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Alain Delon / AD (1980)
by Alain Delon

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Alain Delon / AD information

Year of Launch1980
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 45 votes)

People and companies

HouseAlain Delon
Parent CompanyDenz > Art & Fragrance
Parent Company at launchDenz > Parfums de Paris

About Alain Delon / AD

Alain Delon / AD is a masculine fragrance by Alain Delon. The scent was launched in 1980

Alain Delon / AD fragrance notes

Reviews of Alain Delon / AD

Alain Delon is a famous French actor who decided to cash in on his sex appeal with his own fragrance line in the 1980's, a career move that ended up quite successful for a time, before the brand cachet of his name faded with the fashionable fragrance buying public and returned to the circles of French cinema aficionados. The house launched in 1980 with this fragrance, called Alain Delon (1980), but also referred to as AD or later re-issued as Alain Delon Classic during a brief stint when Art & Fragrance (owners of the Lalique license) manufactured the Alain Delon brand. A lot of baby boomers and Generation X guys who've been into men's fragrance since they were in their twenties about when this scent launched will remember it and the brand fondly, as celebrity fragrances didn't quite have the stigma then as they now do, and Alain Delon himself wasn't a super well-known figure outside France, meaning folks in places like the US might have mistaken this as a hip new designer perfume brand anyway. I think Alain Delon the fragrance is a prime example of something not truly appreciated until it's long gone, but more on that a little further down. For now, let's focus on the actual smell. For along time this was a cheap find on eBay, especially since it was re-issued after the original "non-classic" bottles released by Denz dried up, but that second wind has come and gone again, so while not the priciest unicorn in the discontinued fragrance game, Alain Delon isn't cheap enough to casually blind buy.

The smell of Alain Delon sits in that 80's nether-region of soapy fougère-like clean, and sharp aromatic chypre territory, offering up gentlemanly roomed sophistication with some gusto of manly herbs, oakmoss, and a dry scent trail. Overall, there are a lot of notes here but this is really all about geranium. The gorgeous opening of aldehydes, basil, bergamot, wormwood, laurel, and juniper come across bright and a bit medicinal, but the gorgeousness of the sharp floral geranium and carnation, with a small speck of lavender for roundness bring us into what smells like a lighter and drier take on what Oscar de la Renta pour Lui (1981) would try to do in the following year. The key difference is, Alain Delon keeps the focus on geranium, and has a bit more soap in the mix with orris and a balsam fir note. The base is mossy, with cedar over some dry amber, hay like tonka, and has that "brown" vibe scents from this cusp era seem to share, so we're not in full fresh soapy Drakkar Noir (1982) territory just yet, but it's peaking from around the corner with Alain Delon. Still, at the end of the day, this is all about geranium and how everything else in the composition supports it, so you better like geranium if you plan to like this. Wear time is about seven hours, so you can get nearly a work day with it, and I feel this was to make it an easy wear in an era where everything had to be a huge unwashed codpiece or ripped sleeve overstuffed with bicep. There were some guys just not into showing off, and they needed something to wear too. Alain Delon is not a powerhouse, but more of that mid-century sort of genteel well-sorted manliness. Best use weather-wise for this will be fall through spring, as the slightly powdery ambery chypre nature of the dry down may be just a bit much for high heat or humidity.

The downside to this all is one thing: genteel and well-sorted were not what guys on the prowl near the end of the disco era wanted from a fragrance, making Alain Delon veer more mature even for 1980, so it remained mostly an under-the-radar scent outside France, but did well enough on name recognition in Alain's home country alone to keep the lights on and bills paid. Much louder and "more eighties" follow-ups like Iquitos (1987) and Alain Delon Plus (1987) would grab English-speaking men by the ears and make them take notice, but by the late eighties there was so much choice in the department stores that Alain Delon as a house never really became a worldwide phenomenon outside the actor's following. It was only in hindsight by the same boomers and gen-xers whom were now in their late forties or early sixties, with a nostalgic longing for all things related to their prime, that this fragrance and some of its successors gained any real respect among the more popular and common 80's masculines which unlike Alain Delon/AD/Classic, were still available on store shelves but didn't give them that same emotional spark. I totally get the power surviving specimen fragrances of a given era can have on the souls of the wearers who through those fragrances remember and regain a bit of that swagger in their step the world may have beaten out of them in the decades that have passsed since then. Ultimately, Alain Delon the fragance found about as much sporadic success abroad as the actor himself, but returned to France each time as a cultural legend. Thumbs up
10th January, 2021
Alain Delon has an impeccable opening with carnation, moss, woods, and geranium, and it smells like it's from 1980, around the time the best masculine fragrances were made, for my tastes. As it develops, some of the magic of the opening is lost, and the base is relatively plain. I think is the geranium note has good longevity, but the other notes fade.

For other, fantastic geranium fragrances, try Ebene de Balmain and Aramis Tuscany.
16th May, 2017 (last edited: 18th May, 2017)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The opening is a traditional bergamot-basil-wormwood mix, not unlike some of the contemporary dunhills. The juniper and especially a lovely cinnamon aroma giv it a special twist. The expectedly floral drydown is carnation-heavy, perfect with a matching boutonnière, although a great geranium hovers in the background. Whilst wood - mainly cedar - and non-sweet vanilla dominate in the base, the moss is of good quality too.

My main issue with this scent is that the base is a bit dull on my skin, otherwise it uses high-quality ingredients and is well-blended. Good sillage and projection with six hours of longevity.

This has classic chypre written all over it, and is well done. Great in spring. 3.75/5
06th January, 2015
In My opinion this is the best fragrance in the world, Sexy, sophisticated, a true gentleman scent. I have about six bottles of this fragrance I first bought this in the eighties, Alain Delon is a famous french actor and brought out his own line of men and women fragrance, this is the most unique scent I've ever worn and people are always asking me what it is as it drives women crazy, sadly discontinued now but can still be found on Ebay, Mr Delon please bring it back
01st April, 2013
Wonderful! It reminds me of Paco Rabanne for Men. I bought five bottles a couple of years ago and I am glad I did since it's now discontinued. A wonderful fragrance in a solid big square bottle! Long-lasting, too!
07th April, 2010
It opens with very nice spices and citrus in a typical 80s style, and within minutes on my skin, starts to reveal the slightly-candied sweetness of aldehydes. The aromatic woods in the base instantly reminds me of Rochas Lui, while retaining a good dose of the citrus in the background, and the benzoin gives it a nice incense-y and slightly powdery texture. There is very mild tint of green bitterness from the moss near the end. How this is discontinued is beyond me. IMO, this could do very well in this day and age.
10th January, 2010

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