Perfume Directory

New West for Him (1988)
by Aramis

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New West for Him information

Year of Launch1988
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 202 votes)

People and companies

HouseAramis
PerfumerYves Tanguy
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies > Aramis and Designer Fragrances
Parent Company at launchEstee Lauder Companies

About New West for Him

The idea was to give this fragrance a Californian feel -- The packaging stated "Aramis, Los Angeles, California", instead of the usual "Aramis New York". 

New West for Him fragrance notes

Reviews of New West for Him

I’ve always liked this fragrance for some reason, despite it being a little outside my comfort zone and 10 or 15 years past its prime in relation to my age. I encountered it for the first time around 12 years ago in an Ulta, when I was new to the hobby and doing some sampling, looking to buy the first of what would become many fragrances. Even though I was probably searching for something like Acqua di Gio or Fuel For Life at the time, New West’s prickly dry aromatic character stayed lodged in the back of my brain long after I sampled it. One random day 3 years later, and now up to my eyeballs in fragrances, I suddenly felt compelled to order it while browsing online. Its smell was still there in my mind, crystal clear, along with the image of its kitschy blue and yellow, Coastal-California-in-the-80’s bottle, and when it arrived it smelled just as I’d remembered it. And I don’t know exactly what it is about New West that gives me this connection where its smell manages to stay so vividly clear in my mind, but there’s something about it that is totally unique and peculiar. It’s listed as an aquatic—and it is—yet it’s also dry as a bone, a pine forest with one side near the ocean, and the other demarcating the boundaries of a desert. It has the coarse, herbal masculinity of the classic Caron Yatagan, but wears like an unusual sports fragrance. It’s mossy and prickly, vegetal and herbal, clean and crisp; dry and hot, but also light and breezy. These aren’t contrasts as much as once tried and true symbiotic qualities that are no longer found so packaged together in today’s mainstream, and they thereby create a masculine aquatic that screams “80’s!!!” but is still wearable, and FUN to wear today. I always refer to Dior’s Fahrenheit as timeless—it feels just as cutting edge and unto itself now as it did in 1988. It doesn’t age as much as it becomes more and more impressive with each passing phase and trend in men’s perfumery. Aramis New West is NOT timeless—it clearly has its place in a bygone era and doesn’t smell nearly as futuristic as it does cleverly nostalgic—but its still very likable and it’s still useful. (I like to think of wearing it kind of like playing classic NES games in 2020. Even if they look out of place in the 21st century, they’re still fundamentally great games and they’re still fun!) So every now and then I like to wear New West, and enjoy it for what it is, and what we can no longer find out there on the Macy’s fragrance counter. Of course, I don’t know how I’d feel using New West in its current bottle style—it might just feel outdated, and it would certainly feel as if something had been lost. It definitely wouldn’t be as fun. Aramis’ decision to redesign the bottle and box (sometime between 2010 and 2013) was a huge mistake in my opinion. This isn’t a fragrance that one should even attempt to bring to or present in a 21st century package, or as Aramis ended up doing, present in a bland, chronologically amorphous bottle and box. The blue bottle with yellow trim and 80’s font was the physical, artistic connection between this fragrance and its past. And unfortunately I can’t help but feel like a piece of its past was lost when its aesthetic changed. After all, would you rather listen to Depeche Mode through your ear-buds after a brief message from Spotify, or pop your old, double-sided cassette into a chunky Sony walkman and jam out? I’m no reformulation nut, and I very rarely scour eBay looking for discontinued bottles and boxes, but if you’re considering buying New West, go with the old stuff here...it’s worth it.

Performance is about 5 to 6 hours with pretty strong projection for about 2 and more reserved for the rest. Expect to pay between $1 and $1.50 per milliliter when going for the vintage in an unopened or gently used bottle.
27th August, 2020 (last edited: 28th August, 2020)
Still a great scent, albeit a little dated.

I've adopted this one as my signature scent and wear it at least three days a week. It's unique in that as retro of a scent- I still often get asked what it is.

To me, the two most prominent notes in this are pine and patchouli and they are the notes that last throughout the day and into the drydown.

The opening is the only place mint can be detected, but it's gone very quickly. Within an hour, this turns into a green, woody aquatic with just enough aldehyde and calone to make it an aquatic by today's standard. The first few hours this is full of seabreeze, sunshine and ozone. It doesn't smell synthetic, and I think the heavy greenness of it is what keeps it so fresh. After about four hours this becomes a woody skin scent.

This has been discontinued on more than one occasion and looks like it's currently out of production. I hope it will make another return before I run out of the two bottles I've hoarded.
20th September, 2019
Perhaps more interesting as a historical landmark than a fragrance in and of itself, New West was the first aquatic fragrance ever release. That said, it's so green it's hardly what would be identified as an aquatic today, but that greenness feels more like watered-down Aramis signature DNA rather than the vivid portrait of late-1980s California the fragrance postures as being.

It's pleasantly refreshing, but in the world of 2019, New West does feel a bit generic in a dated sort of way (though anyone nostalgic for the early 1990s is sure to enjoy its effect).

