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  1. #1

    Default Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    The funny thing is I got a sample of Versace PH from Macys without asking for it. The SA was aware I was a bit of a fragrance aficionado, ahem, colognoisseur, after talking about Infusion d'Iris with her (which they didn't carry) after sampling Infusion d'Homme, and tossed in a few extra samples of new releases that I had not asked for.

    As I got to the parking lot I looked into my bag of samples and grabbed them at random, dabbing them on the few patches of skin that remained unscented. When I put on the Versace PH, I told my friend, "Ah, just another fresh scent." At first sniff, it was the least interesting of the bunch.

    I revisited the sample a week or two later and gave it a little dab. Hmm, better than I remembered - some nice bitter citrus in the topnotes - but I went about my business and paid it little mind. After all, it was a fresh scent - it really didn't require any kind of close scrutiny.

    But, well, it was nice enough, and I had been on the search for a decent fresh scent to add to my wardrobe as that is a grossly underrepresented category in my collection. So I tried it again, and gave it a full and proper wearing. Ah.. again better than the time before. I felt compelled to try it again, and again, and soon my sample was out. I would still have been undecided on it's FBW-ness, but I had a great deal of positive things happen in my life during the last two consecutive days I had tested it. That association tipped the scales and I ordered it along with a bottle of Yatagan.

    So I got my bottle and finally got to spray it on, as the sample vial was a dabber vial. Ah, this is a scent that greatly benefits from being sprayed, and also from a general application. The atomizer is great and dispenses and extremely fine mist, so much so that if you spray it at the distance required from most bottles, you won't get much on your skin! This is great though because it allows you to spray onto forearms or other exposed areas where you don't want to concentrate the scent too much but want a fine mist with equal dispersion, without wasting large amounts by being forced to spray from a distance.

    So now that I've gotten a few 6 spray wearings in, I feel I can chime in on the scent (sorry it took so long to get here! ) First up, the listed notes:

    Top Notes
    Neroli, Bitter Orange Leaves, Citron of Diamante, Bergamot.

    Middle Notes
    Geranium, Blue Hyacinth, Clary Sage, Cedarwood.

    Base Notes
    Oud, Mineral Amber, Musk, Tonka.

    Versace PH starts with a bitter citrus opening, with all the zest and olfactory vibrancy of the spray of oils when you peel an orange, with a slight sweet and flowery note (the blue hyacinth, listed, I presume) floating in the background, noticeable only in the wake of the sillage. The zest and aromatic nature of the opening is preserved although the orange note slowly fades, leaving behind a clary sage heavy heart. The interesting thing is that since the transition is so seamless, the orangey quality to this aromatic accord persists longer than the actual citrus notes in the opening. The combined effect of the opening notes conjures images of turbulent white water, whether it be the crests of waves crashing on a rocky shore on a windy day, or a river snaking its way over the edge of a cliff, cascading hundreds of feet down in a beautiful waterfall.

    As time carries on the sage accord gains a slightly white wine like quality. The overall scent is still quite piercing in its aromaticness, although it tempers slightly after an hour or two as the sage gains this quality and the cedar rears its head, drawing comparisons to a pinot grigio with hints of an oaken barrel embedded into the aroma. This accord lasts for a few hours, growing woodier as time goes on, and at about the 5 hour mark the sage has mostly retreated, the cedar is prominent along with a distinct ambergris note. I sniffed my arms tonight and it was bothering me because this stage smelled extremely similar to something.. something, but I just couldn't place it. A few minutes later it struck me - it smelled almost exactly like Les Nez's Let Me Play The Lion when it is first sprayed - except that ambergris here is not so sweet as it is in LMPTL or in the Millesime base of Creeds. It shouldn't have taken so long to recognize, it was so obvious. One other thing sets it apart from LMPTL, and that is the oud note that also is present at that time - which transforms the wood accord from a pure cedar accord into something more distinct - a dryer wood, almost like I'd imagine sun soaked drift wood to smell of, with a hint of smokiness. This accord is absolutely gorgeous - one of the finest wood accords up there with the aforementioned LMPTL and Hinoki. Unfortunately the scent carried on the sillage is not nearly as clear or as distinct as the scent when sniffed close and the projection has diminished some, but then again, this is 5 hours into the scent's progression. It's also not nearly as clear from the chest as it is on the back of the forearms, and I think that it's an absolute must to fully enjoy this frag to give a spray to the back of each forearm.

