Reviews of Signature pour Homme by Zaharoff

Signature pour Homme by Zaharoff (2018) is a fairly impressive effort in men's fragrance from George Zaharoff, a self-styled men's fashion impresario from the US who has never really gone global with his brand like Tom Ford or Calvin Klein, but has nonetheless garnered a cult of loyal customers. Following in the footsteps of his mother Mariana Zaharoff, one-time tailor to the stars who made many one-off couture pieces under the "MZ Zaharoff" label, George Zaharoff keeps his creations a little more numerous than one-of-one, but still relatively low-volume. He initially sold only out of Nordstrom, then his own Chicago boutique (taking over the Marilyn Miglin space there in 2012), until the COVID-19 pandemic killed off his only self-branded physical retail footprint in the States, going back to Nordstrom and a few licensed resellers globally. His fragrances have had roller-coaster fortunes as well, since Signature pour Homme is a reconstruction and modification of his original fragrance, Zaharoff pour Homme (1999), itself lasting only two years on the market initially. Brought back once in 2008, then gone again when fortunes once again turned southward, the original Claud Dir formula of Zaharoff pour Homme was allegedly created to replace Escada pour Homme (1993), but was lost by the perfumer, giving opportunity to use chromatography to analyze (then alter the formula) of surviving bottles George possessed. From this exercise, we get Signature pour Homme.

So the thing about this fragrance is, it smells like a lot of different things to a lot of different people, because love it or hate it, Signature pour Homme is a complex multi-headed chimera born of an alteration to formula based on a GCMS scan of a lost fragrance meant to emulate the original vintage formula of another lost fragrance. Confused yet? So here we have soapy and creamy late 80's/early 90's semi-oriental fougère grafted onto a base of modern leather and synthetic oud nuances, with "blue fragrance" top and heart notes dispersed throughout, yielding a scent that smells fresh and modern in fits and starts, but also traditionally masculine, before finally settling on slightly-smoky aromatics with incense under it all. As an intended signature fragrance from someone who seems to have a refined palate and the money to commission people like Claude Dir to make their fragrances, Signature pour Homme is indeed sophisticated, unerringly masculine, versatile, and feels right at home in most situations or seasons. This is said to be a wet-shaver's favorite, no doubt because Zaharoff has on-again-off-again sold wet shaving accessories scented like this stuff too, and it doesn't seem out of place alongside things like Azzaro pour Homme (1978) and Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent (2003). Performance is pretty good and will last the day, and the stuff sticks to a shirt collar virtually forever, so I think you get your money's worth in that regard despite the fairly high price per ounce for the fragrance; you won't find discounts due to the ultra-tight distribution either.

On the down side, the usual alpha-male douche-bros that confuse their bank account and dead-lift amounts with having a personality have flocked to this fragrance, like they basically do anything promising the smell of success and superiority to the "beta cucks" they imagine shoving into high school gym lockers or giving hanging wedgies to as if they stopped mentally maturing at 16; so you have to waft through an inordinate amount of shallow self-centered garbage to get any real honest opinions on this one from other people, particularly if YouTube and Facebook are your preferred haunts. Additionally, people owning things like Maison Francis Kurkdjian masculin Pluriel (2014) may find something like Signature pour Homme a bit redundant, as it goes in a similar lavender over leathery-incense and clean patchouli vibe. Most folks I know only want one high-priced blazer-and-tie kind of scent like this, and although the price-per-milliliter is in favor of the Zaharoff over the MFK, the shaky limited distribution is not. Some folks might not want to be worried about replacing their Zaharoff Signature pour Homme in the same way George was forced to replace his Escada. That said, this is a solid, eminently-wearable effort; and although I find George's courting of influencers and the "cool kids club" spectacle it creates to be embarrassing, I can't in good conscience say he doesn't know what he's doing where the creative direction on his main line is concerned. Get a sample before blind-buying at these prices, but otherwise be optimistic about this one. Thumbs up
8th May 2023
Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme EDP (decant)

Looked in to this one after several Basenoters mentioned it as a favorite for wet shaving enthusiasts. Not much more to add to the previous reviews as it is very good and definitely scratches the barber shop vibe itch.

