Fleur du Mâle 
Jean Paul Gaultier (2007)

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Fleur du Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

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About Fleur du Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

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Jean Paul Gaultier
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Fleur du Mâle is a men's fragrance launched in 2007 by Jean Paul Gaultier

Fragrance notes.

Reviews of Fleur du Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

There are 136 reviews of Fleur du Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier.

If one is a troglodyte when it comes to their views on fragrance (there are many of you out there, and you are mostly men), then this one will surely throw you for a loop. Here is a quote from a Fragrantica review:

"The most feminine men's fragrance I've ever smelled. The JPG DNA is in there somewhere, but it doesn't have any similarities to Le Male. I really enjoy it, but scared (sic) of using it outdoors due to people's reactions."

Hmm. The part about being scared is my favorite. I think I've long progressed from that stage in my perfume exploration.

I suppose even if you're not a troglodyte, you'd be impressed with how unexpectedly floral and animalic this was for a 2007 men's release. This is highly charged neroli/orange blossom aromatic with a distinct chamomile note which gives it both a somewhat agrestic but also an animalic quality. It actually seems to my nose to be that of Cladanthus mixtus, colloquially known as Wild or Moroccan Chamomile, which, taxonomically speaking, isn't a true chamomile, though it is also in the aster family. What's unique is that while its top notes are herbaceous and similar to say, German Chamomile or Roman Chamomile, the dry down is reminiscent to that of costus and labdanum. Here in Fleur du Mâle, it seems to be the keystone of the composition, bridging the floral with the dirty in a really inventive manner.

Though it's not in the notes pyramid, I detect jasmine as well, so what we have is a heady white floral with an animalic backbone, really diffusive and gregarious, strutting like a peacock, and smelling quite awesome actually. Even as it dries down to a lithe powdery, somewhat milky tonka, suggestions of the florals whisper hours in. This is some powerful stuff, but it's certainly not crass or brazen, especially if one is not and "over sprayer" with this number. Unfortunately, this one is long discontinued and fast becoming an ultra-unicorn, but I was fortunate to snatch for a song this sexy little 30ml which should last a couple of generations. There is no question as to whether this one is a grower or a show-er...

Warning: It is 5 pages long and I'm gonna say Fleur du Mâle at least 873 times)

Fleur du Mâle is a weird fragrance. In a vacuum, you probably won't think it was made by the same company that released the much more popular, Le Male. They're on entirely different leagues and absolutely serve entirely different purposes. Even the demographics of each scent I would assume are very different.

The oversimplified way to describe it would be to call Fleur du Mâle as a more floral take on Le Male, which I'm guessing was probably the elevator pitch for this one. And I've heard it described so by my friends in the frag-comm that introduced me to this. However my experience with it has been entirely different from that so maybe take whatever I say with a grain of salt.

This is going to be a very, VERY biased review of since Fleur du Mâle is probably my favourite fragrance of all time. There are people who have said this smells like a "fart". So YMMV to say the least. Obviously, I completely disagree with that take and think it is kind of a hyperbole. My description of it would be far from it. However I think I can tell you why someone might find aspects of this to be unpleasant, when we get to the scent profile.

I'm a huge fan of Francis Kurkdjian's work. I've not smelled that many from his own line (MFK) but as far as the fragrances he has created for other brands go, I think the dude is one of the best noses out there. And I consider Fleur Du Male, a masterpiece of his. If you're a fan of the way he manipulates floral notes such as Orange Blossom, Neroli, Lavender and Chamomile, you're definitely in for a ride with this one!

*Scent profile* This is one of those fragrances whose scent profile you probably won't see coming and it was most definitely not one I was prepared for. Especially since all the note breakdown info I had about it was from Fragrantica (which is quite inaccurate in this case). Here is how it goes…

As soon as you spray it on, your nose is bombarded with an effervescent and herbaceous Petitgrain along with an intensely indolic orange blossom. If you haven't had a chance to smell anything indolic before, you're most likely gonna be instantly put off by the opening. Put simply, it reminds me of smelling something extremely green (almost like you crushed some fresh leaves) along with some day old, possibly dead and definitely oxidised jasmine flowers (it comes across like that to my nose).

