I Am King (Sean John / M.A.C.)

In approaching I Am King, it is perfectly understandable to expect something grand, larger-than-life, and unquestionably regal. It is, after all, touting itself as a product of royalty. It bears the name of one of the most ego-maniacal recording artists in the long lineage of that breed, someone with an endless supply of money to burn, and very lofty tastes in fragrance (it seems he is a Creed fan). I expected this EDT to be a pleasantly aspirational little thing, full of the usual gingery, woodsy-musks, similar to Sean John's first masculine. Imagine my surprise when I discovered a perky green apple accord instead. I Am King is 80% green apple aromatics, a dash of red apple, some cassis, a touch of sandalwood and white musk, and that's it. If you like apple in fragrance, you'll probably like this stuff. As far as pomaceous notes go, it's a winner. I even prefer it to the Tommy Girl-styled Be Delicious.

There's only one problem. Apple lovers are likely to seek out that note in locales more exotic than anything with the Sean John moniker. There are taller mountains for us to climb, after all. That works against Sean John, and against us. For one thing, we might overlook I Am King, and write it off as just another cheesy department store clone. That would be a mistake - we'd miss out. But our legitimate quest for the perfect pomme inevitably leads to things like Sofron by Farmacia SS. Annunziata, Outrageous! by Malle, Grenats by Keiko Mecheri, and even Creed's Spring Flower. Cool Water is, for me, the standard in designer-grade apple notes, as its fruitiness is perfectly housed in a woody-amber setting that illuminates and complements it.

I Am King is at least as good as Cool Water (its ingredients are no better or worse than Davidoff's), and definitely deserves a fair chance with enthusiasts. I would gladly sit its surprisingly handsome bottle on my shelf. No, it isn't something Louis XVI would wear, but that's nothing to lose your head over.


  1. Even if I despise the celeb behind the scent it is after all Givaudin, IFF, Firmenich etc who are creating the scents so I don't give a damn the name on the bottle. What do you think of Unforgivable? I was actually quite impressed with that scent.

    1. I'm not sure which entity is behind this one, but they did a nice job. Nothing mind-blowing, but pleasant and durable. I actually reviewed Unforgivable already, check it out under the Sean John tag.


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