It was a bit surprising to see a flanker of the rather heavy, sweet and intense A*Men promising an ultra-zesty version. Imagine YSL Opium announcing that they will release a flanker called Opium Eau d'Orange Verte. Still, the top notes of Ultra Zest do the name some justice: an orangey-and-mandarin citrus opening, with touches of ginger and a minty freshness rounding it off. Not a revolutionary set of top notes, but well made in the TM tradition.
The drydown looses the freshness of the opening notes after a while and replaces it with a sweeter mix of a spicy cinnamon with a soft patchouli. In the base the trademark TM vanilla kicks in and ensures that we end up in the well-known A*Men comfort zone of sweet warmth.
I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity, with the last couple of hours being very close to my skin.
As initially mentioned, the conceptual inconsistency between the original and this spring flanker are not easy to reconcile. TM resolved this conundrum by splitting it into two distinct phases: the zesty start - a bit enhanced with some A*Men intensity that unfortunately results in some attenuation of the zesty component that belies its name - and a second phase more like the original A*Men in character.
Overall, it is neither fish nor flesh, but still, if it was not for the disappointing performance it might just have made a positive score. 2.75/5.
Mugler is quickly moving up my personal rankings for favorite house. Still a Dior fanboy as well as Chanel, but mugler is now third. I love this scent and despite reviews to the contrary this performs like a beast on me just like the others in this line. I still prefer kryptomint to this but it's close, and both get reached for equally as often during the warmer months.
Delicious, though fleetingly short-endurance, flanker of the living legend A*Men.
A*Men Ultra Zest grabbed my attention immediately when I first saw that beautiful bottle. (I'm sure I'm not alone, lol!) This fragrance delivers on its premise of being a citrus scent, with the tangy orange zest feeling like it's mixed in with orange juice. Other notes give a nod to the A*Men dna - coffee and vanilla, for starters - though Ultra Zest is not VERY much like A*Men original.
I've seen many posts on basenotes and other fragrance sites with all sorts of experiences about longevity from the reviewers - from 7-8 hours, to 1-2 hours, to immediate fade.
The longevity issue for me is solved by layering the application: One spritz dries, then I apply another. Also, as is the case with most fragrances, factors like body chemistry/ cleanliness, environment, and quality of the applied scent determine the sillage, endurance, stability on skin, and overall impression (to self and others).
Anyhow...I really enjoy this flanker and respect other opinions reviewers generally have about Ultra Zest exactly for the reasons I'd listed.