Finding Drakkar's smell alikes is fairly easy. Ceasar's and Lomani are the ones mentioned as being the best next to it, to the point a very enthusiastic reviewer and later blogger said thatthe first one was better than the original for it had what it lost in its reformulation; you can find close analogies to it in Gres' Cabaret, a now discontinued fragrance that is very enjoyable in its complexity, which I would say is better than Drakkar's; or maybe in locally manufactured versions sold by haberdashers that are, indeed, inspired by it. I imagine that this proves it is a classic, but I can't find in this argument the reason why I find Drakkar younger than it is.
Drakkar Noir smells classic, but not dated. It has a twist that provides for a contemporary feeling, a note that I associate with acquatics. Maybe many of these, a more recent group of blends, resort to dyhydromircenol, or its properties ("Powerful, thin, sweet, fresh, lavender-like, fruity, metallic, citrusy (linalyl acetate-like), clary sage-like, ambery odour." in http://perfumechemicals.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/dihydromyrcenol/ October 25, 2013).
Let my imagination or faulty olfative capabilities aside, the dry down is the best part of the olfative journey, characterized by a subdued character and limited longevity. It leaves you craving for more, at least in the version I have, which seems it has been improved lately.
The opening is spicy and citric, turning into a stingy balmy blend in a short period of time. According to the pyramid, what follows are more spices and some floral notes, carnation and jasmine: I can't get these for the stingy combo is still prevalent. Now, the base notes smells manly and powdery. The blend revolves around this stingy / powdery leitmotiv, which does not mean it is linear.
Strong? Olfative analysis brings a slight headache. Better enjoy it with a full wear. It seems it claims to be worn punishing reviewers when disecting it.
Long lasting? Not at all. Maybe overapplying might give wearers what they are looking for.
Pros: My formulation; understated and elegant
Cons: Common, almost what an aromatic fougere a la 1980's should smell like"
What the heck is tiiiare? Tahitian Gardenia. I know how gardenias smell like. Well, it is in my soup. Really. Passion fruit? Sorry, it is in my dessert.
Fruits in the top notes. The generic kind, the sort you cannot tell what fruit is it. Tutti Futty? No. Bananas? No. Straweberries, apples, appricots, pineapple? No no no no. Fruits, the synthetic ones, the ones that noses use, synthetized by chemists working for big corporations. An olfative construct, so to speak.
Where is the catch? Ir moves straight ahead to the base notes, musky a la B*Men / Avon's Woody Musk sort of musk, the ones widely used in the 1970's.
I like it there.
Wear it if you can get over the top notes. I can't, unless I prepare myself mentally for it. You can name it "olfatory masochism". Yes, this hobby deales with some sort of freakiness. In my case, this kind of Amber is a blatant proof of this.
BTW, I'd rather choose the one from 2008. But Zara is like this, continously on the move, so discontinued scents are part of their business. A pitty.
Pros: Musky basentes a la 1970's
Cons: Fruity top notes"
The group "aromatic fougere" might include shaving cream-like scents like YSL's Rive Gauche, powerbombs like Kouros, subtle blends like the vintage formulation of Rochas' Moustache, and chypre smell alikes, as Welil, sharing with this goup strong top notes. In this case, these morph into tradiional men's soap - like notes. It does remind me of One Man Show's and Krizia Uomo's opening in ts harshness, but the soapiness is there to stay for a fairly amount of time from the mid notes on.
I don't know if the current version (the one depicted) is a reissue of the original one or what: the only thing I can say is that it shares a family air with 1980's powerbombs. I can imagine it conveying a sense of creaminess lost in most of them, "rounded molecules" I call these notes. It does feel stingy to the nose. This does not affect its conservative aura, though.
Now, conservative does not mean delicate. Be aware of it - call my nose gaga, there is a note lurking around I can associate with one found in Kouros. Please, don't let me confuse you, they don't have anything in common. But the animalic - skankiness is there.
It does feel, mmm, boldy. The base notes save it from rudeness.
Pros: Strong if you like it
Cons: Strong if you don't"
Well, the opening notes remind me of a floral Tiffany for men, while the mid and base notes diverge into manly skinkiness. It was a blind buy: a big surprise indeed, I never would have thought this could be that way. A woman wearing this? I cannot imagine for the sake of me blind-dating a woman wearing BdB. I would think she would be chewing me up in no time. Ladies, do your newly met boys a favor, don't ever wear this in a first date.
Pros: Whatever good you find in chypres in its not so fem version
Cons: If skanky puts you off, avoit it as the plague"
It does have a pencil shaving opening a la Gucci I, whoever morphing into fruit like mid notes. A skin scent with amazing longevity without much evolution. It does not fall into designer's oriental genericness, thus the reason for my 4,5 / 5. Blame the 1,5 on the fact it does feel synthetic.
