Versace's marketing hype of the period notwithstanding, there is no "dark side" to this. You will smell like a Creamsicle. That is not necessarily a bad thing: Orange, vanilla, and...well, not much else. Orange and vanilla.
Later in the drydown a slight woody note emerges which renders the overall effect almost indistinguishable from Suave Citrus Squirt children's shampoo. Thus you will smell like a clean six-year-old.
Astonishingly cheap, in both senses of the word, although there's nothing actively unpleasant about it.
A moment in time
I was fortunate enough to stumble into an Ebay auction where a little 7.5 ml bottle of this (listed as "Gucci Ladys Perfume") became mine for ten dollars.
It's a typical high-quality Italian product of the late seventies--woody chypre with cologne elements and a neat leather phase in the late going. Rich without being heavy or overassertive. Although this GPH is clearly a conceptual ancestor of Azzaro PH, Borsalino, and Gucci's own Nobile, it's smoother and more elegant than any of these.
Is it worth the prices it generally commands now as a "holy grail" vintage? To my mind, no. There are plenty of in-production things that smell just as nice, and just as typical of the period. But it's certainly very good.
Pros: Smells good
Cons: Perhaps not quite equal to its mystique"
I wanted to love it, and in the shop I thought I did. Real-life experience proved otherwise, though, as I found this stuff to be dominated by an acrid turpentine note that (literally) gave me a headache. Everything about the scent says power and quality, but I cannot reconcile myself to it--perhaps I am idiosyncratically sensitive. Anyway, a disappointment.
Reviews suggested that through its apparent similarity to things I liked (GPH I, Dirty English) Intimately Beckham might be a bargain stroke of genius. Unfortunately, while all of the notes were in place--a more finely-modulated Dirty English with a vanillic undercurrent might be a point of reference--IB proved to be perhaps the faintest, frailest scent I have ever worn, whether on skin or on fabric. I literally cannot smell the stuff an hour later after a liberal application. Nor do I appear to be alone in having this problem. Some people can detect it without having to bathe in in, though.
I feel like a philistine saying so, but this composition--a good one, doubtless, balanced and deliberate--doesn't quite measure up for me to the tidal wave of hype that brought it to my collection. A superclean cedar with incense overtones, reminiscent of Tam Dao, but no more interesting; I find it a bit chaste and austere overall. I much prefer its slightly less-vaunted but merrier brother, GPH II.
I think William S. Burroughs might have composed this fragrance. For me it opened with a poisonous assault of carnations soaked in insecticide, the clouds of which parted to reveal hyenas copulating on a bed of rotten magnolia blossoms. Then, after a longish while, the chaos resolved so a rather chalky, gentlemanly fougere with floral overtones. The experience was altogether surreal.
The upshot is that this is probably the nastiest, skankiest 80s powerhouse of the many I have tried. In high doses it would probably cause birth defects. Amazing and worth every penny.
WpH presents a difficult review situation because of the highly fragmented state of bottles, boxes, and reformulations. The following remarks apply to the TALL, FLUTED bottle version in the GOLD/CLEAR box, made in England.
This stuff is an evil travesty of whatever its "true" formulation is or ought to be. Far from "haut concentration," the tall bottle contains perhaps the weakest, limpest dribble that I have ever put on--a dim and dismal sub-cologne smell that makes a ten-dollar bottle of 4711 seem like a powerhouse foghorn in comparison. Clearly it has nothing at all in common with the versions referenced below.
Abysmal, and I have never felt worse about spending six dollars.
The Sick Rose (aka "Ungaro III")
By William Blake
O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
This is one of the strangest fragrances I have tried recently. A volcanic blast of booze detectable two rooms away opens the show, then suddenly shuts down and resolves to a sinister, rather gentle medicated-flower smell: sick-room rose, if not exactly Sick Rose. This in turn fades down to a weakish woody/humidor experience with floral overtones.
The elements of something really interesting are here--"gothic" is a word that's been tossed around, and I agree that the makings of such an atmosphere are in place. But the parts don't add up. Ungaro III is like a roller-coaster that has one really exciting plunge (the first), and then a bunch of nondescript little bumps and turns, and is over altogether too soon. Or like Blake's rose, subverted suddenly by something bad, but not in a way that's much fun.
I'd like to see if the earlier red-cap French versions are any better than the current blend I have. I want to believe in this frag, but it's kind of a mess.
I have for some time been an Aspen booster, for the same reasons that many others have noted: Nice GIT/Cool Water resemblances, unbeatable value for the money. However, I have been troubled in my last few wearings of it by something that oddly I had not noticed before--a major note of methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen) midway through the drydown. While this is not in itself an objectionable smell, as a coach and athlete I can only associate wintergreen with muscle rub and sports liniments--not where I want to go in my frags.
I don't know if it's the weather, changes in my skin, or what, but this experience has tempered my appreciation of Aspen. If you don't get this note, or if it doesn't remind you of an athletic trainer's office, my neutral could be your positive.
Not much I can add to the note-detecting of previous reviewers. There's a lot in here, and it's competent, workmanlike, unobjectionable, and clearly a good value. Ikon is a cozy and rather anonymous masculine with neither the ambition nor the chops to present us with anything groundbreaking or inspiring; its amiability is both its strength and its fundamental limitation. I got mine for $12.00--a bargain, yes, but like that plaid short-sleeved Land's End button-down my mother got me, I wonder when and why I'd ever be moved to wear it.
Perhaps the highest compliment to be paid to this fragrance is that no one seems to know what to make of it--reviewers have called it everything from cold and nasty to warm and Christmassy. I find it a bit cold, if not exactly nasty--it's more abstract and oblique than anything else. I agree that there's a strong inorganic top--concrete as people have mentioned, maybe tennis balls a little. Then there's just a veil, a scrim, a gray and unevocative fougere that you can't penetrate. I guess whether you read it as mystery or mere superficiality depends on you.
25th July, 2012 (last edited: 13th August, 2012)
Pleasant and inoffensive citrus with herbal notes in the beginning, clean and dignified drydown. Resolves for me to citrus for the remainder of its relatively short ride, with a distinct overtone of Ivory soap. Even when applied liberally it's a relatively unmuscular fragrance, lacking stamina; I have difficulty believing that the '67 formulation had so little oomph. Currently available online at ridiculously low prices, this bottle is hard to condemn, but unlikely ever to take a major place in my rotation.
25th July, 2012 (last edited: 03rd August, 2012)
NOT the same as the original, which was light and fresh but with a haunting, even profound undertow. This is banal and two-dimensional, a shadow of its original late-70s/early-80s formulation. Saved from a thumbs-down only because it's too insipid to be terrible, and because I so cherish the source material.
Very nice citrus-forward blend; I seem to pick up more wood in it than do some of the other reviewers here. Got it for a pittance at a CW Price store, so it's a win almost no matter what, but I do find that in cologne strength it just disappears on my skin. At first, not having read carefully, I thought it was EDT and gave it my usual three shots--I was stunned when half an hour later I smelled literally nothing on my arm. Tripling the dose brought results (and I do like the results), but even then, for me, this stuff has VERY short legs.
16th July, 2012 (last edited: 19th July, 2012)