Ungaro pour L'Homme III by Ungaro | Basenotes

Reviews of Ungaro pour L'Homme III 
Ungaro (1993)

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Reviews of Ungaro pour L'Homme III by Ungaro


Ungaro pour L'Homme III (1993) is by far the most modern and well-liked of the Ungaro pour L'Homme Triptych, which includes Ungaro pour L'Homme I (1991) and Ungaro pour L'Homme II (1992) as well. All three fragrances were collaborative efforts between Chanel house perfumer Jacques Polge and then director of research and development for Wertheimer François Demachy, who did so at the behest of Emanuel Ungaro, who had partnered with the Ferragamo Group, whom Wertheimer owned a stake in at the time. Thusly, between the two perfumers re-orchestrating all pre-Wertheimer Ungaro fragrances and working on new ones for other Wertheimer-controlled properties like Tiffany, Bourjois, and Stéphanie de Monaco, they came together here to develop three distinctive Ungaro masculines in series, all sharing some core elements. The tale begins in earnest with the original Ungaro pour L'Homme I, which was released without a number at first until a series was decided upon. This fragrance was a modern twist on a dark rose chypre, superimposing fresh musks and green elements over a Turkish rose, bitter artemisia, indolic jasmine, and patchouli core. This fragrance drove collectors mad upon discontinuation and commands a massive premium. Ungaro pour L'Homme II was less daring, being a then-conventional semi-oriental fougère with throwback elements from the turn of the 20th century, adding civet and a kitchen sink of redolent elements straight out of 19th century Guerlain examples like Jicky (1889), but still having the rose/jasmine/patchouli core. Ungaro pour L'Homme III also has this core, but leans far more futuristic in its application, likely being more of Demachy's doing than Polge. Some may say the sharp air dynamism here presages the creation of his monster, Dior Sauvage (2015), but I won't do a disservice to the name of Ungaro by suggesting that.

The overall structure of Ungaro pour L'Homme III shows an attempt to capitulate to a younger audience, whereas the first two Ungaro pour L'Homme scents were classical exercises with more or less experimentation depending on the entry we're discussing. If Ungaro pour L'Homme I was a flourescent black light, and Ungaro pour L'Homme II a standard incandescent soft white bulb, Ungaro pour L'Homme III is definitely a cold "blue white" LED bulb you'd find in the headlights of modern cars. This opens with a "vodka note" which reads like alcohol to the nose, which is kind of a tongue-in-cheek way of saying your fragrance smells of alcohol upon first spray. After this revelation, the same lavender and citruses as the other two Ungaros come into play, meaning lemon and orange, with clary sage moved up to the top like it was in Ungaro pour L'Homme I, but rounded with coriander. Rose remains the core, but the indolic jasmine is replaced with a cleaner jasmine hedione and muguet note which when mixed with the returning geranium, creates an effect similar to the later Salvador Dali Le Roy Soleil Homme (1998). Floral, metallic, and clean, the beacon of cold white light continues to shine into the base, which is far lighter here than in the others before it. Cedar takes the dominant role, where it was a bit player in the first two Ungaros, and the patchouli is scrubbed of all but the sharp green grassy bits, combined with vetiver, oakmoss, a scrap of sandalwood, and a transparent white musk. Wear time is eight hours, and sillage is still good, but the personality of Ungaro pour L'Homme is decidedly more "dress casual" than the other two, meaning it has more versatility for those who care about when-to-wear. Of the three, Ungaro pour L'Homme III is the only one that feels any bit at all crowd-pleasing, with a fresher rose playing a diminutive role in the overall compositions itself.

