This is so unique and fun to wear. It has a barbershop vibe for sure, but this is far from a common fougere. The bracing geranium and cooling mint make this refreshing the second it touches the skin. Both notes stay present throughout, but do slowly give ground to the warm and lovely base. Performance is average, but I love the top notes so much that I have no problem spraying once or twice more throughout the day. I guess this has the reputation for being a polarizing one, which I find odd given how pleasant and easy I find it to wear. Ropion is perhaps my favorite perfumer, and this is a another worthy addition to his impressive run of perfumes for Malle.
Decent floral opening that quickly devolves into a very harsh, menthol-cooled geranium. The harshness almost has a chemical cleaner effect. The deep drydown still has that cooling menthol but the florals turn soapier, but more like an older, industrial bar soap, nothing that new modern soaps would smell like.
Leans fem to me, very surprised this is classified as masculine.
Let me start by saying I generally like mint in fragrances. I'm a huge fan of Dirty by Lush (2004), and rather enjoy Cartier Roadster (2008), or even plain old Skin Bracer by Mennen (1931) plus minty geranium when it turns up in a gentleman's fragrance is also quite nice. Géranium pour Monsieur by Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle (2009) draws a bit of a line in the sand for me however, since it does something unorthodox and artistic but not necessarily more enjoyable to me, even if I tend to applaud things that slip out of the comfort zone of conventional design. Géranium pour Monsieur is created by Dominique Ropion, a man that these days is probably better known for his contributions to mainstream designer fragrance canon than anything niche or ultra high-end luxury in nature like the house of Frédéric Malle, but since Malle himself comes from the same stock as the son of a former creative director of Christian Dior and as a consultant for several designers before launching his own brand, it's easy to see him having affinity for Ropion's work. Dominique would return many times to work with Frédéric Malle, so there must be some connection between the two. In any case, geranium itself used to be a very common note in proper gentleman's perfumery of the mid 20th century, found as a featured element or co-star alongside lavender for it's metallic and sometimes minty facets, adding a medicinal clean to fragrances made for Western men that abhorred anything obviously floral, spicy, sweet, or musky as those were all considered hallmarks of women's perfume.
If you can pause disgust at an obviously toxic mindset for just a second, you can sorta see the practical side of this preference too, as geranium lent itself well to grooming products, soaps, and other hygiene products men would use. Here in Géranium pour Monsieur, the focus is of course on geranium, but Ropion goes for the minty facets of the flower, to the point where he actually adds mint into the top. This sounds like it might be nice at first, especially if you're like me and enjoy mint in fragrances, but soon the harsh reality sets in that this opens up exactly like you've spent $300+ to smell like toothpaste and bug candles. Yep, the mint here isn't the loudest, but the blend of it alongside listed cintronella notes combines to make the impression of brushing your teeth at a campsite with some bug candles burning a few feet away. Floralozone is a floral-smelling aldehyde that helps push the rhodinol along, the note causing the resemblance to citronella but trying to convey the essence of geranium (since it is derived from both), and anethol, an anise camphor note which adds to the "cooling" mint notes. Once you get past these, an nice barbershop heart of clove/carnation and cinnamon emerges, very old-fashioned and pleasant, before a contrasting modern-ish base of ambroxan, norlimbanol, styrax, and creamy white musk settle Géranium pour Monsieur to skin. The "toothpaste and citronella" vibe never really dissipates, and that's a failing of the way notes meant to replicate facets of geranium are wielded by Ropion, so it's take-it-or-leave-it although the other 2/3rds of the fragrance is quite nice to me. Wear time is about eight hours, and this can last an office day (as it's meant to), but performance is not monstrous. The question is would you want it to be anyway, considering you must resemble a tube of Crest if you over-spray? Best time of year is spring and fall for Géranium pour Monsieur.
If this was a fragrance that cost $30 on FragranceNet, I might consider stocking up on it to wear as a curiosity or give away to friends that are amused by how it transforms from toothpaste to after shave over the course of about 8 hours, with bits and bobs of campsite bug-be-gone weaved throughout. This is a very daring fragrance and despite my making fun, is still a very pleasant wear. I mean, toothpaste doesn't smell (or taste) unpleasant anyway right? Citronella also can sorta smell good in small doses like found here, so even all that considered, Géranium pour Monsieur is a nice fragrance, but not for the price. The big problem with most Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle fragrances is the same one this stuff has: it feels like a bit of a fleece job on the oblivious rich. Guys with enough college-trained number-crunching to rise in ranks at the accounting firms of urban America, or coding savvy to head their own software development projects in the big tech companies of the world have obviously let other areas of knowledge slip by the wayside to hone themselves so acutely to be profitable, so they're practically lead along by a leash when they walk into high-end boutiques looking for their first set of "big boy" duds and smells, which is where brands like Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle strike first, and often with the most financial lethality. A fool and their gold are soon departed, I guess. Again, if this was a lot less expensive, I'd own it for sheer novelty factor, as it's a lot of fun, but as an overpriced and overwrought piece of perfume "high art", I'll pass and just stick with my Dirty or Roadster, thanks. Neutral.
