Armani Eau pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

It opens with a very natural smelling blend of citrus fruits, lavender, and cloves. Some sandalwood and oakmoss appear in the soapy dry-down.

I'm far from the biggest fan of citrus bombs, but this aromatic is high quality, classy, and has depth. You can forget about getting anywhere close to this level with cheapies such as Victor or Aqua di Selva.

This Cosmair era bottle has higher concentration and projects well for the first hour and a half, and lasts about 5 hours on my skin, which isn't great, but twice as long as I get from the last formulation.

Masculinity Level: Sharply dressed Marcello Mastroianni on hot day in Rome.

Mila Schön Uomo by Mila Schön

I adore the design of this splash bottle. I never keep empty bottles, but will make an exception here when the time comes.

Mila Schon Uomo is a green freshie of sorts. The strong citrus in the opening lasts only a few minutes. Then it's aqueous, briny, slightly herbal, slightly spicy, slightly woody. Everything is subtle. Definitely clean.

The after shave concentration is too light for my tastes - reminds me of a watered down Orlane Derrick. I'd love to try the EDT, but have never seen it priced below €200. I like the scent, but I don't like it *that* much.

Doesn't project, but lasts a long time on my skin.

Masculinity Level: Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley.

Opium pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

Opium PH is nowhere as oriental as its feminine counterpart. The notes I get are blackcurrant, anise, and vanilla. It's a tad spicy, a tad creamy, a tad sweet, a tad powdery. I don't like my fragrances sweet and I don't like them powdery. Opium PH is as far as I'll go on those fronts, and I don't reach for it often. Strangely I find the dry-down quite similar to that of Lagerfeld Photo even though they don't share many notes, and both are cloying in the heat.

This 90s bottle projects decently. Longevity is good.

Masculinity Level: Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis.

Polo by Ralph Lauren

Here in Europe, Ralph Lauren's first ever fragrance was not a runaway hit when it was launched in 1978. From what I gather, Ralph Lauren didn't spend that much money to market their products outside the US until the 1990s. Hence why it's harder to find vintage Cosmair or Warner versions around here. What I'm reviewing is the L'Oreal tall sprayer version from the mid-2000s i.e. one of the maligned later versions.

It opens a bit spicy with crisp pine and hay and then dries down to a smoky tobacco soapy leather. It is a powerhouse for the mature man, but very refined, especially when compared to Puig Quorum, which it often is.

Projection is great. Lasts forever.

Masculinity Level: Logan Roy from Succession.

Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein

Opens fresh and metallic with lavender, citrus, and a touch of green. Trying it back in the day must have been my first exposure to the annoying woody amber base that has since become the standard for modern designer fragrances. In the late 80s, Eternity For Men and Davidoff Cool Water set the trend for what we now refer to as generic, fresh, clean, office-friendly perfumes. They changed the landscape of designer perfume... for the worse imho.

This early 2000s version by Calvin Klein Cosmetics projects well and lasts 6-8 hours. The current version by Coty is watered down.

Masculinity Level: The stapler guy from Office Space.

Versace Man by Versace

A blend of fresh tobacco and saffron on a peppery bed of warm labdanum. There is a dark vibe to it, similar to that of Escada Magnetism For Men. Unlike most reviewers, I don't get any sweetness - thank goodness.

Versace For Man is far from the usual "manly man" stuff I usually enjoy wearing, and it might not be for me nowadays, but it's better than 99% of modern designer releases.

Projects well and lasts 8 hours easy.

Masculinity Level: Jeremy Irons as the billionaire in Margin Call.

Homme de Grès by Grès

On first spray I get a gorgeous melange of astringent citrus, green notes, and neroli. The strong bergamot note is restrained by the greens creating a balance that I greatly enjoy. The dry-down is still citrusy and herbaceous, but also sandalwoody and mossy.

The opening reminds me of a more herbal Capucci PH. The dry-down is like a more citrusy Loewe PH. This is halfway between a citrus aromatic and a chypre. It would have been considered fresh and contemporary in the late 1960s, but was completely out of place when Grès launched it in the mid-90s. Hats off to Grès for daring to release this when men had already been wearing Cool Water and Eternity for years.