A challenging opening to say the least and possibly unpleasant to most. Jasmine flowers are quite culturally significant where I come from so I'd say I'm pretty well-acquainted with the scent of jasmine flowers, at their liveliest as well as their dead form. This is most likely the part that people compare to anything unpleasant.

However this is only if you're smelling it super up close. In the air though, it's a completely different story. It smells like a floral version of freshly peeled oranges, which is probably the orange blossom (this is much more noticeable when sprayed on clothes) along with a couple of other florals that aren't completely clear-cut yet.

Saying that there is a lot going on in the opening would be an understatement. When you let it sit for a couple of minutes, the indolic aspect of the scent goes more and more to the background to the point where it is less of an overwhelming presence and more of a nuance that just adds some depth to the fragrance. What starts to shine as we segue into the mid is an unmistakable floral mix of Lavender, a Neroli that feels like Jasmine, with a touch of chamomile. Nope, the Neroli does not come across in this, the way it comes across in Italian style colognes like the Acqua Di Parmas you might have come across. It's more of a creamy, floral take on the note than a soapy clean one.

While the florals have a huge presence in the fragrance, what keeps it from being a very traditionally ‘feminine' type of scent is the fact that it's not mixed in with anything syrupy or fruity like most feminine targeted fragrances tend to be. While there is a slightly sweet vanillic backing to the lavender, Neroli and a bit of chamomile, it is also beautifully balanced with a very smooth sandalwood that keeps it from becoming a cloying, powdery sweet scent.

The lavender used here is far from the ones you might smell in traditional fougeres/ barbershop scents or even the essential oils. It's a very creamy experience here rather than a fresh or clean lavender that we generally come across in fragrances. This is mostly due to the way it is combined with the vanilla and the almost imperceptible but definitely present sandalwood. I'd categorize it as *almost* milky. Imagine the scent texture of a lavender flavoured whipped cream with a bit of vanilla adding sweetness. Definitely not a gourmand but the ‘whipped cream' metaphor is more to describe the smoothness of the scent.

In the super late dry-down of the fragrance, the super smooth creaminess fades away, leaving behind a scent that I can only categorize as a grown up version of baby powder. The floral aspects of the fragrance are pretty much gone at this point except a little bit of lavender that still remains, keeping it from smelling like a freshly powdered baby's butt. This might be the point where it is at its most appealing to most people in its entire scent development.

On a side note, a lot of fragrances kind of fall apart or are barely recognizable in their super late dry-down (10-12 hours in) when compared to how they smelled in their early dry-down (1-2 hours in) but Fleur du Male continues to feel like a very well composed, complete and an intentionally designed scent. This is one of my favourite aspects of the scent. This is what you'd get if you smell it directly from the atomizer.

The lavender, vanilla sandalwood combo might make it sound very much like Le Male but the way they are done are thoroughly different. Le Male has a more youthful oriental (but not traditional) fougere thing going on with the mint and spices while Fleur is a little more grown up and not at all a fougere to my nose. This doesn't feel like something that you can see most people you know wearing like you might with Le Male. You would probably need to have a personality that would match you in order to wear it. This will feel out of place and weird on a very manly man. I know Le Male is not particularly manly but it seems to have built an association with a certain kind of man that Fleur du Male doesn't really align with.

I think Fleur is great for someone who is looking for a scent that is not extremely sweet but has some sweetness to it which serves a purpose greater than just making the fragrance long-lasting like JPG's other creations such as Ultra Male. Fleur is not overtly masculine at any point and probably on the ‘metrosexual' side of things. Women can definitely pull this off, probably even easier than a man if it sits well with their nose, which is kind of the ‘catch' about this fragrance.

*Performance* Not what you might expect from a scent like this but it's most definitely what I'd consider a beast. With about 4-5 sprays (it has a great atomizer) it lasts easily for 12 hours on me. Projects a healthy amount for the first 4-6 hours and sits a little closer to the skin after that. It's a beautifully pleasant skin scent after the 12 hour mark.

Works great all year round, might be a tad too cloying on scaldingly hot summer days where the powderiness might come out more to play. But definitely wearable if you control your sprays. Might not last as long tho.