Fresh mint, sharp aromatic geranium, and sticky herbal anise. Others have said it comes together as Citronella and I totally get that, at least for the opening. That first hour is hefty, not really like anything I've tried before.
It's also a bit of flash in the pan. After that first hour or so the citronella smell subdues and you get mostly the mint left behind, which sticks much closer to the skin. At my first sample it felt a bit too mature for me, but it's grown on me. It's definitely a sophisticated fragrance. I think if the whole of the fragrance somehow bridged the gap between that hefty opening and the soft drydown, it would be a lot more enjoyable.
Geranium Pour Monsieur opens with a burst of citronella. Years ago, when I first sampled it, my immediate reaction was "BUGSPRAY!" I don't know if it has changed or I have changed since then, but now when I smell it the citronella doesn't bother me at all or convey an impression of bugspray other than the basic connection between insect repellent and citronella. I still find citronella a bit of an odd smell, but something about it is refreshing, and it's not long before the citronella settles down and makes way for the mint. GPM's mint is treated interestingly here--it's not sweet at all--instead it's altogether enhanced by that ingredient of its namesake, Geranium. What results is a combination that is bitter, bracing, and cool to the point of almost seeming detached. But it is also extremely refreshing. This cold composition works wonders in the heat, and has a great knack for helping clear one's head on a groggy, foggy morning. And just when Geranium's cool character has persisted long enough, just when its aloof iciness is beginning to feel a little too unfriendly and distant, in comes the amber and benzoin to provide it with exactly the right amount of warmth to put it back into our good graces and keep it there for the rest of the ride. This little twist that occurs just beyond the halfway mark is brilliant, and one of the reasons I now have such an appreciation for this scent. I can rely on Geranium Pour Monsieur to provide the chilly, cooling facets of geranium and mint with none of the sweetness until the very moment it is required. Ropion's composition has solid performance with present-but-unobtrusive projection and above average longevity. It also smells very natural. GPM is a great counter part to Menthe Fraiche. Both are natural, refreshing, shining examples of mint, and while Menthe Fraiche shows some of the ingredient's sweeter, watery facets, Geranium Pour Monsieur showcases its drier, bitter-cool astringency. Thumbs up and highly recommended for sampling. The only thing keeping this from a blind buy recommendation is the citronella note, which some may be more sensitive to than others. Final rating: 9/10
Géranium pour Monsieur is an aromatic woody composition, first launched in 2000, and surely reformulated or retouched over the next seventeen years. I've been familiar with it since 2014, and wearing it has been an experience of joy and frustration. The first phase of Géranium pour Monsieur is herbal, dominated by an intense note of mint; heaven for mint lovers, hell for those who don't like it. This is my favourite part, and it works like a charm - especially after a shave. The mint is paired together with a geranium, which slowly blooms before maturing at about one to two hours. I discern a mild spice aspect, involving eugenol and traces of cinnamon. It is from this stage onwards that Géranium pour Monsieur quickly dies down on my skin to a base of nondescript white musks (but not strong, unlike the laundry musk of Cologne Indelebile) and woods, that one can barely register. A very promising aromatic disintegrating into a limp fresh-woody fragrance.
While Géranium pour Monsieur is one of the few mint compositions that avoid the olfactory cliché of toothpaste, it is eventually insubstantial and underwhelming. I feel that this is one of the Malle compositions (together with Vetiver Extraordinaire) that is in serious need of a renovation. In my experience (based on bottles I owned), it lasts longer in slightly cool and dry weather, rather than summers; in fact, this was once featured as a fall pick by Katie Puckrik. Given its current incarnation, I find Mugler's Fougere Furieuse to be a far more compelling alternative when looking for a modern fresh-aromatic with a prominent geranium. Another possibility is Equipage Geranium; while there's a plethora of mint fragrances on the market to choose from starting with Lush's Dirty, toothpaste or otherwise.