Ho Hang is a naturalistic Italian style masculine with a cool citrus - basil core and a minimum of detailing. Spare and uncompromising, it lies somewhere between a dry Martini and Eau du Sud.
02nd June, 2015 (last edited: 12th June, 2015)
For me, this begins as a spicy lavender splash, very much in the old barbershop vegetal mode. As it calms down, the geranium and basil notes take over and it becomes more herbal. The dry down of vanilla and tonka bean is quite nice, but the lavender fougere notes remain in the background, not dominating as with Balenciaga's formal fougere, POUR HOMME, just pleasantly there.
This is quite different from their later HO HANG CLUB and one wonders as always in this industry why completely different scents are given similar names. HHC is powdery, floral, woody and fabulous. I much prefer it to the original HO HANG.
This is a quality fougere, but due to its lack of originality, I give it a neutral review.
I often call it Ho Hum. It's definitely in the running among the barbershop spicy fougere clan, but I'm torn between being bored to death by it, or simply struggling to smell the spot of it that I just splashed. It opens with the same anise and powder as Jockey Club, but it's way weaker, and I feel like I'm always waiting for something interesting to happen. Eventually it gets a bit sweeter, more of a spicy oriental, but it's subtle, and the change makes it more fussy and musty to me. It really smells like 1971 in a bad way. I agree that the exotic woods become a bit more noticeable after a while, but again the change is too small for me to notice half the time, or care. The one certain thing about Ho Hang is that if I put it on in the morning, I am guaranteed to forget that I even wore cologne at all that day, and to forget what it even smelled like. It's just too dull and weak to care about.
12th March, 2013 (last edited: 09th August, 2014)
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Hang Ho Hang! Truth be told it is not a bad scent, just mediocre. One big yawn.
31st March, 2007 (last edited: 06th July, 2009)
A warm woody Oriental, classic in construction. Ho Hang has that extra drama – that touch of surrealism – that is prominent in several of the Balenciaga fragrances I’ve experienced. I find the opening very aromatic, which, to me, emphasizes the otherwise understated citrus / herbal top. The aromatics are primarily accomplished through the lavender and basil – a particularly aromatic form of each of them. When I first experienced Ho Hang, I found the opening rather discreet, but the more I wear it, the more power the opening seems to have. The wood middle continues the Oriental nature of the fragrance especially with the help of the dramatic carnation, rosewood, and cedar, smoothed and evened by a mild patchouli. The base is Oriental – not as sweet as the list of notes would indicate – and probably the least dramatic of the levels. Ho Hang is a somewhat fresh, very woody, semi-sweet fragrance, rather old-fashioned, a touch dramatic in its quiet citrus way. It throws a moderate sillage and has very good longevity. Orientals are not my favorite category and I find a sort of built in contradiction about citrus Orientals: I guess I prefer my citruses light and airy… but even so, this is a well made, attractive fragrance.
17th September, 2006 (last edited: 23rd May, 2008)