Sunday, December 4, 2011

One Man Show

From what I've read, One Man Show was one of the only Western European fragrances for men available behind the Iron Curtain during the 80s, and was a big hit in the Soviet Union.  I remember that time period vividly, and as an American who'd never been behind the Iron Curtain, I used to imagine the Soviet Bloc as being this cold, gray and bleak place where its people were marooned from the rest of the world.  Still to this day, whenever I think of places like East Germany or the former Soviet Union, images of outdated machinery and massive Stalin-era concrete apartment buildings always come to mind.  It's not a pretty picture I think of.

For me, One Man Show represents all of those grim, industrial images in scent form.  While it has very strong herbal qualities, with basil being a very dominant note, One Man Show feels extremely stoic and mechanical when I wear it.  It smells rigid, steely and unsmiling.  Although there are a lot of herbal and coniferous wood notes that give it a dark greenish smell, the color it exudes is primarily concrete gray.  It's loud and brash, and I can just imagine Stalin himself wearing this.

I like One Man Show, and I've owned a bottle for a couple of years now, but I don't love it.  My one complaint is that it smells kind of thin, as if it's a fragrance consisting entirely of rough, jagged top notes that last a long time.  I feel that a fragrance this bold should be propped up by some heavier, meatier notes in the base, to flesh out the scent and give it a more full-bodied smell.  Without that extra muscle, One Man Show smells a bit skeletal.

However, if you think I'm describing a lousy fragrance, I'm not.  This may be an ugly fragrance, but sometimes art is ugly.  It's ugly but very wearable, and I do like the way it smells; no one will ever suspect you're wearing Chanel No. 5, that's for sure. 

Most importanly, how many other scents can you think of that smell like this?  I can't think of any.  If nothing else, One Man Show is unique, making this wacko fragrance deserving of a thumbs up on that basis alone.

MY RATING:  7.5/10

Fragrance House:  Jacques Bogart


  1. My only issue, other than the harsh top notes, is the amount of castoreum in the base. Next time I wear it, I'll mist some into the air and walk through it, to see if that will help. I did that with Horizon and it worked well. Speaking of which, how could you not review Horizon on this blog? LOL.

  2. I actually like this one quite a bit, and it reminds me of a lighter Oscar Pour Lui.

  3. I don't know why I did it or why I like it, but this combined with Derrick by Orlane is a nice combo for some reason.

  4. I never tried that, but I don't think that sounds like a weird combo at all. I need to try that. OMS needs a little boost in the base note department, and Derrick might just do the trick.

  5. I agree with those who (here and elsewhere) compare it to ODRPL. Yeah, similar.
    My wife and younger daughter gave a thumbs up to OMS... versus ODRPL and Salvador Dali PH. I think OMS is quite alright myself. ;-)