I'm guessing Ungaro hit paydirt with this one, because when Wertheimer said to take their ball and go home, Ungaro left the first two Pour L'Homme scents behind to be discontinued and maintained their partnership with Ferragamo Group to produce Ungaro pour L'Homme III albeit under greatly re-orchestrated form, since I'm sure Wertheimer still owned the formula and wouldn't sell it. When Asim Abdullah bought Ungaro from the retired designer in 2005, he sent the fragrance contract over to Avon, which produced some notoriously unloved results (including Avon catalog exclusives bearing the Ungaro name), and further reformulations of Ungaro pour L'Homme III, plus a litany of flankers once Ferragamo Group reclaimed Ungaro for itself from Abdullah in 2010. Eventually seeing discontinuation in 2018, only after the release of a failed Ungaro pour L'Homme III Oud (2017) flanker, the remaining third member of this celebrated men's triptych finally joined its older siblings in the fragrance afterlife. Trying to get the original Polge/Demachy composition might as well be like trying to get the first two pour L'Homme scents though, because it also commands a premium, just less than the I or II. If you go this route, look for a red cap on black bottle or a red box that matches the graphics of the other two green and yellow I and II boxes respectively. Anything all black and gold is the post-Wertheimer re-orchestration and I can't vouch for it because I haven't smelled it. This lighter, fresher, more summery, and slightly boozy take on the primary rose/lavender themes of the Ungaro pour L'Homme series will never be a favorite among collectors, but is the most wearable of the bunch, so I can easily see why it was preserved and continued soldiering on through three corporate takeovers and many reformulations until finally meeting its end. Thumbs up.
Jan 25, 2021


Like a southern gentleman with slicked back hair,tiny mustache. an absolutely classy man who is handsome,sexual,charming, passionate and sophisticated. probably able to dance confidently with a Rose clenched in his jaw and recite sonnets to the woman he loves and he says: "Scarlett!look at me!I've ever loved any woman and I've waited for you longer than I've ever waited for any woman"...that's right.Clark Gable.this is impression of this scent. romance,sex and red roses.imagine of late-night escapades,of lovers,of the underground,the secret,of woods,of what is erotic and carnal.

This scent goes in a few directions for me:first boozy then rosey,after a touch spicy and then a real woody,earthy, soapy base.it project masculinity with gentleness,the gentleness of a red rose blooming in a green, deep forest.in fact the opening is a lovely vodka with aromatic notes that sets this scent off onto an intriguing path.a minute later you receive a deep rose note that's excellent and very well done.finally the woody notes kick in and it's like the rose and patchouli come back front and center.i don't find it overpowering.Very formal very classy.perfect for an elegant gentleman with fine taste.a powerhouse and for the price it should be in every man's collection.
Jan 19, 2021


Hello I'd like to start off by saying that the reformulation version I tried (i tried in 2020 i assume it's the most recent one), was magnificent smelling at first. But then dried down to a very synthetic metallic types smell. So I would guess that's the geranium? Didn't really care for that... Also the performance isn't very good to me at all at least to my nose. If anyone knows if the original formulation was only France made let me know. I'm only finding the Red cap/ vintage packaging in red/black made in italy. Not sure if there's even a difference in the notes or how it performs but I'd love to know if anyone has an idea. Also if the original differs with the 2020 formulation in terms of that synthetic smell, thank you.
Nov 19, 2020


The new formula and old is too different perfumes. Not a long way, but old formula is more spicy and deep with hint of sandal and pepper. New formula is more orange and fresher. Now I have old vintage with rad cap, but I more prefer to new one. Old vintage version is amazing to, but only for home relaxing before sleep, not to walk in the wold. Just like private perfume just for yourself. Masterpiece!
Sep 15, 2020


Vintage stuff (Red box, made in france) is darker, woodier and sweeter. It's more connected with 80's and early 90's fragrances: a sweet dark woody fragrance.
Recent stuff (black boxes and black caps/red 'made in italy' boxes) is toned down, approaching 2000s casual style. No dark woods, just a inoffensive sweet (flerting with generic) smell.
Jan 2, 2020


I'm going to give Ungaro III a thumbs up...it's a deserving of it's praise. To get the nit-picking out the way expect to spray a little more due to transparency from the vodka note. This is also not a thick scent and more compressed because once again the vodka note...everything filters through it.

