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  1. #1

    Default Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Review of *Amor Pour Homme* by Cacharel (2006)

    The following pyramids are from Cacharel’s press release for the fragrance and from respectively:

    Note de tête: Thé aromatique, Bergamote
    Note de coeur: Cardamom, Rose centifolia
    Note de fond: Bois de palissandre

    Top notes: Agrumes, Thé
    Middle notes: Epices, Note Rose, Note Fougère
    Base notes: Vétiver, Palissandre, Benjoin, Fève Tonka

    In my experience of the fragrance, I think the first pyramid is the more accurate one as I detect no fougère notes in the heart notes, and as I suggest below, the vetiver, benzoin, and tonka listed in’s basenotes are to my nose at least minimally relevant to basenote accord which is predominantly, I think, a woody note describe by the marketing people at Cacharel as “Bois de palissandre” or in English as Palisander or Purple wood. My explanation/review follows.

    *Amor Pour Homme* opens with a pleasant enough top note in which one can detect the faint tea note listed as “aromatique tea” in the pyramid. It’s not a predominant tea note and like the other top note mentioned, bergamot, it disappears very quickly, within a minute actually. Don’t expect any lingering tea note in this one. The initial impression when you first spray this is one of familiarity. It’s modern, inoffensive, and, as the first pyramid of notes suggests, somewhat one-dimensional and minimalist. There is little evolution as it dries down. I can’t say that I can detect the cardamom mentioned as a middle note, but then I never been able to detect cardamom in any recent fragrances that list it as a note. If you’ve ever cooked Indian food and used cardamom or made Indian or middle Eastern desserts using cardamom, you will be familiar with what is a very exotic almost other worldly spice, that is highly aromatic with a sweet, somewhat lemony pungency; in the essential oil itself, one can also detect soft pleasant woody balsamic quality not present when it’s used as a spice. Sorry, I’d like to say that the cardamom adds to the aromatic complexity of this new release, but it doesn’t. I don’t detect any cardamom, at least not as I know it.

    The same can be said of Rose centafolia. I have always kept pure Rose centafolia essential oil on hand. It’s one of life's true joys. I put a drop on a test strip and did a number of side by side comparison throughout the drydown of *Amor Pour Homme*, and I can say with assurance that *Amor Pour Homme* doesn’t contain any pure Rose centafolia. I had huge hopes that it would, but it doesn’t. I was hoping this would be the release that would figure and blend true rose oil prominently in the heart notes like many great men’s fragrances have in the past, but alas.

    This is not to say that there isn’t some attempt at an approximation of a floral note in the middle, but to call the note Rose centafolia is more marketing hype than it is authentic description. Of course, even though I am disappointed–even a drop or two of real Rose centafolia oil would have made a huge difference to the aromatic complexity of this fragrance–I am not surprised. Modern perfumers identify around 17 different rose scents and most of them are created synthetically these days and in many cases to great effect. Also at their disposal, modern perfumers have myriad aroma chemicals that can be described as floral notes with rose like qualities. A few prestigious houses still use the true essential rose oil, but even they now cut it with their synthetic high quality rose equivalents.

    Having said all this, the schematic listing of the middle notes is in fact somewhat accurate if we think of those notes more impressionistically than literally. When the top notes do fade, what’s left is a tight accord that is composed of very reticent and non-descript spice component blended with a diffuse floral component both of which ride on top of a wood note accord of which I’ll shall say more about in a moment. It remains to be said with regard to the heart notes that the barely spicy and the diffuse generic floral notes in the heart notes are a conscious choice and differ radically in conception from Cacharel’s original men’s fragrance, *Cacharel Pour L’Homme*, which boldly blended spices, most prominently clove and nutmeg, with salinet florals such as Ylang Ylang, Lily of the Valley, and Geranium. It’s clear that times have change and that in many cases, as in this one, fragrance companies are looking for a wider, younger audience and so it shouldn’t surprise us that most new releases are decidedly middle of the road and this one in no exception. In its contemporaneity *Amor Pour Homme*, and Cacharel itself, assumes that those who will buy this fragrance will probably have never tried *Cacharel Pour L’Homme* nor will really want to. There’s no sense of tradition here, it’s about things as they stand now in the production and the mass marketing of fragrances. I present this less a value judgment and more as a fait accompli.

