X for Men 
Clive Christian (2001)

Average Rating:  47 User Reviews

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X for Men by Clive Christian

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About X for Men by Clive Christian

People & Companies

Clive Christian
Fragrance House
Geza Schoen

X for Men is a men's fragrance launched in 2001 by Clive Christian

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Reviews of X for Men by Clive Christian

There are 47 reviews of X for Men by Clive Christian.

X for Men smells for me like a spicy chypre.

It has got very fizzy, dry and spicy opening - like strong, fresh black pepper mixed with a sort of an allspice and some dried juniper berries to make it even more spicy. This is my favourite part being quite honest. Then it slowly starts drying down to light floral chypre with a fruity twist mixed within. The late drydown (base notes) is still very chypre and woody.

The composition itself reminds me of Frapin L'Humaniste because of those juniper berries. It lasts on me a decent amount of time - more than 9 hours and projection is light to moderate - just I like it to be.

Being honest, it's the only Clive Christian that fits my taste. I'm seriously considering getting myself a bottle.

X open up with ginger and cinnamon spice (almost thought it was cloves) and some citrus. Gives the impression of a spiked, warm apple cider. It gets more masculine and dirty into the drydown after the bright citrus and ginger fades. I get some very animalic notes coming off my skin. Maybe the marketing people were thinking "X" for sex? Definitely has the sweaty sex scent in the heart of the development for me. The drydown is just a pleasant, dry, woody scent.

The whole thing smells mature and refined. Seems best for cooler temps.

Projection is just average, which is surprising given how heavy this could have been. Longevity of the faint drydown lasts 8-9 hours.

Clive Christian X for Men (2001) is the male counterpart of the third and final line that launched the house of Clive Christian, a house built on the notoriously-cannibalized remains of The Crown Perfumery. With X for Men, the house sought to deliver something more modern, more appealing for the man that wasn't going to enjoy a classic chypre like 1872 for Men (2001), or an overpriced and overwrought floral like No 1 for Men (2001) was at its heart. Instead, Geza Shoen (creator of 1872 for men) tapped into some Middle Eastern tones, then fused them with the Western penchant for freshness and dry spice that could be found in many high-end designers of the day. The end result of this mixing feels like one part Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger (1995), one part the yet-to-be Amouage Epic Man (2009), with a healthy dose of cardamom sprinkled throughout. I must say I rather like X for Men, even if I don't find it as finely-tuned as 1872, nor as complex as most things the house has done since. Perhaps though, that is the point of X for Men, since the "young money" nouveau riche likely to buy into this line need something ostentatious but at the same time understandable, since classic structures like No 1 or 1872 would just feel obtuse and fussy to most onlookers without a vested interest in perfume. Something like this is obviously too affected for my liking (and too rich for my blood), but I can appreciate the work Schoen has put into the composition of X for Men in trying to make something at this extreme end of the market feel at least somewhat relatable to the mass-appeal market it attempts to lord over like a district manager at a Target.

The perky opening of X for Men is pink pepper, a huge slug of cardamom oil (that never goes away), ginger, bergamot, and a bit of some fruity ozonic twist for the modern edge it needed in 2001. The cardamom shines through the rest though, so you better be okay with the note if you intend to enjoy this ride. Cinnamon comes in to darken things up a bit, while violet and iris offer a dry green powdery floral one-two that helps this scream "proper British gent" as one might suggest a house like Clive Christian to do. The fruity sharp opening slides into a sour-ish cypriol note into mid and base, recalling a bit of what you will find in greater quantity in Amouage Epic Man, but the cypriol is kept moderated by both vanilla and a smooth labdanum which adds just the right bit of pasty animal musk warmth. Oakmoss, vetiver, cedar, and styrax bring a classic masculinity to the otherwise modern freshness and spice on display here, while a breezy salty mineralic ambergris accord a la Creed style helps re-assert the freshness that this stuff tries to be all about. It's quite a convoluted mess when you itemize the notes, but as a whole it works, even if X for Men never quite smells "expensive" like it's peers No 1 for Men or 1872 for Men. Wear time is long but projection is moderate. Sillage is tight as per typical parfum design, but your personal space bubble will be pleasantly aglow in all but the hottest weather, so I'd say X for Men is pretty generalist for being a luxury "Veblen" kind of scent. The smell of X for Men is pretty "sunny" in disposition so I think spring and early fall for day use would be the best times to spray on X for Men. I feel reluctant to say X for Men comes across casual, especially with all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the brand, but here we are.

