Mr. Fine American Blend EDT=Rive Gauche PH clone?

Hugh V.

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2016
I just received my bottle of Mr. Fine American Blend cologne. I was pretty excited to get a fragrance that's supposed to be similar to YSL's Rive Gauche Pour Homme.

I've read so much about Rive Gauche. One person has described it as having elements of Brut, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, and Drakkar Noir. But a lot of people say it's most similar to Azzaro Pour Homme and Barbasol shaving cream.

So what's American Blend like?
The opening is a little herbal, a little green that's almost piney, maybe a hint of menthol or mint in there.

At some point the middle got a little piney almost, but I could be confusing that for the reported menthol note. It reminds a little of Tsar but the green is not nearly as pungent. I think there's a woody note in there too.

When it dries down to the base it gets quieter, the vague Tsar-like vibe is gone and some slight sweetness creeps in. I supposed this could be described as soapy or barbershop. It's still more herbal to my nose, but I think it could also be described as a type of shaving cream smell. 70/30 herbal/shaving cream or soapiness.

Conclusion

I need to do some more tests. But after a couple tries...this isn't bad at all. But it's nothing like Azzaro PH or Barbasol. I paid about $30 for this, which was what Tsar was going for before it got discontinued. And I like this better than Tsar.

The basenotes or final drydown is better than the top and middle notes. I can imagine that at this stage, this might be where the RG comparisons come in. I get a faint barbershop vibe at this stage.

The atomizer is excellent. A strong and powerful blast. POOOOOOSSSSSHHHHHHHHTTT!!!! And it seems like it can be removed so you can use the bottle as a splash. Still, I plan on decanting this into a different, more retro bottle.

But yeah, not bad at all. I definitely think with more wearings I'll get a better appreciation for it.

UPDATE

Okay, I sprayed it on my other wrist and after 20 minutes a very vague Drakkar Noir vibe to it.

Yeah, this isn't shabby. I don't know if I'd recommend blind buying this, but this is an interesting little fragrance. :thumbup:
 
Last edited:

MisterGrain

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2017
I have the American Blend shave soap and used to have the aftershave splash (do not buy, not worth $20); used to match them with real Rive Gauche Pour Homme from can.

In comparison, Fine's American Blend scent is slightly more spicy than the real Rive Gauche Pour Homme probably due to a lack of oakmoss. So spicy, it smells closer to YSL Jazz.

That said, the shave soap is good stuff compared to other mass market shave soaps. It's the same soap base as Tabac Original shave soap, but with a different scent.
 

GoldWineMemories

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
I'm sure Mr. Fine runs a fine business and his products are quality, but he's not a perfumer and I doubt this bares anymore than a slight resemblance .
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
Yes, I tried their aftershave that "smells like Rive Gauche." It falls short of that but was ok as an aftershave. I'm a wet shaver and thought some of their aftershaves were okay.

I take it you tried their cologne which I would advise against.

I am a huge RIVE GAUCHE fan. Guarding my limited supply.

I've tried a lot looking for another barbershop scent as good as that. It really does conjure Barbasol.

AZZARO POUR HOMME is probably as close as any and nicely priced. It has the anise and a nice personality of its own.

PENHALIGONS SARTORIAL is good. But has some metallic notes that give it its own identity. Overall wearing this may be most similar to RIVE GAUCHE in my experience.

TOM FORD BEAU DE JOUR has got the lavender aspect down, but not sure I think it smells that much like RG. Still getting to know this one a bit.
Nice in its own right but so far to my nose not "just like" RIVE GAUCHE. Good barbershop though. More modern.

NOBILE 1942 FOURGERE NOBILE is another nice barbershop scent. Still getting to know it. Quite nice. So far, not as strong as RIVE GAUCHE. Wears pretty close.

HISTOIRE DE PARFUMES 1725 CASANOVA. A big winner in its own right. More gourmand than RIVE GAUCHE. Very nice. Good projection and longevity.
Not so much "like RIVE GAUCHE" but I think this one is really good. It has some anise (which is what gives REIVE GAUCHE the Barbasol like smell).

MAISON MARGIELA AT THE BARBERS. This one initially left me a bit cold, but second wearing it was kind of sneaking into "WTF, hey this is pretty nice territory."
Need to try it some more. It may not be as light weight as I thought.

I always hate people singing the praises of something unobtainable, but RIVE GAUCHE is really good. But for good barbershop scents, all of the above are good in their own right.

If you're a youngish guy, 1725 probably walks the line best between trad barbershop and modern young dude.
 

