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Elvis by Elvis Presley (1989)
by Frances Denney


Elvis by Elvis Presley information

Year of Launch1989
Average Rating
Not enough ratings.

People and companies

HouseFrances Denney
Parent CompanyThe Stephen Co
Parent Company at launchFrances Denney

About Elvis by Elvis Presley

Elvis by Elvis Presley is a masculine fragrance by Frances Denney. The scent was launched in 1989

Reviews of Elvis by Elvis Presley

Elvis by Elvis Presley is an almost forgotten-about member of the first-wave celebrity scents that hit the market in the 1980's. Everyone from automakers to teen idols were getting the sense to market scents during the fragrance boom of the 1980's. Sadly, most of these were playing-it-safe affairs sold by downmarket labels like Avon or Revlon at best, or terribly-executed cash-ins from upstarts that just wanted to sell snake oil with somebody's name on it. Frances Denney was a relatively obscure cosmetics house founded by an Irish immigrant who moved to Philadelphia in the late 1800's, establishing what is touted to be the first American-based cosmetics house (something which is hotly contested by Avon under it's original name of California Perfume Company), but only had a series of minor hits throughout the years including stuff like Wild Rose (1940), Interlude for Women (1965) or Adolfo for Men (1981). Denney was on it's last legs as an independent perfumer and probably saw the contract to deliver Elvis by Elvis Presley (1989) as a good way to bail themselves out of trouble, which didn't happen and eventually history shows the house assets being sold off to The Stephan Company, who did who-knows-what with the properties. During it's launch, the scent was often promoted with Elvis impersonators at cosmetic counters of big department chains like JC Penny and included with greatest hits collections on cassette or CD, belt buckles, and other memorabilia. Nobody really knows how long it was made and when it finally was pulled from the market, but enough of it exists at reasonable prices despite nearly 30 years of age to indicate that it wasn't a hot seller, like most early celeb-perfumes. The only other male celeb perfume that I can recall sinking as fast as this probably did was the Billy De Williams Undeniable by Avon (1989), which also had zero input from the celebrity in question, even if he was very much living at the time.

Elvis by Elvis Presley opens with a rather shocking animalic bouquet, lying somewhere between the smooth Belle Epoch approach of Maxim's Pour Homme (1987) and the virile shriek of Balenciaga Pour Homme (1990), before settling into a mulled apple cider spice and tobacco. There's no note pyramid to assist in the journey from opening to skin scent, so I'll have to do the rare impressionistic breakdown and just describe what I get since I can't look for individual notes. The top is definitely bergamot and some kind of herbs, likely thyme and/or sage. There's a strong cinnamon note that presages the later Bogart Witness (1992) or Spark for Men (2003), but it's overtaken by apple, nutmeg, and ginger. The animalic that starts off loud in the open eventually simmers down and feels like a castoreum and civet double-wallop that eventually loses the fight against amber, tobacco, honeyed leather, and possibly a black tea note that crosses so many scents from before and after this was released it's ridiculous. The strong tea note feels like it could be something from Burberry, but the honeyed leather feels more like the first masculine from Ted Lapidus (1978) while the tobacco and amber pull towards Hugo Boss Number One (1985). All in all, it's just a jumble of power notes that each on their own could totally shape the personality of whatever masculine they're in, but together just exchange punches in a battle royale for control over your nose. Ironically, the concentration isn't the greatest on this scent, as it's an actual spray cologne and not an eau de toilette, so all this cacophonous masculinity is thankfully turned down and just remains a dull roar on skin after only a few hours. Over-application or shirt-sprays would fix this, but then you'd absolutely smell as loud as Elvis' costumes were gaudy towards the end of his career.

