When I smell Brut what images come to mind? ...An Austrian forest with mountains in the distance on a pleasant winter day. In the foreground are freshly cut logs in a timber pile and from the forest a breeze of floral spices pass by... A legend.
Forever green, never unseasoned...
Is Brut one of the best cheap fragrances ever created? Yes and no. And if this sounds sort of contradictive, I'll clarify it by saying that Brut is simply one of the best fragrances ever created. Cheap or not.
When I was young and foolish, I used to give Brut and any similar priced fragrance a wide berth, cause I was kinda embarassed to admit that I was wearing cheap stuff. I always went for the status of smelling "expensive", and to my vainglorious mind, a fragrance's price tag was way more important than its actual quality.
Now that I am old and I fancy myself as a seasoned veteran of the "Niche Wars", I have no problem to admit that I couldn't be any more mistaken. I have no problem to admit that Brut is an excellent piece of high perfumery, and it holds a place in the "legendary classics" pantheon, along with Old Spice, Pino Silvestre and Tabac Original, although I think it's kinda first among equals, due to its iconic, unique and hyper-elegant emerald bottle.
And now that I've made my confession about my then unfair and short-sighted scent evaluating criteria, I just hope that these old chaps have forgiven me for being such a snobbish and arrogant brat, who used to despise everything that didn't fit in his pompous agendum. And I'm more than happy that the time has finally come for me, to truly appreciate their tremendous gravitas, and enjoy their straightforward masculinity, no holds barred.
If you're over thirty, Brut is a cruel master. It knows that it is a fragrance of yesteryear and that better (and yet some worse) fragrances have taken its crown and yet it captures you. It does this because it is intertwined with your memories of a time when things seemed better. It conjures up for you a father, a brother, an uncle, in their prime and how much you wanted to be part of that grown-up world they inhabited while wearing this pungent, masculine elixir.
37-years after having first encountered this scent as a child and having it weave itself into many cherished memories, I'm approaching it from a user's point of view. When I started using fragrances Brut was already on its way out. It seemed dull and blunt against the sharper, fresher fragrances.
I purchased the aftershave splash (100ml for very little money) and the cologne splash with medallion. After a weekend shave I applied the aftershave and almost welled-up with tears at how evocative that aroma is. It has a fresh opening. The aniseed, lavender and basil initial burst is enough to drag you back in time. It's powerful stuff too, that first application fills the room. Jasmine in a scent harks back to older fragrances, from the 19thC up to the pre-war years, when perfumes were heavier and more oriental. There is a touch of that in Brut, hovering beneath the barbershop quartet of topnotes. It has doubtless been reformulated to some extent and the entire range of notes listed may or may not be present. It smells less complex than the the notes suggest. The sandalwood, patchouli, powdery vanilla are there as it fully settles after 1/2 an hour to an hour, as is an aniseed sweetness throughout. It's a pleasant experience.
Brut is really more than the sum of its parts. It has a cultural history that makes it transcend its own over-familiar aroma. You know you're not supposed to like it and yet the scent bewitches you. It lasts for a few good hours and the sillage is decent. People of a certain age who get close enough to catch the scent are momentarily stopped; they feel what you feel.
Every man should try it at least once.
23rd June, 2015 (last edited: 24th June, 2015)
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I just want to offer that there is variety in this after shave depending on its packaging. Personally, I find that I significantly prefer the plastic "Original Fragrance" bottles you tend to find in drug stores and supermarkets over the more dressed up bottle pictured here. I find that the one I described in the plastic bottle seems to have less or more subtle presence of vanilla, for me therefore offering a more masculine fragrance, whereas I find the better packaged version to somehow smell more powdery and with a stronger presence of vanilla. I would think it to be my imagination as I think they're supposed to be the same thing, but I definitely smelled a difference. So to me, conveniently, cheaper is better with this stuff. But this was the stuff that got me into fragrances, inspired me to branch into colognes. I was just looking for a good aftershave, and while I found several that I like, for me, this one stood above.
17th October, 2014 (last edited: 16th October, 2014)
Perfect After Shave. Essence of Man as they say. Creed of After Shaves.
