If there’s a bunch of good masculine-to-unisex gourmands, Rochas Man would be surely in. And possibly be the uncle of them all. Two references come to mind as a comparison among dozens; Yohji Homme, and Thierry Mugler’s style. Rochas Man is just way more discreet, compelling and refined than most of Mugler’s offerings, yet less sophisticated, cold and “avantgarde” than Yohji. Still that would be the family more or less; a coffee-anisic gourmand top accord on a sort of crisp barbershop-powdery base comprising mostly lavender, sandalwood, spices, amber, a hint of bracing citrus. Two notes or accords stand out for me in particular: coffee and flowers. The smell of coffee here is quite remarkably executed: slightly sweet yet “roasted”, earthy, much aromatic, fairly “natural”, mellow and dark, perfectly blending with amber and woods. Slightly milky and vanillic too, as if it was meant to evoke a “cup” of coffee rather than coffee beans – so, say, a quite “urban” and civilised approach to coffee notes, still quite realistic and not that tackily plastic (take that, Mugler). On the other hand, “barbershop” and fougère-ish grassy flowers provide a silky, gentle frame of clean powderiness, bit of “freshly laundered shirt” vibe, providing some more classic “masculine cologne” feel. Woods and amber do the rest acting as a discreet, warm, slightly earthy frame with a hint of smooth leather. What would you ask more? Rochas Man is one of those clever, well-crafted scents that have them all: it’s versatile, it’s classy, it’s distinctive, it’s surely kind of a “youngster” but perfectly suitable for gentlemen; it’s bright and dark, it’s quite “daring” yet completely civilised and wearable. It’s a bold gourmand, but it’s composed in a way it stays elegantly warm and discreet on skin, stopping just a step before getting tacky - so don’t fear smelling like a candy. You’ll smell just unique. Good stuff.
EDIT: the review above was based on the later "version" (pink box, pink-ish juice). I now acquired an older bottle (wine plastic packaging, brown-ish juice) and if you're interested in a comparison, they're, say, 90% identical. The 10% is what makes the earlier version better; slightly less sweet, more smoky, more ambery, more "mature". It's a matter of subtle nuances but if you get the chance, my advise would be to prefer the earlier bottles.
18th April, 2015 (last edited: 29th April, 2015)
Purchased at an outlet mall having recalled some positive reviews on BN. Opens fairly nice with a sweet lavender and citrus accordi that unfortunately fades after only a few minutes. What follows reminds me of Bazooka Bubble Gum for about 2 hours until ithat fades into a sweet powdery sandalwood.
For only $25, I'm not crying, but I don't think I'll ever wear this. Lesson learned.
A great gourmand fragrance to start your collection. To me it smells like a sweet mocha, which dries down to a nice vanilla fragrance. It holds up very well in colder weather, however I wouldn't recommend it in the summer, as it turns into an overpowering almost rancid vanilla. However for the price, its well worth buying for the colder weather. However it isn't very "masculine" and I really would consider this more of a unisex fragrance rather than male, so a woman could wear this no problem.
Nice mocha to Vanilla dry down
Both males and females could pull off this fragrance
Bad in warm weather
Not very masculine
Genre: Woody Oriental
Rochas Man is one of the several popular gourmand woody orientals that followed A*Men’s lead in providing extreme alternatives to the aquatics and Cool Water clones that comprised the bulk of 1990s male perfumery. A prominent and persistent licorice note aligns Rochas Man especially closely with Lolita Lempicka au Masculin and Body Kouros, not to mention the original Lolita Lempicka, all three composed in close succession by Annick Menardo. Rochas Man represents Maurice Roucel’s take on Menardo’s basic formula, and for the most part sticks close to the model.
No one could accuse any of these scents of subtlety, but Rochas Man is possibly a touch less loud and sweet than the others, and it shares with Body Kouros and Lolita Lempicka a degree of balance – imparted I suspect by astringent herbaceous notes – conspicuously lacking in au Masculin. As other reviewers have implied, it actually benefits from being slightly less complex and dense with olfactory detail than its peers. I might even go so far as to argue that Rochas Man is best defined by what it lacks: the strident patchouli of A*Men, or the shrieking horror woody amber drydown of Lolita Lempicka au Masculin. I’m not normally one to enjoy the more neutral outings in a given fragrance class, but in a genre virtually defined by excess, Rochas Man pleases more than most. Were I choosing a scent of this sort, Rochas Man would stand beside the original Lolita Lempicka and Body Kouros as an acceptable alternative.
This cologne has high ratings and reviews for a solid reason and that may be the lavender itself! Almost a cherry like smell when first applied but as a man who loves to wear a fragrance for his own personal joy the best thigh you can receive out of any scents you own is compliments. And if it's the opposite sex that's making those remarks I think it' adds to the fragrance itself.
21st March, 2014 (last edited: 22nd March, 2014)
Recieved a sample of this and glad I only got a sample.
The opening was great, warm and fruity and then after the drydown it closely resembled something else I had tried recently....... CK Shock...............or rather CK Shock resembles Rochas Man because Shock was born about 12 years after Man. Regardless, the lavender comes on too strong for me and I've never been a big fan of that note.