The perfume arm of Davidoff began grandly enough with this eponymous debut fragrance, simply called Davidoff (1984) but sometimes also referred to as "Davidoff Original" to avoid confusion with Zino Davidoff (1986), since that used the full name of the founder and could technically be called eponymous too. As you can probably guess, Davidoff is a tobacco-themed fragrance as is befitting of a company known up until this point for its cigars and luxury cigarettes, but transposed onto the chypre form. Edouard Flechier was tapped to compose this, and some of the floral tobacco design aesthetic of Davidoff (Original) would make its way into the later Montana Parfum d'Homme (1989) he would also compose, except placed onto a smoother fougère framework. Davidoff (Original) itself has an underlying big-boned animalic leather/patchouli chypre base that places it in league with Ralph Lauren Polo (1978) and Trussardi Uomo (1983), but also seems to make it a missing link between those scents and similar animalic leather/patchouli chypres like Boss/Boss Number One by Hugo Boss (1985) and Balenciaga Ho Hang Club/Le Club de Balenciaga (1987). Lastly, Jean-Louis Vermeil would seemingly make a one for one copy of this scent's dry down with a fragrance originally called Guépard by Jean-Louis Vermeil (1996), later changed just to Vermeil by Jean-Louis Vermeil (1997) after a legal dispute with another perfume house holding the same name as a trademark. Considering that scent was housed in a fancy bottle shaped like a lighter and packaged in a felt-lined case, it's safe to say it may have been an early attempt at an upscale clone, something that is now commonplace with niche houses copying designer styles. Whatever the case may be, the ripples of Davidoff (Original) have been felt even if the scent itself is long-discontinued.
The opening of Davidoff (Original) has everything a fan of loud and booming animalic chypre powerhouses could expect from a fragrance: it's sour and musky with lemon, lime, and bergamot dusted with civet, bitter with herbs like artemisia and basil to slap you in the face faster than your mother after saying a swear word at the dinner table, then slowly lights a cigar in triumph. The tobacco comes in floral and almost like a Cohiba, except not a Cohiba because this is Davidoff we're talking about, so just pretend it smells like one of their cigars instead. Indolic jasmine furthers the muskiness, while carnation and orris root do some waxy spicy things on skin through the dandy-ish middle. Oakmoss is also a huge part of this and you will smell it in full force much like Gianfranco Ferré for Man (1986), one of the mossiest chypres on earth, alongside healthy dry wood notes of cedar and sandal. The base is a mix of castoreum leather, pasty musky labdanum, the aforementioned oakmoss and woods, plus the tobacco accord which must at least in part be powered by some tonka. The oakmoss and the animalic component make themselves felt the most but they join hands with the tobacco and labdanum with a late-stage patchouli, making Davidoff on one hand feel brusque and outdoorsy, but also surly in that grubby pit boss sort of way, poorly tied Windsor knot over an ill-fitting dress shirt stained with whatever he had for lunch. This probably isn't the sopisticated European gentry image Davidoff wanted, which explains why Zino Davidoff was released only 2 years later, but it makes a statement nonetheless. Wear time is all day, and projection is don't ask, don't tell levels of strong. Something like this feels best in fall through maybe early spring, as I think the heavier aspects might stifle in heat, but light applications could work for a guy looking for a rarefied rough-hewn signature. For as much as I love chypres, this would only be an occasional wear for me.
Where one might use this is pretty much open to personal preference, as like most powerhouses in the 80's, Davidoff (Original) was made for an era where a fragrance was a man's entourage, cover for a chain-smoking habit, or deodorizer for walking through smog-filled streets. If you're looking for a kick to the bollocks that takes the form of equal parts tobacco scent, animalic patchouli leather, aromatic oakmoss and woods, with lingering sour citruses, Davidoff is for you if you're willing to chase unicorns. Sadly, this stuff lived in the shadow of Cool Water (1988), as that scent began a literal revolution in men's fragrance we still feel the effects from today (and probably will forever), but it hung onto life until 2003 when Coty acquired Beecham (which acquired the license from Lancaster). Coty discontinued everything but Cool Water and the then-new Echo (2003) from the Davidoff portfolio, probably because they didn't own the formulas and wanted to take Davidoff in more mainstream directions. Zino Davidoff was brought back after what I presume was a huge outcry, but Davidoff (Original) quietly slipped into the realms of the vaunted "masterpiece" after fans talked it up and stirred the fear of missing out that often makes giants of so many retired fragrances. Guépard/Vermeil would remain an alternative for years later even though it too was eventually discontinued when the house shuttered, and isn't quite the same as some fans will be quick to point out. The biggest differences are the Vermeil is smoothed out with more labdanum, tonka, and civet musk, has less oakmoss, less herbs, plus no noticeable wood tones or castoreum leather, leaning closer to the tobacco. The debut Davidoff fragrance is indeed an alpha male force to be reckoned with, but also feels extra-curricular as a discontinued fore-bearer to so many excellent tobacco fragrances that have emerged since. Thumbs up.
