I have a hunch that this year is going to be more of a continuation of last year and we’ll see more flankers than new fragrances. I could be wrong, but so far what’s on the docket to come and what’s already been released are all flankers. Not necessarily saying this is a bad thing, but something new wouldn’t hurt either, just saying.
I’ve got 5 new frags to share with you today and you can buy all of these right here at Decant House so grab these now and see if any of these can be your new favorite for this spring. I personally have already enjoyed moving my spring freshies to the front of my collection and man have I missed these frags! I love fall but there’s something about warm weather fragrances that just radiate off your skin and create this wall of freshness around you. Sorry, getting carried away, on to the reviews!
Givenchy Gentleman Society is the companies first real change in the style of their presentation. Previous bottles have all had the same moniker style front but this one is the first to break the mold. So, is it a flanker or is it the start of something new?
The top notes are cardamom and sage, middle notes are narcissus and vetiver, and the base notes are vanilla, cedar wood and palo santo wood. It’s categorized as a woody aromatic and personally, I really like this one. I’ve said this before that the only fragrance so far from the Gentleman line that rubbed me the wrong way was the Reserve Privee. I don’t know what it is about that fragrance that I don’t like, but I just couldn’t get into it. All other frags from the Gentleman line I love and have most of them (Boisee is still my favorite with the OG EDT in close second).
The one note that’s absent is iris, however, I can tell it’s there in the opening. It’s becoming more and more common where these houses omit notes from the official note breakdown but you can tell they’re still there. In this case, the original DNA is there, less of a “sit down stay a while” type of note and more of a “pass by and wave” kind of note. I feel as though it’s just there to show that it’s a Gentleman fragrance but then goes more towards a woody fresh fragrance in the mid and dry down. Not a bad thing, just feels like it’s trying to become distant from the rest and that’s ok too.
For longevity I get about 8 to 9 hours on my skin and projection is moderate. If I had to rank this in my Gentleman lineup, it’s a close third behind the Boisee and EDT. Good solid frag from Givenchy to start off the list!
You read that right, a new flanker of a flanker. This one is a real head-scratcher for me, and I want you to come along with me as I try and explain my position on this fragrance. The Luna Rossa line for me has been good, overall. I personally own four fragrances: Carbon, the recently discontinued Black, the discontinued Sport, and the original Ocean. When Ocean came out in 2021 there was a lot of hype about blue fragrances and the matchups between Bleu de Chanel and the brand new Sauvage Elixir and how the blue fragrances were “up and coming” and then in walks Prada with Luna Rossa Ocean. Everyone immediately assumes that it’s going to be a fresh aquatic “blue” fragrance likened to Acqua di Gio and Dolce & Gabbana, but instead, it went its own way just like Stevie Nicks.
It’s not that I don’t like Ocean, I feel like it is important to clarify this, it’s that it doesn’t really live up to its name. Some of the notes in the EDT are pink pepper, suede, musk, caramel, and patchouli. None of these scream ocean freshie to me. Not even the other notes of lavender, artemisia or vetiver. So, when the EDP came out, I had hope…which quickly faded.
The EDP version has only five notes; grapefruit, frankincense, woody notes, vanilla and amber. That grapefruit is the ONLY fresh part about these notes, the rest seems more of a cool weather fragrance and not one that should be called “Ocean”. The fragrance opens with that citrus but it’s really short lived. An iris-y powder note comes out in the mid with some woody notes and then it’s vanilla and amber to ride it out. It’s not horrible, it’s actually not bad. It just ain’t what the ocean smells like to me lol.
I mean, when you think of an ocean fragrance, look no further than Creed Virgin Island Water or Tom Ford Soleil de Feu. THOSE are ones to wear to the ocean. Luna Rossa Ocean EDP you can wear anytime I don’t think it’s a warmer type of fragrance, I think spring on those cool nights or fall/winter is where it has more of a lasting presence. Around 8 hours of longevity is what you can expect from this one and projection is moderate. Here's what you and I should do. Take a piece of duct tape or electrical tape, and cover over the “Ocean” name and just enjoy it for what it is, because the name just bothers me. Fragrance good, name bad.
I’m going to be fully transparent with all of you and let you in on a secret that I may have already stated here before. I’m not a fan of those “bubble gum” style younger generation fragrances from houses like Paco Robanne or Azzaro. Something about that scent profile that makes it smell overly sweet and not very appealing isn’t really my jam. Having said my secret once again, I’ve recently moved into deeper waters and have purchased 1 Million Elixir and really enjoy that one. I smelled it on someone that I’ve never met before and had to ask what they were wearing and it was an older gentleman in his 30s, so not someone that’s in that younger crowd that drowns themselves in it. I was shocked when he said that it was 1 Million Elixir. I couldn’t get the smell out of my nose for a while, so I knew that it was one that I had to have.