Projection is moderate but longevity is good.

Masculinity Level: Pacino's coked-up detective in Heat. Though we never actually see him take drugs.

Romeo Gigli by Romeo Gigli

An interesting opening; huge tarragon with plum. It soon turns cinnamony and floral. Eventually it progresses to a woody amber with vanilla and patchouli. I'd have preferred something in the dry-down to tip the scale away from sweetness (an animalic touch maybe?), but this was launched in the early 90s when the market was diving head first into that. Complex for sure, and very good, just not for me.

Projection and longevity are great.

Masculinity Level: Gosling on the prowl in Crazy Stupid Love

D&G Masculine by Dolce & Gabbana

This opens fresh with a big bergamot and petitgrain. It has a spicy-herbal mid and a woody dry-down that I enjoy a lot more than the citrus-laden opening. The base is substantially woodier than citrus aromatics, which makes it a good step up from linear big lemons like Victor Original or Acqua Di Selva, and so on. Unfortunately it is hard to find these days.

Projection isn't good, but given its woodiness it lasts longer than most citrus aromatics.

Masculinity Level: Alec Baldwin in Miami Blues.

Comore by Montana

Opens with a spicy citrus. The citrus quickly fades and dry coriander *really* shines amongst rosemary and lavender. If you're averse to coriander, maybe you should stay away. A cypress note soon joins in the fun, and we're left with what I am tempted to describe as the best smelling aromatic antique furniture ever. That won't make sense to anyone but me, but I'm going with it anyway.

Comore offers a similar old school vibe as Guerlain Coriolan and, to a lesser extent, Boucheron Pour Homme and Cerruti 1881 Pour Homme. Hard to believe Comore was launched in the mid-2000s. Needless to say, it was a flop and was quickly discontinued. It flopped so hard that you can still find it at discounters for a pittance. Brave move by Montana nevertheless... we salute you.

It projects surprisingly well and longevity is 8 hours on my skin.

Masculinity Level: Donald Sutherland saying how JFK left him standing with his dick in the wind during the Cuban missile crisis.

Jaguar (original) by Jaguar

A fresh, synthetic hodge-podge of oranges and herbaceous notes riding a huge metallic wave from beginning to end. It's more metallic than Drakkar Noir or even Cool Water or Platinum Egoiste... we're at Lomani Pour Homme levels of dihydromyrcenol here. There's too much of it for me to even smell the flowers and tobacco and leather and moss and woods that supposedly are in this. Sergio Soldano Black is close to this, but more citric and less metallic, and I prefer it.

Projection is okay at best, and longevity on this vintage made in France formulation is 5 hours max.

Masculinity Level: Hound from The Transformers, green and metallic.

Narciso Rodriguez for Him by Narciso Rodriguez

The bottle colour says it all - this is notorious for its "niche wet cement" smell. I get the violet, the lavender, and the musk, but how their concoction smells the way it does is a mystery to me. It veers into powdery territory in the deep dry-down, but not enough to bother me.

Narciso Rodriguez For Him puts me in a reflective mood. It makes me want to wear a raincoat and go for a walk alone in the cold rain. Hats off to the house and the legendary perfumer for releasing something stupefyingly daring by 2007 designer standards.

It projects very well for the first 2 hours, and lasts a good 8. No complaints there.

Masculinity Level: Alain Delon wearing a trenchcoat on a grey day, walking hurriedly in the streets of Paris - a gorgeous city when it's drizzling.

Loewe para Hombre by Loewe

We are greeted by geranium, clary sage, rosemary, petitgrain, and also bitter orange. Sandalwood, vetiver, and moss come alive in the dry-down. To my nose the citrus is not strong enough to warrant comparisons with popular citrus bombs.

Loewe PH is sadly overlooked, maybe because of its typical structure: spicy-herbal-citrus opening and woody base. Maybe it wasn't ground-breaking in 1974, but I appreciate its ability to be inoffensive while retaining its unabashed masculinity. You could easily rock this at the office today instead of resorting to something fresher and less masculine.

