Perfume Directory

McGraw Southern Blend (2009)
by Tim McGraw


McGraw Southern Blend information

Year of Launch2009
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 33 votes)

People and companies

HouseTim McGraw
PerfumerRichard Herpin
Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Beauty

About McGraw Southern Blend

Tim McGraw: “I just wanted something understated and cool — something where you didn’t feel like you were putting on some sort of French name, something that had a masculine feel to it. They’re both everyday fragrances, but Southern Blend’s a little lighter. I always picture a field when I think about [Southern Blend].”

McGraw Southern Blend fragrance notes

Reviews of McGraw Southern Blend

That same McGraw schtick
Reveals inner niche.

Lose the vanilla
From ice cream in your whiskey
To old books, crisp pods.

Gain the tobacco
That fresh pack you can now smell
On a clean dashboard.

Let the alcohol
Be the alcohol, with a
Hint of something left.

Fragrance, right on cue, real to

Love the electric
Bass of tbe original
Loud hot country crap

But that roadhouse bar
Where country dies a thousand
Nightly neon deaths

Isn't country's heart
But rather its crucifix
Lest it be reborn

In some old stables
Barely playable guitar
Left in some corner

Awaiting some hands
Needing no amplifier
Hearing no last call

And remembering
Some scratchy distant station
In that old pickup

Truck with windows down
Smelling like Sunday morning
Maybe missing church

But remembering
Some song with hallelujah
That plays anywhere.

Love the acoustic
Guitar of this real country
Mystery station.
01st May, 2018
Tim McGraw's "McGraw Southern Blend" was an accident, but a happy one, and I'd say both for me, the person who's name adorns the bottle, and the corporate backer Coty Inc. Anyone with knowledge of perfume who gets this as a gift will expect little, and rightly so, while anyone without such knowledge who is blindsided by this in their stocking will probably have an epiphany about fragrance itself upon discovery. It certainly isn't some prince in pauper's clothing, but neither is it demographic-driven swill that will sell at face value, like so many celebrity-branded scents that have come and gone over the course of the past 30 or so years they've existed. McGraw evidently has some modicum of artistic input on the stuff bearing his name, and I can say he has simple, if not elegant taste. However, within the small spectrum that is his fragrance brand, not all things are created equal and this is a creation he's lucky to be the herald of, since something of it's design could easily be upped in concentration and marketed as a niche product for much more money. The whole idea behind the initial two fragrances was something plain-spoken and masculine, so it's no surprise that ambery barbershop and bay rum vibes run throughout them both, but while the eponymous fragrance was almost entirely an amber scent with some woods and lavender on top, this one shows a bit more artistry and sophistication, almost bringing a gourmand-like quality with the spice and grapefruit that mixes with the barbershop foundation which carries over from the debut scent. It's most appropriately McGraw 2.0, and rather nice for what it is. I'm not usually one to indulge in mass market stuff unless it's vintage (sorry Coty, Avon has my heart in that regard), but this one could easily not be if it was just a tad deeper.

As it stands, McGraw Southern Blend is a sweet and rounded scent that opens with grapefruit, bergamot, and anise. It really has a lovely way of reminding me of Avon Leather (1966) in that anise, but this is no leather chypre and it soon takes us down through a boozy whiskey note that burns off to leave behind some lavender before finally settling in on that barbershop base, which really brings out the niche character in the way the tobacco and vetiver play with that amber. It's a rare "man's man" accord that could easily go toe to toe with barbershop revivals like Penhaligon's Sartorial that would come out a year after this (2010) and hold infinitely more respect than this if only because it's from Penhaligon's, has 3 times the notes and blending, plus will last longer than 4 hours on skin. It compares most to Hervé Léger Homme (2010) by Avon, but is less woods-oriented than that one. Bluntly, this is the same tailored gentleman vibe channeled through US southern gentry culture, so it's simpler, a little more shameless about it's own indiscretions, but will show the same degree of honor and grit if challenged as any proper English gentleman across the pond, if not more. It doesn't need fanciness and a textbook worth of scruples to make it's point, but what it's sorely lacking is concentration, which supposedly states EdT on the bottle, but methinks is really EdC, which I reflect in my score. As an ambery barbershop with both a boozy and smokey attitude, it perfectly fits the singer who's brand it represents, but I kind of wish something like this had been conjured up by Caswell-Massey instead, if only because it would get more serious perfume fans to actually try it, as anyone who's spoken highly of this as myself does so with apparent surprise in their tone. The average Joe this is lobbed towards would just come back with "it smells good" in their review or Facebook post, if they even bothered that much, which is what hurts this the most.

