Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of YSL pour Homme Haute Concentration by Yves Saint Laurent

Total Reviews: 25
The 1980's was a time for loud, brash, virile, and hyper-masculine scents that one-upped all the macho man juices from the 70's by further marginalizing the "scent of a man" in their composition, but these "powerhouses" weren't all that there was in the decade, as a lot of guys still appreciated a dapper and more confident approach without such boisterous signalling. For this reason, a lot of really nice but conservative scents flew well under the radar during this time, including a series of quietly-issued "Concentrée" and "Haute Concentration" variants of older masculine standbys for the guy who loved his classics but needed them just a bit louder to be heard over the cacophony of oakmoss, civet, castoreum, benzoin, and styrax that was flying about at the time. Most of the major men's chypres of decades past saw uppage in concentration in the 80's, and most were exactly as labelled: a parfum-strength variant that couldn't comfortably be labelled as such because of the conventions of the day. Some were arguably different scents, re-tooled and rebalanced to merely resemble what they were boosting, rather than just being a note-for-note increase, and such was the case here. Nowadays we just see parfum variants of everything, but this wasn't standard practice then. YSL PH HC isn't a totally reinterpretation like Chanel Pour Monsieur Eau de Toilette Concentrée (1989), but in this case, nothing is being "fixed", just strengthened. If you like mid-century men's chypres but wish they lasted longer, this might have been a good option if it hadn't been discontinued, but asking prices for surviving stock sadly make it more of a serious collector's piece now.

I tried to find out who created Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme Haute Concentration, but it is undocumented. Perhaps Raymond Challian returned and reworked his own formula for the original, because they seem awfully close, but alas I cannot verify. The important thing is that Haute Concentration smells 95% like the original Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme except in parts of the middle and the very end. It's the slightest of enhancements, like the popular "restomods" found in care culture that increase performance while preserving the stock cosmetics. Those who haven't sniffed the original Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme are actually encouraged to get a taste of that first, as it's lemony opening, gentle herbs heart, dry woods, and moss base that uses your own sweat as the animalic X factor is quite the genius stroke for it's genre. Haute Concentration removes the guesswork that relying on the wearer's skin chemistry brings and replaces it with a louder top, beefier middle, and resonating base that ensures more consistent performance at the cost of artistry. Petitgrain joins the "lemon pledge" salvo of the original YSL PH, while coumarin and patchouli join the original herbal ensemble as well. The oakmoss and sandalwood base is further augmented by nutmeg. The base is ironically the least tampered-with part of the scent, but has affected the greatest change in the wear as this dries down rather nutty instead of with the dry woods and buttery moss one might otherwise expect.

Wearing Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme Haute Concentration is like wearing a version of the original YSL PH that's been regularly hitting the gym: it's newfound strength can power through most situations where before it could not, but the added swagger has altered it's personality, and it's no longer as sauve and approachable like the consummate gentleman it once was. Big biceps and a tighter-fitting shirt might do it for some, but you can never truly relax around somebody presenting themselves that way, which is why I still prefer the original. Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme Haute Concentration doesn't let you control the "X factor" by turning up the heat; it's all or nothing, take it or leave it. The petitgrain in the top does inch it closer to the original's rival of Chanel Pour Monsieur Eau de Toilette (1955), and Versace would travel similar but more oriental vibes with l'Homme (1984) the following year, creating a spinoff genre that I won't detail here. For those who own the original, this is extra-curricular, and for those who own neither, the original is the better entry point. I quite like Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme Haute Concentration, but I'm also the kind of guy that enjoys speed metal, so subtlety is sometimes lost on me.
12th April, 2018
This is a review of the first reformulated version in the black cap and glass bottle before it was discontinued. Same as the photo above.

At the start you can smell soft sour lemon mixed in with rosemary. Soon petagrain can be smelled within this fresh herbal mix. The scent is very unique and smells so natural. It's like the creators left the lab and decided to create the scent at the local botanical gardens. lol

The lemon soon disappears and is overtaken with the rosemary and woods with soft spices. It is very nice, fresh green and as time goes by it becomes drier and musky in the basenotes. Now here is where things get interesting although it's not listed in the note breakdown, I can smell castoreum. This is a animalic note that smells leathery, smoky and musky. Mixed in with rosemary and light woods and spices makes the scent very sensual at this final stage.

