Perfume Directory

L'Homme (2006)
by Yves Saint Laurent


L'Homme information

Year of Launch2006
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1167 votes)

People and companies

HouseYves Saint Laurent
PerfumerAnne Flipo
PerfumerPierre Wargnye
PerfumerDominique Ropion
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > YSL Beaute
Parent Company at launchPinault-Printemps-Redoute > Gucci Group > YSL Beaute

About L'Homme

L'Homme is a masculine fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent. The scent was launched in 2006 and the fragrance was created by perfumers Dominique Ropion, Pierre Wargnye and Anne Flipo

Reviews of L'Homme

L'Homme is an early example of what could be called the Sauvage style - aka Spiky Woods, an aggressive concoction of cheap aroma chemicals designed - like a fist to the nose - for maximum impact; or projection, penetration, invasion of personal space; call it what you will.

L'Homme is perhaps one of the better ones, although that's not saying much; but it does show how little the genre has changed in more than a decade - except maybe to get louder.

And if this style is derived from the sublime Cool Water, it could be a case of the Aquatic phenomenon repeating itself; an early masterpiece followed by multiple copies with nothing more to say. Not that this is a masterpiece.

From Cool Water to l'Homme to Sauvage, I dread to think what will come next.

31st August, 2019
L'Homme - YSL
Smells like Cool Water. Nevermind.
07th July, 2019
Yves' parting menace
The Honey Melliflougère
Don't care what we think.
05th December, 2018
Your usual but good masculine fragrance. It’s blue, it’s fresh, but I don’t care for it at all. Performances are good.
03rd November, 2018
Nothing special. It aims at a redolent classic men's style but without any character, just that bit of strangeness to make it stand out. As with so many fragrances these days its safeness makes it perfect for office wear. But it, in the end, L'Homme makes you feel nostalgic for the eccentric scents of Yves Saint Laurent. The real classics.
18th October, 2018
Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme (2006) is the first major masculine fragrance release from YSL since Tom Ford left as creative director from both YSL and Gucci upon his departure from LVMH to start his own house. YSL men's fragrance had always marched to the beat of it's own drum thanks to the namesake designer's predilections towards manly scents even when they weren't fashionable, and Tom Ford doing his best to keep that tradition alive when he was steward of the shop, but after all the cats had gone away, the mice were left to play so to speak, and this represents a generalist about-face for the label. Many perfumistos met this with a huge sigh of let down (but not as large as the recent Y for Men from 2017), but whereas most houses that go down the most-common-denominator route, YSL seemed to enter the mainstream on it's own terms, preserving some of that stubborn individualism. The creative directors at the house took a page from the book of Chanel with this, delivering a soft, clean, fresh and "safe" experience that still contained hints of flirtatiousness and couldn't be narrowly defined as aquatic or ozonic, just like Allure Homme (1999). YSL L'Homme has a lot of personality for a generalist "freshie", and has understandably produced a lot of flankers in it's wake, being classy and appropriate like YSL masculines of old, yet still a bit fun and youthful, which is something the label had been lacking at that point. This was the final masculine perfume made while Yves Saint Laurent himself was still alive, and although I don't know how much input he gave or was allowed to give into the creation of perfume at that point, but the closest thing this resembles to me is a second stab at something that Jazz (1988) and Jazz Prestige (1993) tried to achieve: a comfortable spice-forward fragrance with a fruity balance. Unlike Jazz, L'Homme is not a fougère, but there is some commonality shared.

YSL L'Homme was the product of 3 perfumers, and much like Calvin Klein, YSL sought to just throw raw talent at the task and hoped a masterpiece emerged from the maelstrom. Indeed, all 3 perfumers who worked on L'Homme come from accomplished backgrounds, with Dominique Ropion, Peter Wargnye, and Anne Flipo each with storied fragrances under their belts. But much like Calvin Klein's Euphoria (2006), L'Homme doesn't benefit from this glut of talent, as it feels like a series of compromises in a bottle to the point of being dialed in so close to something they could all agree upon would suit the purpose, that it actually just feels a bit too beige for its own good. L'Homme is still a far sight better than Euphoria if only because it doesn't smell like a mash of science fiction, but it rides very close to the same ambivalent groove aesthetically, just in a much classier vein like the aforementioned Allure Homme, but minus the semi-oriental base. Ginger, bergamot, calone, and lemon open this innocently enough, with the ginger and calone adding a round sweet twist to an otherwise generic citrus open. Basil, a noticeable violet leaf, and an apple note which feels like a callback to Jazz Prestige populate the middle, topped with a white pepper that adds a small dash of piquant flare, but not to make this powdery. I guess the pepper is for pop but I can't detect any heat from it like L'Occitane Eeax des Baux (2006), and all I get is the apple and the violet, both which drag this in a feminine fruity floral, if very pleasant direction. The base of tonka, ambroxide, woody aromatic chemicals like Iso E Super, and a galaxolide laundry musk are a precursor to what would follow in the 2010's, but don't have any annoying scratch as norlimbanol wasn't in widespread use yet until after Bleu de Chanel (2010) popularized it, and L'Homme goes with a softer grassy vetiver note for that same sharp edge instead. The whole thing feels like a best-of-show from the 90's/early 2000's parts bin, but does a really good job nonetheless in getting the point across of being inoffensive but without getting boring. Silliage is not a monster with L'Homme, and I feel it's not meant to be, but longevity is good, with about eight hour performance.

L'Homme is a satisfactory daily driver scent for a job interview, a first date, day to day work, casual use for spring, or fall, and only buckles under extreme weather or particularly intense occasions where something more noticeable or thematic is required. It's a generalist as it's meant to be, just cut from a different cloth than something like Acqua di Gio (1996) or Kenneth Cole Reaction (2004), succeeding where Jazz failed because it launched at a time when guys were reeling from harsh ozonic fruit/mint nightmares and ready for something more reserved. Plus, L'Homme was developed long after YSL Beaute had been gobbled by LVMH, while Jazz was developed when YSL became independent, and failed to recoup development costs after Jazz was given a lukewarm reception. Guys fond of their civet or moss bombs will hate this, so anyone looking for powerhouses or aromatic fougères is in the wrong place, as with most things made by designers after 2000 thereabouts. Younger folks that came up with 90's fresh scents and 2000's oriental gourmands (but not ozonics) will probably like this most, as it's a gentle daily signature that doesn't smell run of the mill and still has some respectable quality years later. It won't light the world on fire, but I don't feel it was meant to, and for folks not into the more dynamic ambroxan scents post 2010, this is a comfortable place to stay. There isn't much more that can be said about L'Homme other than it made possible the lovely La Nuit de L'Homme (2009) and L'Homme Ultime (2016) flankers, and it gets a thumbs up from me for being a delicious use of apple and spice, but I can understand the folks remembering past YSL glories being unable to accept this direction, as it is definitely a more soft-spoken masculine than all others save the original sweat-activated sleeper that is the legendary Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme (1971). We can always chalk that up to the "metrosexual" style which was still in vogue in the 2000's, dictating that otherwise jock-like straight guys feigning effeminate traits was the best way to get noticed by the fairer sex. Sorry but us gay guys want that back. Rest in Peace Yves Saint Laurent 1936-2008.
10th June, 2018 (last edited: 22nd September, 2019)

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