Ungaro II opens with an arresting citrus/civet accord, underpinned by a very smooth, rounded lavender note. As the heart develops, sweet jasmine and orange blossom notes emerge, melding so seamlessly with the citrus that it's difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. During the second hour a powdery musk note joins in. The fully-developed musk/civet partnership lends remarkable depth and seductive animal mystery to what might otherwise have been a rather ordinary citrus and lavender men's scent.
The transition into drydown is fairly rapid, yet somehow so subtle as to be almost imperceptible. As I think about it, "transition" is not as accurate a term as "transformation." Without ever announcing itself, the drydown shifts Ungaro II from an unusually rich citrus scent to a sensual, but surprisingly light spicy oriental. The musk and civet stand their ground, forming a vital link in the development, while patchouli, something suggestive of cardamom, and a perfectly judged dose of vanilla move into the foreground. The ineffable transparency of this oriental drydown may owe in part to a light hand with the woods and amber both of which are so fully integrated that they act as a harmonic background, rather than as individual notes.
I think this fragrance is remarkable in its adept use of two of perfumery's trickiest notes: civet and vanilla. I can't imagine a better-integrated civet note than the one that grounds Ungaro II. Whether it's the proportions, the nature of the accompanying accords or (most likely) both, the result is absolutely wonderful. As for the vanilla, it's so subtle and well-blended that it effortlessly sidesteps the artificial, icky-sweet quagmire that has so cheapened this note over the years.
It's tempting to compare Ungaro II with Jicky, as they share civet, lavender, and vanilla as prominent components. But where Jicky is an extraordinarily busy, evanescent fragrance, which changes character from season to season, wearing to wearing, and even moment to moment, Ungaro II is far steadier. (Though not at all linear!) Ungaro II progresses through its life cycle with deliberate, dignified poise, without ever betraying its underlying animalism. As the bottle cap color might suggest, this scent is a feline predator: all tightly strung muscle, unseen, deathly still, and quiet, waiting...
Fantastic opening more than vaguely a la Trophee Lancome for men (just somewhat less tart) with a soon heady and fizzy (gingery) citrus/lavender (in particular bergamot and orange patterns) immediately flanked by amber and (by soon influencing) civet as for a fresh (citrusy/herbal)-warm (balsams/animalic notes) game of juxtapositions. This fresh/warm alternation (and coexistence) is for sure the main theme of the whole olfactory fatigue. This is not in my opinion the citric alcoholic-boozy and by soon floral-dark and sharper Ungaro III's opening since this introduction is still hesperidic (in a more properly classic chypre way) but brighter, more orangy, slightly medicinal and soon somewhat dense (ambery/animalic). The bergamot and the animalic notes are in here more prominent (and slightly barber-shop) providing by soon a sort of resinous "atmosphere" which in Ungaro III is almost absent. Anyway I see several points in common between the two different Ungaro's introductions. I detect for a while this sort of detergent/medicinal, herbal, spicy and hesperidic orangy and ambery undertone before the floral elements start blooming up in a sort of rosey-spicy way as supported by woody and musky nuances (as in a sort of olfactory approach conjuring me more than vaguely a phase of the long Guerlain Habit Rouge/Heritage's run till their deep luxurious dry down). A solid patchouli touch is rooted down on the ambery base and it seems to detect also several undiscerned fruity patterns. The base is softly balmy but basically ambery-animalic, powdery, floral and musky with a soft hint of leather. Ungaro II is in conclusion a masculine spicy-oriental with diverse nuances of leather, amber, musk, rose-geranium, fruits and civet, a complex mélange with a classic chypre structure despite I find it surprisingly modern, talky-fresh and wearable still nowadays. I still prefer the drier spicy-woodsy slightly incensey Ungaro III's dark dry down but appreciate a lot the oriental masculine indolence of the II. This perfume is exquisitely blended, elusive but extremely wearable.
P.S= the deep dry down conjures me vaguely the new Eau Sauvage EdP but while the latter is more finally oriented over a vetiver/myrrh combination Ungaro II pushes the scale over animalic amber and musk. Both preserve that typically resinous lemon-orange steady tone.
03rd June, 2014 (last edited: 07th January, 2015)
The opening is powerful, a splash of lavender, bergamot, rose, balsamic-ambery notes, musks and a shady, sticky, thick but light civet note which will eventually come in shape better later on. Now it's just a gloomy ghost wandering around. Basically a lavender fougère slightly more floral and powdery than usual, with a pungent mentholated feel (geranium) and an aromatic, soft woods base, with perhaps some tobacco notes or something equally dusty and dark. Then the blend gets drier and darker, with the leather/animalic heart which emerges with crescent strenght... but stopping too soon. I must notice in fact that I don't get the civet that much, I feel it's there but it's not "that" prominent as you may expect. You feel it emerging, but then it just "stops" there halfway, like a suspicious cat you're trying to lure which eventually does not trust you enough to come closer. For instance there is lot more lavender for me – that is why I consider it quite dark, but uncomparably less dark than other real "animalic" fougères. It's an eau de cologne with a prominent lavender/talcum heart and just a base of leather/animalic notes. The leather note by the way is really nice, vibrant and dense (but again, light). Overall a good scent with good quality components and a light persistence, not that memorable and not the masterpiece I expected.
Ultimate 70's time machine
A musky powdery strange but very good oriental with a soft drydown!
The first time in my life I encounter a scent which is released in 1992 and smells like a vintage 70's/early 80's macho time machine fragbomb
Wearing it i imagine Tom Jones with sideburns on a appearance of Starsky and Hutch singing to the hot ladies making sexy moves hahaha.
This is a great fragrance and in my opninion due its civet,musk,tonka and vanilla a smooth operator!
Im so glad i got my hands on this after i got it in a swap of many and i didnt realise its historical worth.
Too bad i have the 75ml edt splash bottle this will spill more that i want.
the yellow-flamed cap is truly marvelous on the dark blue ungaro shaped bottle!
Pros: BoogieNight in a bottle
Cons: Not versatile, people are offended by the smell of this"
Civet and citrus
This is a civet-centric scent, but a citrus note creates a perfect counterbalance that brightens it up. The drydown is softer thanks to a floral component and good old-fashioned lavender, that blends in unexpectedly well with the other aromas. Decent projection and three hours of longevity. An unusual but convincing composition.