The first male fragrance by Jean Paul Gaultier. The bottle is in the shape of a male torso and packaged in what looks like a baked bean tin. The bath products are shaped liked paint tubes.  The prestige version of the fragrance features a 'bulb puffer spray'.

Le Mâle fragrance notes

  • Head

    • mint, artemesia, cardamom, bergamot
  • Heart

    • lavender, orange blossom, cinnamon, cumin
  • Base

    • sandalwood, vanilla, cedar, tonka bean, amber

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Le Mâle

Repulsive. Smells like Ben-gay or some locker room analgesic balm. I was so proud when I bought this at Nordstroms when it first came out, a few spritzes later and friends and family asked if I had hurt my back again. Returned it next day.
19th September 2022
I consider this one of three quintessential 'clubbing' fragrances, along with Paco Rabane's 1 Million, and (my personal preference) Versace Eros.

Sugary sweet, cinnamon and cumin add a spiciness while vanilla, tonka and amber ensure a rich, cozy drydown. I find nothing off-putting about this fragrance as other commenters have, but I also don't find it terribly exceptional or unique. I prefer it to the cloying sweetness of 1 Million, but I think Eros is better-blended overall.

Good for cooler weather, and/or a night on the town. Sexy and youthful.
12th September 2022

Lots of problems with this one. Mainstream, well once was I guess. Dudes who wear it, or at least the ones that I’ve experienced it on have no clue about a proper application. The perfume is way too strong for its own good.

There’s a very pleasant and quite interesting blend of notes in the fore front for the entire duration that consists of lavander, cinnamon, orange blossom, cumin and musk but, the serious problem is in the sillage department and in the back ground. Wearing it is actually very nice if you wear teeny, tiny, minuscule bits. As in one dinky spritz, or a couple of dabs, like 4 drops. When applied heavily though as in atomized numerous times and smelled from an outside nose on someone else, there’s this seriously nauseating funk, this deep funk like greasy body odor, hangover breath, almost an odor of tooth rot, halitosis and this unexplainable bad hygiene smell that hits you right in the gut, hard. Kind of like if you went out, partied real good and had raunchy, sweaty sex all night after working all day, didn’t sleep or shower and went straight to work still fucked up from the night before, in the same clothes, after slathering on some Lé Male.

It’s a bizarre perfume. There’s something very alluring in its overall accord that’s being violated by dirty sex, but not erotic dirty sex, more like filthy haven’t bathed in a week dirty sex, but with some perfume sprayed on top to freshen it up a bit.
12th August 2022
After all these years, I can say with full confidence that I just don't like Le Mâle. It feels good to finally get that off my chest...

I think almost everyone knows what this smells like by now, but if you don't, it's basically a lavendor/tonka fougere, sweetened with vanilla, cinnamon, and coumarin, kind of soapy and powdery, but kept from turning into a gourmand by a mix of exhaust-fume terpines, bleach, plasticky diaper musk, and smegma.

It actually kind of reminds me of Shalimar, but if Shalimar were reimagined by a punky gay weirdo who thought it would be funny to get unsuspecting people to wear a classic musk perfume that uses bleachy dried up sperm instead of musk. As such, I get the joke, and I acknowledge the artistry, and the wink-and-nod to history, and the iconoclasm. But I still think this smells nasty.
12th November 2020
Quite sweet and powdery to my nose. A defining metrosexual fragrance. I had Cuba Gold before I got to sample this classic from 1995, but the dry down is very similar. The opening of Le Male is better and so is the performance, but otherwise, you get the same powdery sweet lavender plus vanilla/amber combo that's been working its magic for decades now.

The current formulation has decent projection without being too loud and lasts 7-8 hours.
4th May 2020
Started as a teenager and have been wearing it ever since. Le Male has a strong cinnamon vanilla and lavender note, creating a scent to make women weak at the knees. My signature!
19th November 2019
Its got a nice mix of lavender, vanilla, mint thing going on. It becomes an accord to me, melding together to smell "le male"ish. Powdery, synthetic, sure. If it didn't have that terrible bottle I'd own it. Performance is good. A respectable fragrance.
6th October 2019
I was looking for something different, no Le Male at all, but began to test several fragrances at a local Belk. I got to Le Male and thought. It smelled like something I already have, Body Kuros. I do not know if BK has been reformulated but my juice in over a decade or so old now. So my nose, from both, gets a spicy sweetness. It is ok, but not something I would want to wear. I only wear BK a couple times a year. I cannot speak for longevity but the initial power is strong. I do not like the sticky sweet of it but others may find this appealing.
13th August 2019
JPG is awesome simple as that. Sure it has its time and place, i like to wear it when its a little chilly out with a descent outfit for going out. just like 1 million and invictus etc the frag will have its haters. But like i say, if your goal in a frag is to get noticed and get compliments then this is one of those. I guarantee anytime you wear it someone or several people will stop and ask what your wearing or tell you "omg you smell so good". Isn't that the point afer all?
4th July 2019
I wish I had tried this before reformulation; as the smell is great, but it barely lasts me 3 hours in projection/longevity. The drydown scent is AMAZING, and I would rate it much higher, but the endurance of the aroma is nonexistent.
24th February 2019
Jean-Paul Gaultier Le Mâle (1995) is a very important fragrance, and indeed a very controversial fragrance in the world of perfume. This was Jean-Paul Gaultier's debut masculine and it set the world alight with it's bizarre tin can packaging and risqué muscular male torso bottle with sailor shirt stripes to match the previous year's Classique (1993) and it's bare-chested feminine bust. Le Mâle did several things at once upon release: it established perfumer Francis Kurkdjian as his first creation (and arguably most successful one); it's loud and bombastic smell cut through the club scene like a hot knife through butter and was the de facto king of that scene until Paco Rabanne 1 Million arrived in 2008; it unintentionally gave the gay community on the male/male side a champion scent due to it's bottle design, bright smell, and "sailor boy" aesthetic that was in line with gay ideals of male beauty. You simply couldn't get away from this stuff in the club scene, and even after scents like Curve for Men (1996), and Givenchy Pi (1999) started taking nibbles at Le Mâle's dominance in more mixed clubbing company, it continued to rule the gay scene for years to come, and is still a strong contender even in the face of the aforementioned 1 Million in clubs of all kinds across the globe.

