Monday, January 9, 2012

Lagerfeld Classic

Lagerfeld Classic is one of those fragrances that inspires rage in a lot people.  I think it's because it's so powdery, and the fact that some people think it smells like something only a grandma could love.  I even hated it when I first got a bottle as a gift about twelve years ago.  My wife hated the smell even more than I did, so she took my bottle and used it as an air freshener for our bathroom when guests stunk up the place.

Thankfully, all of that is in the past.  I now realize that I simply wasn't savvy enough to pull off wearing this scent.  Like Quorum and Antaeus, Lagerfeld Classic is a man's scent, and you need some life experience under your belt to be able to appreciate and wear this fragrance with conviction.  I'm now over 40, I've been practicing law for over 16 years, I've been self-employed for 13 years, I've been married for 15 years, I have two kids, and my hair's starting to turn gray.  I think it's okay for me to wear Lagerfeld Classic now.

This has become one of my favorite fragrances.  I even own a big bottle of the aftershave too, which is also great.  I feel the key to enjoying Lagerfeld is applying it properly.  It's a tangy, musky and powdery oriental fragrance that benefits from light application.  With Lagerfeld, less is more - any more than a few spritzes, and you'll smell like a big walking powder puff dipped in Hi-C.  It's a crass scent when it's overapplied, and you'll smell like a bum. 

Lagerfeld Classic deserves better than that, and you do too.  When this is applied conservatively, it's a beautifully balanced, very hot and spicy fragrance.  Counteracting the powderiness are some very dark aromatics like tobacco, clove and patchouli, and the fragrance becomes darker, more aromatic, and less powdery the longer you wear it.  Lagerfeld starts off like a dandy's fragrance, and ends up smelling like Don Juan's signature scent.  The heavy musks in this also get stronger over time, and simply add to its allure.

Without a question, Lagerfeld is truly a love/hate fragrance, and even though I love it, I can certainly understand why many people hate it.  You need to at least like, if not love, powdery fragrances in order to appreciate it.  If powder pisses you off, don't even bother with Lagerfeld. 

You also need, however, to have the right mind-set when you wear this, not just so you'll understand this scent better, but so you'll have that confident swagger in your step when you're out and about, without even trying.  It's that kind of cologne.

MY RATING:  8.5/10

Fragrance House:  Karl Lagerfeld

8 comments:

  1. I can't stand the new version, "Classic." The "synthetic" quality combined with the animalic note is horrendous to me. Fortunately, the original is great, and one of my favorites. I think it's important to point out that some people think there is a huge difference, while others may not, but don't blame us fans of the original if you hate the "Classic" (it says Classic on the bottle, so it's easy to avoid, and originals are still on ebay at reasonable prices, if you have patience).

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  2. The first bottle I owned was just called "Lagerfeld Cologne" with the art deco lettering. I hated the stuff at first (like I said), but grew to really like it over time, though its double use as a bathroom spray didn't allow me to get full use of it. This new "Classic" stuff is a little less rich than I remember it being, but it suits me just fine. I think it's great.

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  3. In my humble opinion, Shamu, the reformulated variant is far better than the (impossibly camp) original. I have two different reformulations and they're both excellent. Congrats on the great work!

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    1. Thank you for posting this. It's nice to see that there are other people besides me who can enjoy reformulated fragrances.

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  4. I agree that the new Classic is decent, but not nearly as rich and nuanced as the Cologne. The original had a soapy, musky herbal accord that ran throughout the duration of the original. Sort of like a cross between Kouros or Paco Rabanne and Shalimar. The newest Unilever version is miles better than the Coty version of the late 90s-00s. I honestly think there are banned musk in the original which brought much of the richness. Lagerfeld is powdery and tobacco-ey, but it's also VERY musky!

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  5. I agree that the new Classic is decent, but not nearly as rich and nuanced as the Cologne. The original had a soapy, musky herbal accord that ran throughout the duration of the original. Sort of like a cross between Kouros or Paco Rabanne and Shalimar. The newest Unilever version is miles better than the Coty version of the late 90s-00s. I honestly think there are banned musk in the original which brought much of the richness. Lagerfeld is powdery and tobacco-ey, but it's also VERY musky!

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    1. The newest version at the date of your writing was the Interparfums version. The Unilever version pre-dated the Coty version. Interparfums bought the rights from Coty in 2012. Coty bought out Unilever's fragrances in 2005.

      http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Business-Financial/Coty-buys-up-Unilever-fragrance-business

      The order of ownerships went something like this:

      Parfums Lagerfeld
      Parfums International
      Unilever
      Coty Prestige
      Interparfums

      Many say that Coty version was better than Unilever's. Others say that the current version by Interparfums isn't as strong as Coty's.

      Interparfums signed a 20 year deal to manufacture and distribute the Lagerfeld line that would expire in 2032.

      http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Business-Financial/Inter-Parfums-signs-fragrance-agreement-with-Karl-Lagerfeld

      To complicate matters, it hasn't been selling and they must have had an opt out as they terminated the deal:
      https://www.cosmeticsbusiness.com/news/article_page/Inter_Parfums_to_terminate_Karl_Lagerfeld_license_early/127045

      Based on the article, I can't tell if they will continue producing the line until 2024 or have ceased production. It would interesting if Pourmonsieur did a comparison of what I assume is his Coty version vs. the Interparfums version.

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