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  1. #1
    Serpent
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    Default Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    I just received Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme in a swap - it had been lingering in my wishlist for ages - and I am thrilled. This is so fantastic. I can't remember the last time I was this happy about a fragrance acquisition. (It was probably Kenzo pour Homme last year.)

    I've often compared Yves Saint Laurent's Jazz to Hermès' Équipage as a sort of "Équipage Lite," the milder, softer, friendlier carnation scent, tempered with wood and musk, burnished and leavened and softened from the bigger, bolder Hermès. I also see a relation between that Hermès and Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme; the Van Cleef & Arpels scent strikes me as "Équipage Extrême," loaded with strong animal notes, bolder, heavier wood tones, and a slightly more powdery character. The florals are turned down, but that characteristic carnation-clove smell is still the heart of the scent.

    The opening is somewhat frightening, with a pungent, herbal, smoky-sour smell that reminds me of the smell of cigarette smoke and chewing tobacco colliding together. I can't say I'm entirely fond of the first five minutes of Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme on my skin. But then this wonderful, dry woody smell wisps up. Pine and juniper, cedar and patchouli and clove. It's all wonderfully smooth and crisp. The smell reminds me of some of the cooler, woodier Comme des Garçons Incense Series scents - Zagrosk, or Kyoto without the coffee note, perhaps. The sharpness of many of the scents of this era - Fendi Uomo, Kouros, Polo, Aramis - is lacking from the top and heart notes of Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme. (It shares this trait with the classic Hermès scents.)

    The "high quality soap" smell of Équipage is most definitely in effect with Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme, too. However, the soap is just a portion of the experience in the scent. The floral notes - jasmine and armfuls of beautiful carnation - do not bloom in full until the base, entwined with pronounced, sharp animal notes. It is a wonderful inversion here: The wood notes play in the heart, clear and dry, and the flowers roll in the sexual musks and leather notes. And there is a significant floral component to the scent, as opposed to herbal notes, which, I feel, works for Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme and keeps the scent from being harsh and loud on the drydown. Rather than an astringent quality as Kouros has, Van Cleef & Arpels has a more powdery texture. This is a soft, quiet leathery chypre (if there is such a thing). This is an old school chypre for men who hate old school chypres.

    This is a beautiful scent, a true masterpiece that seems to have slipped unfairly into the darker recesses of fragrance history. As it has begun to work into its final phases, all the notes begin to run together into a sort of piney rose smell. There's a touch of sweetness that's entrancing. While Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme is not terribly heavy (it's no Rocabar), this is definitely a scent for cooler weather. (With its marvelous, crisp evergreen notes, Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme strikes me as a perfect scent for Christmastime.) The strength is formidable; as with all such scents of this genre, a light hand should be used when applying.

    Anyone who is a fan of leathery chypres should try this scent. Anyone who has wanted to find a leathery chypre but has been unable to find one amongst the more famous names should try this, too - it's clearly the most user-friendly. And any Équipage fan - or anyone who has complained that Équipage is nice but just too weak - should test this scent out. Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme is marvelous, marvelous stuff.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    I prefer this one much more to the likes of Trussardi which I ended up selling away, dispite the fact that it's becoming harder to come by. VC&A just reeks of class and is one of the best of its kind. Congrats on the find!

  3. #3
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    This is one of my favorites, and one of the first fragrances that I invested in after joining basenotes (not because it was much talked about here, but because a friend referred it to me). A rich, complex, leathery mens floral, it smells grand with incredible sillage and longevity.
    -

  4. #4
    Serpent
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Yeah, the rule of big leathery chypres for me:

    Leather + Herbs =
    Leather + Flowers =

    Kouros, Fendi Uomo, Trussardi Uomo - they all tend to fit into the top equation. Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme fits into the bottom.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Glad to see the VC&A is working for you Serpent. On me it just did not develop on my skin; it was a straight dark rose frag.

    Trussardi Uomo works on me though.

    I'm thinking these frags must be veddy skin dependent.
    In rotation: Greenbriar (new), Silver Mountain Water, Dunhill for Men (1934), Acqua di Parma Colonia, Habit Rouge EDC, Ho Hang, B*Men, Agua Brava

  6. #6
    Serpent
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    I mentioned this on a another board, and someone went shopping for it. She came back and asked if she should get the "old" or "new" VC&A pour Homme. The website she was shopping on was selling two versions of the fragrance, and I have seen two different bottles, with the newer bottles' having "pour Homme" printed on them where the old ones did not. (I recommended the old.) As with Tsar and First, it seems this fragrance has been reformulated. I believe the newer juice is more powdery and floral, less dark and animalic.

