Perfume Directory

That Man (1958)
by Revlon

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That Man information

Year of Launch1958
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 19 votes)

People and companies

HouseRevlon
Parent CompanyRevlon Inc

About That Man

A strange name for a fragrance you may think! Back in the fifties, the four big US cosmetics brands were Estée Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein and Charles Revson's, Revlon. As you can imagine, the rivalry was immense, and Arden couldn't even bring herself to call Revson by his name, instead calling him "That Man". Charles decided to give the name to this men's fragrance, which must have really peeved Liz!

That Man fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of That Man

It's quite sad that Revlon as a fragrance brand literally makes none of it's own masculines anymore, instead choosing to distribute designer brands under it's corporate umbrella, as it did have quite a number of good ones, starting with this debut in 1958. The story behind this fragrance is fairly unique, and while I won't repeat it here in the review, as it can be seen in the blurb for this page, I'll add that Charles Revson very closely oversaw this, as he would most Revlon masculines through until his death in 1975, even if he didn't directly supervise it's composition himself like he did with Braggi. This was the return-fire to Elizabeth Arden's "Arden for Men" series of colognes, most of which focused on accentuating a single primary note within a general chypre pyramid (e.g. Sandalwood), while That Man was a full-blown aromatic citrus "chypre" like the French design houses were making at the time, but made for the drugstore budget of the typical Revlon customer at the time. The modest budget of the scent didn't stop Revlon from parading around it's "sophistication" in the same way domestic sparkling wine tries to feign champagne class, which honestly adds to the fun of wearing this. It's really funny when you look back on the leapfrogging here: Arden opened fire with a half dozen things, and Revson returned with one timely, well-crafted scent. That Man is certainly the most memorable of the American-made chypres floating around at this time, and actually predates Monsieur Givenchy by a year.

The original box flap read, and I quote: "A forthright, truly masculine fragrance." that was followed with a pamphlet that fully described the scent as "never sweet, never overstated" (see pics below for full blurb) before going into the notes, which is something meant to impress, I'm sure. Revlon went all-out on this as a full line when it first launched, making after shave, soap and even a scary "skin bronzer" for the stuff back in the day, so it was clear that they wanted this as the end-all be-all signature smell for the men who used it. Most amusingly of all, is the fact that this stuff is gussied up to be so upper-class in the packed-in advert, with a nonchalant man who's face is blacked out, looking detached from everything around him in the photos, with discerning taste, adventurous, yet civilized blah... give me a break! Long story short, this pretty well apes the vibe of Moustache Rochas (1949) with it's heavy lemon, civet, sandalwood, dry lavender, and according to Revlon's own advert, a "tabac" note. It's a right good chypre that comes across with a bit of that characteristic lemon/civet skank in the opening, but soon simmers down to something with a twang of the remaining citrus, the warmth of the woods, and maybe just a faint hint that tobacco in the dry down. The scent will last all day despite being a cologne, but you can go hunt down a later EdT spray if you're really worried.

That Man certainly isn't as scary in the opening salvo as some other things in it's class, and it also is a bit richer in the base than many citrus scents of this type, but one area it doesn't compare is in depth. That Man is ultimately a product of a major cosmetic corporation, so no matter how well it imitates classy French design, it's still far simpler in it's transition from top notes to bottom, with a lot less variation in the way it smells from the point it hits skin to the moment it fades away. Some may call this consistency, and ironically a scent that remains true to it's opening from start to finish seems to be preferred nowadays over stuff that transforms as it wears, but the fact is it's just a hallmark of it's original price point. The really woodsy, herbal, aromatic, and citrusy stuff really suits my tastes so I couldn't help but give this 5 stars, but I'm going to admit that's a subjective ruling since I'm a huge fan of this style. The only other American company really trying to do this type of thing was Avon, who would give a whack at it with Tribute for Men in 1963. That one is dare I say better constructed than this one and has a noticeable dry down. Simply put, this is a very solid and classy citrus chypre made to sell at the five and dime. It's less sophisticated than it pretends to be, and all the more charming for it. If you wanna be That Man, then you have to wear That Man, so go grab you that bottle!
16th December, 2017 (last edited: 14th January, 2018)
A masculine classic from 1958, similar in spirit to ultra-rare Woodhue For Men. No kidding, it also reminds me of vintage, pricey Patou Pour Homme. Still can't figure out why this isn't a massive BN favorite, especially at current affordable prices. Warm, woody, ambery, a nice shot of oak moss. It's from a long lost time and place when men could go into a drugstore, spend less than $10, and come out with a very nice, high quality scent. Old Spice is the only remaining scent in that price/value range. If you love vintage fragrances, especially men's classics from the '50s-'60s, That Man is a must buy.
28th May, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This starts off with a gently refreshing lemon-bergamot note with a bit of petitgrain, that later on passes through some mild floral notions. The drydown commences after the first fifteen minutes and is characterised by wood and moss, making this a traditional barbershop fougère. Some musk hints are in the base, but they remain in the background, is never cloying, and the initial touch of gentle freshness never completely disappears. Although a very traditional barbershop scent, it lacks any real soapiness on my skin.

This is a very discrete and versatile nice fragrance. Projection and silage are ok, and the longevity is very respectable at over five hours.
19th January, 2013

Revlon’s That Man is definitely a blast from the past… It presents a gentlemanly arid herbal / wood resinous accord softened by a background of masculine mixed floral texture. It’s an accord that I had enjoyed many times in the distant past and I like it even better now than I did fifty years ago. Undoubtedly masculine, and if it’s outdated, I certainly don’t care because, as uncomplicated as it is, it smells so great. Easy to wear… Easy to accomplish anywhere from subtle to powerful projection simply by adjusting the amount applied... Linear… Moderate longevity… Another wonderful classic drugstore fragrance that I wish was still in production.

17th August, 2011 (last edited: 19th August, 2011)
Swanky Show all reviews
United States
The header states that this is in production, but I'm not sure that's accurate. It is, however, available via ebay. Definitely of the old school, it's Revlon's best man's scent. It is unlike anything in the current mainstream marketplace, although it is in the vein of British Sterling or Jovan Sex Appeal, both of which are still available. It has a creamy floral undertow more typical of the masculines from decades past (Tabac, Baron) and pretty good longevity. For less than $20, it's easy to recommend this modest classic.
05th May, 2010 (last edited: 18th August, 2011)
A crisp, clean scent. Not pretentious, not cloying -- just pleasant. I get a LOT of compliments whenever I wear this one.

Too bad this one's discontinued. I buy it often when it comes up on eBay for a reasonable price.

One of my all-time favorite less expensive scents.
05th September, 2006

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