Now that I've gotten a few niche perfume reviews out of my system, it's back to the gutter with this macho drugstore cheapie: King.
Any of you who shop at CVS pharmacies have probably seen this on the shelves, next to the cheap stuff like New York Nights and Alyssa Ashley's Musk, going for like five or ten bucks for a 2.6 oz. bottle. I recently saw a gift set of this for ten dollars, and after I read the back of the box which says that King was designed to last fifteen hours on skin, I knew I had to buy it.
It's obvious that the makers of King are aiming at the high-testosterone guys, because this smells a lot like Drakkar Noir. It's just a tad drier than Drakkar, smelling sort of like a cross between Drakkar Noir and Brut. That alone should tell you that this cologne was not meant for the quiche and salad crowd.
King goes on with Drakkar-like strength, i.e., loud. However, the intensity drops down a couple of notches after an hour or so, becoming an ultra-manly skin fragrance after that. I have to say that King does deliver on its promise of 15 hours of hairy-chested pleasure, but it's not 15 hours of full-bore power. Most of that time, King is a relatively subtle scent, projection-wise. Of course scent-wise, like Drakkar Noir, it's anything but discreet.
Granted, if you already wear Drakkar Noir, then King isn't a necessity. The two are remarkably similar. However, even though I'm a hardcore Drakkar fan, I do find reason to pull King out of the drawer and wear it.
First off, King has a lot of patchouli, more than any other Drakkar-styled fragrance I've tried. There are times while wearing King that it smells like I'm wearing a pure patchouli scent. That's good news in my book, but if you hate patchouli, don't even bother sampling this. By the same token, if you don't like "power fragrances", don't waste your time either. This is not for you.
Drakkar Noir is one of my favorite fragrances. What I love most about it is the oily, almost sleazy accord of leather-oakmoss-juniper that you smell in the middle stage of the scent. It's probably the most macho smell ever, and I wish it would go on forever. King does a great job of capturing that smell and sustaining it for many hours. And that alone, for this Drakkar Noir fan, makes King worth having in the arsenal.
I'm giving this an 8/10 rating only because I feel a couple of points should be knocked off for King's lack of originality. This really is a Drakkar Noir knockoff, with a few subtle differences. However, if I were to rate this on smell alone, it would get a perfect score.
MY RATING: 8/10
Fragrance House: Parfums de Coeur