Sambuccashake

Well-known member
Jan 29, 2019
As a fan of Rive Gauche I aquired both "Fine American Blend" and "CAD" (from Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements) as they were both heralded as being very close to Rive Gauche.
But to my nose, neither of them are.

They do fine as after shave splashes but a Rive Gauche substitute they ain't.

To OP, if there is no way for you to locate the original, Dua Fragrances is doing a resurrection in "River Fougére".
RIVERFOUGEREPI.jpg

https://theduabrand.com/products/river-fougere?variant=31963267661903

THIS is very close to the original and much longer lasting.
Wait for one of their 30% off sales and give it a go. I doubt you will be disappointed.
 

GoldWineMemories

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
As a fan of Rive Gauche I aquired both "Fine American Blend" and "CAD" (from Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements) as they were both heralded as being very close to Rive Gauche.
But to my nose, neither of them are.

They do fine as after shave splashes but a Rive Gauche substitute they ain't.

To OP, if there is no way for you to locate the original, Dua Fragrances is doing a resurrection in "River Fougére".
RIVERFOUGEREPI.jpg

https://theduabrand.com/products/river-fougere?variant=31963267661903

THIS is very close to the original and much longer lasting.
Wait for one of their 30% off sales and give it a go. I doubt you will be disappointed.

I wouldn't trust a DUA fragrance ever, and what is with the weird arabic calligraphy juxtaposed with the river
 

Hugh V.

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2016
I just edited my original post to reflect the full dry down and to give a more fair and accurate review.

As far as Rive Gauche goes, I'll keep an eye out for those recommendations, but apparently nothing is like Rive Gauche. But I am tempted to try the DUA clone but why is that brand supposed to be bad? Ahh, but it's sold out. Oh well.
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
Rive Gauche is just a singular creation and IMO no fragrance will ever approximate it.

That's a kind of disheartening assessment but I have sought an alternate for a few years and find it not inaccurate.

Those scents I mentioned are good solid wet shaver type fougeres and nice in their own right.

HughV: As a Basenoter for 9 years, I have chased some white whales of my own. I know you've probably read lots about RIVE GAUCHE POUR HOMME. And for good reason. It was a real stunner of a scent and it wasn't crazy priced. I see it every so often now for some ridiculous prices. I really love it, but when my supply runs out, that's likely the end for me.

What I'm basically saying is don't sell a kidney to buy it. As a recent convert to the charms of AZZARO POUR HOMME, I could see us being batsh*t crazy if that was discontinued.
 

Hugh V.

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2016
Okay, a further update on American Blend:
I'm now at the 4-hour mark for the first test on my left wrist. And I do get a sweet, almost powdery, shaving cream vibe now. I'm digging this! The middle and base are so different.


HughV: As a Basenoter for 9 years, I have chased some white whales of my own. I know you've probably read lots about RIVE GAUCHE POUR HOMME. And for good reason. It was a real stunner of a scent and it wasn't crazy priced. I see it every so often now for some ridiculous prices. I really love it, but when my supply runs out, that's likely the end for me.

I'm genuinely happy that you and others here have the fragrance though. I wish I had a bottle too, but I have own two fragrances that, in my mind, are pretty close to what I imagine Rive Gauche must smell like. One of them now being this American Blend. The opening and middle are solid but not necessarily what I was looking for or even thinking of. But this dry down at the end has a really nice smell, and I'm going to pretend that that's what RG smells like. If it's an decent approximation of it, I can definitely see why the RG is so great.

As far as actual RG goes, minus me actually smelling the scent, the description, bottle design, and intent is just pretty damn cool. The tin can is supposed to evoke a can of Barbasol shaving cream and also the spinning pole of old school barbershops. But it's desaturated to be black/brown and silver in order to give it an air of sophistication and elegance.

I understand that YSL is not going to keep something in stock that doesn't sell, but it's hard to believe that this particular fragrance couldn't garner a consistent, steady demand. They tried to give it a second chance with the La Collection. But the thing is, those little generic bottles really detract from the presentation, the visual and tangible experience of buying and owning a fragrance.

But Cheers to YSL for at least putting out such a (allegedly) great fragrance.

And cheers to Fine Accoutrements for their take on YSL's unicorn. I really happy with the final dry down.
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
But I am tempted to try the DUA clone but why is that brand supposed to be bad? Ahh, but it's sold out. Oh well.

I've seen good and bad reports on DUA knockoffs. Some say they are often more potent with better longevity better than the original scents. Others say they are garbage.

More than a few Basenoters are sort of purists and only advocate real true scents much the same way some guys restoring a car only want to use original authentic parts for the restoration.
 
Jul 7, 2012
I've seen good and bad reports on DUA knockoffs.

