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    Ken_Russell's avatar

    Romania Romania

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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    First i avoided this scent due to its aggressive marketing, speculating a gay connotation for commercial reasons, even more campy, vulgar and unrestrained like the Calvin Klein adverts full of provocative sexuality and androgynous gender. I'm not much into the idea of a sailor or an old fashioned bathing suit as a sexual fetish, especially not when it comes to scents.
    Besides, the association with a sailor or a bathing suit made me believe i had to expect an aquatic fragrance, light and refreshing, exhaling a watery, airy, unpredictable sensuality ( changing like the waves and tides of the sea).
    I couldn't have been more wrong, as this one is so extremely macho and dry,up to the point that it reeks. However there is one thing reminding of the sea, I always had the sensation of being on a ship full of spices, exotic fruits, strange essences, raw materials, all genuine, bot most of them in a very brute, bare state, that is before the refinement and experience of a skilled hand turns them into exquisite perfumes, meals or objects, even slightly decaying, towards a hint of moist wood.
    One the down side, this perfume is heavy with vile, synthetic smelling notes, halfway between cheap sandalwood incense sticks frankincense( which make the air in very stuffy and suffocating church intoxicating) and the sweaty tones of many hyper-cheap synthetic sweet surrogates trying to smell like tobacco
    ( just check out Cuba, Cigar etc. and you'll find out)- oddly even this disturbing part seems to be harmonious, as cheap incense and cheap, sweat tobacco imitation are fit for each other.
    However as i waited i discovered its good half too, in spite of the initial deterrence, i also identified very exquisite, yet quite one-dimensional notes of spice, it felt like all of the loads of exotic merchandise were transferred to a very high-end kitchen belonging to a wealthy old-school residence. Raw, powerful notes with an almost edible feel- vanilla, cocoa, even a hint of cappuccino, coffee or other hot drink spiced with cinnamon, generic wintry essences used to enhance punch, caramel and toffee. All of these in a very puristic and surprisingly masculine interpretation, the sweetness being counterbalanced by a pungent, dark bitter note of berries, wood and pepper, slightly resembling the overtly Oriental Opium PH launched in the same year. It still got better towards the end, the notes of Tonka and Amber giving adding to it partly a hint of old cognac like Escada for men, partly an amber, leathery, very carnal, very smoky-powdery, almost tobacco like Gothic ending, reminding me of powerful, excessively, addictive masculine creations like Tabac, Old Spice, Aramis Azzaro,Caractere, Drakkar, Heritage and Rocabar. I definitely have to try it out again and judge it more carefully, it is not a comfortable, nor a predictable scent for me and further analysis might keep lots of pleasant and unsavory surprises waiting, changing my rating towards significantly higher or lowers values.

    02nd May, 2006 (Last Edited: 23rd December, 2009)

Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000