5/10/12

Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme (Chanel)



As much as I love the original Allure Homme, I'm a little mystified by Chanel's compulsive need to create flankers for it. Allure has always been a crowd pleaser, an all-around friendly, accessible scent that's always in style, despite occasionally smelling a bit "90s." The rumors are true - Allure is a multi-faceted and somewhat mysterious fresh fougère that smells differently at different moments of its evolution on skin. Sometimes you get sweet tonka and neutered labdanum; at other times it's a peppery vetiver/sandalwood combo; often in the far drydown the synthetic citrus notes reappear and make Allure smell incredibly light, snappy, fresh. It's a Rolodex of all the best aspects of '90s masculine perfumery.

This makes flanking Allure Homme utterly unnecessary. Why bother variegating the aesthetic of something that self-variegates? Sure, you can always intensify the citrus, or the tonka, or actually use a full-throated labdanum instead of synthetic test-tube dew, but in the end you wind up with the same thing: redundancy. There's really no reason for it.

Anyway, I've made my point. On to Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme. Jacques Polge is evidently conscious of the usual trappings in formulating a "sport scent," and wisely avoided them, foregoing the usual blinding citrus/Calone/musk accord in favor of a more classical construction. Allure opens with a bright burst of juicy mandarin and lemon, with the vaguest suggestion of grapefruit in the periphery. I swear I smelled this same citrus effect in Bleu de Chanel. There's a minty edge to the fruit, which greens things a bit, and adds to its appeal. After a minute or so, the original Allure Homme steps forward, and I'm in familiar territory. Some of the calibration is different - the tonka has been dosed up, and the allspice has been aerated (perhaps with ginger). Original Allure's satiny sandalwood is eclipsed here by a more dominant evergreen and cedar accord, which irritates me a little because I dislike cedar, and don't want it mixed with other coniferous notes. But the fragrance smells solid, well made, and equal parts refreshing and warming. In a sense, Allure isn't really sporty - just fresh, and intense.

I could see owning a small bottle of this and liking it enough to wear once in a blue moon. I still have a bottle of the original, and haven't worn it nearly as much as I used to. This Allure is great for dates, the workplace, travel situations, and actually seems a tad formal, like its progenitor. In other words, it's versatile. Too bad it's also superfluous. Still, if you're a fan of Chanel's contemporary masculines, I doubt this will disappoint.









4 comments:

  1. Bryan,
    I just picked up a bottle of this today and am trying to dissect the notes. Did you get any aldehydes or vetiver in this concoction? I'm doing a side by side with the original Homme Sport.

    Thanks Bryan

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    Replies
    1. Hi D, I did get aldehydes but can't place vetiver in this fragrance. Not saying it's not in there, I just didn't get that note. There were definitely some dry cedar/piney/balsamic resins lurking in the fray, just the ghosts of them, but in all honesty I didn't smell a huge difference between this fragrance and the original Sport.

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    2. Yes very similar to the original. After sporting this for a fee days, this is also VERY close to Armani Code Ultimate.

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    3. Yeah I believe I've worn the Armani also, these "extreme" ambery fougerientals tend to share a specific kind of warm freshness. They can get tedious when they become overly ambitious though.

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