McGraw Southern Blend's mass-appeal market position coupled with it's celebrity tie-in notoriety ironically makes it unsung with the people who could really give it the credit the scent deserves, as it's declared a failure sight unseen. Granted, I wouldn't have purchased this myself not knowing how it smells first, and likely will not replace it when gone, but that's more to do with it's perennial discontinuation after the holidays and Tim McGraw fans eventually driving the prices up until new yearly gift sets appear, which compounds with any perfume collectors interested in buying it to wear regardless of the name. It's still reasonable to get at the time of this review (winter) but in summer months forget it, and who knows when the next holiday season will be the last? This is another indication of how the marketing and presentation ultimately hurt this. In short, it's a boozy, smokey barbershop scent that straddles fougere, oriental, and gourmand lines, making it a simple, perfectly abstract, and memorable masculine for the guy that wants to smell rustic but still civilized. It's attachment to Tim McGraw is both a blessing and a curse as without him, it probably wouldn't have been made, but because of him, it won't stand the test of time. It's also a cheap thrill (for the moment) if you like tobacco-oriented scents and aren't ready to toss Tom Ford your money, but for only a bit more, you could just as easily buy any number of similar scents that were also coming into vogue at this time. Gold records and marriage to Faith Hill sold separately.
19th January, 2018 (last edited: 27th February, 2018)
There is no real "depth" to this, as in not giving the impression of expensive ingredients or in large dose but it smells really nice.

If you're just getting started in the whole fragrance collection hobby or just want to smell nice on a budget then this is IT, especially for cooler weather.

For what you get, it seems like they're almost giving it away. If you like or seek a boozy/tobacco/sensual scent then this is a place to start and then move on up to Thierry Mugler's Pure Havane or Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille.

McGraw's Southern Blend is certainly masculine and a keeper, a good number of people on youtube and fragrance review sites talk about lack of projection or lifespan. For me it was good, so keep that in mind.

05th February, 2017
Picked this up for the good reviews, intrigued by some notes I like (whiskey, tobacco leaf, anise), and the absolute rock bottom price point. Two things were clear right away: it smells damn good and there are performance issues. I sprayed about twice as much as I usually do just to get a really good whiff of it. That said though the sillage isn't half bad (I think), as others still noticed it when I didn't.

Spicy, but almost all from the tobacco note, and not much else. The whiskey blast is pronounced at the start but fades quickly. Amber, Vetiver, Lavender, and Anise support this one.

Thumbs up for producing an almost niche quality smelling scent, albeit with anemic performance. But for the ridiculously low price it's easy just to reapply.
01st March, 2015
This one is quite a nice cheapy, but longevity is not very good. What we have in Southern Blend is a VERY spicy, masculine fragrance. Whiskey, tobacco, amber, leather, all big notes, all play a big role here. Violet leaf and lavender in the middle make it slightly floral, and there's some vetiver in the dry down, but not much. I would say this one focuses on the old barrel whiskey accord, this is the central note, it's very spicy, and it's very dominant, so make sure you like the smell of whiskey, or you won't like this.

I stumbled upon this gem at the end of 2009, and have been through several bottles. It's become a staple in my collection. It also gets compliments, but usually only within the first 20 minutes of wearing it, although I did wear it to a wedding, and received a compliment several hours into the night, so who knows. I do know that I can't detect it on myself whatsoever past the 4 hours mark, but it's inexpensive enough, so I can reapply.
22nd March, 2014
Despite the dreadful marketing and hideous packaging, this is really quite nice. An interesting and sophisticated (in a Country Western way) dominant note of bourbon and sweet tobacco over classic, masculine underpinnings of vetiver, lavender, and amber. The balance is excellent and the materials are of good quality. The net result is pleasing with some distinction and originality and just a bit of an edge. Excellent longevity as well.

Like most celebrity fragrances, McGraw is really a Coty product. It is worth noting that Coty, a huge, well-managed company that still bears the name of the greatest and richest perfumer of all time, is probably unsurpassed in turning out decent product at a reasonable price and can afford to take a few risks now and then (Davidoff is another Coty brand). Coty didn't get successful by accident. Too bad snobbish prejudices cause many to remain ignorant of its better efforts.

02nd August, 2012

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