  7. #7
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Amazing juice. One of the few that always satisfies.

    Hell of a review.
    Last edited by pluran; 29th August 2006 at 05:22 AM.

  8. #8
    foetidus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Great review on a great fragrance.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    I've had a sample of this forever - since I was first starting out. I remember that then I thought this scent seemed a little stuffy and old fashioned to me. Your review spurred me to dig this out of it's hiding place. Wow - great stuff. It really softens out quickly after those very sharp top notes. Such a beautifully soft soapy scent with tons of depth. It also seems to start hinting towards some amber in the drydown. Refined and macho at the same time - alpha male of the boardroom vibe. Thanks for the great review.
    Last edited by baron; 29th August 2006 at 05:22 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpent
    Yeah, the rule of big leathery chypres for me:

    Leather + Herbs =
    Leather + Flowers =

    Kouros, Fendi Uomo, Trussardi Uomo - they all tend to fit into the top equation. Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme fits into the bottom.

    How do you feel about Antaeus, Serpent? Easily my favorite of the leather chypres. Though VC&A is great, the heavy floral character smells SO formal to me. I can get by with Antaeus in more situations.

  11. #11
    Serpent
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayknight
    How do you feel about Antaeus, Serpent? Easily my favorite of the leather chypres. Though VC&A is great, the heavy floral character smells SO formal to me. I can get by with Antaeus in more situations.
    It's been a long time since I've tried Antaeus, and of all these types of scents, none flies off my skin faster than Antaeus. It just does not last. It seems to have the heaviest leather component - leather does not typically stick well to me - plus it a lot of incense and wood, notes that don't work on my skin, especially without a fixative. (Kouros has a touch of vanilla, at least, while VC&A has some amber.) I should try it again, but I just haven't had an opportunity. I've never had a sample, and wandering around stores wearing it, Antaeus is gone in twenty minutes. I've never gotten as good a reading of it as I have with Kouros (which I've worn full-on several times) and many others, and it's been a so long since I've even smelled Antaeus now that I don't feel even comfortable putting Antaeus in these listings anymore.

    What I do recall, though, is Antaeus seems a one-off, very dry, woody, and aloof. Bel Ami, which is also often lumped into this group, I don't consider one of these, either. It's too spicy and foody in my mind.

  12. #12
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    ...
    Last edited by pluran; 2nd February 2007 at 05:07 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpent
    I just received Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme in a swap - it had been lingering in my wishlist for ages - and I am thrilled. This is so fantastic. I can't remember the last time I was this happy about a fragrance acquisition. (It was probably Kenzo pour Homme last year.)

    I've often compared Yves Saint Laurent's Jazz to Hermès' Équipage as a sort of "Équipage Lite," the milder, softer, friendlier carnation scent, tempered with wood and musk, burnished and leavened and softened from the bigger, bolder Hermès. I also see a relation between that Hermès and Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme; the Van Cleef & Arpels scent strikes me as "Équipage Extrême," loaded with strong animal notes, bolder, heavier wood tones, and a slightly more powdery character. The florals are turned down, but that characteristic carnation-clove smell is still the heart of the scent.

    The opening is somewhat frightening, with a pungent, herbal, smoky-sour smell that reminds me of the smell of cigarette smoke and chewing tobacco colliding together. I can't say I'm entirely fond of the first five minutes of Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme on my skin. But then this wonderful, dry woody smell wisps up. Pine and juniper, cedar and patchouli and clove. It's all wonderfully smooth and crisp. The smell reminds me of some of the cooler, woodier Comme des Garçons Incense Series scents - Zagrosk, or Kyoto without the coffee note, perhaps. The sharpness of many of the scents of this era - Fendi Uomo, Kouros, Polo, Aramis - is lacking from the top and heart notes of Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme. (It shares this trait with the classic Hermès scents.)

    The "high quality soap" smell of Équipage is most definitely in effect with Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme, too. However, the soap is just a portion of the experience in the scent. The floral notes - jasmine and armfuls of beautiful carnation - do not bloom in full until the base, entwined with pronounced, sharp animal notes. It is a wonderful inversion here: The wood notes play in the heart, clear and dry, and the flowers roll in the sexual musks and leather notes. And there is a significant floral component to the scent, as opposed to herbal notes, which, I feel, works for Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme and keeps the scent from being harsh and loud on the drydown. Rather than an astringent quality as Kouros has, Van Cleef & Arpels has a more powdery texture. This is a soft, quiet leathery chypre (if there is such a thing). This is an old school chypre for men who hate old school chypres.