It's super weird and I've not smelled anything like it from even the niche houses I've smelled so far. I hear comparisons to Reflection Man which I don't get at all. Reflection man goes on the more mentholated, woody, masculine floral side which is totally different from Fleur. Montale's Wood and Spices kinda does smell like Fleur except a sweeter, waxy, almost crayon-like version of it with fewer of the nuances. Doesn't really fit into the same genre at that point. I do wear it in situations where I don't wanna use up my Fleur. Wood and spices is a beast in its own right too, just not as pleasant or intentional of an experience as Fleur du Male to me.

If you're still reading (hey thank you!), you know you're at least interested in sampling it which I do encourage you to do. You know, if the whole idea of the scent actually intrigues you. It got discontinued sometime in 2015 but can still be found online for good prices ($60-$75) depending on your market. It was a blind buy that worked out for me (probably wouldn't recommend you to do that). Yeah I'm definitely picking up a backup bottle if I can find it. This might be the only scent I'd want to have a backup bottle of.

I know it's a pretty divisive scent, if you've smelled it which side of the spectrum do you fall on? Clearly I can (and love to) talk about this all day so any and all questions/ discussions about it are welcome by me!

Fleur du Male opens up with a huge dose of synthetic orange blossom that nearly made my eyes water as I mentally scrambled to place where I had smelled this before. After about ten minutes or so, I had it. Have you ever been in a public bathroom where they have those automatic air fresheners that spray the scent into the air every few minutes? Well, they're on a timer, and when the people who install them don't take the size of the bathroom into account, and you combine a small bathroom with too many discharges of that scent, it becomes a sickly, cloying mess that forces you to breathe through your mouth during the time that you're in the bathroom so as not to actually smell that spray and retch. And what's the most disgusting scent that they have? A thick, waxy, horribly synthetic orange scent.

Next, layer that orange air freshener with heavily synthesized white florals, combined with performance akin to Ron Jeremy on an intravenous Viagra drip and you have Fleur du Male.

This stuff makes me pray for nuclear winter.

Thumbs down.

White flowers. I'm terrible with female fragrances, and this seems pretty feminine to me. There are aromatics of some nature which hint at unisexuality. It is strong and lasts a quite a bit. Reminds me of the other Kurkdjians that I have tried. APOM and Aqua Universalis Forte. Both of those are also white florals. He seems to have a style that he uses when composing these. In my wardrobe they would be interchangeable, though not identical. Thumbs down for me. It is just too feminine for a fragrance not marketed as unisex. Also, I just feel that the other fragrances Kurkdjian composed after this for his own line are better.

Back to the year 2007 when Fluer Du Male just a new face on the shelves, I walking with my friend to the department store that located in Bangkok called “Central LadPrao”. At that time I just was a 1st year in University , and when I walking to JPG counter the staff show me a pure white trouser shape bottle. He put one spray on my hand and that make me stunning! God! I never smell any fragrance like that before, It so strong in the open with heavenly pure white flowers surrounded by green crisp vibe from herbal around, it strong but subtle , it daredevil and gentlemen in the same time. I can imagine this fragrance is the smell from the angels not human and I can imagine the angels with charming face falling from the sky with his white suit and white shirt with smell like this around him. More than 10 years that the scent and the bottle never leave my mind the smell still sticking to my memory and I hungry to smell it again ( I can't buy Fluer Du Male at that time because I was a University student and the price 3,000+ Thai Bath is the way too expensive). Now year 2019 I have a chance to buy it from online decent shop in local area and hopefully I will get it! Seriously guys this is the best of JPG, and I sad that it discontinued how shame it is.. It hard to find nowadays, so I hope Untonio Puig will bring it back again. “This review is for a dream of a young man 13 years ago”

A surprisingly pleasant experience is Fleur du Mâle. I have always loved the original, controversial Le Mâle, and in general I tend to be suspicious and hesitant with trying out flankers of beloved scents.

But this one threw me offguard! It's different than the original, packed with loads of lavender and orange that exudes warmth and sensitivity - not a flowery, feminine construction, as I feared it'd be. And WOW it lasts forever!! Relaxing and predictable, Fleur du Mâle is a wonderful flanker to seriously consider checking out...whatever else you may feel of the original Le Mâle.

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