Perfume Directory

No. 88 (1981)
by Czech & Speake


No. 88 information

Year of Launch1981
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 433 votes)

People and companies

HouseCzech & Speake
PerfumerJohn Stephen

About No. 88

No. 88 is a shared / unisex perfume by Czech & Speake. The scent was launched in 1981 and the fragrance was created by perfumer John Stephen

No. 88 fragrance notes

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

Reviews of No. 88

Despite No. 88's reputation as a "dark" scent (mostly a misconception due to its unique black bottle), No. 88 is a masterfully crafted floral-chypre with a fougere structure, that is both long-lasting and projects very well for the best part of the day.

The cologne version in its current form comes across as quite powdery and packed full of geranium. The rose and woods play a supporting role here. In the more recent Eau de Parfum, the geranium and powdery notes are toned down and allow the rose and woods to come to the front much more. This is reminiscent of the vintage version and it results in a much smoother fragrance overall. Both versions have a touch of sweetness due to the frangipani. To me the cologne is a like, whereas the EdP is a love.

From experience, the Cologne works well in warmer weather - the opening freshness from the bergamot and accompanying florals (geranium and rose) make for a welcome change to the traditional citrus-chypre warm weather scent. Conversely, the new Eau de Parfum works well in the cooler months due to the more pronounced woods, but either can be worn so long as they are used in sensible quantities.

All in all, a unique floral-chypre fougere, centred around rose, with a classy character that is totally unisex.
24th February, 2021
This was a pleasant surprise. I like male rose fragrances, but some of them can be pretty challenging. No. 88 is perhaps the best one I've tried so far. I also like Mad Hat Scents Rosa Resin a lot as well, but Czech & Speake's No. 88 is also excellent! This starts out with the rose and geranium, but I get a strong overall clove vibe with this fragrance that I really love. This actually smells something like Sen Sen to me, or it gives me a scent memory of what I remember Sen Sen smelling like, but it was a licorice and anise smell, not clove. Come to think of it, No. 88 has a star anise vibe like the fringes of Rive Gauche Pour Homme. Don't get me wrong, No. 88 doesn't smell like Rive Gauche Pour Homme per se, but I believe there is a star anise presence of something coming off of No. 88 like RGPH has. This is a wonderful fragrance in my opinion and I think it's one I could become even more fond of over time. One of my favorite so far from the British gentleman genre. Well done Czech & Speake!
24th January, 2019
This is somewhat intoxicating but sinister, as if it could be the last scent you remember before you die. Itís so heavy and humid itís claustrophobic. It seems like a deceiver, a beautiful siren luring you to death. Too much of everything. A heavy jungle scent that lures you inside vines of decadent roses until the vines wrap around you and squeeze out all the life. Suffocating.
27th May, 2018
No. 88 was the object of one of Turin & Sanchez's most apposite reviews in The Guide, described as something like "instant Victoriana", if memory serves. And that is spot on: I can see this being worn by Pip and the other gents in Great Expectations and other literature set in that era. It's the instant masculine take on florals that gives off this characteristic Gothic vibe. As the scent progresses, there is a slight almondy influence which adds sweetness but never detracts from the freshness of the whole. And the base carries on in the same vein, with vetiver and sandalwood working in harmony to create a dry-sweet accord. Although listed as an EDC, this has much better longevity on me than the other C&S colognes. Direct rivals are likely to be Floris' No. 89, Trumper's Eucris, perhaps something like Encre Noire for its sheer darkness, and perhaps Richard James for that well-healed English thing. This is good, though, and after two days on skin I can easily imagine dropping money on it.
03rd May, 2018 (last edited: 08th June, 2018)
Honestly, it took me a few tries to warm up to 88. It goes on smelling like a fairly typical natural oil perfume - that mix of greens, flowers, and herbs, but 88 wraps its naturals in a chemical sheen that makes everything much louder and brighter than a natural perfume would be. Given time, it reaches a point where it stays most of the day: primarily geranium, with hints of rose for brightness and leafy green herbs for depth. It wears a lot like Brut, not that 88 smells like Brut, but it shares a lot of DNA and has a similar old-school masculine heft and volume, so I think fans of one would probably enjoy the other.

And, for those who care about such things, I've officially received more compliments wearing 88 than I have for anything else in years. One random college girl actually said I smelled like someone's sexy dad, so um, there's that...
17th September, 2017
Stardate 20170309:

A decent traditional cologne with some woody twist.
I am not a big cologne guy and this one performs bad so a neutral.

Others here mention good performance. Maybe this one has been reformulated for the worse like the other ones from C&S when they changed suppliers and moved production to UK from Italy.
09th March, 2017

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