One Thousand Scents

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gentleman: Escada Pour Homme

I don't usually see the point in posting the official list of notes for a fragrance, because, as I noted last time, they don't really give you much of an idea of what something smells like. A general idea, maybe, but that's all. Even people who hate a particular fragrance note can't rely on the list of notes: I am not a fan of full-bore patchouli, but one of my all-time favourite scents, Michael for Men, contains tons of it. If I'd just read the list of notes, I never would have tried it.

Having said that, here are the notes for Escada Pour Homme:

Top Notes: Bergamot, Lavender, Lemon, Cognac, Lime, Mandarin.

Middle Notes: Cardamom, Sage, Juniper Berry, Thyme, Black Pepper.

Base Notes: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk.

The top notes are, yes, very fresh and vivid: hesperidic, but with a clean soapiness that I enjoy. (Is there a cognac note? Not to my nose; if it's there, it isn't as bold as, say, the rum note in Claiborne Spark for Men.) Underneath that, something warm and cozy is lurking: crisp spices, buffered with the beginnings of a sweet patchouli-vanilla base. The spices and herbs in the middle seem to bloom under the influence of the vanilla: their harshness is tamed and their richness amplified. The close of the scent is even warmer than the middle, with a pleasant sweetness that isn't overdone. This is a very sophisticated scent. The fragrance, the bottle, the packaging--they all suggest refinement and class.

I suppose I have to add that I don't love Escada Pour Homme. It's very nice, and would make a good signature scent for a man who isn't an obsessive collector like me. But the bottom line is that it's really a good but generic man-scent; it hits all the usual notes of men's perfumery and doesn't really distinguish itself from a lot of other men's fragrances. I don't have to own it: I do own it, but if someone wanted it badly, I'd just hand it over to them and never miss it.

The bottle, by the way, is the Escada men's house bottle: a solid round-shouldered rectangular block of glass with a flat front (for the logo) and fluted sides and back, capped with a miniaturized version of the bottle and a cabochon. (The Casual Friday bottle is, appropriately enough, in opaque khaki glass: this one is clear glass with a gold cap and a black cabochon.) The box is black and gold, pinstriped to echo the corrugations on the bottle--a nice touch.


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