    From here the cedar fades and the oud and a very dry ambergris note linger along with a soft musk and I'm guessing the tiniest amount of birch tar or cade oil to lend a distinctly "mineral" quality to this final accord. It almost smells like a smoky vetiver note at this point, but with a dusty and slightly flint like note in place of the grassy note in vetiver. The base notes list tonka but I don't smell it on its own here - if its here its only to soften, ever so slightly, the woody qualities.

    This final accord gets a bit smokier and more mineralic (yet retains an airy translucency to it (sort of like how TDC's Des Sens et Bois is an incense scent but remains light and airy, or even how Terre D'Hermes never gets bogged down in its heavier notes but always has a certain lift and vibrancy) before finally fading away to just musk and ambergris, but I can still it faintly on my arms some 24 hours later when applied with a concentrated spray, and easily 12 or more hours when misted. On the chest the longevity is reduced to about 7 or 8 hours.

    I think that those who find the longevity lacking are either anosmic to the musk or ambergris notes, or - more likely, just don't take notice of the scent once the sage has faded. I had read somewhere that most men's natural scent has aspects to it reminiscent of vetiver, cedar, and so forth, and I think this final accord blends in with one's natural smell to the point where some might stop taking notice of it.

    I think this is a great scent that transitions effortlessly between its various stages. It is *not* like AdG - it is not sweet, it has no melon scent, no prominent floral scent, the drydown is far stronger and more masculine, and its longevity is at least twice that of AdG. It is, while not smelling similar, far more similar to Terre d'Hermes as far as its classiness, heaviness, and versatility goes. In fact, I think all lovers of TdH should try Versace PH - although don't be afraid to spray it far more liberally than you would TdH, and as I've said, be sure to spray your forearms! - because of those similarites.

    The scent is deceptive as its opening may deceive you into thinking it's an aquatic - its heart is undeniably aromatic, and its base is in light oriental territory with a wonderful, if not entirely 'heavy' mineral, wood and ambergris accord that transports my imagination to a mediterranean beach.

    I think many more would enjoy this if they'd just try it, and give it a full wearing with at least 2 sprays to the chest and one to each forearm. The woody/mineral drydown is sublime. Let Me Play the Lion fans should definitely test it and let me know if you also find striking similarities between it and the Versace about 4-5 hours into its progression.

    After I placed the order, I was feeling a tinge of buyer's remorse. After two full and proper wearings from the bottle, I am absolutely thrilled that I went through with the purchase.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 6th November 2008 at 12:11 PM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    GREAT review. Thanks for all that. I own this and this, in my book, is one of the better desiogners of 2008. I think you are dead on that people spray it on a card or something and think "aquatic" and never give it a chance. It's much more than that. You compred it to TdH. I always compared it to Platinum Egoiste. Not that they smell the same at all. But the fact that they are both scents that are lighter yet masculine and that can be used day/night and in all seasons and that give the wearer a "classy" vibe.
    "As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
    --Ben Hogan

  3. #3

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    like this one as well, for me it is one of the best 2008's perfumes. Strong, but fresh, and, I think, the main characteristic of Versace Pour Homme is elegant. Yeah, very elegant and charismatic scent. One of the best sillage and lasting power at the market.
    At first I thought that VPH is the full copy of Allure Homme Sport and forgot about it. But then I occasionally bought it, because wanted something new. And now the Versace is one of the leaders of my collection. Yes, they are really very similar, but I could find many advantages over Chanel's fragrance (you can find them in the other thread devoted to VPH)
    The girl in the shop named it light classic. Hmmm, why not? If Terre d'Hermes is a strong new classic, the Versace - is a light new classic.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    I'm going to have to try Allure Homme Sport as I've heard about the similarities and want to confirm or deny them myself.

    I think this frag is going to sell well based on the topnotes, and that many men are in store for a very rewarding drydown that they didn't see coming. For those others who've tried this, do you find it similar to AdG as some have mentioned? I really don't see the connection there - the closest thing to this nose that they have in common is that they're both by Alberto Morillas.

    I'm excited that this scent will likely introduce the masses to the scent of ambergris, even if they aren't aware of what they're smelling!
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 6th November 2008 at 07:11 PM.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    SculptureOfSoul: Thanks so much for sharing and I much admire the detail you've offered. I've yet to sample Versace pour Homme (I have the eau fraiche), but after your review I'm keen! Great job...
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    To whomever mentioned Allure Sport: It's fantastic, though I infinitely prefer the original pour homme. Smart bottle design, too.

