Once again Zealot Crusader sums up one of my old go to scents beautifully and edumucates me in the process. Tip of the hat, sir.
This was a blind buy that turned into a reliable dumb grab, much like Legend and Starwalker both ended up being for me as well. Used both at work and when going out to good effect.
Much like Legend, this one is also a compliment monster. That's somewhat less important to me now than it was a couple of years ago when this was a regular dumb grab, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't nice.
Montblanc stuck to their guns with Legend Spirit (2016), not entirely giving in to the trend of ambroxan-powered shower gel bombs that would dominate the 2010's in the men's segment of the designer market, but they did sort of take a bit of an anachronistic nod to the recent past and twist it into modern forms, much like with the original Legend (2011). As with Legend, this fragrance tries to resuscitate the dying genre of the fougère, but rather than going for a barbershop-meets-bodyspray melding of modern downmarket values with slightly higher-grade materials, Legend Spirit tries to mix in some of the earthy salty faux ambergris tones that define the decade with the fougère style to lighten it up. This fresher, crisper, more transparent style of fougère was also done by Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue (2016) the same year as Legend Spirit, but it comes down to ingredients here which sets this apart from the competing Versace. Montblanc Legend Spirit is a creative fragrance with an ambergris accord built around ambroxan and timberol, a woody-amber that has been mostly replaced by more potent variations of the same molecule (i.e. norlimbanol). Legend Spirit really bears no resemblance to the original whatsoever beyond the soft lavender, so people who did not enjoy what Legend brought to the table should approach this one with an open mind when sampling. There isn't anything here to jump out and grab you either, but the execution is flawless and results are almost too likeable for their own good.
Timberol is a note that goes more for an exaggerated depiction of ambergris rather than just perfectly replicating the warmth of ambergris like ambroxides, and also can be used to simulate some wood notes, meaning it also can't be overdosed as easily either since it's a more complex smell. Timberol was heavily abused to help add ambergris notes to perfumes before ambroxides became dirt cheap enough to use alone, and is particularly noteworthy for being the driving force behind Kenneth Cole Black (2003). Perfumers Olivier Cresp and Nathalie Lorson wield timberol alongside a pinch of ambrox and evernyl to create a fused ambergris fougère accord upon which Legend Spirit is built. The opening is pink pepper, grapefruit, and bergamot, all notes that scream "compliments" to the "frag bros" among us, but they indeed work well to announce Legend Spirit's intentions as the heart of lavender, cardamom, orris, and dihydromyrcenol kicks in. This little splash of fruity aquatic lavender is a callback to Davidoff Cool Water (1988), but manages to remain original due to the spice and soapiness surrounding it. The base is that aforementioned timberol and evernyl stew with cashmeran, polysantal, and white musk. The woody aromachemical blob stays sharp, light, and crisp, with just enough warmth from the musk to last. Legend Spirit feels more athletic than the original, and fresh enough for hot weather use, so in tandem with Legend, could form a signature duo for the man who only wants a small functional casual-interest wardrobe of fragrances. To me, this kind of thing works best coming out of a hot shower.
I rather like Legend Spirit, and recommend it to someone who is interested in something like Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue with more of a low-key execution, or something like Acqua di Giò Profumo by Giorgio Armani (2015), but without the Acqua di Giò Pour Homme (1996) DNA which may seem dated to those too young to appreciate it. Montblanc Legend Spirit does some nice handiwork of making a 1990's/2000's/2010's chimera of aquatic, fougère, and "ambrox bomb" accords without being too heavy on mossy musky notes, nor coming across exactly like beefed-up aquatic, dodging all the cliches associated with each element it fuses together. Granted, purist fans of any such genres from which Legend Spirit is spliced probably should pass on this, but I think it goes without saying that the entirety of the Montblanc house is not for anyone with tastes too terribly discerning because they're about as mass-market as it gets anymore. Legend Spirit has gotten something of a reputation for being a replacement for the short-lived original version of Paco Rabanne Invictus Aqua (2016), and I can totally see it because all facets of this scent are dialed in similarly, although Paco Rabanne Invictus Aqua obviously has more of the DNA from the original Paco Rabanne Invictus (2013), while this seeks to be a lighter aquatic take on the original Montblanc Legend. Still, Legend Spirit gets my approval for walking a different path to the same destination as other far more-banal releases in the style. Thumbs up.
The bergamot-based brightness of the original version is given additional doth by adding a restrainedly spicy and slightly peppery undertone.
The heart notes maintain the brightness and even add an aquatic whiff here or there. A lavender - somewhat on the anaemic side - is combining with a prominent cardamom impression, and overall there is a good balance between the spicy-ish and the brighter side.
The base is a soup of timberol-induced bland woodsiness that is laced with lots of white musks on a rather nonspecific character.
I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.
A touch more spicy that its original version, this flanker is good for wear in the transitional seasons. Whils in the earlier phases not without some interesting touches, overall it struggles to reach beyond hopeful mediocrity. 2.75/5.
Got this last summer but I just clicked big time on this one this winter. Great smell really. The opening on this one is a 10 but the drydown an 8. Ladies love this stuff.
Somewhat reminescent of Invictus Aqua (i like both but prefer this one)
6 sprays is the sweetspot for this one, dunno why but performance is very good in winter (apply in the morning and still get compliments in the evening) and average in summer (about 3-4 hours).
Would sell like crazy if it had Chanel or Armani label.
Affordable hidden gem in plain sight. Mont Blanc should call Jeremy to hype this juice up.