A perfect example of a legendary scent that proves it by being available in gas stations even. It smells great, legends have endorsed it (Elvis, Muhammad Ali, etc) and if you are over 30 were probably made by your dad wearing it. Classic squared.
It's the monastery's eldest abbot raking smooth stones.
It's Han Shan leaping from crag to misty crag, laughing.
It's the genie in the bottle.
It's the trout resting in green mottled shadow.
And (even reformulated), it's a crisp spring or fall day, circa 1967.
It's the pilgrim crossing the desert, and a smile on a deserted island.
It's the glass half full.
Yes and yes.
this brut version is not as intense as it once was in the past. it still has the classic fragrance but it seems more moderate in strength now. it's a classic but not the same brut it once was. english leather is still the strongest of the drugstore colognes out there i've tried and owned.
Another great favorite that I use, which has great staying power. You can't go wrong with Brut, folks! 5 out of 5 for me.
Brut is not Brutal but suave
- 1983 on a given sunday...
This was for me the first contact moment with the world of scents i had as a 5 year old boy back in 1983.
I was playing around in my parents bedroom on a boring sunday...
There was a cabinet with scents and talc powder and i shuffled around in in it...I was attracted by the biggest green, metallic bottle with medaillion, it was BRUT!....I unscrewed the cap and sniffed the plastic splash top....WOW what a burst of Scent molecules drove through my little nose that moment!...it felt bombastic and special!
30 years later (exactly) i bought my first REAL version again...
-2013 -Today Review time!
I just got Brut EDC and splash in plastic bottles, Brut Oceans Edt and Brut Black for 30 bucks! im so happy i did the purchase!
First the 2 green plastic bottles, splash on and EDC
The splash is very watered down and almost not detecable when splashed on your body but thats my opinion.
But what i do like is the scent of BRUT! its creamy,green and balmy kinda ambery in the drydown its almost a dreamy scent!
To me this is very mellow and laidback in any way, i also detect some hidden nostalgia and scent rememberance when i get some whiffs from my arms when im wearing it.
Everybody thinks this is a harsh old skool skanky scent! But its not! the scent lingers around like a fresh groomed hippie couple, im sure its been around in these hippie days on festivals.
Well my attention is there for BRUT!
Im now searching for the EDT 3.4 oz version this is the glass square bottle with white /yellow juice which is shwown as picture for this scent and for as i know the only EDT version of the original version?
I hope its alright.
And im looking for the classic long green bottle of 88 ml EdC (3 oz) version
To get the best classic / vintage experience.
Brut classic/original is so versatile and lovable and im gonna wear this big time this upcoming vacation. (splash n stay fresh all day
Cons: Newer formulations are getting milder and milder"
Brut Classic Original Spray Cologne Review (glass bottle with chain medallion)
brut classic 3 oz. spray cologne in green glass chrome top bottle with chain medallion.
this version is the original classic brut, not the crap you buy at the grocery store in a plastic splash bottle for $6
great in every way, but the longevity is 3-4 hours UPPER MAX (and thats with 20 sprays!!)
had a female friend ask "what are you wearing?" told her "brut" she was like "BRUT?! WTF" in other words, she did not expect such a common thing to smell so good. I informed her that it was brut classic and not the generic crap
good buy, just weak longevity. usually $25/bottle, got it for 13
great for early morning, or for LATE nite after parties where everyone is too drunk. females WILL compliment this one for how strong and masculine it is
Pros: great masculine classic smell.
Cons: weak longevity"
I thought this was discontinued until I was given a Brut gift set for Christmas a few years ago. Admittedly I thought "Great.. thanks(!)" through gritted teeth when I first received this, as like most people I thought it was for dodgy old men who still wear medallions. When I tried it though I thought "Wow! This isn't bad at all." Now this is one of my favourite scents. It's part of my "everyday wear" rotation and I probably wear it almost as a rebellion against all the identikit modern scents that smell exactly alike.
Many of the drugstore scents have suffered over the years from reformulation , usually the manufacturers way of reducing the cost of making the product, unfortunately this is usually done at the expense of the quality of the product. Of the drugstore scents to be reformulated Brut has in my opinion suffered the most, this product used to be one of the most pungent fragrances around and used to last hours, now it fades very quickly and even on initial application is a lot less ballsy than it used to be.
