Sex Appeal for Men 
Jovan (1976)

Average Rating:  33 User Reviews

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About Sex Appeal for Men by Jovan

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Jovan
Fragrance House

Basenotes loves the blurb on the box for this long gone scent:

Sex Appeal- Now you don't have to be born with it. This provocative stimulating blend of rare spices and herbs was created by man for the sole purpose of attracting women. At will.


More than the usual promise in a bottle. It's more like a guarantee.

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Reviews of Sex Appeal for Men by Jovan

There are 33 reviews of Sex Appeal for Men by Jovan.


Meh, not bad, not great. If I'd have received it as a father's day gift 20 years ago or whatever, I certainly wouldn't have binned it. But that's the problem with delving deeper into fragrance as a hobby, no? You quickly learn there are levels of superior choices beyond what was once considered fine and good.

This is a Pierre Cardin doppleganger and not too far removed from the likes of Old Spice. Aldehydes & spice with a bit of amber. I much prefer those with a rougher personality from the category, like Equipage, Havana, and Montana pd'h.
Feb 18, 2019


Jovan was on top of the world when they released Jovan Sex Appeal for Men (1976). The company had formed in 1968 under Bernard Mitchell and Barry Shipp, deliberately taking its name from the phonetics of American entry-level competitors like Revlon and Avon. These transparently gimmicky hucksters used oozing sex appeal ever since they started peddling synthetic musk oils to five and dime stores and broke hippies that didn't need sophistication nor believed in the usual social class nonsense of high-end perfume marketing. Some of the later fragrances like Sex Appeal for Men became downright classics, but most of them were abominable, and since they made their ways into so many homes only to be used up, the large array of rightly discontinued ones which survive command insane prices that belie their actual value as fragrance. Sex Appeal for Men had become a diamond in the rough for the budget disco-goer back in the day, and has since somehow passed the test of time. A lot of people unfairly compare this to Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur (1972), as both fragrances have a huge lean towards sweet and spicy, but I think where the major difference lies is in the way each scent balances them out. This doesn't feel out of place in a collection that contains the eponymous Cardin masculine, as I find them wearable in different moods, albeit the much-cheaper Sex Appeal sees more use because it's easier to replace. Sex Appeal for Men was for the Saturday Night Fever fan that could barely afford the cover charge to the club, but wanted to fit in with all the guys "musked up" in designers. Flavor chemist and unofficial house perfumer Murray Moscona was starting to get decent at making scents by the time this came about, and is honestly the best of the original 70's bunch on which he worked.

Jovan Sex Appeal for Men opens simply enough with bergamot and lemon oil, but then quickly mellows down to a stew of lavender, carnation, vetiver, patchouli, and a sandalwood note in the middle. Here in the heart of the fragrance is where the most confusion is caused, and for me actually compares more favorably to a hybrid of Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme (1971) with its labdanum-heavy musk and the yet-to-exist Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men (1984) and its sweetened patchouli than to Pierre Cardin. It's fair that this gets accused of copying something, especially in light of how Jovan followed the Avon and Revlon trend of acclimatizing the artistic breakthroughs of the high-end designers of the time to the budgets of the mass-market; it simply is less like Pierre Cardin's fragrance than most think it is. Ultimately, it boils down to experience with perfumes and direct side-by-side comparisons to see that it actually sits closer to a hybrid of citrus chypre and spicy oriental than as an semi-oriental fougère, mostly due to Sex Appeal's labdanum replacing the amber in the Pierre Cardin. I mostly get a very smooth masculine spicy green lavender and patchouli over that "yellow" musk in the dry down, but your mileage may vary. The most important thing of all is to consider how resonant and long-lasting this is despite it's price and cologne concentration, which is the hallmark of any Jovan vintage, discontinued or current: you simply won't find a more potent juice at these laughably low prices, unless you shop at Goodwill and get lucky. Best in fall through early spring, Jovan Sex Appeal was a statement fragrance then, and still is now, so beware when you spray or splash it on that people will look at you. Best news of all: this stuff seems bullet-proof against reformulation outside a little projection loss in newer bottles, so just buy any bottle you see.

