Negative Reviews of Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Woody Oriental

    This dull, aging, straight-laced, (if socially progressive,) straight guy grants kudos to the house of Jean Paul Gaultier for openly courting the gay male market well before it was politically correct to do so – back in those benighted times when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” actually looked like a step forward. Insofar as the packaging and winking sailor boy from The Village People ad campaign were unambiguously and unashamedly targeted – not to mention decades in advance of Etat Libre d’Orange – I say good for Gaultier. I only wish they’d given the guys a better scent.

    I have no idea what perfume critic Tania Sanchez was sniffing when she described Le Mâle as a “light, soapy lavender scent,” but to me the contents of the bottle with the bulging crotch rank among the loudest, crudest entries in the sugared 1990s tidal wave that included A*Men, Pi, Rochas Man, Lolita Lempicka au Masaculin and Joop! Homme. I find this especially remarkable given that it’s purported to be the work of Francis Kurkdjian , him of Enlévement au Sérail, Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile, L’Eau Noire, and Ma Dame. The composition smells very simple, and all I get out of it besides Ms. Sanchez’s lavender is powdery vanilla, amber, and a monstrously amplified note of ethylmaltol. This last is the same diabolically shrill, sweet aromachemical that lends the original Angel its syrupy consistency.

    The development, if I may deign to call it that, is strictly linear, and the cloying sweet central accord persists at the olfactory equivalent of deafening volume for hour upon hour – which I count as no good thing, given how unpleasant I find Le Mâle. Contrary to some others, I actually find Kurkjian’s recent floral variation, Fleur du Mâle, far more wearable and interesting.

    19 June, 2014

    ktbrooke's avatar



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    A classic scent destroyed by reformulation

    Jean Paul Gaultier's Le Male was a masterpiece of simplicity and design. Some people thought it was a victim of its own success but popularity was never due to hype or marketing, rather it was down to one simple and fundamental truth (often forgotten in fragrance world), Le Male just smelled so bloody wonderful.

    Le Male was never a complex scent, just a perfectly balance of duality - its intense vanilla dry down tempered beautifully by mint and a hint of lavender. It was also renowned for its projection and longevity across the board, something rare with so many different and subjective reactions to fragrances.

    So it's with a heavy heart that I inform the reader that Le Male has, most likely, been reformulated as a shadow of its former self. I've purchased 5 bottles over the past six months, all from reputable sources and they have all inspired contempt and frustration. The new formulation has dropped the heavy vanilla dry down in favor of something more subtle. It's not unpleasant but it's far less sweet than the original formulation and seems a little more powdery. It has also become far less potent. In fact, I'd go so far to say that its projection is weak. It stays so close to the skin as to become none existent. Longevity remains decent - around 6-7 hours, less than its earlier incarnation - but because the projection is so slight and the scent so bland, longevity becomes mostly irrelevant.

    I don't think that there has been any official word from Jean Paul Gaultier but the forums are abuzz with speculation. I remained objective in my assessment - negative experiences with scents often comes down to fake bottles or stale perfumes - but I feel confident that I've given enough time, and enough money (!), to confirm my judgement.

    In conclusion, be wary when purchasing Le Male. I suggest hunting down older bottles, if you know what to look for (it's been suggested that the older formulations have darker stripes on the bottles). Otherwise, lower your expectations of this once beautiful creation and mourn the defiling of a classic male fragrance.

    Pros: Retains hints of its older version
    Cons: Weak projection, weak longevity, lack of vanilla intensity"

    18 September, 2013

    Da Virt's avatar

    France France

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    Sweet scent at first sight but too much for my taste. It becomes invasive and unpleasant.

    27 November, 2012

    BriGuy's avatar

    United States United States

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    With all the amazing reviews I read about this, i just HAD to try it. I WANTED to like it... but alas, it was not for me.
    When sprayed on the test strip of paper, it was very forgettable, with an undertone i wasn't sure of. Surely that was just something subtle on thetop notes that would wear off eventually. So I tried it on my skin.
    For 45 minutes all I got was babypowder that had something subtle trying to come out. Eventually the hidden note came out: Vanilla.
    If vanilla and babypowder are notes you enjoy, then this is the frag for you. Sadly, I didn't feel that it lived up to the expectations made by all the reviews. IMHO.

    06 October, 2012

    Zut's avatar



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    Le male contains some of my favourite notes and I was eager to try it. I really liked this fragrance on the blotter. Then, I sprayed some on my wrist. Big mistake! After 20 minutes, I smelled like I spilled a bottle of Musk for Men by Jovan (a horrible cheap drugstore fragrance that was all too popular back in the 70's). For months, my mouse pad reeked of white musk. Oddly enough, musk is not mentioned in Le male's olfactory pyramid. I wonder what it is that reacts so bad on my skin.

