Pacino For Men (Cindy Chahed)

Good luck finding a 100 ml bottle.

Linear fragrances are perhaps the most difficult kind for perfumers to pull off. Done wrong, and they smell functional, like furniture polish, or Febreeze. With skill and a little luck, a limited palette can actually work beautifully, like fire engine red, or Yves Klein blue. When I first encountered Pacino for Men, my initial thought was that it would be another rich tapestry of old-school masculine hues, from the deep umber of smoked tobacco, to the burled browns of rosewood, with wisps of artemisia and pine to round off the edges. Boy, was I wrong! The house of Cindy Chahed surprised me.

The only information I can glean about it comes from this site, which I think is an impartial but unusually informative retail outlet. According to the (somewhat contradictory) information found there, the brand was founded in October of 1996, and closed soon after, almost three years exactly, in August of 1999. I guess they weren't moving units fast enough. Apparently Cindy never made anything more than minis, which may have contributed to her demise, although I think a brand exclusively dedicated to minis is an interesting idea, retailing solely from airports to frequent flyers. Pacino was apparently released in 1996, but I have no corroboration on that.

Pacino smells like an apple orgasm. Come to Connecticut in October and visit Lyman Orchards. Tread its rows upon rows of trees in bloom, and inhale the dry, sweet, woody kiss of the autumn air. Stop to grab one of thousands of wine-like dessert fruits, steal a bite, and savor the fresh flavor in your cheeks as it mingles with the crisp air in your lungs. That's the opening of Pacino. It's basically a medley of apples with a touch of pink grapefruit, and a drop of French lavender for extra dimensionality. I fully expected it to darken and get all pre-A*Men oriental on me, but instead it simply mellowed out, becoming warmer and a little sweeter. The apples have been picked and barreled, and their fruitiness radiates from pillows of cedarwood and hay.

It remains this way for the life of the scent, a full five hours, before fading to a skin essence more suggestive of dusty wood than pomaceous fruits. All told, this is a very good fragrance. Its sweetness never smells like candy; its freshness retains definition and clarity without becoming cold and grey. It's like someone took an X-Acto knife to Creed's Spice and Wood, excised its apple top note, threw in a few other cultivars, a little extra woodiness, and named it after a famous American actor. It's crisp, nearly edible, fairly natural (although not extraordinarily so), quite simple, and pleasant to wear. If you're an apple lover, a fan of scents like Boss Bottled, Cool Water, Nicole Miller for Men, and you happen across this stuff, I highly recommend it.


  1. Happy New Year. Pacino sounds very interesting and while I do like my vintage Nicole Miller for Men, I don't wear it very often. As my grey hairs have increased my desire for sweet or fruity fragrances has decreased.

    1. Thanks, Happy new year to you, too! I don't think of Pacino as a "sweet" fragrance, just fruity/woody. It leans more toward a literal, natural approach, which is refreshing.

  2. Sprechen Sie Deutsch auch, Herr Ross?

    I read somewhere the somewhat overpriced pseudo-luxury brand Hugo Boss was going to be sold exclusively in duty free shop & in airline catalogs too. I wonder if Hugo Boss is very popular outside of India & the Middle East?

    Between the husband's Hugo Boss Bottled, Nautica Voyage, & his liberal use of Garnier shampoo - I'm about apple-d out too.

    I think the only apples I have in my collection are Yardley's English Daisy & Laura Biagiotti's Blu di Roma.

    Ummmm.....your post on Coca-Cola & it's divinely classic flavor got me thinking where I'd sniffed a Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper men's cologne before. I finally remembered! In West Hollywood by the delightfully charming perfumer Topper of Gendarme fame - his Grabazzi cologne is an Italianate version of a cola based fragrance! Supposedly a panty-dropper, (get it, 'grab-assy,' har de har har) but my husband doesn't like his ass grabbed so I bought the classic Gendarme. Party pooper.

    1. Thanks for the tip on Gabrazzi. Surprised I can't find anything on it over at Fragrantica.

      I'm "appled out" also, but when done well I find apple an intriguing note. Sadly, it's rarely done well. Pacino is an exception. Its focus on apple ironically makes it seem less about apple and more about the odd woody/papery aspect of the fruit. The additional notes of cedar and hay make it rather "dusty" in nature, after about four hours on skin.

      Hugo Boss will probably suffer if they resort to strictly duty-free. Although at this stage I'm not sure they have much of an audience anywhere, at least not in the USA. Here the brand has become increasingly forgotten.


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