    Now on to the basenote accord as it dries down. From the first spray, one can clearly detect a synthetic wood note in the fragrance that persists and predominates right through till the end. I am using synthetic here as a neutral descriptive term rather than as a negative, value ladened one. The wood note will feel like a familiar one to many of us familiar with the standard fair of the past 20 years. If there is, according to, vetiver, benzoin, and tonka in the drydown, they certainly don’t stand out in any distinct or differentiated way in the basenote accord, and I don’t think that’s because of successful blending. To my nose, I think that the Bois de Palissandre note listed in the press release pyramid for the launch of *Amor Pour Homme* is a more accurate description and conception of the basenote accord.

    Bois de Palissandre, or Palisander or Purple wood as it is also known, is, as far as I have been able to determine, a reference to the genus of trees known as Dalbergia, within the family Fabaceae, and subfamily Faboideae. Such trees can be found distributed all over the world and particularly in Central and South American and southern Asia, especially in India. According to which experts you talk to, there are anywhere from three hundred to six hundred different species. Palisanders are used exclusively for the quality of their wood rather than their oil. Many of the South American varieties and particularly Brazilian varieties are known for their high oil content, which makes them ideally suited for areas in which building materials come into regular contact with water because the oil provides a very effective water proofing dimension to the wood. Varieties of Palisander are also used for the production of knife handles because of their waterproofing quality and also for the production of various parts of guitars because of the beautiful patterning of the wood. Many such varieties are often referred to as rosewoods; however, these are not the trees from which true Rosewood oil is produced. That tree belongs to the Lauraceae family and the species Aniba rosaeodora, and is the only species from which true rosewood oil is produced.

    As far as I have been able to ascertain, many Palisanders because of their rich oil content must have some kind of woody scent. It’s hard to find descriptions of how these various woods smell, but the consensus seems to be that they smell slightly pungent and mildly fragrant. From what I’ve been able to ascertain, however, it seems that they’ve never been used for the production of fragrant oils. I think, and this is an educated guess, that the Palisander note in *Amor Pour Homme* is an idea and an approximation of what Palisander might smell like rather than any essential oil distilled from Palisander varieties. Furthermore, Palisander varieties are endangered and protected species in Central and South America, and, given what we know about the nature of fragrance production today, it is highly unlikely that there is any Palisander oil–what ever that might be–in *Amor Pour Homme*. The Bois de Palissandre basenote is a conceptual fragrance made real by aroma chemistry, perhaps also rounded out with vetiver, benzoin, and tonka, though I am sure the majority of the accord is carried by the synthetic Palisander note.

    Again, like the spice and floral heart notes, this Palisander wood note is a diffuse note that surprisingly corresponds to the description of how the various Palisander woods smell, namely, slightly pungent and mildly fragrant. I suspect, however, that the slightly pungent nature of the Palisander wood note in *Amor Pour Homme* has more to with the undesirable residual component of its aroma chemical scent profile than it does with a successful matching to its nature specific equivalent. At times that pungent note strikes me as not so much pungent as it does acrid, like the remnant debris of a fire in which organic matter has be burnt. This same acrid note is even present in Escentric Molecules’ *Escentric 01*, whose main constituent Iso E Super, a very widely used woody aroma chemical and one which forms the woody base of *Givenchy Pour Homme*, if I am not mistaken. Even in as well an executed fragrance as *Givenchy Pour Homme*, one can’t escape, at least I can’t, that acrid burnt note, which eventually mellows out as the drydown proceeds, but is still always there as a background presence as it is, indeed, in *Amor Pour Homme*. Unfortunately, I sense this acrid burnt woody note in many contemporary fragrances, which confirms further my belief that what we have in the basenote accord of *Amor Pour Homme* is less an original use of Palisander wood essential oil (if indeed such a thing exists or every existed) than a specific modulation of woody aroma chemicals to produce a woody affect. If one smells many contemporary fragrances up close, this burnt acrid note becomes more apparent. It’s less apparent in the sillage these fragrances produce, a sillage which in the final analysis is where these fragrances truly come together and where their strong suit usually lies. It’s better not to smell such fragrances up close but rather let their sillage do the work.

    Having said all this, let me say that in terms of what *Amor Pour Homme* sets out to do–assuming that one buys my characterization–it does it very successfully with its assured modulation of unobtrusive notes that will have a general appeal, possibly an even wider than usual appeal. Did I want something along the lines of the originality and brilliance of *Cacharel Pour L’Homme*, or even the beguiling syntheticness of *Nemo*? Yes I did. Do I think that the world will come to an end and that this is the end of Cacharel and the fragrance industry as a whole? No I don’t. There’s very little of the soothsayer in me for that. I prefer to say that it’s not for me, but it might be for a lot of other people.

