Perfume Directory

Zino Davidoff (1986)
by Davidoff


Zino Davidoff information

Year of Launch1986
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 568 votes)

People and companies

Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Prestige
Parent Company at launchBeecham Group > Beecham Cosmetics

About Zino Davidoff

Zino Davidoff is a masculine fragrance by Davidoff. The scent was launched in 1986

Zino Davidoff fragrance notes

Reviews of Zino Davidoff

There is one note in Zino that is very evident but it's not listed...musk...LOTS of musk!You catch it as a finish in the vanilla and comes strong and of sexual rank on initial spray along with the citrus and lavender...then it smooths down to a sensual level and not kinky.The lavender and citrus sort of merge together to create a polished feel to the vanilla and smoothen and clean...without getting soap.Powdery tones of sandalwood,rosewood,and a noticeable patchouli.These create nice tones to the fragrance without being too heavy and adding texture,maintaining the focus on keeping Zino smooth.I don't get any rose in this but I sure do get a lot of yellow jasmine.Soft,sweet,lightly warm jasmine...a very calm and non-pungent floral.I can't really picture Zino with rose in it with how well jasmine works in this fragrance.

I get a varying 8-10 hours from Zino by Davidoff.It's smooth,sensual,and gentlemanly.Zino doesn't smell 80's at all-it's not edgy,dark,spicy,or bold.If anything Zino is more in tune to the versatility of the musk genre back in the 70's that made them so darn wearable anytime and anywhere.

Anything I don't like about Zino?

You know how when you wake up the next day and smell a fragrance under your shirt collar and it's noticeable but it's smeared,collapsed,and lost it's structural integrity of the composition?...Zino leaves a weird trace behind.It's very flesh-toned and powdery to my nose...smells like women's makeup powder.I guess it could be worse like some green fragrances that give off a sour remnant.This always throws me for a loop on Zino though.
24th May, 2018 (last edited: 26th May, 2018)
Zino Davidoff was to the late 20th century what Alfred Dunhill was to the early part of said century: a luxury goods tobacconist that somehow became more well-known in working-class circles for it's foray into fragrance than their original product lines. Let me ask you: how many friends do you know have smoked Dunhill cigarettes or Davidoff cigars versus those having smelled or owned one of their perfumes/colognes? Yeah, that's what I thought. Davidoff's first eponymous 1984 masculine was a rather verbose chypre that seemed par for the course in the early 80's battle for mossiest scent on earth, but as powerhouses competed for "most likely to clear a restaurant" award, Davidoff decided to sneak this beauty in 2 years later, and it's a far different animal with a delightfully dynamic contrast of sweet florals and skanky undercurrents that would make it come across like Kouros in drag for the uneducated. Lapidus Pour Homme would ultimately take that train of thought even further with it's total lack of reserve. Zino Davidoff is a tease in a bottle that likes to flirt with the idea of being deliciously scandalous, but it reigned in with barbershop DNA at it's core, so it's more like a drag queen getting groomed on an eve of a performance rather than strolling lackadaisically through the street on Pride Day. Make no mistake, this kind of gender flirtation was all the rage in the mid 80's too, as big hair "glam metal" bands tore it up with more mascara than even my mom could suffer to wear, so I'm sure plenty of totally button-down guys dating their high school sweethearts and working on their bachelors degrees in business management wore this to the office. That's just the decade it was in.

Zino Davidoff is rather special among it's powerhouse peers for being an actual fougère, in that old-school floral way the very first and genre-defining Fougère Royale by Houbigant (1882) was over a century before this. I'm not sure if perfumer Michael Almairac was trying to make an 80's powerhouse rendition of Fougère Royale, but this was his one-off with the house, and his long list of perfumes seems to favor mostly-feminines house like Bond No. 9 or Salvador Dali over male-centric designers like this, so that may be where the feminine twist in this tale originates. Regardless of intent, this does indeed come across very gender-neutral just like Fougère Royale, but still have a fat tonka note in the base alongside sandalwood, amber, vanilla, and cedar to let you know where this one casts it's lot. The top notes are where most of the weirdness comes from, with tart openers like bergamot, clary sage, fighting with lavender and rosewood, which is always weird when it's in the top of a masculine. The middle is just flowers, flowers, flowers, with rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, and geranium, the last of which is the only real common staple in masculines, with rose being more common in the male stuff of the 19th century (perhaps another nod to yore from Michael Almairac) than the late 20th. Wearing this on skin means those crisp herbs and woods swirl around the florals, causing confusion above what is otherwise a standard Fougère foundation, making this skanky like a Victorian brothel stocked with male cross dressers looking to pull a fast one, but also smooth and confident in it's end game like the pimp who runs the joint. Some folks like to equate this to a "rotted floral bouquet", and I totally get that with it's use of animalics and dry woods souring the floral notes, making this a typically virile and bombastic 80's creation with a 19th century twist.

