Lacoste Original (Lacoste)

Somewhere between the chemical ginger grass of Adidas Sport Field, and the refined blue sprawl of Geoffrey Beene Bowling Green, is Lacoste's nameless premier masculine aromatic, "Original" Lacoste. Essentially a lime and fresh grass scent, with touches of basil and oakmoss to darken it up, Original's initial burst of juicy citrus is nice, though too brief for my liking. From there, everything rapidly opens into bittersweet grasses of lemon and vetiver. The drydown arrives after a mere twenty minutes, and peels back the darker greens to reveal a woodsy base of sage and cedar. Quite a good green scent, but nothing tremendous. For the money, I'd rather go with Sport Field, and for something truly wearable at anything other than barbeques, I'd rather wear Bowling Green. It's hard to say when I'd want Lacoste's Original.

There's also something deleteriously common in the aromatic effect rendered by Original. With no violet leaf ionones to hide behind, the aroma chemicals of spiced grasses and cool woods smell harsh, naked, conveying a bit of a "bargain perfume" feel. They never resort to the prosaic olfactory excuses found in unapologetically cynical releases like Curve Crush, or Eau de Grey Flannel, but Original feels like the least-inspired grassy '80s fougère in its class. Its only true point of distinction is its brightness; the scent's overall character is fresh green, true green, as opposed to oakmoss grey and dark pine green, and therefore is miles away from darker contemporaries like Quorum and Drakkar Noir. Those of you seeking a pick-me-up in a green tennis shirt could find a multi-dimensional daily sport cologne in Original. Smelling it now, almost thirty years after its release, I can't help but wonder if that was its function back in '84. With only about three hours of detectable longevity, barring reformulation issues, this scent could never have been a real workhorse. It's definitely not a "powerhouse" fragrance by any means, although its first five minutes on skin aren't exactly meek, either. Original is punchy but inviting, never heavy and forbidding.

Green is an extremely important color in modern masculine perfumery, and if you're attracted to fresh green scents, Original should be tried. Like the game of tennis itself, this scent is best taken in up close, and with all faults accounted for. It can be enjoyed casually, and nowadays it can even be enjoyed formally, although there are certainly better things out there for that.

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