One Thousand Scents

Friday, August 31, 2007

Death By Flowers: Gaultier Fleur du Mâle

When I wrote about Fahrenheit 32, I wondered what Gaultier's Fleur du Mâle smelled like, because both of them, released at about the same time, were men's scents built around orange blossom. Someone sent me a couple of spray vials in a swap, and now I have my answer: FdM is essentially Gaultier's Le Mâle tucked inside the hugely amplified orange-blossom note of his Le Classique.

The first thing you smell in FdM is a massive quantity of orange blossom, just as in Fahrenheit 32, but--and there's no way around this--in FdM the floral note smells as feminine as Fahrenheit 32's smells masculine. I'm not happy with the idea that we segregate smells by gender, but we do, and where the Dior masculinized the flowers with assertive aldehydes, the Gaultier makes them overwhelmingly flowery--creamy-sweet yet strident at the same time.

I used to wear Le Mâle, and though I know FdM isn't merely a copy of it with orange-flower added, it seems very much that way: the two scents seem to have a lot of the same elements: those aromatic barbershop notes, the crispness of lavender, vanilla in the base. The official list of notes for Le Mâle even mentions orange blossom, but if it's there, it's subtle. In Fleur du Mâle, it's front and centre, and it grabs you and never lets go.

I could never wear Fleur du Mâle, not because it smells like a stereotypical women's scent (I wear women's scents all the time), but because it really isn't very attractive. The orange blossom is assaultive; it possesses the scent like a demon, and it wears out its welcome very quickly. Fahrenheit 32 cuts through the orange-flower quickly with sharp vetiver and warm vanilla, whereas FdM is simply bogged down in a swamp of the flower.

The bottle for FdM is the same as for Le Mâle, a rather exaggerated male torso, but this time in shimmering white glass instead of sailor-striped aquamarine. Gorgeous, but not enough to make me want it.



  • Hello pyramus

    This is Kaos.geo, fellow poster from Basenotes.

    I really like your blog. And I recently got a gmail account so I decided to post a comment.

    I love your blog, and I think it is a shame that you have not allowed anonymous comments, but I guess you might have your reasons.

    Please keep up the good work! :-)
    I do agree with you on a lot of scents and of course disagree on the others... But on the ones we agree on trust me you've hit the nail on the head with your comments!

    Regards from Argentina
    Pedro. (kaos.geo)

    By Blogger Kato, at 3:57 PM  

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