I get a base mixed with vodka, soapy lavender, and citrus giving a fresh and clean result. Tastes of vetiver but not permanent to the fragrance. This has a rose note that's mixed with black licorice and a dark fruit that's either cherry or black currant. It's spiced dark fruit floral may be a little gothic but it's not depressing...keeps you sniffing at the rose in a dark and delicious way. Some sandalwood, but not enough woody interference to rob the freshness. A hint of patchouli for a little green flavor but it's not oily or raw and skanky...it's polished by the vodka/lavender/citrus blend. This fragrance runs on the spiced/dark fruit cased floral to be the seductive role in Ungaro III.

It's darker side says this is a fall, winter, or evening scent. Yet it's so fresh and clean and it's dark side doesn't push into cloying territory from the dark notes...you could wear this in warmer weather. It is stylish after all.



Oct 21, 2019


This is a boozy masculine rose cologne. I detect mainly rose and vodka (two interesting and unusual notes in a masculine fragrance) on the opening, but with strong hints of sandalwood, lavender, and patchouli as well on the drydown (while the vodka somewhat disappears). This is definitely a 'night-out' fragrance, and leans masculine though could be used by women due to its sweetness. It reminds me a lot of Swiss Arabian's 'Sultan' attar, possibly due to the sweet sandalwood mixed with rose. The vodka is very sweet while the rose and lavender and woody accord from the sandalwood and patchouli are also quite prominent. Sillage is very good while longevity is also strong. Overall this is an ok masculine rose cologne for men with an air of mystique and good performance (and for only around $25 for 100 ml too). This is not that similar to Cartier Declaration d'un Soir (another one of my favourites) at all even though it has prominent rose and sandalwood notes. I would say it's very similar to Swiss Arabian's Sultan attar. I don't know of any other fragrances featuring vodka as a note though, so it's pretty unique. But overall I am not that impressed to be honest.

3.5/5

I am reviewing the "Gold is Bold" limited edition by the way (but I've heard it's identical to the regular version).
May 3, 2018


I actually received this years ago in a trade and didn’t like it. Too dense, too peppery..and that stinking rose! My, how the tide has turned and gone out.
Feeling adventurous, I ventured out of Ebay and picked up a vintage bottle for cheap. All the elements that I hated initially now smell wonderful. Complete 180 degree turnaround.

The opening foray of black pepper and lavender is rather simple. Slowly the rose and vodka emerge, like a Russian on Valentine’s Day. Very unique and I’m hard pressed to find anything like it. It’s dark, it’s floral and it’s dense. The base of cloves and sandalwood round this out. I have the think U3 has suffered from reformulation to due constraints on rose and sandalwood over the years.

That said, I think Zino and perhaps Montale Black Aoud do a better job as dark, floral and gothic. Still, vintage U3 is worthy to seek out.

7/10
May 23, 2017


Today i am testing Ungaro III
This one has been on my list for some time now but never had the chance to try it.
And it didn't let me down.
It begins very fresh, citric but kind of sweet subtile citrus, maybe orange. At the same time something alcoholic. I didn't know what this was until i have read the ingredients and there it was: vodka! This phase doesn't last long.
Immediately after that there is a phase of "purity" due to sage. This phase lasted for about an hour on my skin and it made me pull the sleeves of my blouse and smell my arm again and again. Very comforting, very well done. A hint of Vetiver shares this phase with Lili of the Valley but NO ROSE.
After 2-3 hours the base comes to front. Mainly musk, a bit of patchouli here and there going hand in hand with an almost indistinguishable Sandalwood.
It has fulfilled my expectations mainly the middle phase of the evolution.
But where is the rose? I couldn't smell it for a second.

Medium sillage, lasted on me for good 6-7 hours.

7,5-8/10
May 16, 2017


Stardate 20170226:

A fresh male inoffensive generic scent. Avoidable.

Edit (20170919):
The above review is for the current version.

Now on to the vintage version:

I got myself some vintage version of this and it is certainly much better than current version.
The rose is very similar to Ungaro I rose which is probably the best masculine rose.
Unfortunately the Dihydromyrcenol / Calone they added to make it more relevant to the market destroyed it for me.
Still one of the better "freshies" out there in vintage version and this gets mild Thumbs up to neutral.