As per its similarities with Rochas Lui, it lacks its sweetness. Well, as a matter of fact, IMHO I can't see any resemblances between both.
Cons: A tad synthetic"
Frankly, I don't understant why this is vastly ignored.
One has several impressions ater the first sniff:
- Many would consider it a masterpice should the House behind it be a well known niche one, like Creed, Amouage and the sort.
- However, it terms of its presentation, it lacks what many of these offer: a luxurious packaging, for instance.
- Ad of course, it lacks the price factor: USD 30 / 40 for 3.3 Oz of it? Too cheap. It should be on the USD 100 - USD 150 range.
- And the blend: amazing sillage and longevity, a must for many niche scents - a logical aspect after all, if one is going to pay USD 300 for Puredistance M, the least thing I'd be asking for would be two or three days presence after application.
Well, let's see: House behind it? Check, a historical one that is worn off. Price? Check, inexpensive. Sillage and longevity? Check, good, but not abnormal, of the kind that makes you think your are the subject of some strange chemical experiment. Packaging? Check, normal one (reminds me of Lorenzo Villoresi's).
As per the blend itself, it does not evolve much, but this does not have any consequence over its structure in terms of how I am enjoying it: top notes of the citric - spicy one gives way to the leathery - amber mid notes, the drydown staying close to the skin in a fashion that reminds me of the subdued version of Gucci's Envy mid and base notes.
If you want to have fun, make your favorite fragrance snob try it blind. I am positively sure you'll enjoy the results, or you might end up saying that is the last release of some obscure niche house from Prague, selling 1 OZ for USD 125, and only avalable in a very exclusive on-line shop with only one brick-and-mortar store located in Forest Hill, IL or Greenwch, CT.
Pros: A classic deserving more praise
Cons: I cannot imagine how it would be like if it would have oakmoss"
OK, you don't like A*Men because the chocolate - spicy combo is too much for you.
Looking for an alternative? You might think B*Men might be one: A*Men divested of its gourmand notes because of the rhubarb or a kind of musk that was quite in fashion during the 1970's - there is a cheap cologne sold by Avon called Woody Musk that smells exactly like a bad quality B*Men.
What about this flanker? Well, I don´t get leather at all. What do I mean by leather? The smell of leather wallet, a brand new purse, a leather jacket or that of a dry waxed English country jacket that has been treated with some sort of deodorizer smelling like a leather jacket (and with such a sillage that the smell would be felt in the room after the jacket has been taken out), or the smell of classic leather scents like Cuero de Rusia - any brand, they share similarities-, Morabito's Or Noir or Knize Ten.
What I get is a bolder B*Men: yes, there is some chocolate and coffe and the rest of the notes of the original one, but in this case I get the feeling that these are kidnapped by the before mentioned rhubarb / musk in such a way the blend has the strength of a perfume or an absolute revolving around this last one, its longevity and sillage are really strong.
It does feel synthetic: however, to my surprise, in this case the word does not have any derogatory meaning. Why? It feels "sticky", rather than an EdT, Perfume or Extrait or Absolute, it feels like a a bunch of molecule clinching to my skin for a whole day long.
I my case, it was a try and instant - buy experience. I don't regret it. IMHO, it is better than the original. Of course, as the former one, it needs to be applied with care.
Pros: No sweetness
We all know what a chypre is: a blend made of a citric note, oak moss, patchouli and musk. In this case, Jacaranda includes a citric note (Bergamot), oak moss and patchouli. As a product of one's imagination, which at the same time is a by-product of extensive smelling of perfumes and raw materials, you come up thinking of the usual suspects: Mitsouko, Y, Aliage, Aromatics Elixir, etc.
Yes, it does recall the last one in its skanky persona, but to the extent if feels boldy masculine: the oak moss prevails at the expense of the rest of the notes. Forget the bergamot, forget the patchouli. I might call this one a perfect chypre for oakmoss lovers - I cannot attest if it is real or synthetic oakmoss: rest assure, it prevails in the base notes in the shape of its very bitter / root like / skanky green accords.
It is not an easy fragrance to wear, it is somehow a very bold version of a classic composition that originally was supposed to be lightly animalic. Not in this case. One might end up thinking Jacaranda is an extreme chypre, as chypre as you might get... or a failed one - let the wearer judge by him / herself.
IMHO, Jacaranda leaves Aromatics Elixir way behind in terms of a chypre's animalic notes, thus the five stars.