In spite of this , this product gets a thumbs up from me, the fact is there is nothing else that smells quite like this and it really does smell very good (to me), it really is such a unique scent, it has prominent lavender notes upon initial application that fade to leave a powdery, clean, slightly musky scent that is very masculine smelling,
Also there is just something about this scent that just feels so right, it is like wearing a favourite old Jacket, it may not be the fanciest,classiest but it fits, it feels comfortable and it has character, this is a classic for sure
28th November, 2012 (last edited: 08th January, 2013)
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Sweet lavender opens this one up and the powdery dry down of the woodsy base notes puts this one square in the same train of thought as canoe, but much less itchy than that earlier scent with much greater longevity. A casual one for sure, and not to be worn were contemporary style is expected, but a good fragrance for work or mucking about with friends. Certainly a man's fragrance made for a man that just wants to smell good with no particular target audience in mind, despite what it's legendary advertisements might say.
27th October, 2012 (last edited: 05th November, 2012)
A review/skit for the older Basenotian with reference to Harry Enfield's iconic busy-body who surely would have worn Brut!
No, no, no, no, no! You don’t wanna wear that, you wanna wear one of the world’s all-time most popular men’s aftershaves. That’s it, you want to avail yourself to a classical, soapy sweet, fern fragrance; an aromatic fougere ...there we are... you wanna wear the ‘great smell of Brut’ - this is what we wore back in the 70s and the 80s and, if I'm not mistaken, I do believe you'll find Brut defines the olfactory genre.
And you don’t wanna dab it on, you wanna splash it on just like the adverts for Brut 33 used to say with Henry Cooper and Kevin Keegan. That ‘s it go on....a bit more... .no a bit more, go on...splash it all over – that’s it! "
The bottle’s contents spill out everywhere!
"Now I do not believe that you wanted to do that!
No, no, no...tut, tut, tut!
(Fading in the background) And you don’t want an old-fashioned splash bottle – you should invest in a more modern spray form of dispenser. And you don’t wanna wear the same old cheap aftershave all the time. You should try and wear a more varied range of contemporary unisex niche perfumes: Frederick Malle; Maison Francis Kurkdjian or maybe something from the Hermessence range....
I cant go into a drug store without stopping to smell Brut...even though I have it imy collection. I've been using this fragrance as an after shower splash on for 25 years - and though it's been watered down a bit...it still takes me back to my youth, and those awkward years of middle school. I've never had a complaint from anyone - and that might be because in the US, it's familiar and 'just is' part of our past. I still put on a splash of Brut when picking up breakfast for the family on a Saturday morning. It wears off by 10am, and by then I am ready to rock a statement cologne. That's just it...Brut doesn't yell "I'm here", it merely says - "welcome back".
Having only given this iconic juice only two stars, why give it a thumbs up? Brut was my first, fragrance that is. As a enthusiastic and far out lad of the 70's my flowing locks and open wide collared shirt were frequently adorned with the wafting fumes of what I believed to be the coolest and sexiest liquid I could splash on it copious quantities. I loved the stuff both for it's sweet, stinky aroma and the effect it had on the "chicks". My first girlfriend encouraged me to use it constantly. Not only was my chest doused with it it was liberally sprinkled on my bed-sheets and a bit also to season "the main course". Soon as my life moved on I found that other girls I met seemed to be drawn to the aroma with erotic intentions. Today as a middle aged fellow who has expanded his appreciation of the delights of the senses, I find Brut to be a brash, cloying, syrupy, very immature fougere scent, as it should be. The bottle I own is rather old. To me, Brut smells like it is the little brother of Pinaud's Clubman aftershave. Occasionally I'll splash on a bit for the nostalgic feeling the scent provides. I do have friends who still regularly wear the smelly stuff and wearing it they strut about feeling like they are still the cool 20 year old that first splashed it on decades ago.
