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Vermeil for Men
by Vermeil


Vermeil for Men information

Average Rating
(based on 70 votes)

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About Vermeil for Men

Vermeil for Men is a masculine fragrance by Vermeil.

Vermeil for Men fragrance notes

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

Reviews of Vermeil for Men

Jean-Louis Vermeil is, or perhaps was, a house shrouded in mystery. Nobody knows where it was headquarted, or anything about Jean-Louis Vermeil himself, but the house sprang from nowhere in 1987 and released a series of his and hers scents starting with Maïssa (1987), Casaque (1988), Imagine and Imagine Pour Homme (1989), Imagine Bleu and Imagine Design Pour Homme (1990), before finally laying low for 5 years and returning with the eponymous Vermeil and Vermeil for Men (1995). Vermeil for Men would be followed-up by a series of color-coded flankers throughout the 90's and early 2000's, while the house also released other fragrances with interesting bottle shapes before vanishing. Any internet searching for the address yielded on the bottles turns up a vacant building, while searching for Jean-Louis Vermeil himself will turn up little besides a blurb about the guy being a trained perfumer and getting a business degree in 1980 before magically finding capital to launch a perfume house. There's also a Jean-Louis Vermeil winery, named after the grandfather of retired football coach Dick Vermeil, but the businesses are unrelated. The smell of Vermeil for Men is such an anachronism for it's 90's time period, feeling much more 1980's with it's soapy introduction and slightly animalic floral middle, getting down to business with tobacco at the end, that I'm surprised it has the following that it does, and launched a series of flankers. To make things more tongue-in-cheek, the bottle design of Vermeil for Men is one of the gaudiest I've seen since 70's Avon, being shaped like an actual high-end cigar lighter, with metal flame guard and all, but housing the overwrought perfume sprayer mechanism that's of shaky durability at best.

The smell of Vermeil for Men is quite perplexing as well but also quite good, like a staunch fist shake at conventions of the day by Jean-Louis Vermeil himself, since there's really nothing 90's about it. In fact, we might have another old formula brought to light past it's prime, just like Guerlain did with Coriolan (1998), but with the Vermeil scent, they were only halfway through the next decade rather than near the end of it. As it stands, Vermeil is a very 1980's blend of soapy citrus, rose-lead florals, and 90's-style tobacco nestled on a bed of of patchouli, leather, oakmoss and musk. It's like somebody took the opening of Lomani Pour Homme (1987), married it to the heart of Salvador Dali Pour Homme (1987), and the base of Boss/Boss Number One by Hugo Boss (1985). There's the squeaky-clean bergamot, mandarin, and juniper opening, with a sweet black currant undertone. The middle quickly goes into that dark and murky rose, saddled with ylang-ylang, freesia, violet leaf, and a geranium that sticks out almost as loud as the rose, but lasts longer than the other flowers in the mix. Once the base reaches skin, the florals subside into a piquant aura while patchouli, suede leather, civet, oakmoss, musk, cedar, and vetiver make something that feels like a cross between the aforementioned Hugo Boss scent and maybe also shades of Calvin by Calvin Klein (1981). Then of course, there's the tobacco, which is the one thing actually trending in men's fragrance during the 90's when this was released, and sticking out like a sore thumb compared to rest of the blended base. It almost feels to me like that tobacco was tossed in along with the lighter-shaped bottle, but it's that very same tobacco which makes this so amazing and unique. Blind buys are recommended for the low asking price, especially if you love anything like what I've mentioned above. Vermeil really is almost right in that late 80's pocket, and I do mean just almost, but I don't mind one bit!

It's difficult to say where this stands in the greater scheme of things because it was released way too late for it's style, by a house hardly anyone heard of, and certainly didn't find an audience as the aftermarket is still aswim with the stuff, while other more period-relevant Vermeil scents have risen in price after the house vanished. Vermeil for Men is surely a vintage hound's treasure hunt find, since it's that rare 90's scent which doesn't smell like the clean and boring 90's, but rather is stuck in 80's powerhouse mode, just with a leafy tobacco finish giving it a slight link to stuff like Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme (1994) and Versace the Dreamer (1996). My only complaints here stem from that soapy citrus opening which was better off being used for an aromatic fougère instead of a floral one like this, and the fairly low longevity for something with otherwise knockout performance, since Vermeil for Men roars then becomes a skin scent in 3 hours. The workaround here is just re-applying with that janky sprayer, which shoots out of the side of the bottle instead of the front to boot, making it even more awkward once you get over the shoddy mechanism under all that metal and plastic cladding. Oh well, I guess I shouldn't split hairs too much, since this is effectively a Neapolitan sandwich of an 80's soapy aromatic fougère top, 80's dandy floral fougère middle, and 80's leather chypre base with a touch of 90's leafy tobacco. At the end of the day, this smells like the kind of unique signature fragrance a man with the resources of Jean-Louis Vermeil would commission for himself from another perfumer, which might explain it's amalgam of styles, but released to the buying public with no regard to market trends, which is the part I like most. Not for everyone, and not for all seasons, but a fun little mystery nonetheless.
05th August, 2018
I think I agree about the comparison to Davidoff, and I agree it can smell like pipe tobacco after it develops for a while.

