Opff...naaaa, "once again?", it seems to exclaim my profane nose while "bothered" inhaling this boring piquant juice. This fragrance represents the Hanae Mori's turning "back" on a more cheap/commercial level. Hanae Mori Him is a sort of utterly mainstream piece of olfactive "mass appealing" mediocrity since its spicy-woody-sultry formula conjures (each of them for several of their characteristics) a bunch of really popular mass-market hyper synthetic (spicy-woody-sugary-leathery) fragrances, starting from the "cleaner" Gucci Pour Homme II (the resemblance is quite undeniable as earlier yet underlined around) before considering scents as Davidoff Hot Water, Bond I Love NY For All (more excessive and chocolatey), Creed Original Santal, Prada Luna Rossa or Trussardi Inside (also the far more interesting Acqua di Biella Ca' Luna, Armani Eau d'Aromes and Kiton Black jump partially on mind for several of their spicy/woody/floral facets). The juice is built on a pyramid expressing crisp watery-cedary citrus on top (dominant orange), a core of massive spices (mostly cinnamon and cardamom) and pungent floral notes as violet (may be neroli), overall rooted on a base of synth musky/tonkinian amber and woods. A boring formula, especially in its connection of violet, cinnamonic powdery/musky ambroxan and orange. The musky-cinnamonic-orangy general undertone is depressing and almost cloying (sultry in to an oppressing and almost fat/acid way despite a sharply floral/citric angular undertone waving in the air). Woodiness is quite "gassy" and artificial. Dry down smells finally like a sort of spicy/saccharin ambroxan-cedarwood dominant mélange with a pungent orange/violet spark. The final "trace" smells kind of "sweated", salty/spicy and acid (a la Paco Rananne Ultraviolet Man) on my skin. I get also a final sporty/salty gym-like vibe (vaguely a la Gaultier Le Beau Male). Honestly an almost senseless fragrance. Not for me.
I usually like cheapos, as many times (more often than many think) they offer some respectable, if not really good quality for the price. And I also happen to love HM by this same brand, which is possibly one of the greatest cheapos on the market; and since HM and HiM often go in pair, I was sure I would have loved this too. Well, not that anyone should care, but I really don’t instead. I tried to like this, but for me this is really a “no” – or well, a “meh”. As many other reviewers already said, HiM smells apparently quite similar to Gucci pour Homme II, the relationship between the two being like comparing a decent hand-crafted leather bag to a 5 EUR polyurethane bag – the cheapest ones, those which are so poorly-crafted you can tell they’re cheap by a mile distance. I don’t want to offend fans of this, but for me HiM is quite the same if compared to Gucci pour Homme II. The notes are quite similar, there’s the same peculiar sort of spicy-tea-woody blend with cinnamon, musk, something pine-balsamic, woods (the exact same exotic, coffee-infused teak wood note you get in Trussardi Inside), piquant “culinary” herbs, something similar to tobacco and an overall sweet/powdery ambiance; but it’s just a bit... wrong for me, on many levels. It smells flashy, cheap, and even oddly unbalanced in a way that on my skin, it smells like something which belonged to a saucepan more than a bottle of perfume. The drydown is a bit better, some screechy edges and dissonances fade away and you get a still cheap, yet quite smooth musky-woody-sweet with an almost fascinating balsamic-culinary-Oriental vibe and a warm, mellow ambery feel. But still I think Gucci pour Homme II plays these same themes ten times better to all extents – elegance, quality, harmony. Since the price gap is tolerable, go for that.
When I heard Hanae Mori was debuting a new men's fragrence I was shaking in my boots with excitment! HM is such a staple and foundation in my collection that HiM had to be all that and better. I was at the mall and ran to Nordstroms so I could bathe myself in the sexy clean sultry freshness I have so come to expect from HM. I used the EDT sprayed on my wrists, and some on my clothes and was severly disapointed and wanted to run home and was it off. The opening did nothing for me no clean citrus/mandarin it was stale anf blank. I gave it the benefit of the doubt and really wanted to like it....but I just could not. It smelled to all cinnamon and violet but in the WORST way imaginable. It reminded me of an old man that just ate a huge stack of cinnamon pancakes and then smoked a ciggarete. Sorry but 10 years of work for this? Staying with a sure home run, compliment getter and classy fresh with HM the original.