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It goes on sweet and bright with a fruity smell that seems to incorporate earl grey tea, lavender, mint, violets, and a big shot of grape Kool Aid. Strangely, the brightness doesn't seem to come from the lavender or the mint - instead, it's a weird chemical brightness that hovers over everything. All the rest of the notes are sort of soft and fuzzy, as if they were painted on velvet, presented in a chemical haze that dulls all the sharp edges.
By the heart, the fruits and stuff have largely faded leaving a smell that's sort of leathery and vaguely woody, but more like the chlorine smell of a swimming pool still sweetened by the ghosts of the topnotes. Finally, the leathery swimming pool smell fades away, leaving sweet but dark patchouli mixed with artificial-smelling woods and the smell of rubbing alcohol.
It's interesting that the perfumer managed to wrap up every single thing going on in Vera Wang For Men in a sort of chemical haze that is as much the star of the scent as the nondescript fruits, flowers, and basenotes. At its heart, this is a "blue" aquatic in the vein of Bulgari Aqua, but with that leathery middle and patchouli in the base to make it feel more Autumn and less Spring.
I actually own a bottle of Vera Wang For Men and wore it for years as my uninteresting scent, the one I would wear on a plane or to the movies, places where I wanted to smell nice but still smell like everyone else and not stand out as smelling weird or too interesting. It's both a blessing and a curse - Vera Wang For Men smells like dozens of other men's mainstream scents, but does it well, never smelling like an explosion at the ammonia factory or like dumb candy, but it's entirely unremarkable. You could do worse, but you could do an awful lot better (I actually prefer Ulrich Lang's Anvers, which is the same basic stuff as VWFM but without the ongoing chemical haze). This is the definition of a "neutral" scent. Precision engineered to be average.
28th October, 2012