one of my favorite powerhouses from the days of old...I love citrus fragrances and I love leather fragrances and this is the best of both worlds...the citrus is mostly a nice rich juicy smell of lime...the leather is like a nicely worn leather jacket...a little bit of an herby/flower accent...deep dark rich real oakmoss all over the place...just the lightest right pinch of castoreum...well blended with quality pre-IFRA ingredients...a delight to wear and sniff...not for a dandy, but for a rough gentleman...LOL
This, right here, is probably the most glorious example of what a citrus leather can be. This is no Bel Ami, where citrus is just a brief prelude. This is a no holds barred citrus aromatic floral leather with a big punch of oakmoss. In fact, I primarily think of it as a neon green citrus in the best possible way, lit up by a heady mix of florals with the darker notes of leather and moss lurking underneath. That doesn't perhaps describe how it actually smells like - it is sophisticated, but, more than anything else, incredibly suave and smooth. Something that I'd tag as 'something classic, something Italian'. Yes, Versace L'Homme and Moschino pour Homme are in the same genre, but the Moschino is more subdued and restrained with less of the citrus. And, Versace L'Homme is a bright, big lemon-leather, but the Davidoff is a tad more complex. What I find absolutely incredible here is that the lime stands out, together with lemon, and the citrus notes are deftly supported by herbs that lend a certain ruggedness, a refined aura, and furthermore accentuated by a bouquet of carnation and jasmine that add a sheen and radiance that is unique, a brilliance that is found in only rare gems like Givenchy's Insense. Moreover, the in the mid phase and in the later dry down, there is a hint of a tobacco note, a genius allusion that is not often encountered in modern scents.
I usually reach for the Davidoff in cold weather, though it does just as well in the heat. It has an extended duration on skin of over eight hours, and the projection is very strong with thick sillage for the first three to four hours, though it later calms down appreciably. I've surprisingly been complimented (something that very rarely happens) on this scent many times by different people. The personality of this scent is very much masculine, perhaps someone a bit more dashing than reserved, with a sharp suit, patent leather dress shoes and stainless steel watch, and a sports car. It does smell a lot like several other 80s fragrances, but it has aged better than many others, and is more than just nostalgia. I would mention that Vermeil pour Homme is in very similar ballpark, with a more noticeable tobacco note and toned down florals, and sort of a 2D interpretation of Davidoff. I would also note Christopher Street (Charenton Macerations) to be a modern mossy citrus leather with florals that could be imagined to be a contemporary interpretation of Davidoff.
Davidoff is one of those very rare examples where everything comes together to create a remarkable perfume. In my view, it is as good as anything Davidoff has ever brought to the market. I always find it to be uplifting and reassuring, and it never fails to puts me in the mood to go out and see more of this world.
This is a traditional opening of the cypre style: lemon, a moderately boozy wormwood note, the mandatory bergamot and a good sprinkle of basil all over it - the good old-fashioned style. And, as the script demands, the oak moss.
On me the oak moss arises quite early in the drydown; a beautiful, rich, rough and crisp oak moss of great quality. Yum yum! Thyme and jasmin - the latter the main floral - round off what makes a good cypre.
In the base the moss is still going strong, with added crispness supplies by a very decent patchouli that is not too dark, and whilst castoreum supplies an added touch of sharpness; the whole works together beautifully.
The performance is absolutely outstanding: strong sillage, brilliant projection and and incredibly superb longevity of nigh seventeen hours on my skin - a longevity monster in the same league as Knize Ten or Creed's Orange Spice on me.
This autumnal beauty as a paradigmatic classic of a traditional chypre. The quality of the ingredients is excellent, and the blending done very well without losing too much structure. Maybe Davidoff's finest. 4.25/5.
No, and thankfully so because it's what I apparently like most in a masculine fragrance for men. Not much if any floral and there's a dense strength to it that might best be described as a tobac-amber. Sure, leather and moss too, but it's that ambery bit that'll choke me out if mis-used.
I spray to the sternum under a tee and polo or button-down mostly and certainly so for these strong ones. It's always worked best for me and Davidoff '84 is certainly not the exception to my rule. I spray this to the neck, ears, hands, etc., and get what I deserve... too much. Like ericrico says 'it'll wear you' if you don't watchit.
"Old school is the best school"? Yesss!
"They don't make 'em like this anymore"? Check.
"I'll take 'Big Fat Fuggin' Chypres' for $200, Mr. Trebek"? Oh, yeah!
And so on.
Overly expensive in secondary markets... Vermeil for Men shares a lot with this one yet they're different enough. A great scent for a boss in an office environment IF worn properly. And no, not 'like a boss' (queue the snoopy-diggity-dawg background musak), rather what a respectable supervisor would smell of and certainly not be broadcasting.