I bought my first bottle of Brut in 1969 in seventh grade. What a great smell. Scroll forward 40 plus years and I bought a bottle for my son who is in seventh grade. Well, it smelled sort of like the Brut I remember, but not quite. It's always been inexpensive, but the 2012 formula smelled cheap. I found a bottle from 1969 on eBay and purchased it for $25 and let me tell you -- it's fantastic. Get a pre-1980 version of Brut before they removed the nitromusk (Must Ambrette I believe) and God knows what other good stuff from the formula. The 42 year old bottle that I acquired (it was even partially used) smelled every bit as good as I remember my original bottle smelled, and infinitely better than the dreck that is currently sold. Nitromusks add amazing radiance to a fragrance and a bit of a clean/dirty smell. The core fragrance notes of 1969 Brut are still there in the 2012 version, but without the Musk Ambrette, they're static and flat. Go vintage and rediscover this great fragrance.
Im 23 and I actually really like this stuff, and don't understand how it smells old or "smelly". The opening is kinda rough with that "moist towelette "/soap smell, but it drys down to a nice, and masculine "woodsy/outdoorsy" scent. I love the price! Cologne is WAY overpriced these days, and the price is only going up(anyone else notice we're in a recession lol?
My first girlfriend bought this for me on her way back from Spain. I used it sparingly and to my chagrin the perfume went sour within a year making toilet cleaner smell sweet. Great while it lasted.
From expensive desirable scent it degraded to the mass market . How have the mighty fallen!
The thumbs up is for the original cologne, never tried the after shave
Great oriental masculine scent. The anise and lavender blended perfectly. Smells clean and fresh. Inexpensive but smells better than quite a lot of "designer" perfumes. A brilliant perfume.
Pure Masculinity from simpler and better times/era. From the moment Brut is applied its a punch in the face of oakmoss, lemon, Basal and all the top notes. It has great projection and lasting power, i get 5-6 hours easily.
I'm on my 2nd bottle now, the first was the one available in drug-stores in the plastic bottle which did it's job well. However my 2nd was a glass bottle the Eau de cologne, which i think smells more like the old Brut from yesteryears.
This Fragrance is worn in times of relaxation within urself, when you don't care what people think about you and this fragrance speaks volumes. However with the fears of Brut being an old man scent, no one has ever came up to me and said you smell like an old man or what are you wearing, and i have worn it for 3 years !.
A Classic, so give this old boy the respect it deserves, even if the world around him has moved in much quicker pace, than he deemed it ever would.
Hands down the best smelling stuff on the planet. Ignore reviews from people who don't like it. This is strictly either a 'you love it or your hate it' kind of smell. A lot like the band 'Nirvana' you love them or you hate them. A lot like many things actually!
Brut smells guaranteed like nothing you have ever known in your life. For me my dad introduced it to me. Some may say that it's 'for old men' but I will go to bed laughing every night for the rest of my life at any ignorant person who doesn't use aftershave, after shaving. (lol). You can enjoy your acne and your ignorance!
Brut is for real men, and for people who know how to treat themselves after just finished shaving.
Stick it on your face, (duh) under your arms.. even... down.. (if you dare).
Brut burns like the fires of Mt. Doom only hotter, but the 'hot' almost 'spicy' tight feeling is short lived and the freshness is there to stay. Brut cleans, and penetrates the skin preventing acne and overall nourishes the bodies skin cells.
Famous for a reason, respected for a reason. Brut is one of the oldest, and without a doubt the best manufacturers of cologne in the world. You either love it, or you don't. Not using it would be like trying to shave without any fingers. It's like my right arm when I reach for my shaver.
After using Brut you will NEVER have an excuse to find shaving tedious, boring or a waste of time. It'll become something as simple as having a shower.
So are you a REAL MAN or not?
P.S. To those men who don't like the smell. It's not for you, it's for the ladies! Who absolutely die for this fragrance. The bottle lasts for months and months on end like a woman's perfume, unless you want to drink it and who would blame you!
If god used aftershave this is what it would be.
brut is the first fragrance that i laid my eyes on when i was a child , my late grandpa used to love it ( though he's signature frag was Devin by aramis ) and my father 2 , so it's kinda run in the family scent!
well first of all i love it , maybe of the heritage thing , but it's just attractive how in your face and manly this fragrance is , no wonder why Muhammad Ali Clay used this scent!
this is a love or hate fragrance , if anyone is not familiar with it from his childhood and it is for the first time he smells it i guess he will not like it, but i guess little of us here on basenotes that goes down to this category lol
thumbs up for great old memories!