    Haven't tried VPH. 2003's Versace Man is unequivocally the worst frag. in my collection.

    Dreamer is ok.

    That's all I know of Versace.

    How are the line's unisex frag.s?
    Last edited by boyextraordinare; 6th November 2008 at 11:27 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    AdG is Jacques Cavallier's scent.
    No, I don't find any similarities. They are both fresh, but the type of the freshness is different. If your nose is trained, you won't say that they are similar. But some people when they hear the word "fresh" in the description of the new perfume like to compare it to AdG. I don't know why. Maybe because AdG is one of the most famous and popular fresh scent.
    And there is the other story with Allure Homme Sport. Versace Pour Homme is not close to it, many people will find the Versace the full, absolute copy. And they will be right, because the first notes of both scents are really very-very similar (for the plain customer they are the same). But when the heart begins, you will notice essential distinctions. Try Allure Homme Sport and, I think, you will change your opinion on the Versace a bit.

    In May, June and July Versace Pour Homme was the bestseller No 1 here in Russia. In August it took the fifth place after D&G The One and three Chanel (Egoiste Platinum, Allure Homme Sport and Allure Homme Edition Blanche). I think it is very good indicator of success.
    Last edited by AntonPan; 6th November 2008 at 11:36 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    Ah, you are right about AdG being Jacques Cavallier's work - my bad! I must have been thinking of AdG for women which was indeed done by Morillas.

    I kind of wish that the Versace PH wasn't quite so popular.. I don't want to smell like everyone else!

    I realized today that the one problem I have with this scent is excessive longevity. On my forearms I could easily smell it 16 hours after applying, and even after a workout, and that's a bit long when I'd like to wear another frag later in the day without needing to shower. But, I found the final lingering notes to be much more pleasant today when misted lightly on my arms rather than the concentrated sprays - it was a nice fuzzy warm musk note that was slightly vanillic (perhaps a synthetic tonka?), and a definite ambergris note. Much better than the lingering aroma that Antidote leaves on the skin for equally as long.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    Well, I didn't wear any scent today, and haven't had any scent on since the Versace pour homme about 24 hours and two showers ago. I still noticed the faint musk on my forearms all day, but thought it was all off after the second shower.

    On the treadmill today I started getting a very nice whiff of a slightly musky vanilla/ambergris aroma and was thinking it was the man next to me, until I got off and the scent followed me wherever I went.

    I know a lot of people yearn for longevity like this, but to be honest that is just way too much for me, and may lead me to sell the scent sometime down the road (it'd be the sole reason, too ). It's nearly as tenacious as L'Antimatiere on my skin. Come to think of it, this final note is quite similar to that in L'Antimatiere. It's almost as if Versace PH wraps Let Me Play The Lion and L'Antimatiere into one scent, while having distinct top notes all its own. It's not as natural smelling as Let Me Play the Lion, however.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 7th November 2008 at 06:30 PM.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

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    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  10. #10

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    I tried VpH and I wasn't that impressed. I offered my wife a test spritz and her response to VpH was the most enthusiastic I've seen from her about any fragrance! That's the sealer as far as I'm concerned. BTW: I get good longevity i.e. > 4 hours, but not anywhere near as much a SculptureOfSoul gets.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    I tried this on my wrist and could barely smell a thing - although I had Fleur du Male on the same arm, which probably overtook it.
    Will have to give it another spritz sometime soon... Trying to settle on a "fresh long-lasting" fragrance for my Fiji holiday.
    Looking for: Andy Tauer - L'air du Desert Morocain & Incense Extreme

    Check out my NEW Aussie sale / trade thread here -
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/249...76#post1801576

  12. #12

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by jathanas View Post
    I tried VpH and I wasn't that impressed. I offered my wife a test spritz and her response to VpH was the most enthusiastic I've seen from her about any fragrance! That's the sealer as far as I'm concerned. BTW: I get good longevity i.e. > 4 hours, but not anywhere near as much a SculptureOfSoul gets.
    Try it on your forearms if you haven't. It seriously blooms there in a way that is not noticeable on the chest. I mean, it's a light frag but delicately balanced - but those delicacies are lost in the heat and sweat and such of a warm chest, whereas on a forearm, especially on the hair, the scents intricacies can be revealed (it took me a number of wearings before it all became clear, too. If you can get a free sample I would!). Also, mist lightly, as a concentrated spray can lead to the musk note taking over too early. That being said, even on the forearms it does require some heat to really bloom, so I think it's *best* as a slightly heavier fresh frag for the spring and summer, but I find the bitter citrus and sage to be a great mental pick me up, and will wear it whenever I need to be especially alert.

