Guess by Marciano for Men (Guess)

Every so often a low-brow designer brand teams up with a low-brow perfume division of some other designer brand to create low-brow swill for guys who consider perfume the perfect substitute for a shower. When they opt for "fresh aquatic" no one really loses, because at least they smell like shampoo. 

When they opt for "fresh fougère" we take a slight hit, because traditional fougères are usually sexier, better-wrought, and ferns always make a statement, so going "fresh" with them implies a hollow message. Still, not so bad, considering. But when they opt for "fresh oriental," everyone suffers, no exceptions. Orientals are a tricky genre. You either know what you're doing and do it well, or you're clueless and offensive - there is no middle ground. Sadly, Guess for Men fast-tracks the oriental, and comes up empty. Given the possible fallout of such a flub, things actually aren't so bad here, but I really wish they'd have (a) done another fresh fougère, or (b) done nothing at all.

The scent smells like your classic barbershop vanilla-amber, which touches of orange citrus, pepper, and powder on top. The nose must have been aware that he was out of his depth, because this scent remains staid, safe, incredibly dull. I'm reminded of Brut and Pinaud Clubman (two iconic barbershop fougères, oddly enough), but those smell better and are more distinctive. They're stronger, too - Guess is gone in an hour. Is this "bad" per say? Not really, but I don't wear fragrances that "aren't bad," I try to seek out the intentionally "good" ones. Your mileage may vary here, and if you find this a superior alternative to those other barbershop masculines, more power to you. I'll bypass this more expensive and less successful composition for less expensive and more successful ones any day of the week, brand gaucherie be damned.