The scent projects well for the first few hours and then stays closer to you. Longevity is four or so hours but it does linger on your shirt/clothes a lot longer and can still be smelled.

All in all a very lovely natural smelling fragrance with top notch ingredients.

One thing to note is there are two versions, the original from 1983 in a black bottle which is very rare. It also smells a bit different as well as longevity and projection been a lot stronger. And then there is this one with the black cap and clear bottle which I believe was a post 2005 reformulation. So this explains the disparity in the reviews.
09th March, 2018 (last edited: 12th March, 2018)
I am tired, very tired of the "******" (self-censored) fragrances that all smell alike or those fragrance houses that fail to have a strong identity. I neither buy or support those houses. Either make a man's scent or a woman's scent: life is too short for sameness.

On initial spray, I smell a mature lemon note and then the magical dry-down of refined woods.

I wish this scent was easier to obtain from reputable sources. A very fine fragrance of the masculine identity.
25th December, 2017
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An oakmoss-rich, packed full of light herbs, citrus and luscious woods, YSL Pour Homme Haute Concentration is perhaps one of the longest-lasting designer scents of all time.

It's been well over 30 years since this gem came out and in my opinion was way ahead of its time. Chanel had Pour Monsieur, Dior had Eau Sauvage, Givenchy had Monsieur de Givenchy, so the bar was set quite high for YSL to compete with. But they came out with this!

Of all the 'homme' or 'monsieur' fragrances this one cuts above them all in my opinion. Fresh yet slightly dirty, smooth yet herbaceous, strong but not overpowering and very long lasting, Haute Concentration oozes quality and class.

I have the first edition bottle, with the large YSL letters on the bottle and the box. But despair not! Vintage is not the only way to go these days. The regular YSL Pour Homme in the La Collection square bottles is remarkably similar to the vintage and now long-discontinued Haute Concentration.

I'll never be without a bottle of this as it is just too classy to skip over. A thumbs up and an easy 5/5 for me.
19th October, 2017
Designed as a more intense version of its older brother, my unremarkable nose finds nothing noticeably stronger with HC or dramatically different between the two. HC carries more of a spicy, soapy carnation note (remindful a bit of Versace L'Homme) and its masculine edge is not quite as sharp... but the closest thing to HC is YSL pH and vice versa.

Sure it's a good lemon/herbal masculine on its own merits, but every time I wear it I have wandering thoughts as to why I just didn't spray YSL pH instead.

My bottle of YSL pH HC is one of the non-detachable black cap versions, post-2005.
18th September, 2016
this comes from an era when you did not need niche perfumery to enjoy a blast of pure happiness!
13th November, 2012
Dare I say - brilliant! YSL Pour Homme's original bottling came out in 1971 while this entirely different composition arrived in 1983, a full dozen years later. For fans of the genre, familiarity with the classic bottles is essential to understand this composition. It shrinks the note pyramid of YSL Pour Homme, and is not stronger (both are Eau de Toilette) - but it shows us how aromatic compounds can be deeper and more focused. A huge blast of lemon opens this scent but is immediately blended with petit grain. The depth of citrus here is phenomenal - it will last the entire wearing...up to 10+ hours and stay on clothing for several days! The carnation in the top, while just a light nuance in the traditional YSL Pour Homme bottling is much more prevalent here. A key note that brings this together, which I believe is missing from the scent pyramid above is verbena (or lemon verbena) that blends brilliantly with the rosemary and sage to give us the herbal heart. I get a great earthiness in this from the deep patchouli - possibly the best use of patchouli in a citrus fragrance! The wood here is important, but blended well - cedar, sandalwood and a nice, slightly-dirty/bitter vetiver accord that is rounded out by the nutmeg offering a dustiness into the base notes. I love this texture...the depth is stunning!

Some people say this is a very strong scent. While it may awaken your olfactory senses - it is aromatically rich and a different scent than its older brother. This is, to me, one of the best Haute Concentrations of an Aromatic Citrus ever produced - because it does what many attempt to decreases the number of notes from the original and, yet, makes the composition deeper and richer (than 'standard' formulation).

A modern classic - to be worn with swagger, confidence and honesty. This is a scent with confidence in just a light to moderate application. While I find myself torn on which is better, I reach for the YSL Pour Homme standard bottling to feel cleaner and more gentlemanly (and for a single key note in Vintage, Oakmoss) - this is one I wear when I want to be noticed. I adore both.

