Fuel for Men / DK Men 
Donna Karan (1994)

Average Rating:  28 User Reviews

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Fragrance Overview Where to Buy Reviews Community Ownership

About Fuel for Men / DK Men by Donna Karan

People & Companies

Donna Karan
Fragrance House
Stephen Weiss
Packaging / Bottle Design

DK Men – or as it was later known – Fuel for Men was launched in 1994. The fragrance contains notes of juniper, pineapple, lavender, mayflower, amber, almond, sandalwood, suede, tobacco and musk. The following year saw the company add a flanker to the brand – DK Men Unleaded – a lighter, fresher version.

Although both fragrances were discontinued when Donna Karan Cosmetics was purchased by Estee Lauder in 1997, the fragrance continued to retain a hardcore fan base.

In 2008, Donna Karan relaunched Fuel for Men alongside Signature (AKA Donna Karan) and Chaos as part of the Donna Karan Collection.

The original bottle was designed by Donna Karan's sculptor husband, Stephen Weiss.

Donna Karan say:

Fuel For Men was inspired by Donna Karan's late husband, Stephen Weiss, who loved the thrilling freedom of speeding down an open road. The impeccable blend of spices and citrus fuse together for a masculine and sensual scent that captures the style and excitement of a daring way of life.

Fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Reviews of Fuel for Men / DK Men by Donna Karan

DK Men would be a contender for my Pantheon of fragrances if the performance was better. But maybe that is the point;leave them wanting more. Like my much-beloved Minotaure it has an opening incomparably delicious, but dwindles quickly into a skin scent, though the base does ride out most of the day. The scent itself is mostly a chocolatey-suede with pineapple blushes, and the body lands squarely between the heavyhandedness of Animale Animale and the ephemeral lightness of Obsession Night. Before sampling it I was expecting something more along the lines of Viking by Royal Copenhagen, but that one leans harder into the fruit and floral musk.
Overall this is fantastic stuff. I couldn't imagine paying $300-500 a bottle at current market price for something with such middling performance, but I am certainly glad I got to try it before it disappeared.
It is like a Monet or Renoir painting of a motorcycle jacket, but for your nose - it obviously does not entirely resemble the thing itself, but the familiarity is undeniable, as is the quality. I will have to pay the reissue a visit.
Jun 7, 2019

From one of those silly top-heavy bottles... I get a Bulgari Black type fragrance with a nice and subtle boozy leather / fruity tobacco note.

Classy. I'd be one of the first to admit that those silly bottles usually have silly prices to match. Silly is as silly does!
Aug 25, 2016

I was testing lots of fragrances in Harrods recently -- all niche and uber expensive and while I was doing this I kept a satin strip of this fragrance to compare. I found practically nothing that was equal to or better than Fuel for Men. These re-issues are simply wonderful -- Signature, Chaos, etc.

Citrusy, woody, leathery and creamy -- it's not groundbreaking or anything but it is a lovingly blended masculine that lasts for ages.

I just wish I had the original bottle!
Jul 31, 2014

Fuel for Men launches with an intensely sweet tropical fruit and orange accord that nearly overwhelms my nose. A burst of aldehydes soon follows, but it’s only a prelude to a startlingly contrasted leather accord. Smelling this rapid progression is like watching a virtuoso gymnastic performance. I marvel at just how Fuel for Men pulls the whole sequence off. The fruit and leather bounce off of one another for some time after their initial collision, and give Fuel for Men a sense of constant motion that’s peculiarly apt for the name. A distinctive nutty note eventually settles over the resonating fruit and leather to contribute a nearly tactile plush surface to the structure.

Fuel for Men’s base includes a tangy animalic musk, and this becomes more prominent as the scent develops. Never does it dominate enough to make Fuel for Men smell lascivious – just warm and sensuous in a perfectly civilized manner. The scent projects far enough to make its presence known, but it’s not so potent as to become annoying in close quarters. The reissue is certainly welcome, for while Fuel for Men is versatile and easy to wear, it’s also full of character, and definitely not just another boring scent for men.
Jun 14, 2014

Fruit and woodFresh pinapple with other fruits and a touch of citrus develop into a deeper scent with wood, a green note and a touch if light musk. Quite unique on my skin with three hours of longevity. Original and well blended - I sampled the vintage version.
Jun 7, 2013

Did you ever wish that there were five choices instead of three?
Did you ever notice that if you start a question with, "did you ever," you immediately read it in Andy Rooney's voice?
Did you ever really like the opening few hours of a fragrance only the have it taper off and become meaningless at about 4 hours in. By lunch I I kept thinking to myself, "this ain't so hot," but I know I felt like a million bucks at around 10.

So this positive comes with a disclaimer that the magic wears off quickly, but it absolutely lasts long enough if you're entering a "first impression" situation.

That's an important sentence, so it gets its little area. So how does it smell when it's chewing bubblegum and kicking ass? It smells like a wonderful fruity, ambery, suede with a slight marzipan vibe. And what happens to hurt it so much later? Well, it certainly doesn't go "bad," but it definitely gets the pizzazz drained out of it.

It is what it is.
Dec 13, 2011

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