Who's gonna be into this? Well, I think you already know: the big-money "ballers", the "stunners" that need to show off at every opportunity, the guys convinced "you get what you pay for" in this hobby, or the sheer collectors who spare no expense just to have everything, price be damned. There are honest fans of the stuff, and maybe they don't have a large enough collection or investment in perfume for a rare bird costing about $600 new to seem like that much of a scandal, so something this expensive and elusive has appeal in the same way anything relatively rare and distinct does, so I'm not saying everyone who enjoys X for Men is overcompensating for something. Some folks find this as their gateway to perfume as a hobby the same way others find brands like Creed, the "shiny jewel effect" that makes them dig deeper to see what else is out there. Ultimately, that is why I don't just totally rip to shreds stuff like X for Men, even if I think it is about as rote an exercise in "expensive for the sake of it" as you can get in this hobby without commissioning a bespoke fragrance from Roja Dove or Olivier Creed themselves. The freshness, the spice, and the tiny hints of animal magnetism with a slight sour edge make X for Men a pretty interesting experience for the seasoned hobbyist too, but unless you have the coin to drop on a full bottle, sampling this is about as far as I'd to go. Like so many things in this overblown market segment, Clive Christian X for Men is a perfume worth paying to smell at least once, but beyond that is contestable at best and absolutely absurd at worst. They made limited edition flankers of this so it at least must have done something right. Thumbs up.

A nice traditional masculine fragrance with hints of cinnamon & pepper. Overall really nice. The problem I have is that at this price point the likes of Roja & Xerjoff have blown me away while this doesn't. It's a thumbs up but nothing amazing or groundbreaking. Longevity is fair while projection is on the low side.


So here is my impression of "X" for Men by Clive Christian:

Initial spray on hits me with subdued pepper (a fragrance feature in several of CC's offerings) with the clear presence of warm ginger & cardamom. An artful combination that almost seamlessly blends into the iris and cinnamon within the heartnotes. "X" smells like a gingerbread cookie at this point, in a nice just-wafting-out-of-the-oven way. That is accented by the injection of light vanilla, which blends so well with this edible sensation.

After hanging in the gourmand kitchen for a few minutes, "X" starts subtly to reveal the cedar and rock rose (labdanum) notes. The spicy opening notes hang strong even as basenotes make their way into the perceptual stage, which imply that this is the foundation for the whole scent. Vetiver and tree moss do not overtake this gourmand presentation at all, but add a slightly dry mossy effect that do not intrude with any vegetal incongruencies. Same goes for the ambergris and styrax, both of which do not spoil this "edible" creation with animalic bilge; rather, they fill in nooks and crannies to round out the scent (just as the "green" notes do).

Another basenotes review mentions what smells like tea, though it isn't listed in the triangle of notes above. I must agree that it's like a deep, rich darjeeling tea with a couple of chai elements (cardamom, for certain).

My emotional perceptions: Sexy, sultry, deep, commanding, sincere. I recognize "X" in so many other scents I've encountered in the past, yet their names escape me as I simply enjoy and experience this genius concoction. It's an oriental-gourmand-spicy men's cologne that is fresh, simple, and staid in character.

This potion doesn't seem to last very long (maybe several hours; cf. I wore "L" by CC and it lasted into the next DAY). It may be remedied with a double-spray layering to extend longevity out somewhat. Nevertheless, I am pleased with this creation and give kudos to CC for making this wearable, credible scent (even though it's expen$ive); samples would be a great start, either by decants bought online or test sprays at elite counters like Neiman Marcus (in the states).

Worth a check! :-)

X For Men is one of my absolute favorite smells in perfumery. That being said, it suffers from a rather drastic design flaw.

Its smell is complex, blended in such a way that individual notes are hard to pinpoint, except for cardamom, which is the primary smell. I smell a pinch of ginger, but it's more of a "lift" than a direct smell. And there's a familiar mix of clove and cinnamon, but they combine with the cardamom to just smell spicy and masculine instead of like Christmas potpourri or Spicebomb. There's iris, but it comes across as a luxurious richness rather than a specific smell. And there's what I'm guessing is clary sage and coriander, giving additional spiciness as well as the effect of fruity tea.

The whole thing is enchanting. Soft of like tea, sort of spicy, sort of green, sort of fruity, sort of like chai (but not really), and bright but grounded in a luxurious richness.

The problem is that it has no base. Theoretically, it's a temperamental ambergris and some sort of skin musk, but it's pretty much undetectable, so X basically just lasts a few hours and then disappears. I'm so deeply in love with the topnotes that I don't mind, but I wouldn't be doing my job as a critic if I didn't point out that short longevity and missing basenotes in a perfume of this price will likely be an issue for many people.

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