One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Surprise, Surprise: Classic 1920 by Bois 1920

We can't be expected to take fragrance advertising seriously, surely: the florid adjectives, the swooning allusions to temptation and desire, the sheer too-muchness of it. It's like a colossal joke and it's hard to tell on whom it's being played. Take this, from the sample card for Classic 1920:

SPICY-AMBER
Dulled feelings reawaken. Classic 1920 is a fragrance that sets desire and mystery to rhythm. The fragrance is built in the wake of harmonious spicy notes that are smoothed by a complex flowery bouquet and elegant fruity nuances. At the end, the green and boisé [woody] base notes of vetiver from Haiti and citron from China slide gently into the exotic enchantment of sandalwood from the Antilles.

After reading that, I was determined not to like Classic 1920, but damned if it didn't seduce me anyway. Plenty of amorphous spice in the citrusy top, a big indefinable and genderless floral mix sharpened with vetiver in the middle, woody amber in the base: not particularly original, but I enjoyed wearing it, and throughout the day little currents of it would waft up and make me smile, which is just about the best possible reason to wear a scent.

At $195 for 100 mL, though, I can't see that it's worth what they're asking, unless you were determined to make it your signature scent (which it would do admirably). It's nice, but it's not a couple hundred bucks' worth of nice. Hunt down some Perry Ellis Reserve (discontinued but widely available online) instead: it's the same basic idea, a big masculine floral wrapped in a spicy-green amber oriental, and it won't break the bank.

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