Design for Men (Paul Sebastian)

Paul Sebastian's brand
has been experiencing a Renaissance lately. PS Fine Cologne used to be relegated to the discount bin at Marshalls, usually priced at around $10 - $15 for a large bottle. Last winter I stopped by Macy's and was surprised to find PS sitting next to Chanel and Armani. It was given a high-profile display, with several gift-sets, and hulking 8-ounce testers thoughtfully arranged on the glass counter. In fact, Macy's is currently asking $53 for a 4-ouncer of the stuff. I've noticed this scent is no longer available at my local Marshalls. I haven't tried it recently, and wonder if it's been reformulated - i.e., improved. For Macy's prices, it had better be.

Inexpensive classics like Azzaro Pour Homme, and re-released classics like Red for Men, are suffering lately from a sulfurous off-note, the likes of which I cannot identify or explain. The latest formulation of ApH has it in spades, fizzing unpleasantly from its softly aldehydic opening. Red for Men has it deeply embedded in its heart, which ruins the scent completely. And Design for Men seems to be built around it. The whole scent is a stale, ammonia-like funk, sandwiched between a synthetic grapefruit top, and a pallid lavender/muguet base. Things decline further in the far drydown, and are reminiscent of the days when angry mothers washed their sons' profanity-stained mouths out with soap. Think of Design for Men as that experience, unceremoniously presented in a 45-cent bottle with a disproportionately large cap.

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