This is pure excellence in a bottle! YSL Pour Homme Haute Concentration is a scent that stays within the lines of the genre, yet goes at least one (or two) levels richer in olfactory depth than almost any other scent out there in the realm of Aromatic/"Dirty" Citruses - awesome. Profound and to be respected!

Only for those who adore what an aromatic citrus can offer when it turned up to FULL volume. This is much like feedback on a tube amplifier - noisy to some; beautiful (and harmonically-perfect) to others. Cheers! Near perfection...
27th June, 2012
This is a very dry straightforward chypre with a fresh resinous lemon top, similar to Homme de Grés, cousins with the Monsieurs of Givenchy and Chanel. How much different modern masculine perfumes would be had these tasteful, natural-smelling, refined French masterpieces become the model for men's scents instead of Cool Water? If Axe body sprays and every second shower gel smelled like this the world would be a better place indeed. Perfect for day or evening and every level of formality, these are my go-to fragrances when I want to smell great but not draw attention to myself. I urge other men to do the same. True tastefulness is in scarce supply these days. Bring on the Monsieurs!
19th January, 2012
Sweaty lemons!! As accurate as a description as can be given. But that should not be viewed in a negative, I truly love and admire this classy scent.

VERY powerful, strong citrus opening with a very herbaceous undertone. This loud phase lasts a long time before taming down to a gentler but lasting woodsy lemony fragrance. I think it is the variety of herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage) and woods that give it that animalic aspect to which others have referred - these are present but in a very non-threatening manner. Definitely a relic from the old school, not a scent that would be produced today, it is gentlemanly, distinguished and charming, with the clean lemon contrasting with those semi-dirty herby notes, giving a fragrance that is the equivalent of a well groomed man in a dress suit going commando !!!!!!!!
21st October, 2009
What an outstanding scent! My original intention was to buy the original version. When I discovered this version in the parcel, I first thought of returning it. But then I said to myself, well, what the heck, I´ll give it a try- it´s a Saint Laurent frag after all! I´ve got to admit I don´t regret my decision at all. I love the initial burst of lemon, which is by far the juiciest lemon note I´ve ever smelled in a fragrance. It literally awakens my senses. The woody notes uncover a deeper, darker aspect of this fragrance. In my lay opinion all the notes are perfectly blended. I don´t find YSL PH HC overpowering or headache-inducing. Like with other powerhouse frags, the secret of enjoying this treasure to the max lies in sensible application- less is normally just the right amount.
09th October, 2009
Mmmmmm, what a trip!

YSL Pour Homme Haute Concentration really takes me back! I was given a sample of this in the early 90's and loved it; on my next trip to London (hailing from the sticks ) I bought a full-bottle in Harrods. Unfortunately, being young and careless, I purchased the original Pour Homme and not the concentration; my best friend told me, gleefully, that it smelt like 'Lemon Pledge' (for the benefit of readers not in the UK -Lemon Pledge is furniture polish!) and I was bereft that I'd spent two weeks wages (I was at college then) on a scent I didn't (and still don't) like at all.

Eventually I got around to getting the Concentration and some sixteen years later am wondering why I have never, until now, purchased it again. Probably because I grew into the more agressive Antaeus and was at that kind of age when you change your fragrances all the time. When I tried to get some a few years later it seemed like it had dissapeared altogether.

This is simplicity itself. Yes, the lemon is very prevalent but I cannot detect the sour note that a lot of readers have mentioned. It's gentle, masculine but not macho (unlike (PUKE!) the hideousness that is Kourous) and very comforting. It's like you've sprayed yourself in a goodbye hug...THAT kind of goodbye hug, not the kind you'd get from your Father! You catch wafts of it throughout the day and just feel sensual, clean and confident.
It mellows beautifully, the citrus settles down without dissapearing altogether, and warmer notes come forefront ensuring it can be detected hours after application. Yes, this fella packs a punch so go easy on the application (although personally it wouldn't bother me if you've showered in it.) It's also that rare thing - Pour Homme Haute Concentration is oblivious to time and occasion. It's perfect around both the clock and the seasons, adjusting itself with ease to any social occasion be it work, a formal dinner party, the amped-up, sweaty atmosphere of a club and those more (cough) intimate gatherings. Another big plus is its (now) relative obscurity, meaning it's not worn by absolutely everybody . This will stand out much more than any fragrance from Calvin awful Klein or Le Bland-and-Boring by Jean Paul Gaultier

As Backtable put it, YSL Pour Homme Concentration is class-in-a-bottle. A timeless masterpiece.
08th October, 2009
I remember YSL pour Homme back in the 80s, the EdT concentration, which as a kid was happy to have a couple of samples of. Memorable and refined, it smelled of class, restraint, sophistication, and a bit of the joie de vivre. It smelled like a classic EdC with a woody musky warmth to it.

