Perfume Directory

YSL pour Homme (1971)
by Yves Saint Laurent

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YSL pour Homme information

Year of Launch1971
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 287 votes)

People and companies

HouseYves Saint Laurent
PerfumerRaymond Chaillan
PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > YSL Beaute
Parent Company at launchCharles of the Ritz Group

About YSL pour Homme

Yves Saint Laurent's signature fragrance.
FIFI awards winner in 1974

YSL pour Homme fragrance notes

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

Reviews of YSL pour Homme

Old school citrus, in the same ballpark as Chanel Pour Monsieur. Biggest note is the lemon, sprinkled with some herbal notes for an aromatic kick; not much sweetness here. It's classic, dry, mature, masculine.
14th May, 2019
Lemony woody goodness is how I would summarize YSL pour Homme!

Considering how long this cologne has been around (just one year before my birth!), I admire the arguably legendary character of this scent.

YSL pour Homme is lemon-bergamot plus a string of skillfully incorporated ingredients: lavender, lemon verbena, petitgrain; with spicy and floral notes of rosemary, carnation, clary sage, brazilian rosewood, geranium and marjoram; and all sitting atop a woody-sweet-musky sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk, vetiver and cedar.

Every time I close my eyes to process this scent, I am hit with well-crafted elements that feel friendly and confident. This is not a single-note lemon scent at all, but the lemony theme drives and defines the journey taken by those beholding it.

A still relevant cologne, YSL pour Homme epitomizes what a legendary scent should be.
24th August, 2018
This is a review of the current La Collection formulation which is available now to purchase.

On first application I get a searing piercing lemon citrus accord that is underpinned by mint. And oh boy I was not ready for it's power, it could sear the hairs of your chest. lol You know that bracing effect when you splash freezing cold water over your face or add aftershave to your skin. Well this really awakens the senses like you have been slapped around the chops. This is followed by neroli and petagrain which tries to soften the blow but fails.

The mint adds a menthol effect to the concentrated lemon citrus which you can feel on your skin and around you. Now usually most modern scents the top notes last for about ten minutes or so but this keeps going for about forty minutes before you get to the midnotes. This opening certainly separates the men from the boys, I do like it as I've never experienced it's like. Quite brutal if your not ready for it, I almost thought 3 sprays was too much.

Now in the midnotes everything mellows and it's smells like pure barbershop. I got a flashback memory of when my Grandfather took me to a old barbershop in the late seventies for a haircut, that was the smell. You get a lemon herbal neroli shaving cream with woods which is underpinned by that cool mint effect. I've smelled this accord before in a lot of scents from Givenchy to Chanel but here it has a lot of depth which is what impresses me. When you analyze what you are smelling there is a lot going on. I can pick up Patchouli, woods, thyme and other notes.

I don't really get the dirty notes, well maybe a hint here and there. Maybe YSL have cleaned it up in this formulation or it needs your body chemistry to heat up to come out, I don't know.

All in all I like it and where as the shaving cream accord in Rive Gauche is dark and broody, here it's bright and cool. Thumbs up, what a ride.
22nd February, 2018
1971 was the dawn of a new era for the fougère, having been breathed new life in the 1960's by commercial luxury good houses such as the former Fabergé, Swank, Speidel-Textron, Leeming, and even Avon. They all came out with interesting new twists on a Victorian barbershop staple, and the aromatic citrus chypre that had been the former high-brow men's choice was swept away when higher-end designers started making fougères again, but not Yves Saint Laurent. What instead found it's ways onto perfume counters as the debut masculine, and indeed signature scent used by the designer himself, was another aromatic citrus chypre-type fragrance, albeit barely because it was stripped of all it's traditional decorum and presented as a very ascetic take on the trope, but with a dirty secret. YSL Pour Homme hearkened back to the lemon-heavy scents of the 50's, a trend arguably began with 1949's introductory Rochas masculine called Moustache, but YSL didn't wrestle with the funky animal notes quite as obviously as that. Nor did this debut masculine go in the direction of Chanel or Givenchy's entry into men's scents by trying to domesticate the beastly dynamics of the style, or remove them altogether and go with hedionic freshness like Dior's Eau Sauvage (which was ironically crafted by the perfumer behind Moustache). Instead, we get an aromatic citrus stripped to it's core elements, composed by Raymond Challian of Givenchy III (1970) fame, with everything else in it reduced to background accompaniment to leave space for bodily chemistry.

The scent opens with perhaps the loudest lemon note of any scent in this category, so much that people literally joke that this is lemon Pledge furniture polish in a bottle. From this point forward, a strong thyme note pulls the lemon down into something a little sweeter, which automatically takes this away from most other comparable chypres as they are almost always urinous before they become dry, with sweetness quite clearly avoided; this is with exception of perhaps Eau Sauvage, which is a different animal than most anyway. The uncommonly sweet lemon and thyme dance is done on a bed of vetiver, sandalwood, and just a pinch of civet; more virile than Chanel or Givenchy but not raunchy like Rochas. This is probably the second-tamest of the bunch just slightly ahead of Eau Sauvage, and I think even the Paris-by-way-of-New-York attempts at the style produced by Revlon and Avon actually have more cojones than this one... until certain conditions are met. The secret missing ingredient to this scent, the one that gives it the dirty reputation it has, is something only the wearer himself can provide: sweat. Ol' Yves Saint Laurent was crafty, and this scent was made so bare for a reason: when you exerted yourself by way of working, dancing, or even love-making, your own sweat would fill in the blanks of the scent and voila! You've now just created a very obviously masculine aura in cooperation with the fragrance you are wearing.

It was no secret what Yves Saint Laurent's romantic predilections were (which I share): you could see it in his fashions and his early fragrances alike. He would later capture the essence of a man's body much more effectively with the legendary Kouros, and would do it without the participation of a perspiring man; that stuff just uncompromisingly smells like macho in a bottle regardless of context. With YSL Pour Homme, he gave that power an "on switch" instead of just leaving it on 24/7, so it's no wonder that people who just test this out at a counter or wear it to the office just think it is a casual or mature scent, as they've never cranked up the heat to bring out the beast within. Legend has it that this hit the clubs a lot during the disco era, and did battle with all the great aromatic fougères that were slinging around by then, and it's no wonder: it's effectively litmus paper in fragrance form, and can get really rich once you've sweat into it enough. I discovered this by wearing it in a steamy bathroom post-shower, so I can only imagine what a few hours of a hot dance floor must do. As it is, the scent is simple, soft, classic men's chypre, named so because that's what it bears closest resemblance to, but if you wear it on a hot day, it'll come out and bite you so watch out!
This one is definitely wolf in sheep's clothing, and one last hurrah for this style.

P.S: There would also be a "Haute Concentration" version of this released in 1983, undoubtedly to compete better (or better compliment) YSL's own Kouros in the projection department. Some argue it's this one but stronger, and others say it's a completely different smell, so this review is clearly for the 1971 original with a red cap.
19th December, 2017 (last edited: 23rd March, 2018)
A lemon masculine that lasts plenty long. The older the better. Mine are the red caps. Pairs well with lemon verbana soap. Pretty much the standard in classy lemon masculines. Not to be overthought.
16th September, 2016
yuk....old man juice for sure. None of the beautiful unraveling of say an oscar de la renta pour lui....that fragrance may be old school but dynamic and beautiful.This is very boring...new formulation is poor.
18th March, 2016

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