Cologne Review: LE MALE SUMMER 2012 by JEAN PAUL GAULTIER – Courtesy of FragranceNet

     Summer, by definition, is a season in the big blue ball we call Earth.

     This annual phenomenon brings a wide variety of scientific side affects with it, including everything from jumping into lakes with no clothes on to eating fruits that are in various shades of the primary colours (watermelon is red on the inside, okay?).

     As the great philosopher Whatshisname would say, ‘to spring is alright, but to summer – divine’.

     I’m sure you’d agree that to bottle the essence of summer is a monumental task, as there are so many things to consider: the pool party with your best friends, the night you fell in love at the drive-in, the heartache that followed, and the night you realized he wasn’t worth it anyway.

     There are picnics to think about, vacations to add to the equation, the bonfires and flip flops and sunscreen and cotton candy and tank tops and OH MY GOODNESS I’m getting ahead of myself.

     Point is, to make a summer fragrance ain’t easy, and no summer fragrance can get it all in. That doesn’t stop brands from launching yearly campaigns for summer fragrances, as you know. Tommy Hilfiger does it, as does Calvin Klein and French Connection and Burberry. And, who could forget, Jean Paul Gaultier does it as well.

     I have a sort of fashion crush on the designer. His collections are always so risque, so scandalously posh, that he’s truly earned his nickname as the L’enfant Terrible of fashion.

     His perfume journey began in 1993 with the launch of Jean Paul Gaultier EDP, which was renamed to the now renowned ClassiqueLe Male, the men’s counterpart, was released in 1995, and continues to be a hot option for many.

     Now, this wouldn’t be Nosegasm without a stinging comment about something. My comment for the day is, I’m afraid flankers loose their ‘exclusivity’ and specialness when there are too many of them – over 70 in the case of Gaultier. That being said, I’m totally all about the creativity that JPG shows with the flankers, dressing them up differently each time around. As for the scent, well, I haven’t been collecting long enough to comment on more than a few.

     Before I go on and on, let’s get to reviewing this beautiful thing. Le Male Summer 2012 was sent to me by FragranceNet.com for review purposes, and you can watch my failed attempt at an ‘unboxing’ video below.

     This is my review for Jean Paul Gaultier’s 125mL Le Male Summer 2012, which retails for $48.19 at FragranceNet.com (coupon code at bottom!).

     Before we get to Le Male Summer 2012, there’s something to be said about FragranceNet.com. Everyone who spends time on perfume-oriented websites knows who they are and what they do. That is, sell real, brand-new fragrances and cosmetics for a fraction of the retail price. This, as you can imagine, makes them a premiere destination for fumeheads in need of a hit without breaking the bank. I’ve ordered from them, and the things I want to highlight are the speed at which the products are delivered (even to Canada), the attention to detail (including the extra freebie in every order), and once more, the price.

     To demonstrate, here are the retail prices for a few popular fragrances and what they cost at FragranceNet.com:

  • Theirry Mugler Angel 3.4 oz – retail: $160, FragranceNet.com price: $118.19
  • Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy 3.4 oz – retail: $89, FragranceNet.com price: $50.19
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue 3.3 oz – retail: $89, FragranceNet.com price: $65.19

     See what I mean? It’s amazing.

     The box – or shall I say tin? – for Le Male Summer 2012 is rather remarkable; instead of a normal cardboard box that you’d just as soon throw out, this is something you’ll want to keep, or even repurpose (makeup brush holder, anyone?). Fashioned like a metal can you’d buy food in, with a ridged lid and sides, the tin is decorated with a motif of leafs and flowers, all in various shades of green and blue. The bottom of the tin comes off (but not the top), and has a plastic attachment to hold the bottle. Some people keep the bottle on this pedestal for display purposes, but I find it unnecessary. There’s lots of information regarding the fragrance on the bottom of the tin, but I won’t bore you with it. See gallery if interested.

     The bottle for this fragrance is the real selling point. I mean, this flacon is gorgeous. Shaped like a male torso, complete with a bubble butt and frontal bulge (!), this thing will either be the center of your collection or hidden in the closet; it all depends on how comfortable you are with your sexuality ๐Ÿ˜‰ The same motif from the tin carries to the bottle, and although it comes with no cap it has a metal band around the collar that you must remove in order to spray. Love it!

     Le Male Summer 2012 was released in (surprise!) 2012, and the perfumer is specifically unlisted. The composer of the original Le Male and many of its subsequent flankers was Francis Kurkdjian, also responsible for Narciso Rodriguez For Her, for which my review will be published in late August.

     Okay, here’s the most important part: the scent. Imagine my surprise when I compared the notes for Le Male Summer 2012 with it’s newest brother, Le Male Summer 2014, and discovered they’re the same – what?! Upon careful detective work, I found that the same composition has been used since 2012 until now – that’s three flankers with identical scents. To top that, the only difference between the 2012 and 2011 editions was African orange flower instead of grass and ‘greens’. My problem with this crazy, frequent ‘flankering’ is that it is a tad unrealistic. Nobody but the ultimate collector would run out just for the newest bottle design, especially when some flankers are the same with an addition of a shaker or a wet suite. But, I digress. To form an opinion on the scent I wore it daily for a week, to all sorts of different occasions, including work, school, and outings. Let’s dig in, shall we?

     Le Male Summer 2012 is interesting, perhaps ironically so because it is so very uncomplicated. It doesn’t want to give you a headache, it doesn’t want you to stress over it and wonder what exactly you like about it. It comes out of the bottle one way, sits on the skin for a half hour, then rushes to the dry-down. The top notes – mint, cardamom, lavender – form a memory that in essence is that of mouthwash, or soap, or toothpaste, or any toiletry for that matter; clean, herbal, fresh. It is the scent you’d expect on your dad – freshly shaved, well-dressed, comforting. There’s something sensual, truly sexy, about this smell, which has no connotations whatsoever to the dad connection I made.

     The dry down looses contact with this freshness, moving to generic grounds and evaporating entirely from the skin in about three hours. This to me is one of the worst fragrances I’ve encountered in terms of longevity, and the silage it projects isn’t much better. Because of how weak it is, you might be tempted to reapply often – hence the uncharacteristically big bottle (125mL).

     Verdict: A very nice ‘splash’ fragrance for summer, nothing fancy or complicated about it. You’d be best off wearing it during the day, during the spring and summer, with generous and numerous applications. Thank you to FragranceNet.com for bringing this to my attention!

15% FragranceNet.com coupon – expires June 6th, 2014:

NSEG4

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You can check out Jean Paul Gaultier at www.JeanPaulGaultier.com or follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/JPGaultier

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