Michael For Men by Michael Kors - Does anyone still wear this?

Danny Mitchell

Basenotes Institution
Mar 21, 2019
While I agree Michael has poor longevity, a lack of a true base doesn't seem right. I agree that it may feel synthetic but I don't think it's rough, nor particularly loud or dated. It's unique for me and nothing is currently similar but it doesn't feel old or from a bygone era.
If a scent was made today that smelled like this, though, I wouldn't expect it to be from a designer. But hey Gucci surprised us all three years ago, right, so who knows?
 

Hey Man

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 22, 2006
I feel it sort of does have a cult following who think that, in a way, no?

Personally, I wouldn't go as far as saying it's exceptional. I think it's unique - I asked for fragrances that were similar and, as far as I can tell, nothing even comes close, either from the 90s or subsequently; the closest is still the original formulation of Tobacco Vanille, as Tom Ford is clearly a fan of Kors - but it has its flaws. And those flaws are what made me pull back from really, truly loving it, and deeming it 'the one' dark-ish/cold weather masculine fragrance I am/was searching for.

Wearing it last night made me basically go through the process again: the rough, loud, dated opening, giving way to this lovely, opulent, warm, rich, wearable oriental fragrance. Yet it feels quite synthetic and loud, without ever settling in to a lovely skin scent. By the time it does, or ought to, around the 2-3 hour mark, it's basically disappearing. It's done after 4 hours.

That lack of a 'true' base is what kills it, among other things. I think the central heart of the fragrance is genius. It's lovely, even if synthetic and brash. That has its charms as well - think of Tom Ford fragrances, or Gucci Rush. Brash and synthetic can still translate to an enjoyable fragrance. But it just needs something to dry down to - some kind of solid, longlasting base which, clearly, they also failed to achieve in the Michael Kors remake, as that has an even sadder and non-descript drydown.

It's an important note in the fragrance world and a sign of how good masculine fragrances can be. But I don't think it's quite stood the test of time - or some other phrase that sums up the above, I don't know. I presume any attempt to recreate it today would just go overboard with a sugary vanillic sweetness in the base, which would destroy the balance between dark and masculine and sweet and feminine-friendly that Kors exudes.

I think it is exceptional and one of greatest tobacco fragrances ever created - not to mention just a brilliant men's fragrance in general. I think it is essential for any fragrance enthusiast's collection if it wasn't discontinued.

Of course there is a cult following, but it is pretty negligible in the real world. I wish there was an online buzz or that was Kors was trending to the point that they relaunch it to take advantage of the hype like a company bringing back a cereal or soft drink because of social media hype, but that is not happening.

It would take balls for a company to come out with a fragrance like Kors today, but yes - it would be drenched in vanilla or sweetness or just too safe. If only they listened to people like us who are actually passionate about tobacco fragrances. It would be nice to have something new with a Sandor/Kors vibe.

I was hoping Tobacolor was going to be something like that - old school and intense, but nope - another drenched in sweet tobacco fragrance.
 

Hey Man

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 22, 2006
I've been revisiting 18.21 Man Made Sweet Tobacco, and while the opening is quite different from Michael for Men, I do think the drydown enters Kors territory: honeyed fruit tones and suede. And there's something fusty about 18.21 that distinguishes it from many of the approachably sweet takes on this theme and anchors it back to Kors, even if it owes some things to Pure Havane as well.

There's a notable saltiness to Michael for Men, an almost briny touch, that really helps balance out the sweeter tones. That's one thing that distinguishes it from the sweet tobaccos that followed it.

I found 18.21 to be WAY too sweet. I don't mind a little sweetness, but this was unbearable. I could have sworn you had it very low on your ranking, but maybe not.
 

Brooks Otterlake

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 12, 2019
I found 18.21 to be WAY too sweet. I don't mind a little sweetness, but this was unbearable. I could have sworn you had it very low on your ranking, but maybe not.
The top is very aggressive and very sweet, like a stickier, darker Tobacco Vanille. It mellows out once you get to the drydown and it's more of a dried fruit-leather-tonka thing.