I didn't realize there was a Haute Concentration version until joining Basenotes. I found a bottle for awfully cheap and thought that I could relive the good ol' days of classic perfumery. High concentration is damn right! Two sprays created a cloud of sharp citrus that could scare away a thick swarm of mosquitoes!

As you get passed the bright citrus, you are invited to its herbaceous and animalic qualities. Normally one would imagine catching nuances of this at the base, but it appears rather quickly. Verbena, geranium, thyme, and musk, create a sharp and sweaty "unwashed" smell that is almost too much for modern standards. Even Kouros seemed to smell more subdued when it came to its animalic facets of its fragrance. Well, I shouldn't say that--I guess I feel that I'm more sensitive to sharper smells.

It does mellow nicely and at this point, this is where the grandiosity of the perfume lies. The hebaceousness of the perfume recedes and the sandalwood, vetiver, and cedar create a calming feeling of freshness.

Definitely a try-before-you-buy scent, but not awfully regrettable if bought blind because it can be had for around $20, perhaps even less. To compare the two concentrations, I think the EdT is easier to wear without feeling you've worn too much and doesn't smell too animalic and smells more cozy.

It's funny you can remember these fragrances after all these decades, but these newer creations leave nothing memorable to be appreciated that its future seems to be bleak. Perfumery should definitely go back to basics.
20th July, 2009
thyme, man sweat, and lemons.

sort of the olfactory equivalent of that photo of Yves in the nude... classy somehow in his nudity. Ah, to be French in the 1970s. I'm not sure this bookish yours truly could ever pull it off.
16th July, 2009
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Now this one is something else. Wear this, and you will feel as a shady character from Paris underground life, half way between being legal citizen and a pure criminal.

But never without a style.

This water is extremely decadent and different than anything else you have tried before. Be wary about the girls that find this scent attractive... they will steal your heart and toss it to the crocodiles tomorrow, only if they find out you can't keep up with them...

Nothing can make you feel so clean and so "dirty" at the same time as YSL pour Homme Haute Concentration. You will feel like a real man, from the real world. Unlike some unsecure mama's boy seeking new trends and constantly finding yourself. If you don't feel like a man yet, this thing will make a man out of you. Remember, you don't spray it, you wear it like Don Corleone wears the tuxedo on his daughter's wedding day.

Definite macho scent. Lay down your weapons Antaeus.
17th May, 2009
lex Show all reviews
United States
well made.this scent is blended wonderfully with lemons. its not harsh its just smooth and smells of class
15th March, 2009 (last edited: 12th June, 2009)
There is a suggestion of Blenheim Bouquet about the opening, with a strong sense of honey dominating the early exchanges. For such a simple construction, this has plenty of depth to enjoy, and all from such a small application. It would have been easy to get the balance of Haute Concentrate wrong, but it works remarkably well. On the one hand I am sad that this classic is often overlooked, but then again, it does mean it can be purchased at a reasonable price. This ticks all my boxes for quality, sillage, longevity and value for money. Bravo
19th February, 2009
Citrus experience here with big results.
YSL Pour Homme Haute Concentration is one of the best fragances in the market. Simple and nice lemony juice with great projection and longevity. This is a mature lemony and thats fine. Lemons, lemons and lemons.

Pure class. Do you need something else?

(Not very popular, thats a nice point too. Check Ebay, very nice prices on this yummy perfume.)
03rd November, 2008 (last edited: 25th December, 2008)
I'd could write a page on what I love about this cologne, but then Ken Russell nailed it. A crisp, masculine scent with incredible silage. In fact, most scents meld into something milder as the day wears on, while YSL concentre seems to actually become more defined over time. What evolves is class-in-a-bottle, without being overwhelmingly stuffy or loud. Just refined, clean and self-assured. Excellent evening formal-wear cologne. (One caveat: A little is all it takes, so go easy on the application).
30th September, 2008
A sweaty man sucking lemons. How utterly uncharitable! (But how very true.) That said, what's the problem here? I find that succinct statement to be an homage, actually, not an insult.

