L'Homme (Yves Saint Laurent)

The nineties were long gone by L'Homme's release date, yet this scent takes me on a trip down memory lane, as though its fragrance molecules can bend light and reflect past events. My surprise at learning it hails from 2006 was the first and last time L'Homme did the unexpected - it all went downhill after that. Let my criticism be attenuated by the more favorable things to say about it, because truth be told, this isn't a bad offering from YSL. In fact, it's quite nice. But is it worthy of regular wear in the adult world? Perhaps, if you're someone who dislikes fragrance, L'Homme fits your lifestyle perfectly. There's nothing about its simple citrus/ginger/violet leaf/woods structure to suggest an affinity for sophisticated perfumery. Wear this, and smell boring, safe, professional, inoffensive, forgettable, you get the message.

To my amateur, untrained nose, L'Homme smells remarkably similar to the original Allure Homme by Chanel, although some notes are starkly different. YSL's scent feels dodgier, more "metrosexual," prissy, ambiguous. L'Homme's synthetic dry-citrus opening has the requisite department store shimmer we've all come to expect from things in this price range. It smells good, but not like real fruit, and quickly loses its luster. The ginger note is spicy-sweet, and lends a cool edge to the piquant proceedings of violet leaf and cedar. After two hours everything has fuzzed into a sweet, gauzy, Chanel-like musky amber, and I half expect to switch the radio on and hear the Spice Girls, or turn to the news and see Clinton giving a speech in the Rose Garden. It's my high school days, all over again.

Is it wrong for major designer labels to release unimaginative fragrances? No, especially when you consider the profit being made. People who aren't interested in perfume should still have something decent to wear to work, and they seek out stuff like this. I'll submit to the audience that it's far better for a middle-class American male to don something without frills, like Caron for Men, than something without soul, like L'Homme. YSL's product might say, "I'm reliable ladies," but with Caron you're classically male: a man who loves women who love men. It's unfair, even morally suspect, but I'd hire that guy; with L'Homme, I'd question his resume.


  1. I dont think it smells like allure at all. I dont hate perfume and I like this stuff.

    1. I'd like to start by saying this a great blog. I really enjoy your perspectives. I really like L'homme, but then I am very new to fragrance. I have a small collection of about 10 that I rotate daily or weekly. This is one of my number one fragrances. One reason is I work in a hospital. I can't be radiating fragrance. I also need something "generic," so I don't offend anyone. For me it is a perfect fragrance to just smell good. I have a decant of eau savage coming the Perfumed Court. I am looking forward to sampling and wearing. Look forward to more reviews! Others I rotate at work are Chanel Allure, Beu de Chanel, and Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree. Of these, I see the only one you reall like is Allure but I think they are all great.

    2. Thanks for the compliment and I appreciate that you're one of my readers, that means a lot. Your perspective is always appreciated, and if L'Homme is something you like and wear a lot, that's great. It's something that speaks to everyone differently I guess. Allure is the only Chanel I'm a fan of, although I think I'll revisit Bleu and give it some more time. That one gets so much love, I'm starting to wonder if I missed the point. BTW another great inoffensive, hospital-friendly fragrance is Mugler Cologne, or if you want to go hi-brow, Creed's Original Vetiver.


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