smoky forest, not a predictable Western forest but something slightly different, with a touch of mystery and exotism (benzoin, spices). It smells "green" but in quite an unique way, a darker, thicker, smokier way, and I love it. Elegant and understated at the same time, not a "powerhouse" and quite creative and modern considering the age. After a while an aquatic – not calonic, rather "salty" – note comes in, finding its way in that sharp, pleasant, cozy balsamic-mossy aroma. I also smell a slight metallic feel which may be due to aldehydes and that however, gives the scent a nice "retro-futuristic" vibe. Refined and interesting. Beautifully ugly bottle (I am referring to the original bottle - and to the vintage scent, by the way).
Predictably completely reformulated in a, sadly, quite disappointing way. More than changed, it's just like if they washed it with bleach: it's all there, but terribly chemical and plain, with quite a lot of stinky artificial nuances. My advice is to avoid this and get the vintage which is still quite affordable.
12th May, 2014 (last edited: 30th September, 2014)