In this review I am going to do a head to head comparison of Ouragan and Xeryus Rouge because they are so similar.
The departures are essentially the same, Orange Tango; pimento, thin exotic fruit and citrus in XR, and OU has bergamot, mandarin and orange, and some sharpness, but here its more restrained.
There is the same formica-like, clear sour woody-plastic off note in both of them.
They both also have an aromatic herbal component but Xeryus Rouge is dryer, more acidic and spare and has better definition. Ouragan leans more towards the aromatic and then gets sweeter and more floral as time goes on, spreading wider, getting softer and becoming warmer with spice.
OU evolves in the direction of sweetened geranium. This makes for a decent transition which moves the profile through from citrus down to the sweet ambery powdery base.
By contrast there's a problem with the central section of XR. Its a version of Xeryus, but the woody musky heart is far back in the mix and reads only as a weak floral element. Although its detectable on paper, in practice the heart stays very much in the background and as a consequence the profile feels hollow. There is only this recessive mild floral and sweet woody musk accord to connect the pimento top with the powdery vanillin and balsamic base.
The two works very much prioritise opposite ends of the formula. XR spins out the long lasting trim head, pulling it down over the sweet fluffy woody core, and there's really no base to speak of.
OU inevitably diverges from this pattern because its a regular three part structure with a fully worked out base. The base is where OU reaches its climax, a dark woody sandal and amber overlay accompanied by a strengthening warm spicy note. There's also possibly vetiver to give an extra demerara sugar fullness to what is a comparatively much richer and more successful drydown.
The heads are different in detail but broadly similar in outline, piquant orange citrus. From below the top and down to the base the central core of both works is very similar, except that OU has been given some extra padding. Its only in the base that they really diverge.
So, it seems likely that OU was, shall we say, inspired by XR. One is more powerful, piquant and spare, the other a sweeter, bland and fuller version of the same subgenre or species, namely woody citrus (powdery).
One point of criticism; the off note is present in both formulae but in XR its more intrusive, stronger and longer lasting. There's no place for the off note to hide in the compact profile of XR, but the broader and more fluffy body of OU manages to cover it up sooner. And so, to be consistent I've had to mark XR down.
Another point; Ouragan is available in supermarkets and costs a third of what Xeryus Rouge was selling for in the perfume shops.
In summary; OU is the more mainstream, safe, fuller and more natural smelling of the two, while XR is more adventurous, more aggressive, more spare and definitely more synthetic.
Today XR could be read as a signpost saying Sauvage this way ---> 11 (years).
Xeryus Rouge - Givenchy 1995 **
Ouragan - Masculin by Bourjois 1997 ***