I don't like this. I'm younger and I guess don't need to smell like Hemingway's drink. It has no sense of pleasing rum anyway for me. Even as an office scent it feels pungently offensive and...flat? Like a very unripe fruit.
I'd like to start by saying that there's a huge difference between "safe" or "conservative" and "unoriginal". I can't think of another fragrance that smells exactly like this. Also I try to keep outside the whole culture of fragrance enthusiasts and enjoy staying out of all the drama over new releases and let me just say that from the outside looking in, people are looking pretty silly when they complain about new Guerlain scents. Let's not forget that Wasser isn't the only Guerlain nose who has made scents that aren't always well-received in the community.
Anyway as for the scent itself. At the start there's line and mint combining to create that "mojito" accord. I don't get any rum personally. What strikes me is a very strong green tea scent which I think makes this fragrance very unique despite the criticisms. If you've tried Guerlain's Tokyo, you'll recognize the green tea immediately. It's potent and lasts well into the middle with little hints remaining even in the drydown. It's interesting to note that Tokyo seemed more well-received in the community overall but this scent took that potent green tea note that I didn't think was well-balanced in Tokyo and actually utilized it to its full potential and balanced it effortlessly. I wonder why green tea isn't listed in the notes here or on "that other site that wants to be Basenotes but isn't as cool" but I'm not the only one who detects it, and I find it a strong part of the scent.
There's also a persistent gentle soapiness from the bergamot and floral accord, not enough to smell soapy overall but enough to feel clean. This lasts longer than the mojito accord and is pretty distinct from it.
The third accord is another very distinct one, and that's the gentle base. It's soft and powdery and like some Guerlains gets dangerously close to baby-wipes but overall the base stays more on the woody side of things and doesn't go full-on Cottonelle on you. It's just an effect of the soapy undertones.
This smells high-quality and I don't believe it is deserving of the negativity. The quality here is great and it's well-blended and pleasant. I can't think of another mojito-green-tea-floral-vetiver-cedarwood cologne out there. This smells clean, safe, and always appropriate. It was my first blind buy and was well-worth the twenty bucks for an ounce. Definitely FBW!
Guerlain Homme opens with a very natural mojito accord (consisting of mint, lime, white rum, and sugarcane) that quite literally smells like the drink itself. After awhile it transitions into a woody, citric, and slightly powdery vetiver. This is a great spring fragrance that reminds me of being on vacation.
Strangely enough, Guerlain Homme's three flankers are equally amazing.
Guerlain Homme opens up with a lime/mint blast that is very invigorating. It's almost a bit much at first, but this opening makes it a fragrance that will give you some serious relief in the extreme heat of summer when initially applied. Right after you get that cooling blast, you can start to pick up on the rum note. It's not very pronounced, but it does a good job of sweetening the fragrance a bit while adding a sense of density and darkness to the mix. As it dries down, the vetiver and cedar join the show, but they only play supporting roles. That lime/mint combo is truly the star of the show, and it lingers throughout the entire duration of the fragrance.
It's a lovely scent, but the performance is terrible. It projects for up to 2 hours, and then it completely disappears after that.
To me, I think this is a relatively versatile fragrance if you don't factor in the poor performance. The mojito vibe is great for casual wear, but when the darker notes mix in with that clean feel, this scent seems perfectly suited for a professional setting. It can be worn day or night, and it's a good option for all seasons except winter.
From strictly a scent standpoint, I think it would be hard to find a designer fragrance better than this for the summer at this price point, but with its weak longevity, I couldn't justify keeping it in my collection. However, if you're not totally against the fresh-y trend and don't need beastly performance, definitely give this one a try.
Star Rating: 3/5
Bottom Line: Unique, quality fragrance in the crowded designer citrus market that unfortunately suffers from poor performance
26th June, 2014 (last edited: 21st August, 2014)
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Some weeks ago I attended a long religious service, during which my nostrils were assaulted by a thick, cloying, powdery-sweet woody scent of excruciating potency. I was eventually able to trace the source to my wife’s cousin Howie, seated on a bench three rows ahead of us. I spent the remaining two hours of the service alternately wondering what the loathsome fragrance could be, and silently cursing cousin Howie for dumping half a bottle of it over his head.
I take it all back, Howie.
The scent, I now realize, was Guerlain Homme, of which I’ve found mere drops suffice to fill a room with a screaming miasma of crude, banal, overly sweetened drydown materials. It’s the same material that appears in countless cheap mass market fougères and woody scents for men, but the magic of Guerlain manages to amplify it to nose hair curling volume.
I will concede that Guerlain Homme opens with a charming boozy citrus accord that does evoke the advertised mojito cocktail. Unfortunately, that accord lasts all of five minutes before it’s bulldozed by the powder bomb basenotes, which plow on in linear fashion and shocking intensity for hours unless diligently scrubbed off. The scent works orders of magnitude better on paper than on my (or cousin Howie’s) skin, as the “mojito” accord persists much longer to balance out the base.
I do, as have others, detect a remote similarity to the discontinued Yohji Homme, which employed a similar sweet, powdery base, but did so with much greater finesse and subtlety. Guerlain Homme has some of the boozy anise flavor that marked Yohji Homme, but Guerlain sets it in more opaque surroundings and thereby robs it of grace.
Guerlain Homme shares with Sécrétions Magnifiques the remarkable distinction
of being at once boring and offensive, and I predict that men will buy it by the gallon. Please lord, just don’t let them sit near me.