To my nose, it has characteristics of a few of my favorites like Azzaro PH, Zino Davidoff, Charles Jourdan Un Homme and particularly the dry down of Jacomo de Jacomo. Compared to these specifically, this one is a bit sweeter but still incorporates elements of the common accords you will find in the aromatic fougere family, which is always working to remind you of foamy shaving cream.

Signature Pour Homme could easily be just that, as I could see wearing this year-round in practically any season. Projection is close to the skin, and longevity is 6-8 hours. Well done!

3/5 stars

29th April 2023

Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme

What is there to say about Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme? For starters it’s a stunner. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. I’m not usually one to natter on about the history of perfume brands but in this case I’ll make an exception as I think it’s warranted.
The original 1999 Zaharoff Pour Homme was styled on Escada Pour Homme, George Zaharoff’s then signature scent. When the Escada was reformulated, as usually happens with most fragrances given enough time, he commissioned Claude Dir to create Zaharoff Pour Homme to replace his beloved signature. Business was going well but things didn’t work out as planned...
After some misfortune due in part to timing (9/11), an enormous business deal fell through and both the men’s and women’s scent lines were discontinued.

Fast-forward to around 2018 and after a long hiatus, George Zaharoff was able to find and recommission Claude Dir, the original perfumer, to create the new Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme. The original formula for Pour Homme was lost so the fragrance was reworked from a personal bottle in George’s possession. Zaharoff Signature smells nothing like the Escada. I like Escada but to my nose Signature is far better...

If only the big designer brands still made scents like this. Now given what often passes for fragrance by the standards of modern designer houses, luxury as a word is, I think, overused and frankly abused. This one really is luxury in the sense that it isn’t pretending to be something it’s not, it is quality top to bottom. George has managed to keep alive old school Designer values, where the creativity, style, substance and panache, not bean-counters, led the way. This fragrance reminded me just how good a product can be and be made and when you make use of it, it can impart something more than the sum of its parts. It can be uplifting, though simultaneously imparting a sense of calm and a quiet feeling of joy.

Signature Pour Homme is a luxurious scent..creamy...resinous lavender amber leaning towards an oriental fougere...lavender like I haven’t smelled before...spicy and resinous while staying smooth, rounded and non-herbal. Nothing juts out. The whole thing is blended exquisitely with incense, myrrh, cedarwood and sandalwood. It wears with more a feeling of oud than a scent of oud but the agarwood is clean and mild, becoming a touch more noticeable as the fragrance begins to drydown and it plays a small but essential role in providing a woody melange with the sandal, cedar and patchouli where the woody resins also come into their own.
It manages to express a mildly barbershop and golden aura. A fougere without a moss note but as it dries down the lavender and coumarin keep it shave-ey in a refreshing innovative way. And the cedar is fabulous. My God it’s good.

Signature Pour Homme brings to mind the feeling of being in a steam filled bathroom, being cleanly showered and just shaven, with that luscious hum of quality shaving cream still hanging in the air.

The ingredients feel quality. The blending second to none. The density is perfect taking a translucent weighting with good body enough to appreciate individual notes (vintage Tiffany For Men comes to mind, feel not scent). On skin it blooms, all ingredients shining without outshining each other, working harmoniously to balance the whole. There is some mild sweetness too, but again, tempered by the resinous woody facets. It performs well on my skin; I’m able to smell it at least 12 hours later and even longer on clothing.

The effort is apparent and a keen soul will notice every detail has been painstakingly poured over inside the bottle and out. I would happily wear this day or night, formal or casual and any season (though will have to test in Summer heat).
And as wisely hinted at by the makers, it could be effortlessly worn as a Signature.
It is beautifully masculine, and a luxurious finish to getting ready for the day or evening ahead. No flaw from head to base. This scent just puts a smile on my face.

