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It’s funny how some of the men’s fashions of the 80s such as the ‘mullet’ haircut with, or without, ‘Magnum P.I.’ moustache; white socks and, latterly, those generous ‘MC Hammer’ baggy pants, exist now as comical, retro, museum pieces of sorts that, whilst iconic, might constitute a wanton case of ‘bad choice’ if sported on a first date today unless, perhaps, you are Joe Dirt.
I say ‘funny’, ironically, as parallel to the wonderful costume charades of the 80s was the emergence of some of the most remarkable, sumptuous, and important ‘masculines’ in perfume’s history that still stand head-and-shoulders above most recent ‘for men’ fragrances. The list is endless here, though whether the creation was an ‘aromatic fougere’ or a ‘leather-chypre’, nearly all were characterised with the sort of pugilistic structure and impact associated with Mike Tyson!
So it is with ‘Style’: a gorgeous, exquisitely made, ‘woody/leather/oriental’ creation that transported me back to the 1980s: an experience I savoured as if witnessing a 5-star, 2012 revival of a David Mamet play: the language and structure most certainly of its time, but still hugely relevant; gripping, enjoyable, and somehow uplifting.
Stylistically, I was immediately reminded me of that seductive smoky, leathery, tarry chord so dominant in Trussardi’s definitive, ‘Uomo’. However, ‘Style’ manages to give new life to the former Italian operatic chypre theme by adding a sweeter, sandalwood element that forced me to consider the perfume as an outcome in which the trajectory of Oscar de la Renta’s, robust, ‘Pour Lui’, somehow described a collision course towards Guerlain’s masterly, ‘Heritage’. However, rather than result in scattered chemical wreckage, ‘Style’ instead emerges as a creation of meticulous, highest quality craftsmanship and serenades its luscious warm opening accord with all the opulence and elegance associated with confidently swaggering along Piccadilly towards a night out at The Ritz. Its crowning achievement, however, is its capacity to soften during the dry-down thus allowing its delectable gentle inner muskiness to unfold.
So, Joe Dirt notwithstanding, whilst forms of 1980s raiment should perhaps be reserved for purposes of fancy-dress, 'Style' would in this author's estimation constitute the perfect accompaniment for those posh Black Tie events and thoroughly recommended for first dates!
One of the best from this magnificent house. 8-10
06 December, 2012