Projection is moderate but longevity is good.

I hear this 2010s formulation is less floral and less mossy than the vintage. It's well worth a sniff, but I can't attest to the juice in the newer tall bottles.

Masculinity Level: Gordon Gekko delivering the "Greed is Good" speech.

Montana Parfum d'Homme (original) by Montana

A solid burst of aldehydic, spicy, incense-y pine soon leads to typical 80s florals, followed by a healthy dose of oakmoss and leather. The scent profile is classic 80s masculine green; nothing ground-breaking, but an outstanding perfume nevertheless. It's not as loud and rugged as many beasts released during this period such as Basile Uomo or Loewe Esencia, but it's still substantially stronger than say Orlane Derrick which to my nose is a distant cousin.

Projection is decent, longevity is good.

Masculinity Level: Covey Leader to Raven. Come in, Raven.

Magnetism for Men by Escada

Unlike most reviewers who rave about this one, I didn't wear it back when it was readily available, so I have no nostalgic attachment and emotional bias towards it.

This is an unusual blend of mostly dark berries and a little bit of fountain pen ink. It has a very warm woody base that's slightly powdery. A mature fragrance for sure, but not my type.

Magnetism For Men is unique in its own bizarre way. If you fell in love with it before it got discontinued, there isn't much out there that's similar. John Varvatos OG comes to mind, only because of the dark fruits up top, but Magnetism isn't as sweet.

Projection is moderate at best, but longevity is good.

Masculinity Level: Travolta in Get Shorty.

Pomellato Uomo by Sirpea

The search for diamonds in the rough compels me. Considering how unknown Pomellato Uomo is, my expectations were low. I was pleasantly surprised. It opens green and slightly fruity before flowers, woods, and leather take over. When the greenness from the opening subsides, the fruitiness does not, and this fruitiness combines with the amber in the base leading to a deep dry-down that is a touch sweeter than I'd want it to be. I did find it a tad cloying on hot days (25°C+). Pomellato Uomo is one of those fragrances that I initially liked very much, and then didn't reach for it often. A high quality aromatic nevertheless.

On my skin projection is low, and longevity is 4-5 hours max.

Masculinity Level: Vittorio Gassman as King Benny in Sleepers.

Fair Play by Cerruti

Opens with lavender, basil, and citrus, then takes a brief detour into floral territory before ending up with warm cedar and a touch of vanilla. The dry-down can't not remind me of a vanillic YSL Jazz. I always tout how influential Jazz was when it was released in the late 80s, but as it turns out that DNA actually originated earlier with Fair Play in 1985.

It doesn't project much, and lasts about 5-6 hours.

Masculinity Level: Marlon Brando in The Score.

Léonard pour Homme (original) by Léonard

This one opens bone dry with a pungent lavender, powerful carnation, and I can immediately sense an immense leather and castoreum musty vibe building in the background. Later on this masculine animalic leather overshadows anything and everything else that might be going on.

To me Leonard PH comes off as a cross between a less floral Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme and Chanel Antaeus on steroids. It shares their dark vibe, but is much more rugged. I only wear it on the coldest of nights, and it is sure to induce weird looks from anyone who's only ever smelled contemporary bubblegummy-amberwoody perfume.

I don't know if it's the maceration in my 1990s bottle, but this projects like a MF. All I need is 1 small spray on one wrist, which I then smear onto the other wrist, and I'm good for hours.

Masculinity Level: The creepiest hitman ever, Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men.

Crave by Calvin Klein

This is a vibrant, spicy, peppery, citrus scent that I used to enjoy in my youth. I don't know if it's the tonka overload in the dry-down, but I just can't wear this nowadays - my tastes have changed drastically. I'm not going to discuss that starfish note marketing ploy nonsense. It was heavily marketed as a sports freshie, and it came in a plastic bottle to be chucked carelessly into a gym bag. Scent-wise, I never got the sportiness at all, but it's certainly geared towards the younger crowd, and more appropriate for warm weather.