Based on Signature Pour Homme I’ll be exploring more of the house’s fragranced offerings and may even try their cigars. George Zaharoff and Claude Dir made something truly special here.

11th March 2023
Quick first impression: will buy. A proper modern fougère with woods, spices, incense, and a well-contextualized oud note.
14th September 2021
It smells like the kind of man who has his life together,and appreciates the finer things in life,but doesn't look down upon those who don't or can't. Zaharoff Signature is actually very versatile, signature can put it in all season day and's not complex or obnoxiously's luxury barbershop oozing class & finess. a wonderful tribute to the classic masculine fougere.warm, yet fresh,simplicity of it, without being overly is a pure pleasure to the nose mature and classy.

The lavender when paired up with the patchouli and vetiver comes off classic and earthily sweet. when the myrrh and woody notes make their entrance this scent becomes something with a bit more depth and richness.the myrrh-lavender combination is very refined,and lasts till the very last hours of the dry harsh or chemical lavender. lavender here give smooth feeling.the patchouli is clean, and lends a spicy abstract to the mix without every hitting that stereotypical patchouli note which can often dominate and ruin an otherwise good fragrance. totally is easy to dismiss as a simple barbershop style fougere but i do not get that typical soapy element with so many other barbershop style frags.yes it smells clean,and masculine but the amber is this scent is so well executed and very refined it blocks out the soapy effect. performance is very good.
12th September 2021
TLDR: Excellent (4.2/5). A complex fougere of great subtlety and quality.

Zaharoff Signature is a modern take on the classic fougere. Like Gravitas by Naughton & Wilson, which seems born of the same spirit as this fragrance, this scent shows how the fougere genre might have evolved had the best designer houses not largely turned in a different direction after the dominance of this type of scent during the 1980s.

This fragrance is not an homage to pre-IFRA ingredients that one finds in, for example, Meleg's Fougere or Rogue's Bon Monsieur, both of which are very good but also very much backward looking, I think. Rather, Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme has the complexity one associates with the endless ingredient lists of the 1980s powerhouse fougeres, but takes its long list of ingredients to a novel destination that is very contemporary.

As such, there are nods to some classics here (to my nose, the mid here has a little Drakkar Noir to it & here and there I also get reminded of Dior's Jules [the 1980 version, although it is a chypre]), but this is not to pigeonhole this scent as an 80s style green composition. It is so much more.

Lavender is there in the opening, of course, and the spices give it a barbershop tone for the first few minutes. But then a green, slightly sweet pear note emerges to move this scent in a distinctly different and very 2020s direction.

There follows a masterfully blended, very high quality array of notes that swirl around themselves to create an aura of dazzling complexity. This heart of the fragrance is brilliant. Truly superior.

Indeed, given the fact that one of the few notes my nose can clearly distinguish in this blended middle mixture is a clean oud (possibly natural, in part), the prices for which Zaharoff offers this stuff must be among the best bargains in independent perfumery at the moment.

The base features some sandalwood creaminess, an amber and incense warmth and the remains of the oud. This base could have become harsh, animalic or overly dry, but Claude Dir has added just enough patchouli, and allowed subtle sweet notes to linger from the opening, so as to prevent any discord in the base.

This fragrance could have been a mess but instead, it is just the opposite --so well composed and artfully blended that the wearer gets treated to an aromatic symphony instead of a jumble of smells.

Projection is noticeable for three hours or so on me and then it slowly recedes until it becomes a skin scent after about 7 hours. Longevity is considerable. I get about 10 hours in moderate warmth and humidity.

The presentation is tasteful. The bottle and box are of good quality as is the atomizer. The cap is distinctive enough to make this one easy to pick out on a crowded shelf.

Too many fragrances are said to embody niche quality at designer prices. In the case of Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme, this compliment is genuinely deserved. This fragrance is a must-have for fougere lovers. You should be at least sample it. (Free samples are available on Zaharoff's website.) Highly recommended.
24th March 2021
Today is my second wearing of Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme from George Zaharoff, the 2018 release that has become very popular in the fragrance community. I only tried it for the first time five days ago, long overdue, and it made quite the impression, as well.