    Last edited by scentemental; 11th July 2006 at 06:18 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Nice job scentemental!
    I look forward to try it and give my impressions...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Thank you so much for the review, great job! ,see, i was going to ask if anyone was going to do something like that, you must have read my mind! are we all in synchronicity?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Thank you, Scentemental. I always look forward to reading your thorough reviews.
    Not to bring in another fragrance into this thread but for a true cardamom note, I think CdG White does it very successfully. In fact everything about CdG W (rose, cardamom, pomegranate) spells Middle East/Arabia to me.
    Currently wearing: Zen for Men by Shiseido

  5. #5

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    but does it last?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Thanks for a job done in a fantastic manner. This is a scent that I may very well purchase on line as I know it will not be launched in the states.
    Thanks again.............. Gary

  7. #7
    foetidus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    The Great North Woods

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Thanks for the review, Scentemental--great job, as always.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Thank you thank you, Scentemental for such a great review. Looks like there's still something very interesting to read on this forum. Dude, your botanical background is vast.
    About the fragrance, and I still haven't tried it, I'm still curious to sample it. Purple wood sounds nice but I don't have high hopes really. The pyramid sounds mouthwatering but knowing the femme Aour, I know this one will smell synthetic and not true to the description.
    Great review. Thanks again

  9. #9
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Carmel, CA

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    This is not just a review. The beauty of the words and their structure, the depth and meaning literally breathe life into the reader.

    It's another profound and highly informative effort by Scentemental. I always look forward to reading those posts with the blue font. They never fail to inspire.

    "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak."

  10. #10

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Scentemental- as usual, you described the fragrance with erudition and thoughtfulness. From your description, I don't think it will work for me as well. Thanks!!
    "A great perfume is a work of art, it can lift our days, haunt our nights and create the milestones of our memories. Fragrance is liquid emotion. And that never goes out of fashion. " MICHAEL EDWARDS

  11. #11

    narcus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Königl. Preussen

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Thanks for the introduction into palisander scents, and Amor review!

    You got me interested to sample this cologne as an illustration to what you are laying out for us so carefully! I do not think I will become a fan of Cacharel's, but it is always enjoyable reading your contributions, no matter on what!
    I shall stop using your signature blue for my own posts. I only have used it to honor the Greek seas and Kouros, but will have found an equivalent color soon.

    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  12. #12
    zztopp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    the Dirty South

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    why not add this to the Basenotes reviews directory ?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Impressive interview!

    I'm now assured that they've run out of good names for fragrances.

  14. #14

    narcus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Königl. Preussen

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Quote Originally Posted by minilomaniac
    I'm now assured that they've run out of good names for fragrances. - Psyche is still free :-*
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  15. #15
    Basenotes Plus
    HackerX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Came across this one today while i was shopping downtown, couldn't help but to give this one a test based on Scentemental's *brilliant review. *A fairly bland start, i wasn't moved, reminded me of other modern frags. *I didn't think i smelled any rose by the time the heart revealed itself. *Something in it reminded me strongly of PdN Carre d'As, so my guess would be that fern note, but i didn't think of Amor Pour Homme as a fern fragrance at all, nontheless the comparison with Carre d'as was invevitable. *The first few hours were rather bitter, but something sweet surfaced as time went by, and that sweetness gradually pulls it away from being further compared with Carre d'As. *It smells aromatic, quite herbal, maybe a bit floral with little sweetness undertones. *Compared with the original Cacharel PH, it is not as floral and certainly not as classy, and it definitely is not as unique as Nemo IMO, but it somehow deviates from the rest of the new releases and is able to get away from being too bland. *It is neither interesting nor boring, it is pleasing for sure but not mesmorizing. *Did i end up with a bottle? *No, the overall effect just did not move my mountains and oceans. *Will i ever get a bottle? *Too early to tell.

  16. #16

    CoL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    I tested it in duty free and wasnt impressed at all.

    To my nose it had the similar "synthetic" sweet/woody smell that Nemo has (love Nemo BTW!) but some kind of familir generic undertone aka Armani Black Code, Creed Original Santal, although not in such high amounts.

    Not for me at all.

    Currently wearing: CK All by Calvin Klein

  17. #17
    If not now, when?

    mikeperez23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Miami, FL

    Default Re: Amor Pour Homme: A Review

    Interested to see if any Basenoters have tested this recently?

    I read the review on The Scented Salander today - and her mention of rose piqued my curiosity. However, based upon Scentemental's review above - I'm a little skeptical.

    The ad copy is...stimulating.

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