Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Joseph Abboud

I have to thank my Basenotes friend John again for sending me a sample of another winner - this time 1993's Joseph Abboud.  I can't believe I've put off trying this sucker for so many years.  What a dynamite fragrance!  The fact that this was released in 1993 means nothing to me, because this smells like Eighties fragrance style at its best.  In fact, in 1993 it probably was beginning to smell dated, with the awful aquatic fragrance trend starting to make its dreaded foothold. 

Joseph Abboud smells to me like a cross between two of the Eighties' best men's fragrances, Moods Uomo and Gianfranco Ferre For Man, blended with a healthy serving of vetiver.  It has a rich, brown-hued, very spicy smell, and although it doesn't really reach power scent levels of strength, it's still a very substantial scent.  I've never seen a list of notes in Joseph Abboud, so I'm describing what I think I'm smelling here: strong black pepper and leather that mellows out to a smooth mossy and rich vetiver and tobacco leaf scent.  There's a lot crammed into this scent, most of which are smells you find in the big powerhouse fragrances, like patchouli, honey, nutmeg and leather, but because everything is so well balanced and nothing is heavy-handed, it never attains room-clearing power.

Compared to warheads like Giorgio For Men, Joseph Abboud smells discreet and refined.  It's a great scent for a guy who likes the way men's fragrances used to smell thirty years ago, but who doesn't want to nuke everyone in the room with his cologne.  It has full-bore testosterone without being loud.  By the same token, it's got enough of that great rich, dense, mossy Eighties smell to put a smile on the face of even the most hardcore powerhead. 

This is a great fragrance.

MY RATING:  8.5/10

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. A friend wore this in the early 90s and I always liked it. I revisited it last year and found some AS balm and sample size cologne bottles on ebay. It's refined and not overpowering. I love it.