It's funny this died out because it is an Elvis product after all, and the fanaticism of his fanbase is eternal much like The Beatles so I'd have expected better turnover. By comparison, scents from musicians like Jay Z or actors like Antonio Bandaras seem to fly off shelves in the modern age. Maybe it took that long for Americans to lose distinction between a person's fame and why they're famous (hello Kardashian family), so anyone's name can be on the bottle as long as they have some sort of clout, even if they had nothing to do with the perfume inside, or in Elvis' case, weren't even alive to witness it's release? I don't know if the King of Rock and Roll would have worn this stuff, but it was sold as the "King of Colognes" too, which probably didn't do itself any favors outside the Elvis legion, since anything self-asserting is usually laughed at in this industry. Overall, Elvis by Elvis Presley is an odd but also oddly delicious little scent that tries to be everything a man could want in a bottle: strong, yet sweet; masculine, yet comforting; bold, yet approachable. It's just a pot lock of aesthetics in a bottle that makes it a bit of an animalic-fueled chimera. Elvis the cologne is certainly very 80's, unlike Elvis the singer, and it's right at home in collections of guys who like powerhouses, but just smells like so much other stuff off and on that it might only suit as a dumb grab for the guy that can't pick what type of 80's scent he wants so he picks the one that kinda covers all the bases. If Elvis had lived to see this come to fruition, I doubt he would have worn it, because his wardrobe was well-documented, and contained far more powdery fare like Brut (1963), Hai Karate (1967), and the occasional bottle of Zizanie (1932). Still, it's a cool little ambery animalic that I would have enjoyed regardless of who's name was on the bottle.
12th June, 2018 (last edited: 13th June, 2018)
Stardate 20161021:

A nice retro animalic the likes of Boss No 1.
Has a mish mash of notes - tea/tobacco, cider and animalic.
Longevity and projection not so great.

Cheap and decent.

If you like Boss no 1 , Madras, Giorgio BH you should try this out but these three (vintage version of course)are better imo

21st October, 2016
Bigsly Show all reviews
United States
This would be a unisex niche scent today, as it is powdery, ambery, animalic, spicy, and quite heavy. Another reviewer said he smelled apples at first, and there is some sort of fruitiness for a while. He also said there is tobacco but I think that's castoreum (in combination with some of the other notes). This could be a Serge Lutens scent, but I actually like the smoothness of this one better than most of the Lutens I've sampled. Also, it doesn't smell "synthetic" at all. I thought it might be similar to something like Sex Appeal for Men, but it's considerably better, IMO.
27th April, 2016
This brew is a spice bomb...and not in a bad way. It reminds me of Bogart's Witness, but with less cinammon and balanced with other thyme, sage, and wonderful amber and tobacco...even oakmoss. This is a pleasant experience. Def not something I would wear everyday, but certainly on those cold days when I'm craving a warm ambery spicey fragrance, this will be in the running. A pleasant surprise!
14th October, 2011
man114 Show all reviews
United States
Weird. Complex. Strong (very much so for a cologne). Anamalic, amber, tobacco, apples, spices, smoke, leather its all there. I've had a bottle for years and never worn it until today. It starts off smelling of apples, then has an amber anamilic scent. It has a nice middle of spices that is fairly benign, the end is apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, smoke, almost like taking a whiff of a Christmas candle. I don't mind it. I need more time to decide whether I actually like it.

Update, I'm switching this to a Thumbs Up following some more trial wear. It actually is quite pleasant and spicy. Longevity is good. You get the Apples up front, the greenish scent of this coupled on top of the amber/nutmeg/spices/smoke creates the anamalic note it seems as opposed to it being something additional . This only lasts for the opener. Then you have a long long spicy phase, which depending on temperature at which you use this can be boozy if you like that sort of thing, and and time smells almost Chirstmasy with all the nutmeg and spices.

The spices eventually subside leaving a musky, tobacco and leather drydown with some of the spices still evident.

Longevity was pleanty to last from the morning until bedtime. Projection strongly depends on temperature. A tolerable amount applied during the cold winter is pleasant and close to the skin, the same amount when it is warm projects like a cloud.

It dosn't smell cheap considering it once was (I remember buying some at Hills Department Store once for a few bucks), however these days the price is almost Elvis worthy. Is it worth trying? It depends on your tastes it is kind of unique.
27th January, 2010 (last edited: 16th March, 2011)
Strange and powerful fragrance. My dad used to own it before it was discontinued. I remember it was very sweet and almost intoxicating and very musky, somewhere in between caramel, tobacco, smoke and leather. Dark and strong, a somewhat indecisive mix of many owerpovering notes. I don't know if the king would wear something like that, as it was created after Elvis's death.
18th February, 2006

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