Let me begin with stating clearly that Michael is my signature scent. My wife bought it for me years ago and I used the entire bottle. Then it seems we couldn't find "Michael" in our usual sources, so I dabbled in many other fragrances but never quite found what I was looking for. I came close with some of the John Varvatos line and continued to jump from designer to designer. Unfortunately I discovered that many of the other fragrances in this genre can become cloying, toying with the Leather, Tobacco, Patchouli, but never quite hitting the mark for me. This fragrance initially comes on with a 1-2 punch of tobacco and spice, but soon mellows on the dry down to a triple combo of leather, patchouli and sweet dried fruit. This stuff lasts on me for about 6-8 hours and draws compliments from women as well as men. What's best is that because Michael is pleasing to a wide audience, I can wear this scent in confidence without offending others. The projection is good but not too wide, which also keeps it from being too much.
The bottom line is that in the many years where I have explored other scents, I realized that Michael is what is what I was after all along. I missed this fragrance. Then, quite recently and on accident, I stumbled into a Michael Kors store and found my old scent, unchanged, unsullied and consequently my love for it unyielding. I bought a bottle at a great price. I am so glad to be reunited with "Michael" and so is my wife! Interestingly, so is our 3 month old kitten who can't seem to get enough of smelling my neck.
Michael for Men is a big, dense leather, tobacco and patchouli scent. It’s warm, dark, and sweet, and coming from the late 1990s, it smells like a throwback to the previous decade. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, given what the mainstream market had to offer men by way of fragrance in the 1990s. Michael for Men has a stylistic antecedent in Pascal Morabito’s Or Black, and progeny in By Killian’s recent Back to Black, with which it shares its intensely fruity tobacco and patchouli accord. In its weight, power, and reliance on patchouli, Michael for Men even shares some DNA with Mazzolari Lui – truly a brave composition to set afloat among the predominant aquatic scents and fresh fougères of the time.
While I appreciate Michael for Men for its uncompromising boldness and refusal to bow to fashion, I also find it a little bit crude, even when measured against its own kin. The body of the scent seems oppressively monochromatic to me, and the drydown is disappointingly harsh and chemical, with an unpleasantly abrasive synthetic woody base note. In short, the idea is good, but I’m not entirely convinced by the execution.
From the notes, I thought I would like this one. The first thought that came to my mind when I smelled this was plastic and oil. This one was just not for me.
Tobacco is prominent to my untrained nose. But the most prominent scent I get on dry down is honey. Lasts a long time on my skin and particularly if applied to clothing.
A modern classic
With the opening the traditional bergamot is combined with elemi, tarragon and an anise notes with a very original and intriguing top note. The drydown with its nice tobacco and touch of spice merges into dark but smooth patchouli and a gorgeous plum aroma. This is a well-rounded, smooth and well designed modern variation to a classic theme. I like it, as I do the good projection - four hours of longevity.