Today I've the pleasure to host one of my favorite reviewers of the last couple of years or so: Colin Maillard. Already known and respected by fragrance-freaks for his severe but totally solid perfume criticism on Fragrantica and Basenotes, Colin is actually one of the sweetest guys around. He likes to read and write just like he did when he was 5. He loves his cat, his girlfriend and traditional tattoos but, most of all, he loves his mortgage with which he's bond in a really long-term relationship.
He also runs his personal fragrance-related blog Ye Olde Civet Cat. For more reviews by Colin Maillard please check here and here.
Tiffany For Men: Luxury In A Bottle.
Straight to the point: Tiffany for Men (vintage, "cologne" version) is a masterpiece. Jacques Polge composed it pretty much when he was working on Chanel pour Monsieur, and the similarity between the two fragrances is quite clear, but to me Tiffany overpasses the Chanel to any extent - creativity, richness, uniqueness, class. If you want, in a way this is far more "Chanel" than the actual Chanel. The opening of Tiffany is quite, and I’d say "deceptively" at first, adherent to late 1980's/early 1990’s “modern” trends in masculine perfumery: a chypre accord with sweet and powdery nuances, that is classic masculine structures revisited with a dandier, more exotic and more feminine touch. The soft, mellow, sweet notes of the Nineties are around the corner. In a way, the opening is also a bit similar to Héritage by Guerlain, mostly for its complex spicy-woody-floral substance, but only in this very first phase, and anyway in a far more compelling and balanced way here. The initial accords are all about powder, woods, oak moss, dense humid flowers (rose, carnation) and spices, quite "heavy" in a way, but wait just a bunch of minutes for heaven's door to open.
Not more than thirty minutes after application the scent literally opens, or in a more figurative way, "blossoms up" with an airy, spacious, dimensional power which I have almost never experienced in perfumes - and that surely is the first significant mark of difference with the abovementioned scents this one is often compared to. Partially this would be probably due to the extremely high quality of materials, as this scent dates back when brands still destined high budgets to perfumes (especially a discreet and sophisticated brand like Tiffany about to launch their first perfume for men); and partially to the talent of Polge in using and balancing them. Once the opening phase passes, everything starts to smell more and more sumptuous, golden, invigorating, extremely refined , with a palpable yet oniric feel of silk, warmth and elegance, with just a hint of shady animalicness on the very base. The magnetic, irresistible smell of pure luxury - Clive Christian, Roja Dove, Amouage? Parvenus.
Tiffany for Men is even quite simple to describe as regards of what it actually smells like, as I mentioned above it is basically all about citrus-neroli notes on head, oak moss and rosewood on the base, a really subtle and velvety woody-smoke note all over which creates a great sense of "shady" and sensual refinement, and then this central heavenly symphony of talc, iris, jasmine, rose, carnation, spices, vanilla, sandalwood and amber notes, both the "warm", sweet amber note and something which to me smells like amber gris, the real salty-camphoraceous one (but it may just be benzoin which creates that feeling with woods). All realistic, vibrant, golden, captivating: we're talking about great iris, great rose, great woods, (perhaps) great ambergris... you can imagine how deep, rich and faceted this gem smells. It's exciting how the greatness of this fragrance grows as minutes and hours pass, contrary on most of nowadays' perfumery (niche included), where averagely all happens within the first hour, then it's all about declining power and faint drydowns. Here, the more hours pass, the better it gets, with a transition towards a dusty woody-iris drydown with a stout oak moss base still dusted with talc, spices and vanilla notes. Which lasts for hours. Tiffany for Men is possibly one of the most rich and refined fragrances for men ever made, and probably (not to sound presumptuous) one of those which are more likely to be loved by people who love perfumes - like those obscure musicians which are praised by colleagues far more than by the audience. Self-confident, restrained just enough, modern and incredibly classy, with just the right amount of dark exoticism yet completely civilized and safe. Finally, one of the very few scents which embodies and expresses my concept of "exclusivity" *solely* by olfactory means (this means neither by price, nor marketing bollocks: just for how great and holy-grail-esque it actually smells).