Polo Blue would pick up New West's banner over a decade later, and it's the better-made scent.
31st May, 2019
This is a really nice aquatic fragrance that is supposed to smell like the California coast. In fact it was the first aquatic fragrance ever made historically, being the first one ever to use the calone aromachemical calone (which smells like the ocean). As for the scent, the opening reminds me of the same vibe as Aramis Havana but greener, but the drydown goes in a different direction. It smells to my nose basically of a soapy combination of pine and juniper notes, with ocean mist and aldehydes strongly coming through as well. It's very different and unique from modern fresh aquatics, and smells much more herbal. It's evocative of a seashore on a cloudy day next to a pine forest with a few drizzles of rain. It's a very melancholy fragrance. All in all, it's actually quite pleasant, and would pair west I think with Proraso Green aftershave. Projection is strong but airy (like other Aramis fragrances), while longevity is fairly good, projecting well for about 3 hours (but blooming in the high heat i.e. at the gym or in the summer).

4.5/5
15th March, 2019
New West is an old-school approach to a new way of thinking; it is an aquatic-themed scent made without the huge glut of chemicals that made the "blue hue" of scents like Davidoff's Cool Water (also 1988) possible. Aramis made it to capture the feeling of a modern-day California, hence the name "New West" rather than anything else with a western theme, and the scent was to epitomize a care-free lifestyle where the weather was always beautiful. It's a youthful scent that ironically comes across as more mature than most in it's class, giving it longer life in a collection than most things aimed at that demographic. It's equally worn by folks looking for relevant and likeable fragrance options, and dyed-in-the-wool hobbyists that appreciate it for it's artful construction. It rides both the mainstream line and the niche as well, but is really neither. New West in a way can be seen as a missing link between something like Cool Water and the later Eternity for men by Calvin Klein (1989), as that too took a less-artificial route to a squeaky-clean fresh vibrancy in it's construction. New West sets itself apart from nearly everything in it's class during those earliest of days for the aquatic and "fresh" revolution by mixing in 2/3rds of the decidedly "dirty" house notes of Aramis in the base; this one does indeed contain the proportionate amounts of patchouli and moss in the base just as past Aramis scents (except JHL) contained, but there is no vetiver that I can detect. What's the most funny about this is if this scent was put out by another house besides Aramis, it would be defamed as overly-sweet freshie nightmare worthy of the waste bin, but because it carries a pedigree from the house Lauder built, perfumistas tend to approach it with rose-tinted glasses.

Having a slightly scratchier base than the usual suspects of the late 80's and early 90's means this projects on skin and shirt much longer than any of them, but is heaped upon with herbals, florals, and super sweet notes of mint and calone derived from watermelon in the top. Bear in mind that New West was among the first to use calone in significant amounts and here it's blended with much more restraint than later abusers during the ozonic days of the 90's and early 2000's, when youthful, fruity, and nose-burning masculines filled the air with the scent of melted Jolly Rancher candies. New West avoids the fruit-flavored ozone label by having so much old-school goodness under the hood, and once that hyper-sharp and fruity calone note simmers into the mint and geranium in the top, the herbs come out to play in the middle, which warm it all up and disperses the sweetness until we hit the classic base of woods, moss, and musk. Top notes never fully fade on this and you'll smell that sparkly melon twang all the way until the end like in most later ozonics. There's just so much else going on for this besides the opening sweetness, and it's rounded out much more than anything else from that period given it's traditional construction, that it's quite literally best described as only a "semi-aquatic" fresh fragrance that dynamically rides the line between temperature extremes. Granted, this one hides under the shirt collar in freezing cold, but for office wear, it makes a good 365 scent and even pulls double duty for dates and night life due to it's affability. There is some similarity in composition between New West and the later Havana (1994), and the perfumer for the latter is not known, but if Yves Tanguy worked on that for Aramis as well, it would indeed explain a lot. New West still seems youthful despite turning 30, and if it was marketed more heavily once again and this time to the youth segment, might actually climb it's way back into department store front counters.

As it stands, Havana can be seen as an even warmer, boozier, woody, and richer version of New West beefed up for night use, although it too can be used in day wear as it isn't so virile as to put folks off guard. Most of this similarity between New West and Havana can be attributed to the similar fruit notes, with grapefruit and orange replacing calone from watermelon in Havana, plus similar herbals in the middle with patchouli and cedar making a return in the base. I wouldn't say New West is close enough for Havana to be a flanker, but there is definitely some referencing here, and it would be the last of the truly great traditionally-constructed scents from Aramis anyway. In a modern age, New West is perhaps more relevant than ever, as it's fruity opening, herbal middle, and warm woods base make it a definite stand out from the glut of aquatics that still appear, and it's a great left-from-center option for the person that wants to smell attractive, presentable, but completely unique. It's a great timeless signature scent that still feels modern despite being nearly 3 decades old, and there aren't many things out there from any designer which can make that claim. It's a fresh scent for those who perfer traditional quality over modern chemicals, and a modern scent for folks who hate ubiquity and miss the days when a guy could find something relatively easily that stood out from the crowd; it does all this while being truly subtle and not brash like the 80's powerhouses it was replacing, remaining a "skin scent" as it's self-described, in the end. It's quite amazing to think that something like this stood tall alongside heavy civet and rose chypres or mossy bergamot blasters that were still clearing out night clubs in the decade, but that's part of it's charm too. I'm usually not a huge fan of this style, but New West by Aramis does it right, proving you don't need to throw the baby out with the bathwater to do something new.
02nd January, 2018 (last edited: 15th May, 2018)
Warning !Disgusting! .Worse than toilet freshener.Ozonic? No! Subtle? No! Any depth? No! Sickly sweet and super feminine. I bought some on the strength of reviews .lESSON LEARNED! Had to write this prior to going and scrubbing it off . Macdonnalds toilet smells way better. Very eighties , very heavy, sorry gotta go wash before I LOSE MY LUNCH.
20th September, 2017

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