Ungaro pour L'Homme I 
Ungaro (1991)


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Ungaro pour L'Homme I by Ungaro

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About Ungaro pour L'Homme I by Ungaro

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Fragrance House
Jacques Polge

Ungaro pour L'Homme I is a men's fragrance launched in 1991 by Ungaro

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Reviews of Ungaro pour L'Homme I by Ungaro

There are 44 reviews of Ungaro pour L'Homme I by Ungaro.

The first, most obscure and hardest to find of the 3 scents made under license for Ungaro in the 1990s by olfactory 'dream team' of Polge and Demachy. Exudes a dark, gothic vibe from the start and for the first couple of hours is extremely similar to Salvador Dali Pour Homme, albeit softer and with more florals in the background. Rose and artemisia (aka wormwood) dominate the opening and whilst the artemisia never really fades awayýýò, the darkness does and the drydown, which lasts for several hours, is tempered with patchouli, amber and spice. The 75ml spray which I own dates from the mid-1990s and the scent remains strong, if not nuclear, in its projection with a single spray to the wrist exhibiting staying power of over 10 hours on my skin. A foreboding and masterful creation from two of the most lauded noses in perfumery, yet it is firmly my least favourite of the Ungaro trio.

Among the best from Jacques Polge & Francois Demachy. Lovers of Coromandel EdT should give this a try and see for themselves which fragrance they like better. For me it's definitely Ungaro Pour L'Homme.

Ungaro pour L'Homme I opens with a powerful nose tingling aromatic lavender and sharp bergamot citrus tandem with a bit of the coniferous green pine and bitter-green herbal wormwood from its middle showing early before it gradually transitions to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the bitter-green herbal wormwood (artemisia) takes the fore in a big way, as earthy patchouli and pine provide first tier support, bolstered by slightly sweet sandalwood rising from the base. During the late dry-down the wormwood and other green aspects gradually recede and finally vacate, leaving the slightly sweet sandalwood to pair with supporting relatively dry amber and remnants of the earthy patchouli through the finish. Projection is very good, as is longevity at around 10-12 hours on skin.

Getting right to the point, Ungaro pour L'Homme I is superb smelling stuff. I usually don't care much for the smell of wormwood, and in most of its perfume implementation it can really come off as overpowering and off-putting like in the horrific smelling A Taste of Heaven (Hell, in actuality). Instead of *that* monstrosity, here the perfumer deftly combines it with just the right balance of supporting earthy patchouli and relatively smooth wood to balance its bitter-green aromatic herbal aspect. The late dry-down while much more behaved is no less enticing, as the sandalwood melds perfectly with the dry amber. The bottom line is Ungaro could have easily stopped at the sadly discontinued and hard to find $250 per 75 ml bottle on the aftermarket Ungaro pour L'Homme I, as decades later it remains a classic and the best thing the house ever released perfume-wise, earning it a "near masterpiece" rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 and a super-strong recommendation to vintage perfume lovers everywhere.

Emanuel Ungaro the fashion designer was the son of a tailor who fled Fascist rule by moving to France, a move that turned out not so great after the invasion of France during WWII, with Emanuel himself learning how to sew as a child on a sewing machine he was given. Ungaro's career trajectory then makes sense, although the many partnerships he enjoyed have muddied the success of his house somewhat outside lower-cost ready-to-wear and the short-term successes of the many aborted attempts at a fragrance house done independently, then through everyone from Wertheimer (owners of Chanel), Avon, and finally Ferragamo Group. All along the way, fragrances were launched, then completely re-orchestrated and discontinued or re-launched when new ventures opened then old ones closed, with formula ownership not transferring from old venture to new, making it a very frustrating house to collect due to many short-lived lines that end up selling for a premium as "rare discontinued masterpieces" on eBay. Getting a chance to actually experience Ungaro pour L'Homme I (1991) without a deep investment, I can report my finding without as much bias as you may find from others who first commited to purchase then learned to love it. For starters, this was made under Wertheimer administration, meaning Ungaro had access to house perfumer Jacques Polge and all the various custom materials he has made bespoke for his house. Combined with the fact that he often teamed with a younger François Demachy, who had recently been assigned as director of research and development to handle other Wertheimer brands like Tiffany, Bourjois, Stéphanie de Monaco, Salvatore Ferragamo, plus Emanuel Ungaro, and you can see something of an erstwhile "dream team" being formed here. Sadly, this power duo only really worked on low-key stuff under the Wertheimer umbrella outside of their breadwinner Chanel, and the majority of that output is also discontinued like this fragrance.

