Perfume Directory

Aramis 900 (1973)
by Aramis


Aramis 900 information

Year of Launch1973
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 253 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerBernard Chant
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies > Aramis and Designer Fragrances
Parent Company at launchEstee Lauder Companies

About Aramis 900

Described by Aramis as "Tradition with a dash of the unexpected."

Aramis 900 fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Aramis 900

Aldehydes (that hairspray smell) and Patchouli is what I get on first spray quickly followed dusty roses and moss. It's green and herbal and old school with a underlying subtle civet. As it dries down I smell some carnation and woods. It's one of those ones that smells good in the air around you but not so good up close because of the aldehydes.

Nice in a old fashioned way but not something I would buy but I can appreciate it.
23rd June, 2020
Ifti Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Walk Taller Frag!

Can't add much more that hasn't been thoroughly explained by those with a 'nose' .

All I can say is its a wonderful antidote to sweet, gourmand, aquatic, modern and or metro frags. Proper AND manly frag.

If you're delving into classic ( I chose this word rather than old school deliberately!) and gentlemanly this is essential along with the original.

I'm walking taller , my chest is puffed out, shoulders back. It's THAT sort of frag.

Get in.

Edit 2:
To carry on some of the amusing and fitting illustrative descriptions I've read on basenotes - this is Gordon Ramsay vs Ginode Campo!

Edit 3:
Wow a little embarassed by my crass evaluation (over a year ago and I'mhoping I'm a little more nuanced now)
I find it quite genius - mossy patchouli country funk teamed with a top rate rose. Not everyones tast but I feel it's pretty spot on.
10th August, 2018 (last edited: 04th October, 2019)
Smells similar to other old-school classics I've tried. "Soapy" and "barnyard" come to mind.

Strong projection and longevity.

16th February, 2018
Reviews of this fragrance go into some detail explaining its place in the market at the time of release and its unusual character in comparison to trends in masculine fragrance at that time. What they don't do is place it in comparison to the trends of today. I'm rating it neutral because of its awful longevity - less than 90 minutes on me - but as a fragrance, it's very pleasant. It's floral, certainly, and if you love the sour and heavy green masculines of the 70s you won't find it anywhere near your comfort zone, but the overall effect is actually far less sweet than many recent and popular masculine releases (I'm thinking of 1 Million, Pi, that kind of ballpark). The similarity to Aromatics Elixir is noticeable, it could easily be AE with extra rose, and given how quickly 900 vanishes I suspect AE will be the one I end up buying.
27th January, 2018
Aramis 900 is the first proper follow-up to the scent that launched this originally male-exclusive house (they do have a feminine in their catalog now, hence I say "originally"), and it serves to take the "house note" of Moss/Patchouli/Vetiver started with the original into an entirely different direction. The debut fragrance was a rich leather wrapped in aldehydes and florals, often called the "Chanel Number 5 for men" by some fans, and it's legend is still asserted to this day; it was a hard act to follow, so Estée Lauder decided to essentially make the new Aramis fragrance as a male counterpart to her Aromatics Elixir (1971) from the Clinique line (which was still dedicated female at the time). Bernard Chant crafted this, as he did the original Aramis and the aforementioned Aromatics Elixir, so the whole venture was in good hands all around. A later flanker of this named "Chromatics", released sometime in the same year as 900, was a more shrill and self-described "metallic" fragrance that tried to be a more masculine counterpart to Aromatics Elixir than Aramis 900 was, but it was pulled a short time after release, so apparently it didn't work out well. Aramis 900 was pitched as an "herbal" cologne, even though the primary notes were rose or rose-based, making it far more floral than it's packaging lets on. The most shocking thing about Aramis 900, and by far it's most "love-it-or-hate-it" factor, is the strong rose opening. It contains lemon, bergamot, and rosewood in the opening, then double downs on the rose in the heart with rose and orris, flanked by carnation and rose-cousin geranium. It's was most rosy thing made for men in the 70's era this side of 1872's Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligon's, and really hearkens back to the "dandy" subculture of the 19th and early 20th century.

If the slight gender-bending and gentile-to-the-extreme sense of stifling propriety, etiquette, structure, and scruples sounds far too confining for you, then I suggest avoiding this. It has a close relation to scents like Paco Rabanne Pour Homme (1973) and Avon Blend 7 (1973), which both came out in the same year and also used lots of florals, aromatics, and/or soapy notes in their character (with Avon Blend 7 arguably being more herbal than the self-proclaimed "herbal cologne" of Aramis 900), but this is the most potent of the 3 by far. A note breakdown is also unnecessary as this just Aromatics Elixir with more geranium and less galbanum. To call this a fougère would be a mistake, as it has little in common with the genre outside of the use of moss. There's no musk or tonka/coumarin in this, and it's basically a chypre because it has in it everything save a stiff wood note that hints at a cypress note. Aramis 900 is literally an honest-to-goodness floral bouquet of the variety that perfumers made for both men and women in antiquity, with examples like the aforementioned Penhaligon's scent, or any number of Eau de Cologne parables that came out in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century. This fact alone is where the "tradition with a dash of the unexpected" comes from, as the traditional composition values are affixed to the house base notes of Aramis minus the leather, then smoothed out with citrus and herbs. There really isn't a whole lot going on in Aramis 900 that a fragrance collector with knowledge of times past wouldn't expect, but the fact that it's coming from 1973 instead of 1873 makes it all the more startling.

I can't imagine guys understanding or appreciating this en masse back in the day, especially in the wake of the 60's fougère boom and the outgoing aromatic citrus chypres that were still cruising on their last legs into the 80's. Aramis 900 is a huge blast of rose that simmers into patchouli, vetiver, and moss. The dry down is probably the only thing that separates it from the masculines of the previous century, as it has no real urinous undercurrent like they had, no civet or anything to imply a "jock" smell. This scent simply is a feminine floral dialed down in sweetness for a man's taste, but barely. I rather like this scent, but I admit that hetero-normative macho men would not really appreciate this and probably didn't really back in the day either. Long before Jean Paul Gaultier came along with Le Mâle (1994) or early 2000's candy gourmands became the gay club standard, strong florals like Guerlain Mitsouko (1919) were used to express a sort of "code" between queer men long after dandy fashions receded. While I wasn't around back then, a scent such as this would have been a literal shoe-in for that scene. In the modern times, gender lines have grown more blurred since the 80's with dandy styles resurging or unisex fragrance becoming popular once again, so such a quibble as that would not be a big deal now, but the point remains that if you don't enjoy heaps of rose and geranium over an aromatic vetiver base, you probably don't want this in your collection. Aramis 900 is for the guy who likes the idea of 19th century dandy culture, which typically means hipsters, or the high-society fella that would be right at home in a floral when attending a function. It's extremely graceful for what it is, and on skin it does warm up enough in the dry down to not seem quite so flamboyant, but if sprayed on a shirt then all bets are off, as the top notes won't fade so fast. A very divisive men's scent from Aramis, and the first in a new legacy of distinctive selections. Certainly not a daily wear, but it has it's place. Thumbs up.
01st January, 2018 (last edited: 25th June, 2019)
Watermelon in Easter Hay, very green classy fougere!
06th November, 2017

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