Z-14 (Halston)

The realm between cinnamon orientals and leathery chypres is a dangerous one for me, mainly because I dislike the first kind and like the second. Leathery chypres are usually woody, dark; spicy orientals are often sweet, green, ambery, and dry. 

Z-14 opens with a pungent lemon, bergamot, vetiver, and oakmoss arrangement that rapidly warms into a woody accord of lavender, amber, and cinnamon. To my nose, the cinnamon balances against the dry citrus of the resinous heart accord, and is a subtle note. Interesting, because Z-14 isn't that different from its sibling, 1-12. Both fragrances feature elements of pine, carnation, patchouli, and tree mosses, yet both are remarkably different in design and performance. 

I do like the bottle, designed by Elsa Peretti, who designed all of Halston's classic fragrance bottles. It's simple but artful, in accordance with Peretti's "simple is better" aesthetic. This is a try-before-you-buy if you're attracted to retro colognes, but it's indisputably a classic that has survived the years intact.