Havana (1994)
    by Aramis




    Average Rating: 4

    Based on 391 ratings
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    Havana Fragrance Notes

    Havana information

    According to Aramis, Havana is "Charismatic, Well-Blended, Smooth, Sensual, Electric, Sexy, Masculine, Warm, Vibrant, Pulsating, Virlie, Seductive, Hypnotic and Intoxicating" Hmmm: Short and sweet then! The packaging depicts a jungle scene and the bottle is a dark blue cone of frosted glass.

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    Reviews of Havana


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    Showing 1 to 6 of 90 reviews.

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Fougère

    Havana has one of the most cacophonous openings of any scent I’ve worn. Spray it on and you’re greeted by a raucous blast of alcohol, citrus, tobacco, leather, camphoraceous notes, lavender, and lord knows what else. For sheer volume and shock value, these top notes are hard to beat, and if Havana’s early withdrawal was tied to poor sales, it could well be because few customers managed to wait out its clumsy first five minutes. It’s a terrible pity, since for those intrepid enough to stick with it, Havana offers a real treat.

    Make no mistake – Havana remains a busy, complex composition, but once it comes into focus the heart of tobacco, spiced rum, smoke, leather, patchouli, and lavender is as stimulating as it is rich, and perfectly balanced, to boot. The intricate olfactory structure at Havana’s center vibrates over a classic fougère base of coumarin and bergamot with oak moss (real – god bless Aramis’s parent firm Estée Lauder), that provides a cooling counterpoint to all the intense warmth. The juxtaposition of smoky, spicy heat and cool, forest-y fougère accord may be why Havana, for all its depth, never feels ponderous. On the contrary, Havana is surprisingly light-footed and nimble for its bulk. Wearing it is a bit like discovering that your gruff, hairy, 250 pound uncle Lou dances an exquisite waltz.

    In overall demeanor, Havana is what I’ve come to think of as a BFFF (Big, Fat, F#!@king Fougère), to which class also belong Jules, Kouros, and Pascal Morabito’s gargantuan but elusive Or Black. Havana has a more staid and stolid older brother, too, in Estée Lauder’s own Lauder for Men, which shares Havana’s tobacco, aromatics, and bold fougère base, though not its booze or its jazzy anisic bounce. I think Havana is the most buoyant of this lot, inasmuch as “buoyant” can apply to a fragrance of such density. Despite the challenge posed by its top notes, Havana is also one of the most often complemented scents I wear.

    As you might expect from my description so far, Havana is a potent, long-lasting fragrance that projects well off the skin and leaves behind plenty of sillage. It’s surely one of those scents that will elicit disapproval if over-applied. Used wisely, I believe Havana deserves its reputation as one of the great scents of its decade.

    15 June, 2014

    Mysticman's avatar

    United States United States

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    A "dark blue cone of frosted glass"??? No, mis amigos --- the bottle is a conga drum like the ones used by Desi Arnaz in the 50's, which gives it both a vintage vibe and an association with Afro-Cuban music, which evolved into what we now know as Salsa.

    Havana conjures up tropical heat and foliage, sultry nights, the warm Caribbean sea, rum drinks, and the sophisticated polyrhythms of congas, bongos and timbales. The citrus and spice notes harmonize beautifully with the tobacco, woods and patchouli (and a fragrance named Havana HAS to have tobacco in it, no?).

    Put on some Irakere, Mongo Santamaria, Armando Peraza or Celia Cruz (or even the Buena Vista Social Club), a dash of Havana and your dancing shoes and you'll be ready to heat up the night. Sabor!

    26 May, 2014

    rogalal's avatar

    United States United States

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    Havana is so complex and layered that it's almost impossible to give a detailed description of what it smells like. Suffice it to say that it's a masculine woody chypre, so it's got that 80's powerhouse vibe, and that it starts off with all sorts of sweet pie spices and ends up more woody with time. There's tobacco in there, but realistically, I think most people smell the very forward mace note and think that smells sort of like pipe tobacco or coffee and that's where the tobacco descriptives are actually coming from.

    One of the more clever things it does (although it ends up being the reason I like Havana less than others of the same ilk) is to smother everything in a sort of waxy oily smell that keeps the individual notes from really standing out. Instead, there's a sort of musky hot candle smell that forces everything else to form more of a cohesive whole. I don't really like the waxy oily smell, honestly, and think Havana would be better if the notes were given more room to breathe, but it's still a pretty amazing scent, just not one that I enjoy that much.

    02 February, 2014

    montagne's avatar



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    This is a scent with the power to evoke ideas and pictures and places.

    Funnily enough, I do not receive cigars, or tobacco in this. I speak as a man who grows tobacco every year (including some Cuban varieties) and who fills the humidor with his own cigars. I know what my poly-tunnel smells like at every stage during the seasoning process, and I don't recognise any of those many aromas in this fragrance.

    However, I do smell Havana.

    Hemingway begins his classic "To Have and Have Not" with the line:

    "You know how it is there early in the morning in Havana with the bums still asleep against the walls of the buildings; before even the ice wagons come by with ice for the bars?"

    Well, this is how it is. I get a picture of the Numaticos (the boys who fish in the bay using only ('pneumatic') inner-tubes as boats, coming in with their catch. I see the city beginning to wake up, car horns beginning to blare.

    It is vibrant. Not yet hectic. At the centre of things maybe not yet happening, but about to happen. Businessmen and patrons, dressed in linen and alpaca. Panama hats.

    I hear the poems of Jose Marti sung as songs." Mi versa es de verde claro, y de un carmin encendido."

    The light green is there, in the top, almost like faint angostura bitters. It is ciircumspective; philosophical. The burning red is also there. A threat, not born of foolish passion, but of sagacious fatalism.

    The richness of the rum, patchouli, and the ambery basket of (labdanum/vannila/tonka) never emerge too precociously. They sit quietly at one of the back tables, playing cards. Next morning, the top registers are still surprisingly prominent, especially on clothing.

    The Special Period.

    15 January, 2014

    rbaker's avatar



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    Cuba in a bottle

    The new version:

    A grapefruit and orange citrus opening is paired with tarry and storing peppery notes and sweetened a touch with anise - a fruity pepperiness pervades this great opening. The drydown parades a superb bay rum aroma, a good rum with still more pepper and spice. The base is where eventually the cigar tobacco note develops, not the best of all tobaccos mores but a very nich one and never into your face. Myrrh and tonka guarante that a spice components remain very present right until the end. A very complex, well balanced and blended fragrance with great silage and projection and five hours of longevity. One of Aramis's best and a great classic.

    30th August, 2013

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    A splash of bay rum, a pinch of herbs/spices, a hint of tobacco. The blending is smooth, the vibe decidedly relaxed yet assertive. Forget the laundry list of notes, HAVANA works simply because it doesn't try too hard to impress. Some might find it a little 'old school' but THIS is exactly how masculine fragrances should be done: not so much about in-your-face braggadocio but more of a cool confident swagger. A virile classic that would sit proudly in any man's wardrobe.

    13 May, 2013

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