It certainly lives up its name immediately as it has the smell of a men's signature scent, very modern with some more classic touches as well. It's woody, spicy, musky, and, to make especially modern, sweet. Of the notes, the standouts to me are the lavender, pepper, cardamom, ginger, resins (myrrh, frankincense, amber, and woods (cypress, balsam fir, cedar, sandalwood). The mix of notes is a testament to how well blended it is, and it's effectively (albeit not overly) sweet without the use of vanilla or other dessert-like elements (save pear), relying instead of the resins to bring out the controlled sweet vibe in contrast to some of the sharper elements of lavender, pepper, and cardamom. There's oud in the background somewhere too, but admittedly it's subtle, though I do get vague, slight animalic twinges in the background, very much in the background behind the woods, resins, and spices.

Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme achieves a balance between being a bit familiar (I likened it to the muskiness of Escada Magnetism a bit during my first wearing, and now it feels like there's a champagne cologne-ness in the background as well, along the lines of Acqua di Parma Colonia) but at the same time it feels modern, new, and a wee bit idiosyncratic, having its own character.

Zaharoff's pricing is very reasonable for the versatility and elegance of the fragrance, $155/95 for 120/60ml, at EDP concentration. It also performs quite well. I think a bottle is in my future.

8 out of 10

16th September 2020
I don't like to have more than one masculine barbershop style fragrance in my collection, reason being is when I have more they seem to fight each other in my head, I get picky and i dissect them against each other..there have been many greats over the years and I think Signature is one of those. I've just finished a bottle of Bracken man which I thoroughly enjoyed but it's time for a change and Signature will be my next option..I've had a number of samples to conclude that decision, the blending is extraordinary and nothing in the mix feels out of place, beautiful soapy lavender with a slight powdery vibe, there are some dark twists in the base that enhance the feeling of quality, it's really difficult to pick each note out individually due to how smooth and well blended Signature feels, it also has a slight masculine retro vibe that gives a respectable nod to the barbershop classics, seems to project very well in the first hour and then lingers for a good amount of time.
3rd July 2020
I rarely award any fragrance 5-stars. That rating should be reserved for the very best of the best. Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme is one of those fragrances.

Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme is a scent fit for a king. In fact, it could have easily been the fragrance that the Three Wisemen gave to the Baby Jesus. Look at the basenotes: GOLD (patchouli), FRANKINCENSE, and MYRRH. The scent is strong and it's very long-lasting. It's a projection monster. So go easy on the trigger. It signals the arrival of a gentleman with great taste and who probably tastes great too. To me it smells like a very refined, sexy, exotic, handsome, worldly gentleman just like George himself. If United Colors of Benneton had an upscale, luxury, regal fragrance, this would be it. It crosses so many cultures and seamlessly combines them into a scent that is instantly recognizable in a way that Chanel Antaeus or Terre d'Hermes is with top-notch ingredients sourced all over the world. It won't appeal to everyone. That's part of what makes it special.

Easily one the best men's fragrance releases of the last decade. Order it on from the Zaharoff website. Nordstrom is currently sold out of this very special elixir.
25th April 2020
I owned this fragrance previously and eventually swapped it. It is most assuredly a rich, complex perfume with high quality ingredients. The oud, resins, patchouli, lavender, vetiver, and spices (cardamom and black pepper) are the most prominent notes to my nose. The Fragrantica pyramid is actually missing a few notes - notably pear, iris, amber, and olibanum. The combination of the pear, iris, oud, sandalwood, and resins create an extremely smooth and creamy texture which I absolutely loved, though the pear and florals weren't really all that detectable. The oud in this fragrance is fantastic - a woody variety without any barnyard stink. There's something very soapy here - maybe the cardamom - that makes this fresh, versatile, and suitable for all seasons, despite the otherwise "heavy" notes. The combination of it all together, somewhat surprisingly, makes it smell like an extremely high quality blue fragrance crossed with a barbershop/gentlemanly classic (lavender + patchouli) with a little bit of oriental inflection. It really is a beautiful fragrance - a mix of old and new, West and East.