Screaming guitar solos, falsetto vocals, and neon bandanas up your elbows will only get you so far in the 21st century, but luckily this will still drive the crowds wild. It's bold ambiguity and sophisticated nature will intrigue any younger person looking for a bottle of the infinitely safer Cool Water (1988) but seeing the Davidoff name and blind-buying this instead. It's "sweet tarts and potpourri" top combined with a masculine and slightly racy fougère base almost fits in perfectly with the fresh aromatic woods scents of the early 2000's, with only it's own 80's loudness truly giving it away. It's another of several unique powerhouses towards the end of this stellar decade of masculine perfumery, and yet another example of designers trying to break free from the shackles of their own oakmoss addiction, as if they were preparing the clean slate wipe coming as the 90's drew close. Later versions with the block Davidoff logo versus the original script one are purported to be much lighter and more synthetic in tone, so perhaps somebody at HQ already realized how in line with current tastes this was and decided weakening it would make for a second life among newfound peers. I've sampled both versions and although the newest iteration is raspier and not as concentrated, it contains the same personality and will "get you there" all the same, just with more sprays. Whatever the case, fans of "dirty yet clean" will eat this up, and everyone else smelling it unawares will be either inexorably drawn to it's confusing mystique, or sent running the other way with worried looks on their faces. It's entertainment for the wearer regardless. Now excuse me while I go shoot a music video on the hood of my DeLorean.
09th February, 2018 (last edited: 26th June, 2018)
I've tested the vintage version a few times with some proper wearings and this is what I think of Zino...

Nuclear strong with some monster sillage that lasts forever. Far more feminine then everyone portrays thanks to that huge floral heart that dominates and the moderately overpowering vanilla which takes the cake in the drydown which is why you see women reviewing this scent, because they're wearing it as well. An amazingly dirty patchouli that's being smothered to death in well, flowers and vanilla. Vanilla should be followed by patch because there's a ton of it in here. I can't stand vanilla so it sticks out in this composition like a giant sore thumb. Me personally, I find this scent nauseating, it's just strange smelling and really not anything that's 'that' masculine. I think everyone reads far too much into the reviews, I did until I started wearing this thing and was bombarded with vanilla and patch on top of vanilla, kinda grodyville.

Edit: I've 'finally' nailed the 'weirdness' factor about this perfume! It smells strange like musty rot, stale air and maybe even an olfactory illusion of a rotting corpse drenched in flowers and vanilla, yumm, just like a mausoleum. This odor that Zino emits is disturbing and turns my stomach. I can't believe that guys actually put this on their skin and think it smells great. My final conclusion, smells like dead people and is nauseatingly strong, I hate this... how appealing.

Here's the definition per Wiki: A mausoleuma is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb, or the tomb may be considered to be within the mausoleum.
12th October, 2017
Definitely an old-school, mature scent but there is some sweetness and woodiness to Zino that gives it a twist, making it feel more modern.

The patchouli running throughout is what gives Zino its mature vibe. However, the base is very nice and enjoyable with its sweet tonka/amber mixed with woody notes.

Very good projection for the first 3-4 hours and then it fades.
27th August, 2017
This review applies only to the original version (DAVIDOFF in script and not in all caps block letters). I wore this fragrance all the time back in the early 90's and it always got compliments from everyone around me. Not only was it unlike anything else people were wearing at the time, the longevity and projection was enormous on it.

When I ran out, I bought it again and it had been reformulated - nasty, terrible stuff that got instantly thrown away. Luckily, some original formula can still be found so I purchased some recently and it's still just as perfect as it was back then.
28th February, 2017
techt Show all reviews
United States
Exactly the same result as with Montblanc Individual, Zino Davidoff smells like rotten fruit, flowers. It's an instant scrubber for me. I can't understand how people could like it and all the positive reviews make no sense to me at all.
17th February, 2017

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