Vintage Oleg Cassini for Men (1976) is a quite heavy classic chypre for man with an uncompromisingly virile and animalic woody/patchouli-centered soul and a plain sort of "vintage honeyed-spicy-mossy" temperament perfectly retracing the classic animalic-woody chypre tradition (Mitsouko, La Perla, Arrogance Pour Homme, Monsieur Rochas, Captain Molyneux, Moustache Rochas, Aramis Denim, Aramis, Geo F. Trumper Eucris, Gianfranco Ferre for man, Denim classic, Estee Lauder Azuree Pure and Knowing, 1000 Patou, Piguet Bandit etc). It smells like a mysterious, herbal-hesperidic, aromatic/barber-shop and retro mélange of wax, musks, roots, aromatic hesperides, amber, aldehydes and woods, overall encompassed by an almost liturgical and moldy spicy-incensey blanket. I get the Givenchy Gentleman's reference (due to a remarkable dry patchouli's presence) despite Oleg Cassini is richer and more focused on honey, waxy patterns and hesperides. In particular Oleg Cassini for men seems combining on my skin the classic Denim's stout bitter patchouli (Denim is the fragrance smelling closer to Oleg Cassini imo) with a final Gianfranco Ferre for Man's woodsy-mossy-leathery luxuriouness (I get the mossy-spicy vetiver in here) and a soapy-aldehydic kind of waxiness (and a mossy-aromatic patchouli as well) a la Arrogance Pour Homme. The miracle is how the final evolution manages to perform a quite balanced and light honeyed-animalic-aldehydic-rosey accord rich of forbidding class and old-school honeyed mossy classicism. I get a rich combination of sharp floral notes (a severe rose-geranium combo), oakmoss-labdanum, a dry spicy-aromatic-resinous patchouli and a luxurious accord of honey, animalic notes, hesperides, soft leather, woods and tobacco. Dry down is surprisingly aerial, translucent (almost dazzling a la Helmut Lang Cologne) and still softly honeyed and musky (yet at same time warm and visceral). There is anyway a darker dodgy soul kind of vintage and rooty-mossy (softly leathery). Slightly out of time this fragrance is anyway an example of perfectly orchestrated complexity in which a congeries of diverse notes seems ending down a softly flowing whiff of solemnity.
25th August, 2015 (last edited: 26th August, 2015)
Under rated and one of the best, smoothest patchouli scents ever created. I still have a bottle I picked up in Singapore around 1992 and use it very sparingly.
Oleg Cassini for Men was one of the first fragrances to emphasize Patchouli with a capital P, and as such, has been a longtime favorite of mine. The comparisons to Givenchy Gentleman are apt, though as Late-Hit points out, GG has a more elaborate composition, with the floral, spice, honey and leather more prominent than OCfM. For any fans of Oleg who miss the original, I'd highly recommend Caswell-Massey's Aura of Patchouli as a very satis(ol)factory alternative. It has many similar top and basenotes along with the dominant Patchouli theme, and a similar overall effect to OCfM, with a similar duration and strength. Prices on eBay for surviving bottles of OCfM are in the territory of the absurd, and the Caswell-Massey is still available quite reasonably.
A remarkable, deep and pungent fragrance. This one truly exudes the feeling of an old barn full of hay where men have been sawing pine and repairing machinery. Definitely has hints of kerosene, turpentine and livestock in the background.
Oleg Cassini for Men does bear some similarity to (vintage) Givenchy Gentleman at the start. In the drydown, however, the Frenchman does feels a little 'rosewatery' while Mr. Cassini sticks to the oil and sawdust. Is this castoreum?
Wear this with a leather jacket, a pair of back-cut boots and an air of unflinching self-confidence and trust me... any microfiber-wearing aqua-fresh city boys nearby will just step aside. Buy it if you can find it... and be amazed! This style of perfumery is like a lost art nowadays.
Big thumbs up!
19th December, 2009 (last edited: 16th October, 2010)
Dirty, oily, sexy Seventies juice that was best worn in moderation.
In many ways, this was Givenchy Gentleman's kid brother, really. I've no idea why Cassini ever discontinued it.
Okay, this one is a stretch but I think this was one of the best drug store men's scents of the late 70's. I think at the time this was produced by Jovan. I think it was the first cologne I owned, so I want to remember it as being incredible, but it was probably not. In fact, it was one of those scents you could get in the gigantic bottle, as though it were made by the vat.
I remember it having a very warm quality after it's initial blast dissipated in the drydown. A spicy, vanilla type oriental, not unlike Cinnabar for women. There was a whole slew of Oriental scents in the late 70's probably brought about by the success of Opium.
Bath and Body Works has a scent called "Warm Vanilla Sugar" which is the closest thing I've found to Oleg Cassini for men. It is actually better, much more subtle but retains the mysterious quality of the former.
If you have fond remembrances of the original Oleg, try it.
I managed to procure a bottle of this precious juice on Ebay for a resonable fee. Revisiting it, it's all I remember and more. My nose is more seasoned now and I can readily experience the major patchouli composition this is. But whoever concocted this had the genius to introduce that "hay" note. I've never seen (or smelled) hay anywhere else; and it's what makes this stuff so unique. It's glamorous and earthy at the same time. The epitome of "Boho-Chic". It astounds me that this was marketed at drug store price points. It's as great as any of the upper echelon fragrances from any house. It's a forgotten, underrated masterpiece, I think...probably just as great on a woman as a man. Okay, so the bottle was not one of Dinand's greatest designs (too 70's even for the 70's). But I really think the Cassini people should bring this back (in a new bottle). It's just too good to go missing to the age of coke spoons and platforms.
20th September, 2006 (last edited: 05th January, 2012)