Are you wondering why I've been reviewing all these obscure Russian fragrances recently? A good friend of mine from Basenotes.net just recently gave me his bottles of Mayor In the Evening and this one, Casino, because he didn't like them. He warned me that they smelled like "bottled biohazards", a comment I thought was hilarious, but one that made me want to try them even more. I agree with his assessment of Mayor In the Evening, but I must respectfully disagree on Casino.
Casino is from the old school of 1960s men's colognes. It's a rough, leathery fougere, with an oily, "cologney" tang that is characteristic of so many men's fragrances made during the '60s. In this case, I think it's the presence of labdanum that gives it that tanginess. It's a style that many people will consider outdated, but I've always liked these scents and I like Casino. It smells a lot like Fracas For Men.
Granted, Casino does have a somewhat cheap feel to it, but don't all fougeres smell kind of cheap to some extent? It smells like the ingredients aren't exactly of the highest quality, and it's not exactly well blended. Cheap or not, Casino nonetheless delivers the goods for me, and it states its purpose shamelessly: to let the rest of the world know that you are a MAN, and that quiche and salad just isn't going to cut it for you. This is not a cologne that your wife or girlfriend will want to wear.
Even though Casino is a manly fragrance, it's not some macho ballbuster. It's a fairly quiet scent that stays close to your skin. This is a Sean Connery kind of scent. You know, James Bond at the casino table in Dr. No. The analogy fits, when you consider how Casino smells like it could have been made in 1963.
If you like really old-school colognes like I do, then Casino is worth a try. It's not for everyone, and a lot of guys won't like it because of its crudeness. However, I find its crudeness to be one of its better qualities. It strikes a chord that you rarely get in today's designer fragrances, and that you certainly don't get in niche scents. I thoroughly enjoy Casino.
MY RATING: 7.5/10
Fragrance House: Novaya Zarya