The current version is thumbs down
Feb 27, 2017


This is a truly wonderful fragrance and follows a lesser Ungaro II which i believe does not stand up to "One or Three". The cast of characters are aromatic flowers, subtle rose with a wave of lavender at the open,,, mixed with vodka; where I agree with our other reviewers brings us to that dark and late night alley way of intrigue. The drydown is really 'classy' and deeply complex with a touch of wood and asian / middle eastern spices.
This is quite bold and a little goes a long way especially for the office. This is a fragrance for those who want to be noticed and want to say 'I've arrived', but are way too cool to even have to "go there". I find this to great for casual office, and equally complex for an evening with the ladies or even out to a ball game. The longevity settles into a nice spicy-woody toasty glow. Clearly, this is a "Can't go wrong" fragrance that is timeless.
Oct 12, 2015


UNGARO III, it's listed as an AROMATIC, I guess what puts it in this category is the vodka.


I'm surprised that some people think of it as a cooler weather scent. It's airy, light, vodka-esque with a light rose in the background.

I can see why some might think of "bug spray" upon initial application. It eventually smooths out though and just stays airy and, to me, seems close to the skin.

I get a soft-pink-rose note in that background. Not feminine though, at least to me.

Summer or Spring, I will definitely be wearing this.
Mar 29, 2015


I bought this fragrance again after many, many years of not using it. I am thrilled that Ungaro III has maintained it's masculine and elegant formula. The rose, vodka and lavender are a masterpiece in this fragrance. I find it totally elegant.
Dec 9, 2014


Dark, flowery (without the sweetness) -in fact a good blend of spirits and aromatic flowers. The main notes are (bitter) rose with a whiff of lavender at the start mixed with vodka creating an interesting blend referred by some on here as "mysterious". Drydown is "mysterious" as well with a complex blend of flowers and a hint of wood and mild traces of spices.

Interesting but not unique. Excessively eulogised by some fellow reviewers. I'd suggest that you try it on first- avoid blind buying this one.

Longevity is a major issue on my skin and I note that I'm not the only one complaining.

Anything I loved? Yes, the bottle!
Jul 10, 2014


This is the scent of a handsome french soldier from WWII. this is what a avant-garde 20th century composer smells like. this is what a noir detective smells like. It is the scent of logic and strategy, maturity. Dark and mysterious, compelling.
Jan 11, 2014


transcends fad and trends. timeless. I blind-bought this based on reviews. One of my best blind-buys. It delivers and then some. Absolutely delighted with the complexity and contrasts of this. This makes the tone deaf aquatics and the audibly spicy syrups seem even more adolescent. This is not old-fashioned; it is timeless in the way that Eau Sauvage and Yatagan are timeless. I'm usually skeptical of designer fragrances because they're not about smell; they're low cost entry points into a brand's universe for Brittany and Bubba Spraycheese. The smell-as-brand-experience is invariably a colorful swill wrapped in the lust and luster of backstory and implausible nudity (I'm looking at you, Versace). There's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to make a buck off your perfume, even with naked people on cars, rocks, yachts, sun decks, rocks on yachts, sun decks on cars, etc. Duh, it's a business. But Just look at the latest string of embarrassingly cynical and childish releases from Fendi, Gucci, Ferragamo and Versace (weird that they're all Italian). None compare to Ungaro III in attention to layering, blending and sheer range of notes. Ungaro III reflects a commitment to a particular type of experience, not a faddish, brand-resident identity. Many frags have disappeared because they were selling a form of personhood, not a smell. That Ungaro III is still in production and stubbornly popular today is clear evidence of its ability to transcend fashion. This is one of the reasons why Demachy and Polge are the respected figures they are in contemporary perfumery -- because they produce stunners like Ungaro III. Pros: very sophisticated and cerebral, beautiful, complexCons: none"
Sep 18, 2013


