Friday, April 20, 2012

Etienne Aigner No. 2

Vive La France!  In my review of Moustache, I explained how French styled perfumes often have an underlying dirty, unwashed smell, and that this is what I love most about them.  I just received a large sample of Etienne Aigner No. 2 yesterday, and I'm happy to say that it is another proud member of that esteemed group.  This is a truly great fragrance.

Having read a lot of reviews of No. 2 before smelling it, I was expecting a squeaky clean, scrubbed down, pearly white scent, something like Lacoste's first men's fragrance, released in 1984 and now called Lacoste Original.  However, I don't smell anything like that.  What I smell is a strong, bitter citrus perfume with undertones of wood and incense, and an underlying smell of fermenting fruit.  It's a brilliant example of contrasting smells blending together into a seamless whole: a clean but harsh smell similar to disinfectant or tile cleaner, combined with the overripe, almost urine-like smell of  rotting lemons and limes.  I know that sounds awful, but it's a smell that works, and is much better than the sum of its parts. 

Number 2's scent clearly reveals its 1976 birth year, and comparisons to Moustache and YSL Pour Homme are no-brainers.  However, for me the most accurate description of how Etienne Aigner No. 2 smells is this: Kouros without the honey.  Kouros is one of my favorite fragrances so I especially like that comparison.  

Bold, masculine and old-school to the core, Aigner No. 2 is a mandatory purchase for any man who loves old-guard French masculines.  It's the next up on my "to buy" list.

MY RATING:  9.5/10

Fragrance House:  Etienne Aigner


  1. What a coincidence, I obtained Moustache the same day (well, maybe not, your previous review put me into it) and you're exactly right, they have distinct similarities as you describe, "a clean but harsh smell...combined with the overripe, almost urine-like smell of rotting lemons and limes."
    No. 2 is also a favorite evoking instantly that 'retro' feel as soon as it goes on. And ironically, I actually feel squeaky clean when applying it - great stuff!

  2. Moustache and Aigner smell VERY similar, but I give the slight edge to Aigner because it's a little longer lasting for me.

    Because Moustache has been discontinued, I was hoping that Aigner #2 would be my replacement after my Moustache runs out. Turns out #2 is even more difficult to find, and I suspect it too has been dc'ed. I guess I'll need to resort to YSL Pour Homme.

  3. What a coincidence ! Got a used bottle of Etienne Aigners After Shave (half full) from my Dad (78) today, who bought it back in the seventies. Does anybody know if it still has any value ? He also gave me an old bottle ( 1/3 full) of Paco Rabanne After Shave which is at least as old.Since I just recently started to get interested in Men's Frag I wonder if these classics have the same value as old wine or if I might as well throw them in the bin.

  4. I'm not a vintage frag guy, so don't rely on my opinion alone. However, I've found that aftershaves are rarely worth a lot, and are almost always valued a lot less than an EDT or EDP. Most people don't want to pay a lot of money for a watered downs version of a fragrance, which is basically what aftershaves are.

  5. Do EDT,EDP or AS deteriorate with time ?

  6. Hi, hope all is well. I am interested in trying Aigner No 2 and wanted to know if your opinion has changed since you originally reviewed it. Do you still prefer it over Moustache? Thanks!