Perfume Directory

Versace Man (2003)
by Versace

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Versace Man information

Year of Launch2003
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 283 votes)

People and companies

HouseVersace
SupplierIFF
PackagingTino Valentinitsch
PackagingDonatella Versace
Parent CompanyEuroitalia
Parent Company at launchGiver Profumi

About Versace Man

The first masculine Versace scent to be overseen by Donatella.

Versace Man fragrance notes

Reviews of Versace Man

Versace had a troubled time as a house after the slaying of Gianni Versace, and it's perfectly understandable. Donatella Versace stepped up from her Vice President role to share managerial duties with her brother Santo Versace, the latter of whom handled the men's lines, and abolished the Versus fragrance sub-label she had run prior to Gianni's death (given to her by Gianni because she loved perfume). The women's lines, perfume included, continued to do well, but Santo didn't really have much of a nose for fragrances like his sister, so the men's fragrance lines became a lot of show, but no go. Several flankers to the "Jeans" line came and went, the bizzare freshie Versace V/S (2000), gaudily-packaged boring musk that was Versace Jeans Couture Man (2002) alongside yet another freshie in Versace Time for Action (2002), showcased a house that didn't really know what men wanted. To be fair, the early 2000's was a strange time. Retro-revival styles sat alongside licorice and caramel gourmands, ultra-modern experimental Iso E Super bombs or radioactive grapefruit ozonics with club-friendly ambery musk bases, contributing more to the tribal division of vintage, niche, and mainstream camps amongst male fragrance buyers that started fleeing to their corners with the boring-as-Hell "fresh revolution" and "Beige Age" of the 90's, meaning nobody knew where the male market really was going after crowd-pleasing aquatics started running their course. Donatella took position as chief designer and became hands-on with the men's perfume lines as well, launching Versace Man (2003) as a do-over of sorts after all the fabulous missteps. Versace Time for Action and it's flankers would continue a while, but everything outside the primary male lines Gianni himself once oversaw were dropped in favor of Donatella's new aesthetic, which was even more "stereotypically Versace" than before. Versace Man wasn't the savior in the male sector Versace hoped it to be, and indeed a great many men don't even realize this exists, as the flanker Versace Man Eau Fraichę (2006) would completely overshadow Versace Man like Drakkar Noir (1982) did to the original Drakkar (1972), but in much less time.

I feel Versace Man is just so strange that it was doomed from the start, outside of the initial early adopters upon the scent's release or Versace home turf. Versace Man is a quirky semi-oriental/semi-gourmand amber and woods fragrance with a light tobacco in it's base which keeps it from becoming too rich or sweet due to it's synthetics. Domitille Michalon composed this, and is also responsible for the orange creamsicle that was Hugo Boss Boss In Motion (2002), but taking Versace Man in an even more peculiar direction by having a synthetic approach to recreating the smell of... wait for it... grape leaves. This isn't a note very palatable to tastes outside Europe, with the US market, which was the most conspicuous consumers of Versace at the time, being blindsided, even though Versace Man fared well in Europe. Versace Man accomplishes it's odd task of being a synthetic grape leaves scent by using aromachems with a top note intro of neroli, bergamot, black pepper, and angelica, which itself rarely appears in a masculine. Sillage is deceptively low at this stage so don't be tempted to apply more, since Versace Man has a round middle that sneaks up after 15 minutes. Cardamom and saffron do some brief talking before the sweeter meats of the scent take over. A tobacco leaf note similar to Versace The Dreamer (1996) arrives, but a composite amber, Iso E Super "cashmeran woods" note and labdanum submerges it, pulling Versace Man in a supple, androgynous, and apologetic direction started by Chanel Allure Homme (1999), that would be best done in the 2000's among the men's segment by Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme (2006). Versace Man then becomes a tobacco-dusted semi-oriental take on the "Iso E SuperSweetie", my nickname for the mid-2000's precursor to the ambroxan bombs of the 2010's. Sadly, the obtuse grape leaves opening takes this endeavor too far left of mainstream appeal. Longevity is decent for a day, but this is too playful for a work scent, and too quiet for a play scent, plus A lot of things in this vein would be dropped when the second wave of aquatics started hitting in the latter half of the 2000's. Sillage is moderate once Versace Man opens up, but it's definitely no shining star like Eros (2013), although I do remember smelling this a lot on guys in the mid-2000's not knowing what it was, so it saw a brief flurry of use.

