Perfume Directory

Lagerfeld Classic (1978)
by Lagerfeld

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Lagerfeld Classic information

Year of Launch1978
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 329 votes)

People and companies

HouseLagerfeld
PerfumerRon Winnegrad
Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Prestige
Parent Company at launchEli Lilly & Co > Elizabeth Arden

About Lagerfeld Classic

Lagerfeld Classic is a masculine fragrance by Lagerfeld. The scent was launched in 1978 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Ron Winnegrad

Reviews of Lagerfeld Classic

Karl Lagerfeld is something of a journeyman fashion mogul who has designed couture for everyone from Balmain to Patou, currently running as creative director for both his own label and Chanel, plus working with in-house lines for major department stores like Macy's. He's a legend that is befitting an equally profound fragrance. His signature masculine, which only garnered the subtitle "classic" after he introduced new lines, is an oriental chypre hybrid that marries rich woods and mosses with leathers, aldehydes, citrus, and oppoponax. It joins rank alongside other rich 70's oriental hybrid exercises like Caron's Yatagan (1976) and is a late-decade prelude to the powerful 80's bombs to follow. Lagerfeld has a love-it-or-hate-it weight to it, but as I've said before, all trendsetting masculines worth mentioning also are often quite divisive. The scent launched just in time for disco's peak, and although quite a bit stiff for a dancefloor, managed to show up there anyway.

The smell from Lagerfeld Classic opens up as stiff citrus, aldehydes, and powdery spice. It's orange and lemon, as opposed to just lemon, then segways into cedar, tonka, amber, moss, and that leather note all the way at the bottom buried in creamy musk and labdanum. It's rich, almost too rich, with the oppoponax spark to keep it from just being total cream after the top notes fade. The smell rests somewhere between the animalistic feminine orientals of old and the cinnamon sugar stuff that would typify 80's masculine orientals like Aramis JHL (1982) and Obsession (1986), pulling in so many directions at once that it's cover-all-bases density makes it seem almost as if it came back in time from the 80's. It has a hint of that rounded Shulton Old Spice (1937) feel, some of the leather nostril burn of Alfred Dunhill (1934), but with the smoothed-over suede and woods of Avon Black Suede (1980). Undoubtedly, a storied designer like Karl Lagerfeld was pulling from a litany of influences when he commissioned Ron Winnegrad to develop this.

Lagerfeld feels like a fragrance that was neither in nor really out of style ever in it's life. It's an exercise in a rigid sort of masculinity for the consummate gentleman looking to make a presence known but also unbutton his shirt a bit when he relaxes in good company. It'll serve well in office or formal use, but it's not terribly romantic nor casual enough for weekend wear. I'd steer clear of hot weather as this one comes out of the bottle already sweltering before it even hits skin. The aforementioned Black Suede is simpler, brighter, sweeter, lighter, and thus more comfortable. I feel it's a more elegant and refined version of this idea despite this being clearly further upmarket. I don't regret wearing it and it carries extremely well in the cold, but this decidely non-disco scent from the disco era feels more like it belongs in the German Expressionism movement of the early 20th century, much like most of Mr. Lagerfeld's high-collared near-gothic attire. For a strong handshake of an oriental leather type, look no further.
31st December, 2017
What provoked me to buy Lagerfeld several years ago was I smelled it on someone I was conversing with and I asked them...it was Lagerfeld Classic.I didn't buy it because I thought it was awesome...it seemed like a comfortable wear scent you could wear round or anywhere.I wore it 3 times and tossed it,here's my scent experience...

A lot of cedar in this combined with probably the best orange note I ever encountered followed with a twist of amber,somewhat powdery.Essentially the same experience that my nose got from smelling it on another individual.A few hours later, a disturbing quality blossomed out and seemed to channel through the cedar note.I can only describe it as if you took the scent of orchids and mold and combined them together.It's not moss...just a very dark green and pungent/musty smell.My skin chemistry is genuinely compatible with other fragrances...but I'll never forget Lagerfeld.
27th September, 2017
My oh my, what a classic indeed! Lagerfeld's potion from 1978 still amazes me to this day (though reformulations abound).

Definitely a soft oriental fragrance, with a powdery, sweet, amber and incense quality that lasts a long time. It can come across as too loud when oversprayed, so discretion is advised.

Classy, pleasant, simple and deep, Lagerfeld Classic isn't like the complicated fougeres that were also available in the 70's and 80's.
15th January, 2017
A big thumbs up for this one, reminiscent of vintage Shalimar, Habit Rouge, and even Furyo, and a better alternative to Furyo for a gentle, smoky, incense-stick, animalic fragrance; easy to wear, refined, and powdery.
19th December, 2016
To me this basically smells like a honeyed Obsession for Men, specifically, from my experience. Even before I sprayed it I thought of Obsession for Men because of the color of the juice! Mine is an Interparfums version (post-Coty).

If you like Obsession for Men, you'll maybe like this one. If you already own one of these, you may find the other redundant, I don't know. Good luck! :)
08th June, 2016
Picked up some Vintage Cologne of this, after reading Maillard's review. He put me on to Maxim's last year and his reviews on the mark 95% of the time. Also picked up some Fumerie Turque. He had also mentioned passing reference to that. Little to add to all of his excellent review except to say they are different enough to own both.
Vintage Lagerfeld fits squarely into it's era between the musky Etienne Aigner of the 70's and the powdery Maxim's et Tiffany for Men of the 80's. Well worth the search and recommended. There are various Vintages of this. Have found some are better than others.
Oh! Strip away the Bergamot add a little Lutens Sugar aand here you have Fumerie Turque.
20th May, 2016 (last edited: 16th January, 2017)

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