Jacques Polge was all about subtle blending, classicism, and immaculate design a la Jacques Guerlain or Vincent Roubert, while François Demachy was all about dynamism, modernism, and experimentation, as evidenced by his controversial works as head perfumer for Dior. Together, they composed what is essentially a dandy rose chypre for men, in a style that had been growing in popularity since the late 80's but contrasting dark opulence with bright futuristic freshness. The opening is dry lavender, bergamot, sharp petitgrain, and pine, feeling pretty solidly "grooming masculine" in feel. With a trick of the tail, you are coated in darkness, with Turkish rose, carnation, bitter artemisia, clary sage, and jasmine indole. The darkness here reminds me of Salvadore Dali pour Homme (1987) and Zino Davidoff (1986), but the indolic depths of those fragrances is countered by a bright metallic geranium, a note Polge would later revisit with Demachy in Chanel Platinum Égoïste (1993), an unlikely collaboration for a house Polge usually worked on by himself at the time. The light shining through the dandified darkness continued into the base, with a fresh salty uplifting ambergris type of musk (likely attained in an early and then-expensive use of synthetic ambroxide, which Creed also used to boost the aroma of real ambergris). This ambergris accord is saddled with oakmoss, sandalwood, benzoin, and amber for a chypre feel, smoothed by a touch of coumarin. Wear time is about eight hours and performance is moderate, with whiffs of that sandalwood and fresh musk carrying the rose core aloft all day. Where you'd use something so artistic is up to you, as this is not mass-appealing in the slightest, although I feel is shares a common tether with scents like Lauder for Men (1985) in that it has an uncommon element that allows it to be a great scent for summer despite the density of it.

Ungaro pour L'Homme originally didn't have the "I" after its name, but became part of a triptych where it acquired the roman numeral, a series that was later discontinued after Wertheimer severed ties to both Emanuel Ungaro and Ferragamo Group, who he partnered with to make perfume. Ungaro pour L'Homme I its two sequels are considered such aforementioned "lost masterpieces" posthumously, and are all highly venerated by enthusiasts of vintage masculine market designers, selling for insane prices when you find unmolested bottles. As mythic unobtanium, it feels more like investing in "perfume futures" stock for later arbitrage than buying a fragrance to wear when seeking out Ungaro pour L'Homme I in particular, and you can imagine the anxiety of spraying something that is literally dollars up in flames with each wear, so luckily I have some alternatives. The previously-named Salvador Dali pour Homme gets close, but what's closer is the little-known Joint by Roccobarocco (1993), adding a bit of vanilla and civet to the futuristic dandy dark metallic rose chypre vibe, which fans of classic styles may actually prefer over the starker Ungaro. Beyond that, GFF Uomo by Gianfranco Ferré (1997) leans further into metallic green tones, but both of these scents are also discontinued so they won't remain alternatives for long. Ungaro pour L'Homme I is every bit the wearable art I expected with such swirling hype surrounding it, but also isn't nearly as unique as I was led to believe, and no "Jesus juice" as a friend calls it. There is no harm in loving Ungaro pour L'Homme I enough to consider such, just be aware that it isn't the only one of its kind, although it is worth experiencing even if only via sample. Polge and Demachy work well together, and if nothing else, this scent is proof they should have done more together than they did separately as house perfumers for competing designers. Thumbs up

Definitely one worth the effort to at least try.

I get a low-key yet distinct cedarwood throughout, not a loud pencil shavings type cedar. That, and as others have said: a sugar-cane, rum-like sweetness; dark fruit, almost rotting; tobac, like in a inexpensive drugstore flavored cigarillo. Close to the skin. Pensive. Somber. Dark. Not like dracula-dirtnap dark, but moreso like the stereotypical well-dressed, well-mannered, proprietor / patriarch of the local funeral home kinda dark.

Great stuff but no versatility with my lifestyle this day and age.

Thumbs up 1000% smell wise but I have mixed feelings about the ingredient quality.

This is without a doubt a 'killer' scent. I mean my goodness. Bravo. It's basically a deep and dark patch and lavender combo that segues into a warm and balmy, ambery something with a non-descript 'woodiness' while that mild patchouli backdrop remains for a good 12 hours but this is a quiet scent. It rides very close.

It's an incredibly intoxicating aroma that is thoroughly lacking in the 'natural' ingredient quality department. What I mean is that yes this scent for the most part smells completely natural but to my honed nose the ingredients being used here are designer scent quality which means aroma chemicals. The ones here after good quality but I know.

The entire experience here in so many words and how this scent has been constructed would be if you had propositioned 1 million people with the goal as to create a scent with the given ingredients, or notes as here in Ungaro I regardless if those people have very little knowledge of perfume or if they're chemists to the fullest extent of the art of perfumery.

Now stay with me here. 1 in 1 million is a significant number. Ungaro I is a 1 in a 1 million perfume but, the ingredients that were supplied are mediocre at best. The perfume is thin and wispy. It's hard to grasp at times because to my nose it's a designer scent so the ingredient quality is holding back what could have been a full on masterpiece. It smells great, but it rides very close to the skin after an hour. Over applying it leaves a synthetic taste in your mouth.

Also! My flacon is from 1992 but it lacks the golden surrounding around the top and bottom but it smells exactly the same as an original formula sample I had received originally. Can anyone comment on this?

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