Does Aramis Have a Future?

In a recent Fragantica article by Eddie Bulliqi, he questions in pointed language whether the original masculine Aramis scent will be discontinued, and says,
"Aramis is not a 'believable' scent in the sense of evoking the personality or character of real people. It doesn't aim at verity or verisimilitude, neither in the presentation of its materials nor its subject matter. What you get instead is the pomp, drama, and theatre of olfactory allegory, in which the symbolic man of supreme might and unparalleled competence is represented by austere, almost aggressive component parts that convey harshness, aloofness, vitality, force, standoffishness, almost danger. 2020s perfumery, by contrast, can largely be thought of under the larger umbrella of the inviting and candour with its main branches of the delectable (sugary, edible), safe (clean, citrus), comfortable (musks, creams), and natural (green, field-fresh)."

I noticed a bit of sarcasm in his description of the "symbolic man" with terms like "supreme might" and "unparalleled competence," and that he ascribes negative traits to the scent itself, things like "harshness" and "aloofness." Positive traits like "vitality" are buttressed by negatives like "force" and "standoffishness," and he even takes "danger," the one thing that is often sexually exciting, and neuters it with "almost danger." According to Eddie, who sounds like he harbors some "almost danger" himself, Aramis tries to be exciting, but doesn't quite make it.  

His pairing of Lauder's scent to American Westerns, which he says (in an over-generalization) suffer from "stilted dialogue and farcical action," suggests his bias against Hollywood's romanticization of the West also feeds his opinion of the saddle-soap and chapped-leather scent by Estée Lauder, which is a bizarre comparison. He never mentions that Aramis was named after one of the heroes in The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, and conspicuously excludes any reference to how the fragrance's leathery nature alludes to the swashbuckling and horseback-riding done by Aramis in those novels. That would pin the origins and appeal of Lauder's concept for the fragrance on something European, and we can't have that! Better to shift the focus to twentieth century Westerns, which have nothing to do with the Aramis name. 

It seems the author decided to test the waters and see how far he could push the idea that a classic masculine chypre should go extinct for the great sins of being classic and masculine. One could argue that it's a legitimate viewpoint, and if it had been posed with less obvious disdain, I would entertain it on its merits. But Aramis exists because men still buy it. Perhaps some day it will be discontinued, as all things are eventually, but many of the feminines in the same cast have been dc'd for many years now. The extinctions of global trends always follow their own lines of capitalistic reasoning, and invariably boil down to dollars and cents. Brands yield only to their bean-counters. 

Aramis will, in my estimation, continue to enjoy production for at least a few more years, and will likely survive on the market even if it's discontinued, much like Zino does (dc'd for twenty years, and still dirt cheap and readily available). Leather scents, dry citrus chypres, and any combination of those genres has always harbored fans and detractors, and I see the argument that they're somewhat timeless in style -- maybe dated, but not out-dated. Sure, when I smell Aramis, it conjures up images of Alain Delon (must be the Western thing) and sixties malaise, but then again I generate olfactory parallels with traditional riding materials, leather saddles, oils and soaps, and the weirdly dirty-clean world of those in the distant past who used only horses for transportation. Time only outdates itself as far back as yesterday, not the day before. 

Aramis is a product of its time, first and foremost, and the sixties in America was a period in the country's history when the gender roles of men and women were under new strain, thanks in part to the invention of the birth control pill. In a push against any cultural perception of unseated male virility, companies like Lauder catered to the Alphas in the pack. So rather than ask, "Will Aramis Be Discontinued," the author might instead pose the question, "Will Classic Masculines Be Discontinued?" I have no problem with that question, phrased honestly. Just be straight about asking it.