Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Havana by Aramis

Total Reviews: 107
If someone asks me to describe Aramis Havana in one word, I'd say "RICH". This is one of the most unique scents I've ever experienced. Not because it smells super exceptional or anything, but because you can experience every bit of it - it's like a journey. Usually I am skeptical towards perfume notes, because you know, most of the stuff out there (even famous niche ones) are not exactly what they promise. Aramis Havana however takes you to the journey between notes, and even a perfume noob can sense the switches along the way.

Top: It opens actually very crisp, nothing like what it will turn into in few minutes. You clearly get a bit cinnamon with orange and grapefrit being most significant. Here it smells like another powerhouse barbershop-like scent.

Mid: Here it transforms drastically, you suddenly start getting the soap. Yes, SOAP. Whatever this rings in your mind, that is it. It is accompanied by powder smell. Here I didn't like it much, but it doesn't last more than 5-10 minutes then it starts settling down.

Base: The transition from mid to base is giving out the best of this scent IMO. It is warm, a little sweet (vanilla, tobacco), mild spicy and woody (cedarwood). Definetely similar to something that I've owned when I was younger, going crazy not remembering what. I can imagine women loving especially this bit, it suits for all occassions.

I've also noticed while testing Aramis Havana, the key is not to stuck your nose close to your skin. Keep your nose away at least 10-15 cm, it makes a huge difference. Some might dislike the powdery-soapy smell, but it actually adds a mysterious angle to this amazing rich blend.
15th August, 2017
From the old plaza
Rum, cola, dance's wind were
One cigar away.
10th June, 2017
Oh yes!! I'm a MAN!

Probably my favorite masculine scent ever. Maybe even more so than the original Kouros. My favorite Aramis and probably in my top 5 ever.

Extremely powerful and full of life. Starts off with a boozy/smokey blast then settles down to a Kouros type scent mixed with spices. Lasts for ever and hard to remove from your shirt collar. Excellent value for money!!

02nd May, 2017 (last edited: 13th June, 2017)
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Zowiee Show all reviews
United States
Powerful masculine scent with an overwhelming cornucopia of spectacular notes that are amazing! Perfect for my Florida weather all year long. This is SOME juice!
06th April, 2017
Bay rum dominates in this scent. Havana is a bold, daring fragrance that shimmers with a whole bunch of notes over the course of the day, yet is civilized and stable overall.
16th December, 2016
This is a very nice heavily blended manly scent that, to my nose, defies analysis based upon the notes given for it. I get some tobacco but the unique blend stands very strongly on its own in front of that. Nice projection and duration, plus its priced well below its comparative value. Highly recommended to try.
14th December, 2016
Stardate: 20160802

I wish perfume industry could learn something from Aramis.

- They make great fragrances. Aramis,Havana, 900, New West and Tuscany are masterpieces.

-They take pains to confirm to all the IFRA bans and regulations while keeping the fragrance intact.

- They sell for a song.

My advice to anyone starting out is to go and buy Gentleman's Collection (can be had for under $50) and then use it as a reference for style and quality.

About Havana: A great bay-rum (made from west indian bay leaves and rum) fragrance. Perfect for humid and hot summer days. The scent will keep you cool and refreshed.
Don't be fooled by the notes. It is an elegant bay-rum fragrance.

A must for all gentleman and at the current price a crime if you don't have a FB.

PS: Although I always prefer vintage versions of fragrances, every version of Havana is great (and almost indistinguishable)
02nd August, 2016
I won't say anything about notes because enough has been already my hands on two Gents' collection bottles and this juice is wondeful, a true classic.. a must have for all those who lived the 80's Golden Era of scents, just like Tuscany this is a true gem!
27th July, 2016
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
Man meets tobacco, with a brief detour through a citrus grove, a stop by the barber shop for a splash of bay rum, all the while clutching a wooden cigar box. You have smoked the cigars and eaten a spicy meal that comes out slightly in your sweat (beneath an impeccable white linen suit). Given all of this—and a name like Havana--one might expect Conga lines to break out every time you wear it, and Daiquiris to be oozing from your pores but it is surprisingly subtle and wearable. I suspect that my new Gentleman’s Collection bottle is a shadow of its former self, but the result is masculine, sexy and subtly tenacious. Havana works surprisingly well in the heat and while there is nothing fresh and aquatic about it, it does smell like grace under pressure, with a generous heart and a mañana attitude.
26th July, 2016
Aramis Havana gets a thumbs up from me, an agreeable fragrance, curiously familiar, and simple despite the long list of notes. I could wear this routinely.
21st July, 2016
To be fair: This review is for the new version, Don't know if it was reformulated, but it is NOT the same box/bottle as pictured.

