Sunday, April 29, 2012

273 Rodeo Drive For Men

Fred Hayman's 273 Rodeo Drive For Men is a fragrance that's been largely ignored by fans of power scents, for some reason.  I think its hideous bottle, wide online distribution, and bargain-basement price put it on everyone's back burner for samplng; a lot of people won't bother trying a fragrance like this when there are so many other, more revered and flashy fragrances to choose from.  It shouldn't be that way, because this is a good powerhouse scent that's worth having in your wardrobe.

It may have been released in 1989, but 273 Rodeo Drive is a Seventies styled powerhouse for sure.  It's an unusually dark aromatic fougere in the style of Jacomo de Jacomo, which was another 80's scent with a 70's style.  What I mean is that it smells black and smoky, almost charred, with a big hit of clove (not listed as an ingredient, but it sure smells like clove to me).  Imagine what YSL Pour Homme would smell like if all the lavender and herbs it contained were burnt, and that will give you some idea of what this is like.   Forget about shit like Polo Black, Polo Double Black, Ferrari Black and all the other so-called modern "Black" fragrances - 273 Rodeo Drive is the real deal.

Very heavy amounts of oakmoss give 273 an 80's stamp of approval, and it fleshes out and adds meat to the dark, dry top and middle notes.  The oakmoss and amber make a great combination because they sweeten and warm up the fragrance, but also add weight and body to the scent, much like labdanum and castoreum do to Antaeus.  And speaking of Antaeus, many reviewers have said that 273 smells like Antaeus.  I don't smell any similarities to Antaeus, other than the fact that they're both strong and contain a lot of oakmoss.

My only gripe is that it's a little too simplistic and straightforward for me to want to wear all that often.  Plus the drydown sometimes has a cheap, synthetic smell of rubber in it that can be a little annoying at times. 

However, these flaws are overshadowed by its assertive and overtly macho scent.  Wear this in public, and there will be no doubt in anyone's mind that you are wearing a man's fragrance.  Though it isn't a barn burner like Lapidus Pour Homme, it's still nice and strong, with good sillage and staying power, and smells good.

MY RATING:  7.5/10

Fragrance House:  Fred Hayman


  1. I agree that it's rather simple and doesn't smell much like Antaeus (though I've only tried vintage Antaeus), but I don't get clove here. Instead, there is a weird, phlegm-like quality which dissipates over time. It's natural smelling and good for those just beginning to understand notes, but not for those who enjoy complexity and dynamism. Not bad if you can grab 50 ml for $5 or so, but if you've already got a bunchy of "80s power" fragrances, this one may get very little use.

  2. I don't think it smells like the current Antaeus either. Compared to stuff like Van Cleef & Arpels and Kouros, this juice is a little dull, but that's purely by comparison. 273 is still a good one, and worth purchasing if you like 70s/80s power.

  3. IMHO, it's a very well constructed scent with a bit of a 'niche' flair to it. What I mean is, it's almost minimalistic in its appeal. Sadly, I find its longevity slightly disappointing. Another great review all the same, Shamu.

  4. I agree that it's kind of minimalistic. This isn't what I'd call a busy fragrance. Yet everything's really well blended, and I have a tough time figuring out what's really in it, other than the usual patchouli and lavender.

    I'd love to know what creates that black smoky rubbery smell it has. I like it.