However the genius in this is simultaneously the weakness: you can smell the entire barber shop individually, down to the hot metals of the clippers; not sure that is necessary. As another reviewer mentioned, there is no blending.
I get an artisan-like Rive Gauche in the end, which to me is a good thing. This is a must sniff/must have for fans of the barbershop genre.
Very traditional barbershop in the opening, lots of soapy lavender with basil and rosemary. Reminds me of 70's and 80's gentlemen scents although it doesn't feel particularly dated or too mature. It's nice. Average, but nice. The drydown is less barbershop and just more of a clean laundry with musk, basic scent.
Projection is very good during the first hour and then starts to die off. Otherwise, this stays pretty close to skin and hangs around for 6-7 hours.
Maison Martin Margiela Replica At the Barber's (2014) is a fragrance I had heard much about, and seemingly is a faorite among the line for its old-school fougère charm. As an attempt to invoke a recollection of a visit to a barbershop, I'm less than convinced, having been to several old time corner barbers lush with the smell of Clubman Pinaud products or Dana Canoe (1936), but I can see how the layman who usually gets his hair chopped at a local SuperCuts or Great Clips might be convinced for not knowing better. Connoisseurs of the fougère might also take some issue with At the Barber's for lacking a sufficient oakmoss note in the base, but I don't believe Maison Margiela is trying to cater towards "fragheads" that congregate on Basenotes or Fragrantica either, so it's fine. I'm not entirely sold on it, but that has more to do with the way At the Barber's develops than the concept itself, as execution is everything in this sort of impressionistic style.
The opening is a fairly brief puff of bergamot, with basil, black pepper, and a touch of orris for that soapy barbershop feel. I get the vibe of sanitary jars and marble counters as expected, but this lacks any metallic aldehyde to fully seal the deal of envisioning hot clippers. The heart is the expected lavender, with some rosemary and a bit of heliotrope for that powdery feeling. From here I reminded of many Avon masculines which took this direction, until the mostly musk base appears with whiffs of tonka to fizzle out what was otherwise going well. This is the downfall of At the Barber's, because without a proper oakmoss and wood fortification of the tonka note, the whole thing collapses into sweet powder that feels less like a barber and more like a cosmetics counter at Ulta. Wear tine is about 7 hours which isn't terrible for an office-friendly casual scent, but sillage is a bit powdery, cloying, and dense, even if this doesn't project far. I'd use At the Barber's in fall or spring because the powderiness would be too much for hot weather.
Maison Margiela Replica as a house hasn't quite pushed my buttons in the right way, so it may just be my incompatibility with this metaphorical style, as I'm not a huge fan of Byredo and its "scent memories" creations either. Overall, there are a million and one better ways to smell more convincingly like a barbershop, and one of the best is only $7 and sold in a plastic bottle at most drug stores. If the Clubman Pinaud line or Canoe is a little too lowbrow for you, the discontinued Penhaligon's Racquet's Formula (1989) or Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003) too expensive and hard to find, there's always Chanel Platinum Égoïste (1993), Penhaligon's Sartorial (2010), or Prada Luna Rossa Carbon (2018) which get closer to the mark than this does. Of course, my opinion is in the minority so I'd advise sampling yourself and determining how close to the claimed experience this is, but for me personally this is no two bits and a hair cut. Neutral
It is what it says and clearly the lavender is the big star. It's a nice aromatic fougere, but it doesn't stand out in this genre. There are moments when I am reminded of Chanel's Platinum Egoiste, which I liked. In the dry down it gets simpler and less interesting.
Not too bad overall, it smells like run of the mill aftershave, no more no less.Something like Skin Bracer or Cool Wave, one of them, and makes this completely unnecessary. I guess it serves its purpose for the image conscious, condo, gym dwellers insta crowd. You could also transfer the cheap, just as good after shave into a nice flacon and print a label at the office, call it Replica Replica At the Barber.