The opening isn't its strong suit, and I agree with the reference below to Irish Spring soap.

During the mid, it can give me an image of soft, worn, dark brown leather, such as a nice leather sofa.

Into the base, it's increasingly floral.

A marginal thumbs up. I'm conflicted. It can produce good moments, but I don't feel comfortable enough to wear it as a date scent.
02nd February, 2018 (last edited: 20th May, 2018)
The mysterious Vermeil pour Homme by Jean Louis Vermeil.

Forget the avalanche of notes, this essentially smells of tobacco and mossy leather. It's totally old school, you can dress it up or down, but it would feel right at home after work in that smoky little beat down jazz club, with inexpensive drinks, unpretentious bartenders and music men who appreciate cool cats like Art Tatum and Ben Webster.

Not much complexity, but reasonably abstract, and its character is simple, honest and totally effective.

It will come to life as long as you're at the club, and linger on thereafter, and be sublime throughout, from the first notes till they fade out.

P.S. It's vaguely similar to Davidoff (1984), minus the glorious citrus-florals-greens of the Davidoff, and a stronger focus on the tobacco accord.

11th January, 2018
Old school boozy tobacco and a close enough dna-match to Davidoff '84, yet for a $fraction$. Arguably one of the best values I've come across while searching. Like that there are still houses like Bogart, Puig, Azzaro, etc...? Well, Vermeil is one of those. Not meant for overthink.

An observation that made me chuckle and that sums it up pretty well: "About Vermeil for Men -- Vermeil for Men is a masculine fragrance by Vermeil." LoL, Nailed it!
12th October, 2017
Vermeil definitely falls into the “powerhouse” category without question! Upon initial spray I get a deep and animalistic oakmoss kick alongside a sweet, almost boozy black currant. I can see where one may say that this is similar to Salvador Dali Pour Homme in it’s animalic nature, but Vermeil is much sweeter and I can only make that connection in the opening…and it is fleeting at best. The Dali Pour Homme is much more dry to me and has this sort of fermented quality to it. I definitely smell the carnation and a tiny bit of galbanum in the florals present here, and although I don’t really pick up on much patchouli or citrus independently at this stage, I can only assume that they are helping to create the freshly-opened-pack-of-cigarettes accord I notice in the middle stages of this fragrance. The carnation note really supports the ‘cigarette tobacco’ feel honestly. The tobacco accord is another characteristic that is lost in the dry down and in the end you are left with a slightly musky, wood/cedar with a bit of oakmoss and a light patchouli. Although this ended up not really being my type of fragrance as it was bit too “heady” for me in the opening and middle stages, it is a great option for someone looking for an affordable powerhouse that has an animalic/oakmoss kick! The longevity on this one is powerful as well and it definitely projects, so be careful upon application.
09th April, 2017
For my nose, whenever I see oakmoss in the pyramid, I recoil with caution. I should had tested this first before blind buying it (although no big loss, $13 for 3.4oz bottle).
I am a big fan of powerhouse scents -- Zino, Witness, Paul Sebastian, Krizia, Jacomo, Azzaro, Quorum, Salvador Dali PH, etc. However, this, to me, smells like a sweaty mess. I tried it three times -- last two times I simply had to wash it off after about two hours. First time, I wore it through -- the drydown takes hours and I like it actually once it settles. However, getting there, to my nose, smells like herbs soaking in poopy sweat. I get no bergamot, black currant, muguet, carnation, yling-ylang, or mandarin orange -- all supposedly present. I do get whiffs of coriander, but mostly I get oakmoss and cedar wrapped in something that smells like a person who hasn't showered in days. Too bad -- I was really looking forward to this bruiser (it is a macho bruiser, I give him that). But not a good fit for my nose. I am not thumbing it down since I sense its power.
22nd January, 2017

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