My experiences with Dua have been awful. I've sampled a few and they were baaaaaaaaaaad. Here's my review of the best Dua scent I tried. I can't understand how anybody pays even $5 for that stuff. I have no problem with clones that are done well (there are some surprisingly good Silver Mountain Water clones), but Dua stuff is surprisingly bad in my experience.

Personally, I'm going to wait until bottles of the La Collection formula begin appearing again to have a backup.

I'll echo the comment above: Appearing again? That'd be nice to see. I like those La Collection bottles.
 

Ifti

Well-known member
Aug 5, 2016
Echoing! Went on the RG alternative ride a while back. Nada.

Did get the AB from Fine Accroutements - pah - felt like you could tell - even with my minimal experienced nose - this ain't a perfumers work. Sorta slap dah with a shaky resembalnce for a minute part of its duration. Got a wierd smell from it too - that smell from 'unscented' moisturiser. Sent it straight back.

Azzaro PH, Tuscant and Sartorial itch that scratch somewhat.
 

aero58

Well-known member
Jan 30, 2019
....American Blend....used to have the aftershave splash (do not buy, not worth $20)....

I'll have to completely disagree with that statement as I think it's a great splash, and a worthy nod to Rive Gauche. As a matter of fact, when the American Blend cologne first launched, I bought it, but was disappointed with regards to longevity - as it was fleeting - the aftershave has more longevity.
 

MisterGrain

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2017
I'll have to completely disagree with that statement as I think it's a great splash, and a worthy nod to Rive Gauche. As a matter of fact, when the American Blend cologne first launched, I bought it, but was disappointed with regards to longevity - as it was fleeting - the aftershave has more longevity.
It doesn't contain anything dermatologically beneficial, though. It's basically denatured alcohol with menthol and a low concentration of fragrance; no witch hazel, aloe vera extract, etc that artisan aftershaves offer at a much lower price. It made me itch like crazy.
 

Bis100

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2019
Yes, I tried their aftershave that "smells like Rive Gauche." It falls short of that but was ok as an aftershave. I'm a wet shaver and thought some of their aftershaves were okay.

I take it you tried their cologne which I would advise against.

I am a huge RIVE GAUCHE fan. Guarding my limited supply.

I've tried a lot looking for another barbershop scent as good as that. It really does conjure Barbasol.

AZZARO POUR HOMME is probably as close as any and nicely priced. It has the anise and a nice personality of its own.

PENHALIGONS SARTORIAL is good. But has some metallic notes that give it its own identity. Overall wearing this may be most similar to RIVE GAUCHE in my experience.

TOM FORD BEAU DE JOUR has got the lavender aspect down, but not sure I think it smells that much like RG. Still getting to know this one a bit.
Nice in its own right but so far to my nose not "just like" RIVE GAUCHE. Good barbershop though. More modern.

NOBILE 1942 FOURGERE NOBILE is another nice barbershop scent. Still getting to know it. Quite nice. So far, not as strong as RIVE GAUCHE. Wears pretty close.

HISTOIRE DE PARFUMES 1725 CASANOVA. A big winner in its own right. More gourmand than RIVE GAUCHE. Very nice. Good projection and longevity.
Not so much "like RIVE GAUCHE" but I think this one is really good. It has some anise (which is what gives REIVE GAUCHE the Barbasol like smell).

MAISON MARGIELA AT THE BARBERS. This one initially left me a bit cold, but second wearing it was kind of sneaking into "WTF, hey this is pretty nice territory."
Need to try it some more. It may not be as light weight as I thought.

I always hate people singing the praises of something unobtainable, but RIVE GAUCHE is really good. But for good barbershop scents, all of the above are good in their own right.

If you're a youngish guy, 1725 probably walks the line best between trad barbershop and modern young dude.



I could not agree more.
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
My can of vintage Rive Gauche was stolen out of my gym bag at the Jonathan Club in LA. Slippery slope when your own fellow members are stealing from you (the staff are above suspicion).

That's appalling!!!! Making it worse is that I'd bet money it was another fraghead...that's not a scent someone would routinely grab (unless maybe they smelled it.)

The horror...the horror...
 

Hugh V.

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2016
And that's not the worst of it--I had bottle of Baie de Genievre knicked out of my locker itself! Hardly safe to leave your home these days.

How did they steal it out of your locker? Did you not have a lock on it or did they break the lock somehow?
 

ripjean

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2014
I found a couple of Rive Gauche La Collection in a department store a few weeks ago. They were at full price (£70) but I bought them anyway - one will be stored away safely and the other will be used to compare against my tin can version. The tin can version is truly a great fragrance so hopefully the La Collection version is similar.
 