Projection and longevity are both moderate at best.

Masculinity Level: The black & white CK ads weren't far off with that androgynous waxed young dude in his tighty whities.

Polo Modern Reserve by Ralph Lauren

Released as a limited edition to mark the 30th Anniversary of the OG Polo, Modern Reserve is a modern interpretation of that classic. In order to make it more palatable by modern standards, they made a fragrance that is cleaner, much lighter, and less complex. Gone is the pine, and instead we have loads of basil, some cardamom, and pepper. The legendary smoky tobacco has been replaced with suede. And the leather was toned all the way down.

Now... what is the OG Polo without pine, tobacco, and leather, I ask? At the moment I don't have an electron microscope to go searching for the OG's DNA which according to many reviewers was left intact - I'll update this review when I get my hands on one.

You wouldn't choose between Modern Reserve and OG Polo for an occasion because they're totally different in tone. If we were to ignore the existence of the OG Polo, then Modern Reserve is a pleasant, mature, mid-2000s style scent. If you're looking for clean green suede, you got it. It's a good flanker that should have been put in a more fitting brown bottle and named Polo Suede instead... and nobody would have cared for it.

Projection and longevity are moderate.

Masculinity Level: I can see an old hipster wearing this.

Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme by Van Cleef & Arpels

A very dark affair. It opens with rose, carnation, lavender, and various spices including cloves. Dries down to a slightly soapy leather and patchouli.

VC&A PH is Leonard Pour Homme without the castoreum and with more flowers. It also reminds me of Arrogance PH without the invigorating spice that makes Arrogance so badass. I'm not sure which notes cause this, but my nose picks up the same mustiness here that it gets from Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel. I can't say that I love VC&A PH, but I do enjoy wearing it on cold, dark nights... and as dark as they come, for that matter.

The last reformulation projects really well and last hours and hours on my skin. No complaints on that front.

Masculinity Level: A tragic Nosferatu.

Agua Lavanda by Antonio Puig

Agua Lavanda opens with a huge, natural-smelling lavender and little bit of bergamot and dries down very soapy. It's a basic lavender soap bomb with that fresh-out-of-the-shower smell. It's relaxing, makes for a very good bedtime scent. While undoubtedly old school, the lack of powderiness steers it away from an excessive gentlemanly vibe.

There is no mention of concentration on the box of this late 70s/early 80s glass bottle. It doesn't project well. Lasts less than 4 hours, and this is the version *with* oakmoss.

Masculinity Level: This was Frank Sinatra's signature scent throughout the 1940s and 1950s, but to me he's too butch for this. Instead I'll go with Walter White, inoffensive chemistry teacher.

Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

Nowadays I can eat uber spicy powerhouses like Arrogance PH for breakfast, but the first time I smelled a tester strip of Azzaro PH my untrained nose was in shock from all the spice.

Spicy anise and lavender with a classic musky fougere base is the name of Azzaro Pour Homme's game. It stands tall between manly shit and the gentlemanly vibe. In the late 70s it took the genre to the next level, and some may argue that it has never been surpassed.

This older bottle performs very well.

Masculinity Level: Roger Sterling locking the door of his office to pour himself some vodka.

Café-Café Puro for Men by Cofinluxe

Disclaimer: I didn't pay for this bottle; it was thrown in for free by the seller during a fragrance haul. It sells for about €18, which according to my complex logarithmic calculations is at least €70 too much.

Cafe Cafe Puro Pour Homme opens with synthetic herbs and lots of cardamom and dries down to a very realistic accord of smoke coming out of an old television set. I guess the perfumer tried to recreate a coffee accord by mixing acidic metallic synthetic notes with dry citruses, and failed miserably. This has been relegated to room freshener.

On another note, that bottle... The sculptor put his tools down, stood back from his work, and nodded with satisfaction. "A large canine phallus!" he exclaimed. Dreadful.

Masculinity Level: This is what an electrician smells like after a day spent soldering on circuit boards.

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