This review is for the currently available Lauder for Men. This is a great, confident, classic masculine fragrance that is decidedly retro, but still works very well today. Yes, it is green; it is somewhat citrusy, and bit floral. In fact it gets more floral during development, but it is always resolutely masculine. The base note that stands out for me a soft, subtle sandalwood. While it was made in the era of "powerhouse" fragrances, this one is not much of a powerhouse. In fact, it doesn't project very strongly; nor is it overwhelming in any way. Maybe if there was a "vintage" version of Lauder for Men it may have been a bit more macho. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful scent. But, in a world full of good-to-great classic masculine fragrances, why bother with this one? The answer is that it is different from everything else in its class. It is not like Aramis, or Dunhill (1934) nor Antaeus, nor anything else. The nature of the "difference" in one fragrance over another is something you can never really get in a review. You can get the "sameness" between fragrance; "this is like that," but never the difference. But difference is very important. Lauder has a very decide difference factor. The nose that made this had a clear idea in mind, and it was successfully accomplished. If you are looking for something very fine that is not 2015 modern; but is fresh, suave and distinctive, you couldn't do much better.
By the way, the only challenge is to find it. In Bloomingdales NYC (Lex Ave) it wasn't even on display. I had to ask at the Lauder for Women counter about it, and they pulled it out of a drawer like a bootlegger might get you some gin from a Drug Store during Prohibition. The only thing missing in this transaction was the illegality. It is rather criminal, however, that Lauder for Men is a hidden gem, even where it is sold under the counter. Strange but true. Something so "commercially" branded is almost impossible to find. My recommendation: FIND IT! Tell them Joe sent you.
30th December, 2014 (last edited: 06th January, 2015)
First of all, if you think 1985 you are probably thinking this will contain a load of lavender and coumarin. It doesn't. While it may contain those elements, I don't even consider this scent a fougere, because other notes dominate. Second, I have one with a gold top but that cap has green sides, and I have another with an all gold cap (older). The green one is stronger, like an intense version of the earlier gold cap, but the earlier version is smoother and really special. The notes are "tight" in green cap and it can be a bit irritating, and some of the musk element doesn't seem as natural as I'd like. Still, after an hour or so it's not too far from gold cap, and the actual smell is very similar. Now here's the most important point, at least to me: when compared to others that are at least somewhat similar, that is, 1881, Jazz, Tsar, Photo Lagerfeld, etc., I prefer this one by a wide margin (though I'm not sure if my 1881 is vintage, if there are differences with that one). The only other one that I'd put in this category is Coriolan, but that one is a bit different, so I can enjoy having these in my rotation without thinking I don't need both. The problem I've encountered is that when I wear similar ones I often think I'd rather be wearing the one I consider best.
Lauder for Men is a quite “institutional” masculine fougère comprising herbal notes, dark woods, a heavy dose of oak moss, something camphoraceous (benzoin, I guess), a clean floral breeze of the usual “masculine” flowers (lavender, carnation) providing a pleasant barbershop feel. All over this blend, a pleasant and vibrant balsamic feel, really crisp and natural. This fragrance smells particularly well crafted and composed to me, a bit more than the “average” of this genre, mostly because it brilliantly comprises several nuances and shades, from floral notes to the dark woody-mossy base notes, passing through a sort of chypre structure evocating animalic nuances. It’s consistent and solid, yet more complex and vast than others. Extremely masculine (in a refined meaning, not a “macho” scent) and quite formal. Not the most distinctive scent of its era, as it reminds me of several other “virile” colognes (Aramis for instance, by the same brand) but a solid, compelling masculine classic for sure.
Lauder for Men starts out a little bit like Kouros on a leash. The two begin travel on parallel trails, but Lauder’s path receives more sunlight. Where Kouros has orange, Lauder has lemon; where Kouros has incense, Lauder has crisp aromatics; and where Kouros has its titanic, beastly accord of civet and urinous honey, Lauder makes do with just the honey. In short, everything about Lauder for Men is a bit brighter and bit more sparkly.
After a half hour, Lauder’s trail takes off in a different direction, as a big, spicy tobacco accord presses into the foreground. By the time its central movement is established, Lauder has moved away from Kouros and pulled up next to…Havana! That’s right – it’s hard for me to smell Lauder’s spicy tobacco fougere heart without immediately thinking of the recently revived classic from Estée Lauder’s own men’s division. Once again, Lauder for Men is the lighter, brighter scent, but I smell a strong family resemblance – one that only intensifies as Lauder for Men approaches its pungent mossy tobacco drydown.
I’m not insinuating that Lauder for Men is a Kouros/Havana wannabe. Indeed, I believe that Lauder for Men stands as a great fougère fragrance on its own. Not least among its merits is its comparative ease of wear. The sheer immensity of Kouros and Havana place limits on their everyday use. Not so the more modestly scaled Lauder for Men. What ultimately puzzles me about Lauder for Men is how such a fine fragrance can be so little known or discussed. Frankly, it’s a hidden treasure, and probably one of the most underrated and under-appreciated scents I know of.
Lauder for men opens nice.
As mentioned before clean open citrussy.
Longevity is poor or average depends on skintype.
I tried this now the second time i really dont know how someone thinks this is a premium product.
After 15 minutes it leaves a tiny sweetness close to the skin and thats it!
This is nothing special.
27th November, 2012 (last edited: 29th November, 2012)