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Michael Jordan Legend was a blind buy for me, inspired entirely by the rock bottom Ross price of $12.99/100ml as well as the glowing reviews and threads on Basenotes and the constant positive comparisons to Bond's "New Haarlem." Now granted, I have never smelled "New Haarlem", but it has taken on mythic chocolate-y coffee proportions in my mind given the effusive praise it has received. So I figured why not. I'm always up for a good gourmand and I love a bargain.
Legend starts with a bright burst of bergamot and green tea, with a background of soft sweet vanilla chocolate coffee. This opening almost lost me entirely, because where I was expecting Starbucks straight out of the bottle, I got hit with an accord much more at home at the men's fragrance counter at Macy's. All of that bergamot tea seemed so...ordinary. It just felt like the opening of countless "modern" masculines with some vanilla choco-coffee sweetness added to change it up. It wasn't bad by any means, but it wasn't what I was expecting, which was more of a full bore gourmand.
This bright, "cologne-y" aspect hangs around for a good hour, and as it finally begins to fade, the "gourmand" element really comes to the fore. For me, the chocolate is the big player, followed by lesser coffee and vanilla. This trifecta is presented on a bed of cedar, and what the notes refer to as "old leather" and the whole thing has a very elegant, subdued effect. This is NOT garish in the way one might find A*Men.
One thought on the "leather": This note does not read as "old" to me at all. In fact, I get more of a "sporting goods section" vibe from it - new leather baseball gloves and new rubber basketballs mingling in the air. It's quite appropriate given the brand, and provides an interesting, avant garde twist. And while those in the know compare this to "New Haarlem" or "Rochas Man", my experience suggests yet a different comparison:
Bulgari Black. Legend does not smell like Black per se, but it shares a similar approach to masculine "sweetness". Where Black layers vanilla tea over smokey rubber, Legend layers an iced macchiatto over the smell of freshly minted sporting good equipment. In both cases, the approach elevates an ordinary gourmand concept into something memorable, different, modern, and wearable.
26th October, 2012