As soon as I smelled Azzaro Wanted EDP, I knew it fit that same type of category that Elixir hit for me. And that category is sorta in that same “bubble gum” category, but it’s more mature and modern rather than young and edgy. Something that us older guys can wear with confidence knowing damn well that we’re still young at heart but smell amazing.
There are three simple notes. The opening is juniper berries, mid is sage and base is vetiver. It’s an aromatic, woody fragrance that I find myself really liking way more than any other Azzaro fragrance I’ve smelled. Scent for me lasts around 7 hours and projection is moderate but more on the high side. It’s very fresh in the opening and dries to a warm aromatic that lasts a good amount of time for me. I recently smelled four new fragrances and took four different parts of my arm and this one really stood out as the best of the four I tried. If you’re older and want to smell youthful but mature at the same time, give this one a try.
This fragrance was the one that caught my eye not only in the note breakdown but also the bottle. I mean, take a moment to look at the image we have for this blog post and look at that Dolce & Gabbana bottle. It’s gorgeous with the bright white base and ornate blue accents it’s just begging for the front spot on the shelf. I’m about to let the air out of everyone’s hope balloons though. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
For me, Light Blue Eau Intense and Light Blue Forever are still staples in my collection. Intenso is also a good one, but I haven’t grabbed a full presentation of that, I’m still working on my 10ml decant from Decant House. It’s the flankers AFTER Light Blue Forever that in my opinion have been lackluster to say the least. Light Blue Forever is my absolute favorite summer freshie from any designer so far and was released in 2021. 2022 we had Light Blue Italian Love, which was basically Light Blue Forever…but watered down in an EDT concentration that smelled kinda meh. They took that bright citrus bomb and transformed it into a weaker sibling that was not very well received. Here we are in 2023 and when you look at the note breakdown for this new Summer Vibe fragrance and you get excited for a moment.
Top note is Sicilian lemon, middle note is cypress and base note is amberwood. Now if you compare this with Costa Azzura from Tom Ford, it’s note for note although Costa Azzura adds Oak to the mid and Labdanum to the base. So, when I saw these notes, I figured it would be just like Costa Azzura, which is my second favorite summer freshie from a designer. Guess not.
I won’t bore you with any more specifics because I think you know where this is going. When you first spray it on, you get about 10 minutes or so with a bright opening of citrus, and then it just fades away. Not the citrus, the fragrance in general just kinda fades away never to return. I mean, come on, it’s THERE, but it’s so hard to smell and so weak in performance that it’s once again another year with another fragrance released that’s just not cutting the lemons, you know? Try this one yourself. Maybe I just don’t have the right skin for this one? Huge bummer.
Much like Azzaro above, I’ve also said on here before (at least I think I have) that I’ve never liked any of the YSL Y fragrances. I’ve tried and tried and tried but no matter how many times I’ve tried these out, I can’t get into them and don’t enjoy any of them that are out there. That means that from the gate, I’m 0 for 5 on Y fragrances.
I can say with absolute certainty, after smelling the Intense version of the EDP, I’m now 1 for 6. I’m sold! I love it! It’s less sweet than the others and more mature but just smells much better to my nose.
The top notes are ginger, juniper berries and bergamot. Mid notes are sage, geranium and lavender. Base notes are vetiver, patchouli, and cedar. In looking at the breakdown, it’s a fresh opening with a woody base and it 100% fits that mold. The longevity for me was 8 to 9 hours and projection was top tier moderate and those around me definitely could smell it.
Now, I’m more of a La Nuit de L’Homme kind of YSL guy, so YSL Y isn’t really strong in my wheelhouse yet so there isn’t much I can say about this, and this blog is already long enough so I WILL say this one is a great anytime, any season, any situation fragrance and I definitely recommend you give this one a try. I will be buying a full presentation of this one for sure!
There you have them! 5 fragrances to grace our presence here to start off Spring of 2023. Some really good bangers in this mix and some that have missed the mark but always, always remember: fragrances are completely subjective, and what smells good to you may not smell good to me and vice versa. But we can all agree we all love the same things, and that’s smelling fantastic and enjoying the passion of the things that bring us together. I hope you all have a good next couple of weeks, and I’ll see you in the next one!