Perfume Directory

Yohji Homme (1999)
by Yohji Yamamoto

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Yohji Homme information

Year of Launch1999
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 204 votes)

People and companies

HouseYohji Yamamoto
PerfumerJean-Michel Duriez
Parent CompanyIFD Group
Parent Company at launchJean Patou

About Yohji Homme

Yohji Homme was launched in 1999 as a male partner to Yohji. Housed in a tall elegant bottle, this fragrance was originally created by Jean Kerleo for the then license holder Jean Patou Parfums.

In 2002 The Yohji license was acquired by Procter & Gamble after they purchased Jean Patou, however, three years later P&G decided to end the license with Yohji Yamamoto and all the fragrances were discontinued.

2012 saw the relaunch of all the Yohji Yamamoto fragrances, including Yohji Homme. The fragrance was reworked by Givaudan perfumer Olivier Pescheux to ensure it met current regulations.

Yohji Homme fragrance notes

Reviews of Yohji Homme

Yohji Homme by Yohji Yamamoto came at a time when the gourmand was just starting to pick up steam on the men's side of the fragrance spectrum, and as one of the final products of legendary perfumer Jean Kerleo before he left Patou (who created Yohji Yamamoto's scents at first), this gets a big push by collectors and enthusiasts. It's an unlikely hero to the fans of Kerleo to be fair, as most of his past masculine scent work seemed to be arguably more traditional in construction, or at least built upon tradition. Yohji Homme was frankly as much the opposite of traditional men's perfumery as one might get in 1999, even compared to the citric ozonics and aquatics of the day. Yohji Homme, as the male counterpart to Yohji (1996); a feminine gourmand that also can be labelled unisex in some ways, didn't seem to take a hard-line stance on it's own gender assignment, which is perhaps part of it's appeal. We were in a new age of deliberately-marketed unisex perfume thanks to the success of Calvin Klein's CK1 (1994), but both Yohji scents made by Kerleo could be enjoyed interchangeably by either sex, despite who they were "meant for", as I see quite a few men sing praises about the perfume, plus vice-versa with women and this. It should also be of important note that this was touched up by perfumer Olivier Pescheux to meet IFRA standards after Patou gave up the license and Yohji Yamamoto relaunched these on his own in 2012 (only to see them discontinued one more final time a few years later).

Yohji Homme opens with bergamot, sage, juniper berry, cinnamon, cardamom, and a very famous licorice note. Some folks cite lavender as being in this, but I can't really detect it myself amidst all the spice and herbs. The middle is quite boozy with a rum note that then later hands you coffee for the hangover it will give you, and geranium lingers in the background before it all dries in a bootstrap type of leather, with soft musk and patchouli keeping it warm and sensual. Cedar is the final detectable note here, and it's another drying counterpoint, keeping the musk and rum from being cloying. It's a much better-balanced and blended gourmand than many later ones created in it's wake, particularly more commercial ones like Spark by Liz Claiborne (2003) or Bod Man Body Heat by Parfums de Coeur (2007) that both go strait for sweet and warm with no mercy. Yohji Homme instead plays off it's own mystique, being sweet at times, then dry and earthy, seductive with it's warmth but also light enough on it's feet for diplomacy in an office setting. It's far from a generalist scent but it has enough angles to do more than smell pretty, no pun intended. I feel this deliberately acts like a tease on skin, making you satisfied with the first impression, but also contemplating what it would do if you got closer to the person wearing it; the stuff walks that fine knife's edge between casual and romantic, much like some of my other favorite past scents such as Avon Black Suede (1980) and Chanel Pour Monsieur Eau de Toilette Concentrée (1989), which are both sexy without trying to be.

Yohji Homme's cedar and fairly heavy synthetic white musk note interplay also recalls Jõvan Ginseng N.R.G. (1998) even if they are worlds apart in construction otherwise, plus Avon would seemingly take a stab at Yohji Homme with a gourmand/fougère hybrid called Intrigue (2001), replacing some notes with barbershop staples and going both way darker/drier and more clearly defined as masculine, which removes much of the charming subtlety of the idea Kerleo presents here. Yohji is a fine fall/winter/early spring scent, and is quite literally the perfect gourmand for somebody who doesn't -really- want that typical gourmand feel of coming across as baked goods or a fruit basket when wearing it. I'd say this is one of the better blended, sophisticated, and balanced scents not only of it's genre, but of it's decade, standing apart from all the mega-linear "ocean in a bottle" scents that were littering the fragrance counters in the 90's, plus all the "olfactory dessert" scents which arrived in the 2000's. It's not for every person nor every occasion, but it's fascinating blend of bright spice, dry woods and leather wrapped in soft musk will keep you sniffing. So far as I can tell no aesthetic changes were intentionally made by Pescheux when he adjusted Kerleo's original formula, since there's only one entry for this fragrance here, so any version will do. Try a mini-sized tube before you spend no modest sum for a full bottle, which is comically also a tube, just much larger.
20th February, 2018
Freshly resinous
Je Ne Sais Quoi Pour Homme is
So quite Yohji-san.
10th November, 2017
Sadly for me the scent does not perform or last very long at all, I had high expectations. Perhaps the bottle I have might be a bit faded or compromised.
To me this seems like a weak gourmand scent.
30th January, 2017
I would count this as possibly the best thing in my collection. I have the feeling that, at the moment, I don’t know enough to appreciate it properly. Luca Turin’s review of it is insightful, and I find myself going through the same stage of discovery with every use of YH. For instance: spraying some into the cap and then straight on to my arm helps separate out some of the notes. The cap seems to trap the lavender, while skin seems immediately to bring out some of the more gourmand elements.

