Colbourne's Review of Devin by Aramis

I am outdoorsman, a naturalist, a conservationist. I am the type that when walking in the woods I really like to drink it all in. I see a log with moss and lichen, mushrooms covering it, I get in close, examine it, am in awe of its splendor. I am in love with everything from the haunting calls of the whippoorwills and loons to the morbid, mysterious beauty of carrion beetles carrying out their work. I admire the whole picture, the good, the beautiful, the bad, the ugly, and how all the tints and hues come together to spell out "home" to me.

This is why Devin is so beautiful to me. The genius of Bernard Chant is that in his works, he tapped into all of these qualities, thereby making his work smell so natural that the average Joe may be taken aback: "this doesn't smell clean, this isn't safe and antiseptic. This isn't right. I am a city man, what do you take me for?" This will certainly not appeal to the 'blue' fragrance lovers of today (at least not until their noses acquire a taste for more complexity and artistry in scent); we currently live in a time where nuance and dynamism is shunned in favor of Disney versions of the natural realm.

Devin was through much of its existence presented as a 'country' eau de cologne, almost as a disclaimer. This has since been removed from the labeling of newer formulations, but the fragrance remains primarily intact. I have an older bottle that just sings the praises of all that is agrestic, raw, rugged (tall pines, herbs, weeds, and grasses, and animalic leather/labdanum), yet vulnerable and tender under the surface (florals, jasmine, lavender, an understated sweetness).

The pine note is the real stand-out for me: it is not a hackneyed Isobornyl Acetate heavy accord but rather a more dynamic pine of needles, resins, sap, bark, wood. We do know that pine and artemisia were often paired together in men's chypres of the day (Quorum and the like), but here, they really somehow stand out as Technicolor, albeit with many muted and tawny shades thrown in. The galbanum brings out the truly green and sappy qualities of pine needles and broken leaves. The cinnamon is far from candied and rough; it really brings out the woodier qualities of pine.

If you have graduated from simpler and hopelessly accessible scents and want to explore something simultaneously thought-provoking and a source of primal pleasure, then Devin is a logical progression in your fragrance journey. Applied with a light hand, this will likely be appreciated by others around you, too. The word "classic" has been mentioned 33 other times so far in the review, and it comes as no surprise. Devin is one of the most beautiful men's fragrances I've smelled, simple as that. It brings a whole new meaning to "taking the rough with the smooth."


  1. Colbourne

    Basenotes Member From Boston, MA
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