The 1970's mass-market opinion of sexy probably wasn't gathered in focus groups or beta testing like modern R&D procedures, and the folks at Jovan probably just thought "lets make it zesty and inviting in the opening, then bring in the sweet stuff the ladies like (or what boneheaded white dudes thought they liked at the time) before making it all warm and cozy for snuggling later", like a three-step hook-line-and-sinker process. I mean that's what I imagine must have gone on in the heads of the marketing guys when they were instructing the perfumer, who then just phoned in the accords based on stereotype and blended it until it was the approximation of what they were asking for, which worked better than anyone could reasonably expect considering he was a flavor chemist. Is this amazing? No. Is this complex? Certainly not on this budget. Is Jovan Sex Appeal for Men strong? Definitely. The key here is this one comes across like a bedroom lit by candlelight, but not just one gentle candle, about 2 dozen, so the combined glow of all that melting wax is earnest in intent but a little creepy in execution. I feel this only survives today because despite it's amazingly dated feel, it still somehow casts it's spell on the morbidly curious like original Old Spice (1937) still does. Jovan Sex Appeal is something of a presage to other oriental hybrids that started appearing in the 80's and 90's, when stuff like Creed Bois du Portugal (1987), and Guerlain Héritage (1992) would come to pass, just rude and crude by comparison. If you're looking to smell "like the 70's" for a themed dinner party or night club event, and don't want to spend a bank roll on a vintage designer, Jovan Sex Appeal for Men will help you do the hustle, for less than the price of a rhinestone cowboy hat. Thumbs up
Aug 11, 2017


Well I'll say this for Jovan's Sex Appeal for Men...

Through merging patchouli and amber,this does make a very sensual base to a cologne.I get a light sweetness to this cologne that smells similar to cinnamon...but in a gummy way.It seemed to only last about 3 hours on my skin.Starting out with medium projection and rapidly declining after a little over 30 min. of application.I quit wearing it at work and saved it more for social gatherings.

Point blank:
This cologne under the Jovan line by Coty,I used to be content with despite poor longevity..I liked the scent.After all Sex Appeal for Men was commonly seen in drugstores and it stood out in its scent among the other colognes enjoyed by fellow working class men in a rural community of the pre-internet era.I learned many years later this was nothing more than a later released and scaled down in notes version of Pierre Cardin's Pour Monsieur cologne.Pierre Cardin is now cheaper than it's Jovan competitor.It smells much more colorful,last much longer,and cheaper than Sex Appeal for Men...get the Pierre Cardin.
Jan 14, 2017


Deliberately animalic and magnetic, to be sure! Sex Appeal is designed to catch attention, and it delivers. I don't think I'd necessarily wear it nowadays, as I have plenty of "regular" scents to project with a musky vibe that SAM does. But I give kudos to Jovan for such a unique, daring fragrance that still has some "appeal" to wearers and smellers alike.
Dec 20, 2016


Turin (Sanchez actually) gives it four stars and calls it an "herbal oriental."

This unassuming men's scent from 1976 mixes lavender and amber with a slight dash of cinnamon. Dries down to a light aromatic wood. Not heavy at all, in fact quite light, it is unassuming and subtle. Perfectly acceptable as an all purpose scent, from office to date night to sports event. Tremendously affordable (I got my attractive 3 oz. bottle for $10), and a perfect gift choice for guys who want to smell good, but who are really not "into" scent.

Not bad, not great, just okay.
Sep 27, 2015


Gents, do you tire of the endless line of unisex flankers that riddle the fragrance landscape today? Are you really looking to smell like a honey donut, a cup of cinnamon coffee or a basket of dried fruits!?

I will admit, many of the higher end unisex frags are very well blended (Tom Ford, Serge Lutens, CDG) and include upgraded ingredients. I love tobacco so Tobacco Vanille is on my shelf.

Although, these days I am feeling more and more the desire to strip away the fluff and get back to basics.

Jovan Sex Appeal for Men is all about the basics: spices, herbs, musk and patchouli. Unbelievably well blended and at
Oct 3, 2014

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