There should be a whole other classification for men’s fragrances that are primarily ginger. After nearly two years of doing this, the trend has come up time and again, especially in the designer class. One memorable such scent was Homme Sport from Christian Dior, which I concluded smells like throat lozenges.
I don’t know what it is that makes perfumers lean towards this specific note. Ginger is a complicated scent that can come off in different ways, which probably makes for an easy ingredient option. ‘Want to elevate your one dimensional men’s fragrance? Simply add ginger!’ The problem is that this has become predictable and repetitive, and I, for one, am over the trend.
L’Homme from Yves Saint Laurent was released in 2006, father to 11 flanker children with long names such as L’Homme Libre Cologne Tonic and L`Homme Yves Saint Laurent design by Jean Nouvel. It took three perfumers to bring L’Homme to life, including Dominique Ropion, Pierre Wargnye, and Anne Flipo. Given the talent that went into it, I would have expected L’Homme to be on another level entirely, but it seems to fall rather flat.
I will give L’Homme this: it is a perfume that goes through stages, and that is a good thing. Instead of a static, one-trick masculine such as last week’s Guilty pour Homme, L’Homme really goes through the motions of top, middle, and base notes, like a journey that’ll take you someplace you kinda wanna go, kinda don’t. Opening with the same bright citrus as Guilty, L’Homme then imitates the former with warm, spicy notes. Then the ginger kicks in, and that’s where things start to differ.
The ginger in L’Homme is both woodsy and a little animalic, yet very warm. It is not spicy but slightly bitter, sometimes even coming off sweet with a hint of cinnamon.
Verdict: L’Homme from YSL is a warm, ginger-oriented fragrance, probably the best in this class of mediocre blends. Perfectly fine as a work-appropriate scent for the 30’s and 40’s crowd, L’Homme is weak on the projection but good on the longevity. You will not offend people with this fragrance, but it is not memorable. Points for a pretty bottle.
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