Perfume Directory

Antaeus (1981)
by Chanel


Antaeus information

Year of Launch1981
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1162 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerJacques Polge
PackagingJacques Helleu
Parent CompanyWertheimer

About Antaeus

Antaeus was a handsome hero, son of Greek Goddess of the Earth, Gaeia and God of the Sea, Poseidon.
A warm, woody fragrance with notes of Sage, Patchouli and Labdanum.

Reviews of Antaeus

The slogan of Nuance, a women's fragrance from the 1980's, was "If you want to capture someone's attention whisper." That is NOT this fragrance. Chanel Antaeus SCREAMS. It is a projection monster that announces you before you arrive. It is the scent that sexual activity is about to begin or is in its long and sweaty process. More refined than YSL Kouros, Chanel Antaeus is of its day without being dated in a negative way. Kouros to me smells like steaming urine on a hot slab of iron ore. Definitely not an office scent. Chanel Antaeus is an anamalic scent that brings out the sexual animal in a man. It was my selected Christmas gift in 1981, my senior year of high school. My mother checked on getting it but the sales associate told her it was "very expensive." My reply was "So?"
13th April, 2020
Other than Fahrenheit or Vetiver by Guerlain, this is the most masculine fragrance I own.

Toxic masculinity at its finest.

Beast performance. 2 sprays to neck lasted all day and then some.

Animalic, heavy castoreum,

I bought it in search for a good winter frag and this hit the spot.

Honestly, 10/10.
01st November, 2019
Antaeus to me is a thick yet smoothly blended chypre, with its most prominent notes being rose, patchouli and waxy castoreum. Although it is associated with other 80s powerhouse fragrances, its lineage is more closely aligned with the 70s chypres, particularly Aramis 900/Clinique Aromatics Elixir. If you've smelled Aramis 900 you're probably familiar with that strong rose focus, which can smell almost feminine at times. The rose here has elements of that dandy-kinda vibe, but there are a bunch more notes here that counterbalance the rose to give this proper balance, as well as a bit more complexity.

In particular, the waxiness of the castoreum combined with the subtle sweet hint of jasmine creates that famous honey vibe that many people get from this scent. The labdanum and myrrh also become prominent at times, giving a resinous, at times musty accord.

My bottle is a 2019 made in france formulation. I have never smelled the original so I do not know to what extent key notes such as castoreum and oakmoss have been neutered - I definitely do get these notes in the scent, but I'm sure that's due to some clever synthetics or blending. I am particularly pleased that real castoreum has been replaced by a synthetic as I would not want animals suffering for something as trivial as perfume.

For those who do find the current formulation not as rich as previous, I suggest trying the deodorant stick: I find it has less of the top notes and focuses more on the resinous mid and base notes.
12th October, 2019
I bought this fragrance on a whim, easily swayed (as any foolish man in their 50s might be) by the blind-test opinions of two young sales assistants: they both preferred this (on my left wrist) to Dior Homme Intense (on my right). Funny that. On the way home, I wondered whether I'd been too rash. But no: it's a truly remarkable fragrance with a quite magical smell. I struggle to describe it. The best I can do is Fragrantica's description of beeswax: "an intimate animalic note with hints of wax and the pollen scent left by bees, deep and grounding". The animalic is there, but aromatic and musky and I think erotic (definitely NOT the dirty goat smell of Kouros). It's a beautiful fragrance: I'm glad I allowed myself to be foolishly swayed. Hey, and I bought the Dior Homme Intense too, I was feeling flush.
27th June, 2019
Fruity - aromatic woody; with a sweet and powdery cushion to soften up the texture. And less obviously there's a myrtle bouquet in the heart and fatty - animalic castoreum in the base to round out the fullness.

To see what a great fume this is, try comparing it to imitators like French Line or Vendetta pour Homme. They get part of the way there but the result is skimpy in comparison.

I'm not sure this 2015 version is the same as it originally was - there being a chemical nuance to the opening phase - but besides that Antaeus has got to be one of the best masculines ever, a real masterpiece by Jacques Polge.

Antaeus does seem loud but I think it's the sprayer, it gives one of the most gargantuan blasts in the business.

08th April, 2019
Antaeus might just be my favorite fragrance of all time, if I were forced to choose. Even though I've worn it hundreds of times, every time I wear it I'll find another reason to enjoy it. I've had numerous bottles in splash, spray, and decants - of all vintages. The oldest bottles are the best.

The only one thing about Antaeus I find challenging is trying to wear it in warmer weather. There are MUCH better fragrances for the summer heat. Another thing to keep in mind is that *less is more* with this one. I tend to use only ONE spray of Antaeus if I know I'll be leaving the house. I can see how some have said that this scent "flaunts itself" a bit. It's very rich, powerful and makes an impression - sometimes a negative impression to those who dislike bold masculine fragrances. For those who are only familiar with the modern mainstream releases, they probably won't easily find much appreciation for Antaeus - and one would expect the same would go for, say, Polo, Drakkar Noir, etc.

Antaeus has been reformulated several times and today's Antaeus has been stripped and "updated" to be less offensive - and much less expensive to produce, without a doubt. Some ingredients in the vintage like sandalwood, oakmoss and castoreum are simply not available or permitted to be used any longer. Fragrance-free zones seem to be increasing and, as such, marketing teams have ordered that scents like Antaeus will either need to be tamed or discontinued. It saddens me to think that we might never see another masterpiece like Antaeus produced again.
10th January, 2019

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