Hugh V.

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2016
About Rive Gauche's original bottle design: It's suppose to evoke a can of shaving cream and the barber shop pole, representative of the type of fragrance it is. But the striped can design was already created for the original women's version in 1971. I'm guessing that one doesn't smell anything like a classic men's shaving cream.

So YSL come up with the scent first and said, "Hey, this striped blue can kind of looks like a can of Barbasol. And this smells like Barbasol. Lets call it Rive Gauche Pour Homme"?

Or did Tom Ford get inspired by the can tin of the original Rive Gauche and think, "That bottle looks like it should be for men, and smell like shaving cream"?

What was the original intent behind the blue women's version?
 

Surfacing

Well-known member
Nov 6, 2002
I found a couple of Rive Gauche La Collection in a department store a few weeks ago. They were at full price (£70) but I bought them anyway - one will be stored away safely and the other will be used to compare against my tin can version. The tin can version is truly a great fragrance so hopefully the La Collection version is similar.

:thumbup: Smart move. Let us know how you find the differences ( if there are any).
 

Hugh V.

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2016
I hate bumping these Rive Gauche-related threads because it only helps to make that damn tin-can climb up in price on ebay. I'm expecting it to go for $700 any day now.

Initially I gave this a pretty solid rating. I said it was synthetic for a long while, but dried down to a nice shaving cream-like scent. I wasn't bowled over by it though, and since I'm not going to pay $20 for a decant of Rive Gauche, I have no point of comparison.

Well, the Rive Gauche legend is still going strong here AND so I ended up wearing American Blend again just to see if my opinions changed.

This stuff has AMAZING longevity. The first 3-4, maybe even 5 hours are very synthetic. Like a pleasant hair spray smell. It's not harsh or screechy, but it doesn't smell like any men's cologne that I know of. Maybe a faint hint of green-ness in there but I'm probably imagining that. It's not a bad smell at all. But it doesn't seem to mesh with the skin.

But once you finally get to the dry down, yeah, it's a very nice shaving cream smell. And it lasts forever. The longer it's on the the more it becomes that shaving cream scent that feels like a second skin. It's just nice and subtle.

I am really digging this fragrance now. I just have to remember to put on very early in the morning, and by noon up all the way into the next day, I'll be smelling like I just finished lathering up with shaving cream. It's not quite up there with something like Azzaro Pour Homme, but it's definitely more restrained than that one, not as dated.

I don't know if it's back in stock, but if you're not too picky, and you just want a shaving cream scent, try this out. I think $30-35 is a fair price, and it's a steal if it's longevity you're after. I'm looking forward to wearing this more often and getting some real life feedback.

:thumbup:
 

chopwet

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2012
I hate bumping these Rive Gauche-related threads because it only helps to make that damn tin-can climb up in price on ebay. I'm expecting it to go for $700 any day now.

Initially I gave this a pretty solid rating. I said it was synthetic for a long while, but dried down to a nice shaving cream-like scent. I wasn't bowled over by it though, and since I'm not going to pay $20 for a decant of Rive Gauche, I have no point of comparison.

Well, the Rive Gauche legend is still going strong here AND so I ended up wearing American Blend again just to see if my opinions changed.

This stuff has AMAZING longevity. The first 3-4, maybe even 5 hours are very synthetic. Like a pleasant hair spray smell. It's not harsh or screechy, but it doesn't smell like any men's cologne that I know of. Maybe a faint hint of green-ness in there but I'm probably imagining that. It's not a bad smell at all. But it doesn't seem to mesh with the skin.

But once you finally get to the dry down, yeah, it's a very nice shaving cream smell. And it lasts forever. The longer it's on the the more it becomes that shaving cream scent that feels like a second skin. It's just nice and subtle.

I am really digging this fragrance now. I just have to remember to put on very early in the morning, and by noon up all the way into the next day, I'll be smelling like I just finished lathering up with shaving cream. It's not quite up there with something like Azzaro Pour Homme, but it's definitely more restrained than that one, not as dated.

I don't know if it's back in stock, but if you're not too picky, and you just want a shaving cream scent, try this out. I think $30-35 is a fair price, and it's a steal if it's longevity you're after. I'm looking forward to wearing this more often and getting some real life feedback.

:thumbup:

Wait, so you still haven't managed to try Rive Gauche PH? Try seeking out a miniature perhaps?
 

Hugh V.

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2016
Wait, so you still haven't managed to try Rive Gauche PH? Try seeking out a miniature perhaps?

The miniatures are around $25 and up. Decants, samples, the same. With shipping I'd rather just get a full bottle of a different fragrance.
 

Latest News

Top