    Maybe Le male is a great fragrance on some men but on me, it is utterly revolting. Headache in a bottle, unfortunately.

    12 August, 2012

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    so sweet it mekes me sick, are you sure this was intented for males to use it?

    26 June, 2012

    mikesc's avatar

    United States United States

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    I keep trying this one and it's just as nasty as the last time I tried it on. Smells like a syntheticly sweet plastic. An assault on the senses.

    27 January, 2012

    Olive94's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    THIS SCENT LASTS FOREVER AND A DAY! I had a spray in a shop and the initial very alcoholly blast put me off a little. After about 20 minutes it blends into a spicy vanilla scent. I personally struggled smelling any lavender or mint but there you go. I really don't see what the big fuss is with this fragrance. However, the sillage/projection/longevity cannot be faultered.

    16 January, 2012

    Moscow30's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nasty. Cheap. Synthetic. Body funk. All words that come to mind when I think of "Le Male".

    Inappropriate at any time, but in the morning beyond nauseating. I've had to sit through business meetings next to men that wear this, and although instantly recognizable, it is also totally loud and gross. Pass...

    10th January, 2012 (Last Edited: 09 February, 2012)

    Kain's avatar

    Iran Iran

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    I don't like this fragrance at all!
    Start with huge blast of synthetic vanilla and the worst note in the world of fragrances, LAVENDER!
    I hate lavender and lavender based fragrances.
    This fragrance give me cleaner vibe!
    We have a glass cleaner in our house that smell exactly like this fragrance!
    Unfortunately the lavender linger through the whole fragrance life on your skin and I can't stand it!
    I bought this fragrance blind and that was a big mistake!
    Great longevity but average projection on my skin.
    Completely waste of money!

    07 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 10th May, 2014)

    Picollo30's avatar

    Portugal Portugal

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    this one is so overrated. everyone and his dog wears le male nowadays. its sickening. i prefer rochas man or my givenchy pi if i want to smell vanilla.

    15 September, 2011

    Notreveh's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    How is this one a top seller?! Really?! A synthetic vanilla explosion mixed with mint all the way through... too much linear and boring. Stays forever on skin and projects like a monster. Must be doing really well on the market all these years just because in general, girls usually loves a sweet smell and so, guys will pump this fragrance to attract the opposite sex.

    21st August, 2011

    HouseofCreed's avatar

    United States United States

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    Reminds me of my laundry detergent, too powdery and synthetic.

    18 August, 2011

    subutex's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Any of you eaten at a Chinese restaurant where they provide you napkins that are alike to wet tissues? Le Male smells exactly like those napkins. Horrendous!

    14 August, 2011

    PerfumeCollector's avatar

    United States United States

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    Finally I finish my 3.4 oz bottle of this concoction and my words while I was tossing the empty bottle to the trash were "Good ridance".
    Synthetic, cloyingly sweet mismatch of clashing notes that activates my vomit center, only a young, unsophisticated nose can enjoy this monstruosity.
    At any rate, if you still like something like Le Male, get Cubano Gold wich is much better and costs just a fraction of the price of the blue male torso ugly bottle juice.
    My most enthusiastic thumbs down

    24 July, 2011

    scentimus's avatar



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    Sorry I don't see the Barber shop connection here at least any I have visited in my time.

    This could pass for a women's fragrance it is very sweet and mega floral. I very much link this men's fragrance to Victor & Rolf's Flowerbomb and even that has some spicy patchouli to cut it sweetness which Le Male lacks.

    The whole concept is very kitsch - this scent blatantly has more homo erotic overtones in both it add and packaging...yet we squawks about Joop in the 'pink'

    I give props to both AMen and Joop for they are sweat scents like Le Male but counter part that sweetness with either spice or patchouli.

    06 July, 2011

    Koi-Sashuu's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Everyone has this and everyone uses this.
    I'm getting tired of it.

    It smells feminine and you smell it everywhere!

    18 June, 2011

    smells like's avatar

    United States United States

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    I blind-bought this fragrance based on its overall popularity and seemingly favorable online reviews. A good place to start would be to say this is certainly not going to please everyone.

    As several other reviews have stated, this concoction ought to be classified as a chemical warfare agent. The scent is definitely memorable. Coworkers will remember your sillage choking them to death from across the room. Even when used incredibly sparingly, this sickly sweet fragrance smacks everyone around you in the face with a chlorinated vanilla candle wax with what I think is cardamom.

    As the legend has it, women seem to like it. But there are also more tolerable scents that they like and notice as well. I don't think I could wear this all day without enduring fits of nausea. I kind of hope this fragrance's popularity fades like an out-of-style piece of clothing.

