Allow me to preface my ramblings by saying that prior to my most recent purchase of this fragrance, the last time I experienced it was a good 15 years ago in a duty free store at an airport I was passing through. I remember clearly trying this on one wrist and Ted Lapidus on the other. I liked neither on application but some hours later, at 38000 feet with a trolley stocked only with Kouros, Jazz and Lagerfeld Photo, decided that I liked both.
Now, my first impression is of Boss No1. In fact I had to get the bottle of Boss No1 from my bathroom to check I hadn't been sold a dud product. The two are undeniably similar...at first! Both are warm and earthy but where Boss No1 maintains a sour/bitter element, which is part of its charm, Van Gils gives way to a sweeter note that settles in nicely.
This is the first fragrance I've found where one spray is adequate, two is lavish and three is a social faux pas. This scent does date from 1988, a time when mens fragrances were designed to arrive in the room before their wearer did. Nowadays we are much more used to lighter, often more aquatic scents and so this is where I feel Van Gils may strike some people as too much. In this day and age it is quite safe to go mad with a more current fragrance and hose yourself down in it but with older fragrances it isn't required. This fragrance does have a perfume like quality, perhaps in the same way of Santos de Cartier or Eau Savage. That said, despite its heavy, formal smell, it can be pulled off in any situation but only with the right amount.
The Van Gils site doesn't give much away regarding individual ingredients but its safe to say that is a fragrance suited to colder weather, is clean and to my nose at least, inviting. It is old school and to be fair I dont think an 18 year old could pull it off with much charisma. The other safe bet with this is that hardly anybody else wears it. There are only 3 existing reviews on this site!
If you want something different, individual, that makes a statement, that harks back to an era when fragrances were heavy and serious, this is the one for you. Buy a bottle and join me and the other 3 reviewers below and join one of the most exclusive fragrance clubs its seems there is.
It would seem most reviews so far are pretty accurate. Created by the man with more names than the artist formerly known as Prince, it comes as no surprise that this fragrance is a copy of Millisime Imperial by Creed as he is known to enjoy wearing that very fragrance. He clearly felt it was time to share the experience with everyone. One of my biggest gripes with M.I was that it had no staying power on my skin. I have to say this version of the classic suffers no such problems. OK, its not spot on but its as good as and I have to say, I like it! The packaging is over indulgent and ostentacious (not unlike my choice of words). Where Davidoffs Cool Water is the poorer brother of Creeds Green Irish Tweed, Unforgivable by Sean John is the non-identical twin to Creed Millisime Imperial.
Yes this fragrance does mean business. I forgotten how good this was till I pulled it out earlier and tried it again. I've missed it. Its up their with the likes of Boucheron Pour Homme in its thick, wafting character. This is not a 'second skin' type of fragrance, its an announcement to all you encounter, a statement if you will. If Dracula were around, he'd probably have this on his dresser somewhere. It is warm, heavy, reassuring and inviting, everything a good fragrance should be. It is not light, summery and playful. Wear this with a tux but not too a job interview.
Quite unique, theres certainly nothing else out there like Grey Flannel. You can certainly pick up the Violet top note as it dominates the fragrance. As such this makes it wholly unusual but I would say none the less enjoyable. Its true that I've yet to receive any compliments about it but then its also true that I've yet to receive any complaints. After the initial spray, the Violet note, whilst remaining throughout does subdue a little allowing the rest of the notes to come through. I think it is here that people expect to be able to pick out the individual notes of this fragrance. I find this impossible. So subtle and precise is the blending of the notes that its hard to pick out Orange, Sandalwood or any of the others for that matter. Rather they provide a subtle bed for the Violet. I myself have never been a fan of the smell of Violets but this fragrance keeps me coming back. It is not one I would wear on a date though I would wear it socially. I do wear it in the office as it is the only sweeter fragrance I've found to date that stays with me for most of the day. I guess the genius of a fragrance like this rests in its surprise factor. Because its like nothing else out their, its bound to create interest albeit unspoken. I like this. It makes a statement about you as a person rather than defining you as a fashion victim. It says your individual and not afraid to try something more interesting, older, more obscure and as such should be considered cool, and yes even chic!
To my mind one of the finest of the current fragrances. Many comments have been made about the fruitiness and they are all spot on. When I first sprayed it on the back of my hand I thought it was awful. I forgot all about it and about 20 minutes later I started to catch the smell in my nose, put my hand up to my nose and smelled a very different scent. In fact I couldn't stop putting my hand to my nose after that point. The Rum is definately present but beautifully augmented by sweeter notes. I do feel this an absolute, hands down winner! Fresh, a bit sporty and adventurous. I suggest wearing on a formal occasion simply to make the point that such a great, clean fragrance can work in any situation. This will be my first Lacoste product and it gets a full 10 out of 10 from me. Cant wait to wear it out and about, I know it will create interest.
I bought this blind (it was on sale at £9.95). The packaging is novel with a large translucent cube holding the smooth edged black bottle inside.. A dark bottle for a nightime scent. Theres something about this that keeps me coming back for more. I haven't a clue what the notes are and the Basi website isn't any help. Fresh out of the bottle its quite alarming and seems to me rather citrussy. This settles very quickly and gives way to a sweet smell with smoky undertones. It reminds me a little of the original Ted Lapidus (the Grey Bottle). The dry down does remain close to the skin as already mentioned but I feel that works for what is in my humble opinion a fragrance ment to be enjoyed up close and personal. A bargain buy for me and heartily reccomended for somebody who likes an individual fragrance that you won't smell everywhere!
I had a bottle of this arrive this morning and it was like revisiting a long lost and trusted old friend. You really can smell the Rose note in this and I completely agree with the previous comment about the similarity to Cliniques Aromatics Elixir. I would estimate two sprays, maybe three as an absolute max with this. Overloading will not work well. It is a delicate floral scent that does have a more than passing resemblance to the regular Aramis fragrance though for my money this is a milion times better.
I imagine this is a great scent for a romantic evening or perhaps day wear if your feeling in a gigolo kind of mood.....which fortuately I am :-) Grab a bottle if you can.
October turns to November, warm turns to cold and I find myself reaching for my now quarter full bottle of Santal (didn't want to say three quarters empty and risk offending all you optimists out there). I keep coming back to this fragrance, seems to work reasonably well in Summer but its warmth definately suits the cold weather better. Up close to the skin you can really smell the Black peppercorns. As one reviewer suggested, there are is a hint of Gucci's Envy in this fragrance. I never liked Envy, it always smelled too synthetic for my tastes. Santal seems to redress this problem and take the basic Envy fragrance a good few steps further. I like wearing this stuff, perhaps its a sense of being English and thinking that I should be wearing something by Floris or possibly that this is just a lovely, warm, intimate and inviting fragrance. For those of you in the USA who have difficulty finding any Flories products I suggest visiting the website, www.florisoflondon.com, clicking on the New York option and get shopping! If I had to make one criticism of this truly classy smell, it is that the standard EDT dies away all too quickly on my skin. I think I'll opt for the Intense version next time.