Noses in American and Asian markets reasonably gravitated towards the more-conventional Eau Fraichę, which sort of became the unofficial Versace Man pillar in those markets once sales of this one sharply sloughed off. Retro-chic heavy-hitters like Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003) and Gucci Pour Homme (2003) held the attention of mature guys, and the youth were still busy rolling in super-fruity ozonics, so Versace Man had a very limited target of the pre-recession post-college career millenial who wanted a Calvin Klein Obsession for Men (1986) but with an effeminate style which appealed to his own generation. I do like the smell of grape leaves, having experienced them plenty in food, and for those who haven't, they might get an unshakeable impression of powdered grape Kool-Aid (matching the bottle color) for just a few moments before the rest of the semi-oriental/semi-gourmand bouquet kicks into gear. There isn't enough tobacco to make this a choice for a tobacco scent lover, but anyone that likes the fruity-sweet understated vibe of this era's "metrosexual" fragrance trend will find little fault in Versace Man for trying to augment it with a heavier base, which in modern times gives it decent transgender and unisex flexibility. Availability of this in stores evaporated after Versace Pour Homme (2008) created a new male flagship line to replace Versace Man, while Eau Fraichę lived on, but stock can still be found at discounters, eBay or mom and pop shops. No official discontinuation news exists for this, but Versace Man just fell through the cracks so there's virtually no mention nor demand for it these days, making it inadvertently cult in status, even confusing some into thinking it's a flanker of Eau Fraichę and not the other way around. A vexing acquired taste of a scent, but far more original than most male-marketed 21st-century Versace output, Versace Man is the furthest from being blind-buy worthy, and then only explored by people interested in the dark horses of the oft-maligned 2000's. Thumbs up from me, but with the caveat that I find the scent more entertaining for personal reasons than something truly noteworthy for someone looking to reviews for solid recommendations.
15th October, 2018 (last edited: 16th October, 2018)
Two words : "Underrated Masterpiece"
19th November, 2017
Soft and sweet tobacco scent that has a subtle grape note that matches the color of the bottle.

This is one of those very versatile scents that doesn't excel or stand out in any one thing but is good for many occasions.

I definitely get the sweet, florally tobacco that reminds me of Dreamer throughout, but I also noticed the citrusy bergamot in the opening. The drydown is more an emphasis on the creamy amber notes.

Projection is okay for the first hour but then it softens to a close-quarters scent only.
23rd May, 2017
Used to love this one, got in europe hard to find in the purple one in united states. The soft tobbaco smell makes this one great for evening wear. Love it.
02nd January, 2017
I am firmly convinced that if a niche brand came up with this very fragrance in the past season, probably many would be raving about it. “Smooth tobacco gem”, “luxury modern Oriental”, “classy underwear killer” and so on, they’d say. I would even dare to think Creed could easily make something like this and sell it for ten times the price, but I’m too young and handsome to burn in hell yet. Anyway I say all of this because Versace Man has them quite all: it’s elegantly sweet, it’s really easy to like, it smells quite above most of other Versace offerings quality-wise (it didn’t take much), and it’s mild and light enough to keep it classy. So either this fragrance is quite underrated, or perfumery has gone down to the point any average-quality designer from a dozen years ago smells like today’s finest. Most probably it’s the first for me. Either way, Versace Man is really nice – and only that matters. I think it anticipates many “smooth and sweet-smoky metrosexual” scents based on similar notes, and to some extent, also floral-musky sweet fragrances with a shade of dusty dark like Dior Homme (I am not saying they smell similar; just that it anticipates some of Dior’s key features and the overall concept). It bears quite some similarities with Versace Dreamer as well, but it smells decidedly more modern and with some significant differences, notably more warm, spicy-musky powderiness and a typical “sweet-plushy nondescript woodiness” which so many scents from the 2000s had.

If you’re wondering how it smells, well: saffron and tobacco are quite the main notes here, surrounded by a warm, a bit synthetic but cozy enough accord of amber, clean musk, mild peppery spices and a tad of citrus-infused light flowers. So basically a warm, smooth, aromatic and slightly “dusty” blend with a fresher-gentler feminine touch, but also a whole “classy, kind of dark masculine sense of confidence” due to amber, tobacco and spices. It also quite linear though, evolving towards a disgracefully short-lived ambery-woody-musk drydown still with nuances of saffron and spices, mostly cardamom. As for tobacco and saffron, which dominate the first couple of hour or so, I surely don’t get any difference with several more expensive or praised saffron or tobacco scents from today – from L’Artisan Parfumeur to Santa Maria Novella Tabacco.

Overall this fragrance is really decent to pretty much all extents, and I’d mildly recommend it; there’s nothing astonishingly outstanding and it surely smells a bit artificial, but has definitely some nice “deep moments”, it is surely classy and versatile, it’s decidedly discreet so it can perform fine in any situation, and it doesn’t smell (overly) cheap or derivative – on the contrary, as I said, I personally see it as a neglected precursor of more recent trends. The longevity is tragic though.

6,5-7/10
10th November, 2015
Heady. A nice deep purple swirl of tobacco and spicy saffron keep this on the darker, sensual side. A powdery cloud texture projects with more than ample strength and gives way to a well composed amber note in the base. The amber is superior in quality to others found in typical designer scents. Spicy florals accent the edges and you're left with a solid option for fall and winter evenings. Somewhat opulent, more oriental than woody, and probably best when worn a little dressed up, Versace Man is the perfect compliment to Versace Pour Homme and a very good value for its price. I tend to shy away from opulent orientals, but the spiciness and comforting amber in the latter stages makes this one very appealing to me. Projection and longevity are superb.
11th October, 2014

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