    When I talked about the ridiculous longevity, it wasn't so much that I could smell it continously for 24 hours or whatever, but it was still definitely on my skin. I can always tell when a frag has left over some "residue" when later trying my all-natural creations on my skin - if there is any leftover 'residue' it obliterates the natural frags quite quickly. I'm sure it affects synthetic based frags too, although to a lesser degree since they are typically stronger.

    That brings up an interesting question: are those who prefer extremely powerful and long lasting frags setting themselves into a trap.. their long lasting frag likely leaves a trace on the skin, even after a shower (this trace can be very faint and hardly smellable unless you sniff your skin directly), but then this trace interferes with lighter frags and makes them disappear even quicker, hence creating a cyclical trap of needing ultra-strong and long lasting frags simply because you are using ultra-strong and long lasting frags. Hmm..


    edit: I've decided that since fresh/light frags are, well.. light, I'm *always* going to test them by giving them at least one devoted full wear. The intricacies of fresh frags are lost when tested alongside heavier frags, and I think that is what happened in your case Anthony (and FdM is a real MONSTER!). Of course, I'm not guaranteeing you'll like it or anything, but at least give it a dedicated chance. And wait for the best part, 4-5 hours in when the wood and ambergris are both at their most prominent.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 8th November 2008 at 12:37 PM.
    ***For sale:

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  13. #13

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    Forgot to mention the presence of geranium in the early heart accord. It mingles nicely with the sage, although the sage is the more dominant note.

    I find the early heart notes of this are 'faint' in a sense compared ot the top notes, and it can feel like the scent has disappeared, but yet you'll still catch whiffs from time to time. Then, about 4-5 hours in when the woods really come to the fore, the scent has more presence again.

    Hope others will give this a shot and hopefully find it at least half as enjoyable as I do. It's not wild or extremely unique but it is classic in the sense of being a fairly traditional (simple almost, but with deceptive complexity woven into it) formula done to near perfection.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Versace Pour Homme: Initial Impressions

    I've worn this quite a bit since I've gotten it, and here's an update to my initial impressions.

    Longevity: A normal application of 3 shots to the chest and 1 misted spray over each forearm definitely lasts all day (6-10 hours depending on heat, etc). The scent emanating from the chest is less distinct than that on the forearms, and the oud/labdanum/ambergris element of the drydown is only really detectable and enjoyable from the forearms. The ridiculous longevity I got before can only be a result of an extremely concentrated spray which I tend to do with all new frags to test how they behave when applied in that manner.

    Similarity to AdG: I've tested these side by side now on more than one occasion. There is a slight semblance in the topnotes although Versace starts more bitter/tart and stays that way throughout. After the topnotes, AdG veers into a distinctly different direction.


    Question for those who've tried it or own it: Does anyone else get the woody/amber/oud thing at around the 3-5 hour mark? There's this window of about 45 minutes on me where it is very pronounced and it's an absolute highlight of the development for me. It's not a heavy wood note, but a fairly dry wood note with a hint of sweetness, something like cedar but less round and 'fuzzy' as most cedar notes are.

    Anyways, I know many dislike this scent and unfortunately there are some who won't give it a fair shake because of its label, but I really think this is an excellent scent. It does a great job at capturing the mediterranean vibe with a tart citrus opening, winey dry and tart sage heart and a dry wood and ambergris base.(with a hint of citrus still evident).

    I will not deny that it has a ton of mass market appeal, and I will not claim that it's in any way far out or 'unlike anything you've ever smelled before' - but I don't know why that seems to be the criteria around here for finding a frag to be excellent. I'm not a fan of pop music as a genre, but there are some excellent and catchy pop tunes. And in many ways, it's harder to write an excellent pop tune than say an excellent jazz fusion tune - not because the former requires more technical talent, but because the pop market is saturated and you are working within relatively tight genre constrictions. That being said, I love the music of Frank Gambale, Alan Holdsworth and other jazz fusion artists - but also love the music of Seal, Michael Jackson, and - I'm almost afraid to admit it - the occasional Justin Timberlake song.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 8th December 2008 at 11:00 AM.
    ***For sale:

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