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  1. #1

    Default Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Aramis Havana seems to be quite the popular tobacco cologne, but I wrote it off after I found the opening to be quite obnoxious and I LOVE tobacco colognes.

    I have no problem with powerhouse colognes, but I think it's fair to say that I didn't really give it a chance and experience the dry down, etc. I was just so put off by the opening, that I quickly moved on and at the time (a few years back) - bought Michael Kors For Men for the first time after being blown away by it.

    So does Aramis Havana deserve a second chance from beginning to end - even if I still find the opening to be obnoxious. Is a great dry down just waiting for me? Am I gojng to be in cigar, booze and spice heaven? Interestingly enough though, I have read reviews from people who love it, but don't think it's a tobacco cologne at all - they don't smell that note.

    Aramis Havana - what say you? Is it essential for anyone claiming to love tobacco colognes?

  2. #2
    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    In short - yes.

    IMO there are two very broad categories of tobacco fragrances - the modern sweeter ones (Tobacco Vanille, Pure Havane, Burberry London, etc) and the 'masculine' old school ones (Havana, Cuba, Blend 30, Vermeil for Men). I haven't tried the Michael Kors for Men, so I don't know which camp it belongs to. There are some like Odori Tabacco which is more of the latter type, but focuses mostly on the tobacco.

    So I'm curious to know whether you just don't like Havana, or don't like altogether this old school style of tobacco fragrances.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    In short - yes.

    IMO there are two very broad categories of tobacco fragrances - the modern sweeter ones (Tobacco Vanille, Pure Havane, Burberry London, etc) and the 'masculine' old school ones (Havana, Cuba, Blend 30, Vermeil for Men). I haven't tried the Michael Kors for Men, so I don't know which camp it belongs to. There are some like Odori Tabacco which is more of the latter type, but focuses mostly on the tobacco.

    So I'm curious to know whether you just don't like Havana, or don't like altogether this old school style of tobacco fragrances.
    Michael Kors is definitely an old school - a boozy tobacco and spice power house.

    People who hate it have said it smells like cigars drenched in gasoline - they literally would start coughing. With some exceptions like Lanvin's Avant Garde, I am not really a fan of the modern day sweet tobacco colognes.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hey Man View Post

    Aramis Havana - what say you?
    Not for me.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Not for me.
    Not for you, because it's just not your style or not for you because you think it smells like Cuban cat piss?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hey Man View Post
    Not for you, because it's just not your style or not for you because you think it smells like Cuban cat piss?
    I Know I don't like it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    A very generous BNer (HackerX) recently sent me a bottle and its really nice. Very definitely in the same vein as C&S Cuba. Very nice scent.
    I saw that!!

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Great fragrance. Worth the hype and for the price more than the hype.
    Now i don't get any tobacco here. But then I don't get any tobacco in tobacco vanilla , Vermeil, blend 30 etc.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by epapsiou View Post
    Great fragrance. Worth the hype and for the price more than the hype.
    Now i don't get any tobacco here. But then I don't get any tobacco in tobacco vanilla , Vermeil, blend 30 etc.
    Do you think the opening is a little harsh and then it settles into something great or is it great right from the start for you?

  10. #10
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hey Man View Post
    Not for you, because it's just not your style or not for you because you think it smells like Cuban cat piss?
    The former!
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  11. #11
    Always be smelling

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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hey Man View Post
    Do you think the opening is a little harsh and then it settles into something great or is it great right from the start for you?
    Opening has that astringent quality that can be off putting for some. Give it a few minutes and then it would be great.

    And as a general rule I generally wait for drydown. Top notes are fickle
    Last edited by epapsiou; 4th December 2016 at 11:39 PM.
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  12. #12
    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hey Man View Post
    Do you think the opening is a little harsh and then it settles into something great or is it great right from the start for you?
    I like the opening, though I can see that some may not be used to it. I also like the dry down, but my favourite part is from about the 25th min to the 2nd hour when most of the developments occur.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Stick with Michael Kors - Michael (Parfums Givenchy Bottle with no writing or "Michael", not "Michael Kors")
    Havana is thinner, more ambery with spices. Less interesting, less complex.
    Another fragrance confirming the masses on here have no clue what tobacco smells like, green, brown, dry or otherwise.
    All that "less" isnt worth the very small marginal price difference.
    Michael Kors to me is virile with its dried plums and apricots in a leather bowl with tobacco leaves stewed in warm urine.
    Michael Kors is better, and it isnt close for me.
    Many "Basenotes Darlings" miff me. I chalk it up to mass appeal, more than good taste.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaMav View Post
    Stick with Michael Kors - Michael (Parfums Givenchy Bottle with no writing or "Michael", not "Michael Kors")
    Havana is thinner, more ambery with spices. Less interesting, less complex.
    Another fragrance confirming the masses on here have no clue what tobacco smells like, green, brown, dry or otherwise.
    All that "less" isnt worth the very small marginal price difference.
    Michael Kors to me is virile with its dried plums and apricots in a leather bowl with tobacco leaves stewed in warm urine.
    Michael Kors is better, and it isnt close for me.
    Many "Basenotes Darlings" miff me. I chalk it up to mass appeal, more than good taste.
    So Aramis Havana is the music equivalent of Bon Jovi or Nickleback - terrible, but the general public loves it.