I blind bought a bottle based on reviews and recommendations. I LOVE tobacco notes, but I guess I have to stick to the $400/bottle stuff. This falls flat with the natural tobacco note. It is powerful, first spritz bowled me over with 1980's spiciness. Dry-down is a bit better, but I think I'll sell the bottle. Nothing I like here, although it isn't bad, it just isn't for me.
21st May, 2016
What an intoxicating scent. It contains so many notes that one might think it would be a study in confusion, but no…instead, it is an intricately arranged and orchestrated symphony of accords.

I bought this for my husband, who likes bay rum, but most bay rum scents smell heavy-handed and unbalanced to me - Havana incorporates that heady scent, but imbues it with layer upon layer of nuance and surprise. Havana smells to me like raisins steeped in brandy, with sweet tobacco leaves and baskets of herbs drying nearby, accompanied by a floral breeze. It has extraordinary sillage and longevity. While Havana is a very masculine fragrance as commonly understood, I wear it, too, and revel in its unexpected harmonies.
24th September, 2015 (last edited: 28th September, 2015)
Havana begins with a strong green clovey/bay rhum blast that quickly calms down to a pepper and pimento middle ground. My nose does not detect any of the citrus notes or floral notes.

The base notes quickly take over, but they are a murky, harsh mixture indeed. No subtlety here and to my nose, no tobacco either. The oud here seems to just take over and let its bitter qualities smother all the rest.

A very poor scent in my opinion, despite the plethora of notes it supposedly contains.

16th July, 2015
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Until I had kids, I had a long, on again-off again love affair with tobacco. (Nicotine is the mind altering drug I remember most fondly.) I still can instantly conjure up the smell of a fresh can of matured Virginia pipe tobacco. I was once given a magnificent pre-embargo Vuelta Abajo Cuban cigar, covered with Havana spots, which at that time had been hidden behind modern cigars for more than twenty-five years in the truly mystical humidor of the downtown shop where I bought my cigars. It was absolutely the best cigar I ever smoked, perfumey and vegetal, moldy and bright. An unforgettable masterpiece.

So I've got to say with regret that I don't find any recollection of that cigar in Aramis Havana. Neither do I find any rum. I get tradewinds spices and sun-bleached cedar, and maybe a hint of tropical mold. I do get a leather which is uplifting, fresh and rough textured. This is a relief to me because there are so many smooth, deep "Stentorian" (Thanks Luca T.) leathers and Havana's take on the subject gave me a good wake-up. Havana is a fine perfume with a hint of smoke which makes it modern, but thankfully stops far short of the forest fire niches of today.

Estée herself was still around when Havana was released. I don't know whether she had anything to do with it, but I'd like to guess she must have loved and understood men because she gave us so many top-notch, interesting, unique and reasonably priced perfumes.
27th May, 2015
I do not have any idea hoe the vintage smelled like, but i had a new bottle recently. Actually i think it does what it claims to be, an exact answer to the question, what if Aramis tries to make a sweet-tobacco cologne.

It is a gourmand for +40, try it for yourself, very interesting fragrance.
03rd April, 2015
Weird, nobody has done this before, so: “say hello to my lil’ friend!”

Havana does come with a reputation as The Last of the Powerhouses. It came late in the game, which probably led to its early demise. But it’s back. Of course it is different than you’d imagine after reading the reviews. Havana is one of the more difficult scents to get a handle on. I don’t think it as overwhelming as its reputation suggests. Good sillage, good power, but nothing really out there. Havana for me is a post-powerhouse. It has all the right moves (and ingredients, lots of them) but already you sense a 1990s influence. There is one note, sort of boozy and fresh, which can also be found in Egoiste (Platinum?) that turns Havana into a hybrid.

