A nice rendition paying homage to the great Azzaro pour Homme, but it still doesn't come close.
When you're an advocate for a fragrance, as I am for Azzaro pour Homme. It's no secret that if you know me through this site, you know my passion about the original, and how I always recommend it when a man is looking for the ultimate "alpha-male" fragrance.
The original, words are hard to describe how great it is, simply perfection. This review is about the 2011 flanker though simply titled L'eau. L'eau opens up with a much stronger presence of citrus, I get a lot of yuzu. Within minutes, the lavender begins to emerge more, creating this slightly powdery, somewhat bitter accord as it blends with the citrus, but mostly still noticeable is the yuzu, which is a strange almost plasticy smelling grapefruit aroma, that has a hint of neroli there. Yuzu is a pretty unmistakeable note, because it is so unique, but sometimes I can get it confused with other citrus notes blended with floral notes, for example combinations of grapefruit,lemon, jasmine, and lavender. L'eau dries down into a mossy, mucky and woodsy base; but somewhere in between the obnoxious overuse of citrus, and the smooth refined base, I get a dose of geranium in the middle, but it just doesn't fit in to me, as it does in the original.
Better than the original. HELLLLL NO! The original has so much more going on, and is much more masculine. L'eau is not bad, but the citrus heavy top make it more generic to me. The geranium note in this one feels out of place.
Am I a fan? Well.. no. but it is still better than most of the swill produced lately. This one is a modern flanker that actually goes back to its roots and highlights the original to a very good degree. It's just to me.. the original is already so perfect.. why even bother? A biased review from me is what you will get here, though I am being as honest as possible on what my nose picks up. Biased on my opinion rather, I would not purchase this again because I find it boring. I picked up a nice big 3.4 oz bottle off Ebay for around 20 bucks shipped, which is a good deal for a big bottle of a designer fragrance. My 2 cents.. don't buy this if you have the original, and actually love the original, because this one just isn't as good. However, if you are one of the many, many, many people who have tried the original, hate the opening, and love its dry down, this may be a good option for you, since they dry down similar, but this one has a different opening.
An interesting relaunch of the great classic that now is equally dry (starring is the grapefrut/citrus/geranium accord), less spicy, more lemony (the yuzu is notable), less aromatic and with that final tart/watery modern approach that turns out slightly soapy (in the sense of opaque/neutral/toilette kind). The yuzu and grapefruit combination imprints a more fresh concreteness that is anyway bright, almost transparent, leas herbal and with a slightly bitter background. A good example of cool and dry woodsiness with a notable final watery virile vetiver. Longevity and projection are in the average.
P.S: i've tested again this fragrance and i felt on my skin a more developed sort of almost marine kind of soapiness reminding me some creations from Il Profvmo or Profumum Roma (Pioggia Salata, Acqua di Sale etc). Yes, i detect a sort of opaque salty/marine green soapiness that frankly diverts notably from the classic aromatic greeness from Azzaro Pour Homme. I could assert that l'Eau Pour Homme is basically a different kind of fragrance.
29th October, 2012 (last edited: 21st December, 2012)
Why neutral? Well, original is original and that's that. There is a strange watery echo in this fragrance in the dry-down, not necessarily bad. Citruses are mildly felt only in the initial moments after spraying but all in all this scent is too similar at one point to the original, at the other point it is way similar to the Cerruti 1881. So, all in all not bad, classic scent in the spirit of the 1980's but also unnecessary and I find it quite doubtful that it'll be noticed or get a lot of attention.