I didn't like it much when I first tried it--I found it kinda revolting--but came back to it because there's a uniquely funky core accord that I find interesting.

Michael for Men is definitely better than it, but in the same way Michael for Men nodded back to powerhouse-y virility, there's a bit of mustiness to 18.21 that separates itself from the more youthful takes on the sweet tobacco theme.
 

Hey Man

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 22, 2006
The top is very aggressive and very sweet, like a stickier, darker Tobacco Vanille. It mellows out once you get to the drydown and it's more of a dried fruit-leather-tonka thing.

I didn't like it much when I first tried it--I found it kinda revolting--but came back to it because there's a uniquely funky core accord that I find interesting.

Michael for Men is definitely better than it, but in the same way Michael for Men nodded back to powerhouse-y virility, there's a bit of mustiness to 18.21 that separates itself from the more youthful takes on the sweet tobacco theme.

I can sort of agree there.

I have used their hair products which have the same scent as the fragrance that I also had and they are aiming for some kind of old school vibe with their prohibition branding vs. a modern sweet tobacco fragrance, but I think they miss the mark of a retro fragrance because of the intense sweetness.

It probably would be a very good fragrance if they reformulated it and dialed down the sweetness big time.
 

Brooks Otterlake

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 12, 2019
I can sort of agree there.

I have used their hair products which have the same scent as the fragrance that I also had and they are aiming for some kind of old school vibe with their prohibition branding vs. a modern sweet tobacco fragrance, but I think they miss the mark of a retro fragrance because of the intense sweetness.

It probably would be a very good fragrance if they reformulated it and dialed down the sweetness big time.
It comes off as less sweet in body wash/hair putty form.

I don't think it's trying to be a true retro fragrance, it's just reworking the Chergui/Tobacco Vanille/Pure Havane style around a bit of a manly man accord.
 

Hey Man

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 22, 2006
It comes off as less sweet in body wash/hair putty form.

I don't think it's trying to be a true retro fragrance, it's just reworking the Chergui/Tobacco Vanille/Pure Havane style around a bit of a manly man accord.

Fair enough, but when I first discovered them - I got the impression from the branding that they were going for a real retro manly vibe. I mean I would think that you don't spend all this money on retro packaging with a prohibition theme, only to have your signature scent that has more in common with Spicebomb over anything retro or something that could possibly represent the prohibition era.

I guess I was just expecting something completely different.

I mean if I saw a company come out with a new line that was very 70's retro looking with the packaging and marketing - it better be a powerhouse fragrance that could have come from the 70's over some modern day trendy bullshit.

That's what I think anyway. Perhaps I just have different expectations.
 

Hey Man

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 22, 2006
So about that Michael Kors in this great new version of Basenotes - does anyone still wear either version on a somewhat regular basis? Or is it sort of starting to be forgotten even among those who were passionate about it?

I still think the original is still among the best fragrances ever created and deserved better.

For shits and giggles, I wanted to speak to someone at Kors about the fragrance, but it is almost impossible to get anyone on the phone at head office - even reception, so that didn't go as planned.

It would be great if some new limited edition of the original could be released.
 

ION-ONE

Basenotes Junkie
Nov 26, 2013
Yes, looking forward to this as the weather turns. Not sure if MK have a exclusive/ private line of frags - but a reissue or reworking of the original could be a perfect fit
 

StylinLA

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 9, 2009
I have fond memories of having a bottle. There's a discounter near me that carries it, but whenever I reach back and grab something I use to wear, I am usually disappointed.

Not saying it's not a really great scent- just that it will never provide much spark for me again. Have a handful of bottles I used to wear that I still think are "okay" but I will rarely ever wear them.
 

Renato

Basenotes Institution
Oct 21, 2002
I've recently found and bought a givenchy version's bottle. It's a wonderful fragrance!
That's unusual for you to like such a subtle scent.
I'm wearing it today, and I'd have thought it highly unlikely you'd be that impressed with it.

