I just went to Sephora to spray some of this on. Â*I sprayed on about 6 half to full sprays on the wrist, and it's noticeable but not loud. Â*It reminds me of Gucci pour Homme without the pepper and incense (at least some guys say the Gucci has an incense note), plus of course the Gucci doesn't have the licorice or aniseed notes that Very Male has; while I'm comparing the 2, I'll add that Very Male does not seem to have as much volume (intensity) as the Gucci, and the Gucci seems to have a more distinct character than Very Male. Â*I haven't tried the Lempicka, so I can't compare that. Â*As you know, Black Code also has aniseed, and at present, I would still prefer Black Code over Very Male. Â*I find Black Code has way more presence on me, and I get this sandalwood drydown (that's part of the drydown on me anyway) that lingers lightly for hours; that one lasts really well on me. Â*I will say that I find Very Male has less aniseed but more of a cedary, harder woody quality than Black Code, which I find has a softer, sandalwood-type quality.
Mainly what I notice with Very Male is a fairly equal balance of wood that smells like it's burning, but not too smoky, and the licorice or aniseed. Â*The licorice is not sweet on me. Â*Mixed in with the licorice is a coffee-type note, so it isn't a true licorice, it's more of a licorice-coffee note or blend (that's what they mean by Sambucca, I guess); the coffee isn't too loud, but it is definitely there, and it probably helps to keep the licorice from getting too sweet; I wouldn't say the coffee's bitter, but it leans in that direction. And overall, it seems to be a rather dry scent on me, though it is warm. Â*Also, after about 2 hours, it's fading rather quickly, or getting closer to the skin. Â*
My verdict for a first wearing is that it's good, it's nice, and it's different in some ways from others I've tried, but it doesn't bowl me over. Â*I don't know if I'm even willing to sample it a 2nd time, partly because of my first opinion, and partly because I've got enough bottles already (25 is enough for me, anyway); we'll see if I reach for it again. Â*However, I can see how a lot of guys would like this; it's a good masculine smell.