    To end on a positive note: You might have some success using the tiniest amount of the fragrance combined with another of your choosing. You will have to mix and match to get something worthwhile.

    25 May, 2011

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    My clinical assessment of this scent: "cutsey-poo."
    It has a very sweet opening which becomes slightly aromatic. The scent develops a blue, fresh, somewhat synthetic character. Powdery, vanillan, soapy, a tiny bit metallic or even rubbery. Never abandons its sweet and somewhat precious style.

    17 April, 2011

    yasir ali's avatar



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    hi

    i brought this with a high prize. i can only smell scented candle.nothing else.what an overrated fragrance.
    cool water is thousands times better that this.
    people buy this to attention of women. but if you cannot enjoy it yourself how can you buy to the idea that you will wear this to only please others.

    if you are wearing to get compliments from opposite sex.try issay miyake, or boss bottled ,
    l homme etc.

    it is definitely not for warmer areas . it smell terrible in warmer whether .extremely synthetic.

    i try to like it .but not.

    12 April, 2011

    silversurfer's avatar

    United States United States

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    Projects like an IMAX theatre in the round! ... Which wouldn't be so bad if it smelled good. For the life of me, I can't figure why anyone likes this one. Not on my list, even toward the bottom.

    26 February, 2011

    Castrensis's avatar

    United States United States

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    DANGER: CHEMICAL WEAPON. PLEASE KEEP THE SOUP CAN SEALED.

    Lavender vanilla powder-bomb. Synthetic sickly sweet scrubber. Nausea & migraine inducing nightmare. This is a terrorist device, not a perfume.

    16 February, 2011 (Last Edited: 20th February, 2011)

    necrosero's avatar

    Romania Romania

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    Horrible, synthetic, sickeningly sweet concoction. All I can smell is vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. Might as well buy a vanilla candy for that matter. And oh, the longevity and projection are extreme! Everyone will notice how you reek of this "modern" fragrance. Ok, maybe I'm a bit biased, I hate sweet fragrances, but I totally hate Le Male, it embodies everything that I loathe about modern perfumes (albeit it's a '95 scent, it's still "modern").

    10th January, 2011

    MOONB's avatar

    United States United States

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    Of all the heavily synthetic department store frags I've tried, Le Male stands alone as the obnoxiously flamboyant imbecile who makes all the other low brow offerings seem deep, sophisticated, wearable. What's with his sailor outfit? This the Village People here? And while I'm at it, am I to assume that a large percentage of the $90 price tag is attributable to the soup can packaging? Nice to see the focus is on the fragrance. This guy is better left in 1996.

    25 December, 2010

    KillerScent's avatar



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    This is one of those fragrances to be fully loved or hated .In my case I don't like it because it has a very feminine scent (in fact I know many woman that wear it), with an overall floral tone blended with a mint note .
    The good point of this fragrance, and what other perfumers should imitate, is its great longevity and sillage, incredible for an eau de toilette .It can be clearly noticed at a great distance from you , and when other people wear this they leave a trail that can be clearly identified .Longevity is also very good , it last almost all day even if you spray it in the morning .
    Many times I've been tempted to buy it because of its great longevity and sillage, but I've never bought it as I don´t like its feminine scent, so I give it a thumbs down.

    01st November, 2010

    Redleg's avatar

    United States United States

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    The mint is overpowering and smells synthetic. Admittedly, I'm not a big mint fan to begin with, but this cologne gives me a headache.

    22 July, 2010

    ForresterOD's avatar

    Jamaica Jamaica

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    There was too much going on in this fragrance. Perhaps it smells better in temperate and cold regions, but in a tropical climate the different notes meld and become something almost indistinguishable and almost rancid if you're not careful

    20th June, 2010

    G.M.K.'s avatar

    Pakistan Pakistan

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    according to most reviews ladies love this stuff but i think it is offensive to physical , it can repell moths not only ladies...................AVOID .

    23 May, 2010

    smelling something's avatar



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    It's a very original smell, i have to agree...
    But that's the last thing i like of it.
    Smells very chemical, mentholated (reminds me a toothpaste brand), so intense that you can get sick.
    And the worst of all (the best, if you like it) is that it lasts forever. 24 hours later it can be easily noticed. If you wash, you are losing your time, this stuff is extremely sticky.

    I even repent of buying a 2 bucks sample vial.

    WARNING: never, i mean NEVER buy a fragance based exclusively on reviews: EVERYONE HAS A PERSONAL TASTE. YOU HAVE TO SMELL IT BY YOURSELF!!!

    03 April, 2010

    's avatar



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    Noooo! It remids me a kind of Anti-bacterial handwash gel :))
    i tested it, and washed my hand very fast.

    26 March, 2010

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