When Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez praise a men’s fragrance to the skies, I get curious, and then I prepare myself for disappointment. More often than not, their idea of a “great masculine” coincides closely with my idea of boring as hell. (Some exceptions: Derby, Exhale, Dia, Or Black, Cuir Pleine Fleur.) Imagine my shock when their glowingly reviewed Scent 79 turned out to be one of the best smelling things I’ve tried in months!
Mark Buxton’s Scent 79 is a dry, green floral – woody composition that’s not too far removed in spirit from Givenchy’s Insensé or Paco Rabanne’s Ténéré. It’s drier and more angular than either of those great masculine florals, yet also more transparent. As it evolves Scent 79 takes on a smoky character that echoes both Buxton’s earlier work for Comme des Garçons and Bertrand Duchaufour’s austere incense fragrances like Dzongkha and Avignon. I find Scent 79 especially remarkable for combining light weight and clarity with tremendous projection. How any fragrance can be at once so potent and so transparent is a fascinating puzzle to me.
Scent 79 is linear in its progress, which is fine with me, since I enjoy the principle accord it establishes. The stuff persists for hours then slowly fades into a drydown of cedar, leather, and smoky vetiver. Very nice work, this one!
02nd July, 2014 (last edited: 03rd July, 2014)
Pleasant little surprise
Strangely the recent version of Scent 79 Man`s top notes remind of a small scale version of "Jules" with their sage and soapyness. As a clean and somewhat synthetic scent, it certainly lacks the deepness, the florals, the urinous accents and overall quality of the Dior but nevertheless comes as a big surprise within the recent mainstream. There`s a certain tension in it; there are herbs, dry woods, a crisp citrusy incense and a soapy musk along the road in an arrangement that`s different to most of the well-known aromatics. After 2 to 5 hours of decent projection it settles down non-powdery as a beautiful skin scent with a slightly sweaty, bitter mossy backdrop that can also be found in recent (thinner) versions of aromatics like Azzaro pour Homme or Paco Rabanne. It leaves a nice whisper on clothes and applied to hair. Pleasant little thing for a reasonable price (here in Germany). Review based on recent re-release; bottle pictured below.
Pros: different to the recent mainstream; NOT boring; nice price
Cons: a bit synthetic"
This one was starts out as a dry/smoky fragrance, granted by sage and incense. Bad? No, but isn't good as well.
Trough time, the floral heart appears, giving a new aspect to this fragrance, but it doesn't last long...
At the base we finally have a hint of vetiver dominated by a leather smell, which in my opinion, is the best part of this fragrance. Longevity and projection isn't that good when we are talking about Scent 79... Overall, this is pass to me.
Perfumery industry nowadays produces masterpieces so sparingly that it’s actually forbidden for someone to have great expectations for a scent just by hearing the name of the perfumer or even the house that puts it in the market. You expect something great and you get a good one instead. Scent79 could have been a pleasant surprise if it was released by Aramis, for example. Buxton and Sander means for me much more than a nice and pleasant smell such as this one, so I ‘m afraid I have to agree with Trebor, I too find it quite uninspired. I have smelled more than thirty of good woody-florals and Scent79 is just another one. Balanced and rounded in a quite boring way, lacks the presence of the element of surprise, an accord or even a note that can make the difference. After two or three days you almost forget you smelled it. Just nice.
I really, really liked Scent 79 upon acquiring a decant and testing it, but I quickly grew bored with it and now rarely seek it out. While certainly an improvement, Scent 79 is clearly a signpost along the evolutionary road that began with designer scents like Cool Water - that is, it's a fresh woody/floral fragrance deepened in this case by incense and a hint of leather. I'm sure it's composed of finer ingredients than CW and its ilk (as evidenced by its elevated price), but it's not interesting enough to move me. As others have noted, it's also a very quiet scent, especially once the astringency of the opening dies down. Still, it's pleasant enough - a solid neutral.
Since the previous reviewers did such a bang-up job of describing the scent's progression, I will end with a silly haiku in lieu of proper exposition:
After the rains came:
Kinky monks into leather
Mark Buxton is hot at the moment and Scent 79 is one of the reasons he has gone on to present his own new range. I tested this a long while ago and loved immediately, but thought it had longevity issues so passed it up. But not for long -- this beautiful chypre is straight into rotation and I spray accordingly regarding keeping it going. An eighties feel, but refined and gloriously blended.