The overall impression is somehow equatorial, wet and spicy. Cinnamon to me plays a very strong part -echoes of Obsession- perhaps at times too strong. As with many powerhouses (Jules, Van Cleef, Pour Lui) the base is soft and uplifting. Havana probably is a versatile scent, the number of ingredients will make it smell different in different weather/seasons. It does remind me a lot of Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui, a more brash and streetwise sibling without the European noblesse. Although the real bad dude scents remain Yatagan en Trussardi. Great quality and complexity but not as good as the original powerhouses.
20th December, 2014
Recently purchased at a great price. Reminds me slightly of Aura by Jacomo (which I don't like) but that only lasts about 10 minutess... The punch to the nose on the initial spray is very 80's powerhouse of spice, tobacco and woods which lasts for about an hour... then dries down to a very close to the skin scent (at least on myself) slightly spicy and woody. I do like the scent... but dont love it... it is good... so I do give it a thumbs up.
12th December, 2014
I really wanted to love this one...but I simply can't....Bought it blind based on the reviews of some of the 'professors of scent' on this site (hat's off to you gents!!). For some reason, it's a dud for me...I saw it compared to Polo which for me, after 2 sprays in the morning, takes it's scent into the following week! Not the case with this juice..After spraying on both sides of my neck, 2 on my chest, 10 minutes later = nothing! Nothing! Not the powerhouse I thought it would be although it's very nice to steal a 'whiff' off of my forearm during the day and I really have to inhale to get anything....still, it might work for you! Fortunately it didn't break the bank.
27th November, 2014
Amazing and affordable tobacco frag! Here is a brief description of the fragrance:

Opening - Strong, stiff backhand to the jaw BOOM!
Middle - A tango with a beautiful woman YES!
Finale - Relaxing with your bro's, confident NICE!

Viva Aramis...
07th September, 2014
Genre: Fougère

Havana has one of the most cacophonous openings of any scent I’ve worn. Spray it on and you’re greeted by a raucous blast of alcohol, citrus, tobacco, leather, camphoraceous notes, lavender, and lord knows what else. For sheer volume and shock value, these top notes are hard to beat, and if Havana’s early withdrawal was tied to poor sales, it could well be because few customers managed to wait out its clumsy first five minutes. It’s a terrible pity, since for those intrepid enough to stick with it, Havana offers a real treat.

Make no mistake – Havana remains a busy, complex composition, but once it comes into focus the heart of tobacco, spiced rum, smoke, leather, patchouli, and lavender is as stimulating as it is rich, and perfectly balanced, to boot. The intricate olfactory structure at Havana’s center vibrates over a classic fougère base of coumarin and bergamot with oak moss (real – god bless Aramis’s parent firm Estée Lauder), that provides a cooling counterpoint to all the intense warmth. The juxtaposition of smoky, spicy heat and cool, forest-y fougère accord may be why Havana, for all its depth, never feels ponderous. On the contrary, Havana is surprisingly light-footed and nimble for its bulk. Wearing it is a bit like discovering that your gruff, hairy, 250 pound uncle Lou dances an exquisite waltz.

In overall demeanor, Havana is what I’ve come to think of as a BFFF (Big, Fat, F#!@king Fougère), to which class also belong Jules, Kouros, and Pascal Morabito’s gargantuan but elusive Or Black. Havana has a more staid and stolid older brother, too, in Estée Lauder’s own Lauder for Men, which shares Havana’s tobacco, aromatics, and bold fougère base, though not its booze or its jazzy anisic bounce. I think Havana is the most buoyant of this lot, inasmuch as “buoyant” can apply to a fragrance of such density. Despite the challenge posed by its top notes, Havana is also one of the most often complemented scents I wear.

As you might expect from my description so far, Havana is a potent, long-lasting fragrance that projects well off the skin and leaves behind plenty of sillage. It’s surely one of those scents that will elicit disapproval if over-applied. Used wisely, I believe Havana deserves its reputation as one of the great scents of its decade.

15th June, 2014
A "dark blue cone of frosted glass"??? No, mis amigos --- the bottle is a conga drum like the ones used by Desi Arnaz in the 50's, which gives it both a vintage vibe and an association with Afro-Cuban music, which evolved into what we now know as Salsa.

Havana conjures up tropical heat and foliage, sultry nights, the warm Caribbean sea, rum drinks, and the sophisticated polyrhythms of congas, bongos and timbales. The citrus and spice notes harmonize beautifully with the tobacco, woods and patchouli (and a fragrance named Havana HAS to have tobacco in it, no?).

Put on some Irakere, Mongo Santamaria, Armando Peraza or Celia Cruz (or even the Buena Vista Social Club), a dash of Havana and your dancing shoes and you'll be ready to heat up the night. Sabor!
26th May, 2014
Havana is so complex and layered that it's almost impossible to give a detailed description of what it smells like. Suffice it to say that it's a masculine woody chypre, so it's got that 80's powerhouse vibe, and that it starts off with all sorts of sweet pie spices and ends up more woody with time. There's tobacco in there, but realistically, I think most people smell the very forward mace note and think that smells sort of like pipe tobacco or coffee and that's where the tobacco descriptives are actually coming from.