From reading the comments above, some appear to be talking about the 2014 stronger scent - "Michael Kors for Men" - whereas others are talking about "Michael For Men".

And just to complicate matters, the picture in the Original Post has the bottle with "Michael Kors" written horizontally across the top, whereas my bottle just has "Michael" written horizontally across it, whereas pictures I've seen of "Michael Kors For Men" bottles have "Michael Kors" written vertically on the bottle. Are there three scents?
Cheers,
Renato
 

RCavs

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 13, 2004
That's unusual for you to like such a subtle scent.
I'm wearing it today, and I'd have thought it highly unlikely you'd be that impressed with it.

From reading the comments above, some appear to be talking about the 2014 stronger scent - "Michael Kors for Men" - whereas others are talking about "Michael For Men".

And just to complicate matters, the picture in the Original Post has the bottle with "Michael Kors" written horizontally across the top, whereas my bottle just has "Michael" written horizontally across it, whereas pictures I've seen of "Michael Kors For Men" bottles have "Michael Kors" written vertically on the bottle. Are there three scents?
Cheers,
Renato
Indeed, this is a case in which "the exception proves the rule"! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
I really like its tobacco/cigar subtle sweet smell, but as you pointed out, I'm talking about what I consider to be the first version that just has "Michael" written horizontally across it.
 

Renato

Basenotes Institution
Oct 21, 2002
Indeed, this is a case in which "the exception proves the rule"! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
I really like its tobacco/cigar subtle sweet smell, but as you pointed out, I'm talking about what I consider to be the first version that just has "Michael" written horizontally across it.
Well, that's really excellent - darn unusual for you - but still excellent when you find something that strongly resonates with you.
Cheers,
Renato
 

JBHoren

I *am* smiling
Basenotes Plus
Apr 25, 2007
From reading the comments above, some appear to be talking about the 2014 stronger scent - "Michael Kors for Men" - whereas others are talking about "Michael For Men".

And just to complicate matters, the picture in the Original Post has the bottle with "Michael Kors" written horizontally across the top, whereas my bottle just has "Michael" written horizontally across it, whereas pictures I've seen of "Michael Kors For Men" bottles have "Michael Kors" written vertically on the bottle. Are there three scents?
Ditto, mine: "Michael for Men" on the bottom, with a "B22" batch code (02/2002? 02/2012?)
MK-Michael4Men.png
 

Brooks Otterlake

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 12, 2019
And just to complicate matters, the picture in the Original Post has the bottle with "Michael Kors" written horizontally across the top, whereas my bottle just has "Michael" written horizontally across it, whereas pictures I've seen of "Michael Kors For Men" bottles have "Michael Kors" written vertically on the bottle. Are there three scents?
Nope, there are only two. The original has the small horizontal text (both "Michael" and "Michael Kors" versions were produced, as well as some bottles that have no text at all), and then the 2014 revamp has the vertical text in larger letters.
 

RCavs

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 13, 2004
Nope, there are only two. The original has the small horizontal text (both "Michael" and "Michael Kors" versions were produced, as well as some bottles that have no text at all), and then the 2014 revamp has the vertical text in larger letters.
Bottles with no text at all? Don't you think the text was simply erased by alcohol scrubbing? I've already seen a bottle like this on ebay, but as It was an unboxed item, I thought It was a forgotten dusty old stock bottle that got cleaned with too much enthusiasm...
 

Brooks Otterlake

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 12, 2019
Bottles with no text at all? Don't you think the text was simply erased by alcohol scrubbing? I've already seen a bottle like this on ebay, but as It was an unboxed item, I thought It was a forgotten dusty old stock bottle that got cleaned with too much enthusiasm...
What I've read from others is that the earliest bottles had no writing at all.
 

ION-ONE

Basenotes Junkie
Nov 26, 2013
I have a bottle with no writing at all in the glass. Looks good, all the branding was on the cardboard box and a tiny sticker on the base mentioning Givenchy.

Still gets worn in my rotation
 

Latest News

Top