In fact, Le Mâle has perhaps become too successful for it's own good, which fuels the controversy around it's artistic merits because everyone was just overexposed to it back then like they were 1 Million, and more-recently Dior Sauvage (2015). The scent's famous artemisia and mint opening is much to blame for it's shrill piercing of hot nightclub air, but it isn't quite an ozonic as it doesn't have a huge grapefruit note, but just the usual bitter bergamot and a contrasting cardamom note. Le Mâle is all about contrasts, which is how it gets to be so freakishly loud without being cloying like Joop Homme (1989) at similar volume levels. Cinnamon and dirty cumin is opposed by fresh lavender and orange blossom, showing Francis Kurkdjian borrowing a play from Edmond Roudnitska in the "dirty but clean, virile but pleasant" department, but the base ends up taming this beast at the end. Sandalwood, cedar, tonka, amber, and vanilla act as a forgiving security blanket that hides the diametrically-opposed notes in the top and middle. By the time Le Mâle is (finally) a skin scent, only wisps of the mint and lavender really remain to mix with the heavier, creamier, and powdery base, making this a very barbershop-like smell in it's final throes. I actually get a bit irritated by this finish, but wearing it on shirt helps keep the top around longer. There really isn't another fougère like this one (outside of clones), and the performance is beyond this world. Expect 10 hours plus of good detectable sillage and projection way past an arm's length. Best use is pretty much all seasons save the dead of summer, but obviously this smell is associated most with the night life.

Le Mâle is finally starting to appear dated around it's 25-year mark, and like other notorious period scents from the 90's such as Nautica (1992) and Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger (1995), is so inexorably linked to the decade of its birth that even in the gay scene (where it had the longest clubbing lifespan), it's seen as "old-school", which hurts it's wearability. If loud mint, bergamot, lavender, spice and vanilla traffic jams sound like something you could dig, you can't go wrong with Le Mâle, but if you were duly overexposed to it like I was, then you can appreciate it's importance but never bring yourself to wear it more than occasionally, a single bottle lasting a lifetime, or wear it again in some cases. Nuclear performance is the name of Le Mâle's game, but much of the notes used here inform of later Kurkdjian creations for his own MFK label, and has come in so many different packaging editions that it's also become a darling with collectors. The scent has always been something of a love/hate, but in no way am I dismissing the entire Le Mâle line, as there have been many different and nice flankers in the years since, a good portion of which are also designed by Francis Kurkdjian. A famous fresh, jarring, semi-powdery fougère scent that is instantly recognizable but not versatile like most things of its ilk. Thumbs up
20th June 2018
The legendary Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier... Introduced in 1995, it is one of the most successful - and most copied - perfumes of all time, that really influenced the way male perfumery advanced ever since.

Being the second perfume I ever got back in 2000 (5 years after its release and still being extremely popular back then), there are so many memories tied with its smell. I believe that Le Male is the kind of male perfume that every single perfume enthusiastic should smell as an introduction to what male perfumery was and still is all about. It is exceptional in its own way and - while it may smell a bit dated after so many copies of its smell being released, from male perfumes to... car deodorants, still stays relevant to JPG brand philosophy. You may love it, you may hate it but you have to give it a try.

Nice longevity, ideal projection - I feel that it is a bit watered down nowadays, compared to the original formula though, which is not a bad thing, considering the fact that the original formula could stay on skin for 24 hours and more. I remember going to the pool wearing the original formula years ago and having people around telling me that the whole pool water smells like Le Male.

Apart from all the flankers of Le Male that JPG released (which all have been kind of fail - except Ultra Male and the new Le Male Essence), in my opinion the only perfume that took Le Male base and developed it to something modern and powerful is Prada Luna Rosa Extreme.

In conclusion Le Male is a milestone in male perfumery, something that being in market for 21 years proves. While I am not sure if it is the way I want to smell in 2016, it has always been a steady presence in my perfume collection, something I love to visit from time to time.

*This review was written after several full wearings of the perfume and not just after smelling this on paper or on wrist.
4th June 2018