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On the few occasions I have bought a fragrance 'blind', I have always been very pleased with the purchase - this is my first major disappointment.
This review is for the current version of Red for Men by Elizabeth Arden. This fragrance claims to contain an abundance of unnamed notes in addition to those listed on Basenotes, many of which appear synthetic throughout the course of the long duration that it lasts on skin.
The opening is bright but this is immediately tinged with an overload of spice, sweetness, herbs and florals - the resulting aroma is a pungent mess. The base of leather, pathchouli woods and oakmoss is old-fashioned and masculine, but simultaneously very dated and crude. For me however, the biggest olfactory offence committed by this scent is the unholy and surprising marriage of wormwood and cumin that permeates the top and heart notes of the composition. Add to this radioactive silage and supreme longevity and you understand why Red for Men is truly an acquired taste.
I had to wash this off immediately, as smelling my wrist up close for a moment after one full spritz truly nauseated me. I have contemplated using the remaining 99% of the bottle as bug spray, but I could never do that as I believe in humane insecticides myself. However different to the current version the vintage may have been, this is a quite different and inferior scent to Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men, which is a classical, warm and masculine affair. Red is a cacophony of notes which never settles down, and which will repel many with its omnipresent dirty cumin note.
20th November, 2012