As well as combining the accords well (perfectly?), there is a terrific balance of light and shade, warmth and coolness. In very hot weather, I’d be more likely to want to wear this than something like l’Instant de Guerlain EDT, my present staple, due to the cooling and relaxing effect of the lavender. But in cold weather, the ‘roasted’ aspect of the coffee and spices that Tanya Sanchez writes about comes to the fore.

It’s hard to say what you can expect from YH, as the notes don’t tend to behave in a uniform way on me. It’s not unknown to have the coffee, liquorice and spices take over at the start, and for the lavender to be prominent in the dry down, a reversal of the usual pyramidal progression. There is definitely something of the Gestalt in YH, whereby the accords want to jump out and compete for attention. As a result, it’s hard just to let it be and do its job; a bit like intermediate musicians want to isolate and replicate their instrument’s part in the context of a band.

Again, YH seems to be out of production. Bottles of the 2013 vintage are currently going for as much as the 2005 on Ebay and elsewhere. I have a full 50ml bottle and most of another one left, and I live in terror of not being able to find others. Worth trying? If you can get hold of it.

One last comment: Is it a fougere? Turin and Sanchez have this done as a “liquorice fougere”. However, the lavender is the only fougere staple ingredient that I can find. So either a single point of overlap is sufficient for this claim, or they are talking more about structure, or the way accords work together, or some other aspect that I just don’t yet have the mileage to understand.
17th May, 2016
With the exception of the outrageous and incomparable Angel, I am not a fan of gourmand scents. I can't understand why someone would want to smell like he/she has just stepped out of a kitchen.

So, I was skeptical about liking Yohji Homme. No fear, the gourmand warnings were exaggerated. However, what I do get is minimal. Coffee and lavender drying down to a fougere with a whiff of leather in the background. Dry, nice, sophisticated, but hardly a masterpiece as so many great Basenote reviewers find it to be.

It disappears on my skin very quickly. If it had more depth, more longevity, the scales might have been tipped toward a positive review. As such, however, I can admire what it wants to be, not what it is. I would have sent it back to the labs with a nod of encouragement that it is on the right track, but has more work to do before it achieves what it points to as its unique goal.
30th March, 2016
ION-ONE Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This review is for the re-released version from around 2012.

Three L's totally dominate here: Liquorice, Lavender and Leather - in that order. This is sometimes referred to as a gourmand, no doubt because of the liquorice. The note list is spot on to call this Liquorice rather than anise. The note reminds me exactly of the raw root liquorice my childhood mate used to bring back from Southern Italy; initially nothing much, but when you scrape your nail against it you get a pungent, savoury, earthy, bitter aromatic smell/taste. A mature, complex multifaceted treat for the palate.

The Lavender exists in perfect harmony with the Liquorice. This might be one of the best blended fragrances around! The blend is like listening to a DJ mixing two tracks, perfectly matching the rhythm and speed so that its hard to notice where one track is fading out and the new one is fading in. The Lavender adds to the dry herbaceous liquorice goodness. It also gives the classic "fougere with a twist" backbone to the scent, dragging the liquorice further into the scents development.

The Leather is far more subtle. I probably wouldn't call it without the note list. Also the rum is subtle and discreet, so this certainly isn't a boozy scent - rather - this is an understated, classy modern classic. Very well representative of Yohji Yamamoto as a brand actually: More likley to be your favourite designers favourite designer (favourite fragrance critics favourite fragrance) than actually achieve mass appeal and high volume sales. This could easily get crowded out by more brash confident scents. This one is destined to go under appreciated but nevertheless exudes quiet confidence and genuine class.

It finally dries down to a lightly spicy, warm wood, slightly oak-mossy clean quiet finish. A master-class in terms of blending. An unmitigated triumph? maybe not quite: performance is on the weak side. The overall composition of this re-release is a little 'thin'. I can image the original release is 'thicker'. Theres a very slight chlorinated / swimming pool type background note that may be due to enforced reformulation. Nonetheless its a pleasure to know this understated, under appreciated gem
80/100
02nd March, 2016

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