    This is a beautiful scent, a true masterpiece that seems to have slipped unfairly into the darker recesses of fragrance history. As it has begun to work into its final phases, all the notes begin to run together into a sort of piney rose smell. There's a touch of sweetness that's entrancing. While Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme is not terribly heavy (it's no Rocabar), this is definitely a scent for cooler weather. (With its marvelous, crisp evergreen notes, Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme strikes me as a perfect scent for Christmastime.) The strength is formidable; as with all such scents of this genre, a light hand should be used when applying.

    Anyone who is a fan of leathery chypres should try this scent. Anyone who has wanted to find a leathery chypre but has been unable to find one amongst the more famous names should try this, too - it's clearly the most user-friendly. And any Équipage fan - or anyone who has complained that Équipage is nice but just too weak - should test this scent out. Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme is marvelous, marvelous stuff.
    I'm glad to be in good company, I purchased it last Easter & I concur with your review that it is a masterpiece & a forgotten gem. I also find this elegant fragrance to be suitable in any kind of weather.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Great review Serpent. A wonderful fragrance indeed. The first time I tried it I found some similarities with Yatagan.

    Quote Originally Posted by magnnum
    I'm glad to be in good company, I purchased it last Easter & I concur with your review that it is a masterpiece & a forgotten gem. I also find this elegant fragrance to be suitable in any kind of weather.
    And it can be bought extremely cheap as well.
    « L'odeur de rose, faible, grâce au vent léger d'été qui passe, se mêle aux parfums qu'elle a mis.»
    [ Paul Verlaine ]
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Another fan here, too. Equipage is probably my most worn scent, but I love turning to VC&A in cooler weather for more dressy occasions. Alpha male, indeed.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Nice review! Does Van Cleef & Arpels PH smell anything similar to Tsar?

  17. #17
    Serpent
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Quote Originally Posted by Markymark
    Nice review! Does Van Cleef & Arpels PH smell anything similar to Tsar?
    It's in the same family, but Tsar is much lighter and greener, more transparent. Tsar reminds me of Coast soap, or like a greener version of Jazz. Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme is a richer, more powdery and animalic scent, more formal and heavier. But I would think fans of Tsar would almost certainly enjoy Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    I agree Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme is a classic - have yet see a scent launched recently in the likes of this.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    I'm thinking of getting a bottle of VC&A
    I want the old version. Can anyone describe the old bottle design vs the new bottle.

  20. #20
    Serpent
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Quote Originally Posted by mason
    I'm thinking of getting a bottle of VC&A
    I want the old version. Can anyone describe the old bottle design vs the new bottle.
    I think one of the tell-tale signifiers of the new formulations of the new Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme bottles is the inclusion of "pour Homme" on the bottle. (In fact, the Van Cleef & Arpels Parfums website seems to refer it as just "pour Homme," and this actually comes before the company name. The old bottles also have a gold band under the top of the sprayer, whereas the new bottles do not; they are all black.

    One can see pictures of both bottles on PerfumeBay's page for the scent, but PerfumeDistributor.com is the site that makes a point of distinguishing the old formulation and the new.

  21. #21
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpent
    I think one of the tell-tale signifiers of the new formulations of the new Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme bottles is the inclusion of "pour Homme" on the bottle. (In fact, the Van Cleef & Arpels Parfums website seems to refer it as just "pour Homme," and this actually comes before the company name. The old bottles also have a gold band under the top of the sprayer, whereas the new bottles do not; they are all black.

    One can see pictures of both bottles on PerfumeBay's page for the scent, but PerfumeDistributor.com is the site that makes a point of distinguishing the old formulation and the new.
    Glad I caught that info.
    Last edited by pluran; 2nd February 2007 at 05:06 AM.

  22. #22
    Serpent
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    If anyone can describe the differences between the formulas in more detail, I'd like to read about it. I think the reformulations of Tsar have been detailed here, and I've read about the scandalous changes to First - a dazzling, unbelievably complex scent that can hardly seem to be from the now-hyperminimalist Ellena - so I'm wondering what changes there are to Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme. It's been awhile since I smelled the new formula at Sephora, and not only do they don't carry Van Cleef & Arpels scents at the local Sephoras any longer, the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique on Rodeo Drive only sells First and Murmure. (What's up with that?)

    Can anyone make a fresher comparison?

