Amber Pour Homme (Prada)

As you all know, my favorite soap is Irish Spring, now made by Colgate. So whenever I find masculine fragrances that approximate the smell of Irish Spring, I get excited. There are actually very few fragrances that accurately smell just like Irish Spring, and only a handful that fall in the general ballpark. The only fragrance I've ever encountered that smells exactly like Irish Spring is Sung Homme - and even with Sung, the scent isn't 100% accurate - more like 95%. But it does smell as though someone took the basic soap fragrance, deconstructed it, replaced its components with higher quality aromachemicals, threw in a few extra ingredients for complexity, and then formulaically recomposed the perfume according to Colgate's specs. It's heavenly stuff.

Amber Pour Homme doesn't rate as highly in the Irish Spring doppelganger department, but it's 70% there. It lacks the soap's pungency, and doesn't really mix vetiver and vanilla in the same way, but Amber does generate the same clean, green, soapy buzz. It's a modernized take on this fragrance type (and perhaps not coincidental that this and Sung Homme are roughly the same shade of purple). Anyone who needs a lesson in what "soapy" smells like should try Amber PH. It doesn't get any soapier than this.

One little mystery with Amber PH, something gleaned from reading, is that many people don't smell Irish Spring in it! Yet the same people smell Irish Spring in things like Creed's Green Valley, GIT, Aspen, and Cool Water - four fragrances that are as far from Irish Spring as it gets, in my opinion. Its resemblance to Irish Spring is the only reason I really like Amber PH, and feel it's full-bottle worthy.

If you took the angular soapiness of Sung Homme and smoothed its edges out, bled some of the synthetic green out of it, and amped up the nondescript brightness of bergamot and neroli, you'd have Amber PH. Then you just follow this bright soapiness with a deeper vanilla and myrrh, with hints of saffron, vetiver, and tonka. Common sense says citrus and herbs and green grasses don't work with vanilla, but that's wrong, very wrong, they work beautifully, and without that combination this entire concept goes to pot. It's executed beautifully in the drydown of Amber, with a musky finish that is both soft, warm, and breezy, like summer air through the bathroom window after a shower. The dual warm/cool aspect of this fragrance makes it suitable for any time of year, night or day. It's casual and inoffensive, but playful and sexy, with a sweet freshness that cuts like a knife through sweat and other undesirable odors. Guys, whenever you're in doubt about how you should smell, wear Amber PH. There is absolutely no way you can go wrong with a fragrance that mimics smooth, masculine soap.

As an aside: My only wish is that Colgate would release their "Legendary Classic" body wash in bar form. It smells a touch better than the regular "current" Irish Spring, but I don't like using body wash. When I die and hopefully go to heaven, I'm sure I'll find bars of classic Irish Spring in all the showers. Until then, I guess I'll have to settle for the deodorant. If anyone spots Legendary Classic in bar form, let me know!

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