Cons: Unbalanced "
At first there are cologne-like notes morphing into green - like traces. I cannot help thinking of the mate in its colour, not in the way their leafs smell when placed in a gourd: this is clearly balmy, while in Thays mid notes are quite sharp. The cologne - like notes are still there minutes after application, citrousy traces that are balanced by whiffs of very shy sweety notes, turning into a skin scent that can be only smelt when being close to the wearer.
I'd describe the blend as original, contemporary but still away from what is mostly in fashion nowadays. It may have a flaw in that the composition does not flow armonically, it feels sharp to the nose in most of its facets while at the same time it somehow lacks complexity - when appreciating it one gets the feeling that the blend revolves around a limited amount of notes and restrained accords. Thus, even though original, it is far from being a fragrance - breakthrough... you will have to search somewhere else if you are after such kind of blends. Now, conceptually, I'd say that it remotely captures the aromas you get from the trees Carlos Thays brought to Buenos Aires when he planned the city's parks at the end of the XIX century.
However, these flaws - to which I might add a very limited longevity and sillage for those that care about these attribute - are not something I particularly care of, for its short live accounts for subtlety and discretion, thus the reason I enjoy it.
Pros: Subtle, well-mannered and discrete
Cons: Not for the ones looking for sillage and longevity"
I bought this on a whim: blind and based on many good reviews. Once at home and after trying it all I got was roses, no tea at all, really - a statement of the obvious, indeed. So, I followed Shamu's suggestion, just one spray. It was enough, he was right. Then I realized it might be a good idea to use it as a layer, for the rose accord might be too much, so I decided to do it with a short lived scent, namely, Pour Un Homme. And yes, the result was worth the experience.
I read and was told that rose fragrances and oils are used by men in the Middle East, thus, our perception of rose-based scents is biased by cultural matters: as such, it can be seen either as an old woman's scent or, plainly, as a women's fragrance. Still, I'd suggest any fragrance aficionado to ignore these ideas and try it as a discovery exercise. Liked or not, you will have the chance of knowing what a good rose blend is without having to pay an excessive amount of money.
And if you think it is too much for you (soliflorals can be challenging), you might experience how it performs when layered with other scents.
I don't regret it having it in my wardrobe, besides the fact I keep on revisiting it frequently.
Pros: It will make change your mind
Cons: Handle with care
First: yes, it is true. It smells like CK's Obsession for women.
Second: yes, it is somehow different. Why? No idea. At first smell, it is not so brash, less bold, more complex, you name it, than CK's. Now, just compare Calvin Klein and Cartier, make up for qualities associated with these brands and you will find enough reasons to conclude that C is much better than CK. In terms of fragrances I cannot attest as to how true this is, I am in no mood, nor have the resources for conducting a blind product test that would, in a conclusive fashion, tell us if this is so or not. In the meantime, take my word (or bash it, feel free to do it) C's Must feels better than CK's Obsession.
Now, let's go to the point...
"Dear Basenoters, can Must de Cartier for Women be worn by men?"
- Indeed, ol' chap! Wear what you want, just make sure you feel comfortable. Cheer-ohs!
- Of course not, are you **** out of your mind!!! There are some notes in Must's blend that are widely used in women's perfumes that will make you feel you are in drag, unless you like that, which is 100 % fine if your are happy with zat.
- Of course you can, just make sure to layer it with some patchouli, dude. Peace and love...
- Yap, you can layer it with some old fashioned musk - not Galaxolide, please. It does not mix well with Bvlgari Black (which, BTW, is my Galaxolide heaven).
- Apply it two hourse before leaving home, the drydown is heaven. Besides, your maid will thank you for she won't have to air the rooms. Must will do it for her.
- Did you try layerin git with Men's Must?
Whatever. I enjoy it. No I did not try to layer it with Men's Must. But the rest of the suggestions did work fine.
Said drag? Sorry, not my cup o'tea. But it does feel like it... sometimes, ehem.
Pros: Not at all...
Cons: Yes, it is...
A nightmare upon application: after the initial spray you will instantly say to yourself something like "oh, what have I done" or the like. You will picture yourself facing a crowd pointing and yelling at you, insults based on your lack of finesse when it comes to wearing scents. Yes, you will fear everyone will tag you as "Disco Stew", and if hitting the office, you will undergo the unnerving feeling you will be laid off because your bosses claimed that your olfative tastes are considered conflictive, thus paving the way to professional and later, affective failures and, ultimately, a lonely, yes, very lonely, sad, pathetic decline and fall amidst the kind of alcohol that is not sniffed, rather drank.
Nah, forget this. Just give it half an hour. What follows is a very classical, old school, reassuring virile drydown that is quite complex and long lasting.
A 180° turnaround, actually. Love'em this way.
Pros: Excellent drydown
Cons: Horrendous top notes