One of the more clever things it does (although it ends up being the reason I like Havana less than others of the same ilk) is to smother everything in a sort of waxy oily smell that keeps the individual notes from really standing out. Instead, there's a sort of musky hot candle smell that forces everything else to form more of a cohesive whole. I don't really like the waxy oily smell, honestly, and think Havana would be better if the notes were given more room to breathe, but it's still a pretty amazing scent, just not one that I enjoy that much.
02nd February, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Cuba in a bottle

The new version:

A grapefruit and orange citrus opening is paired with tarry and storing peppery notes and sweetened a touch with anise - a fruity pepperiness pervades this great opening. The drydown parades a superb bay rum aroma, a good rum with still more pepper and spice. The base is where eventually the cigar tobacco note develops, not the best of all tobaccos mores but a very nich one and never into your face. Myrrh and tonka guarante that a spice components remain very present right until the end. A very complex, well balanced and blended fragrance with great silage and projection and five hours of longevity. One of Aramis's best and a great classic.

30th August, 2013
A splash of bay rum, a pinch of herbs/spices, a hint of tobacco. The blending is smooth, the vibe decidedly relaxed yet assertive. Forget the laundry list of notes, HAVANA works simply because it doesn't try too hard to impress. Some might find it a little 'old school' but THIS is exactly how masculine fragrances should be done: not so much about in-your-face braggadocio but more of a cool confident swagger. A virile classic that would sit proudly in any man's wardrobe.
13th May, 2013
A gentle touch of spicy tobacco and grapefruit.
IMO this is the 3rd hit from this house - afler the good old Aramis (1st) and Tuscanny (2nd).
Ageless and classic, for all the seasons you can imagine for yourself.
A well deserved 8,7/10.
27th January, 2013
I remember trying this back in the mid 90's because I loved most everything from Aramis. I didn't buy a bottle then, but I just recently purchased a mini and am enjoying it quite a bit.

All of the notes listed are overwhelming, but to me the scent is much simpler than that. There is a nice warm cinnamon and spice opening with some booze/bay rum as well. It is heady yet comforting which is really nice on a brisk January morning.

As it goes along, the booze subsides into spice, woods, smoky vanilla, maybe hints of leather and a bit of pepper. The cinnamon stick also seems to last which I like. This would be a big hit at a Christmas or New Years Eve party. It definitely has a winter vibe, but I bet it would be just as great on a warm summer evening where the booze and bay rum would give it a tropical feel.

I see a full bottle purchase in my future!
08th January, 2013
Saw how overwhelming the positive reviews were for this cologne and was very excited to be ordering this blindly. Couldnt have been much more disappointed in it. gave it 2 sprays and now I'm stuck at work smelling like an ashtray. Positive reviewers, youve dropped the ball on this one.
03rd January, 2013
Contains a ridiculous amount of ingredients, and there's no way they could sing in harmony for a long time. Havana does not unfold so much as unravel. This is not a a major problem since most of the notes are pleasant and the scent has a lot of surprises as it finally dries down to this salty ashtray/brown sugar finale I am unable to make up my mind about.
31st May, 2012
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Oh yeah, now we are talking! Aramis Havana is an incredible scent indeed. It has so much going on I could not even begin to properly describe it effectively. That said, the best way I can think of to give a relatively good impression of what it smells like, is fresh rolled tobacco leaf used to wrap cigars mixed with bay rum and a hint of smoke. This is über masculine, and quite powerful. Quite frankly, Havana represents just about everything I love about wearing powerhouse scents. Definitely belongs in every man's collection and it is quite reasonably priced to boot. I love it so much, I just bought another bottle. 4.5 stars out of 5.
10th February, 2012 (last edited: 22nd December, 2012)
There is nothing like Havana. Spicy, warm yet invigorating, complex, refined, yet it has a bad-ass edge to it. There are so many facets to this fragrance. This cologne is not for the clean sweet and fruity or powdery-vanilla crowd. Havana is super masculine. The aroma is powerful and assertive, yet sophisticated and classy.

I get cinnamon, bay rum, an ever-present spiciness, a light grassy vetiver at the end along with many other notes I cannot describe. In addition, I get that perfumer's tobacco note you catch in Guerlain Vetiver (ribbed bottle).

For those who like to leave the house crisp, confident and "boldly spiced". Can be worn year round too. Check me into the clinic, I'm addicted to it. Also worth mentioning: I'm highly sensitive to chemicals used in most modern fragrances and I do not detect synthetic chemicals in this. To me it is extremely natural and niche quality.

Definitely sample this one first though.
30th January, 2012