Arpège pour Homme is an unpretentious scent which I’ve always considered fairly underrated for its value. It is not a masterpiece and not even a “great” scent, but it’s a good, solid mainstream fragrance which would surely fit many perfumistas’ shelves – if they only knew how actually good it is. The genre here is the sweet-powdery-ambery-spicy “metropolitan” and contemporary à la Dior Homme, plus a slight similarity with the equally underrated Jil Sander Man by Wasser & Menardo: here, as in Arpège, there is violet, sandalwood and a soft, polished, synthetic leather note (which I don’t see listed for Arpège, but I clearly smell it). Arpège pour Homme is somehow halfway these two, but spicier, warmer and more Oriental than both, especially in the first stages of its evolution. It opens with sandalwood, violet, spices (comprising also a “juicy” red pepper note), cardamom and tonka, amber, a refreshing yet subtle and silky citrus-bergamot breeze, a woody-balsamic note and a light, mellow and soft leather note. Soft, clean, effortless and “office-safe” elegance, with the right amount of versatile “mainstreamness” but without smelling generic or boring. I used this scent some years ago, right after its release, and I recall it was not a commercial success as I remember buying it for pennies in a mall; once I finished my bottle (which occurred quickly as back then I used mostly 1-2 scents at a time), I did not buy again until now. And now that I smell it again, I realise how distinctive it was, as it did not remind me any other scents – and I surely tried hundreds in the meantime. So, anyway: a bit mainstream, but not dull at all. As I said, the reference may be Dior Homme, not for an actual similarity of notes (well, just a bit), but more for the general inspiration behind this scent; it’s one of those mid-2000s sweet, mellow, soft and slightly feminine scents aimed at a sort of “urban”, thirty-something and office-safe kind of elegance, a bit glossy and trendy too (did we have the term “metrosexual” for this?). Finally, the drydown of Arpège is even better than the first phase, as it’s woodier, smokier, a bit darker and more dry, less “rich” than the opening, still irresistibly powdery and soft. Perfect sillage and solid longevity. Quite unisex too. It’s discontinued but you can still find it for cheap – and my advise would be to grab it, in case.
Soft Unisex Oriental... yet discontinued?
Why discontinue something like this? Arpège pour Homme is a wonderful soft oriental for men that is a mix of tonka bean, iris, pink pepper and vanilla... with touches of jasmine, sandalwood and amber in the base. It's so soft and sexy, I can't see anyone who wouldn't like it!
Right from the beginning I get Mandarin Orange and Pink Pepper... followed by jasmine and settling into iris and tonka bean (a lot of tonka bean), before turning into a sandalwood & vanilla combination. I think it's innovative and unique enough to stand out from many of the male fragrances... it's sexy in an edible, yummy way (like you almost want to eat it)!
When I wear this I think of one thing... smooth Jazz music! Imagine being in a blue-lit underground jazz bar with a smooth, cool sound playing in the background... a little Miles Davis perhaps? There's a guy sitting at his table, enjoying a cocktail with a female friend... the band keeps playing, never too loud. They are enjoying the company, the conversation, the soft mood, the unique atmosphere of the place... and I think this is a fragrance that would create that atmosphere.
Some have said it's similar to Dior Homme... well I would say there is a 60-70% similarity, but this is more "oriental" (it has more tonka bean and vanilla). Also the pink pepper makes a nice touch which wasn't in Dior Homme. The main difference is the leather that was in the Dior which is absent here. I actually find this one more similar to L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme in the "soft oriental" category.
Earlier reviews have more or less nailed this from various perspectives. I'd like to add my story.
APH is one of those fragrances whose DNA you smell in so many others released after it.
There's this gorgeous balance of modern masculinity, sensuality, and control to it that you don't experience very often, it speaks of quality.
The way pink pepper, iris, jasmine, tonka interact here, all very popular accords for the last 8-10 years, and often very overdone or poorly done, is a real treat.
Smelling this today after about 7 years makes me think (while wearing Guerlain l'Homme Ideal) that this is the sort of thing Wasser might've been trying to achieve in marrying the tres-popular boisee-sec skeleton so common now with a plush, floral oriental accord.
Of course, that's not what Wasser was trying to do in reality, but it almost feels like it, and Olivier Pescheux unwittingly anticipated this trend nearly 10 years earlier.
They smell nothing alike, but thats the feel I get smelling this.
I'm quite surprised this was discontinued so quickly, it really is a lovely rendition of the nicer aspects of modern male perfumery trends. Like many other perfumes, I wish this was available in different concentrations and body care products like the old days.
Its a very handsome and versatile fragrance.
Let's dive right into it.
The opening of this fragrance is a warm and sweet scent mixed with peppery aroma and slightly smokiness.
The vanilla here has almost a boozy smell at the start but this boozy scent faded away really quick.
As time goes by the scent become sweeter and darker and beautiful iris note gave it a little powdery feeling.
The powdery feeling is not as strong as Dior Homme or even Dior Homme Intense for example, but it's there and you can feel it.
I think I'm the first one who mention this, but I can detect leather note in this fragrance!
The Tonka Bean note can give the scent almost a smoky aroma but smoky scent that I take in the dry down and specially base of this fragrance is way much more than that!
So I would say there is leather note in this fragrance that give the sweet and slightly powdery scent of this fragrance a very good masculine aroma.
All and All, it's a very charming and attractive fragrance and if you do enjoy these type of fragrances you will never regret buying it.
Projection is very good and longevity s above average.
I like it.
The juice in my sample is dark brown.
Not purple like the bottles.... weird.
This stuff is very sexy.
To me it's useless to try to point out specific notes, since the notes are very interwoven.
It contains quite a bit of florals, not only iris.
I get a fruity vibe.
The vanilla is slightly boozy.
Sounds like a feminine fragrance, right?
Well, it carefully walks the line of unisex.
Slightly tipping to the masculine side.
But it will keep you in doubt.
It's fascinating. You can't stop smelling yourself.
I got this sample when I was a newbie.
It was way too daring for me.
Now I love it.
I should have bought this...
Arpege pour Homme is grossly underrated.
This is so much better than the regular Dior Homme.
It outshines Midnight in Paris, which I totally hate.
The "feminine notes for guys" theme was perfected in DHI though.
Pros: Sexy. An unknown gem.
Cons: Might be too feminine for some. "