Michael for Men 
Michael Kors (2001)


Average Rating:  130 User Reviews

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Michael for Men by Michael Kors

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About Michael for Men by Michael Kors

People & Companies

Michael Kors
Fragrance House
Harry Fremont

Created by the house of Givenchy for designer, Michael Kors, complementing last years female scent. The fragrance 'Michael' is sensual, refined and distinguished.

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Where to buy Michael for Men

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Reviews of Michael for Men by Michael Kors

There are 130 reviews of Michael for Men by Michael Kors.

The Good: The actual smell and notes list and ambition is virtually second-to-none within the designer realm from its era. I pick up a 'rough' opening of spices (cardamon, anise, carraway fenugreek) mixed with the headlining tobacco. The tobacco is quite rough and literal - reminding me if an old moist tin of loose leaf golden-virginia rolling tobacco. There is also a contrast in the opening as the varied notes offers a metallic shimmer.
The story soon goes boozy with that plum liquor note and addition of dried fruits - almost like the pallette of a complex whisky. Rough yet rich, an acquired taste with mature woods.

The Bad: Performance somehow does not align with the note list or rich theme of the fragrance. This may in part be poor ageing of existing vintage stock. It may also be indicative of the performance norms for designer releases of the era. Perhaps the idea of this type of fragrance with amped up performance would have been considered too much at department stores where citrus and aquatics dominated. Longevity and silage are not great and promising opening projection has a brisk half-life.

The ugly: the forums suggest an overall poor brand management of this fragrance. Original daring GivenchyxKors release and spot-on bottle design perhaps not backed as it should have been. Several minor repackaging attempts. A reformulation so poor that it was recalled. Finally a reformulation that retained some original DNA but shifted into flanker territory due to some obvious change to the pyramid.

Overall a cult classic that warrants investigation by tobacco fans. Somehow a precursor to later successes like TF for men (extreme), and many tobacco niche offerings.

A fairly recent discovery is Michael for Men and what a gem it is. This is a very atypical tobacco scent, lacking the ubiquitous Tonka Bean base note. The fruity accords are pleasant and there is a tingly sensation, perhaps from the star anise. I can't think of another juice in my den with that ingredient. Projection is moderate and sillage is, imo, small. Over-application is a must ;-)
Longevity is also mediocre...sadly. Re-application is required for a 12 hour+ experience. Good scent for the office as it will definitely not offend. I call this my "signature scent", as it is probably the bottle I reach for more often than any other. It's such a pleasing scent (SWMBO approved), that I procured two back-up bottles.
Worth the effort searching for.

Michael for Men picks up the "boozy tobacco" banner from such 90s fragrances as Aramis Havana and Latour Cigar and goes for a kind of opulent, dirty decadence, and it might have made a stir if it had been released by a different house.

There's a lot going on here (it's a very nice blend indeed), but it's ultimately distinguished by the boozy dried fruits and plum, with salty tones, earthy tobacco, and gentle suede giving it some heft in the base.

Longevity hovers around six hours, and it's not altogether loud, but it's rich and pungent enough that a bombastic version might be too much.

Michael for Men was purportedly created by Givenchy for designer Michael Kors himself, both as a signature he could wear, and as a masculine counterpart to the debut feminine of a year earlier. Journeyman corporate perfumer Harry Freemont unsurprisingly created this, and as the nose behind many popular scents ranging from Avon to Tom Ford, Claiborne to Calvin Klein, his expertise in crafting moderately-flirtatious mainstream scents shines through yet again. The mind behind everything from Ralph Lauren's Polo Sport (1993) to Claiborne's Spark for Men (2003) doesn't typically head down the dry, leathery, tobacco direction often. Even with his more spicy creations, there tends to be a lot of sweet counterbalancing to make them more likeable to a wider audience. Michael for Men still is a leather scent, but the final result of the dry down feels like a second-guessing that results in an added sweetness that is less of a syrupy sweet like the aforementioned Spark for Men and more like a sip of Hennessy. I can see why this wouldn't last long under the mainstream sun, and eventually became re-orchestrated by Freemont for re-launch in 2014 as "Michael Kors for Men" when this style came back into vogue, because there's just something sort of odd about it; there's a dash of personality that was a bit hard to take in it's day, never mind the fact that barbershop scents were near-anathema at the time.

Michael for Men opens with a shockingly boozy arrangement of notes, including bergamot, elemi, cardamom, tarragon, star anise (typically found in Asian cuisine), thyme, and coriander. Most of these notes made it into the new version as well, and are held aloft by a fat suede leather note, and some synthetic incense note before the base kicks up. Rich patchouli and sandalwood exist in both versions, but whereas musk rounds it out in the re-interpretation, this original has a 70's-style tobacco note in with the leather and a scary plum note reminiscent of the "masculine plumeria" that was Avon's Far Away for Men (1998) coming up near the end. This bit of fruity weirdness actually fits in better with the patchouli and sandalwood than in the aforementioned Avon scent, since it does so without smelling ambiguous in gender. Compared to the re-launched Michael Kors for Men (which is missing the plum and tobacco), this is a bit bolder, less-staid, and more fun. Michael for Men was really behind the times on the boozy/leathery/woodsy trope, or really ahead of the curve before hipsters decided old-school was cool again, depending on how you want to look at it. Either way, this juice didn't really result in a ton of success in the fragrance world for MK outside of the strong following that still buys up surviving stock to this day. I'd almost compare it to a more risque earlier incarnation of Tim McGraw Southern Blend (2009) except without all the longevity problems, but that's just me. It's big letdown is the blending, and it's rough edges are enough to make some more discerning noses uncomfortable with it, especially in the opening.

Once again considering who penned this creation, it's rather shocking. Harry Freemont masculines are never this much outside the box; just look at Calvin Klein Man (2007) for example, and the only other time Freemont really made anything this odd was the under-the-radar and also sadly discontinued Very Valentino for Him (1999), so I get the gist that when the perfumer is allowed to play around a bit, the results are less than the bean counters were expecting. It's a shame really, as just with the Valentino, this one is rather nice, even if not essential to anyone save a collector. I find the leather note here a bit too quaint to join a wardrobe full of more distinctive leather scents, so anybody with a bottle of Knize Ten (1924) or even Aramis (1965) will likely laugh at this tame suede scent. Digging up a bottle of Michael for Men will yield an oddly fruity, warm, but soft and inviting leather/tobacco aura that is neither in style but yet still stylish somehow, and is left-of-center just enough to draw the nose over, but not niche enough to divide the room. I find it also to be something of an in-betweener in the way original Michelob beer is a bit stronger than typical American beer, but not a full-tilt import lager, since it's really just a drop of strange into what is otherwise a standard classic style made when it wasn't cool to do. Some guys like adding a few drops of Tobasco to their tomato soup, or a shot of espresso to their chai latte, and for those guys there's Michael for Men. If you'd rather have a more standardized experience, get the re-launch instead.

Michael for Men, not to be confused with the 2014 release Michael Kors for Men Is a classic beauty! I just love the Tobacco, Plum and Leather. I'm grabbing a few more of these before they disappear forever.

Michael for Men (not Michael Kors for Men) smells very much like Latours Cigar. So much so that I don't feel the need to own it since I already have the much cheaper and generally more pleasing Cigar. Cigar has all the same tobacco as Michael but adds a sweet finish, which I prefer to the oily leather with funky patchouli you get with Michael. Projection is very good with Michael for Men, so if you enjoy it, it should be a good performer.

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