So why did I swap it? Two reasons. The first is this - on my skin, it simply didn't perform very well. After trying it in both cold and warm weather, I got maybe 4-5 before it entered skin scent territory. Overall longevity was around 6 hours, with poor projection and sillage. This could simply be a consequence of my own chemistry - my skin eats fragrance - but Zaharoff himself remarked to me in a Youtube comment that the high concentration of naturals in the blend could reduce performance. You'll have to try it for yourself to see what you get it out it. The second reason was that this was simply a bit mature for my tastes. I think it could easily be a beautiful "signature" (heh) scent for men 30+, but for me (24), I felt like it simply wasn't the best fit. Make no mistake, there is definitely a throwback retro vibe here. If that's your thing, then this will absolutely be the fragrance for you. It's not really my thing, so I had to swap this for something that I felt was a little bit more "me".

Overall, though, this is a beautiful, well composed fragrance that is a strong showing for this brand. It's absolutely worth a try if you like classic, gentlemanly fragrances that have a little bit of a modern flair. It wasn't for me, but it could be for you!
27th December 2019
This perfume is a genuine masterpiece, unfortunately for myself and I'm actually very surprised, I can't get down with this. It is strong, it is heavy, it has massive sillage and lasting power and is an oud dominant perfume which is why this is so friggin' strong. Outside of the genuine agarwood oil there's a ton of patchouli in this which further increases the throw.

The entire composition is ‘incredibly' heavy and dark. On a 1-10 scale of masculinity, this is a 10. Way too much for my personal tastes. It's a very intrusive perfume and it's just really heavy and dark and dank, wet like and soapy, it's strange. I like it but then I don't, it's hard to explain so for that alone this perfume gets a 100%. It kinda confuses my nose because I'm not sure how it makes me feel, kind of disturbed but then a calming effect, really very strange but cool.

The real agarwood oil used here is legit and is one of the main focal notes outside of sandalwood. It is an unabashedly woody and masculine perfume. The sillage is very strong in it's delivery in the sense that what you'll be smelling is really very dark woods and a lot of patchouli. I'm having a hard time dissecting this one.

I can appreciate this. There was a boat load of thought and skill poured into this and as mentioned before, zero synthetics so Kudos to Mr. George. I just don't enjoy this smell at all, it kind of makes me feel a tad nauseated and I'm not sure what accords are making me feel like this but I think it's the sandalwood/oud combo. I've worn this at home numerous times and it's the same result, nausea. I can't express enough how heavy this scent is.

By the way, I have smelled and worn Indonesian agarwood oil before and it's really dry, rooty like, kinda swampy and earthy but no barnyard as if the oud oil had been distilled from the roots of the tree, more like white oud. This perfume has a ton of genuine oud oil in this which is the main focal point, possibly even the first voted note so ignore that voter scent pyramid entirely, it's not even close. I really dislike Australian sandalwood, it kinda makes me gag, I think that's the culprit here. Regardless, excellent scent so if this jives with you, it's a gem. It's a really strong eau de parfum that lasts easily 18+ hours. I wish I liked this smell because it's honestly a really well composed creation that wafts sporadically. It's very beautiful in it's sillage, stinks up close. My God it's just so friggin' heavy and overpowering.

You wanna know what the performance and overall delivery of this perfume reminds me of? Not that it smells the same but, this is a glorified 80's perfume for Men reincarnated to be modern. Rochas' Macassar which is an utter masterpiece that is far too complex and far too strong for its own good, just like Zaharoff.

This is an agarwood perfume through and through, it's all about oud oil, sandalwood and patchouli. Brutal perfume. I approve, just can't handle this, way too strong, fuck...
22nd November 2019