Sunday, March 4, 2012

Arden Men Sandalwood

Don’t expect this to be an in-your-face sandalwood fragrance.  Arden Men Sandalwood certainly contains sandalwood, but it shares equal time and space with lavender.  Therefore, you should keep this in mind before you sample this.  Otherwise, you might be disappointed, thinking this was almost all sandalwood.

This fragrance is definitely not for everyone.  First, you have to like lavender to appreciate it.  There is a lot of lavender in this, especially in the opening blast, and it smells like the sandalwood acts as a fixative because I can smell lavender (usually a short-lived, fleeting scent) for several hours in this.  This smells more like a classical fougere than a sandalwood fragrance.

You also have to dig really old-school styled colognes to get into this.  There is nothing even remotely modern or hip about Arden Men.  It’s a talcum powdery scent that has a lot more similarity to the old Caswell-Massey barbershop colognes (e.g., Jockey Club, Number Six) than, say, the more well known sandalwood fragrances of today like Santal Noble or Lorenzo Villoresi’s Sandalo.  It’s not the kind of fragrance that you would smell while blindfolded and say right away, “Oh, that’s sandalwood”.  This could be labelled a lavender fragrance as much as it could be called a sandalwood scent.  Either description would be accurate.

On the other hand, if you love sandalwood and old barbershop style fragrances like I do, you’ll probably love this.  What I find most enjoyable is how the lavender and sandalwood blend together so seamlessly, as if to create a completely new fragrance note.  I can smell the sharp, dry, medicinal qualities of the lavender, but I also smell the richness, dryness and complexity of the sandalwood.  The two notes share the same space with one another extremely well, and they create an accord that even smells green at times.  You have to love that!  After an hour or so, the lavender begins to slowly fade and give way to the sandalwood base note, and by hour three, this is almost all sandalwood.  The sandalwood is more of the dry, soapy variety than the sweet and rich type of sandalwood.

Arden Man Sandalwood is classic, masculine and debonaire.  It’s powdery but very dry and clean, not sweet at all, and I like that.  It’s a fragrance that will suit any occasion, and is one that you can grow into over time.  It’s truly a class act.

MY RATING:  8.5/10

Fragrance House:  Elizabeth Arden

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