Epic Man (Amouage)

Epic Man is little more than a "woody-fresh" masculine with a surprisingly lackluster drydown arch, especially when one considers the supposedly high-quality materials Amouage uses. One reviewer on Fragrantica writes of Epic:
"Amouage have been known to imitate French style. God knows they have made a few ten-course perfumes. Epic man is their five-course meal. It is the perfect middle ground between opulent and edited."
That's a good way to put it, but I think the editing is a little choppy. I don't smell the tea note that is supposedly in there, nor do I get a concise oud note (although oud is definitely there). I do smell quite a bit of fresh frankincense, which in its own way is rather nice, but Epic Man isn't about incense. I'm not sure what it's about, to be honest. It's one of the few Amouages that smells a bit cheap. It begins with a surprisingly unpleasant arrangement of camphoraceous notes, a weird accord of pink pepper, incense, caraway, mace, and geranium. It's very bright, and instantly reminds me of Vick's VapoRub. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure the smell of Vick's belongs in a jar of Vick's, and not in a perfume.

The drydown blends patchouli, saffron, the usual resins (myrrh, olibanum, elemi) with accents of mace, sandalwood, and cedar. To my nose, the drydown consists mostly of saffron, patchouli, and elemi, with just the faintest touch of sandalwood, and hangover hiccups of that nasty top accord. I read there's castoreum in Epic Man. I don't smell it. I do in earlier incarnations of Dali PH (fortunately not in its latest reformulation) and Chanel Antaeus, and in the end I don't care for castoreum. But perhaps castoreum could lift the composition above and beyond the ordinary, which is what Epic's drydown is: painfully, painfully ordinary. It's all very generic, old-school "men's cologne" at the four-hour stage, and from there I get patchouli, a smudge of precious woods (basically a disassembled woody amber), and the final peppery tang of elemi. 

If you like elemi resin, you'll find Oscar for Men to be a more rewarding experience. It costs about $15 at Marshalls, and actually smells quite natural and easy-going. If you want a no-frills "fresh" masculine, I can think of thirty fragrances that smell better, and at least five that surpass Epic on every count.