There ARE dirty herbs here. There IS a slight BO vibe going on. There ARE tons of citrus notes to be had.

And the funny thing? It all works together beautifully to create a real Eighties power frag masterpiece.
10th January, 2008
Griff Show all reviews
United States
One of the joys of collecting and savoring scent is the discovery of an old school fragrance that one somehow missed when they were new. YSL pour Homme Haute Concentration, for example. I just found this one. I had no idea.

YSL pour Homme Haute Concentration could only have been concocted by the same house responsible for the equally disturbing and irresistable Kouros. This stuff is pure "swoon" in a bottle.

Hovering just beneath the initial soapy verbena blast of light (yes, the citrus is that startling) lurks a dark, animalic underpinning similar in composition to the base notes of Jicky or Ungaro II but in YSL HHC, the effect of cheery lemon and nasty musk is much, much more sinister. I realize none of these descriptives sound appealing but this weird combination of completely disparate light and shadow notes somehow works.

The drydown, though not entirely linear, is still remarkable. Instead of total metamorphosis, the two accords quiet down into a soft, slightly musty (think old leather books), slightly herbal (think dry gum tree leaves) delight that growls like a Bizzaro World Joseph Merrick, "I am not a man, I am, an animal!"

31st July, 2007
For an ardent fan of classic perfumes like me, this scent was close to a revelation, as i loved it more than i loved many of my personal favorites.
It's the right fragrance for all the ones who got tired of the overrating of boutique and niche perfumes and want to buy high quality, get it for less money and without being snobbish but at the same time having a designer scent. Very concentrated, can be over-applied very easily and can be perceived as offensive and rude if one truly does so.
But that still does not affect my liking towards this scent, as tastes are something personal and men usually have slightly different tastes. I guess it was both the acidity and the very, very strong woody dry-down that might get close to an unpleasant experience, but still this is where this scent's quality lies. It has attitude, overlong persistence - in a good way, that is- and that touch of originality, of classic and indestructible value, that uniqueness and comforting feeling of dignified, self-assured classiness which never fails nor ages. Truly an uncommonly beautiful scent, on of the least typical and stereotypical for a decade that generated so many artworks of masculine fragrance.
17th June, 2007 (last edited: 07th May, 2017)
If you were feeling uncharitable, you might say that YSL Pour Homme Haute Concentree is all about a sweaty man sucking lemons. But that would be untrue as well as unkind. An invigorating opening of sharp lemon is very soon joined by what strikes my nostrils as a rather sour note of male body odour. This is presumably the "dirty herbs" aspect of the fragrance which the estimable Vicompte de K refers to somewhere.
The citrus and the sweating herbs engage in conversation for quite a while, by turns intriguing, attractive, and slightly offensive. The family resemblance with the original YSL Pour Homme is always in evidence, although the Haute Concentree version is a less straightforward fellow, just as refined (both in terms of quality of ingredients and subtle modulations from one phase of the scent to the next), but with a hint of rudeness and peculiar personal habits.
The later phases of the Haute Concentree version are truly delightful and also seem to me to come closest to the original YSL Pour Homme - the slightly suspect dirty herbs/ body odour element surrenders to a warm and exquisite complexity.
I have to say that I still prefer the cleaner, sunnier ambience of the original.
25th May, 2007
One of my FAVORITES. I wouldn't say it is so much lemony, but rather akin to magnolia blossoms, with the slight hint of verbena, but also with an underlying light musk note. The original is far more citrusy (casual wear); however, the Haute Concentration is a tad bit more complex and classy (formal wear). Nonetheless, this will remain in my top 5 fragrances of ALL time (along with Fahrenheit, Givenchy Gentleman, Paco Rabanne, Fendi, and, of course Givenchy Insense and Moods by Krizia, oops that's 6). Jon
04th March, 2007
If you're into a lemony/verbena kinda of day, look no further. I like this fragrance because it stays on my skin and is a rarity on citrusy-lemony fragrances. For that reason alone, I give it a thumbs up.
24th April, 2006
Heady, sexy, daring,not for the faint-hearted, totally indulgent of the late 70's and so very, very Yves!
I was obsessed by YSL the Man, his work and influence in fashion and I adored this fragrance.
28th September, 2004