    I have only ever had the Michael Kors with Michael on the bottle and I love that. I assume you can't buy a no writing version anymore - it's discontinued thus people will jack up the price on ebay. etc.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by trex57 View Post
    A very generous BNer (HackerX) recently sent me a bottle and its really nice. Very definitely in the same vein as C&S Cuba. Very nice scent.
    That's good on two levels for me. I've had Havana on my list for a short while (not sure what my delay is - it's cheap over here) and C+S Cuba I'm also curious about (although some mention a fecal note in that one which stops me dropping the high asking price).

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hey Man View Post
    I have only ever had the Michael Kors with Michael on the bottle and I love that. I assume you can't buy a no writing version anymore - it's discontinued thus people will jack up the price on ebay. etc.
    If it says "Michael" only its the original version.
    Both of these bottles are the same, made by Givenchy.




    Reforms (Estee Lauder):




    If you're after tobacco save your pennies and try Frapin's Speakeasy.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    MegaMav,

    While obviously the reform won't be as good and I don't think it even has tobacco anymore, but for what it is - is the new version of Kors still decent if you still want some of the same flavor even though the quality isn't the same? In other words, is it still better than Aramis Havana if you had to pick one with a gun to your head?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Relatively speaking, Havana is so inexpensive that it wouldn't be a huge risk to buy a bottle and see if you like it. Personally, I love it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hey Man View Post
    MegaMav,

    While obviously the reform won't be as good and I don't think it even has tobacco anymore, but for what it is - is the new version of Kors still decent if you still want some of the same flavor even though the quality isn't the same? In other words, is it still better than Aramis Havana if you had to pick one with a gun to your head?
    The original is easily found on eBay.
    No firearm necessary.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    imho- Aramis Havana is one of the best men's colognes ever made.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    Relatively speaking, Havana is so inexpensive that it wouldn't be a huge risk to buy a bottle and see if you like it. Personally, I love it.
    My feelings are the same. It's relatively inexpensive, so take the plunge.

    I used to love Havana, but grew tired of it and gave it away many years back. Often wonder myself if I would like it again.

    I do like Michael Kors as well but don't own it. The boozy, amber and tobacco is a nice combination of notes. I personally like Atelier Tobacco Nuit in this genre right now.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Havana is a great one. Surely many people think of the pleasant smells of pipe/rolling tobacco, which often has a sweetness to it.

    Havana isn't like this at all to my nose, especially not the opening which bring to my mind freshly cut, green tobacco leaves. It's bitter and doesn't have that comforting association that pipe/rolling tobacco evokes when you put your nose to it.

    Get a bottle, it's worth it.

    As a side note: I remember when I first joined BN, posters could not stop raving about Havana because at that stage it was still discontinued and those who had a bottle loved to use it as the reference tobacco, often claiming the rest of us peasants lived in ignorance of its magnificence. Then when it was re-released, and by all accounts it is exactly the same, suddenly the fanfare died largely because the exclusivity did but many new tobacco scents have come along since then.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Havana by Aramis, both original and reissue, I consider to be outrageously good. They are classic. Some don‘t like Havana. I get that. Some don‘t like the taste of generally considered great classic wines. I get that too. But it doesn't mean the great classic wines or the Aramis Havanas are not generally liked and considered great classics. It only means some are unable, for whatever reasons, to enjoy them as others do. Posting our differences of opinion is part of what makes sites like Basenotes so interesting.
    Last edited by kbe; 5th December 2016 at 06:26 PM.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    While the name of the cologne may tell me everything I want to know - when it's all said and done from the opening to the dry down, what kind of a vibe does this give off: a cigar club, rum and salsa dancing or a poker table with men in great suits smoking cigars, drinking the finest alcohol of choice and you as James Bond.

    I really prefer the latter.
    Last edited by Hey Man; 5th December 2016 at 06:43 PM.

  25. #25
    Missing Oakmoss

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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    It's more like fine leaf tobacco hanging to dry in a city rich with smells of spice, fruit, the marketplace...complex, comforting and interesting.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    While uncertain about the hype, quite certain it is a good fragrance that can be had for a good price

  27. #27
    Basenotes Member Roby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    It's basically like a more spicy yet sweaty version of Polo Green.

    I bought it a couple of years ago but found it almost unwearable as there is a certain note I can't identify that smells like ripe, offensive body odour.

    This was the new relaunch in the clear bottle with the Havana sticker so wasn't a bottle that had gone bad.
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roby View Post
    It's basically like a more spicy yet sweaty version of Polo Green.

    I bought it a couple of years ago but found it almost unwearable as there is a certain note I can't identify that smells like ripe, offensive body odour.

    This was the new relaunch in the clear bottle with the Havana sticker so wasn't a bottle that had gone bad.
    That's what I was worried about - that Havana has a sweaty man in Cuba vibe to it. I generally prefer colognes that have a retro or modern day sophisticated man in a killer suit vibe.

    I want more this:



    Not swarthy and sweaty.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    Just bought a bottle and found it godawful. I can't understand the hype on this one. The cheap patch makes it smell like some musty hippy rather than some masculine ideal. It also overwhelms the tobacco note that's present, but not great at all to my nose. Aramis Tobacco Reserve is far better, but still not that great either.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Aramis Havana - Worth The Hype?

    I don’t know about the current Havana, but the original is more about oakmoss and spices than a tobacco.
    And the one that says only Michael, from Michael Kors is some really good powerhouse cologne, I was very surprised of coming something like it from this house, the later release Michael kors for men is total meh.
    The new 2018 Aramis tobacco reserve is all about tobacco, the sweet tobacco pipe type.
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