28th June, 2011 (last edited: 06th July, 2011)
This was my old "goto scent" it has much sentimental value but now I only have an aftershave of it and deodorant. Not the same but close enough for the feeling.
I own the "Brut Classic" version in the GLASS bottle that shamu1 described below.
Along with Old Spice, Brut is probably the most popular drugstore men's fragrance in America. For me, I can appreciate it in controlled doses - too much and I'll feel like "just another dude that wears Brut", almost like Drakkar (even though the two smell nothing alike). The version in the glass bottle is a decent fragrance, though - it's a basic classic fougére that I can appreciate. It certainly is reliable, but if I want a classic fougére, I'd rather pay a little extra more for Azzaro.
A classic. My dad used, uncles used it, I know this because i can smell it when im in the same room with them. It projects well and and amazing silage.
I never wore this growing up or even after highschool into uni. However, after looking for razors in my dads bathroom i cam across some brut aftershave and gave it a smell. I fell in love with the lavender and oakmoss smell. I went out and bought the cologne version for pretty cheap at my local chemist. I wear it after a shower when im at home just for personal pleasure and when im out playing poker with my mates. Its a manly smell which I just can't get enough of.
Yes, it's true - the current (post Faberge) Brut is, sadly, a completely different animal. Current Brut is very close to Brut 33 (which is, weirdly, still available), released in the 70s as a lighter (AKA watered down) version of the original. Faberge Brut (which itself was slightly re-formulated in every decade it seems) was a fantastic dry powdery, soapy and herbal scent with a slightly citrusy undertone that was perfect for any situation and any weather and more often than not it drew many compliments (as long as you didn't say it was Brut!). The current Brut is still powdery and soapy, but some of the herbs seem to have gone and I no longer detect the citrus at all. I treasured my late 80s/early 90s bottle and was quite put out when I finished it and discovered it had changed beyond my recognition. The new one is…okay. But not a patch on the 80s/90s one, which probably wasn't a patch on the 70s one, which probably wasn't a patch on the 60s original. Forunately I recently snagged a late 80s/early90s bottle of the EDT, so I'm Faberged up again and I'd forgotten just how rich and smooth the original was. A thumb up for that, but at the end of the day an average 3 out of 5 altogether - 5 for the old Faberge, 2 for the current version.
Brut rules. How many men's fragrances can you think of that have as much character and personality as Brut? It's been around forever, and chances are you probably love Brut or hate it. You cannot be indifferent to it. There's a lot to be said for that alone.
There's a reason why Brut has been promoted by guys like Joe Namath, Muhammad Ali, Henry Cooper, Wilt Chamberlain and Jimmy Connors: it defines what a macho fragrance is. I know that before I became interested in fragrances, whenever I thought of what a manly cologne should smell like, I thought of Brut. I still do.
You have to love Brut simply because it comes close to the smell of a true classical fougere without costing a fortune. How many fougeres today can you think of that smell as crisp and green as Brut? Although the Brut you find in the green plastic bottle in supermarkets smells pretty good, take the time and get yourself a bottle of "Brut Classic", which comes in the old-school green glass bottle with the metal chain around it. This is the smell of the original Brut from the 1960's, before it was reformulated significantly. It has the richness and sweetness of the vintage Brut, even though it's not quite as strong as it was back in the day.
To those of you who make fun of Brut: why do you think it's been continuous production since 1964? Because it sucks? Because no one wears it anymore? Like Old Spice, Brut is still with us because it's classic and still smells great. End of story.
MY RATING: 8.5/10
18th February, 2010 (last edited: 22nd January, 2012)
This stuff is the real deal. A true classic, love it or hate it. It's a mature scent, but what that means to the individual might vary. To me, it smells like distilled Man. Easily overused and very recognizable, it is the scent that taught many a young boy the perils of over-application. The man who is not afraid to smell bold, distinct, and almost controversial would do well to investigate this. Try a (SMALL) splash, it's one of those that works either in definite accord or discord with one's skin and you'll never know until you take the plunge.