Gentle sophistication at his best A great composed fragrance! one of my alltime favourites till date. Boozy and fresh opening turns around in 5 minutes into a soft blend of Lavender and The rose is in a far distance dont expect a rose type of scent its minimal the vodka vibe is truly there and i must confess this makes Ungaro 3 (III) timeless. Not a floral green scent as it is marketed. The drydown is awesome!!! very close to the skin but very nice very classy. It evolves into a super warm and luxerous frag! My first thought when i smell this : Pure sophistication. I think it has similarities in the drydown with dolce and gabanna pour homme they are not a like but they both have that soft,creamy and gentle vibe. One of my favourites for a formal dinner or wedding. Very mature, a very wise choice if you buy it: -)Pros: Unbelievable subtle and classyCons:
Sep 3, 2013


The vintage formulation:
An very nice imitial blast of citrus with herbs and spice is developing into more flowery notes that never really show any sweetness. A dark rose comes to the fore, and then dusky mossy and woody aromas take over after the first hour, but at that stage the fragrance retreats to remain very close to my skin and quite faint after a further hour. Not a powerhouse drydown then, not really special but interesting enough and pleasant, with a good longevity between four to five hours on my skin. Overall just a thumbs up.
May 14, 2013


Way too old school and old man smelling. Strong, pungent stuff that is only suitable for uber-masculine enthusiasts.
May 12, 2013


This was a blind purchase for a friend who wore it several years ago. I decided to purchase for him for Christmas. When the bottle arrived, I realized I couldn't do without at least smelling it...so I did.
Wow! I like! It is interesting reading the reviews. There is a slight rose in the background yes, but there is so much more going on with this. I tender it as a gourmand, in the non-effeminate, non-food ingredient way. It is sweet, yummy actually, like some exotic dessert from the Mediterranean.
Big, beautiful, in your face yet warm, confident, stylish, dark, unquestionable quality. It is worth a sniff at the barest minimum. Now I will purchase a bottle for my collection.
A brighter, sharper doppelganger to this is Iceberg Homme which interestingly came out 3 years prior to this and has a stronger pepper note, though it contains no pepper.

PS: this review is for the original formulation.
Dec 16, 2012


The review is of the original "made in france" vintage version. I found a full tester bottle at eBay that was from the stock of an ancient perfume shop in France. - Never smelled the reformulated version so i can't compare. This was a blind buy and I'm very happy it was successful.

On the back of the bottle is listed the notes triangle: From up to down: Lemon, orange, pepper, geranium, patchouli, galbanum, sandalwood, vetiver, sensual note.

Simply beautiful fragrance with floral heart - still masculine. Floral, rich, full-bodied, soft, dark, beautifully melancholic/poetic, big, captivating, demanding, somehow menacing or sinister (strange! but not bad though), introspective, romantic, best at evening or night wear. If i had to associate a color to this fragrance, it would be dark brown- not black like the bottle is. It's said there is no rose in here, but surely there's a rose kind of accord present though! I especially like the way and timing this develops: the woody accords are increasing very nice and slowly. Not suitable as a work scent - this is so informal, dreaming and romantic type of fragrance. In this fragrance i can't find anything casual, common day-to-day feeling or practical.

This goes before Zino Davidoff in my wardrobe - i prefer this to Zino. As well i prefer this to Salvador Dali PH. This simply gives me more than those two. Ungaro III is quite unique. Now I'm curious to find out what the Ungaro I and II smell like. Longevity on my skin: moderate. Sillage: moderate-heavy.
Aug 25, 2012


The Sick Rose (aka "Ungaro III")
By William Blake

O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.


This is one of the strangest fragrances I have tried recently. A volcanic blast of booze detectable two rooms away opens the show, then suddenly shuts down and resolves to a sinister, rather gentle medicated-flower smell: sick-room rose, if not exactly Sick Rose. This in turn fades down to a weakish woody/humidor experience with floral overtones.

The elements of something really interesting are here--"gothic" is a word that's been tossed around, and I agree that the makings of such an atmosphere are in place. But the parts don't add up. Ungaro III is like a roller-coaster that has one really exciting plunge (the first), and then a bunch of nondescript little bumps and turns, and is over altogether too soon. Or like Blake's rose, subverted suddenly by something bad, but not in a way that's much fun.

I'd like to see if the earlier red-cap French versions are any better than the current blend I have. I want to believe in this frag, but it's kind of a mess.

Aug 17, 2012

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