1445 by Castle Forbes is among the nicest alternatives to vintage Azzaro pour Homme which I’ve ever tried so far. While current Azzaro is still great, but – like pretty much any contemporary designer fougère – feeling a bit flat, tame and washed-down, 1445 brings back quite the same mossy-herbal-woody round richness of the vintage, even replicating the same sage-lavender anisic trademark of Azzaro. The differences are subtle, but remarkable enough to make it not too redundant if you already own Azzaro: a muskier, “grayer” base with a sort of “damp stones” feel, some more citrus, a bitter herbal side of tarragon, more cloves (especially on the drydown) and overall, sort of a simpler, more artisanal, and more natural feel, also with a drier, smokier drydown. Castle Forbes’s products are allegedly made in some small countryside in Scotland, and whether that’s true or not, 1445 does indeed smell somehow “simpler”, but rawer at the same time, if compared to the products of a major corporate like Azzaro. I mean – just as you would imagine something manufactured in a small workshop on the Scottish hills would smell. Old-school, natural, foggy and grassy, kind of damp and dark, classy yet straightforward and easy-going. The evolution has some interesting, pleasantly natural transitions; the smell remains herbal and woody, just becoming drier, smokier, darker, spicier (cloves) and with a prominent camphorous feel of mossy-earthy ambergris, with a sort of light metallic aftertaste.
Overall a really traditional, mature, completely uncreative yet very pleasant aromatic fougère. Nothing astonishing, but it smells really good (isn’t that the most important thing, in the end?). The only “unique” feature being that sort of countryside-artisanal feel which makes 1445 smell more easy-going, more natural, somehow more breezy than a proper vintage fougère. Very solid and fine for the price. By the way the bottle I based my review on is a bit older than the ones which are sold today (tartan motif, no allergens listed, I guess it dates back to a dozen years ago at least), so I don’t know if it’s still that good.
Lavender, petitgrain and tarragon with a lime freshness added - a very pleasant opening. Then I get a clove note and a fairly dark patchouli towards the later stages of development - these later stages are a bit duller on my skin and less convincing. Performance is respectable with moderate sillage, adequate projection and a longevity of seven hours on me. Suitable for spring.
Overall a decent aromatic fougère whose later stages are not a well-made as the top notes. To me it hovers just at the border between a positive and a neutral score and although it may develop better on someone else, I will opt for a neutral score here due to its somewhat less interesting base notes. Try before you buy. 2.5/5
This one is dry all around with a slight citrus opening. It is followed by some green notes (probably tarragon) and eventually settles into a not so good patchouli and clove base. Not overly terrible, but not anything good either.
Can't help but think this is very near to Azzaro Pour Homme.
It is indeed very green and has blatant notes of ferns on a light woody base. It seems a little light for an EdP, but nonetheless is affordable - you get 125ml instead of the standard 100ml.
The atomiser could be a bit better. It sprays very little and can sometimes leak/appear to be of cheap quality.
Nonetheless, it is an OK fragrance. I gave it the thumbs up - I wouldn't buy it for myself, but would certainly use it if it were given to me. I am a big fan of the equivalent after shave balm which has a big following amongst straight razor / wet shave users.
On me I get grasses and ferns followed by a mild vetiver/resin dry down. Very nice.
A refined Polo Crest,wonderful green