  23. #23

    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    chanel antheaus! love the dry down! Not too crazy about the top note but my girlfriend just love the dry down!
    Top faves: Aramis Devin,Balenciage PH,Zino Davidoff,Trussardi Uomo,BlackXS,Sybaris,Furyo,HoHangClub,Santos Sport,KriziaSpazio,CarverVetiverDry,GIT,AmberSulta n,TeaForTwo,Dzing.
    My drobe: www.basenotes.net/wardrobe/47

  24. #24
    gupts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    I ordered this on ebay..the seller had this older bottle shown in the pic..i went ahead and ordered it...i am so disappointed to receive the newer 'pour homme' version...though i dont know what the 'old' Van cleef & arpels edt smells like but this one is so powdery...like Lagerfeld Photo...i have just had one wearing of this one...hope i can detect something else as well that makes me like this one...

    gupts

  25. #25
    graffham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    VC&A's pour homme is truly a handsome scent. The lingering effects of the drydown are calming and soothing, like a rest after a march in the French countryside.

    My only problem is trying to find the complete product line,ie, deo stick, a/s balm, etc. AND 'where' to find it aside from on-line sourcing.

    Tsar has been pulled from most of the stores in here in Canada and I never could find the 'pour homme' until a small mixed bag boutique opened and then subsequently went out of business in a matter of days.

    Does anyone know what is going on with the VC&A fragrance line for men? And finally, has the 'pour homme' been strictly 're-packaged' or just 'reformulated'?
    Last edited by graffham; 27th October 2006 at 01:08 PM.

  26. #26
    Dimitrios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    One of my favorites since its release !! you know your onto something good when your girlfreind recomends it to you and upon first sniff your smiling from cheek to cheek ...
    ** Van Cleef & Arpels ** ......... A CLASSIC !!!

  27. #27

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    Unhappy Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpent View Post
    I think one of the tell-tale signifiers of the new formulations of the new Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme bottles is the inclusion of "pour Homme" on the bottle. (In fact, the Van Cleef & Arpels Parfums website seems to refer it as just "pour Homme," and this actually comes before the company name. The old bottles also have a gold band under the top of the sprayer, whereas the new bottles do not; they are all black.

    One can see pictures of both bottles on PerfumeBay's page for the scent, but PerfumeDistributor.com is the site that makes a point of distinguishing the old formulation and the new.

    Hmmmm, I went to Bergdorf's the other day to get VC&A and they were out of it. Now that I have read this thread, I am wondering about the quality and provenance of the "new" stuff. Can anyone say what are the differences, tangible, noticeable differences between the "old" and the "new"? It would be important for me to know whether there is any value in waiting for the next shipment, or purchase the "old" from PerfumeDistributor.com, which by the way, has confusing pictures of the packaging of the "old" and the "new" since the words Pour Homme appear on what purports to be a box of one of the "old"...So...I am not sure where we are on this. Has the classic VC&A come the way of all flesh?
    Currently wearing: Benedictus by Excelsis

  28. #28
    gupts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_Frances View Post
    Can anyone say what are the differences, tangible, noticeable differences between the "old" and the "new"? It would be important for me to know whether there is any value in waiting for the next shipment, or purchase the "old" from PerfumeDistributor.com, which by the way, has confusing pictures of the packaging of the "old" and the "new" since the words Pour Homme appear on what purports to be a box of one of the "old"...So...I am not sure where we are on this. Has the classic VC&A come the way of all flesh?
    I have both the 'pour homme' version and the 'eau de toilette' version (that doesn't say pour homme.
    To my nose there is a very slight difference in the way the juice behaves. The 'older' juice is a shade darker in terms of projection and sillage. Longevity however is more or less the same in the new juice (which is excellent in both versions)

    Well honestly speaking the difference is so negligible that i can only spot it if i test them simultaneously.
    I was very excited when i landed myself the older bottle but the excitement was uncalled for.

    If you can find older juice at a fair price ( not significantly higher than the newer bottle), get that coz in any case psychologically it would be better. Besides we all think that the older juice would have better quality ingredients.

    I dont recommend spending a lot more on acquiring the older version though and i guess you would be happier with the pour homme version as well.

    Van Cleef & Arpels is surely a powerhouse and is in the same league as 'Antaeus'. I love both of them.


    gupts

  29. #29

    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    I bought this blind last year and it is indeed a great scent.Potent & long lasting with great sillage.Definetely a classic.
    Currently wearing: The Dreamer by Versace

  30. #30

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    Default Re: Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme

    I purchased this blind several months ago and was let down in a major way. Perhaps it was a bottle that went bad, but I did not like it at all.
    You are not your perfume.

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